As unsurprising as it should be, in my search for the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth I have discovered a greater connection to the early church beyond Acts 2.
It has been a little while since I have given an update on my book, and much has happened in between then and now. I have traveled across state back and forth twice, visited new coasts, picked blueberries, and begun packing to move. And while that has slowed progress on my book, I have not stopped writing completely. For the last three weeks I have been working on Arphaxad, third son of Shem. But I had to pause my work. He left more than one line, much like Gomer, and fathered a people beyond the line of Abraham. Because of that, I am still not done with his descendants chapter and will have to update you all of their story later.
But in order to save my sanity – for three weeks of searching for a name can wear on a gal – I worked on and finished Lud, the fourth son of Shem. He is what brings this post to the churches of Asia.
Lud and his people were not easy to find. In fact, I went searching for one word in any text for three days before I found it. In some ways, he and his people disappeared from much of history (and this is after the Hittites, who are simple by comparison). This is mainly because they separated from the rest of the world that, frankly, kept tabs on the people around them. People like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Medians, and of course the Israelites. Israel, their cousins so to speak basically only recorded their existence in prophecy, seeming to have little if any contact with them. Later, the Greeks and Romans kept records of them, even arriving at a mythology loosely based on truth, but such records are posthumous, if you will. Yet in the midst of those records, Lud and his people were found. At the end of it all, I found that they were the Lydians in south-west of Anatolia.
Originally, they were called the Lud or Luddu. While they were descended from Shem, in later times the people appeared more like the sons of Japheth rather than of Shem. For instance, their language was similar to those which came from Javan and their location on the coast probably led to Phoenician influence. Because of these factors and others, Lud was very hard to trace. There are only a handful of references to them in the Scriptures. Also, many confuse them with Mizraim’s son’s people the Luddim, who became the Lybians. But one reference is that the Gospel would be shared with them, and shared with them it was.
While Paul and Silas were on their journey through Anatolia, they stopped at a river and met a group of women there, one of them named Lydia. She dealt in purple cloth, making one wonder about the Phoenician influence. More importantly, she and her family became Christians, and though Paul met her outside of her hometown, she was from a city called Thyatira. This city happens to be one once held by the Lydians. And not only was the city once of Lydia, it was also one of the seven churches written to in the book of Revelation.
In fact, Ephesus, Thyatira, Smyrna, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Sardis were all cities housing churches which were written to in the book of Revelation. All were also found in Lydia. Ephesus even had an epistle written to it, and there was possibly even a letter written to Laodicea. Thus, the prophecy, found in the book of Isaiah, that those in Lud would hear the Word of the Lord was fulfilled.
While very little was known or written about the Lydians, especially their origins in secular history, they were not forgotten regarding the Gospel. Not only was the Gospel sent to them, they were centers of the early christian Church, receiving praise and warning in the book of Revelation. Though their genetic and historical legacy is vague at best, despite that what I can find shows they are in fact descended from Lud, they were not forgotten in the spiritual inheritance as sons. And this lineage is more important than even my task at hand – to find the genealogical lineage of the nations. For in truth, though the nations were separated at Babel and we are of one blood, in Christ, we are all of one body, joined in the inheritance of Christ and united in one family: His Church.
Blessings to you and yours,