1 Chronicles 7:27   Nun his son and Joshua his son.

The first half of 1 Chronicles does not make very inspiring reading; it’s a bit like the phone book: plenty of characters, and not much plot!

But tucked away in chapter after chapter of lists of names and relationships are a few significant gems in the light of salvation history.  Joshua was a well-known, mighty ‘saviour’ of his people – which is what his name means, the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek name, ‘Jesus’.  He was the successor of Moses, and the champion of the conquest of Jericho and most of the rest of Canaan.  Many boys today are named after him.  His father, Nun, on the other hand, is someone we know very little about.  He only rates seven short lines in my ‘International Standard Bible Encyclopedia’, and I don’t know of anyone who bears that name today. The Chronicler tells us nothing else about him, only that he is the father of Joshua, and therefore that he is part of the Adam-Abraham-Israel-Joseph-Ephraim family line.  (Some of us spend the first half of our lives as the child of our parent(s), and the second half as the parent of our child(ren)!)

But for us today, Nun is a gentle reminder that God is sovereign in the world he has made, and in every detail of human history.  He takes ordinary people, insignificant names in a long list of heroes – the children of their parents and the parents of their children – and he uses them in an amazing way to achieve his eternal purposes.  And others in the list, even though we might never hear of them again, are still part of that vital Plan.  We might never know the breadth or depth of the impact our ordinary lives have on others to whom God gives a higher profile, but we do know that all he requires of us is to be faithful in the particular calling and place he has allotted to us.

I like the Apostle Paul’s gentle reminder in1 Corinthians 4:1-2, that all God requires of us is to be ‘faithful’ to him in the part he calls us to play in the overall scheme of things – and this applies even if we are only cast in a very minor role.  As Amy Carmichael has written, God’s final word to us will NOT be, “Well done thou good and SUCCESSFUL servant …”, but,  “Well done thou good and FAITHFUL servant,  … enter into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21, 23 – KJV) (‘His Thoughts Said, His Father Said’ – Amy Carmichael).