Highlights In Today's Reading:
Check out David's descendants in chapter 3. Chapter 4 gives a lot of attention to the tribe of Judah, which is the earthly tribe from which Jesus descended. Here's Jabez and his famous prayer (4:9-10)! Learn a lesson from the accounts in 5:18-22 vs 5:25-26).
Two tribes are contrasted and we see the outcome of each and the reasons why. One is the tribe of Simeon (4:24) whose allotment of land was within Judah on the south and included Beersheba and Ziklag (Josh. 19:1-9). Their genealogy ends by saying: They smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day (I Chr. 4:43).
The smaller tribe of Simeon is contrasted with the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (5:1). The Reubenites were more powerful, but the chapter ends saying: They transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them. And the . . . king of Assyria . . . carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh (5:25-26).
Instead of crossing the Jordan River and possessing the land God had chosen for them, the Reubenites preferred to live in the fertile lands on the east side of the Jordan, outside the promised land and far from the place of worship (Num. 32). They chose what they thought would bring them much greater success. But, the Reubenites were among the first tribes to be conquered and taken as slaves to Assyria. The Reubenites are an example of people who are so involved in the things of the world that God and His Word are not given first consideration. They are willing to settle for less than His best in order to receive material gain and satisfy their own ambitions and pleasures.
Many disqualify themselves from being used of God because they are not stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (I Cor. 15:58). They are driven by emotions and impulses. Reuben, unstable as water (Gen. 49:4), is an example of the New Testament warning: Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:7-8).
This is surely true with Reuben and those who followed his example. They started out great: They cried to God . . . and He was intreated of them; because (at that time) they put their trust in Him (I Chr. 5:20). But Reuben's instability became obvious as time passed for they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land (5:25). They chose the pleasure-seeking, self-satisfying, seductive world over loyalty to God.
Surely, this points out the importance of the warning: Flee . . . youthful lusts (II Tim. 2:22). Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (I Pet. 2:11). Friendship of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).
Thought for Today:
The things of this world often look good to us, but if they are leading us into failure they are not God's will for our lives (I John 2:15).
Through the genealogy of David (I Chr. 3:1-24). Christ the Son of God was also called the Son of David: The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David (Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:23-38; Rom. 1:3).
3:9 concubines =b> slave women that legally became secondary wives; 4:10 coast =b> border ; 4:40 fat =b> rich, good; 5:11 over against =b> across from.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Dean Kearns • English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Eva R. Johnston and Mr. & Mrs. Bob Franklin •Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Officials: Gov. Dave Heineman (NE), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ), and Rep. Jared Polis (CO) • Country: Madagascar (15 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique • Major languages: French and Malagasy • Increasingly anti-Christian • 43% witchcraft, ancestor worship, and some astrology; 21% Protestant; 21% Roman Catholic; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to write His precepts in your heart (Col. 3:16).
Optional Reading: Romans 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:20