I read a lot of good stuff this morning. In Numbers, the wilderness walkers are counted before they enter the land and Joshua is commissioned to succeed Moses (ch. 26 & 27). The reading in Matthew was a call to stay awake and be ready — to keep my head in the game — because “the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24:44). Then Paul, in Romans, rehearses the age old struggle within those who desire to please God. Though they delight in the law of God, in their inner being, they see another dynamic within their bodies compelling them to do that which they know displeases God. And so Paul asks the question,”Who will deliver me from this body of death?” His answer? “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 8:24-25). And then, I closed my reading plan with Psalm 58 and a reminder that my God is a just God and that, one day, every human being will acknowledge it for, “Mankind will say, ‘Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth'” (Ps. 58:11).
Like I said a lot of good stuff. Any number of big ideas to noodle on. But, for whatever reason, it was one word, just a name, that caught my eye and my imagination. A single name, of which little is said and really nothing is known.
The sons of Asher according to their clans: of Imnah, the clan of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the clan of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the clan of the Beriites. Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the clan of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the clan of the Malchielites. And the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. These are the clans of the sons of Asher as they were listed, 53,400. (Numbers 26:44-47 ESV)
Serah. Literally, “the prince breathed.” Easton’s dictionary takes that literal translation and suggests that the name means “princess” or “abundance.”
The biblical record provides no information about her other than that she was a daughter of Asher, the eighth son of Jacob, born by Leah’s servant Zilpah. But what is interesting is that when “the sons of Asher” are listed here, and in the Genesis 46, and in 1Chronicles 7, Serah is always included. Don’t know what it was about Serah, but the Holy Spirit ensures that when you remember Asher’s kids, you remember Serah.
And it’s not what I don’t know about Serah that grabs me this morning, it’s what I do know — that her name is recorded, three times, in the God-breathed Scriptures. Though she is insignificant in terms of history, biblical or otherwise, her name has been recorded forever. Having left no recorded mark on the kingdoms of this earth, her name has so impressed the kingdom of heaven that the Father ensures it will be read, and re-read, and read again by countless numbers throughout the millennia.
I know her name, because God knows her name. Though I know nothing about her, her Creator knows everything about her.
And so, I sit and wonder why God includes her name in the list of the sons of Asher. But I also sit IN wonder at God’s determination to ensure her name is not lost when the sons of Asher are listed. And I imagine that, perhaps, God sits and smiles at my wonder, and delights that her name continues to bring Him such glory.
Serah. Just a name. But a name used of the Spirit to direct my thoughts to the Giver of Names . . . to the Recorder of Names . . . and to His Son, the Name Above All Names.
Yup . . . a lot of good stuff this morning.