Have you worked on your ancestry or genealogy? Why do you want to, or not want to find out where you came from? Are you worried that you might find a rascal in you ancestors? Do you think you might have come from some famous person?
These are some very interesting questions. As a Christian, there are a few verses in the Bible that gave me pause as to whether it is wise to trace my ancestors.
“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” (1 Timothy 1:4 KJV)
“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” (Titus 3:9 KJV)
In the Old Testament, the tribes of Israel kept many records and genealogies. It was important to know which family they were from. It was important which family the Lord Jesus came through. He was from David’s line. That is part of the fulfillment of Scripture about the birth of the Messiah. Today, it is not as important, yet with DNA, they may be able again to connect the family lines. Should there by contentions and strivings for it? No.
Sometimes it can seem endless when you are tracing back through all those records, censuses, hints, etc. At times it appears that there is a “brick wall” in front of you. Yet, there are many verses that encourage us to remember our past. The blessings of the Lord are to be passed down through the generations. I personally am interested in finding my ancestors and their relation with the Savior. Am I going to see them in heaven? What did they do? Where did they live? It really is studying history, but the people involved were my family.
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalms 12:6-7 KJV)
“Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” (Psalms 48:13-14 KJV) [did they leave word for us?]
“O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” (Psalms 71:17-18 KJV) [did they leave word for us and should we pass on His truth?]
“That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” (Psalms 78:6-8 KJV)
“One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” (Psalms 145:4 KJV) [Did they leave some praise for me to discover?]
“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.”
(Ecclesiastes 1:4 KJV) [What a great promise!]
“How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.” (Daniel 4:3 KJV)
“Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” (Joel 1:2-3 KJV)
“And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50 KJV)
There are many more verses that talk about the generations that have gone before us, and challenges for us for future generations. We are to be ambassadors for Christ, and if we can find where God has worked in the lives of our ancestors, then we can show that truth to our descendants and acquaintances how that Our Savior has been working in the lives of our fore-bearers.
This is only the third article on this new blog. Your comments about what has been written so far are welcomed. I have been setting up pages for my families stories, but they are mostly empty for now. They will be filled, in time.