May 5, 2007
I Chronicles 12-14
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- Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
- They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.
- The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite,
- And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,
- Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite,
- Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,
- And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.
- And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
- Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,
- Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
- Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
- Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,
- Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh.
- These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.
- These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.
- And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.
- And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.
- Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
- And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.
- As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh.
- And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host.
- For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.
- And these are the numbers of the bands that were ready armed to the war, and came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.
- The children of Judah that bare shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war.
- Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valour for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.
- Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred.
- And Jehoiada was the leader of the Aaronites, and with him were three thousand and seven hundred;
- And Zadok, a young man mighty of valour, and of his father's house twenty and two captains.
- And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul.
- And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous throughout the house of their fathers.
- And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were expressed by name, to come and make David king.
- And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
- Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.
- And of Naphtali a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand.
- And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.
- And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand.
- And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand.
- All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.
- And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.
- Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.
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- And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
- And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
- And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.
- And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
- So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim.
- And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjath-jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.
- And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.
- And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.
- And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
- And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
- And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza to this day.
- And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
- So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.
- And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that he had.
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- Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.
- And David perceived that the LORD had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel.
- And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters.
- Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon,
- And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpalet,
- And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
- And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphalet.
- And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard of it, and went out against them.
- And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
- And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.
- So they came up to Baal-perazim; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters: therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim.
- And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.
- And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the valley.
- Therefore David enquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
- And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.
- David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer.
- And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations.
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Thought for the day:
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I Chronicles 12:32 contains an interesting statement. It reads,
"And of the children of Issachar, [which were men] that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do..."
Apparently these men had the ability to look at a given situation and figure out what the proper response should be. They understood what was going on around them. They could discern what was really happening, and they were able to make intelligent decisions based upon their knowledge and discernment.
There is a great need in our day for believers who understand the times and then know what they should do. Many Christians are shocked by the wickedness that they see in society, yet the Bible tells us that evil men would wax worse and worse (
II Tim. 3:13). Some do not understand how there can be so much opposition to Biblical Christianity, yet the Bible teaches that Satan opposes everything that pertains to the Lord (
I Peter 5:8). Others are bothered by the fact that the world treats them badly, yet the Bible foretells that the world will hate the child of God (
I John 3:13). Still others question why there is a departure from Biblical truth even among so-called believers, yet the Scriptures indicate that by the time Christ returns there will be few who still believe correctly (
Luke 18:8). Since all of these principles are contained in the Scriptures, it is necessary for the child of God to know what the Bible says and then be able to apply it to the events that surround us.
Let's look at one example. Our country in rapidly moving away from Biblical morality. Abortion, fornication, and homosexuality are on the rise, while those who oppose these trends are mocked. What is the solution to this epidemic? Some who do not understand seek to remedy the situation at the ballot box. While it is true that we should vote for moral leaders, and also true that moral leadership can help to hold in check an immoral society, the fact is that the solution to our societal problems is not found in government, but in the hearts of men. True change occurs when a man's heart is changed by his acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus, when we "understand the times", we realize that what we must do is evangelize the lost. Now is not the time to cower in the corner hoping that the problems will go away. It is not the time to cease our outreach because of the moral decay that we might encounter. Rather it is time to increase our soul-winning endeavors, because the time of our Lord's return draws nigh, and we may have little time left to win the lost to Christ.
Christ rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees with the following comment:
"O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (
As followers of the Living God, how much time and effort do we put into understanding what is really going on around us, and then making correct, Biblical decisions to deal with the circumstances that we face? The men of Issachar were forever recorded in Scripture as having this type of wisdom. May God grant us not only the ability, but also the desire, to follow in their footsteps.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery