Through the Bible in 90 Days: Day 29
Read: 1 Chron 1:1-9:44
Verse that stood out: So All of Israel was enrolled by genealogies; and these are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel And Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their unfaithfulness. Now the first to live again in their possessions in their towns were Israelites, priests, Levites, and temple servants - 1 Chron 9:1-2
The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles are a little dry to say the least. Genealogy after genealogy carry little meaning for the modern reader. And yet, I can't help but think, at some point, these words were life-giving to a portion of God's family. The first couple of verses of chapter nine give us the context - this was written to those who had been carried off into exile and to those who eventually returned to Israel during the time of Cyrus the Great. For this audience, these genealogies are their connection to home, their connection to Israel's history, their assurance that they have a part in the promises of God given to their ancestors. The exile has not permanently separated them from their past. They still have a place in the story of God's people.
We modern people live with a similar fear, a fear of being disconnected from the past. The transience of our world means many of us no longer live where we spent our childhoods. We've called a series of places home. We wonder where it is that we truly belong. We long for roots in a rootless society. For us, genealogies like those in 1 Chronicles fail to encourage. Most of us, after all, don't come from families that make the list. And yet, the promise of the gospel, is that all of us can participate in the family of God despite our apparent lack of biological credentials. Paul put it succinctly, "Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,' so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham."
That's good news on many fronts. Not the least being that one's geneology can be greatly shortened from long lists of distant relatives, to one brief phrase: Taylor Sandlin, child of God through faith in Christ.