Friday, January 8, 2010

It Skipped a Generation

I am reading through the Bible for the third time this year. For the most part, I look forward to the truths that God reveals to me through His Word. However, when I see that my chapters for the day include genealogies, I am ashamed to say that I tend to dread my Bible reading. All the repetition of those "begets," seems boring. I came across one of those chapters in my reading this week, and I was none too excited about Chapter 5 of Genesis, which lists the generations from Adam to Noah.

This time, though, something different struck me in this list of fathers and sons. This is how the pattern normally works in this chapter:

Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. Genesis 5: 6-8

For six generations, these men's lives were written to the same pattern: they were born; they grew up and had children; and they died. In the seventh generation written, though, there is an aberration in the pattern:

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:21-24

Enoch breaks the pattern. He doesn't just live; he walks with God! In fact, he is so in tune with God that God doesn't allow him to die. God simply takes him to heaven. Wow! I wondered in the midst of this lineage what impact Enoch had on his descendants. What must he have taught his sons and grandsons about walking with God?

His son Methuselah had a l-o-n-g life span, but the verses describing his life don't describe him as particularly God-fearing; they pick up the same old pattern, as do the verses describing his son Lamech. Lamech's son, however, was Noah, and do you know what the next chapter says about Noah? I won't hold you in suspense:

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. Genesis 6: 8-9

When I saw the same words used of Enoch to describe Noah, I was awestruck with wonder at the way God uses God-fearing people to influence future generations. I also wondered what happened to Noah's father Lamech and grandfather Methuselah. They had to have witnessed Enoch's walk with God and his righteousness. Why didn't they also walk with God?

Despite not being described as "walking with God," Methuselah and Lamech must have talked about Enoch. What family stories were passed down about Enoch's character, his beliefs, his good deeds? I would love to hear the story that was shared about his being taken by God. In any case, as I read this list of generations, I saw a great-grandson influenced by his great-grandfather's righteousness. That great-grandson then went on to obey God against his common sense and was found to be the only man worthy of saving in the flood.

These "boring" genealogies this week have inspired me to be a legacy to future generations, to not merely live, but to walk with God.


Kathryn said...

Celly~ We're tracking on the same reading again! :-) The "begats" are not my favorites, either, but I did notice, ponder, appreciate, and desire the same: to walk with God as Enoch and Noah did ... and to be called God's friend (Moses, Exodus 33:11, and Abraham, James 2:23). :-)

Glad to see you back on your blog, and love the new look! :-)

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

This was a beautiful, insightful post. My grandmother had a big influence on me. I hope that I am having the same influence on my grandchildren, and they will find favor with God. Blessings.