Making a Name for Ourselves
Ever feel like a number, friends? Wonder if your life is making a difference? You matter to God. He is crazy about you—so much so, that He knows how many stinkin’ hairs you have on that head of yours. We are more than a number. More than a name. We are named in the book of life. In the genealogies of life, we are making a name for ourselves by how we trust in God.
Bible Reading of the Day: 1 Chronicles 1-5
We start a new book today – the book of 1 Chronicles! So I like to provide a little information about the book whenever we start a new book of the Bible. This is a summary I found in Gotquestions.org:
Overview of Today’s Reading
Both 1 and 2 Chronicles were thought to have been written by Ezra between 450 and 425 B.C. “The Books of 1 & 2 Chronicles cover mostly the same information as 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. Perhaps the biggest distinction is that 1 & 2 Chronicles focus more on the priestly aspect of the time period. The Book of 1 Chronicles was written after the exile to help those returning to Israel understand how to worship God. The history focused on the Southern Kingdom, the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. These tribes tended to be more faithful to God” (GotQuestions.org).
“Briefly outlined, the Book of 1 Chronicles is as follows: Chapters 1:1-9:23 – Selective Genealogies; Chapters 9:24-12:40 – David’s ascent; Chapters 13:1-20:30 -David’s reign. 1 Chronicles begins with a list of the families of the Israelites. Then it continues with an account of David’s rule over the united kingdom called Israel. 2 Chronicles begins with an account of Solomon’s rule. After Solomon’s death, the kingdom was divided” (Easy English Bible Commentary).
Making a Name for Ourselves—God Knows Us By Name
Don’t miss the significance of the genealogies. First, God’s people are named. They are seen and accounted for. In fact, they make a name for themselves due to how they related to God and to one another. Second, how we live matters. And it will be remembered. How do you want to be remembered, friends?
“10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”
Making a Name for Ourselves—Named in the Book of Life
Ultimately, we can waste so much of our lives striving and being worried about what people think of us. Or worse, living our lives for this world and for sin. For example, we see some of this in the genealogy. It is like a roll call. Life choices and decisions defined these people. Even so, the words we say define us and will be accounted for.
Matthew 12:36, “But I tell you that men will give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”
How humbling, right? Let’s check out a few people of significance who were mentioned in the genealogy.
1 Chronicles 2:3-4, “The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah; these three Bath-shua the Canaanite bore to him. Now Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death. 4 His daughter-in-law Tamar also bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all.”
1 Chronicles 2:7, “The son of Carmi: Achan, the troubler of Israel, who broke faith in the matter of the devoted thing.”
The story of Achan is in Joshua 7. He took the things that belonged to God – the plunder of Jericho and his sin led to the death of 36 other soldiers. Our sins impact others. Moreover, our righteous decisions do, too.
Last but not least, my favorite person in the genealogy today is Jabez.
Scripture of the Day:
“9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.”
Although Jabez had a rough beginning – I mean, who likes to be named after pain? A relationship with God defined him.
Making a Name for Ourselves—By Calling out to God
Do you feel like you have no purpose? Therefore other people seem to matter more and seem to have a higher purpose? Jabez was named according to the pain he brought his mother. Translated, Jabez means “he makes sorrowful”. Wow. Thanks for the name, mom. It doesn’t seem like a great start. But the Bible says he was respected more than his brothers. Sometimes our weakness makes us more desperate for a great God to step in and redeem us. And when God redeems, small lives are transformed into large testimonies of God’s grace.
If you want to explore the story of Jabez more, here are some links to articles that I have written about Jabez:
- Let Shame Fuel our Prayers: https://denisepass.com/letting-shame-fuel-our-prayers/
- Small Beginnings Are Not the End: https://denisepass.com/small-beginnings-are-not-the-end/
- Learning from the School of Hard Knocks the Jabez way: https://denisepass.com/learning-from-the-school-of-hard-knocks-the-jabez-way/
Making a Name for Ourselves—By Trusting in God
Following the example of Jabez is the Hagrites who likewise also trusted in God.
1 Chronicles 5: 18-20
“18 The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had valiant men who carried shield and sword, and drew the bow, expert in war, 44,760, able to go to war. 19 They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. 20 And when they prevailed over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him.”
Finally, friends, trusting in God changes our present and our future. Ultimately, trusting in God is what defines our lives.
In conclusion, what stock do you come from, friends? In short, is your family line riddled with sin? As a consequence of Christ’s death and resurrection, in Christ, we are part of a new bloodline— a perfect bloodline. Have you been grafted in? Namely, have you accepted the salvation that Jesus offers? Without a doubt we have all sinned and marred our lineage in some way. Nonetheless, God redeems our lives and we can make a difference by how we live our lives for His glory. Although genealogies might seem dry to us, they remind us that we matter to God. In summary, God knows each of His children personally, even down to the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). Therefore when we relate to God and cry out to Him just like Jabez did, God will use our lives to make a difference.
- To summarize, when I look at the genealogies, it is a place of worship to me that God redeemed His people. Sinners and broken people are in the genealogy that leads to Christ. God restores. God’s plans are perfect.
- Finally, God is faithful to His people and keeps His promises. Above all, we can be sure that His promises to us will be fulfilled as well. He has promised blessings to those who follow Him, who come to Christ in repentance, and who obey His Word.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #219: 1 Chronicles 1-5
Scripture of the Day: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
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