I like to read through the Bible, front to back, in addition to Psalms and Proverbs. Some days I get a half hour or more of reading, and others I’m just thankful for the short devotions I had with my babies. This morning I found myself in 1 Chronicles. It is full of genealogies, lists upon lists of names. It reminded me that the Bible is a historical book, with real names and real battles and real lives. But I admit my attitude in approaching it was sort of pathetic.
“Ok, Lord, you say that all Scripture is profitable. Please profit me here in all these lists!”
That’s not even the faith of a molecule, much less a mustard seed.
But I did get three charges for me and my family life.
One, that training character is huge. Many times I read names that had attached, “mighty men of valor”. Valor is courage in the face of danger, and I can’t think of any danger that we face that doesn’t have at its seedbed either (1) lies from the devil or (2) God’s trial to expose to ourselves what we are really made out of (like He’s so shocked about what we do. Not!). Courage is cultivated from standing on Truth. Too often we are satisfied with sitting in our own dung rather than gum up the courage to make changes to get out of it because it would just prove what our hearts were already accusing ourselves of. Pride is the opposite of courage, and it makes us weak.
Two and Three, that knowing and keeping are two different things. Knowing the Truth isn’t enough. Keeping the Word of the Lord and communing with Him in prayer is our very life. It is, in fact, from whence Truth comes. Ultimately, these failures not only killed Saul, but his legacy as well.
1 Chronicles 10:13-14 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it…
May I ask?
- When you awake in the morning to where does your heart and mind fly?
- Are you eager to hear from the Lord, to read His Word?
- Do you hunger after it throughout your day and meditate upon Scripture?
- Are you talking with Him as a friend at all, or only as a hero to save you from your circumstances?
- Are you talking with Him in praise and prayer at all?
- Or are you looking to the world for your every answer, your every solution, your every path and next step?
- Or maybe, like Saul, you simply reason within yourself and do that which you feel is right. You behave in reality like the pagans, believing that tomorrow will be just the same as a blissful today, taking advantage of God’s longsuffering and grace.
2 Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
It matters because as a servant is not above his master, so shall our children not grow in their hearts beyond our own witness in deed. It is not enough to just honor the Lord with our lips (Isa 29:13).
If we truly desire “very able men for the work of the service of the house of God” (1 Chron 9:13), then we must put aside those things (and people) that hinder us from reading and studying His Word and that distract us from putting the Lord first in our lives. If those failures were enough to slay Saul and all his house, what makes us think our own lives and children are not in similar danger?
I’m encouraged that character training, Bible study and prayer ought to be the foundations of my home and homeschool. It is a light burden, a delightful one, really. When you realize that everything else will fall into place around those pillars, it gives courage to plant those pillars deep.
And a big lesson learned: don’t skip reading those genealogies!