Whether we have ancestors who were good or bad, we can learn from them. Here’s to looking into the past to help us discern our future—with God’s help and wisdom.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
The value of knowing our ancestors
Years ago my mother decided to search her parents’ genealogy ancestries. Without internet help such as Ancestry.com provides, she had to do it the hard way. She wrote letters, visited cemeteries, searched library records and read historical accounts. It took her years. She hand-printed three huge charts filled with her ancestors’ names.
She also shared family stories with the three of us daughters—about her dad’s ancestors fleeing England for the United States in the 1600s to avoid persecution for their Christian faith. She spoke about her mother’s parents hiding slaves during the Civil War as part of the famed Underground Railroad.
We all have interesting heritages that tell us who we are. Through genealogy study, we learn that we are much more than a son or daughter.
God has a family tree, too, recorded in the Bible. It is important to His chosen people, the Jews, as well as to us “grafted in” Christians. We can read how God blessed His people and loved them and forgave them over and over for their sins. God multiplied them until Egypt enslaved them. Then He sent Moses to lead them across the Red Sea to freedom.
After they began their forty-year trek to the Promised Land of Canaan, God told the people to remember His commandments and teach them to future generations so they would not forget how He delivered them from slavery.
“These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children … talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up … bind them as a sign on your hand … and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
We Christians also need to remember our spiritual heritage. Through God’s Word we can be reminded every day of His continual blessings. Like the Jewish people, we can teach them to our children, talk about them and keep them in our hearts.
For those of us who believe in Christ’s salvation, our greatest heritage is that of being His children.
Lord, thank You for the wonderful heritage we have as Your children. Make us ever aware of its importance as we worship and serve You. In Jesus’ name, amen.