Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Family Tree

This subject has been floating around my head for a week or so now.  My bible study group is currently finishing up our study on Genesis.  This book has many lists of family genealogies.  The documentation of the very first family. (Genesis 5)  THE VERY FIRST FAMILY!  The tree starts with Adam and Eve...or I guess we should say with God.  He created and then fathered the first man and woman.  Then we follow the tree to Noah and his descendants.  (Genesis 10)  Then on and on until we end Genesis with Joseph. 

Many of us skip over these long lists of names!  Many of these people we know very little (or nothing) about them.  So what is the big deal?  Why are there so many genealogies recorded in the Bible?
I came across this article on the web:
Kevin Halloran comes up with five great points about why they are so important:
1.  Bible Genealogies show that God cares about history
2.  Bible Genealogies show that God interacts with real people
3.  Bible Genealogies show that God can use imperfect people for His purposes
4.  Bible Genealogies show that God cares about families
5.  The genealogy of Jesus means that God understands our situation
It's a great little article and I would encourage you to read it!
Another great article I found came from Answers In Genesis:
"In our modern culture—especially in America—many families have little sense of heritage. We may have some family traditions, but most Americans don’t even know the names of their great, great grandparents or care where they lived, what they did, etc. Modern genealogy is primarily reserved for hobbyists. In contrast, genealogies were a deeply integral part of Jewish society at the time of Jesus. Land was inherited based on family lines, and those who could not prove their ancestry in Israel were considered outsiders."
Genealogies were super important!  Important for families and individuals.  They should be important to us, because we see that our Creator cares about us individually.  And most important, it was important to God, because he used them to direct us to the most important person on the list....Christ.  He used genealogies to direct us to the Gospel. 

I like to watch the PBS program called "Finding Your Roots" with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  In each episode, he uncovers the family tree for three famous people in our society.  It's very interesting!  The things they find out about their ancestors can be good...and sometimes not so good.  But none-the-less, it's intriguing!!  Every time I watch the show, I fondly think of my Uncle Denny (who was the genealogist in our family).  He dedicated so much time to research my father's line back to our roots, as far back as he could, to Germany.  As you sit and read the names, you wonder what their life was like, and what type of character they had as a person.  One was a town leader in Germany, he traveled to England and then on to America in 1710.  He made the voyage to this country, and now generations I am!  Decisions and events, dreams and disappointments, marriages and deaths, changes in residence and jobs....they all lead to my father and mother meeting.  And then my life came out of this lineage. 

Coincidence?  Man's doing?  I'd rather think not!
The all so familiar verse:  "For I know the plans I have for you...plans to give you hope and a future."  Jer. 29:11
"The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lordthe people he chose for his inheritance.  From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do."   Psalm 33:10-15
How I wish my Uncle Denny could be here to add Sue Ling to our family tree!  One day soon, our branch is going to grow!!  I don't know what the future holds...we may never have grandchildren to share family stories with...marriage may not be in her future.  As generations come and go, memories are lost and people are forgotten.  Wouldn't it be something, generations from now, if someone traced back the family tree and found us?  There we will be in a box...with a line drawn to a child...with Sue's name in it.  Will they know the story?  Will they know that this child of mine had her biological roots firmly found in China?  This little Asian girl was miraculously grafted into our family tree.  Our ancestral story will now become her story.  Her ancestral story will become our story as well.  To know the story of her genealogy would be fascinating to me.  Maybe there would be stuff uncovered that would be good, and maybe things we would rather not have known.  But somewhere, generations ago, the Lord was working His plan.  He was working all things for our good.  He was in Germany, bringing my ancestors to America.  He was directing Wilson's ancestors as well.  And He was in China, directing Sue Ling's ancestors too. 

Psalm 145

A psalm of praise. Of David.

I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
    Let every creature praise his holy name
    for ever and ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment