Today’s reading: 1 Chron 7:1–40, 1 Tim 5:1–9, Ps 78:30–52
Today’s theme: The importance of family
Today we are reminded of the importance of both our physical and spiritual family. We should provide for and love our physical families and this should be reflected in the church family, where we should stand steadfastly together as one unified army, for God’s glory.
1 Chronicles 7:1–40
One unified army
The sons of Tola: Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their fathers’ houses, namely of Tola, mighty warriors of their generations, their number in the days of David being 22,600. 1 Chronicles 7:2 (ESV)
These genealogies are not just lists of names, these were recorded when the children of Israel returned from exile and they serve as a call to a unified kingdom.
The tribes mentioned here are from the north of Israel, however the chronicler was from the Southern kingdom, which is another indication that unity and oneness is being appealed to.
Another important note for this section, is the amount of times it mentions the number of “mighty warriors” that each tribe had.
As God’s people, from various cultures, times, locations and denominations, we too are called to be one and to serve as mighty warriors in the army of our King Jesus Christ. See John 17:20-23 and 2 Timothy 2:3-4
His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah. 1 Chronicles 7:24 (ESV)
There is a biblical kind of inclusiveness in this passage, this is seen in the additional details and side notes. For example, in verse 14, an Aramean (another nation) is mentioned and here the exploits of a woman (some cultures treat women as second class) named Sheerah, is noted.
This points to God’s heart for the purpose of Israel from the beginning, that they would not be an exclusive closed group, but that they would be the light of the world and a blessing to all nations.
The calling on God’s covenant people, Israel, is also on God’s “new covenant” people, the church (Jews and Gentiles). We are called to be a light in the world and a blessing to all people.
Jesus did not just die for one type of people, but for all types from every nation, tribe and tongue and He died for both men and women. We are called to finish the mission, by proclaiming the good news to all people. See all nations around the throne, in Revelation 5:9–10 and 7:9–10.
1 Timothy 5:1–9
We are a family
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1–2 (ESV)
Paul’s instructions to the young Pastor Timothy, is connected to the biblical inclusiveness we observed in our OT reading.
The church is a family and we should treat one another with the love and respect that family deserves. We should respect and honour older men and women as if they were our own mother or father, and we should encourage, work with and walk alongside the younger men and women as if they were actually our brothers and sisters.
Jesus said in Mark 3:31–35, that His true family was not limited to His physical mother and siblings, but spiritually to all believers who obey Him.
Paul gives a note of warning, knowing the tricks that the enemy uses to take these loving family-like relationships in the church, and turning them into a cause of temptation and stumbling. In Timothy’s case, this was in regards to the young women.
We should love and treat one another like family, with pure motives and intentions.
Love your own family
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8 (ESV)
The fact that the church is a spiritual family does not take away from the fact that we have actual families, with real spouses, parents, grandparents, siblings and children.
We have a biblical calling to provide for our own families. Our families should not suffer so that we can “minister in the church” as we read earlier in this letter, things should be in order at home before we turn to work in the church.
The church should be a reflection of healthy and loving “real-life” family relationships in Christ. The Gnostics who taught that the spiritual was all that mattered, would have favoured the spiritual family at the neglect of the real family.
God wants us (particularly men), to provide for our families through loving hard work. In this life, our faith is so rooted in God’s wonderful and physical creation, that Paul boldly declares that a man who does not provide for his family, is worse than an unbeliever. Our self-centred western culture needs to hear and see this today.
Be steadfast in heart
But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant. Psalm 78:36–37 (ESV)
We must keep guard over our hearts so that we are not just paying God lip service.
This is what God wants from us, hearts that are faithful to Him and to His covenant. If we do not make our hearts steadfast towards the Lord, our repentance will become mere lip service.
Thank God for His Holy Spirit, who helps to make our hearts strong for God and thank Him for the covenant of His word, which we can focus on as we walk in true repentance.
A company of destroying angels
He let loose on them his burning anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels. Psalm 78:49 (ESV)
It is good to remember that God has given some of His angels special ministries. As we pray, we can ask God to send a company of destroying angels to defeat the enemy.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on 1 Timothy 5