I’m just a natural history geek. I like reading about the past, and I love family genealogy. I’m the geeky one who knows more about my husband’s family history than he does because I curl up with family records for the midnight read.
I’m weird that way.
But it also gives me a different perspective as I read biblical lineage like that found in Ezra Chapter 2.
Listed here are the families coming back to rebuild the temple. Ancestors of the “chosen ones” who had screwed up, lost their homes, and were overtaken and dispersed into enemy territory. Years later, at an invitation, individual families chose to go back to their roots. To rebuild what the Lord had ordained for them. To reclaim the favor and promises the Lord of their fathers had given.
God is a God of promises. God is the Lord of families. It’s not rocket science to look around and see that families in our midst, perhaps even our own, are broken and chinked, not living in the blessing and promises the Lord intends.
For the Israelite families, it began with a choice. Individual people made choices for their family contrary to the goodness God had planned for them. Over time, generation after generation, those choices resulted in devastation. But God had a plan for redemption. He had a plan to rebuild. He gave an invitation to claim the promise and blessing that was still available to those willing to return to His honor.
The same is true today. I can only speak for myself. I’ve screwed up as a parent often enough. I’ve lived broken behind the picket fence wondering if there was any hope for goodness, laughter, and joy again. I’ve sat in desperate moments, realizing my choices were manifesting pain for others.
Could there possibly be hope to rebuild?
I remember the day the Lord made it clear to me I had a choice to choose Him or plunge my family into complete brokenness.
That day, I chose God.
The thing that humbled me the most was that God loved me enough to pursue me, drawing a line in the sand, giving me a wake up call that I had to answer to.
Just like He did these for the Ezra 2 families. He gave them and their predecessor choices. The fathers chose to walk away from their God. But He pursued their children and said, “I have a home for you. We will rebuild, if you come.”
And now these families’ names are written in His Holy Word as a testimony of His grace, of rebuilding, of hope despite how scattered they were away from His will.
God is the Creator of families.
He is the Rebuilder of families.
He is the Hope and the Promise of families.
He is the Redeemer of Years.
This summer, our family went on what might be our last family vacation. It was the most magical time I’ve experienced. There was one moment in time, watching my kids in a particular place where the reality of the Rebuilding came home to me in such fullness. It was if the Lord, in one second, replaced all the pain with such a presence of Himself and His goodness. He whispered to me, “It’s done.” It was His confirmation that the Rebuilding was complete.
What a legacy the names of these Ezra 2 families give of hope and a future.
What a blessing obedience brings when we choose God.
What a joy to experience the the tangible presence of a redeemer God who loves us enough to pursue us, who gives us the tools to rebuild.
Whereever this post finds you today, I encourage you to choose Life, to choose Hope, to begin the journey to rebuild if needed. The Blessing outweighs all the pain.
This song, The Blessing, says it all.