Technology makes it easier for the average person to discover his or her past. We now have almost instantaneous access to historical records that previously required hours in the library or travel to remote locations. DNA testing, available through the mail, allows us to learn about our precise ethnic mix.
Studying our family’s past can reveal a bit more about who we are and from where we come. But we may also find some surprises. People might be excited to discover their family tree includes a respected physician or one of the original colonists, but they might also be dismayed to learn their great-great uncle was the town drunkard.
In the book of Chronicles, the subject of this month’s study, we see a listing of the history of God’s people. In the opening chapters, you will see some familiar names (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Esau) but also the names of less wellknown individuals (Seir, Anah, Zaavan, and Hadad). Some were shining successes, while others we might dismiss as failures.
Originally written as one volume, the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles trace the history of God’s people from Adam to Solomon. The Hebrew name for the book is translated as “The Words [also Events or Matters] of the Days,” taken from 1 Chronicles 27:24. The great fifthcentury biblical scholar Jerome gave it the name Chronicles. But many of us might wonder why Scripture includes chapter after chapter that seems to be nothing more than a list of names?
As you read the record of Chronicles, two things should be abundantly clear. First, God notices us as individuals— every single one of us. This genealogy contains hundreds of individual names, generation after generation. It reminds us that we are significant in God’s eyes.
Second, God’s plan is larger than any single one of us. It is easy to get caught up in our limited earthly perspective. Sometimes we focus on our individual failures and missteps. This list reminds us that we are a part of a much bigger story. God worked not just through one person, but through generation after generation, weaving us together into His perfect divine plan. The story of your individual life is part of His larger narrative.
Friend, you are not left out. You are valued by God, and an integral part of His story.