Recently I noticed what seemed to me to be an increased advertising for companies that will help you search your genealogy; your ancestry. I didn’t know if that perception was real or imagined. So I researched it. I Googled the topic. Indeed, my impression was accurate. The first headline I saw read:
“Paid Search Advertising Spent on DNA Testing & Genealogy Grows 81% Since 2015.”
The article reported, “During the 12-month period (June 2016 through May 2017), we found 1,014 advertisers spent $7.8 million sponsoring the DNA testing and genealogy keyword group—a 49% increase over the same period ending in May 2016 and an 81% increase over the same period ending in May 2015, suggesting such products have significantly grown in popularity with consumers over the last three years.”
Experts tell us 2 motives are driving this advertising surge. First is a curiosity about our “family tree.” Personally, I have never wondered if Uncle Bill was a scoundrel or Auntie was a floozy. In fact, I am sure they were. And my guess is they represent the good side of the family. The second and more serious motivation is a search for DNA information. When gathered this data might be helpful in locating a birth parent or provide evidence that could prove beneficial to diagnosing and treating a medical issue.
I spent far too much time reading about this testing. The claims being made were surrounded by disclaimers. The promotional material touted both the accuracy and limitation of the testing. While initial test results were somewhat reliable, the further you examined tracing each generation, the test conclusions become less dependable.
I decided to conduct my own investigation of my ancestors. Was there an explanation for why I am the way I am? I didn’t hunt for the answers to:
Why I am short?
Why are my eyes blue?
Why do my arteries tend to clog?
I was more curious about why I behave the way I do. Why am I attracted to things I know are not good for me? Why am I selfish? Why do I love comfort and despise any inconvenience even if it is for something worthwhile? I was determined to examine as far back in time as possible.
This endeavor proved much easier than I expected. I didn’t need to submit a blood sample. It didn’t cost me thousands or even hundreds of dollars. It didn’t take much time. I was able to go back generations. Far back--all the way to the beginning of time. Along the way I discovered all of us are “related”; that is we share a common spiritualDNA.
God, the only eyewitness to the moment of creation, tells us that He created man and woman. I learned that all 14-billion people who have ever lived descended from an original set of parents, Adam and Eve. The experience of Adam and Eve explains us. Although their zip code was Paradise they wanted an “upgrade.” So, they ignored God’s word and decided to go their own way--to sin. Their tattoos read, “Not Thy will but My will be done.” When they acted on that decision they immediately alienated themselves from God, from one another and from the rest of creation. Hold on, it gets worse. They tossed everything upside down. The consequence they suffered affected not only them but all of their descendants. The Apostle Paul gives us that information when he writes in Romans 5:12 (NASB): “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men.” Stated concisely in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
This nugget is a crucial piece in understanding our situation. It explains you, me, and the world. In his commentary on Genesis 3, written in the late 1970s, Ray Stedman observes, “We come to Chapter 3 of Genesis with a heightened sense of anticipation. In many ways this is the most important piece of information ever conveyed to man. Here is the ultimate explanation for the tensions this morning among the nations over the Korean incident, or the war in Vietnam. Here we have the answer to the eternal "Why" that arises in our hearts in times of tragedy or sorrow. Here is the explanation for over a hundred centuries of human heartache, misery, torture, blood, sweat, and tears. Here is the reason for the powerful fascination that LSD and marijuana hold for young people today; for the passion for power and the lure of wealth and the enticements of forbidden sex, to young and old alike. Here is the only reasonable answer for the existence of these things in the world today.”
The fundamental problem with all of us is sin. It is “baked into” who we are. We cannot fix it through our own determination and effort. Much like Humpty Dumpty we have had a big fall and all the world’s power, might, and wisdom can’t put us back together again. Given this condition, things appear hopeless. But there is hope. The hope we have is Jesus. If you have listened to me teach for a while you can anticipate what comes next.
Our hope is based on the promises God, the character of God, the faithfulness of God, and the sovereignty of God.
The words of the familiar hymn instruct us,
“In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand”
“Talk” again soon.