24th August 2018

Part of the Story 

“Arphaxad begot Shelah, and Shelah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.
1 Chronicles 1:18-20 (NKJV)

Reading the genealogies in the Bible can be quite challenging. Sometimes we might read over them quickly in order to get on the next chapter. At other times they might become too much of focus, so much that Paul warned believers against becoming pre-occupied in studying them. Paul tells us not to “give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith” (1 Timothy 1:4), and also to “avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless” (Titus 3:9).

So, what purpose do the genealogies serve? Maybe they provide a sense of continuity within the Old Testament, or they provide an historical background to events. Another important idea is that they demonstrated to the readers and listeners that they were part of the story. People would have known which tribe or clan they belonged to, and that thus they were woven into the whole tapestry of the narrative.

The New Testament tells us that we are part of the story of Christ. Paul himself makes a point of listing the members in some of his letters (e.g. Romans 16), and explains that the names of the believers are “in the Book of Life” (Phillipians 4:3), a thought later taken up by John in Revelation.

Whenever we come across a biblical genealogy, let’s remember that our names are written in the Book of Life, and that we are part of the story of Jesus and his gospel.

Thank you, Father, that we are part of the story of Jesus, and that our names are written in the Book of Life. In Jesus
’ name.

Study by James Henderson


About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Or email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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