I know: I’m a geek. I guess God’s momentarily given me the gift of OT geekdom because this is seriously so interesting! Much more than it was in my middle school or college Bible classes. Or maybe it’s that I have a lack of competing interests in my daily life currently (although listening to The Music Machine *never* gets old. Nope. Especially the song about patience. I could listen to that FOREVER: rock on, Herbert!).
If these geneologies are accurate and literal, did you know that Adam lived beyond Methuselah’s birth, and Methuselah was still living when Shem (Noah’s son) was born? And Shem died only around 25 years before Abram? That is *crazy*!! My husband has some lengthy historical connections in his family (I think his cousin’s grandfather or great grandfather was in the civil war? Jason’s not here, and I’m not so good with dates to figure out how crazy I sound). But seriously.
And boy howdy do nasty traits get passed down the family line! Reading about the three Noah boys and their decedents (especially Ham’s son who was cursed) , well, that’s just a whole lot of ugly that seems to be passed, magnified, and glorified. Part of me wonders if Noah knew what he was doing: why would he want to pass such a legacy to his grandson? Words. Matter.
If my family history was written down, I wonder what we would be able to see was inherited: it’s easy to notice when you’re not living in the midst of it. Also, what does that look like in my local gathering? In my denomination? Where are blessings and cursings evident? I wonder if God would reveal areas where we continually have hangups or repeatedly run into walls, give us the knowledge why, and instruct us how to repsond to His desire for our healing and redemption.
At Yearly Meeting I heard a story from a faith gathering on the east coast. Their city’s history involved the slave trade and that the slaves cursed their city upon their arrival. This city is known for it’s crime, hate acts, and has some of the highest divorce stats in the country. However, God’s been bringing together people to confess and repent of sins while rejecting these curses, and amazing redemption is taking place, from areas of high crime reporting no acts of violence to churches being asked to be present in the public school districts to help with education and reconciliation.
I wonder what it looks like to loose those chains in my community, in my life. And I wonder if steps are being taken towards redemption, what they look like, and if we will be able to respond to the deep deep call. It’s easy to say, “Enh: this is just the way we are. This is our history.” But is it?