The Scriptorium

What Profit?

Much benefit can be mined from these texts. 2 Timothy 3.15-17

Gleanealogy: Gleanings (6)

Pray Psalm 19.12-14.
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

Sing contemplatively Psalm 19.12-14.
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
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!

Read 2 Timothy 3.15-17.

1. How have you found this study of genealogies to be of “profit” in your walk with the Lord?

2. In what ways do you hope reading genealogies in the future will make you more “complete” in Christ?

Here’s a simple syllogism:

  All Scripture is profitable;
  The genealogies are part of Scripture;
  Therefore, the genealogies are profitable.

That has been the guiding premise throughout this brief study of the genealogies of Scripture. One of the ways that we may profit from this study is by gaining renewed excitement about reading and studying the Bible. Precious gems to profit our souls are embedded in each of these genealogies, and hopefully you are encouraged to mine them a little more carefully hereafter. Careful reading and thoughtful meditation on these genealogies can help us to become more complete in Christ, and equip us for good works in emulation of that great cloud of witnesses.

What profit of doctrine do the genealogies hold? They remind us that God is faithful, His covenant and promises are sure, and that His project cannot fail. They point to Jesus as the Head of the faithful people, and offer many insights to His character and work.

What profit of reproof or correction do they offer? Each name in those lists matters. But the ones we can connect to larger stories in the Scripture – the “big” names – should, as we come upon them, cause us to seek lessons for our own lives. How does this or that saint reprove or correct us? By looking back at the lives of those mentioned in the genealogies, we can, with God’s help, learn to live more Godly lives in our day.

What profit of instruction in righteousness do the genealogies provide? They remind us that, as God’s people, we are called to be holy, righteous, good, and diligent about the project to which He has called us in our place of service. We see what God approves in them. We rejoice in their faithfulness in their day. We see how God corrects them. And we can learn from them what God requires of us in keeping the faith with our forebears and providing an example for the generations to come.

Now, as you read the genealogies, remember that they are the Word of God, and they can be profitable to us in many ways. Slow down. Read names aloud. Thank God for these saints. Reflect on their lives, and on God’s faithfulness to and through them. Seek concrete instruction for how you can follow in their train as one whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

1. What would you say to someone who asks you how to read the genealogies of Scripture?

2. How will your own approach to reading the genealogies change as a result of this study?

3. What profit do you expect to gain from reading the genealogies in this way?

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. This is the orthodox faith. It is adorned with its evergreen leaves, with actions pleasing to God. John of Damascus (650-750), The Orthodox Faith 4.17

Help me to read
all Your Word with profit, Lord, so that I…

Pray Psalm 19.7-11.
Thank the Lord for His Word – all His Word. Ask the Spirit to use His Word to transform you into the image of Jesus, and be specific in areas where you need to grow. Thank Him for the genealogies of Scripture, and for what you’ve learned concerning how they can be of profit to you in your walk with the Lord.

Sing Psalm 19.7-11.
Psalm 19.7-11 (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.

T. M. Moore

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