What can a long list of names teach us about God?
The Lord led me to read 1 Chronicles chapter 8 this morning. In many ways it’s like reading the phone book. Just a list of names – descendants of Benjamin. I had decided today to ask God what I should read. When I had a sense it was 1 Chronicles 8 I should read, I turned to it (actually I typed it in and read it online). Looking at the list of names I thought for sure I had gotten it wrong.
But, I didn’t get it wrong. The Lord gave me these insights:
- The future is beyond my control except by what I do in the present. My influence on the next generation (and the potential grandkid generation after that) is the way I can most powerfully impact the future. My children and grandchildren have a greater chance do amazing things with and for God. If I live a faithful and obedient life before them, then I have a chance to help make that a greater possibility.
- The size and scope of my influence goes far beyond the family and friends I may see in my lifetime. It’s the commonly used idea of seed-planting. How God uses me to influence someone, to influence my children, may be a seed that continues to grow and bear fruit for generations to come. I can impact my great-great-great-grandchildren, even if they don’t know it was me.
- I can smile now at the accomplishments of future generations. In verse 40 of that chapter it says this: “The sons of Ulam were brave warriors who could handle the bow…” Just a brief reference of a noteworthy truth, but in that comment God showed me a new truth. I can look ahead with joy knowing good things can be said about my descendants. It’s not a sure thing, but there’s no reason not to imagine it to be true, and to smile about it. That is a new sense of joy for me.
What about you? How do you see yourself influencing the future? Can you see the way God wants to use you in the present to impact the future? What gives you a sense of joy as you look ahead and imagine?
Holy high-five to you,