Summary: To motivate the Church to learn priceless lessons from Genealogies instead of ignoring them as boring!!!
“All Scripture is God-breathed and He doesn’t waste His breath.” noted a noted Christian leader reflecting on 2 Tim 3:16-17. How true it is we say subjoining! Yet do all our actions convey the fact that we believe in this truth? Do not some Christians who are in a “cruise mode” (permit me to use driving terminology) when it comes to reading the Scriptures (some sincere souls read even 15 chapters a day), view “certain Scripture sections” as an unnecessary “speed breaker”? So what are those passages which our fellow brethren expertly “bypass” in order to maintain the “speed of their journey” through the Scriptures (honestly compels me to admit that I too was one of them, sometime back)? Oh yes the GENEALOGIES! The very mention of Genealogies abounding with repetitive phrases’… “He begat”…”He was the son of” makes most Christians flinch. So are Genealogies to be avoided with the “what is there to learn from them” contemptuous sentiment? Not exactly, especially when we begin reading them prayerfully with an air of a sincere explorer (Psalm 119:18)!
Primarily, a clear understanding as to why as they have been placed in the first place in Scripture would itself make us praise THE ONE, who has placed them there. Firstly, doesn’t it (placement of Genealogies) convey the ABSOLUTE SINCERITY of the inspired authors’ that they want to deal with the subjects they are writing about in their TOTALITY, giving no scope for any loopholes, whatsoever (ask any Research Scholar preparing his thesis)? Not for them any shortcuts, when it comes to “telling a story” which would influence the eternal destiny (hell or heaven) of the reader! Secondly, when there is proper laid out history (to its last detail), there would be “no misty mystery” in the minds of any reader, for Genealogies would always serve as a “back-up database” (permit to use some cyber lingo) to cross-check any information or clarify any doubt. Later on in this essay, you would find me depending on Genealogies itself to arrive at a certain truth about Genealogies! Playing a googly (means anything confusing) in a Genealogy eh?
In this message I propose to bring before my readership, 6 outstanding truths contained in Biblical Genealogies (bearing the mark of a genius Author) which are not be found elsewhere in the Scripture. So what are they?
GOSPEL IN THE VERY FIRST GENEALOGY
Ever wondered, why in the very first genealogy in the Scriptures (Genesis 5), the progenitors have been so named? Standing firmly on the premise that nothing is written in the Scriptures without Divine inspiration (I Peter 1:21), let us join the names of the progenitors and examine the whole matter in the light of meaning of those names in Hebrew language. Oh boy, oh boy, these names (in Hebrew language) when joined together and studied convey…hold your breath… the “GOSPEL MESSAGE” itself! Consider this
ENGLISH = HEBREW
ADAM = MAN
SETH = APPOINTED
ENOSH = MORTAL
KENAN = SORROW
MAHALEL= THE BLESSED GOD
JARED = SHALL COME DOWN
METHUSALEH = HIS DEATH SHALL BRING
LAMECH = THE DESPAIRING
NOAH = REST/COMFORT
There it is - the Gospel embedded right in Genesis chapter 5:
"Man [is] appointed [to] mortal sorrow; [but] the Blessed God shall come down teaching; His death shall bring the despairing rest, or comfort."
One look at the above facts and instantly the picture of the fallen mankind mourning in sin and the advent of the Almighty himself donning the robes of a teacher (Rabbi –Mark 9:5, John 1:29, 3:2) to remedy the situation vicariously emerges with no shades of grey! Hallelujah!!!
GUARANTEE OF SALVATION ONLY IF THERE IS A PERSONAL RELATION
In his farewell message, we would observe Joshua describing Abraham immediate ancestors as Idol-worshippers (Joshua 24:2). A proper study of genealogy would stun us even while doling out a lesson that both Noah and Shem (main protagonists of the Flood account) were ACTUALLY ALIVE AND BREATHING WHEN ABRAHAM WAS BORN (IN FACT SHEM, EVEN OUTLIVED ABRAHAM)!!!. With Ham being cursed and Japheth occupying a distant land which would constitute the landmass of the European continent, it would be safe to assume that Noah, must have been living with his eldest son Shem.
Action: Map of time-line from Noah to Abraham
It is quite shocking with Saintly Noah still around to warn people about the dangers of straying away from God’s will, Abraham grandfather and Father (from the Shemite lineage) became idol-worshippers. The lesson to be learnt here thanks to the priceless information coming from the Genealogies is that a godly heritage can take one so far and no further. Each one irrespective of his antecedents needs to work out his own salvation by seeking the Almighty (John 3:3) on his own.
GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT IN THE GENEALOGY