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A Sense of History

A Sense of History
1 Chronicles 1:1–54
When I was in sixth grade, my teacher assigned our class a family genealogy and history project. At first it was frustrating. It seemed like unnecessary work. But eventually I became obsessive over it as I discovered our family stories. Many of us share this same experience; we’ve uncovered ancestors who have done great things. Through this process, we can begin to understand not just these people of history, but also ourselves.
Although we may be especially interested in our own family history, who doesn’t skip (or at least think about skipping) the genealogies of the Bible? Even if we’re serious about reading biblical books front to back, we prefer to skip over the long lists of names. But that would be a mistake in the case of 1 Chr 1:1–54. This genealogy is about human history leading up to a monumental person: King David. The lineage also makes the book of Ruth incredibly relevant: Boaz, Ruth’s husband, shows up in the line (1 Chr 2:11–12), which indicates that God had a plan to enfold non-Israelites into His people long before Christ’s work brought about that result (e.g., Acts 2).
Just as our family history teaches us about the way we are, reading the Bible allows us to learn why David was the way he was. Through genealogies, we can learn about the heart and character of God and His intricate plan to save the world.
How does the sense of history conveyed in the Bible connect to your sense of history? How does it connect to the work Christ is doing in and through you today?
John D. Barry

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