1 Chronicles 1:34-54 (Part 3) – Everyone Has A Name & Every Name is Important!

Posted: November 7, 2019 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 1:34-54 (Part 3 of 3)

Descendants of Isaac

When I read this passage and saw that includes the names of the Edomite line that descends from Esau.  I wondered why. They were enemies of God’s people. The Chronicles books were a recounting of Israelite history after they had been exiled to Babylon so this was a looking back not a history being written as the events happened as is the Kings books. Therefore, the Edomites were known enemies with which the Israelites had fought with for centuries off and on. Why, then, recount the names of a group of people that simply and mortally hate you? It was because they were descended from Adam. They were part of the descendants of Abraham. They were the people of Abraham’s grandson, Esau. That struck of how God remembers us all. When I went to LifeSong Church in Lyman, SC, they had a motto that said, “Every person has a name and every name is important!” That meant that we as church members should make every person feel welcome, learn their name, and make them feel that they are an important part of our church family. That’s what this passage screams out to me that each one of us is important to God regardless of whether we have come to Him yet or not. It tells us that we should not judge people or write them off as not worth the effort. It says we should not categorize people as not worth our time or investment. It says that we should not judge people and pigeon-hole them based on our own preconceived notions of who they are.

That idea of pigeon-holing people somewhat reminds of my first experience in a full-time ministry position. I was titled director of business services/staff pastor. However, as time went by in the position, it became clear that the staff pastor part of the position was title only. There were never any opportunities afforded to allow my pastoral skills to be developed. The only pastoral duties that I performed were those that I informally was able to create through the vast number of relationships that we were able to build with church members as a confidant, a friend who listened, a counselor,  a marriage mentor, a small group leader. However, from an actual job point of view, it appeared that I had been categorized as an accountant and not a pastor to be developed. It is only now that I am the solo pastor of a small church in South Carolina that my pastoral passions are able to come to fruition.

I love my job as the pastor of Lamar United Methodist Church. Being the solo pastor means that there are a myriad of balls that I have to keep in the air at the same time. It is a challenging job just in and of itself keeping the current number of balls in the air at the same time. It is also challenging as to the future road of this church as it looks to make a bigger impression on our community for the Lord. But all of it has me finally in the sweet spot that God wants me to be in. The sweet spot that even my previous job prepared me for. God has me in the this place, for these people, for this time at just the right time for them and for me. Sure, I look back at my previous position and wonder why I was not allowed to flourish in pastoral duties. However, there were things that God had me learn there that can be used in this current challenge. But I thank God that I am now able to do what He called me to do and be – to pastor. I thank Him for the trail of experience that brought me to this place at this time. That God thought my name was important. That God thought enough to prepare me for this place at the time I would be ready for it – through all my experiences of the past.

The experience is a reminder that I should not and you should not simply categorize and label people as not worth the investment. We should not look at a person’s past and say that their past is indicative of their value for the future. We should not say you are this, so you can’t be that. What if God was that way with us? What if he labeled us as not worth the pursuit? What if He just wrote us off? That idea of each person being important to God and for us not to label people as not worth the effort is what I thought of this morning when I read about the Edomites in this passage. Let’s read the passage now, 1 Chronicles 1:34-54 for the third of three blogs about this passage.

34 Abraham was the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel.[a]

Descendants of Esau

35 The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.

36 The descendants of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho,[b] Gatam, Kenaz, and Amalek, who was born to Timna.[c]

37 The descendants of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

Original Peoples of Edom

38 The descendants of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.

39 The descendants of Lotan were Hori and Hemam.[d] Lotan’s sister was named Timna.

40 The descendants of Shobal were Alvan,[e] Manahath, Ebal, Shepho,[f] and Onam.

The descendants of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah.

41 The son of Anah was Dishon.

The descendants of Dishon were Hemdan,[g] Eshban, Ithran, and Keran.

42 The descendants of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.[h]

The descendants of Dishan[i] were Uz and Aran.

Rulers of Edom

43 These are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before any king ruled over the Israelites[j]:

Bela son of Beor, who ruled from his city of Dinhabah.

44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king in his place.

45 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites became king in his place.

46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Avith. He was the one who destroyed the Midianite army in the land of Moab.

47 When Hadad died, Samlah from the city of Masrekah became king in his place.

48 When Samlah died, Shaul from the city of Rehoboth-on-the-River became king in his place.

49 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Acbor became king in his place.

50 When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Pau.[k] His wife was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred and granddaughter of Me-zahab. 51 Then Hadad died.

The clan leaders of Edom were Timna, Alvah,[l] Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel, and Iram. These are the clan leaders of Edom.

In this passage, we see that we must ask the question, “Why are we given information about the descendants of Edom, who were the mortal enemies of the Israelites? Esau, ancestor of the Edomites, was Isaac’s oldest son and thus a direct descendant of Abraham. As Abraham’s first grandson, he deserved a place in the Jewish records. It was through Esau’s marriages to pagan women that the nation of Edom began. This genealogy shows the ancestry of enemy nations. They were not a part of the direct lineage of King David and, thus, the Messiah. This listing then does two things. First, it further solidifies Israel’s special identity and role. Second, it shows that even the enemies of God’s people are known by name by our Father in heaven. For us, that means even if we are far from God, and as a result, at odds with God, He still knows us personally. It signifies that every person is special to God even when we do not know His Son as our Savior and Lord. We thank God for that. He pursues us with a relentless love even when we are running away from Him. This passage seen in that light reminds us, as Christians, that non-believers no matter how far they have run and no matter what they have done are worth the effort. No one has done anything so bad that God forgets their name and writes them off. We, then, should never write people off nor should we judge people by what they have done in the past. God forgives the past when there is repentance and looks to the future of each person on the planet. Every one of the them.

Is there someone in your life that you have written off as not worth the effort? Is there a group of people that your church has written off as not worth investing in? Are you and I judging people as not worth sharing the gospel with? This passage reminds us that every name, every person is important to God EVEN when they seem to be running as fast as they can in the opposite direction from Him. Even people that are blatantly living in opposition to God’s Word and are reveling in the effort are known to God personally. Every name is worth the effort. We should not write people off as “they”, thus, making them not part of “us”. God relentlessly pursues everyone of us until we accept Christ as our Savior. He thinks everyone is worth the effort. He sees what each one of us can be. He has a calling for each person once they become part of the family of God. He knows their talents and exactly how they can flourish in His kingdom. We should do no less. We should not judge people as not worth our investment of time, talents, and resources. We should not judge people as not worth pursuing so as to show them the love of Jesus Christ. We should relentlessly pursue the unchurched in our midst until they come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Every person has a name and every name is important!

Amen and Amen.

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