A Footnote in History

Last night, I started reading Chronicles 1 & 2 (part of my daily Bible reading plan), and in the three hours of sleep I got, I tossed and turned, until I finally just got back up and had my devotional.  My prayer last night had, in all honesty, begun to bug me and had bled into my morning devotional.

After reading the select scriptures, I found myself attracted to the footnote-like additions that would appear by a name.  E.g. Nimrod; Timnah; the mentioning of Tamar (a heroing, fascinating account (Genesis 38) of total utter boldness… it is by far my favorite account of a stepping stone in both the lineage of David and Jesus through this obscure woman in the Old Testament, and one I obsessed over and studied for years!); Uri of Bezalel — the list goes on and on.

Each of the people mentioned in both books of Chronicles is obviously important.  It was the heritage and lineage of the Israeliets.  Exiled and relocated to foreign lands, it was important that the people REMEMBERED their heritage.  REMEMBERED where they came from, and who their God was.  Think about it… it wouldn’t have taken long for the culture to be lost while not only living but expected to be fully, culturally integrated into their conquerer’s culture (religions and customs).

In a nutshell, the only thing that was going to hold them together (after full tribes and families were being divided and displaced – many never to see one another again), was the re-accounting of the family tree, written down — documented, so that the people of Israel would NEVER forget where they came from; and in return, would remember the promises and convenant God made with their ancestors.

So why the obscure mentionings of a select few in the family tree?  Little side notes that would periodically appear by a certain name?  Some good, and some… not so good.  Take Nimrod for example.  Several dozen names are mentioned, when suddenly an addition is made to describing one of Cush’s sons – Nimrod.  The Word says that he had begun to be a mighty warrior upon the Earth.

Not much is mentioned about Nimrod after this, or really before this and yet he is indeed mentioned in prior scriptures, Genesis 10 primarily.  All that we know is that he ruled many lands, was powerful, a conquerer, and a mighty warrior and hunter before God. The Bible and outsides texts paints different pictures of our little known Nimrod.  Perhaps the reason why he has made it outside of the Bible, is because of what other people noticed, as well.  An obscure mentioning about Nimrod in the Word of God, where everyone else around him was just simply noted in the family tree.

None of this is to say that less importance should be made to those that didn’t have that little asterisk beside their name, so to speak.  It just simply means that the scribe wanted to bring to attnetion that there was something exceptional that needed to be said about particular individuals.

Last night as I finished reading, I was praying, and I suddenly asked at the end of my prayer, “Father, will there be a footnote by my name?”  Something in me screamed, shouted.  Like I got slapped on the back of the head suddenly.  I was thrown back, said “Amen,” had gone to bed.  But as I said, that didn’t last long.

This morning as I was having my devotional, it continued to bug me on what I had asked.  I started meditating on my words, and the answer soon came.  Why a footnote?  The question to myself stunned me.  Yea…. why did I say footnote?

I was suddenly reminded of this song called “Legacy,” and the chorus always rung true with me:

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering; a child of mercy and grace
Who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

Catchy chorus.  Good song.  Never really thought too much on the chorus until this morning though.  I started to hear the Lord say to me, “Why a footnote?  Is that all that you think you are?  A footnote?”

I began to cry, as God reitterated His love, His faith, and His hope for me.  We are all more than a footnote.  We are children of the Most High.  We are LIVING legacies that will continue on well past we are gone.  It takes the call to love, and the action to walk in that love, and all that falls in place because of it.

Footnotes can be nice, but I don’t want to be a footnote, folks.  I don’t want a simple statement on my grave marker to be all that’s left of me.  I want to leave a legacy that surpasses something on a marker.  A legacy exists with the ones you leave behind and remember the effect you had on their lives.  A legacy exists because you TOUCHED someone in a way that cannot be forgotten.  A legacy exists when you’ve changed the circumstances around you, and effectively the lives of those around you as well.  A legacy exists when you have the boldness and conviction to stand by your beliefs and your faithfulness in those beliefs and those around you are witnessed to that.  A legacy is more than a footnote.  I don’t want to be a footnote in the history books — a footnote among my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I want to be legacy where when it is all said and done… the Lord looks down on the lives of those I touched in His name, for His kingdom, for His glory, and I simply hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Think about it.

I love you, guys!
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
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