Daily Distinctives, March 1, 2018 – Generation X

Again, we find some additional genealogies in our study through the book of Genesis. Now I decided to title my devotional today, Generation X, for no other reason than we begin in verse 10 (Roman numeral X) and we are talking about generations that came from Noah’s lineage. Perhaps the most notable thing about the study today is it is here we find the first mention of Abram. Now, we know, of course, that Abram will become Abraham and it is from this family that we see the birth of a nation. So, as you are reading through these verses, I would encourage you to pause on each name, try to pronounce it, and give these guys some respect. Who knows, you may find a nick-name for one of your nieces or nephews, or who knows, you may like one of the names enough to get a legal name change so you can sport your new name. Ha!

[Gen 11:10 NKJV] This [is] the genealogy of Shem: Shem [was] one hundred years old, and begot Arphaxad two years after the flood.

To be clear Shem was not one of the Three-Stooges, that would be Shemp (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk). But if you want to see Shemp in action check out this video (may be the most interesting part of this section anyway)

[Gen 11:11 NKJV] After he begot Arphaxad, Shem lived five hundred years, and begot sons and daughters.
[Gen 11:12 NKJV] Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, and begot Salah.
[Gen 11:13 NKJV] After he begot Salah, Arphaxad lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters.
[Gen 11:14 NKJV] Salah lived thirty years, and begot Eber.
[Gen 11:15 NKJV] After he begot Eber, Salah lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters.
[Gen 11:16 NKJV] Eber lived thirty-four years, and begot Peleg.
[Gen 11:17 NKJV] After he begot Peleg, Eber lived four hundred and thirty years, and begot sons and daughters.
[Gen 11:18 NKJV] Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu.
[Gen 11:19 NKJV] After he begot Reu, Peleg lived two hundred and nine years, and begot sons and daughters.
[Gen 11:20 NKJV] Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Serug.
[Gen 11:21 NKJV] After he begot Serug, Reu lived two hundred and seven years, and begot sons and daughters.
[Gen 11:22 NKJV] Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor.
[Gen 11:23 NKJV] After he begot Nahor, Serug lived two hundred years, and begot sons and daughters.
[Gen 11:24 NKJV] Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and begot Terah.
[Gen 11:25 NKJV] After he begot Terah, Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years, and begot sons and daughters.

Now, this is where things get interesting. We see here that Terah would be the father of the father of all nations. It is through the seed of Abram that God blesses his people, and most importantly, it is through this bloodline that we will end up with Jesus.

[Gen 11:26 NKJV] Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Here is the first mention of Abram. His name means father, but for the longest time he did not live up to his name. In fact, it was not until much later in his life, when he was really beyond the age having children, that he and his wife have a child together in a miraculous way. Interestingly his name is later changed to Abraham and we find him mentioned 312 times in 272 verses of the Bible. He is, no doubt, the most famous of all of the Patriarchs in the Bible and it is from his lineage that the Jewish nation is born. In fact, today in Jewish cultures Abraham is still venerated as the single-most important man in all of history. Interestingly enough, of all of the chapters in Genesis which spans over 2,000 years and 20 generations, of these chapters 1/3 of them are centered around Abraham and his life. Of all of the men in the Bible, the one that comes to mind when you mention the word, “faith” is Abraham. I suppose that if I could be remembered for one thing and one thing only, I would want to be remembered as a man of great faith. After all, everything else truly pales by comparison. Faith in the LORD requires submission and trust. I believe I am submitted to the LORD, and though I am a sinner, I trust the LORD and rely solely on Him for life.

[Gen 11:27 NKJV] This [is] the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot.

Now besides Abram, we see another character that you might be familiar with. Here we see the first mention of Lot. This guy would get in a lot (pardon the pun) of trouble later on in our studies and would have to be bailed out by Abraham. His wife was a bit of a salty character, but more on that later.

[Gen 11:28 NKJV] And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
[Gen 11:29 NKJV] Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram’s wife [was] Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah.

Sarai, who would later become Sarah is another important figure that you will want to look out for as we move through our Genesis studies. She would be the mother of the nations and the LORD would use her and Abrams offspring to build a nation that would outnumber the stars in the sky and the sands of the seas!

[Gen 11:30 NKJV] But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

Wait, what? She was barren and had no child? How is she going to be the mother of a great nation if she is unable to have children? Is this an adoption thing? Well, as we move forward in this study you will discover how God blesses her in an amazing way.

[Gen 11:31 NKJV] And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.
[Gen 11:32 NKJV] So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.

And so as we will discover soon that Β Abram is called by God while in the Ur of the Chaldeans (Babylon) to go to the land of Canaan, he was supposed to go out alone with just his wife and himself, but as we see, Abram went with his father to Haran and hung out there for a while. Now the verse says that Terah, Abrams father took his son Abram and grandson Lot out of Ur of the Chaldeans. We discover much later in the book of Acts, specifically, Acts 7:2-4, that God called Abraham out of the land. But we see here that Abraham did not finish the trip and tarried in Haran.

Now think about that for a second. When God calls you to do something and you only do it in part, isn’t that partial obedience, or is it partial disobedience? I would say that partial disobedience or partial obedience is still disobedience. The problem is that it put the promise of God on hold in the life of Abram. Because he tarried, he likely forfeited a good journey to the promised land. Instead of a smooth ride, as we will see, Abraham finds himself immersed in some pretty sticky situations that might have been avoided had he done what he was told when he was told. Now, I will say that God is providential, that is, He works all things together for good and will see His will fulfilled with or without us. But doesn’t it make sense that we would be obedient to the LORD of our lives? I would love to hear the audible voice of God telling me, “Nick, go here and do this.” I think that would make life so much easier. But the reality is I struggle with living out the WORD I have right in front of me on a daily basis.

Prayer: LORD, help me to be more attentive to the things that I learn in Your WORD that I would walk in Your ways more consistently. My desire is to do Your will, but I find that many times I get so caught up in the moment that I fail to recall and put Your WORD to action when I need it the most. I despise myΒ own lack of attention to Your precepts when the going gets tough. In times when I should be patient, I become irritated, when I should turn away a sharp comment with love and a kind word I retaliate or say nothing at all. There are so many things that I do that are keeping me in Haran when I should be walking to Canaan. Help me LORD to get it together so I can be used in the better ways. I know you can use me even when I am living the status-quo, but You want so much more from me and I want to give it to You but I really need You to show me the way. Forgive me LORD for my sins, and my shortcomings. Train me in the ways of righteousness so that I can be the best servant. I love You LORD and give You all the glory for what You are doing and continue to do in my life. LORD, I want to continue praying for my pastor and his family. I thank You for the privilege to cover him in my own prayers. Bless him LORD and expand his heart to take in more of You so that he could spread it out to those whom he servers. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. -Amen

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