My husband and I began a reading plan that takes you through the Bible in a year. Each day the plan pulls Scripture from both the Old and New Testament, as well as the Psalms and Proverbs.
That’s right. I said that those long lists of people spoke to me. Now, if I have to admit, in the past as I have encountered those lists (you know the ones . . . And so-and-so begat so-and-so who begat so-and-so who begat so-and-so . . .) I have been tempted to pass over them. But as I have been reading my Bible through this time, I have been encouraged by these long lists of names. Why? Good question . . .
You see, God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation (“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2) would ultimately lead to Jesus’ birth. All those people’s names? They are important connections between God’s promises. All along God had a plan that was being fulfilled, no matter how us humans may have doubted or tried to mess it up (purposefully or not). Along the way, so many, Abraham included, trusted it was going to happen because God said it was. Furthermore, God all along knew He was to bring forth our Savior through this lineage.
One of our favorite children’s Bibles is the “The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name.” The title alludes to this perfectly! This version of the Bible so wonderfully traces, from the beginning to the end, God’s plan to send a “Rescuer” to redeem His people. As I read this to my son, I can’t help but be amazed and overjoyed at the lengths that God goes to in order to reach the lost and downtrodden.
So, the next time you find yourselves in a part of the Bible where you’re seemingly slogging away in the midst of hard to pronounce names, one after another, just remember: it’s God making the case for how through this lineage He had a saving plan along. It was all Him, nothing we did or didn’t do. He loved us so much that He sent his son through this family.
Remarkable, isn’t it?