1 Chronicles 3-4 – A Glimmer of Hope

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.

2 Samuel 17-18 – Expect the Unexpected Lessons

Ever notice how some of our greatest lessons come to us in ways we didn’t expect? Simple, common-place events can suddenly yield unexpected gems of understanding and insight. Like when your child casually says or does something and suddenly you see things more clearly.

2 Samuel chapters 17 and 18 contain the story of battle plans and battles. Yet, in these narratives, you suddenly get a glimpse into the character and the heart of God Himself.

In these chapters, you see the providence and involvement of God in the plans of men. You get a picture of the loyalty that God exercises toward us. And you actually hear God’s heart of self-sacrificing love for His children. (2 Sam. 18:33) And the fact that these glimpses of God arise out of battle stories is yet another unexpected lesson.

In the midst of our battles, we need to remember that:

  • God is sovereign and providential over our circumstances.
  • He is loyal to us, even when others are not.
  • God loves us with a love that readily and freely lays down His life for ours.

We see these three characteristics displayed powerfully on the cross. On the cross, God demonstrated His providence, loyalty, and love by taking our place and dying on the cross in the person of Jesus. God did what David couldn’t do. He died for us. He died in the place of His rebellious children.

This is a lesson that will surface, not only in 2 Samuel chapters 17 and 18, but everywhere we turn…if we will have the eyes to see it.