Watching the news, with all its stories of tragedy and corruption, can challenge your optimism.
But once in a while, you get a tidbit of good news breaking through the negative drone. A human interest story that catches your attention and gives you hope in the midst of all the negative.
This occurs in 1 Chronicles chapters 3-4. 1 Chronicles chapter 3 begins by listing the sons King David had by his many wives and concubines. There, you find the son of a woman with whom David committed adultery…later murdering her husband and lying about it. Also included in the list is the son of the daughter of a foreign king. This son would later rebel against his father David.
Then, 1 Chronicles chapter 4 outlines the greedy and murderous accumulation of land, property, and towns by the descendants of Simeon.
But, in the midst of this darkness, there’s a two-verse ray of hope about a man named Jabez. (1 Chron. 4:9-10) Out of distress and pain, he grew to become one of the most distinguished men of his time. He lived a life of blessing and accumulation, all because of his loyalty and dependence on the God of Israel. This little human interest story catches our attention and gives us hope that we too can be something different in the midst of droning bad news.
But be careful. It’s easy to corrupt this story and turn its focus from one of total dependence on God to one of finding the formula to get more stuff. The first approach will improve the bad news, while the second will just add to it.