Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 1-2
Today’s Reflection: 1 Chronicles 1:1-4
1) Adam, Seth, Enosh; 2) Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared; 3) Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; 4) Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Genealogies used to be my least favorite part of the Bible. All those ‘begats’ and ‘was the son of’ and so forth just seemed to be unnecessary filler between the more important and exciting parts of the Bible. But as you begin to examine the Bible’s genealogies some interesting things come to light. We find out that Noah’s great-grandson Nimrod was the world’s first warrior or ‘mighty man’ (1 Chronicles 1:10), get an account of how the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau became the kings of Edom, and see how one family expanded into all of the nations of the earth.
After the flood Noah, his three sons and their wives were the only people left alive. Shem was the firstborn and most-favoured and youngest son Japheth was also blessed, but middle-son Ham was cursed for having dishonoured his father (Genesis 9:18-27). Ham’s descendants included many Israel’s oppressors and worst enemies, including Egyptians, Philistines, and Canaanites. Abraham and the children of Israel were descended from Shem, but so were Israel’s enemies the Edomites. Recounting this history before the Chronicles, much of which dealt with the wars between various tribes and nations in the region surrounding the Promised Land, is a reminder that all of these warring peoples were brothers once.
The Bible gives us clear and challenging instructions about how we are to regard our enemies:
Luke 6:27-29 – 27) “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28) bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29) To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.
Ultimately this is because those who hurt us, abuse us, mistreat us, and disrespect us, are still family. We are all connected and we serve a God who wants us to remember this fact. We serve a God who wants us to treat each other like family, showing each other grace, mercy and forgiveness.
We are in a world at war, but this war has never been one between people.
Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
This means if it has human flesh it isn’t really your enemy, it’s a brother or a sister, someone you’re trying to help God save. No matter how that person may treat you.
We were all brothers (and sisters) once. And in God’s eyes we still are.