Reading through genealogies in Scripture can be challenging. They are full of obscure, hard to pronounce names, and the cadence can make even the most committed Bible reader’s eyes glaze over. However, God has included them in Scripture for a reason—and not just to serve as mile markers of the advance of redemptive history. The genealogies often teach much more than that. The genealogy of the line of Seth in Genesis 4 reminds us of the truth of God’s promise that sin leads to death. Throughout that chapter we read “and he died” over and over again—a phrase that acts as an exclamation mark on God’s promise in Genesis 2:17. Here in Genesis 11, the genealogy serves as a bridge between Shem, Noah’s blessed son (Gen. 9:24-27), and Abram, the one through whom God would form the people of promise. Humanity’s willful rebellion in Babel did not hinder God’s plan for people to scatter, nor did it stop the advance of God’s unfolding plan of redemption.
How has God worked in surprising ways in your life? How can you use these stories to show others His power, grace, and beauty?