unexpected-treasure-genesis-36-24

Unexpected Treasure

The last place I expect to find spiritual treasure is in a Biblical genealogy. But Genesis 36:24 tells Anah's brief story and encourages us to be diligent.
Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

Our family has an ongoing friendly competition. You might call it treasure hunting. It began when my husband found 25¢ in a parking lot. Soon after, one of our kids found a dollar on the sidewalk. The next winning find was a $5 bill sticking out of a street drain. By far the record-holder is the $50 found in a coat from the thrift store. 

The fun in these treasures is the unexpectedness. My husband wasn’t thinking about finding money when he parked the car at the store. The last thing on our kids’ minds during their walk to school was money. And we certainly don’t shop for clothes at the thrift store expecting a fortune in the pocket!

The last place we expect to find a spiritual treasure is in a Biblical genealogy. But in my last read through Genesis 36, I suddenly glimpsed a golden nugget in verse 24. 

These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah—he is the Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness when he was pasturing the donkeys of his father Zibeon (Genesis 36:24, NASB).”

Imagine Anah, meandering around the wilderness with his father’s donkeys. It was a day like any other day. Pasturing donkeys wasn’t exactly the kind of work to win a man high acclaim. A mundane, yet necessary task. And Anah carried it out diligently. 

Perhaps he rounded a corner hoping to find another great spot for the donkeys to feast. Maybe he was tired and looking for a shaded area to rest a while. Whatever the case, he happened upon some hot springs no one else knew about. 

An unexpected discovery. A hidden treasure found. 

These springs would’ve been valuable for the surrounding communities. We know, at least, they were important enough to warrant a special mention of Anah in this genealogy. God saw fit to include Anah’s story in His inspired Word! 

Anah’s story reminds us that we don’t know the future. The unexpected can happen any time, even in the midst of seemingly mundane chores or drudgery. Let’s not lose heart, work diligently at whatever God has called us to do, and keep our eyes on the prize of the upward call of God (Philippians 3:14).

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9, NLT).”

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