Joni and Friends
The Puzzle Fits

by Joni Eareckson Tada

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing…It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you.”

1 Peter 1:10-12

The Spirit of Christ moved the prophets to write the books of the Bible and then, after they penned the Word of God, they searched intently and with the greatest care to understand what in the world they had written! It was a little like trying to solve a puzzle.

Consider the book of Genesis. Chapter after chapter unfolds into a neatly organized story, from Abraham to Isaac, Jacob to Joseph. In fact, just as Joseph’s story is getting really interesting—bam!—chapter 38 takes a weird turn with an odd and sordid story of incest between Judah and Tamar. The chapter ends with Tamar giving birth to Perez. And then the story of Joseph picks right up where it left off, as if that thing between Tamar and Judah had never happened.

But it did. And it must have driven Moses, the prophet who penned Genesis, crazy. He had a real puzzle on his hands! Why had God inspired him to write such a thing? As many times as Moses must have searched intently with the greatest care to understand how it fit, he came up empty-handed. The puzzle couldn’t be solved.

But as today’s verse says, Moses was not serving himself but you. The puzzle pieces fit for us. When Matthew 1:3 records the genealogy of Jesus, guess who shows up? Tamar, the mother of Perez, the forerunner of Boaz, the great-grandfather of King David, whose descendant was the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, God inspired Moses to take a detour and write about Tamar. Moses had no idea that this story of incest needed to be recorded so we might understand the generosity of the Father in placing Tamar in the family tree!

Lord, when I see these puzzle pieces of your Word fit together, it proves how divinely inspired the Bible really is.

Taken from More Precious than Silver

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 1998
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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