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A List for Everything?

We’ve all been there. We commit to reading the Bible from beginning to end. The year starts with great promise and you’re learning a lot day after day. But then, about 10 chapters in there’s this crazy long list of names. Should you skim through? Would it be bad to skip those chapters altogether?​

The Bible’s genealogies are proof that every person in every place in every time period matters to God. God knows each of us by name, where and when we live, who our ancestors are, and who our descendants will be.

In both the Old and New Testaments, just before or after each long list, God reveals His loving purpose for the people listed.  “These are the clans of Noah’s sons...from these [people] the nations spread out over the earth after the flood” (Genesis 10:32).  In Matthew 1:1, God lists the ancestors of Jesus, His plan to bring Jesus to earth at a specific time, born to a specific mother, Mary.

We see this same love and purpose in Nehemiah 7: This chapter records the families God returned to Jerusalem and Judea after years of being captive in Babylon. He faithfully restored them to their home, as promised.  

God details His plans for every person. Every person is personal to God’s design, and all of our stories matter to Him. Through each of our lives, God is weaving together a grand story of the lengths He will go to for a relationship with His people.


  • What people and events do you recognize as part of God’s detailed plan to bring you to Him?
  • Do you keep lists of significant names and dates?  How does God’s detailed record-keeping show that He values the details of our lives?
  • What people do you need to embrace for Christ, to share that their stories matter to God?


Photo by Dima Bushkov

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