Genesis 10 – WHO WILL REMEMBER ME WHEN I AM GONE?
Last night I attended Hillsong’s Church’s Vision Night for leaders with my daughter and son-in-law. We were in the first 3 rows and the music was awesome. I somehow ended up sitting between them and felt a little conspicuous. Completely inspiring listening to Joel Houston beat out such beautiful and passionate expressions of God’s heart as we sang together, thousands of people. And this is just leaders night at Hillsong Church! Brian Houston spoke of an incredible vision he has for Hillsong Church. All of a sudden I felt so small. Insignificant. Oh yes, still very much a part of God’s Church, but diminutive. Just a face in the crowd. What difference would it have made if I had not been there. Strange feeling. Excitement for what God is doing but a sense of the insignificance of my part in it all.
Genesis 10 is a string of names that are the descendents of Noah’s sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth. It’s boring to read and I wonder why God chose to record these names which we read over once, if that, and forget them before we have even read the next name. Who remembers Kittim and Rodanim? You remember them! No not Kitten and Rhododendron! Kittim and Rodanim! They were the sons of Javan. Who is Javan? No not the computer software guy. You know Noah? Well it was his grandson’s son. So who cares? God does obviously! He made sure that Kittim and Rodanim were recorded in the pages of Scripture forever.
Ever feel like your just a name like that, lost in the pages of history and no real story to tell. Oh, you’re there, but your just a name. No details. Just a name. At times I feel that way. What difference have I really made? Planted a Church, yes. Pastored a number of Churches, yes, but am I just a Kittim or Rodanim. When my life ends, who will remember me after my children? Pastors come and go. Churches move on. Who will remember you and the part you played in this world?
In Isaiah 49:16, when Jerusalem was lying in ruins, and the people of God were feeling a little insignificant and forgotten, God said “See, I have written your name on the palms of My hands...” All I know is that I know Jesus, and God has my name written on the palm of His hand just as He did with those in Jerusalem of old. He says to me (Isaiah 49:16 (NLT)) He hasn’t forgotten me or forsaken me. Hey, He is saying this to you too. You are not forgotten or forsaken. You are important to Him and You are in His hands.
According to POSB Commentary “Genesis 10 is, by far, the earliest Table of Nations known to man, the earliest ethonological table. It is the historical record of the human race; it tells us where the nations and people of the earth originated. It gives us the roots of the human race, the birth of the nations of the earth. This chapter of Genesis—this table of nations—stands alone in the world of literature. It is unmatched; nothing even remotely compares to it.”
Sometimes you will see the names of individuals and sometimes family groups mentioned in this array of names and families. Some descendents make the list and others are left out all together. I don’t know if the ones who were omitted didn’t achieve anything of significance in their lives or maybe they were omitted because they lost the family tree somewhere along the line. I like to think that those who did make the list were the families who loved the Lord through the generations, and who wanted a record for a legacy left to future generations. I guess that’s why I am giving these messages and preserving them on the internet for years to come. I don’t know much about my family tree but I can leave a legacy for my grandchildren and their descendents.
Which reminds me - I also have 3 filing cabinets full of documents I have kept over the years. I wonder what will happen to them when I am gone. Will they be thrown out or still useable to someone. Yes, that bothers me. No-one seems to use paper anymore except for recycling and somehow I think these precious files that trace my life with God will be lost and made into paper cups or something.
This string of names also reminds me that I am part of a body of believers who TOGETHER make a difference in the world. WE accomplish God’s purposes as we operate as a TEAM. In Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT) it says “Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A SECOND IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT: ‘LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’” In John 15:12 (NLT) He says “This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”
God bless you Church as you get a revelation that “It’s not about me! It’s about US! US loving Him and eachother so that other’s will know Jesus.” Your relationship of love for eachother and your desire to serve God ensures that you are not just a name in the pages of eternity, an insignificant dot in the universe, but you are making a difference for Christ in the world.