The Bible says in First Chronicles 3:10-24, And Solomon's son was Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, Amon his son, Josiah his son. And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son. And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son, Malchiram also, and Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister: And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushab-hesed, five. And the sons of Hananiah; Pelatiah, and Jesaiah: the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shechaniah. And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah; and the sons of Shemaiah; Hattush, and Igeal, and Bariah, and Neariah, and Shaphat, six. And the sons of Neariah; Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam, three. And the sons of Elioenai were, Hodaiah, and Eliashib, and Pelaiah, and Akkub, and Johanan, and Dalaiah, and Anani, seven. These verses list the descendants of Solomon. And of course, we know that the Messiah (King Jesus) would eventually come in this lineage based upon the promises that God made to David. David and Solomon were kings under the united Israel. Because of a civil war, the nation was divided into two kingdoms: the northern kingdom was still called Israel, and the southern kingdom was called Judah where Jerusalem was and where the descendants of David reigned. Jerusalem and Judah were eventually conquered by Babylon, and so the last king was Zedekiah, who is mentioned in verse sixteen. Any of the people listed after Zedekiah could have been king, but they were not because of the sins of Israel and because of the chastisement of God upon their nation. But in spite of peoples failures, Gods plans continued on. There were no more kings after Zedekiah until Jesus, but the lineage continued because was going to fulfill His plan.
The Bible says in First Chronicles 4:1-10, The sons of Judah; Pharez, Hezron, and Carmi, and Hur, and Shobal. And Reaiah the son of Shobal begat Jahath; and Jahath begat Ahumai and Lahad. These are the families of the Zorathites. And these were of the father of Etam; Jezreel, and Ishma, and Idbash: and the name of their sister was Hazelelponi: And Penuel the father of Gedor and Ezer the father of Hushah. These are the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah, the father of Bethlehem. And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah. And Naarah bare him Ahuzam, and Hepher, and Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. And the sons of Helah were, Zereth, and Jezoar, and Ethnan. And Coz begat Anub, and Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum. And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. We can learn a lot from Jabez who is mentioned in verses nine and ten. The first thing said about him is that he was more honourable than his brethren. The second thing that we are told about Jabez is that his mother bare him with sorrow. It is a good thing that the modern abortion industry did not exist at that time. Every life is precious. Because Jabez was not aborted, he became more honorable than his brethren, and we can learn why he was more honorable. First of all, in verse ten we see that Jabez was a man of prayer. Notice the prayer that he prayed. He asked for four things. First, he asked for blessings from God. He recognized that blessings only come from God. Some people over-use the word luck. Phrases such as wish me luck, or this is your lucky day, or that was luck and not always the best phrase to use to describe good things happening. Good things are blessings from God, not luck. If you are wise, you will be like Jabez and seek blessings from God. God wants to bless you. In Matthew 5:9-11 Jesus told us nine ways to get blessings from God. Jesus said, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Jabez asked God to enlarge my coast. This was the second thing that Jabez asked from God. This refers to material needs. If you are smart, you want to do more than just survive in life: you also will want to prosper. Of course, if God allows you to prosper, you need to recognize Gods hand in that, and you will want to dedicate all that you have to Gods glory. If God does give you more than you need, it means that He wants you to use it for His glory. Someone must pay the electric bill and other bills for every ministry. Maybe God wants to use you for that part of His work. Where is your treasure? Is it still on the earth, or is it in heaven? Jesus said, Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also.
The third thing that Jabez asked God for is seen in his request to God: that thine hand might be with me. Jabez understood that one of the purposes of human lifer is to learn to walk with God. Jabez knew that he needed God in his life. We are told this very thing about one of the Old Testament believers named Enoch. It says in Genesis 5:24, And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him. Jesus wants to be with us and to walk with us every day. That is why Jesus told His believers, Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.
Finally, Jabez asked God, that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! Both good and evil exist in this world, just as both darkness and light exist. Some people do not have enough awareness of the fact that evil exists. That can happen to young people as they start make decisions for themselves. Be careful or you will fall into evil. Evil can come into your life from a supposed friend, a family member, or a stranger. Evil can come from the internet, or from a book, or from a movie. Evil can come from your own heart or your own imagination. Jabez was wise. Because of the amount of evil in the world, and because of the power of evil, Jabez knew that he needed Gods help to avoid falling into temptation and evil. Jesus knew it too. Jesus told us to pray in Matthew 6:13, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
The rest of chapter four gives many names in a long list of this continuing genealogy. Sometimes in this list we are told a little more about some of the individuals. For example, in verse fourteen it says, And Meonothai begat Ophrah: and Seraiah begat Joab, the father of the valley of Charashim; for they were craftsmen. In verse twenty-one it tells about the sons of Shelah and says that they were of them that wrought fine linen. Verse twenty-two names more descendants of Judah and says about them in verse twenty-three, These were the potters In other words people were known for the work that they did. The same is true about each of us. Most of our time goes into our occupations and our jobs. Therefore, if we are Christians, the work that we do to pay our bills is our service to God if we have the right attitude about it. Jesus Himself was a carpenter most of his adult life. There is no difference between the sacred and the secular. Every day when you go to work, dedicate in your heart your time and your effort to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. It says in First Corinthians 10:31, whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. It says in Colossians 3:17, And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus And it says in Colossians 3:23, And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
It says in First Chronicles 4:27, And Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brethren had not many children, neither did all their family multiply, like to the children of Judah. Shimei had a lot of children: twenty-two. That is a lot of kids. In the days of the Old Testament that was a very good thing. Almost all work was manual labor, and so the more hands that a family had, the more work that could get done for the benefit of the family. Having children was seen as a great blessing from God. It says in Psalms 127:3-5, Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. For the Jewish people, the more children that you had, the more that you were taking part in the great promise made by God to Abraham that God would make out of Abraham a great nation. Of course, some couples have children, and some do not. Some have boys, and some have girls, and some have both. It all depends upon Gods will.
Notice First Chronicles 5:1, Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. Reuben was the first of the sons of Israel, but this verse points out a terrible thing about Reuben: he defiled his father's bed. This immorality is described in Genesis 35:22-26 that says, And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padan-aram. These verses simply list the names of the twelve sons of Israel. Nothing is said about any of them except for Reuben and his immorality. Reuben and his immorality is remembered almost one thousand years later when the book of First Chronicles is written. One of the evidences of the truth of the Bible is the fact that the faults, failures, and sins of people are listed as well as their strengths and victories. Most ancient people including the Egyptians would say nothing about their failures. Reubens immorality cost him. The royal lineage did not go through Reuben, as one might expect for the oldest son. It went through Judah by Gods calling. The son who rose to prominence in Egypt and thus was used of God to save the family was not Reuben as one might expect of the oldest son. It was Joseph. Reuben was told in Genesis 49:4, Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Immorality destroys because there is a God who watches the affairs of men and women. The Bible says that a man should leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife. Thankfully, Jesus died for all sin, and Jesus forgives all who come to Him.
Copyright; 2021 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
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