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.