Each year I read through the bible in chronological order. That means I read the books of the bible in the order that the events happened. I just finished Chronicles, including some chapters of family genealogies. You know what I’m talking about. So-and-so was the father of so-and-so. Verse after verse of so-and-so’s. It’s the type of stuff most of us usually skip over hoping to get to more enlightening reading.
But, this time I was enlightened.
Reading through the genealogies, I took note of the famous names, like Noah, Abraham, and David. These were men that God loved, men who obeyed God and earned fantastic reputations. In a way, I would expect that their family tree would be special….sort of blessed. I would expect that no black sheep would be in their families, after all, they would the elite of the elite. Yet, each one of these men had descendants who acted in honorable ways and despicable ways. As the family lines continued I saw that each generation had righteous people as well as wicked people. Apparently there’s a bad apple in every bunch.
Think about it: Judah sold his brother into slavery, yet Jesus Himself is in his family tree.
David was a man after God’s own heart, but his son, Absalom, slept with David’s wives and tried to overthrow David’s kingdom.
Eil was a righteous priest, but his sons were promiscuous and deceitful.
The genealogies continue in various books of the Bible, occasionally pinpointing the righteousness or wickedness of specific people.
There’s a lesson buried in those so-and-so lists. It doesn’t matter who you came from or how good your family’s reputation is. The truth is every family tree has sin. We can’t ride the coattails of our Godly heritage, and neither are we limited by a disgraceful past.