2002-03-12 - Bible Trivia
Ezra 2:62 These searched among their ancestral registration, but they could not be located; therefore they were considered unclean and excluded from the priesthood.
Let's be honest here. When you are reading the Bible and you come to a list of names, you skip down to where the more helpful stuff is. I know it because I find myself doing it also. But genealogies are in the Bible for a reason. God, in His ultimate wisdom, knew that in the late 20th century someone would invent a game called "Bible Trivia." Thus He included genealogies in the Bible so that the "real" student of the Bible could shine. Well, maybe there are other reasons why genealogies are in the Bible.
Genealogies give historical credit to our faith. Genealogies scream that our faith is a documented history that has credibility, not just theologically, but also historically. As we see in the verse we started with the Jews kept records of who was who. This was important for the preservation of the purity of the faith. For us today, these records show the consistency of the Bible and remind us that God is reliable in all his dealings with us. The Bible shows us this so clearly and even in the minutia of genealogies, there it is again.
The early historian Josephus in De Vita Sua, p. 998, says that he had traced his own descent form the tribe of Levi from the public registers. He also states that however depressed and dispersed the Jews were, they never neglected to keep exact genealogical records. In all their suffering and oppression they were always careful to preserve those records. The interesting thing about the writings of Josephus is that he also records that the Romans destroyed all these records and since that time there has been no ability to trace the pedigree of any Israelite who might claim to be the Messiah. Thus, we can say that God protected these records as given in Matthew 1:1-17, to show that the Messiah had come and that His genealogy was pure and that now no Israelite could honestly claim to be the Messiah for his pedigree is unestablished. The Lord has come. These records were no longer needed.
I don't think I am telling you anything new here, but the implications of this truth are awesome. We really can proclaim the coming of Christ from the roof tops to all who will hear (just not at 3 AM, or you will become a public pest). We can go out boldly and with confidence that Christ has come and we, His people, are gifted with the responsibility to share this truth. Genealogies are just another bullet in our gun of infinite reasons to speak of Christ with boldness and confidence. Most will not listen, but some will and in listening you may have the joy of being used of God to snatch a soul from the fires of hell. If that's not a motivational thought, then I don't know one.
Soli Deo Gloria,