April 25: 1 Chronicles 3-5
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
18 The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had valiant men who carried shield and sword, and drew the bow, expert in war, 44,760, able to go to war. 19 They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. 20 And when they prevailed over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him. 21 They carried off their livestock: 50,000 of their camels, 250,000 sheep, 2,000 donkeys, and 100,000 men alive. 22 For many fell, because the war was of God. And they lived in their place until the exile.
23 The members of the half-tribe of Manasseh lived in the land. They were very numerous from Bashan to Baal-hermon, Senir, and Mount Hermon. 24 These were the heads of their fathers' houses: Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty warriors, famous men, heads of their fathers' houses. 25 But they broke faith with the God of their fathers, and whored after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.
1 Chronicles 5:18-26
I remember hesitating when I thought of writing a daily Bible devotional based upon a chronological reading of the Bible. What am I going to do when I get to chapters that just give genealogies? Oh, me of little faith!
Today is one such day! But, right in the middle of the genealogical records are some rather interesting interludes. I have included two of them from today's reading. In both cases we see God's hand in response to cries for help. Most are familiar with the prayer of Jabez, from 1 Chronicles 4:9-10; God granted his prayer of faith.
Now, look at 1 Chronicles 5:18-26, regarding the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. In verses 18-22 we are told of their amazing victory over the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. The key to their victory is found in verse 20,
And when they prevailed over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him.
What a sad epitaph to read in verses 23-26, of these same people. When they broke faith with God they were taken into exile by the King of Assyria.
What do these interludes teach us today? As individuals and as nations, when we cry out to God in true faith, He hears and answers our prayers. That does not mean, however, He will not chastise us if we fall away from Him.
Pray today that God will grant you faithfulness to Him, that no matter what the circumstances around you may be, you will bow before Him alone, and not go after the gods of those around you.
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.