Why are genealogies in the Bible?

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Who needs to know who begat who? For Pete’s sake, I can’t pronounce most of the names anyway.

Then this morning in my personal time of reading the Bible, I understood a tiny reason. One that turned out to be not so tiny. I understood how all those puzzle pieces fit into God’s plan. (Okay, maybe I understood some of the puzzle pieces, lol.)

My great-grandmother, Mary Charity Hartshorn Nelson
Angie-I took this myself just to see how much I resembled my great-grandma.
No make-up on purpose.

So I began to wonder more about how we resemble our ancestors in both looks and spirituality. For fun, I snapped a shot of myself so I could put it side by side with my great-grandma’s photo. I did this a few different times with various ancestors. I’m stunned at the similarities.

I’ve been reading the Chronological Bible on Youversion.com (via my blackberry) in order to better understand how all these ambiguous stories and events fit together. I felt I might grasp it better. And boy was I right!

This morning I entered the New Testament. Stunning moment when I realized I’d read the stories of most of the people listed in Matthew 1. No longer did the list of names seem so daunting. I knew how David, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Juda, Tamar, Perez, even Aminidab, and then came a few that stunned me. Boaz whose mother was Rahab–the prostitute heroine. Obed whose mother was Ruth–the foreigner. Jesse who thought his son, David, would amount to nothing as the youngest. And Solomon–the great murdering king who married the adulteress and yet is renowned as the wisest man who ever lived. On and on the list goes with names and stories I’m finally connecting.

One of the best moments though? When I realized how many imperfect people are in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Who will come after me that the Lord will rise up to do great things? He or she may not be the Messiah, but what if in my imperfection the Lord is still able to work through my ancestral line to bring about His will?

What about yours?

These stories give me hope when I make awful, unsolveable mistakes, the Lord will be able to reconcile me to Him and still use my life. Wow factor! I’m not a lost cause and neither are you regardless of the mistakes we make, regardless of our ancestors mistakes.

Come with me back to the Lord who has great plans for us in spite of our pasts.

May we be like Rahab, Solomon, and even the woman who must fight for her rights-Tamar. Imperfect, yet so passionate about correcting wrongs in order to live for the Lord.

Liking those begat lists now.

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