Thursday, 21 October 2010
The Roots in Messiah's Family Tree and the Means by which we are Grafted in; Genesis 10:5, 21
This Chapter contains the history of the first branching out of the race of men, into families and households, of which, in after ages, the whole earth is overspread.
Here are no less than seventy distinct roots of nations noticed, but only one nation upon earth and that is God's ancient people, the Jews, who can say from which of the seventy it sprung.
The sacred historian gives a short account of the posterity of Japheth, and of Ham, but enlargeth chiefly upon that of Shem, because from that stock, after the flesh, the Messiah was to arise.
"By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations" (Genesis 10:5).
This verse is, in my apprehension, the most interesting to us of the Gentile church of any in the chapter. cf. Jeremiah 25:22.
Reader! pause over it and remark, that as the posterity of Japheth is here said to have the isles divided unto them for an inheritance; and as the prophet Isaiah in his 42nd chapter, and 4th verse, saith, 'The isles shall wait for the Redeemer's law'; is it not highly probable that the faithful in this our British Isle to which we belong are of the descendants of Japheth?
Moreover it is said in Genesis 9:27 that Japheth shall dwell in the tents of Shem; meaning no doubt that the Gentiles and the Jewish church shall, in the latter day glory, be one fold under one Shepherd.
But do not forget what is there said concerning the glorious event: 'God shall enlarge Japheth'; or, as the margin of the Bible hath it, and so it might have been translated, 'God shall persuade Japheth.'
Yes! it is the divine teaching and influence alone which can accomplish this gracious work.
"Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born" (Genesis 10:21).
Eber, meaning Hebrew, from whence sprung the Jews; Numbers 24:24.
How graciously hath God watched over the promised seed in the family of Shem, and so particularly marked down the descendants of the chosen race from whom, after the flesh, that Holy Thing (as He is emphatically called in His own word) was to spring, Christ in the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever.
And how graciously hath God been pleased to note the features of His people in every age by that uniform mark by which they are known, of a poor and afflicted people.
While the posterity of Ham are said to be the Nimrods of the earth; the offspring of Shem, with whom the blessing was deposited, is among the bond-slaves in Egypt.
Let this teach us, how much better it is to be poor and humble, while belonging to the household of faith, than, void of faith, to be found related even to nobles [cf. Philippians 2:5-10].