Family Cloud

All Israel was registered in the genealogies that are written about in the Book of the Kings of Israel.                 1 Chronicles 9:1 (HCSB)

1 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah spend a fair amount of ink and papyrus giving me the genealogies. Why? Why are they important? Why should I care? The New Testament also has a couple of genealogies but they are short: Matthew 1 and Hebrews 11. I think the answer to my questions is in Psalms and Hebrews.

Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us,…          Hebrews 12:1 (HCSB)

My friends, I beg you to listen as I teach. I will give instruction and explain the mystery of what happened long ago.

These are things we learned from our ancestors, and we will tell them to the next generation. We won’t keep secret the glorious deeds and the mighty miracles of the LORD.

God gave his Law to Jacob’s descendants, the people of Israel. And he told our ancestors to teach their children, so that each new generation would know his Law and tell it to the next. Then they would trust God and obey his teachings, without forgetting anything God had done. They would be different from their ancestors, who were stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful to God.        Psalm 78:1-8 (CEV)

It is unfortunate that the passages in 1 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah are probably the least read in the entire Bible. I certainly see those lists of people with names I truly cannot pronounce and without even thinking – flip the pages! Moving on to something I can read and understand!

For better or for worse, knowing where I came from can give me insight into where I might go. When I look back in my family tree, I have many relatives who I know nothing about. I remember my parents talking about their grandparents but I don’t remember being told about anyone before my great-grandparents or any of their siblings. I would have to say that this would also be a characteristic of the way my family viewed faith. We went to church every Sunday. It was an important tradition in my family. My mother taught me to pray at meals and bedtime. I certainly learned more about how important her faith was to her by watching her pray every day.

I want to be a bit more ‘proactive’ with my grandchildren. I want to ask God to show me opportunities to inject personal stories of faith to my grandchildren. When my children are my age, I want them to be able to say that they knew with certainty about the faith of their mother. I want my grandchildren to say with certainty that they saw their grandmother walk out her faith in Jesus Christ every day and she wasn’t ashamed of the Good News of Jesus Christ. I do not want the next two generations in my family to say, “I don’t know what my family believed!” I want our family’s genealogy to be a cloud of witnesses.


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