I have continued reading through the book of Genesis, the story of the beginnings of humanity and the establishment of God’s people and His plan. Today, I read chapters 25 and 26 and was struck by the family lines that we see come from Abraham, then subsequently from Ishmael, from Isaac, and from some of the other sons that Abraham had through a third wife that he had taken named Keturah.
Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.Genesis 25:1-4
These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps.Genesis 25:13-16
Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
The LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger. ”
When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.Genesis 25:21-26
These are the same people that are later mentioned throughout both the Old and New Testaments, and of course have descendants even to our modern times today. These peoples, tribes, and nations harken their names, their traditions, and their people back to these people that we can read about in these chapters of Genesis.
So, in applying this, I’m thinking about the nations and kingdoms that are being born even today. What good or evil will be born from the people that we are in this moment? Who will be born even today, this month, or this year that will go on to form nations and kingdoms of people that will be noted throughout history as we look back hundreds, if not thousands of years from now?
One over all
But there is one Kingdom that will rule them all. There is one King of kings. There is One to whom all nations will bow down and his name is Jesus. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. He is the one who will one day return and claim his rightful place as King in the Kingdom of God.
So we should ask ourselves which kingdom we are building. There are nations and kingdoms that will rise up from our time, from our day. Am I working to establish one of those kingdoms? Or am I working, instead, to grow the Kingdom of God? That is an important question that we should all answer.
My desire is to see the Kingdom of God take root among a people who do not know Christ and grow within them. My name can be erased one day from the earthly annals of history, but my desire is that it would be found within the Lamb’s book of life and that my master would see me working for the establishment and expansion of His Kingdom. May this be our story of our people in our time.