Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 19, 2019

Your Family Tree Has Deep Roots

You Have a Direct Line of Descent All the Way Back to God!

The “graying of America” has produced a number of interesting results in almost every area of life. One of the results has been an increased interest in genealogy; there are ads advertising companies that specialize in the study of ancestors, other companies offer an analysis of your DNA and tell you something about where you came from.

Recently my daughter gave me a gift which permitted me to send a saliva sample to a company which analyzed the sample and was able to tell me where my ancestors came from. I had some indication because my paternal grandfather had done some research and determined the Bower line had come from Ireland by way of Nova Scotia and then to Georgia and eventually to Texas.

My DNA indicated I was 99.9% European with the vast majority focused on England and Ireland and much smaller amounts in Germany, France, Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal. I have enjoyed participating in the research studies offered by the company and been informed I’m in the top 3% in terms of my participation.

It seems as we get older, we develop a greater interest in our genealogy and I see I’m following along with that trend. What has also been interesting to me is the number of people I’ve never met who share a measurable amount of my DNA. These are distant relatives who are spread all over the United States and have submitted their saliva samples for testing; this, of course, would be only a minuscule portion of the actual total.

A Vast Number of Ancestors

As I thought on this, the question of numbers of ancestors came to my mind. Out of curiosity, as it is a mathematical consideration, I decided to check on the web and see what I could find regarding the number of ancestors in previous generations and found this “Number of Ancestors in a Given Generation.”  I found some fascinating information there accompanied by some very helpful notes. We are indebted to Diana Gale Matthiesen for this information.

From a strictly mathematical approach, by the 40th generation back you would have over 2 trillion ancestors. The article goes on to explain:

“Based on the table below, if you go back 40 generations, you have over two trillion ancestors!  Of course, this number doesn’t mean you have that many unique ancestors in 40 generations.  What is happening is repetition of ancestors, that is, the same ancestors appearing over and over again in a pedigree.  Repetition seldom appears within the first ten generations, but the further back you go, the more repetition you are likely to find.”

By the time you reach the 10th generation, each single ancestors’ contribution to your DNA would be reduced to 0.09765625 which is negligible.

The notes conclude with:

“The greatly diminishing percentage of one ancestor’s genes in your personal genome as you go back in your pedigree is just one reason why it’s so biologically insignificant to have distant illustrious ancestors. Socially, culturally, and historically it may be very significant to you, personally, but not because you are any kind of genetic “image” of your ancestor. It’s also a cautionary as to why it’s foolish to think you live on in your children. Your genetic contribution to your descendants diminishes so rapidly, the idea that bearing children gives you “continuence” is absurd. You do share 99.9% of your genetic endowment with other human beings; the variable part we study amounts to less than one percent of our genetic endowment. Be more concerned that the human genome has continuence.”

Back to the Beginning

Mankind, our family, started with one man, Adam, who was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27); from Adam, God created Eve and the two of them produced the first descendants. Although the Book of Genesis has a Messianic focus, it provides a general overview of what happened initially, and references one additional point of narrowing down.

At the point of the flood, the human race was continued through one man, Noah. That means we are all descendants of Adam and Noah but the gene pool then begins to spread again. Noah and his wife had three sons who married three women so the present human race is descended from one of those three sons and his wife.

In Genesis 10:1 we read:

“10 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.”

Chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis relate the growth and dispersal of the nations that came from these three sons. It is generally thought that the descendants of Japheth settled in what is now Europe so it would appear I’m likely of the line of Japheth.

The map below shows the distribution of the sons of Noah from Emmanuel Enid Church, Enid, OK Sermon Notes; “The Descendants of Japheth, Indo-Europeans and Western Civilization.”

The Tower of Babel was certainly effective in doing the job God wanted it to do; the nations were widely dispersed and the language differences prevail to this day.

What Now?

Regardless of any visible differences, we have many important things in common with one another. We all share in our common origin, our common problem (Romans 5:12), and our need for a Savior and we must all look to the Lord Jesus Christ for deliverance.

We should strive to establish a Godly perspective on all aspects of life and living and let the Bible be our guide as we view mankind.

One of Satan’s cleverest ploys is racism; this takes the focus off the condition of the eternal spirit, and redirects it to the external appearance of the temporary abode the spirit occupies, the tent, as Paul describes it in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 where it is written:

“5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

Rethinking Who and What You Are!

It is so important to recognize that you are not your tent; the visible part of you is the only part of you that has not been redeemed when you were born again. It still suffers under the Adamic curse and can never join you in heaven!

You have waiting for you a “habitation which is from heaven,a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (I have no idea what our heavenly habitation will look like and quite frankly I really don’t care; if it pleases God then it pleases me!)

The appearance of your tent is a temporary, relatively inconsequential matter, the only truly important consideration regarding your tent concerns the occupant; is the occupant spiritually dead or alive.

Your tent has come to pass and pass it will; you as the occupant, on the other hand, are eternal and will not only outlast your present tent, but the entire creation in which you live.

Keep your priorities straight, make sure you are right with God by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior; do this and all else fades into comparatively trivial insignificance!



  1. I enjoyed reading about your European ancestry! I just sent off for the Ancestry DNA kit, myself. It was on sale so I decided to purchase it. I’m looking forward, one day, to my “new tent” that isn’t tired and achy! Praising our Savior for eternal salvation! Have a good day, David!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It intrigues me to think how blended an individual I am, to imagine that every age in history included someone from whom I’m ever so remotely descended. It’s rather humbling to reflect on the extent of our integration with humanity.

      Thank you for commenting!


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