Updated: Jul 5, 2021
“Abraham was the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel…The sons of Israel were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.”
1 Chronicles 1:34; 2:1
When I was a child, my parents often took us to visit our relatives. It was difficult to sit still and listen to people I didn’t even know, but after hearing their stories year after year, my frustration turned to appreciation— “This is MY heritage!”
The long genealogies in the book of Chronicles remind me of a family reunion. The Israelites had just spent 70 years in exile—scattered far away from all that was familiar…their land, their traditions, and their Temple. Perhaps some of them had begun to question their identity and even wonder if God cared about them anymore. But by recording all those names, Ezra took his people to visit their relatives.
As the returning exiles reviewed their past, they found hope for their future. Each name reminded them of another story they had heard of God’s amazing faithfulness. At that family reunion, not only was their identity restored, but they understood that GOD had never stopped caring for them!
So, if you feel like you’re in exile, far away from anything familiar, stop and review your genealogy. Your first birth identified you with an earthly family, but your second birth gave you a new identity—a child of God!
THAT identity not only gives you hope for your future—
But also, an invitation to the greatest family reunion, in heaven!