1 Chronicles 8

Genealogy from Benjamin

And Benjamin [a]became the father of Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, Aharah the third, Nohah the fourth and Rapha the fifth. Bela had sons: [b]Addar, Gera, Abihud, Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, Gera, Shephuphan and Huram. These are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of fathers’ households of the inhabitants of Geba, and they carried them into exile to Manahath, namely, Naaman, Ahijah and Gera—he carried them into exile; and he became the father of Uzza and Ahihud. Shaharaim became the father of children in the [c]country of Moab after he had [d]sent away Hushim and Baara his wives. By Hodesh his wife he became the father of Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, 10 Jeuz, Sachia, Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of fathers’ households11 By Hushim he became the father of Abitub and Elpaal. 12 The sons of Elpaal were Eber, Misham, and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod, with its towns; 13 and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of fathers’ households of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath; 14 and [e]Ahio, Shashak and Jeremoth. 15 Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16 Michael, Ishpah and Joha were the sons of Beriah. 17 Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, 18 Ishmerai, Izliah and Jobab were the sons of Elpaal. 19 Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, 20 Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21 Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath were the sons of [f]Shimei. 22 Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23 Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, 24 Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, 25 Iphdeiah and Penuel were the sons of Shashak. 26 Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, 27 Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zichri were the sons of Jeroham. 28 These were heads of the fathers’ households according to their generations, chief men [g]who lived in Jerusalem.

29 Now in Gibeon, Jeiel, the father of Gibeon lived, and his wife’s name was Maacah; 30 and his firstborn son was Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, 31 Gedor, Ahio and [h]Zecher. 32 Mikloth became the father of [i]Shimeah. And they also lived with their [j]relatives in Jerusalem opposite their other [k]relatives.

Genealogy from King Saul

33 Ner became the father of Kish, and Kish became the father of Saul, and Saul became the father of Jonathan, Malchi-shua, [l]Abinadab and [m]Eshbaal. 34 The son of Jonathan was [n]Merib-baal, and Merib-baal became the father of Micah. 35 The sons of Micah were Pithon, Melech, [o]Tarea and Ahaz. 36 Ahaz became the father of [p]Jehoaddah, and Jehoaddah became the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri; and Zimri became the father of Moza. 37 Moza became the father of Binea; [q]Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 38 Azel had six sons, and these were their names: Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel. 39 The sons of Eshek his brother were Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second and Eliphelet the third. 40 The sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and grandsons, 150 of them. All these were of the sons of Benjamin.

The last verse (though really the same sentiment is scattered throughout these chapters) is the clincher. The sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor. Which is no surprise, for Saul and his sons were solid soldiers, and that carried down through the generations, even through the lame Merib-baal (Mephibosheth). It’s one more reminder that the only reason Israel fell was because God was in it. That is to say, He was no longer helping Israel defeat their enemies, and was quite possibly even helping their enemies. Later in the Bible we’ll see that God even tells Nebuchadnezzar this truth.

This ought not to have been shocking to anyone in Israel, but that would assume they had heard the law for themselves and seen (or heard) God’s promises. That He would bless them as they followed Him, but that destruction would come if they abandoned Him. It wasn’t just about the law, it was a heart issue, and their hearts had gone cold.

I was reminded lately that the deck was almost stacked against them. Or at least, one would say Israel, though chosen by God, did not have the advantages we do. Sure, they had been given the law straight from Moses, and their forefathers had seen mighty miracles. There were even times throughout that God came through in miraculous ways for His people in later generations. But they did not have such ready access to His words, and more, they did not have the Spirit of God living inside them.

It seems, at least for me, easy to take these things for granted. Most can access any passage in the Bible in an instant, in any one of several hundred translations, and we don’t always realize what life would be like without God living in us. That’s a miracle all by itself, but then He helps us and strengthens us every day. And if we’ve been serving God any length of time, the memories fade for us also. We don’t remember a time before we had the Word and the Spirit with us always, but we would do well to remember God better. He did not come into this world to let us run things into the ground, but to accomplish His will, and to pour out His love in our lives. We are to be living vessels, bearing His truth in our hearts, and serving our King, and Father, as the Spirit leads us. That’s a high calling, and it is our calling.

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