Wednesday, June 8, 2011


   No, don't worry; I won't be quoting Shakespeare.  This week's Bible study has me pondering names.  Can you guess what we're studying?  Think lists of names...genealogies...  We started I Chronicles.  I have to say, when I knew I & II Chronicles were coming up in our study, I wasn't thrilled.  I remember reading (or I guess I should say skimming) list after list of who begot who and whose father was who.  This time, however, I have a little better perspective.
   I've been reading the scripture readings on my Kindle in The Message version.  In his introduction to Chronicles, Eugene Peterson says, "Holy history is not constructed from impersonal  forces or abstract ideas; it is woven from names- persons, each one unique." Each name list is for a purpose, for a reason.
   In Adventuring Through the Bible, Ray Stedman says the genealogies are important for two reasons. One reason is to figure out Bible chronology.  The second is " to show God's plan in working through human beings to achieve His purposes." (Stedman, p.190)  Stedman goes on to point out how some people, although considered great in history, are only given a few verses, while others are covered in great detail.  The difference is some are more obedient than others.  God appears to dismiss those who human history may rank high according to human views, but do not have hearts aligned with His.
   This time as I read, instead of skimming, I looked at each name.  Oddly enough, I actually recognized some of the names as either "good" or "bad" kings and people who were mentioned in other portions of scripture.  (On a side note: I came across the name Kenaniah, my all-time favorite guy name.  Kenaniah was the Levite in charge of music/singing in the Temple. Petra, a vintage Christian rock group, had a song called "Kenaniah." )
    Saw a t-shirt.  The front said, "Christianity is not a religion."  The back said, "RELIGION IS HUMANS trying to work their way to God. CHRISTIANITY IS GOD, coming to men and women through a relationship with Jesus Christ."  Those men and women have names.  I'm not going to be skimming through the lists anymore!

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