Genealogies are important. But not in the way you might think.
It might help to know where we came from, who are our ancestors, or what’s in our DN But our lineage ain’t worth anything if we are not saved by God.
Let us examine the passage and get into it.
Genesis 10 (CSB)
1 These are the family records of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. They also had sons after the flood.
2 Japheth’s sons: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
3 Gomer’s sons: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
4 And Javan’s sons: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
5 From these descendants, the peoples of the coasts and islands spread out into their lands according to their clans in their nations, each with its own language.
6 Ham’s sons: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
7 Cush’s sons: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. And Raamah’s sons: Sheba and Dedan.
8 Cush fathered Nimrod, who began to be powerful in the land.
9 He was a powerful hunter in the sight of the LORD. That is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a powerful hunter in the sight of the LORD.”
10 His kingdom started with Babylon, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
11 From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah,
12 and Resen, between Nineveh and the great city Calah.
13 Mizraim fathered the people of Lud, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh,
14 Pathrus, Casluh (the Philistines came from them), and Caphtor.
15 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth,
16 as well as the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites,
17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites,
18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the Canaanite clans scattered.
19 The Canaanite border went from Sidon going toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and going toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim as far as Lasha.
20 These are Ham’s sons by their clans, according to their languages, in their lands and their nations.
21 And Shem, Japheth’s older brother, also had sons. Shem was the father of all the sons of Eber.
22 Shem’s sons were Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram.
23 Aram’s sons: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
24 Arpachshad fathered Shelah, and Shelah fathered Eber.
25 Eber had two sons. One was named Peleg, for during his days the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan.
26 And Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,
27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,
28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba,
29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were Joktan’s sons.
30 Their settlements extended from Mesha to Sephar, the eastern hill country.
31 These are Shem’s sons by their clans, according to their languages, in their lands and their nations.
32 These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their family records, in their nations. The nations on earth spread out from these after the flood.
Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?
This is almost a repeat of Genesis 4, 5, & 6 in the sense we are talking about genealogies.
In Genesis 5, we spoke about the descendants from Adam to Noah. Right at the beginning of chapter 6, Moses writes about the rise of powerful men.
Genesis 6:4 (CSB) The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men.
What was God’s response?
Genesis 6:5-7 (CSB) When the LORD saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. Then the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”
You know what happens after that. God first saves his people from their sins–Noah and his family. God eliminates all evil, resets all circumstances, takes away all of Noah’s problems off the face of the earth.
Noah’s response? The sin that was indwelling within him.
God started over with Noah. But you and I know Noah was far far from perfect–no one is perfect, no one is righteous, all have fallen short of the glory of God. Noah was declared righteous but the war with sin raged within his flesh (Romans 7:7-25) We should not be so shocked that the earth once again fell into sin. God could remove all of our circumstances and our lives will still be jacked up because of us. That is just sin.
Out of the flood, fallen children of Adam once again populated the earth. Holiness and righteousness did not spread but sin, power, greed try to seized control. Little people with their pitiful little lives trying to fight for pitiful little control over their stupid little kingdoms.
Not so with God, who rules and reigns over all of creation.
Let us examine the difference between the kingdom of the world vs. kingdom of God:
Kingdom of Babylon vs. Kingdom of God
Kingdom of Babylon
Born in sin
1 These are the family records of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. They also had sons after the flood.
Much like our fall started with Adam, this second go-around starts with Noah. Even declared righteous, Noah is not perfect and still needs God to be sanctified cleansed every day.
Notice something back in Genesis 9 that is the same as Genesis 3. What was Noah’s response to his drunkenness? Did he repent of his sin and pray to the Holy God who just saved Noah from the wrath of God or was he quick to blameshift to someone else for his own sin?
Adam blamed Eve. Noah blamed and tries to curse his grandson?
Genesis 9:24-25 (CSB) When Noah awoke from his drinking and learned what his youngest son had done to him, he said: Canaan is cursed. He will be the lowest of slaves to his brothers.
Born out of power
Genesis 10:6-12 (CSB) Ham’s sons: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. Cush’s sons: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. And Raamah’s sons: Sheba and Dedan. Cush fathered Nimrod, who began to be powerful in the land. He was a powerful hunter in the sight of the LORD. That is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a powerful hunter in the sight of the LORD.” His kingdom started with Babylon, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and Resen, between Nineveh and the great city Calah.
In the kingdom of the world, on the strongest and most powerful get to rule. They get to be the oppressors and crush those underneath them. For what? A tiny bit of perceived power? What sense does that make?
Sustains in depravity and immorality
Genesis 10:13-19 (CSB) Mizraim fathered the people of Lud, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh, Pathrus, Casluh (the Philistines came from them), and Caphtor. Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, as well as the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the Canaanite clans scattered. The Canaanite border went from Sidon going toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and going toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim as far as Lasha.
If you grew up in church, reading the Bible, these nations and these lands should sound familiar to you. Because we are blessed with complete word of God, this passage ends up being prophetic. But we will get to that later.
Deep in the hearts of men, we want to go our own way. We are given chance after chance, grace upon grace, and but without the indwelling of God in our beings, we will fight to go our own way.
The weak, frail, poor, widow, orphan, lost are excluded
This is complete conjecture. But you have to see this. Read chapter 10 and see what is excluded that we find missing from other genealogies.
What? No repentant sinners listed. Not a one. Stark contrast to the kingdom of God.
What will become of these powerful people who for a brief moment here on earth try to consume as much they can.
Judged under the wrath of God
Revelation 18:21-24 (CSB) Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,
In this way, Babylon the great city
will be thrown down violently
and never be found again.
The sound of harpists, musicians,
flutists, and trumpeters
will never be heard in you again;
no craftsman of any trade
will ever be found in you again;
the sound of a mill
will never be heard in you again;
the light of a lamp
will never shine in you again;
and the voice of a groom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
All this will happen
because your merchants
were the nobility of the earth,
because all the nations were deceived
by your sorcery.
In her was found the blood of prophets and saints,
and of all those slaughtered on the earth.
Kingdom of God
Existed before time in truth
John 1:1-5 (CSB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
Born in a manger, weak, frail
Luke 2:6-7 (CSB) While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Philippians 2:5–8 (CSB)
5 Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited.
7 Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man,
8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.
Includes the fringes, the lost, the orphan, the widow, the lost
Matthew 5:1–12 (CSB)
1 When he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 Then he began to teach them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
11 “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me.
12 Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Reading the Prophets, Isaiah to Malachi
Promises and the prophecies of God.
God expounds and elaborates on how he will make things right
But the nations–even including the descendants of Shem and Japheth–were judged for their wickedness and depravity and they were torn down.
Read Ezekiel 12-35. The prophet Ezekiel prophesies the end of the nations around Israel and then including judgments against Israel. All of those judgments came true.
The kingdoms out of the lineage of Christ was also judged for their wickedness
Jeremiah 22:25-30 (CSB) In fact, I will hand you over to those you dread, who intend to take your life, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Chaldeans. I will hurl you and the mother who gave birth to you into another land, where neither of you were born, and there you will both die. They will never return to the land they long to return to.” Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered pot, a jar no one wants? Why are he and his descendants hurled out and cast into a land they have not known? Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the LORD says: Record this man as childless, a man who will not be successful in his lifetime. None of his descendants will succeed in sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.
Reminder of Jeremiah 23 - woe to false shepherds
Reading through the Old Testament and then descending into the Prophets starting with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, and Amos: there is good news there to be sure. But our sin–my sin–is revealed time and time again. It causes me to cry out with Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will save me from this body of death!”
But you keep reading the Bible. You turn the page. You go from the Old to the New Testament and there it is: the rest for our weary soul, the righteousness that we so desperately needed, the holiness that calls us from the kingdom of the world, the grace and truth that opens our eyes, the mercy we need for life, and the love that has always been there from everlasting to everlasting.
Matthew 1 (CSB)
1 An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
2 Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Aram,
4 Aram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon,
5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse,
6 and Jesse fathered King David. David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah, Abijah fathered Asa,
8 Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered Joram, Joram fathered Uzziah,
9 Uzziah fathered Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz, Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered Amon, Amon fathered Josiah,
11 and Josiah fathered Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon Jeconiah fathered Shealtiel, Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel fathered Abiud, Abiud fathered Eliakim, Eliakim fathered Azor,
14 Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim, Achim fathered Eliud,
15 Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan, Matthan fathered Jacob,
16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Messiah, fourteen generations.
18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit.
19 So her husband, Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.
20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”
24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her
25 but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.
Luke 3:23–38 (CSB)
23 As he began his ministry, Jesus was about thirty years old and was thought to be the son of Joseph, son of Heli,
24 son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph,
25 son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai,
26 son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda,
27 son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri,
28 son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er,
29 son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi,
30 son of Simeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim,
31 son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David,
32 son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Salmon, son of Nahshon,
33 son of Amminadab, son of Ram, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah,
34 son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor,
35 son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah,
36 son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech,
37 son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalalel, son of Cainan,
38 son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.
Lineage not of power, nor royalty, nor wealth but one of faith
Hebrews 11:1-2 (CSB) Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by this our ancestors were approved.
Galatians 2:20 (CSB) I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Not upon the strength of our faith but based on the strength of the Almighty God
Ephesians 2:8-9 (CSB) For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.
What is God’s gift? Salvation, grace, faith? The answer is yes–all three.
We build our little kingdoms and we are vaporized like dew in the high noon sun.
But the kingdom of God rules and reigns forever–because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We exalt ourselves, he was lowly in heart. We are filled with pride in our pithy accomplishments, he was gentle. We amass power in order to feebly try to control our world and our circumstances for an easier life, Christ held his body on a cross and bled out so he could put Satan, demons, hell, and death to open shame and separate.
We are not to live for power. We are to live in the power of the Almighty. We are not of this world but we are merely passing through it.
We are not born into this family by the blood of our ancestors but born again into this family by the blood of the Lamb and our testimony.
John 1:12-13 (CSB) But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
My grandfather left his wife and kids to be with another woman. Came back home, stricken with prostate cancer and died in his 40s.
My father was a child molester. Sexually abused me and my siblings. Arrested, tried, and sentence to nearly 400 years. Died in prison in around his 60s.
Me? I was so addicted to porn that I ended up working in the porn industry. How did that work out for me? Two divorces and not being with my kids all the time. Relationships wrecked.
Yet, God saved my grandfather and redeemed his life. God saved my dad–and then he decided to forgo parole to “a light in a very dark place”. He ministered to his fellow inmates up to his death.
And God saved me. I have lost my family but he has restored my soul for his namesake.
Our lineage, ancestry, bloodline ain’t worth jack unless God comes into our bloodlines and redeems us. And it starts with us. Not our parents, not our pastor, not our church–you and I must decide today to repent of our sins and trust in Christ alone.
Choose on this day on whom you will serve.
1. Why are genealogies so important to us?
2. Read Galatians 3. Once we believe and trust in Christ, whose lineage do we now belong to?
3. Read Acts 17:22-34. Do you think it has been all a coincidence that you live in the times and places where you live and you were born in the family you were born into?
4. Read Romans 8:14-17. If our families are messed up, jacked up, and broken, how does God redeem that?
Have mercy on my soul. Save me to yourself. Keep me in your family forever. Amen.
by John Calvin.
by James Montgomery Boice.
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Genesis: Beginning and Blessing (Preaching the Word).
by R. Kent Hughes.
Crossway. November 30, 2012.
Genesis (Word Biblical Commentary).
by Gordon J. Wenham.
Thomas Nelson Inc. October 9, 1987.
The Gospel in Genesis.
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.