ANCHORED DAILY: 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Matthew 1:1-17

posted by Bethel Communications | Nov 23, 2022

How often do you come across a genealogy or list of names in the Bible? Just recently in
Bethel’s reading through Ezra there were 3 chapters with lists of names and in Nehemiah, there
were 5 chapters! We find these genealogies frequently in the writings of the Old Testament,
but why are there so many? Hey Bethel, this is Derek, one of your Richland Campus Elders, and
I’m with you today as we look at the prophesies about the birth of Jesus, in particular that Jesus
was born in the genealogy of David.

What do you do when you hit these lists of names in the Bible? Do you just skip them and move
on to the next passage? Do you yawn and try to read through it? Maybe you can find a nugget
of truth in margins of the genealogy? Or maybe you only turn to these passages when you’re
trying to find a unique baby name? I don’t know your approach, but I’m sure we have all at
some point wondered why so much space in the words given by God to us are occupied by
these lists that mean very little to an audience thousands of years later? Well, today we are
going to look at one such list of names, but before we get there, turn with me to 2 Samuel,
chapter 7 and as you find that, I’ll give a little background.

During the time of this passage, God’s people are in relative peace with the nations around
them and their king, David, desires to honor God by building a more permanent location for the
ack of the covenant, what at that time was the representation and manifestation of the
presence of God in the midst of His people. David goes to the prophet Nathan, the spiritual
leader of God’s people at that time, to asks Nathan for guidance. Nathan thinks it sounds like a
good idea, but says he should, appropriately, ask God before they do this. God then speaks
through Nathan and says something unexpected. God tells David, no, that David should not
build a house for the ark of the covenant. God then gives David the grace of explaining why
David shouldn’t build the house and we pick up the passage in 2 Samuel, chapter 7, verse 12:

“12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your
offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall
build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to
him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with
the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart
from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your
kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” 17 In
accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.”

Essentially here God is telling David: “You won’t build a temporary home for Me; I will build an
everlasting home for you!” David had these grand plans for how he would serve God, but God
responds and says, “it is your simple submission to My plan that I desire.” But what David
couldn’t have known at this time was just HOW God would do this incredible thing through his
family. How could David’s human, corrupt, stubborn, broken family, as Samuel states, “be
established forever?” We have to jump to Matthew, chapter 1, the very first words in the New
Testament, to find out. Let’s read verse 1:

“1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

What follows in the next 15 verses is the most significant list of names in the entire Bible! The
genealogy is connected from Abraham, the first of God’s chosen people, through David, and
ending in Jesus. There is so much to point out about this list, and I’m going to allow you to
travel slowly through it when we’re done here, (to notice the women that Matthew includes
here or see our friend from our study of Haggai, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel) but right now,
let’s look at the big picture of this genealogy.

Do you see who Matthew states is the primary name in this genealogy? The expectations with
most list of names is that the first person listed, the furthest back, the oldest on the list, is the
most important. But Matthew does the exact opposite here! Instead of calling this the
genealogy of Abraham, the first name, he actually calls it the genealogy of Jesus, the final name
in the list. As the audience, we should read this and it should make us think: “Wait, Matthew
thinks that this Jesus fella is greater than our great forefather Abraham? How could this be?”
Then we would read the rest of the gospel from Matthew to find out why.

The ultimate story of every name in Matthew 1:1-17 is that they were imperfect people who
had a broken relationship with God due to their imperfection. They couldn’t live up to the
standard that God had set. But here in Matthew, all of these names are quite literally pointing
to the final name, to Jesus! And through Jesus perfect life, His death on a Cross, and
resurrection from the dead, He created a way for all of these people, and for us to have a
relationship with God. That way is to simply let go of all of our efforts to earn a relationship
with God and simply receive and rest in what Jesus has done for us. And this is how David’s
family is established forever: because of Jesus, we are now a part of that family!

So, I hope now, whenever you come across a list of names in the Bible, you won’t groan, but
that it will remind you that it was prophesied that Jesus would be born as a son of David and all
of those lists are pointing to this list, the genealogy of Jesus and how His life, death, and
resurrection was enough to save everyone on that list along with you and me. See one day,
Revelation 20:12 tells us there will be another list of names, those included in the book of life.
When that day comes, I pray that you, like me, can say, I am here because of what Jesus has
done! May it be so. Amen. Blessings, friends!


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