Pastor's Corner

16 Feb
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Mid-Week Challenge

Do you have trouble pronouncing names in the Bible?  I know I sure do.  It’s a struggle trying to remember which character did what, when and with whom they interacted if you have trouble with their name.  As you know, names have meanings, especially Biblical names.  When we read our Bible, it is important not to skip over these, even when we struggle, because God saw fit to include them by name.  This is especially true when we come to the genealogies.  In times past I have skipped right over these listings because I knew I was not going to remember who begot who or what person did what with another if I couldn’t even pronounce their name! As I have learned to actually study the Bible, I realize these listings have a great deal of importance in the Bible story as a whole.  Just like we research our personal lineage through modern technology, these listings have a great deal to tell us about the cause and purpose of human history. 

Writer Dolores Smyth does a great job explaining this in her article:  What Do Genealogies in the Bible Show Us?

She points out 3 excellent reasons for not skipping over these lists! 

1. The genealogies give the Bible credence as a historical text.

The Bible is a historical document, not just a bunch of made up stories.  Archaeology has confirmed the existence of numerous Biblical people and places to date. Archaeology and ancient sources increasingly support the Bible as a historically reliable text. The names listed continue to match up as we discover these ancient sites!

2. The genealogies establish that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

The Old Testament contains over 300 prophecies about a future Messiah who would deliver His people from oppression. Genealogies prove that Jesus Christ fulfilled these Old Testament prophecies. Matthew established this in his Gospel with Jesus’ family tree. In linking Jesus to each person that the prophets declared would be in the Messianic line, the genealogies show us that God keeps his promises throughout the ages and down family lines.

3. The genealogies show that God can bring greatness out of flawed people.

Every family has that “black sheep” no one likes to talk about. It’s easy to see why ancient people would want to erase the memory of these folks in their family. However, the Bible goes to great lengths to include these people.  Any ancestral list that mentioned a disgraced relative would be a source of shame unless that accurate accounting served a much grander purpose.  This is one of the reasons I know that the Bible is true and to God’s purpose of restoring and using all people! 

Next time you come upon a difficult name or lists of names in your reading, don’t skip it! God has a purpose for every word in the Bible.  One day, maybe your name will be difficult to pronounce by future generations but your actions will have a positive lasting impact for the Lord!   

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Matthew 5:18

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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