The Family Tree

All Israel was listed in the genealogies recorded in the book of the kings of Israel.” – 1 Chronicles 9:1 (NIV)

I’m now reading Ecclesiastes and at the same time am trying to do some review of the books I’ve read so far in the Old Testament. Looking back, the two that I’ve had the most trouble reading straight through are Leviticus and 1st Chronicles. In regards to 1st Chronicles, I have to admit that I struggled with the meaning and purpose of the beginning of this book. The first nine chapters are basically a list of names….a genealogical record from Adam down to Saul, before picking up with the life of David in chapter 10. But I’ve started to appreciate it a bit more recently, and it’s partly because of something my wife mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago.

Amy and I got our wedding pictures back from our photographer about a month ago. Right now, we have a wall unit that has many family photos displayed, and they’re mainly wedding pictures of our parents and grandparents. Amy thought it would be nice to start using some of these pictures to start creating a family tree. I’ve actually done some research on my Dad’s side of the family and have found a good amount of information on my great-great grandfather, who was a Union soldier in the Civil War. With some materials from my uncle and help from some friendly librarians, I’ve been able to piece together some details from his life. On my Mom’s side, we’ve located a book that has one of our great-great uncles from Italy listed, another soldier who fought in World War I. Wouldn’t it be nice to hand our children and grandchildren a record of their ancestors’ lives, along with photos, maybe in a scrapbook or photo album ? Amy’s idea is a great one and it’s one we really need to work on. What a gift it would be.

As usual, it’s taken me a long time to get to my point 🙂 But the idea of a family tree project has given me a greater appreciation for what’s written in 1st Chronicles. Now, I’ve read that there were some legal aspects to the genealogy that were important back in those times…the right to property or offices, military affiliations, etc. But the main point I’ve taken from these genealogy lists is this: through God’s inspiration, the chronicler is able to present to the people a record of continuity with their ancestors and a full account of God’s work down through the years. And His love for His family.

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5 thoughts on “The Family Tree

  1. Bill

    J-

    This is a really good point… and made me think of your reaction to your grandparents names being read at the beginning of your wedding ceremony. I didn’t get a chance to mention that to you yet… but that was an incredibly special moment!!

    Our ancestors (the ones we have had the privilege to know in our lifetime and the ones who lived before we breathed our first breath) provide such a connection to the history of our existence.

    Acts 17:26, 27 (NIV) says, “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”

    I think seeking out our heritage connects us to God and helps us to appreciate the process that has led to our lives at the time and place we find ourselves now.

    I am really enjoying the opportunity to read your thoughts and I appreciate how you are making personal connections to what you are reading.

    Keep up the pursuit!

    -Bill

  2. ~M

    Great thoughts.
    Thanks, brother!

    I had a conversation with a friend this morning about future related things, and your post is a helpful reminder as to what I am to be pursuing.

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