Today’s Readings: Genesis 36:1-19, 1 Chronicles 1:35-37, Genesis 36:20-30, 1 Chronicles 1:38-42, Genesis 36:31-43, 1 Chronicles 1:43-2:2
Today’s reading is not very exciting. As a matter of personal opinion it is the most boring reading we have had so far this year. Today we read nothing but genealogies. Genealogies focused on the descendants of Esau, a people that do not figure prominently in the rest of the Bible. They are the people that did not get Isaac’s birthright or eternal blessing. Sure, some consider them the roots of the Arabs and eventually the Muslims, but for us in our Biblical adventure they do not have much importance.
But I have committed to write a post every day this year. I intend to write about our Bible reading mainly. I may, from time to time, write about an interesting news item I run across that ties into something we read. Lastly, if I go on any real world adventures like my trip to Iceland last spring I will write about that. But what can I write about a list of names?
The very last verse in today’s reading was
1 Chronicles 2:1 NLT
The sons of Israel were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
As a verse with real explicit content, this one is greatly lacking. It is purely giving us a list of names. But, as a verse that opens the door to a world of comments it is actually quite good.
For more than the next 9 months (September 24th) we will be reading the Old Testament of the Bible. The Old Testament is the record of God’s dealings with the descendants of those 12 names in 1 Chronicles 2:1. It shares the Jewish history, their poetry, their wisdom and their prophecy.
But more importantly, I believe it shares part of my history, my poetry, my wisdom and my prophecy. I am not Jewish by genetics. I am not Jewish as a chosen faith. I am a Christian but Christianity in its simplest form is a division of Judaism.
Paul, as a Jew of Jews, taught us about our unique relationship to the Jewish faith and culture:
Romans 11:17 – 21 NLT
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
As Christians, you and I have been grafted into the Jewish tree as a “wild olive shoot”. We now share in their history of faith. We are now in that list of the descendants of Israel. So, as we read for these next 9 months about Israel’s history, wisdom, poetry and prophecy we should read it with keen interest, as it is also ours.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lugri/