The Scriptorium

Ready for Threshing

Now, let's see what we have to flail. Revelation 21.23-27

Gleanealogy: Introduction (7)

Pray Psalm 125.4.
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
And to those who are upright in their hearts.

Sing joyfully and expectantly Psalm 125.4, 5, 1.
(St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
Lord, do good and care for those upright in heart.
All who turn to evil shall from You depart.
Sinful men may increase, on their way to hell!
Save Your people, let your peace abound in Israel!
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Read Revelation 21.23-27.

Prepare.
1. What kind of Book is mentioned here? What does it contain?

2. Is there some connection between the genealogies of Scripture and this Book?

Read aloud.
The Threshing

Bring all the gleanings to the threshing floor, 
and lay them out behind the Threshold in
a row. At first, the harvest may seem thin –
more chaff than grain, not worth the effort or
exertion that the task requires. But take
your flail in hand, and give each stalk its due.
Then winnow all, and when that work is through,
collect your hard-earned harvest with the rake.

The flail of patient study brings the wheat
to light and turns the chaff to manna, so
that as you winnow, meditating in
the Spirit’s gentle breeze, you will begin
to see a wonder: nothing much will blow
away. All gathers at the Threshold’s feet.

Meditate.

Taken together, the genealogies of Scripture may be regarded as a kind of excerpt from another, much larger Book – the Book of Life.

A Book exists which contains all the names of those God has included in His covenant and plan of redemption. One day that Book will be opened, and all those found recorded in it will rejoice to hear announced that their citizenship in the City of God is confirmed, their adoption into the family of God is complete, and a place awaits them at the table of the marriage supper of the Lamb (cf. Rev. 20.12, etc.).

The genealogies of Scripture, therefore, should excite us to think, hope, and live as those whose names appear in that greater, all-encompassing genealogy.

We’re ready to begin threshing the gleanings of God’s Word. Our gleanealogical work will take the course outlined below, through parts 2 and 3 in our study.

First, we will consider the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1. As I hope to demonstrate, this genealogy is the Rosetta Stone for understanding all the genealogies of Scripture.

Next, we turn to the toledoth passages of Genesis, which establish the context, mission, and people who are the beneficiaries of God’s covenant and redemption.

The census records of Numbers 1-4 and 26 are not, in the strictest sense, genealogies, but they serve an important purpose in the unfolding of God’s covenant, and we will thresh them as we do the genealogies of the Word.

The same can be said of the allotment records of Joshua 13-22. They’re not genealogies, but they function as such by bringing the story of redemption forward to a new stage and setting, injecting a forward-looking aspect to the story of redemption.

The genealogy in Ruth 4.13-22 serves as another important bridge, reaching all the way back to the toledoth of Genesis, creating hope in a time of disappointment and despair, and depositing the unfolding of God’s covenant into the time of David

Undoubtedly, the genealogies listed in 1 Chronicles 1-9 are the most tedious. We shall have to thresh them mightily to discover the wheat they hold in store for us.

Then, we’ll see how the genealogies of Ezra and Nehemiah complement those in 1 Chronicles to re-establish the footing and focus of God’s covenantal span, and to create in readers a sense of anticipation for the coming King.

We will meet that King in His all-encompassing genealogy in Luke 3, and see how that genealogy brings the whole story of redemption together in one stalk.

Finally, we’ll meditate on the Lamb’s Book of Life in faith and hope that our names, written there, are always before the King and Savior of God’s people, the Threshold, Who holds the harvest for Himself and His glory.

We’re going to flail these genealogical stalks and shocks with the tools of sound Biblical study and exegesis; and we’ll winnow our findings in the illuminating winds of God’s Spirit, feeding as we go on the rich manna and bread God has prepared for us in the gleanings of His Scripture field.

Reflect.
1. What do you hope to gain from this study of the genealogies of Scripture?

2. Did you write your prayer, which you can use as we begin to thresh these gleanings? Review and upgrade it, if need be.

3. Should we expect all the genealogies of Scripture to be incorporated into the Lamb’s Book of Life? Which ones are likely to be omitted? Then why should we care about them?

He is here describing the church of the future when, unlike at the present time, the evil will not be mixed in along with the good and allowed to live with them. For the good alone will reign with Christ with whom and in whom they will live happily forever, namely, in that heavenly Jerusalem that is the mother of all. Indeed, it says that they are written in the book of the Lamb [to whom] he said, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Primasius (fl. 550-560), commentary on the Apocalypse 21.27

Lord, help me to live as one whose name is written in the great genealogy of Jesus, the Lamb’s Book of Life, so that today I…

Pray Psalm 125.1-5.
Thank God for all His glorious City, and all those who inhabit it, and for the King Who rules over it. Then go forth as an ambassador of that City today.

Sing Psalm 125.1-5.
Psalm 125.1-5 (St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!
Like the hills surrounding safe Jerusalem,
Christ surrounds His Church and holds her in His mighty Hand!
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Wickedness shall rest not on this holy land.
Sinfulness shall never come forth from their hand. 
Trusting in the Savior, firm in His caress,
ever shall His favor on this holy city rest.
Refrain

Lord, do good and care for those upright in heart.
All who turn to evil shall from You depart.
Sinful men may increase, on their way to hell!
Save Your people, let your peace abound in Israel!
Refrain


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). You can download the weekly studies in this series by clicking 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