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Lineage of the Serpent Crusher

Genesis 10:1 (ESV) — These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.

Most readers of the Bible arrive at a chapter like Genesis 10 and just skip to Chapter 11. Why? Because the endless list of names seems terribly irrelevant to our 21st century lives. What is the point of such a list? We cannot even pronounce most of them correctly if we tried. Yet here it is in our Bibles. The list of names sits positioned between the Flood and the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 12. Why should we pay attention? 

Our passage today is only the first verse of this chapter of names, but it sets the tone. Moses begins by writing, “These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.” 

Genesis 10 captures the background of all the peoples that will populate the earth after the destruction of it by the Flood. It begins with Moses setting up where these people come from. Noah had three sons. The earth’s population and nations descend from one of those three sons. What is interesting is Shem is listed first, but this is not because of his age. It is because of his prominence. It is from the line of Shem that Abraham will come. The people of Israel are descendants of Shem, particularly his great-grandson, Eber. Why is this so significant? Because it is from Abraham’s seed that the offspring of the woman will come and crush the head of the serpent. This genealogy points us to the Christ that will come and conquer. 

The irony of this lineage that gives the history of all nations is that the ruler from Shem’s line will unite and save a people out of all those nations. He will redeem His people. If you are in Christ, this genealogy points you to your hope. God is working in the everyday events and lives of people to accomplish His plans. You may not read this chapter and immediately see that. But make no mistake: this lineage of names is given to us in Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. All Scripture is breathed out by God. It is profitable for our faith. 

Give thanks today for the God who works
in the details often unnoticed.
The names of people you’ve never heard of,
living lives you are not familiar with,
brought forth the Savior of our sins.

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Our eternities rest in that King that came born of a virgin. We celebrate the God who works in the everyday activities we don’t take notice of.

Reflection & Journal:
- Why do we often blow past this list of names and genealogies in Scripture?
- What is the significance of this list of names?
- How does today’s devotion encourage you to trust God during the everyday activities of life?

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