Read I Chronicles 3 -- 5
In Today's Reading:
Descendants of David, Solomon, Judah, Simeon, Reuben, Gad and Manasseh
God compares the small tribe of Simeon that chose to live in the promised land to the much larger tribe of Reuben that chose not to settle in the promised land. Just 500 men from the tribe of Simeon went to Mount Seir and defeated and executed the Amalekites that had escaped, and the Simeonites continued to control their inheritance. What a contrast this is to the more powerful, but unfaithful, tribe of Reuben who worshiped the pagan gods of the people of the land. So the God of Israel caused the king of Assyria to defeat the Reubenites and take them into exile.
The Reubenites chose to live in the fertile lands outside the promised land on the eastern side of the Jordan River, even though it was far from the Tabernacle — the only place God had provided for the Israelites to worship Him. But, the Reubenites chose what they believed would bring them greater material success — ignoring their need for spiritual direction and protection.
Jacob's prophecy regarding Reuben truly came to pass. By birthright, the descendants of the firstborn son should have had preeminence over all the other tribes. But Jacob had prophesied that Reuben would be as unstable as water and would not be first in honor because he dishonored his father by committing adultery with one of his father's wives. During the 400-year history of the judges, not one of the judges was from the Tribe of Reuben. Water is a good illustration, because it naturally flows to the lowest possible level. Water is also unstable in that it can be driven by the winds as well as evaporate with the heat.
The Reubenites are an example of some today who often allow the things of the world to keep them from serving the Lord and reading His Word. They too consider the plan of God for their lives less important than satisfying personal ambitions and pleasures. We need not fear that we are not talented enough, strong enough, or good enough because all that God wants us to be or do He makes possible. But, it's up to us to give the things of God priority in our lives. We must not conform to the customs of this world, but our desire should be to let God transform our thoughts and conduct to be in obedience to His Word. Then we will come to know the will of God for our lives.
Devotional commentary also refers to: Genesis 49:3-4; Numbers 32; Jeremiah 10:23.
Through the genealogy of David (see I Chronicles 3:1-24). Christ the Son of God was also called the Son of David (see Matthew 1:1; Luke 3:23-38; also Romans 1:3).
3:9 concubine = slave woman that legally became a secondary wife; 4:10 coast = border ; 4:40 fat = rich, good; 5:11 over against = across from.
Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Dr. Jerry Wiles, Executive Vice Chairman, IBRA · Government Official: Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ) · Country: Bulgaria (9 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Bulgarian and ethnic languages · Newly opened to evangelism · 62% Eastern Orthodox; 10% Muslim; 1% Roman Catholic; less than 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord; He will give you peace and strength (see Daniel 10:19).
Optional Reading: Romans 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 3:16