Every few years, I’ll start a Bible reading plan that takes me through the whole grand narrative of Scripture in a year. And I must confess, when I would reach passages where genealogies span over multiple verses, I used to be a bit disappointed in the day’s readings. “Oh it’s just a list of people,” I thought, and I would quickly read through the names (many of which I couldn’t pronounce) and then move on with my day.
All of that changed when I was in seminary. I had a professor who one time was reading a genealogy and as he was reading, he got a little choked up and through tears he said, “Students, these passages might feel boring for you, but this list of names is evidence that God keeps His promises.”
Today the passages we’re studying (Genesis 25:12-18) are just that, a record that God is faithful, that He keeps His promises, and does what He says He’ll do.
Remember in Genesis 15 when God made His covenant with Abraham? Remember when He told Abraham to gaze into the sky and count the stars, for that’s how many descendants he would have? Well, here in Genesis 25, we see evidence of that!
Joshua 21:45 says, “Not one of the Lᴏʀᴅ’s faithful promises to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; every one was realized.”
My sisters, please don’t miss the forest for the trees in this passage. This isn’t just a list of names. In this genealogy, we see that God’s promise came true. It is a blueprint that points back to His trustworthiness and faithfulness to His people.
I don’t know about you, but that’s good news for this weary soul. When your world is defeated, when division, strife, and heartache seem to be all around you, what you don’t need is a three-step, how-to-live your best life article. Rather, what you need is the good news that, because we serve a God who keeps His promises, “everything sad will come untrue,” (as the great J.R.R. Tolkien once said).
And so when dark days come or we’re in seasons of plenty, we remember that the God who kept His promises to Abraham is the same God who keeps His promises to us. And what are some of those promises that we cling to today?
Well, here are few of my personal favorites:
- He promises salvation for all who call upon His name. Romans 10:13, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
- He promises wisdom for anyone who asks Him for it. James 1:5, “But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.”
- He promises to forgive our sins. Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer.”
- He promises that we are never alone and have a helper in Christ. Hebrews 13:5b-6, “…for he has said, ‘I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can people do to me?’”
- He promises that one day He’s coming again and when He does, He’s making all things new. Revelation 21:5, “And the one seated on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new!’ Then he said to me, ‘Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.’”
My sisters, we have been given the gift of having the promises of God recorded for us in His Holy Word. As we continue to study Genesis, be on the lookout for the promises God makes to His people, but also be looking for the many ways God keeps His word. And remember, the God who kept His promise in Genesis is the same God who keeps His promises today. In all things, He is trustworthy and true.
What promise of God do you need to cling to this week? Consider meditating on or memorizing Joshua 21:45 this week, and ask God to help you to see Him as trustworthy and true.
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