First Chronicles 5:2

 

The Bible says in First Chronicles 5:2-6, “For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:)[3] The sons, I say, of Reuben the firstborn of Israel were, Hannoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.[4] The sons of Joel; Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son,[5] Micah his son, Reaia his son, Baal his son,[6] Beerah his son, whom Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria carried away captive: he was prince of the Reubenites.” Verse two says the most important thing that could be said about Judah, “of him came the chief ruler.” King David and other kings after David came in the lineage of Judah. That was God’s plan. God has a plan, and God makes sure that His plan goes into effect. And of course, the greatest king who will come in the lineage of Judah and David is the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why the New Testament in Matthew 1:1 starts with the words, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David…” But notice that verse six speaks of “Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria.” Of course, he was not a Jew and not in the lineage of Judah, but he is king. No matter how much human beings appear to interrupt God’s plan, God’s plan keeps marching on. The Lord will decide what happens. Jesus will be King of the whole world. He will return to accomplish this because Jacob gave a prophetic word from the Lord about Judah in Genesis 49:10, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be

 

One of the purposes of the next several verses is to tell how prosperous the Israelites had become in the land of Canaan, and how great their victories had been. That stands in great contrast to what eventually happened to them: they were conquered by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The Bible says in First Chronicles 5:8-11, “And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelt in Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baal-meon:[9] And eastward he inhabited unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates: because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead.[10] And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east land of Gilead.[11] And the children of Gad dwelt over against them, in the land of Bashan unto Salchah:” Notice in verse nine that these Jewish people had their cattle even “from the river Euphrates.” That territory covers a good deal of the modern nation of Iraq. The land that the ancient people of Israel controlled was much greater than boundaries of the current nation of Israel.

 

Notice that the Bible says in First Chronicles 5:18-22, “The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war.[19] And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab.[20] And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.[21] And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand.[22] For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.” As the writer of First Chronicles is going through the genealogy, he writes down some of the battles and wars that the children of Israel had where they were victorious. The veterans and the soldiers are honored. Life is hard. Nations have enemies. God decides who wins and who loses. In verse twenty it says that “they cried to God in the battle.” That is a good idea no matter what is the battle you are facing in life. Of course, if you stop calling upon the Lord, do not expect Him to give you victories. That also happened to the Israelites. It states in First Chronicles 5:25-26, “And 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.[26] And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.”  

 

The first thirty verses of chapter six are a long list of names of the descendants of Levi. These were the priests and those that worked in the temple. Notice that the Bible says in First Chronicles 6:30-33, “Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son.[31] And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest.[32] And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order.[33] And these are they that waited with their children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel,” Notice the phrase in verse thirty-one, “the service of song in the house of the LORD,” and in verse thirty-three the fact that Heman was “a singer.” Singing was important to King David and he set a good example for all of us. The right kind of singing helps to lift the heart and soul up to God in worship and praise. The best singing is done from the heart as unto the Lord. Spiritual singing is one of the important aspects of a true Christian church. The others are: Bible preaching and teaching, prayer, Christian fellowship, and love for one another. It says in Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

 

Lists of names continue through verse forty-seven, and then the Bible says in First Chronicles 6:48-50, “Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.[49] But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar of the burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, and were appointed for all the work of the place most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.[50] And these are the sons of Aaron; Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son,” These verses remind us of a couple of important truths in the Bible. The Levites had a different calling than the other children of Israel who came from the other eleven sons of Jacob. God wanted individuals who would spend more time than the average person in doing the “service of the tabernacle of the house of God.” In the Old Testament “the house of God” was an actual building: the temple. In the New Testament the house of God is not a building, but is made up of people. It says in First Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” And it says in First Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” It also says in First Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” The word “church” literally means “those that are called out.” It does not refer to a building at all: it refers only to the people. A church building is a meeting place. It is not the church, but only the meeting place of the church.

 

In the Old Testament they were constantly doing sacrifices at the temple. We do not mean a few sacrifices. They were constantly killing animals. It was a veritable slaughterhouse. Why were they doing the sacrifices? It says in verse forty-nine, “to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.” There had to be an atonement. God is holy and sin must be punished. In order to not punish the children of Israel, God commanded that there be a substitute. But why were the sacrifices done over and over? There was something wrong with these substitutes. They could not take away sin. That is why Jesus came into the world and was called the Lamb of God. It says in Hebrews 10:3-12, “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.[4] For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.[5] Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:[6] In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.[7] Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.[8] Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;[9] Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.[10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.[11] And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:[12] But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;”

 

The Bible says in First Chronicles 6:50-56, “And these are the sons of Aaron; Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son,[51] Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son,[52] Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,[53] Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.[54] Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts, of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites: for theirs was the lot.[55] And they gave them Hebron in the land of Judah, and the suburbs thereof round about it.[56] But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh.” These verses tell us from other places in the Old Testament that the priests and Levites were only given cities to dwell in, and they were not given land. In other words, people were not equal in what possessions they owned. God has a different will for each person. One day we will all give an account for what we did with our possessions.  

 

The book of First Chronicles continues listing the names of various Israelites and their descendants, and the the Bible says in First Chronicles 7:21-24, “And Zabad his son, and Shuthelah his son, and Ezer, and Elead, whom the men of Gath that were born in that land slew, because they came down to take away their cattle.[22] And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him.[23] And when he went in to his wife, she conceived, and bare a son, and he called his name Beriah, because it went evil with his house.[24] (And his daughter was Sherah, who built Beth-horon the nether, and the upper, and Uzzen-sherah.)” In verse twenty-one we are told of men who died as a result of violence. Unfortunately, because we live in a world of woe and a world of sin, many over the centuries have suffered such a fate. Evidently, they did not hear the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” Verse twenty-two says, “And Ephraim their father mourned many days.” One of the great sorrows of life is when a parent must bury their own child, especially when that child has been a result of violence. Such sorrow is similar to the sorrow of God Himself because God the Father watched His Son die on the cross of Calvary. But because Jesus willingly went to such a death, for all those in heaven death and its sorrows will be gone forever.                 

        

 

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Copyright; 2021 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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