In mid-April I started reading Genesis (well, re-reading… I’ve read it many times before).
For the uninitiated, Genesis is the opening book of The Bible. It sets up the ‘narrative’ of God’s interaction with humanity, mainly with the Jews – when they begin as a race.
I’m taking my sweet time, reading and absorbing little bits along the way. So, a month in I’m only just hitting chapter twelve of Genesis today, which is when Abram (later known as Abraham) hits centre stage.
Father Abraham, as the children’s song goes, is the father of all of Israel.
Just before you hit chapter twelve, Genesis gives you a run through on how the generations map out between Shem and Terah. Ever heard of those guys?
Shem was one of Noah’s sons and father of the Semites (the Jews, right?) whilst Terah was Abraham’s father.
There’s a few spots in Genesis (and across the whole Bible) where you get lists of generations. I’m not sure what HNAC Alison would think of these sections. Part of me thinks that HNAC Alison would be working for the Bureau of Statistics (and not as a teacher) so I think she’d actually enjoy what some might consider a ‘dull part’ in The Bible.
As did I enjoy reading these parts.
There’s something magical or artistic about the way God works through the generations.
How he sets up his master plan.
How he moves people into the position where they are to go.
God can change the world overnight, but other times he’s a lot slower. Sometimes his plan involves a step by step, slow movement from father to son, father to son… for a long time.
Of course, the women do get a mention in these genealogies, as they are rather important in ensuring the generations can go from father to son. However, unsurprisingly, the focus is on the male head of the household as the way to track through the family lines in Genesis.
As Terah takes his family, including Abram out of Ur in the Chaldeans (Babylon) the wives do get a mention and it is noted that Sarai (later Sarah), Abram’s wife comes as well. Also, at that point in time it is mentioned that she is barren.
It’s beautiful that she gets a mention here, even though, in her culture and time she would have been considered of no value as she had not managed to produce any offspring… yet… no spoiler there really, her husband’s known as ‘Father Abraham’… bit of a giveaway…
Sarai is the matriarch of Judaism and therefore you could consider her the matriarch of Christianity. Sure, Eve and Mary are better known. Yet, we shouldn’t forget Sarai. She endured stigma that Eve and Mary didn’t have to deal with at all.
She’s the mother of us all, as well as Eve.
When Abram was called to be the father of a great nation, he couldn’t do that without Sarai.
God works slowly through the generations at times and he uses whole families to do it.
Yours in the slow step by step,