The sons of Israel were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun,
Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
1 Chronicles 2:1-2 NLT
In my pursuit of Blogging through the entire Bible, one of the things I have learned about myself is that I have subconscious opinions about certain books of the Bible. For example, as I was nearing the end of 2 Kings, I began to drag my feet on reading. True confession: it was because I was afraid the next book I was about to begin is where everything would start to get really boring. Then I realized that I feel that way at the start of a lot of new things, not just reading the Bible! New is sometimes just far enough outside my comfort zone that I try to justify staying old.
This time I decided I would jump into my adventure in 1 Chronicles with the attitude that I’ve been waiting for this experience my entire life! Immediately after I embraced that choice, God showed that I would be reading the official family records of the nation of Israel. Ignoring the sarcastic comments flying through my head, I trusted that God would bless this process.
I decided to highlight the genealogy of Jesus, which was challenging because there were quite a few names present who were not in that lineage. It started out easy – Step One: Adam (The “Garden of Eden” one.) Then, after Noah, Shem and Abraham it got challenging. In chapter two I got my confidence back. Verses one and two read:
The sons of Israel were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
I got all excited because I was SURE I knew which name had Jesus blood in it! I even highlighted it without glancing ahead to make sure I was right: JOSEPH! There was so much written about him – including a modern-day musical about his technicolored coat! I gave myself a little mental pat on the back and smiled because I was getting so good at this.
Suddenly, I remembered a Bible verse I had recited every Christmas Eve and Day for most of my youth and adolescent life:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2 NIV)
Now I felt really sheepish about my generous pat on the back. Awe MAN!!!! It was Judah! I knew that!! Now I have pink highlighter on the wrong name in my Bible FOREVER! Well, I certainly can’t be blamed for this mistake. God spent all that time in Genesis talking about Joseph; that is bound to confuse a lot of people. Why did He do that? I know almost nothing about Judah – If I were composing this book, I would have spent all my time talking about Judah, not Joseph. Why did God dedicate so much scripture to the wrong line?
Then, the most powerful revelation fell on me. There is no “wrong line.” Every individual is important in God’s story. It doesn’t matter to God who your parents are, he loves us all. God sent his son to live AND die so that we all can have Jesus blood in our heritage.
CHALLENGE: If my birth place, name, gender, ethnicity, age, social status, and lack of celebrity status doesn’t change God’s plans for me, what can I invest my time in today that does matter?
Dear Lord, You are bigger than genealogy can document; you are faithful beyond our human understanding. Thank you for letting me be more than a wrongly-highlighted name. You have loved me before I was even conceived and you have a place and a purpose for me that fits with you perfect will. Teach me to live with this as my gratitude and focus. Amen.