As I continue to reflect on the importance of genealogies I’m further struck with how they humanize the dead, those who have gone before us. They are remembered not forgotten and their mark on history (whether small or great) does not go unnoticed by their Creator.
This remembrance notes tasks allotted to certain individuals like the sons of Rueben and the Gadites who were men of valor in battle:
“ The sons of Reuben and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, consisting of valiant men, men who bore shield and sword and shot with bow and were skillful in battle, were 44,760, who went to war.” (5:18)
Again, the Levites are remembered for; “…all the service of the tabernacle of the house of God.” (6:48); or consider how the sons of Issachar are memorialized:
“Now the sons of Issachar were four: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron.2 The sons of Tola were Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam and Samuel, heads of their fathers’ households. The sons of Tola were mighty men of valor in their generations; their number in the days of David was 22,600.” (7:1-2)
Still again, the sons of Elpaal are mentioned:
“12 The sons of Elpaal were Eber, Misham, and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod, with its towns;13 and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of fathers’ households of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath;” (8:12-13)
Those who kept the thresholds of the tent:
“Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his relatives of his father’s house, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the thresholds of the tent; and their fathers had been over the camp of the Lord, keepers of the entrance.” (9:19)
Even those who managed the tent service and worship are recalled:
“21 Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was gatekeeper of the entrance of the tent of meeting. 22 All these who were chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. These were enrolled by genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer appointed in their office of trust. 23 So they and their sons had charge of the gates of the house of the Lord, even the house of the tent, as guards… 26 for the four chief gatekeepers who were Levites, were in an office of trust, and were over the chambers and over the treasuries in the house of God. 27 They spent the night around the house of God, because the watch was committed to them; and they were in charge of opening it morning by morning. 28 Now some of them had charge of the utensils of service, for they counted them when they brought them in and when they took them out.29 Some of them also were appointed over the furniture and over all the utensils of the sanctuary and over the fine flour and the wine and the oil and the frankincense and the spices. 30 Some of the sons of the priests prepared the mixing of the spices.” (9:21-23, 26-30)
As I consider my life and the contribution God has allotted for me to fulfill, I too like you friend, must remember that they do not go unnoticed by He who sees everything. An example of a task allotted to me is an apologetics sermon I was preparing to deliver at my church, this was accompanied with much anxiety and personal attacks. That is, the work God calls each one of us to do is accompanied with joy but with conflict and cost. Love always costs and serving for the sake of the Name is at times more difficult than others.
One way to love is to battle the forces of darkness—a battle every believer is called to wage—by considering God’s truth, recalling those who have gone before us, learning from their triumphs and defeats, and committing to look for God’s reward, not man’s recognition, for as we see in genealogies, God does not forget, He sees in the secret place and will give each one their due recompense.
By the above remark, I am in no way asserting that one can earn God’s graces through personal merit, since God throughout Scripture reveals that being in relationship with Him is all mercy. What I am saying is that being in relationship with Him does affect the trajectory of our lives. And depending on the choices we make, God will justly reward us.