The Bible says in First Chronicles 7:25-29, And Rephah was his son, also Resheph, and Telah his son, and Tahan his son, Laadan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, Non his son, Jehoshua his son. And their possessions and habitations were, Bethel and the towns thereof, and eastward Naaran, and westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; Shechem also and the towns thereof, unto Gaza and the towns thereof: And by the borders of the children of Manasseh, Beth-shean and her towns, Taanach and her towns, Megiddo and her towns, Dor and her towns. In these dwelt the children of Joseph the son of Israel. As these towns are listed, in verse twenty-nine one stands out: Megiddo. Of course, every town in this world has a future that we cannot predict. Who knows what will happen in them: wars, fires, crime, or perhaps acts of love as neighbor helps neighbor. But because the Bible has prophecies in it, we do know what will happen in some places. Megiddo looks out over a broad plain where armies will gather one day in the last great battle on the earth. Megiddo gives its name to that battle: the battle of Armageddon. We know what will happen at the battle and when it will happen. It will happen at the Return of Christ, and King Jesus will destroy all the armies of the antichrist there. One description of the battle says in Revelation 14:14-20, And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
The Bible says in First Chronicles 7:38-40, And the sons of Jether; Jephunneh, and Pispah, and Ara. And the sons of Ulla; Arah, and Haniel, and Rezia. All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father's house, choice and mighty men of valour, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men. Some of these men became soldiers. Perhaps they are mentioned because of how important soldiers are to any nation. Unfortunately, because this is a world of sin and evil, nations must be ready to protect their citizens from attack. This truth symbolizes the spiritual warfare that is always going on. Make sure that you are close to the Lord Jesus and are prepared for the spiritual battles of life. A Christians armor is described in Ephesians 6:10-18 that says, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Chapter eight continues with a long list of names. Notice that the town of Gath is mentioned in verse 13. The Bible says in First Chronicles 8:12-13, The sons of Elpaal; Eber, and Misham, and Shamed, who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof: Beriah also, and Shema, who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who drove away the inhabitants of Gath. Gath is the town that the giant Goliath was from. Of course, we all know what happened to Goliath when he met up with a youth by the name of David who was pretty good with a sling shot. Verse thirteen is an example that at least for a time the Israelites were doing what God asked them to do: drive out the heathen. Others followed Davids example. Too bad for Israel that they did not stay faithful to that task.
The Bible says in First Chronicles 8:33, And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal. Saul was the first king of Israel. Much could be said about Saul, but it is not necessary because we can read all about the life of Saul back in First Samuel. Of course, no other kings came after Saul in his lineage. That is because God took everything from Saul and gave it to David. Be careful: the Lord is watching what you do and He is watching the kind of person that you are becoming. It would be a terrible thing to lose the ministry that God wants to give to you and to see it given to another. It happened to Saul.
The Bible says in First Chronicles 9:1, So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression. The last phrase of this verse is very important: who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression. The Lord decides what will happen to nations, and sin has a lot to do with it because God is holy. Also, the measure of your responsibility is the measure of your opportunity. God had done so much for Israel. But they had turned away from Him, and so God raised up Babylon in order to carry them away. If they were not going to serve the Lord in the Promised land, then why leave them in the Promised Land. The same is true for Christians on this earth. If you are not going to be a witness for Christ in your life on this earth, then why should the Lord leave you here? Some Christians die before their time because of this issue. Thankfully, the Lord gives second chances and many other chances. Jesus forgives sins. And the Israelites eventually sought the Lord again in the land of captivity, and God brought them back.
The Bible says in First Chronicles 9:2-3, Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims. And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh; The rest of chapter nine lists the names of people who lived in Jerusalem. Of course, many of them were the priests and Levites who worked at the temple to do all the things required by the law of Moses to take care of the temple and the many animal sacrifices. There were so many animal sacrifices. The temple area was a slaughter house. There was a lot of blood and a lot of death. Some of the sacrifices were burnt on the altar, and so there was fire there too that was constantly tended to. Why so much blood: because there was so much sin. We have the same problem today: so much sin. It is amazing that the blood of Christ offered once for all can daily take away our sins. There is power in the blood.
We are given an idea of the activity and work that took place in and around the temple in the following verses. The Bible says in First Chronicles 9:26-34, For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God. And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them. And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale. Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices. And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices. And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans. And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the shewbread, to prepare it every sabbath. And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night. These chief fathers of the Levites were chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem. It took a lot of people and a lot of work to do all that was done in and around the temple every day. The temple and what took place there was the center of Judaism. And so we know that Judaism today has something missing that is very important: the temple. That is one reason why another temple will eventually be built. The antichrist will enter into a future temple and declare himself to be God. Daniel and Jesus called that act the Abomination of Desolation.
In chapter ten we are given an account of the end of the life of King Saul. He was killed in battle, because that was the will of God. The Bible says in First Chronicles 10:1-6, Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers. Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died. So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together. It was a terrible defeat, not only for Saul but for all of Israel. Happily, God raised up David to replace Saul, and David was a man after Gods own heart. Too bad that Israel did not learn the lesson. Eventually, the sins of Israel would increase greatly, and they would suffer much greater defeats at the hands of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. One thing to remember is that what happened to Saul was a result of sin and turning away from God. Some people die earlier than their time because of sin. Christians are warned in First John 5:16, There is a sin unto death It also says in First Corinthians 11:30, For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. Thankfully, we can avoid such a fate if we confess our sins daily. Jesus told us to pray, Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses. It goes on to say in First Corinthians 11:31-32, For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. And of course there is the great promise that every Christian needs to rely upon daily in First John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
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F. (Rick) Creech
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