Lessons from 1 Chronicles 10-20
10:1-11:19 - Saul’s life can be summed up in one word – ‘unfaithfulness’: ‘he was unfaithful to the Lord’. This is a warning: Don`t become like Saul who ‘did not keep the command of the Lord… and did not seek guidance from the Lord’ (10:13-14). David was quite different from Saul. He became king ‘according to the Word of the Lord’. He grew in strength because ‘the Lord of hosts was with him’ (11:3,9). David was helped greatly by his ‘mighty men, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel’ (11:10). These things were ‘written for our instruction’ (Romans 15:4). Praise God for what He has done in the past – ‘Blessed be the Lord for ever!’ (Psalm 89:52). Pray for more of His blessing in the future – ‘O that some one would give me to drink from the well of Bethlehem’ (11:17; Revelation 22:17; John 7:37-39).
11:20-12:7 - Here, we read of ‘the mighty men of the armies’ (26), ‘the mighty men who helped him in war’ (1). What are we to learn from this list of names? We must look on from here to 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 where we learn some vitally important lessons regarding spiritual warfare. We learn what our war is not and what our weapons are not: ‘we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly’. We learn where our strength comes from and what it is to be used for: ‘the weapons of our warfare… have divine power to destroy strongholds’. We learn about the goal of our warfare: ‘We… take every thought captive to obey Christ’, pressing on toward an ‘obedience’ which ‘is complete’. Make this your prayer, “Lord, help me to be ‘valiant…, a doer of good deeds’ (22).
12:8-13:14 - ‘The kingdom of Saul was turned over to David according to the Word of the Lord’ (23). What was God’s purpose in giving the kingdom to David? ‘In the days of Saul’, there had been spiritual neglect. Now, God was calling His people to return to Him – ‘let us bring again the ark of our God to us’ (3). The people returned to the Lord (4). They rejoiced in Him (13:8). Sadly, their joy was short-lived. Failure to do God’s will lead to the withdrawal of God’s blessing (13:9-10). Where the Word of God remains among God’s people – honoured and given its rightful place – , there will be blessing (13:14). How are we to honour God’s Word? – ‘Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only’. Pray that you will not be a ‘hearer who forgets’. Pray that you will be ‘a doer of God’s Word’ – obedient to God and blessed by God (James 1:22,25).
14:1-15:15 - David recognized that it was ‘the Lord’ who ‘had established him king over Israel’ (14:1). David sought to honour the Lord in everything. We see this in his battles with the Philistines – (a) He ‘inquired of God’ (10,14); (b) He ‘did as God commanded him’ (16,10-11); (c) He gave all the glory to God – ‘God has broken through… the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations’ (11,17). We must learn from David – Seek the will of God; Do the will of God; Give all the glory to God. David was not only a political leader – a king. He was also a spiritual leader, a leader of worship. He calls us to be sanctified, set apart for the Lord. We will not be blessed by the Lord unless we honour Him in our hearts. Let’s be sure to hear and heed this call to live our lives ‘according to the Word of the Lord’ (15:11-15).
15:16-16:6 - David called God’s people to worship. They were ‘to raise sounds of joy’, praising the Lord with ‘loud music’. David did not leave it to others. He gave the lead. Along with all the others, he was there, ‘dancing and making merry’. He was a true spiritual leader. He ‘blessed the people in the Name of the Lord’. He called upon the people to ‘praise the Lord’ (16,28-29,2,4). God calls us to worship Him continually’ (6). May God help us to be the kind of people who take ‘delight in the Word of the Lord, meditating on His Word day and night’ (Psalm 1:2). Our meditation on God’s Word is to be accompanied by obedience to His Word – ‘be careful to do according to all that is written in it’ (Joshua 1:8). This is the true ‘spiritual worship’ God is looking for – the dedication of our lives to Him (Romans 12:1).
16:7-36 - Here, we are called to worship – ‘O give thanks to the Lord… Sing praises to Him… Glory in His holy Name… Seek His presence continually’ (8-11). We are to ‘remember the wonderful works that He has done’. We are to call on others to worship Him – ‘Sing to the Lord , all the earth!’. We ‘worship the Lord’ and, filled with heavenly joy, we say to those around us – ‘Let the earth rejoice… “The Lord reigns!”’ (12,23,29,31). In a book of so many names, this marvellous song of praise stands out. It is a high point. Everything else seems so commonplace. Treasure God’s special high points of praise and worship. Don’t despise the ordinariness of everyday life. Why does God give us His high points? – He wants us to return to our everyday life with renewed strength. ‘Wait on the Lord and renew your strength’ (Isaiah 40:31).
16:37-17:27 - Sometimes, God’s “No” means “Not now. Later”. David wanted to build a Temple for the Lord. God said, “No” – ‘You shall not build Me a House to dwell in’ (1-4). This was not God’s last Word on the matter – ‘one of your own sons… shall build a House for Me’ (11-12). One ministry comes to an end. Another ministry begins. We wonder, ‘Has God said, “No”?’. Has He said, “There will be no blessing”?’. God’s “No” may mean “Not yet”. The blessing will come – but not yet. The “No” was spoken to David, yet still, there was the promise of God: ‘the Lord will build you a House’ (10). The true servant of the Lord does not say, “The blessing must come in my time”! God’s servant rejoices in the “not yet” blessing of God – ‘still the vision awaits its time… If it seem slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay’ (25-27; Habakkuk 2:3).
18:1-20:8 - Victory belongs to God. Victory is given by God. This is the great lesson of David’s victories – ‘the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went’ (18:6,13). There are no ‘giants’ able to stand in the presence of God (20:8). Every ‘giant’ must be brought to the ground. There are ‘giants’ standing in the way of our spiritual growth. The ‘giants’ of unbelief, disobedience, spiritual pride and self-righteousness must not be allowed to hinder our growth in grace. We must fight our spiritual battles in the strength of the Lord, confident that , through His ‘divine power’, ‘every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God’ will be brought to nothing (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Let the ‘giants’ come tumbling down. ‘Grow in the grace and knowledge our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’. Give all the ‘glory’ to Him (2 Peter 3:18).