Bible Order: Psalms 1–9
Chronological Order: 2 Chronicles 5, 1 Kings 8
New Testament Only: John 15
As God Looks At Your Life
We’ve been reading genealogies here in 1 Chronicles and today, in chapter 5, we read about the descendants of Reuben. I was, just the other day, writing about how the promise of a savior would come through Judah. Reuben was first born but Judah seemed to have taken his place due to the fact that Reuben had sinned by having relations with one of his father’s concubines. I had been thinking that Judah assumed the birthright based on Reuben’s sin and God’s blessing. Today’s reading showed me that I had not fully understood what happened there. I don’t know how many times I’ve read this and never got it, but the Bible is actually pretty clear about it.
Judah did not receive the birth right that Reuben had lost. Have you ever wondered why the descendants of Joseph got two portions of the inheritance in Israel: Manasseh and Ephraim? The Dictionary of Bible Themes defines “Birthright” as “The right of the firstborn son in ancient Israel to inherit his father’s estate. Where the property was divided, the firstborn received a double share.” At the end of his life, Israel blessed the children of Joseph, praying that “in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my father’s Abraham and Isaac” (Genesis 48:15-22). Israel gave the blessing of the firstborn, and the birthright that goes with it, to the sons of Joseph as today’s reading makes clear.
“The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father’s couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, so that he could not be enrolled as the oldest son; though Judah became strong among his brothers and a chief came from him, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph)”.
The Lord allowed Israel to choose to whom the birthright would pass; but He decided through whom His birthright would pass. He chose Judah as the line through which the spiritual birthright God gave Abraham would find its ultimate expression; Jesus the Christ. God’s ways are not man’s ways. For example, back in the day, a man felt his first born son was the rightful heir and therefore given the father’s blessing. God chooses the heir through which His blessing will flow based on the heart. King David was not the first born. God also says “the first shall be last and the last first”. Not so with us humans; first is first and last is last.
Brothers, stop looking at your life through the eyes of mankind. Look at your life as God looks at your life. He looks at the condition of your heart.
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(A portion of this commentary was originally posted on 5/4/10)