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April 13, 2013

Adding our names to God’s family tree

by Dave Malnes

“Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahson the father of Salmon,…. (Matt. 1:4)

“Ram was the father of Amminadab and Amminadab the father of Nahson, th eleader of the people of Judah. Nahshon was the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed and Obed the father of Jesse.”  (1 Chronicles 2:11)

Genealogies in the Bible can be difficult to read.

Pages of names that have no meaning to us. No connection. No stories. In the verses above we run across names of Nahson and Salmon until we come upon some familiar names. Obed, the son of Ruth. Jesse, the father of David. It’s here that we begin to draw connections. It is here the author traces a genealogical line to the promised Messiah. All these names from generation to generation were carefully preserved by God for one primary purpose — to keep His promise of bringing salvation to the entire world.

With this understanding, we begin to see ourselves in this family tree. By faith, we are sons and daughters of God. By faith, we are adopted into a family. By faith, our names are now attached to this genealogical record. His-story now becomes my-story. When personalized, the genealogies of the Bible now become more interesting. Our names are attached to them.

But something intrigues me even more.

Some people today like to trace their family line. They enjoy looking up records and try to see if their family heritage includes people who crossed over on the Mayflower, signed the Declaration of the Independence, or just to see the names of a relative who lived hundreds of years ago. It’s rare that I find someone who can trace their family line back a thousand years. Even with technological advances, people today have a hard time even knowing who their great-great grandfather may have been.

Yet, in the Bible, the genealogical line was carefully preserved over the course of three to four thousand years. This is during a time when very little, if any, records were kept. Most records were kept by passing on the memories of names from generation to generation so kids at a very young age would know them. Family lineage was important back then, but God made sure that the most important line would be preserved. When the Messiah came the people needed to know that it was truly Him.

When you read the Bible you can’t help but be impressed how God’s goes out of his way to demonstrate his love, mercy, and grace — even to the point of preserving a family line to show that He always keeps his promises. We can take God at His Word. That trust is what preserves our ultimate inheritance in heaven.

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