Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

FAMILY TREES (Genesis 35-37)

Generally, I tend to skip through the genealogies in the Bible. Oh, I read them,but with little thought. Today brought me to Esau's genealogy. 

A single verse stopped me this morning: This is the family tree of Seir the Horite, who were native to the land. (Genesis 36:20, MSG)

I read it again and did a search on "Seir" in the concordance. No, I hadn't misunderstood it. Seir was related to Esau by marriage; Seir's daughter Timna was the concubine of Esau's son. But Seir and his descendents are not Esau's descendants, nor Abraham's.

So why do they have a place in the Bible? I have been struck this year by the things we don't learn about. Hagar and Ishmael had such a legacy of faith--what happened to it, to them, after they went their own way? We don't have a clue about the history of Abraham's sons by his second wife, Keturah. They appear and disappear from the Bible scene, while the family line of Israel (i.e. Jacob and his sons) remains in the spotlight, with a brief list of Ishmael and Esau's descendants.

So why. . .Seir? I can guess at political and historical reasons for interest in Seir, but why is he mentioned in the very selective record God included in the Bible?

I take comfort that even as God zeroed in on the family line of the Savior of all mankind, He took the time to let us know about one family that was outside of that special favor.A family perhaps that understood something about Jehovah-God from the encounter with Esau. A family that remained as Israel's neighbor, undefeated, when they later conquered the promised land.

The fact that God isn't shining His spotlight on us doesn't mean that He doesn't see us and doesn't care.

He cared about Seir the Horite. He cares about me. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting! :) As I said elsewhere I was looking at genealogies too this morning! Interesting "branch" you looked at here!