What’s in a Name?

Today we read Genesis 10-13. We have a look at our very first genealogy tree. I kept thinking to myself, “Why are all these names here?” I tried to follow along and keep everything straight, but I started to loose track. So and so was so and so’s grandfather, followed by an uncle, fathered by a second son after the death of a father.

So, why did the author go to such lengths to name the descendants of Noah? One thought may be to understand how the world repopulated itself after the flood. All humanity came from Noah and not from any other person. Noah’s family members were the only people to survive after the great rains covered the earth. The flood story discounts any other theories.

Another thought might charge us to look at the beginning and the ending. We want to know where we started and where we finished. For the purposes of this accounting, we begin with the sons of Noah. We follow all three sons, but take a keen interest in the genealogy of Shem. The last person name is Abram.

**Spoiler Alert** Abram becomes the man Abraham, the founder of the Jewish race. God announces to Abraham that he will make his name great and his descendants will number as great as the stars. This man is the beginning, the first of the great men of Genesis. These men (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) become known as the patriarchs of the faith.

And it all started with one person and an amazing family line. We all know what it is like to come from a long list of family. We bestow our traditions and customs to the ones who follow us, never dreaming what life will look like years from now when we are no longer here. Hopefully, when all is said and done, our teachings will remain with our great great grandchildren and their families.

Today, I am grateful for a lineage that I leave for the descendants that follow me. May they be blessed and be fearless worshipers of the God who sustains me now. Praise be to our incredible Creator, who just like he did for Abraham, continues to lead us to the land of milk and honey.

Published by joekmac

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Tradition. I am the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Belen in the New Mexico Annual Conference. I am married to Cazandra and have two sons with hemophilia.

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