O. T. #895 "Putting a Puzzle Together"
Dec. 30, 2016
1 Chronicles 10
Nothing is impossible for God. Luke 1:37
LET IT GLOW
If you have ever put together a thousand piece puzzle, like me, you know it is hard to see the big picture while putting together only sections and pieces at a time. This book of the Bible is the bigger picture, of which we only see sections. We can stand back and get a bigger glimpse of how it all comes together, piece by piece, section by section.
What has happened between the time of those 40 kings of Israel and Judah in 2 Kings and 1 Chronicles? Israel was conquered by Assyria and later Babylon, then Judah was taken captive to Babylon for some 70 years. Then the Meads and Persians took over the Babylonian empire. The king of Persia, Cyrus, released the Jews to return to their land and city of Jerusalem. They went in three different groups, repairing the walls around Jerusalem and rebuilding the Temple, reestablishing a government and worship system for God. We can see God's hand in Israel as His story is given.
The historical books of 1 and 2 Samuel, Kings and Chronicles are similar. The purposes of Ezra, the priest of Israel and writer of this book, was to make sure the returning Jews knew about their heritage, King David's promise from God to always have a descendant upon the throne, and Israel's faith in God, including God's faithfulness and blessings.
In chapters 1-9, we read of the heirs and their families of the promises made to and through the patriarchs. Ezra listed the genealogy of David's family. The tribes Judah and Benjamin remained under David's grandson's reign (Rehoboam), with other kings in the Davidic line and dynasty. This was so important in that some 500 years later, Joseph, the adopted father of our Lord Jesus, is referred to as a "son of David" in Matthew 1, making Jesus the rightful heir to the throne of David.
Do we see God's Sovereign hand upon the lives of people throughout the Bible? What about our families? Can we see God weaving through the lives of our ancestors? To bring home, do we see God's hand moving upon our life and our family?
LET IT GROW
Now the rest of this book is centered around King David's reign over Israel, before Israel split into two kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Before David became king, Saul reigned as Israel's first king. Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin, while David was of the tribe of Judah.
Here is the tragic end of Saul and his sons. While Israel and these men fought against the Philistines, Saul's three sons were killed in battle. Then archers hit Saul and wounded him. Saul told his armorbearer to kill him before the enemy came and tortured him, but he refused. Saul took his sword and fell upon it, ending his life.
The next day, the Philistines found Saul and his sons dead in the field. They cut off Saul's head and stripped off his armor. Then they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan and his head to the house of Dagon, where they worshiped the false god. When the Israeli men at Jabesh-gilead heard about this, they rescued Saul's body his sons' bodies and buried them. (verse 11)
Ezra left out the details of Saul's life, presuming that his readers wee acquainted with the failure of his life. In verse 13-14, we find out that the LORD slew Saul because of the transgressions he committed against the LORD. Saul had enquired advice from a medium and familiar spirit instead of asking the Lord what to do. Saul's rebellion and disobedience was judged. (Deut.17-18)
What can we learn from this story?
It is not enough just to avoid what is wrong; we need to actively purse what is right. (Life Application Study Bible)
Only by the grace of God through the death of Jesus is anyone spared from death, the natural consequences of disobedience. (David Jeremiah)
This demonstrates that human behavior is under the ultimate control of God, who achieves His purpose through the actions of people. (MacArthur)
Henry Blackaby tells us that true worship of God is life-changing. True worship results in repentance, obedient submission, and a desire for holiness (Isaiah 6:1-8). The one who truly worships God will have a sense of peace and a confident expectation of what God is about to do.
LET IT GO
Worship God in spirit and in truth.
Repent, submit, and seek holiness.
Believe that nothing is impossible for God.