“Meonothai fathered Ophrah; and Seraiah fathered Joab, the father of Ge-harashim, so-called because they were craftsmen. The sons of Caleb: Iru, Elah, and Naam; and the son[c] of Elah: Kenaz. The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel. The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married; and she conceived and bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. And his Judahite wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite… The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the clans of the house of linen workers at Beth-ashbea; and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and returned to Lehem … These were the potters who were inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah.” 1 Chronicles 4:14-19,21-23
Reading through chapters and chapters of hard-to-pronounce names in the Holy Bible is an exercise in wonder, not tedium. Every one of these individuals was created in the image of God, named, known, important, valued, a part in the whole of history, divinely memorialized in His scriptures.
Each one of us is created unique; God numbers our days and the hairs on our head. He knows who we are, what we are made of and gifted to do, and He calls us by name. We may feel at times we are insignificant, directionless, we do not belong, or cannot make a difference. Yet, when we listen to God’s voice, His messages affirm our personal significance, our value to Him, and our specific place in time, history, location, the world. (Psalm 139:13-18; Luke 12:6-7; Acts 17:24-28)
“Thus says the Lord, he who created you,.. he who formed you: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine… I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.'” Isaiah 43:1,3
Why fret? Why tarry in zeal, in serving, in living fully? If we would stop our ears to godless banter and social media that say we will never measure up, we find security in our Father Who beckons us by name to know and live for Him exactly where we are.
“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out… He goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice… I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me..; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:3-4,14-15
Almighty God, may I thrive in the identity You have given me, and affirm value to every one of Your image-bearers.