Have you ever wondered why, in the Bible, there are those really long lists of people's names? You know, the ones that tell us so-and-so begot so-and-so who begot so-and-so?
I was thinking about that recently. I'll just admit it...I've always sort of skipped over those parts, thinking how in the world that could possibly be of any value to me at this present time. But if there's nothing in the Bible that isn't beneficial for us in some way, then there has to be a good reason why God wanted us to know about these people.
We learn in Acts 17:26, "And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place." God decided ahead of time that we would be placed where we are, in the exact time that we need to be, to carry out His purposes.
Esther was told by Mordecai that perhaps she was placed in the king's house "for such a time as this" - to carry out God's will for that situation, at that particular time. He made sure that Esther was there and He equipped her with all she needed to follow through with His plans.
It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that God would use me for anything, to be honest. At times, my life seems so mundane and boring. Maybe those ancient people felt the same way. And, when I think about how many people there are in the world, and when I put that together with the thought that God loves and knows each and every one of us intimately, that's really hard to fathom. Matthew 10:30 says, "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
That's a LOT of hairs!
It occurred to me that maybe He took the time to list the name each of these people in order to point out to us that our mission here in this life is not insignificant. Those people, humpteen thousand generations back, played important parts in history, and they probably had no idea how they were being used in God's amazing plan. For us, their lives were of great importance. God worked out the details of their lives to accomplish His goals, which, in turn blessed us immeasurably.
So, maybe that seemingly endless genealogical list of names we can't pronounce isn't just page filler. Maybe it's meant to be encouragement for us. When we feel like there's no real purpose for our lives, it adds a new perspective to know that the things we are doing now may very well be leading up to something bigger, even generations from now. And, though we may never realize what that big event is, we can rest assured that God will remember and He will bless our efforts. It's not all for nothing. God was there with them then and He's here with us now. He knew them by name and He knows us by name, too. For me, that's a comfort and an encouragement!