I want to be in that number!
Lists of names are interspersed throughout Scripture. Some of those lists we recognize as
rather important, i.e., the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1; Luke 3:23-38). Some lists we have
labelled as men and women of faith (Hebrews 11) and other lists are names linked together even
though scattered throughout the Bible (Hall of Shame: Judas Iscariot, Ananias & Sapphira,
Demas, Hymaneus, Alexander, etc.). And then there are lists of individuals associated with
certain events, but may appear to have no further importance (i.e., 1 Chron. 9; Ezra 2;
Nehemiah 3). In fact, the tendency is to ignore these lists altogether because the names are so
difficult to pronounce and seem to have no major importance!
Let me suggest a couple of possibilities as to why these names are important:
If your name has ever been placed on a “good” list, you are filled with pride (not always
a bad thing!) and many times will lead us to even greater accomplishments. I can’t help but think
for some of the people listed in the Old Testament, knowing that their names were attached to a
faithful and diligent lifestyle for the Lord encouraged them to double their efforts to serve God,
even though it may have seemed to them that many no longer cared.
In some of my travels I have the opportunity to see lists of names of individuals who
have contributed in some way to a school or other organization, whether with money, time or
leadership. When looking through the names, I find myself looking for individuals I may know
personally or at least know of them through family ties and acquaintances. Again, it fills us with
pride for those people because of our close ties, especially if they are family members! As
months and years turned into decades and centuries, “hard-copy” names remained as reminders
of faithfulness to God, motivating future generations to a “better” lifestyle in serving the Lord.
Of course, having our own names read in a list of individuals recognized for “good”
things, may very well top the cake. We like to hear our names attached to some great
achievement: perfect attendance, the championship team, graduation with high honors, etc. But
the list to which I want my name attached more than any other, is the list of all the saved! I want
to hear the words, “...enter into the joy of your master” (Mt. 25:23). I would want my children
and grandchildren to hear or see my name of those in heaven, so they would be encouraged to
live faithful lives, too! I know that they will not have the opportunity while on earth to see my
name there, but I do believe with all my heart that they can know I have served my Master
faithfully, not based on my feelings, but based on the truth of God’s Word and my obedience to
it! Yes, I want to be in that number, don’t you?