Speaker: Jerry Cisar
People used to think genealogies were boring. They’d want to skip over it when reading the Bible. Gauging by the number of commercials they run, Ancestry.com has turned them into a profit-making-venture that lures people in. If I didn’t know better I’d think we could fill the church this week by simply announcing that we were going to be teaching through a genealogy.
Genesis 9:18—11:32 begins with a strange story about Noah and his sons which leads into the long story of their descendants, interwoven with seemingly unrelated stories, then concluding with the genealogical record of Noah—an open-ended record that leads right into the Gospel (at least the Gospel in its Old Testament form). The whole story of Abraham serves as the closing piece to that genealogy—a genealogy only made possible by the Gospel—the promise of God.
What explains our culture’s sudden interest in genealogies? It’s found in the one (and only) benefit statement on Ancestry.com’s home page: “Discover your ethnic mix.” Ahhh… It’s all about me! That’s the hook. The genealogies in Genesis 10–11 are about all of us too. If you are a believer, there is one for you. If you hate God—or are convinced God hates you, there is one for you. If you don’t know where you stand with God, there’s one for you also. These stories are about us!