The subtitle of The Genesis Genealogies is “God’s Administration in the History of Redemption.” Sounds a little academic, doesn’t it? But Reverend Park shows the reader that through the Bible’s genealogies (a record or account of the ancestry and descent of a person) we can see God’s divine hand at work.
If you’re anything like me, I usually skip right through the genealogies when I come across them, dismissing them as insignificant. But Reverend Park says it best, “We must not commit the grave mistake of overlooking them as meaningless enumerations of names. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must discover and follow the rich vein of redemptive history that flows through the genealogies.” I love how Reverend Park explains the information in the context of God’s great love for us. The genealogies are not just information or even to be thought of in terms of their historical significance, but God’s involvement in our redemption.
This book opened my eyes to the wonderful plan of redemption that God has had for all people, right from the beginning. Through the different people listed in the genealogies, God leads us right up to the sacrificial work that Jesus did for us on the cross. Reverend Park states, “As we delve deeper into the study of the Genesis genealogies, we will be able to sense the magnitude of God’s abundant grace and love.” The genealogies aren’t just a list of people “begetting” other people; it’s a demonstration of God’s very real love for us.
Reverend Park separates the genealogies into two lines—“the genealogy of the faithful who lived to fulfill God’s will, and the genealogy of the unfaithful whose lives stood against God’s will.” The genealogies of the faithful are written with different details and information than those of the unfaithful. The author points out that there are those who God chooses to see and those He chooses not to see.
The book shares information about different people’s lives, whether faithful or unfaithful, and how they chose to relate to God. Cain, for example, was most likely taught all about God and heard from Him, but because of the evil in his heart, he chose to turn his back on Him. And even though many of Cain’s descendents chose to follow the evil path, God’s will was even greater and more fervent and was and is still being carried out to this day, despite evil efforts. On the other hand, Adam’s descendents showed how great walking with God can be. And Adam’s life itself showed that God didn’t abandon us after the sin and failure of man, but worked to transform death into life through His great love.
I learned that the genealogies aren’t just lists, but examples not only of God’s great love for us, but also examples of how we should and shouldn’t live our lives. The unfortunate paths of the unfaithful show us how not following God’s plan will cause grave consequences. The paths of the faithful show us how, even though there might be or will be struggles, with God’s help and guidance, we will fulfill His plans for us.