THE SONS OF ISRAEL

Today's devotion from 1 Chronicles 2.

Sometimes I just get in a funk. I'm sure you can sympathize with the idea of wrestling with inadequacies. I think this is pretty common. The problem I really have is that those feelings of inadequacy are usually spot on. I'm not a perfect person with a perfect past living in a perfect present with a perfect family toward a perfect future. My story is not ideal. But so much of the time our culture seems to cling to the imagined ideal even at the expense of the encouragingly authentic. Hollywood seems to be the most obvious and boisterous advocate of this.

The idea is to create the image and sell the image. Hide the truth with glamour, then draw the prey in. If that is the case, what are we to do with Scripture. If these are not accounts but stories, as some claim, where is the glamour hiding the accuracy and authenticity? The veneer that hides the flaws and draws us in seems to be missing in key places. Take today's reading for example. Just look at the genealogy provided. It is filled with inadequacy and brokenness.

Judah, through which the covenant promise would pass, lost his firstborn because his son was evil. Then the chronicler reminds us of his affair with Tamar. Just a few verses later the people are reminded of the costly deception of Achan that cost many men their lives and demoralized Israel. We are reminded that David, the first king usually to come to our minds, had seven brothers that each seemed "better" than him. We see the heartbreak of Seled dying childless and the inclusivity in that Sheshan had no sons, yet appointed his Egyptian servant, Jarha, as his heir by giving his daughter in marriage to him.

The chronicler makes no attempt to hide blemishes or conceal the truth. This genealogy simply presents facts. Facts that are integral to the people's faith. This is the beauty of these lists. In the entire history of God's divine work, there has been only One who was perfect. The rest were inadequate, common, and utterly unimpressive...just like me. Maybe even, just like you. Our God is not limited to casting perfect starlets in leading roles. His power is best displayed by the average, the common, and the ordinary. His power is best displayed by you.