Read: Genesis 10:21-24
John Wesley Rice, Jr. was a teacher in Alabama. He was a high school guidance counselor, Presbyterian minister, and dean of students at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa. He married Angelena, a science, music, and oratory teacher. Together they had one child and they raised her well in the racially segregated south.
Now, who was their daughter? Condoleezza Rice, a well-known public figure who has served her country many times. She has crossed many racial and gender boundaries, allowing her actions to speak for itself and continues to grow amidst criticism.
There is a good chance her parents had no idea what their daughter was going to accomplish when they were raising her up. And sadly, her mom wasn’t there to witness Condoleezza take the place as Secretary of State. But, John and Angelena did exactly what they were supposed to do as parents, even without realizing the impact their lives would have on the world.
We see Noah’s oldest son, Shem, who has a similar story. The author of Genesis does something a little different in how the genealogy is laid out. Instead of placing the oldest son first, he is placed last. This is due to the fact that Shem’s descendants are the ones whom Abraham is born and thus Christ. But the author also mentions his great-grandson first in the list of descendants, instead of mentioning his sons first. Through Eber, is the line of Abraham.
Shem had no idea the reach his family would have. He was respectful of his father and was blessed by Noah. He was faithful to what God called him to, and through Shem we got the Savior of the world. If Shem was not willing to follow God, he would not be someone we care to learn about. Not everyone can be in the genealogy of Jesus, but Shem was blessed enough to be a part of that.
Much of what we do is without the knowledge of the effect we have. The reach of our actions is unknown and the ripple effect can be far-reaching. What are you doing today that will affect the generations to come? Are your actions something that will be positive for those who come after you or will they be negative? For those who follow the Lord, the effect will be positive, above and beyond anything we can do on our own.
Today, spend some time prayerfully examining your actions. Ask the Lord to help you follow Him to positively affect those around you. Know that much of what you do you will not be seen, but the Lord sees everything you do. The Lord can give you the strength to follow Him, and He will not leave you be.