Preserving the Breath of God and the Seed of Promise

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of First Chronicles, which not only has at the very heart of it genealogical records dating as far back as Adam, but also contains an additional narrative of David the son of Jesse who was anointed king over Israel. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the fifth and sixth chapters of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the author of the book of First Chronicles continuing with a tremendous host of names which are found in the genealogical records of the Jewish people. I continue to be absolutely and utterly amazed and fascinated with and by the fact that the genealogical records which are written and recorded within this particular portion of the book began with and were traced all the way back to Adam who was that first man formed of the dust of the ground by the very hand of the living and eternal God. It would be after the living God had formed and fashioned Adam into the shell and framework that would ultimately become a man that we find Him breathe the breath of life into. It’s actually quite intriguing to think about and consider the fact that while the living God had indeed formed and fashioned man from the dust of the ground, he wouldn’t be a living soul until the breath of God was breathed into his nostrils. In all reality, this is something which must be understood when reading the genealogical records, for not only do we encounter and come face to face with the reality that all those names which are mentioned here were created in the image and after the likeness of God, but each and every one of them had the breath of God present within them. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this truly astonishing reality, for when we consider the various names written and recorded in these chapters we must first encounter and come face to face with the fact that they were each and every one of them created and formed in the image and after the likeness of the living God, but each and every one of them had the breath of the living God within them. We dare not miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for we would be naïve to think and consider—even for a moment—that Adam was the only man who received the breath of life in him. It would be very easy to think about and consider the fact that Adam was the only one who was created, formed and fashioned in the image and after the likeness of the living and eternal God, and yet the truth of the matter is that even though we were formed and fashioned and knit together in our mother’s womb, we were, have been and still are created in the image and after the likeness of the living God.

In the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find Adam speaking of that son which was born unto him, and would declare that he had brought forth one in his own image and after his own likeness. It’s necessary for us to think about and consider that, for although conception and birth does in fact bring forth a child that might very well be in our own image and in our own likeness—we are all and have all been created and formed in the image and after the likeness of the living God. The Psalmist David recognized this reality when writing the words which are found in the one-hundred and thirty-ninth chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms, for David emphatically declared and spoke of how the living and eternal God had knit him together in his mother’s womb. Even in David’s statement we must acknowledge and come face to face with the tremendous reality that as we were being knit together within our mother’s womb we were being formed and fashioned into the image and after the likeness of the living God. We must make absolutely no mistake about it, for each and every one of us bears the image of the living God within and upon us—regardless of race, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of skiing color, regardless of any external factors that we would like to judge others by. Even more than the fact that we all bleed the same blood we were and have all been created in the image and after the likeness of the living God, and we bear His mark and His image within and upon us. Even more than this, we must recognize and come face to face with the fact that each and every one of us has the divine breath of the Almighty God present within us, and it is that breath that truly does give us life and make us living beings. Were it not for the divine breath of the living God within our beings, and were it not for the breath of God in our lungs we would not be living souls, and we would quite honestly simply be a shell of an individual. When the living God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, he was nothing more than a concept, nothing more than a thought in the heart and mind of the living God, and nothing more than a shell and frame of the design and intention of the living God. Absent the divine breath of the living God there would be absolutely nothing that would make man a living soul, for it would be the divine breath that would cause him to become a living soul. It is this very reality that is echoed in and during the days of Noah when the living God spoke of unleashing a torrent of judgment upon the face of the earth during those days and during those times. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in the Old Testament book of Genesis concerning the days of Noah and the great deluge and flood that would consume the face of the whole earth:

“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah began three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:1-13).

“And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every story shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Genesis 6:17-22).

“And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life’s, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; they, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substances was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days” (Genesis 7:1-24).

It is with these words which are written and found within the sixth and seventh chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis where we don’t necessary encounter and come face to face with the fact that man was created in the image and after the likeness of the living God, however, we do encounter the context of the breath of life being in the nostrils of men. Here we are five chapters later within the Old Testament book of Genesis and we continue to find it mentioned concerning the breath of the living God, and how the breath of God was in the nostrils of every living thing that moved upon the face of the earth. It’s actually quite interesting and unique to think about and consider the fact that not only do we read of “all in whose nostrils was the breath of life,” but we also read of “every living substance.” It’s necessary and worth thinking about and considering this reality, for here we are during the days of Noah which is nine generations after Adam the first man was formed from the dust of the ground, and in whose nostrils the breath of life was in, and we find Moses recording under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that those which were upon the face of the earth were in fact living beings, and that in them was the breath of life. How absolutely astonishing it is to read the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the book of Genesis, and therein come face to face with the fact that not only are men still created in the image and after the likeness of the living God, but so also do men continue to have the breath of life within their nostrils. This very reality speaks and suggests that even though it was into Adam the original breath of life was breathed, and it was even though it was in direct relation to that divine breath being breathed into his nostrils he would become a living, each and every living soul that would proceed forth within and upon the face of the earth would also possess that same breath of life, and would indeed be living beings and would be living souls upon the earth. What is so remarkable about the days of the flood is that even though the living God would destroy and consume countless living souls and living beings which had the breath of life in their nostrils, He would faithfully preserve that breath in the earth. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand concerning the days of the great flood and deluge, it’s that while the living and eternal God was indeed preserving Noah, Noah’s wife, their three sons, and the wives of their three sons, as well as two of every living thing that moved upon the face of the earth, He was actually doing more than just that.

PRESERVING THE SEED! PRESERVING THE BREATH! As I sit here this morning and I can’t help but come face to face with the absolutely astonishing reality that even though the LORD would indeed and would in fact destroy every living thing in whose nostrils was the breath of life, He would in fact preserve that breath. Although the LORD would indeed destroy the earth with a great deluge and flood, the LORD would preserve upon and within the ark the breath that causes men and women to become living souls. There within and there upon the ark the living God would preserve the breath of life within eight different individuals, and it would be after the days of the flood that the breath of the living God would continue to fill and populate the earth. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the LORD could have very easily have destroyed every living thing within and upon the face of the earth, and the living God could indeed have destroyed that which had the breath of life within it, and yet what He chose to do instead was preserve the breath which was first breathed into the nostrils of Adam. PRESERVING THAT FIRST BREATH! PRESERVING THE BREATH OF ADAM! PRESERVING THE ORIGINAL BREATH OF THE LIVING GOD! I find it absolutely amazing to read the narrative of Noah and the seven other living souls that were present with him aboard the ark, as well as all those living beings which he was instructed to bring with him in the ark, and to consider the fact that the LORD was doing more than simply preserving a family during a time of judgment and destruction, for the LORD was actually preserving something that had been present within and upon the earth since the beginning of creation. There is within the seventh chapter of the book of Genesis a profound and deep connection to the second chapter of the same Old Testament book, for in the second chapter we find how the eternal God breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of what He had just formed and fashioned from the dust of the ground, and it was then and only then that what He had created would indeed become a living soul. It’s absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this, for what we find and discover when reading these words is that the LORD was preserving the breath of life which was first introduced and first found within Adam who was formed of the dust of the ground. It would be within and upon the ark the living God would preserve that breath which was first breathed into the nostrils of Adam, and which would be passed down through each and every living soul that would move upon the face of the earth. Adam wasn’t the only one who had within him the breath of life, for Eve would have the breath of life, for she was created and formed from Adam. Cain, Abel and Seth would all have the breath of life within their nostrils, as they would proceed forth from Adam and Eve through their marital union.

I sit here this morning and I am directly confronted with and by the fact that while it is true the living God would in fact destroy every living thing in whose nostrils was the breath of life, He would not completely and utterly wipe out and destroy that breath. The living and eternal God would preserve the breath of life that was found within Noah, Noah’s wife, their three sons, and the wives of their three sons. Moreover, the living God would preserve the breath of life that was found within all those living creatures which He commanded and instructed Noah to bring with him upon the ark. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for when we read the narrative of the great deluge and flood we encounter and come face to face with the fact that during those days the living and eternal God would indeed fulfill and accomplish two distinct realities. On the one hand the living God would destroy every living thing in whose nostrils was the breath of life, but the living and eternal God would also preserve the breath of life which was first introduced when He formed and fashioned man from the dust of the ground and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. We must recognize and understand this, for within and during the days of the flood there is a distinct and powerful dichotomy that exists within and upon the face of the earth—namely, that the living God would destroy all those living things which had the breath of life, but He would also preserve that breath in the midst of the earth. Aboard that ark was more than just living creatures, and living souls, for within that ark would be the very breath of the living God, which would be carried and moved upon the face of the waters. Much like the Spirit of the living God hovered over the face of the deep at creation, so also would the breath of the living God move upon the face of the waters during the days of the great flood. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that during the days of the great flood the breath of the living God would move upon the face of the waters, and would move upon them for a total of one-hundred and fifty days. Pause for a moment and think about and consider the fact that during the days of the great flood the LORD would not only preserve the breath of life within and upon the ark, but the breath of God—the breath of life which was found to be within his nostrils—would move upon the face of the waters. It would be during the days of the flood when the living God would preserve the breath that was present within the nostrils of Noah, his wife, their three sons and the wives of their three sons, as well as within all those living creatures which were aboard and upon the ark with him.

Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this absolutely tremendous reality, for it is actually quite remarkable when you take the time to think about it, for although the living God did indeed destroy every living thing in whose nostrils was the breath of life—the LORD would not completely and utterly destroy and remove His breath from the earth. The LORD would indeed send a great flood of judgment upon the face of the earth, however, He would faithfully preserve His breath of life within and upon the ark. That breath of the living God would move upon the face of the waters during the days the waters were upon the earth, and it would be preserved above the judgment of the living God. Stop for a moment and think about the fact that the breath of God—that which causes things to become living souls, as well as living beings—would indeed be raised above the judgment, would indeed be raised above the destruction, and would be raised above the devastation that would cover the face of the whole earth. There aboard the ark it wasn’t simply the ark itself that moved upon the face of the waters, but it was indeed the breath of the living God that moved upon the face of the waters. Isn’t it interesting to think about the fact that the Spirit of the living God moved upon the face of the waters at creation, the breath of the living God moved upon the waters during the days of the flood, and in order to part the waters of the Red Sea before the children of Israel the living God would cause a strong wind to blow all throughout the night, thus causing the waters to become a wall on either side of the children of Israel as they passed through on dry ground. In Scripture the Holy Spirit is often compared to and referred to as a wind, and this reality is evidence in great measure in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts. It is in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts that we read about the events which took place on the day of Pentecost, and how on the day of Pentecost the Spirit would be unleashed and released within and upon the face of the earth. What’s more, is that when the Spirit of the living God would be released upon the face of the earth, He would come as a mighty rushing wind that would not only fill the upper room where the one hundred and twenty souls were, but would also blow upon and blow within them. This mighty rushing wind would be accompanied by fire as cloven tongues of fire would rest upon the heads of all those who were present within the upper room. Consider if you will the words which are found in the narrative of the upper room experience on the Day of Pentecost as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke:

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying on to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phyrigia, and Pamphyilia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.k and they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:1-13).

I sit here this morning and I can’t help but think about the absolutely remarkable thought that in the first and opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we find the Spirit of the LORD hovering over the waters and hovering over the face of the deep, and in the seventh chapter we don’t necessarily find the Spirit hovering over the waters, however, what we do in fact find is the breath of the living God moving upon the face of the waters. It would be the Spirit hovering over the waters at creation that would help bring about the creation of everything that is in existence, and during the days of the flood it would be the breath of God that would move upon the face of the waters in order that at the appointed time the breath might move forth from the ark, might move upon the face of the earth, and might once more fill the earth. It’s worth noting that the breath of God filled the face of the earth prior to and leading up to the days of the flood, and that breath was reduced in a a great and drastic measure with the destruction and devastation of the great flood. When the waters of the flood were upon the face of the earth the divine breath of God would move upon the face of the waters and would be preserved during those days until the appointed time would come when the breath of God would once more be released upon the face of the earth. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that during the days of the great flood upon the earth the breath of God would move upon the face of the earth—not in an act of creation in order to bring something into existence, but rather in an act of preservation in order that at the appointed time that breath might very well be released in the midst of the earth. When Noah, his wife, their three sons and each of their wives departed the ark after it had rested on the mountains of Ararat in what is modern day Turkey, the breath of God would once more move upon the face of the earth. It would be during those days that the breath of God which was within Noah and his family would not only move upon the face of the earth, but would ultimately begin to fill the earth once more. Through Noah’s three sons—Shem, Ham and Japheth—the breath of God would once more move upon the face of the earth, and would once more fill and populate the earth. Stop and think about the fact that during the days the flood waters were upon the face of the earth the living and eternal God preserved the breath of life upon the ark—both within those living souls that were upon the ark, as well as within the living creatures which were also upon the ark. LIVING SOULS, LIVING CREATURES! Despite the fact that the LORD would destroy every living thing that had the breath of life within it during the days of the great deluge and flood, the LORD would also preserve the breath of God—His very breath which was first breathed into Adam outside the garden of Eden—in order that at the appointed time that breath might once more move upon the face of the earth. Eventually there would come a point in time when the breath of God would no longer move upon the face of the waters, and would no longer be bound within the ark, but would be permitted to move upon the face of the earth. Not only this, but the earth would once more be filled with the breath of the living God as through Noah’s three sons the nations of the earth would begin to be formed and created.

While I do in fact believe that during the days of the great flood the breath of the living God was preserved within and upon the ark, I also believe there was something else that was faithfully preserved and guarded by the living God. The divine breath of God would be preserved within and upon the ark as it moved upon the face of the waters, but there would also be something else that would be faithfully preserved and guarded upon that ark—namely, the reality and manifestation of seed. As surely as we can recognize and understand that the LORD faithfully preserved the breath of life upon the ark, the LORD also faithfully preserved seed—that seed which would eventually bring new life within and upon the earth. How absolutely fascinating it is to think about and consider the fact that during the days of the great flood the living and eternal God would preserve that seed which would help populate and fill the earth once more. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand concerning the great flood, it’s that not only would the eternal God faithfully preserve the breath of God upon the face of the earth, but the living God would also faithfully preserve the seed that would be needed to bring forth new life within and upon the face of the earth. What’s more, is that we must recognize and understand that two things were absolutely critical and essential in order to populate and fill the earth once more—the seed that would be used to conceive and bring forth new life, and the breath of God which would cause those things which were conceived to become living souls and living creatures. We dare not miss and dare not lose sight of this tremendous reality and concept, for to do so would be to miss out on the absolutely remarkable and astonishing reality that in order for the living God to bring forth life upon the face of the earth there would need to be the presence of seed, as well as the presence of the breath of life. When the living God formed man from the dust of the ground there was no seed that would be needed, although much like flowers and trees would spring forth from the ground, so man would spring forth from the ground as a direct result of the hand of the living God drawing him forth out of the ground, and forming him into what would become a living soul. How absolutely astonishing it is to think about the fact that man would be drawn and taken from the ground, and upon being taken from the ground would be formed and fashioned into a frame and shell of what would become a living soul. This would be the first and only time the LORD would form man from the dust of the ground, and even when it comes to the creation of Eve, the LORD would fashion Eve after taking from Adam one of his own ribs. It’s worth noting that man would be taken from the dust of the ground in order to become a living soul, and woman would be taken from the midst of man in order that she might become a living soul and help mate for the man. FROM THE DUST OF THE GROUND, FROM THE RIB OF MAN! How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider how the living and eternal God created the first man and the first woman, for He would take and draw man from the ground in order that He might form and fashion him into what was within His heart and within His mind. Woman, however, would not be formed from the dust of the ground as Adam was, but she would be taken and drawn from Adam in order that she might not only become a living soul, but might also become a help mate for him.

The more I think about this particular reality, the more I can’t help but come face to face with the astonishing truth that within the ark which hovered above the waters that covered the whole earth—not only was the LORD faithfully preserving the breath of life that would be passed on through the generations, but the LORD was also faithfully preserving the seed that would be used to bring about the next generation, as well all future generations that would move upon the face of the earth. When we think about and consider Adam, we must recognize and understand that he was formed from the dust of the ground, and that after the eternal God breathed the breath of life into him, he would become a living soul. When you consider all those that came after Adam, you don’t read of the same type of encounter taking place, for you won’t read of the living God breathing the breath of life into the nostrils of men after forming them from the dust of the ground. This actually causes me to think about and wonder if the breath of the living God is intrinsically linked, connected, and perhaps even bound within the seed itself. If you think about it—during the days of Noah we read of living beings and living creatures which have the breath of life within them and in their nostrils, and yet we don’t read of the LORD breathing into their nostrils as we do Adam when He was formed from the dust of the ground. The question we must ask ourselves is how was the breath of life found nine generations removed from the first man in whose nostrils the breath of life was breathed at first? I am absolutely and completely convinced that the answer actually lies within the reality of the seed, for at the very heart of the seed which was preserved on the ark is indeed the breath of the Almighty. I would dare say that the seed isn’t simply the seed, but within the very makeup of the seed is indeed the breath of life which was first breathed into the nostrils of Adam after he was formed and fashioned from the dust of the ground. NO longer would the living God breathe into the nostrils of men, but the living God would now allow that breath to be passed on through generations. What’s more, is that the breath of life would not only be contained within the seed, but that seed is only passed on through intimacy. How absolutely astonishing it is to think about and consider the fact that the breath of life would be wrapped up and contained within the seed, and that seed would and could only be passed along through intimacy, through connection, and in most cases—within the confines of the covenant relationship of marriage. It is truly unique to think about the fact that the breath of life would be preserved during the great judgment that came upon the whole earth, and that seed would be passed on through the generations as a result of Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives who were preserved in the midst of the ark.

It is absolutely incredible to think about and consider the fact that during the days in which the great flood was upon the earth the eternal God caused and allowed the breath of life to move upon the face of the waters, and preserved that breath in the midst of the ark. During the days of the flood the eternal God preserved and protected the breath of life which was not only in human beings and living souls, but also in every living creature that moved upon the face of the earth. Eventually there would come a day when the flood waters would recede from the face of the earth, and Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives, together with all the living creatures would depart from the ark and would once more fill and populate the earth. During the days after the flood we find Noah’s three sons and their wives being fruitful and multiplying upon the face of the earth, as well as every living creature once more being fruitful and populating the earth. In fact, when you come to the tenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find written “the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth,” and within this particular table we not only find the table of nations which would begin to be established within the earth, but we also find that seed which would eventually bring forth the Hebrew people, and would bring forth the priesthood, and would bring forth the kings of Israel and Judah into the earth. What’s more, is that from one of Noah’s sons would be that seed that would eventually be passed along through time and would eventually reach the time of Jesus the Christ which would proceed from the tribe of Judah and from the house of David. If you read the tenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find that the seed which was preserved on the ark which Noah, his wife, their three sons and their families were on being reproduced throughout the earth, and would bring about the nations which we would eventually know of today. We dare not miss and lose sight of this, for when we read the genealogical records that are found in the book of First Chronicles we find the author beginning these genealogical records by going as far back as Adam, and even including Noah and his son. This must be carefully understood and considered, for not only do we encounter and come face to face with the reality of man being created in the image and after the likeness of the living God, but we also find a direct link and connection to the preservation of the breath of life, as well as the seed on the ark which moved upon the face of the waters during the days of the flood. This is important for us to consider, for when we read these lists of names we must see—not only the image and likeness of the living God, but we must also see the breath of Almighty God and the seed which was passed down through the generations. What we are essentially reading here is a record of generations—a record of fathers and sons—that would be used to bring forth the various peoples of the earth, which would include the Jewish people. I can’t help but read the words which are found within these chapters and come face to face with the image and likeness of the living God all over them, as well as the manifestation of the divine breath of the Almighty God, and the presence of the seed that would be passed down through the generations. These genealogical records are more than just names we might not recognize outside of and apart from these chapters, for they are a direct manifestation of the image and likeness of the living God, as well as the divine breath of the Almighty and the presence of the seed.

What makes these particular chapters in the book of First Chronicles so absolutely remarkable and astounding is when you consider the fact that the entire sixth chapter is dedicated specifically and entirely to the genealogical records of the sons and tribe of Levi. It’s interesting to note that when you read the book of First Chronicles you will notice that it has an entirely different tone and nature to it as compared to and set against the book of First Kings, as well as the book of Second Kings. As you read the book of First Chronicles, as well as the book of Second Chronicles you will encounter and come face to face with the reality that there is a spiritual and priestly perspective that is directly linked and connected to it, and there is a tremendous emphasis that is placed on the priesthood, on the worship of the people of God, as well as on prayer and fellowship with the living God. If we are going to truly understand the words which are written and recorded in the book of First Chronicles, as well as the book of Second Chronicles, it is absolutely imperative that we recognize the spiritual element and spiritual nature that surrounds it, for if you read the books of First and Second Kings you seem to get a purely historical perspective to the events surrounding the reign of David, the reign of Solomon, and all the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel, and the southern kingdom of Judah. In all reality, I would dare say that if you are going to read the book of First Chronicles—together with the book of Second Chronicles—it is absolutely necessary and important to understand that at the very heart of the history of the children of Israel and the Jewish people is the LORD their God, and is their covenant relationship with and to Him. It’s truly astonishing to read the words which are found in these two books, for not only do they begin with a tremendous genealogical record, but they also make sure to invite us into the heritage and lineage of the priesthood. The books of First and Second Kings bring us face to face with the narrative of the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, and even the different prophets and men of God who ministered during those days, however, what we find when we come to these books is a narrative surrounding the priesthood and the chord and thread of worship that is woven throughout the entire history and narrative of the nation and kingdom of Israel, as well as within the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. What’s important for us to recognize when reading these particular chapters is the truly astounding connection the tribe of Levi had within the heritage and inheritance of the children of Israel, for although they would have no physical inheritance in the land, they would play a crucial and integral part within the culture and society of the nation of Israel. I am convinced that perhaps one of—if not the greatest reason why the author is sure to include the genealogical record of the priests and Levites is to show the direct connection between the events surrounding their captivity, and essentially the violation of the covenant with idolatry, with iniquity and immorality.

I find it absolutely incredible that the author of the book of First Chronicles would go to such great length to bring us face to face with the genealogical records, for these records would not only provide men, women and households with the knowledge and certainty that they had descended from Adam, but also that they had indeed and had in fact descended from Abraham. Pause for a moment and think about what it would have been like to be in captivity in a strange and foreign land and how quickly and easily it could have been to forget who you truly are and where you came from. Think about the fact that the captivity of the people of God was about more than just their being brought into a strange and foreign land and assimilated into the land, but you will recall how Nebuchadnezzar sought to completely eradicate their history once they were present within Babylon. What is truly astonishing when reading and considering this is how important the preservation of inheritance, and the preservation of genealogy was, for the captivity of the people of God wouldn’t last forever. In fact, it would be the prophet Jeremiah who would prophesy and declare according to the word of the LORD that the people of God would remain in captivity for a period of seventy years, and after those seventy years were completed, they would return to the land that was theirs by inheritance. The genealogical records we find written and recorded in the book of First Chronicles is of the utmost importance, for what it essentially does is bridge a gap that would take place—not only during the seventy years of captivity, but also during the four-hundred years of silence that would take place after the prophet Malachi spoke his final word according to the word of the LORD. It’s worth noting that not only did the LORD preserve a people in the midst of the land of Babylon, but the LORD would also preserve a record of who they were, a record of where they came from, and a record of their households and families. I can’t help but be absolutely astonished and captivated by this reality, for it brings us face to face with the remarkable truth that these records would have been incredibly important to the people of God as they sat by the rivers of Babylon and wept. The psalmist writes how the people of God sat by the rivers of Babylon, and how they wept, and I can’t help but see how necessary these records would have been for the people of God as they would spend seventy years living in captivity. In fact, if you read the genealogical record which the apostle Matthew writes and records you will find him writing how there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, and how there were fourteen generations from David to the captivity, and how there were another fourteen generations from the captivity to the time of Christ. Thus, the genealogical record which the apostle Matthew presented us with would demonstrate how these records would not only be preserved through the four-hundred plus years of slavery in the land of Egypt, but also how they would be preserved through the seventy years of captivity. Four-hundred and thirty years of slavery, seventy years of captivity, and another four-hundred years of silence.

If there is one thing that truly amazes me when I read the genealogical records that are found within the book of First Chronicles, as well as the records which are presented in the New Testament gospel of Matthew, it’s how they were preserved through the years and through the generations in order to preserve a powerful history, heritage, inheritance and lineage in the midst of the earth. There is something truly powerful about national identity, and there is something truly powerful about being able to trace lineage and heritage back to Abraham, and seeing how from this one man would not only come an entire nation, but would come generations of Hebrew people that would be in existence throughout the years. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for not only would the living God preserve the Hebrew people in the midst of the captivity, but He would also preserve their heritage and their lineage as well. Even down to the time of Christ there would be the ability to trace the lineage of the house of David through the four hundred years of silence, and through the seventy years of captivity. How absolutely powerful it is to think about and consider how the living and eternal God could preserve all of this through captivity and through such an extensive period of silence when there was no open vision from the LORD. Even when you read the Old Testament book of Ezra you will find genealogical records of those who had come out on the other side of captivity, and you will see just truly invaluable something like genealogy truly was, for the people of God would have to establish themselves in the earth once more, and would have to establish their national identity once more. Having returned and come forth from captivity in the land of Babylon they would need to rediscover themselves once more and would need to discover who they were. What’s more, is there would be a great and fantastic need for them to understand who they were and where they came from. Think about how powerful it would have been to find your family lineage and your family tree and to truly know and understand where you came from and who you were. Pause for a moment and think about how powerful it is—even in our generation today—to learn and to discover who you are and where you came from, and how you ended up where you are. HOW DID WE GET HERE? It is something truly remarkable to think about and consider the absolutely incredible satisfaction that surrounds knowing who you are and where you came from. Consider how many different programs are currently in existence right now that are intended on tracing your ancestry and your lineage in order to show and reveal to you who you truly are and where you came from. Think about how many men and women in these days have such a tremendous desire within themselves to know who they are and who they came from, and as a result will subscribe and pay for something such as Ancestory.com in order to take a test that will show them their family tree.

As I sit here right now I can’t help but think about the fact that as much as genealogical records might show us where we came from, and might show us our family tree and lineage—it cannot show us who we are. Perhaps one of the greatest truths in Scripture is that genealogical records cannot ever tell you who you are, or even what you are. Despite who your father is, despite who your grandfather is, and despite who your mom is, you are not defined by your family tree or your family line. The genealogical records that are found within this passage of Scripture show and demonstrate where these generations came from, and how they were all interconnected, and yet one thing they could never do was tell anyone who they were. IN fact, I am convinced that this is what was so incredibly important and powerful about the narrative of James, for while it is only two verses long we encounter one who not only was more honourable than his brethren, but also one who dared call on the name of the LORD God of Israel seeking for something different, seeking for something beyond what he knew, seeking for something more than what he had experienced. If you read the ninth and tenth verses of the fourth chapter of the book of First Chronicles you will encounter and come face to face with a man who dared ask for more than what he knew and move than what he had experienced. The narrative of Jabez brings us face to face with the awesome reality that there was one who desired something more and something greater than what he knew and had experienced. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within the fourth chapter of the book of First Chronicles beginning to read with and from the ninth verse:

“And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).

Please don’t miss and lose sight of that which Jabez prayed, for even though his name suggested that his mother had conceived and brought him forth in sorrow, he didn’t have to be defined by that sorrow. Stop for a moment and consider the reality that even though Jabez’s name would literally mean and suggest that he was conceived and brought forth in sorrow, he didn’t have to be defined by his name. How absolutely incredible and wonderful it is to think about and consider the fact that although Jabez’s name would speak to and would speak of being conceived and brought forth in sorrow, he didn’t have to let that sorrow define him, nor did he have to let the sorrow dictate and consume his life. How many others would have been content to allow that reality to dictate the course of their lives, and would have simply accepted it over them? Jabez is.a truly wonderful and powerful picture and example of one who refused to be defined by sorrow, and one who refused to be defined by the experience of his mother, and as a direct result—he desired and pursued something more. I can’t help but consider the fact that not only would Jabez refuse to be defined by the sorrow of his mother, but he refused to allow himself to be captivated and caught up in the experience of his mother. We don’t know how or why Jabez was conceived and brought forth with sorrow, but what we do know is that Jabez refused to allow that to define him. Jabez refused to allow that sorrow and that experience of his mother dictate his personal experience, and how he was going to live his life. Jabez would not be defined by his mother’s experience, and he wouldn’t be defined by what his mother would name him, and even what his name would mean and suggest. Jabez is a strong and powerful example of one who would not allow his life to be dictated and determined by a name, nor even the personal experience of another. Jabez’s prayer is more than simply one of selfishness and prosperity. It would be easy for men and women to read the words of his prayer and to think about Jabez in terms of being selfish, and in terms of Jabez being about himself and prosperity, and yet I am convinced the nothing could be further from the truth. I am absolutely and completely convinced that when we consider the narrative and life of Jabez, we must recognize and understand it through the lens that Jabez was one who not only desired more for himself, but who also desired to move and live beyond his mother’s sorrow and his mother’s experience.

I can’t help but be reminded of the words which are written and recorded in the final verses of the sixth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers, and how what we find there is essentially a truly powerful prayer of blessing, of protection, of keeping, of preservation, and of the power of God upon the lives of the people of God. The words which we find written within these verses must be carefully understood when considering the words which Jabez prayed, for they almost serve as a foundation for the words which he would prayer. Consider if you will the words which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded and instructed Aaron the high priest, as well as his sons to bless the children of Israel:

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them” (Numbers 6:22-27).

Pause for a moment and consider the words which are found here, for undoubtedly this priestly blessing, this priestly prayer, and priestly declaration would not only have been spoken during the days of Aaron the high priest, but also his sons as well. I am convinced this is why it was so important that Moses the servant of the LORD speak these words in the hearing of Aaron’s sons as well, for long after Aaron would die and go the way of his fathers these words would be spoken over the children of Israel. Consider if you will the truly wonderful reality that not only did the living God desire to put His name upon the children of Israel in that generation, as well as in each and every future generation, but the living God also desired to bless the children of Israel in that generations, as well as the generations to come. We dare not miss and lose sight of this truly awesome and astounding reality, for to do so would be to miss out on that which the living God desired to accomplish in the midst of His people. It would be very easy to get caught up on the first part of this benediction and blessing which Aaron and his sons would speak over the children of Israel. It would be very easy to allow ourselves to get caught up in the blessing of God, and the reality that the LORD desires only to prosper us and to give us abundant wealth and provision within our lives. When you read these words—not only will you notice that the LORD desired to bless the children of Israel, but immediately after that you will find the reality that the LORD desires to keep His people. Moreover, we also find the living God desired to make His face shine upon them, and to be gracious unto them. It wasn’t simply about the LORD blessing His people in terms of material and monetary wealth and possession, for I would dare say that directly included and directly connected to the blessing of the living and eternal God is His ability to keep us, His ability and willingness to make His face shine upon us, and His willingness to be gracious unto us. What’s more, is that you will find Aaron and his sons also instructed to to speak unto the children of Israel concerning the countenance of the LORD being upon them, and that the LORD would indeed give them peace. I am convinced that this is absolutely necessary if we are to truly understand the words which Jabez prayed before and unto the living God, for when he prayed before the LORD, He asked that the LORD would bless him indeed, and enlarge his coast, that his hand would be with him and keep him from evil. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely astounding and remarkable reality, for there is something truly powerful about the request which Jabez prayed, for what we read concerning him was that he called on the name of the God of Israel, and did so from a place of wanting something more and something beyond his name, and something beyond his mother’s experience. His mother spoke over his life, and proceeded to name him according to the sorrow he was conceived in, and yet Jabez refused to allow himself to be caught up and consumed with the meaning of his name, and even the experiences of his mother.

THERE’S GOT TO BE MORE THAN THIS! What I so absolutely love about the prayer of Jabez is that this wasn’t a selfish or self-centered prayer, and it wasn’t Jabez looking for the LORD to endow him with wealth, with prosperity, with material blessing and earthly goods. Jabez could have very easily ended the prayer simply with “Oh that thou would bless me indeed,” and that would have been the end of it. The truth of the matter is that I am convinced that had Jabez prayed such a prayer as this, the living God would not have granted him that which he requested. Jabez sought after and desired more than simply the experience of his mother, and more than simply the sorrow that surrounded his mother, and he desired the activity of the living God within his life. Within his prayer I see something truly unique and truly powerful—namely, that Jabez desired that the living God be active in his life. This is what is so tremendous about the blessing which Aaron and his sons would speak over the children of Israel, for beyond simply the concept of blessing within and upon their lives, there was the reality of the living and eternal God being very much active within the midst of His people. The true and underlying request which Jabez prayed before the living God was that the LORD would be active within his life, and that the living God would place His hand upon him. In fact, he would even pray within this prayer, saying “and that thine hand might be with me.” We dare not and must not read these words and think about them solely in the terms of some type of selfishness that was found within the heart and soul of Jabez, for above anything else Jabez desired the hand of the LORD be upon him, and that the activity of the living God within his life would not only lead to his being blessed by the LORD, but would also lead to the LORD keeping him from evil that it would not grieve him. Pause and consider the absolutely remarkable and astounding reality that surrounds this prayer of Jabez, for it is this prayer which Jabez prayed that invites the living God to be very much real, and very much active within his life. There is within this prayer a wonderful and powerful invitation before the LORD to be as active and involved within his life as He wanted and desired to be. Permit me to ask you whether or not you are int his place within your own heart and life. When was the last time you truly invited the living God to be active and involved within your life? When was the last time you truly invited the living God to take and lay hold of you, and that His hand would be ever present and ever upon you? What’s more, is I can’t help but ask whether or not you even care whether or not the living God is indeed active within your heart and life—not only for blessing, not only for protection, but also that He might keep your feet from evil. I can’t help but be reminded of the prayer which our Lord taught the disciples to pray when He was delivering the Sermon on the mount. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded by the apostle Matthew which present us with the prayer which Jesus the Christ instructs us to prayer when we enter into our secret closet of prayer, and when we cry out in the ears of our Father who sees and hears in secret:

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, entert into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, and we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matthew 6:5-13).

I also can’t help but be reminded of the great high priestly prayer which Jesus our LORD prayed for His disciples when He was preparing to depart from this earth and return unto the Father. The words which He prayed have been—and in all reality still are—considered to be a great high priestly prayer. The words which Jesus the Christ prayed before He departed from this earth is not only one of protection, but also provision for His disciples. Jesus knew that he would depart from this earth and return unto His Father, and His prayer was that His Father would be actively involved within the lives of His disciples. It is the words of this prayer which shines an even greater amount of light on to the words which Jabez prayed for himself, as well as the words which the LORD instructed Aaron and his sons to speak over the children of Israel. Consider if you will the words which our Lord Himself prayed as He not only prepared to fulfill the purpose for which He was sent, but also as He prepared to depart from this world and return unto His Father who was in heaven:

“Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine: and I am gloried in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word: and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou should East take them out of the world, but that thou should East keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these Salone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (john 17:1-26).

The words which we find spoken by Jesus in the hearing of the disciples and before His Father in heaven are absolutely remarkable when you take the time to think about and consider them, for these words were a prayer of protection and preservation for His disciples as they would remain in a world that He Himself was departing from. Jesus Christ knew that His hour had come, and He knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and it was from that place of knowledge that He would call upon the name of His God and Father to guard, to protect and keep His disciples. What’s interesting when you read and consider these words is that at the very heart of His prayer was the desire that the Father would guard and keep them, and that He would not allow a single one of their feet to slip, nor that they would falter in their faith. What’s more, is that Jesus Himself would also declare unto Simon also called Peter that Satan desired to sift him as wheat, but he prayed for Him that his faith would not fail. Moreover, Jesus also prayed that when he was converted and when he was restored he would minister unto his brethren. How absolutely wonderful it is to read the words which Jabez prayed centuries before Jesus the Christ, and his prayer would be that the hand of the living God would be upon him—and not only that the hand of the living God would be upon him, but that the living God would watch over, protect and preserve him, thus keeping him from evil. As I think about and consider this reality, I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the psalmist David prayed in the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms. As I bring this writing to a close I leave you with these words which were penned and prayed by the psalmist David before a living God as He desperately desired that the living God would watch over, guard and protect him. Consider if you will the words which David prayed beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse of this chapter:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heath thereof. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey come. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:1-14).

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