February 13, 2024

What's the Significance of Genealogies?

Oh boy! Here we are in one of those genealogy chapters in the Bible, where we read about who begat who and the different tribes that came from the lineage.

Author
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Josh Blount

Lead Pastor

Chapters like this can be tempting to skim over, but in doing so, we miss out on some beautiful truths God wants to speak to us.
So, what do we learn from Genesis 36 and the genealogy of Esau?
Well, first of all, there's a blessing on Esau. Over and over again in the text, we see the hand of God's favor is on the family line of Esau.

Now, don't miss this. Esau is not blessed because he's doing everything right; Because he's not, Esau is blessed because of who has gone before him and God's grace.

God promised Abraham that his descendants would be blessed.

Genesis 22:18 And in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.

Even though Esau was not Abraham and Sarah's child himself, because of his connection to the father of our faith (Father Abraham), the blessing of God was on him and his family line.

The blessing he experienced was not directly attached to what Esau had done or was doing because, quite frankly, Esau was not doing things God's way. The blessing of Abraham was on Esau because of God's grace and faithfulness to his promise.

"In the lineage of Esau, we witness God's covenantal faithfulness. Our blessings are not solely a result of our deeds but are deeply rooted in God's promises, extending to generations." - Tim Keller

I wonder what kind of blessings we have today because of the prayers of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents from the past. I wonder what kind of favor we may be walking in today, not because we've done everything right but because faithful family members have been willing to intercede on our behalf.

"The prayers of the righteous echo through generations. A godly ancestry is a channel of divine favor, and the blessings upon Esau remind us of the intergenerational impact of faithful prayers." - Charles Spurgeon

I encourage you to take a moment and thank God for those who have gone before you, those who have prayed for you that you never even knew, those who interceded on your behalf, whose prayers are before the Father to this day.

The other thing worth noting from this chapter is that the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, are no more.

The descendants of Isaac, the Israelites, are still a people to this day, and while certain arab groups and Bedouin tribes may have some ties to the Edomites, the connection is uncertain.

Here's the point: While the blessing, grace, and mercy of God on Esau's family was incredible, it was not without its limits.

"God's mercy is vast, but we must not mistake it for license to persist in disobedience. The disappearance of the Edomites echoes the sobering truth that God's favor withdraws when rebellion persists." - R.C. Sproul

God's blessing and favor may be on you for a season because of God's grace. But if you continue to walk in rebellion, contrary to the way of the Lord, the blessing of God will not remain forever, and your lineage will not last.

So, today, take a moment and thank God for the faithfulness of those who have gone before you. Be persistent in your prayers for those around you, and if you know you're walking in rebellion, repent and run to the Father.

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