From the fantastic The Seed Company blog comes this great true story reminding us that every word is God-breathed and is profitable for our growth!
How many times have you come to the genealogy section during your Bible reading, and yawned? Then you skipped that part for something more relevant. Consider this:
Joanne Shetler settled among the fierce Balangao people in the Philippines in the 1960s. Joanne’s landlord “adopted” her and her co-worker for the sake of protecting the single women.
They’d worked in the project for a few years, learning the language and starting translation. When they came to the portion of the genealogy, Joanne’s language helper suddenly stopped reading. “You mean,” he said slowly, “this is a true story?”
Today, the Balangaos are sending missionaries overseas.
A Humble Heroine
In East Africa, clan wars have decimated entire people groups. A certain translation team from a sensitive project includes members from different clans in the language community. One clan enjoys greater prestige than the other. One day while working on the Book of Ruth, an argument ensued between the two groups. Soon tempers flared and they were coming to blows!
The project advisor stepped between them and called a “time-out.” He reminded them that Ruth was from Moab and Naomi was an Israelite. Ruth’s clan had descended from Abraham’s family through Lot, but as a result of incest. The Moabites had no prestige; in fact, shame clouded their heritage. Yet, Ruth was the “heroine” of the story. God clearly demonstrated that it wasn’t heritage or prestige that mattered, but obedience and humility. Ruth, as the great-grandmother of King David, held an honored position in the Messiah’s (Jesus) lineage!
Both African clans clearly understood. By the end of the translation session, they were embracing one another. They realized their unity in Christ.
Never underestimate the power of God’s Word. The Bible is not just for you and your clan; God meant it for every people group of every culture. And for many cultures … family lineage speaks volumes that validate the entire Book!
So the next time you’re reading your Bible and come to the genealogy of Jesus, don’t yawn and skip it. Remember: God’s Word — it’s all relevant. And it’s all good.
Jenny Evans is a writer for The Seed Company.