“You, indeed, have made my days short in length, and my life span as nothing in Your sight. Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor.” Psalm 39:5 (HCSB)
Have you ever felt nameless among the giants of faith around you – a vapor? You look at women of God who are doing great things for the Lord and every time you turn around you’re hearing their names mentioned for doing this or that in ministry. Their lights seem to shine brighter than all others – than yours. When they experience adversity, you watch them overcome insurmountable obstacles. The favor of the Lord is truly on their lives. It’s as if you can hear God loudly calling their names.
I can’t help but wonder if there were those during David’s time who felt the same way. I think about those unnamed mighty men of valor who fought alongside David or those family members who were never mentioned but impacted his life in ways he himself didn’t even realize. But God knew them and He called their names.
David had three nephews who were spoken of – Joab, Abishai and Asahel (1 Chronicles 2:19-23; 1 Chronicles 3:26-27). They were warriors fighting at his side. These three nephews were the sons of Zeruiah, David’s sister. That’s the only description we find of Zeruiah in Scripture. We can, however, surmise that she raised three courageous sons who became brave and loyal soldiers. We don’t know if she spent many nights praying for them while they were at war, uncertain of how much danger they were in or if she would ever see them again. We don’t know if she had an influence on David’s life growing up. We just don’t know. But God knew her and He called her name.
We then see a random name mentioned right in the middle of a long list of Judah’s relatives – Jabez. We know that he “was more honorable than his brothers” (1 Chronicles 4:9,10). We also know that he called out to God and God answered his prayer. We are not quite sure who Jabez was and where or if he fits in with this extensive list of relatives. But God knew him and He called his name.
It’s very tempting to skip over the genealogies cited in 1 Chronicles 1-6. By the time you reach the third cousin’s nephew who has the same name as his great uncle, you have forgotten who you were reading about in the first place! I agree the genealogies can be very tedious reading. But don’t miss the beauty in the mention of these names. Each name is a person and each person is so very important to God’s story; every bit as important as the names you’re familiar with. They were fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers of people whom God used to do great (and sometimes seemingly small) things to accomplish His Grand Purpose. God knew each one of them – all their hurts, pains, gifts, talents, and purpose – and He called their names.
Even David sometimes felt nameless among the crowd – like a vapor. But God called David’s name and chose him from the sheepfold (Psalms 78:70-71). He has called your name, too, and written it in the Book of Life to spend eternity with Him. He has also called your name so that your life can inspire and make an eternal impact on others – maybe several; maybe just one special person. You are significant. Know it. Believe it. Yes, you, too, my sister in Christ, can say “He knows me and has called my name!”
By Abigail George