past

God wants you to remember where you came from.

God wants you to remember where you came from.

1 Chronicles 1

Okay, brace yourself. We’re about to wade through nine—yes, that’s nine—chapters of genealogies at the beginning of 1 Chronicles. Mercy! Seems like a daunting task for a blogger. However, I think God had a very good reason for inspiring the writer of this book (Ezra, perhaps) to begin with this long genealogy, and it’s a lesson we can take to heart as well.

Obscurity {ex1:8}

exodus-remember-obscurity-poem.png

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher.
There is nothing new under the sun.
Generations come and generations go,
but nothing ever changes.
We don't remember what happened in the past,
and in future generations,
no one will remember what we are doing now.
—from Ecclesiastes 1

No wonder the Teacher
took such a dim view
of human accomplishment.

Back-breaking labor.
Hours of study.
/blood/

Tragedy absorbed.
Ingenious invention.
/sweat/

Disaster averted.
Strategy planned.
/tears/

Battles lost and won
and lost again.

If a man can
single-handedly
deliver an entire nation
from destruction
and be forgotten
within a
single
generation,
there is no such thing
as a lasting achievement
among the peers
you try so hard
to impress.

Joseph would have fallen
into eternal obscurity
if his name hadn't been
remembered by
the only One
who doesn't
come and go,
the only One not
under the sun.

 

God is on the move.

God is on the move.

1 SAMUEL 16

I just love it when the Bible hauls off and slaps me upside the head. This was one of those chapters. I read the whole thing, of course, recognizing the most famous verse along the way—"People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."(vs 7) But, mentally, I never really got past verse one. It hit me right between the eyes the second I read it:

God honors our heritage.

God honors our heritage.

JOSHUA 3

Having a past is part of what it means to be a human being. And our past life is a rich tapestry of events and experiences that has shaped the way we think about and look at the world around us. So, one of the things I really love about God is that He honors our heritage—where we have come from. He acknowledges our past and finds ways to make connections to it in order to make a connection with us.

God is consistent.

God is consistent.

DEUTERONOMY 34

After the death of Moses, the record in Deuteronomy 34 says this: "Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face." (vs 11)  As I read this, it dawned on me that many of God’s good friends are found in the Old Testament, before the testimony of Jesus.

God has a Happy New Year for each day.

God has a Happy New Year for each day.

DEUTERONOMY 30

I found it curious that, in this chapter, Moses almost seems to prophesy that the Israelites will turn away from God: "When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you." (vs 1-3)

God wants a future with you.

God wants a future with you.

DEUTERONOMY 29

So, yet again, this chapter opens with a litany of Israel’s history—how they were slaves in Egypt, how God brought them out with signs and wonders, how God cared for them in the desert, and how they defeated all the nations who have come against them thus far. And I’m thinking, how many times have we heard this already? Do the Israelites have short-term memory loss? Why does Moses keep going over this again and again and again?