Why do we care about a genealogy…especially Esau’s? He’s not even the main character. Why does Moses feel the need to include all of this detail?
A friend of mine had a conversation with some missionary friends about genealogies in the Bible. These missionaries said that genealogies are gold…they’re one of the primary ways that they reach some of the more primitive cultures who still have oral traditions, where stories are passed down by word of mouth from father to son, mother to daughter, generation to generation. “The fact that God cares about the details of the biblical characters’ lives means He must care about my life, too.” What a great observation. Another way to say it is, “People matter to God.” Each name listed is an image-bearer of the eternal God. And while the names may be unfamiliar to us and difficult to pronounce, they are nonetheless important.
God created us to bear His image to His creation, and although that image was marred through the fall, it remains nonetheless. And since the time of the fall, God has been on a rescue mission. He promised way back in Genesis 3.15 that He would send a Redeemer who would save us, who would provide a way back to the garden by crushing the serpent’s head. As the story has continued to unfold, we’ve found out that this Redeemer would be a descendant of not only Adam through Seth, and Noah through Shem, but more specifically through Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed. The same promise is passed on to Isaac and Jacob. The Head-crushing Seed of the woman, the Savior of the world , the Hero of our story would come from a family, a people, but would come for all families, for all peoples. God’s desire has always been for the nations. And so the picture of heaven throughout the book of Revelation includes folks from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
People matter to God. The descendants of Esau mattered to God. You matter to God. He knows your name and desires to have a relationship with you. He loves you…He’s demonstrated it over and over. Not only do you bear His image, but He also went to unbelievable lengths to reach you…the greatest of which was to send His own Son, as the Redeemer who would crush the head of the serpent by laying down His own life. He died so that you could live, by believing in Him He would take your sin, your shame, your rebellion and give you His righteousness. A remarkably absurd exchange…the amazing love of God for you. So that you could be a part of His family’s story.
Until next time…stay salty.