The Scriptorium

Left Behind

Let's not leave these behind any longer. 2 Timothy 3.14-17; Matthew 4.1-4

Gleanealogy: Introduction (2)

Pray Psalm 117.1, 2.
Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!

Sing slowly and contemplatively Psalm 117.1, 2.
(Lauda Anima: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven)
Praise the Lord!  All nations, praise Him! Magnify Him, peoples all!
He is great, His steadfast love keeps all who on His favor call!
Evermore His faithfulness will bless His people, great and small!

Read 2 Timothy 3.14-17; Matthew 4.1-4.

1. For what are the Scriptures profitable?

2. How much of Scripture is profitable for these things?

Read aloud.

The Leavings

The gleaners are the poor and hungry. They
don’t ask for much, and they will work for what
they need. The fields are reaped and gathered, but
the leavings, scattered here and there, repay
the gleaners’ labor with surprising wealth.
For grains of every sort remain to be
discovered in those uncut corners, free
to all who see in them a source of health.

Just so, the many genealogies 
of Scripture, left unreaped by most, remain
for those who, poor in spirit, hungry for
the Bread of life, and resolute to gain
the benefit all Scripture holds in store
for them, will reap such bounty as they please.

Some believers are of the opinion that the Old Testament has little in the way of spiritual nourishment to strengthen their souls. The Law is not for them. The prophets are too difficult, the histories too tragic, and the wisdom, well, a little too pointed for their palate. They cling to the New Testament for their devotional lives, only venturing into the Old when led their by a pastor or teacher.

You will agree that’s hardly a “balanced diet” of the Word of God. By neglecting the Old Testament – simply leaving it behind as of little value – many believers are denying the practice of Jesus and the apostles, and of saints and faithful believers throughout the ages. Since all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and all Scripture is profitable, we ought not leave any of it behind in our desire to grow in and serve the Lord.

That includes the genealogies of the Old and New Testaments.

The genealogies of Scripture occur throughout the Bible, beginning in Genesis and the rest of the Law, in the time of the kings, after the exile, and in the opening of the New Testament. They take up but a little space, comparatively speaking, and so seem like they can be easily left behind as a subject of careful reading and serious study. Psalm 117 doesn’t take up much space either; but we wouldn’t just skip it, or consider that it holds no profit for us.

It should trouble us, if our spiritual regimen routinely leaves behind any portion of God’s holy Word. We do not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of our God (Matt. 4.4), because every Word from God nourishes us on the Bread of life, Who is our Lord Jesus Christ.

True gleaners will recognize that a certain impoverishment blights our souls to the extent that we omit any of God’s Word from our diet. And they will be hungry to learn as much as they can about these Scriptural leavings, scattered throughout God’s Word, which are waiting for the poor and hungry to gather and consume.

1. Why should we not leave any portion of God’s Word unread and unstudied?

2. What do you think it will require of you to gain the profit and spiritual food the genealogies hold in store?

3. What’s one goal you will set for yourself as we take on the challenge of harvesting the genealogies of God’s Word?

To search the sacred Scripture is very good and most profitable for the soul. For, “like a tree which is planted near the running waters,”
so does the soul watered by sacred Scripture also grow hearty and bear fruit in due season. John of Damascus (650-750), The Orthodox Faith 4.17

Lord, make me hungry for
all Your Word, beginning today, so that I…

Pray Psalm 19.7-14.
Starting with God’s Law (the books of Moses), thank the Lord for all His Word. Thank Him specifically for each section of the Word, and for particular books or teachings that have been important to you. Recommit yourself to learning all of God’s Word, including the genealogies.

Sing Psalm 19.7-14.
Psalm 19.7-14 (St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The Law of God is perfect, His testimony sure.
The simple man God’s wisdom learns, the soul receives its cure.
God’s Word is right, and His command is pure, and truth imparts;
He makes our eyes to understand; with joy He fills our hearts.

The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.
His judgments all are true and just, by righteousness held fast.
O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet.
Be warned by every word and line; be blessed with joy complete.

Who, Lord, can know his errors? O keep sin far from me!
Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.
O let my thoughts, let all my words, before Your glorious sight
be pleasing to You, gracious Lord, acceptable and right!

T. M. Moore

The poems featured in the Gleanealogy series are by T. M. Moore. To order T. M.’s most recent collection of poems, Bricks and Rungs, click here. The genealogies of Scripture reveal the heart of God in His covenant relationship with His people. To learn more about God’s covenant, order our book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here. You can learn to sing all the psalms to familiar hymn tunes by ordering a copy of The Ailbe Psalter (click here).

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore