• Tim Clark

What's in a name?

It's one of the many excuses that people use to NOT read the Bible. I'm talking about all the names and geneologies. Well, for the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles that's exacty what we've been treated to!


People reason- "What's this have to do with me? Why should I care about the names and geneology of people long dead? How is any of this going to help me with my own life?" And on the surface, that arguement seems to make a certain amout of pragmatic sense.


But consider this question: "Does God EVER do anything for no reason?" The real question before us therefore, is not "What do the geneologies of 1 Chronicles 1-9 have to do with me?" but rather, "What is God's purpose behind them?" Trust me, God HAS a purpose!


Could it be that God is reavealing something about Himself in the preservation of the names and geneologies? Is He communicating somethign to us about His values?


Obviously, history is important to God. Not only that, but individuals are important to Him. Could it be that He is trying to teach us something about ourselves? Could it be that He desires us to understand that our lives do not exist in and of themselves, nor do we live only for ourselves? Could it be that He would have us understand that each of us are part of a much larger picture and that we have an important role as individuals in moving forward His will?


Ironically, the key to understanding the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles is found in a message delivered over a millenia later on the Athenian Areopagus by an obscure Jewish lawyer:


Acts 17:24   “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’


Addressing the intellectual elite of his day, Paul makes very clear why all of this is important to God. Times, places and names are all important to Him, because people are important to Him. So important, that His desire is that eveyone of them know Him and come into a saving realtionship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ!


The simple truth is: we are all blood relatives to every one of the names listed in the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles! Each of us are of tremendous value to God- known by Him to the very count of hairs on our head!

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