The concluding chapter of the Book of Romans is primarily a list of names, preserved down through the centuries for The Church to read.
There are many lists of names found in God’s Word.
In Genesis 5 the descendants of Adam are listed. In Genesis 10 we find the table of nations, which is a big list of names. In the Book of Numbers, we find a list of the names of the tribes of Israel and the names of the members of those tribes arrayed around the Tabernacle. Each of these lists are extensive. Detailed.
Sometimes, when we are studying God’s Word and we come to one of these lists of names contained in God’s Word, we tend to fuzz our eyes and skip reading most of, if not all the passage, thinking to ourselves, “I can NEVER remember these names because they are so foreign to me – and because they really have no meaning to me.”
I’m glad God doesn’t think that way.
If nothing else, these extensive lists of names contained in God’s word prove to me God knows my name, and He is very aware of me.
That God knows our name should be very comforting to the believer in Christ. Sometimes we may think, “Of all the billions of people who have ever lived and been created by God, how can He possibly remember MY name among all those names – and how can He possibly know ME?”
And then we come to a passage such as Romans 16 and we see this list of names and it dawns on us the true significance of the list. It is a powerful truth. God DOES know our name. He knows my name, and He knows yours. (He ALSO knows the names of ALL the stars.)
Not only does God know our names, He also knows everything we do for Him out of our love for Him. Not even the smallest thing we do for Him escapes His notice and is worthy of Him listing alongside our name in our account. God is a keeper of records, and He likewise sees fit the names of those preceding us in our heritage do not and cannot escape our notice. (Unless of course, we simply skip over the reading of the names because we regard them as insignificant to us.)
So, we have this list of names in Romans 16. Should we just skip over them and move on to 1st Corinthians in our study? Or, should we read them over and over and relish the fact this is a list of the names of those who planted the Church at Rome?
And there is another list of names I am particularly grateful to know God keeps. I am thankful to know my name is written and preserved in The Lamb’s Book of Life for all to see. Isn’t it wonderful to know your name is recorded there?