Personally, I’ve never been able to trace my family tree more than a couple generations back. My last name has always been too much of a mystery for anyone to trace back. I remember in 7th grade, my English teacher asked the class to research their last names. I raised my hand and said “Teacher, my name doesn’t even exist on the internet.” He curled one eyebrow and glared at me. “What do you mean your last name isn’t on the internet? What is your last name?” “Caishpal.” There have been wild theories I’ve come across for my name, ranging from as far as Germany to as close as the Pipil tribe of El Salvador. As far as I know, my name brings me no honor and no shame. There are no records of my last name, other than coming from a small village in El Salvador. I’ve learned that I have to make the best of what I can with my last name, and have the name of Jesus be my emblem.
However, this was not the case for the Israelites. They were extremely scribal in recording names and detailed to the tittle. I can’t even imagine what their census days looked like! But in this chapter, we trace their lineage from after Babylon back to Saul. Now, try and picture the thousands and thousands of people and hundreds of years that passed until Saul. That’s quite a large number on both sides. The book of Chronicles was meant to entail hundreds of Bible characters that reminded the Israelites of their past and helped to identify who they were. Saul was a great example of the dangers of becoming conceited in their own ways and setting aside the God who made them so great. Going through this book reminded them of all the details of their past, and was supposed to be a guide for how they ought to live their present lives.
Although we all have past histories, maybe even related to our families, this doesn’t mean that we have to be stuck in the past. We have to learn that, through God’s grace, we are forgiven and can move on from our pasts. Our past may constantly nag us, but we must learn that through the name of Jesus Christ, we are liberated from our burdens and free to live a life that will glorify the Lord that gave us our life. Be proud of who you are, because you know Jesus Christ is now a part of your name!