1 Chronicles 7-9

Time Out

Today in Chapter 9 we read that all Israel was listed by Genealogies and even though Judah had been carried to Babylon in exile because they were unfaithful, God knows where each of His children are. Jesus said in Matthew 10:30 that the very hairs on our head are numbered. The context of this verse though is not about hair but our value to God. As children of God we are to serve and honor Him. By these actions we represent Him to the world around us. Jesus warned that we would receive push back and opposition. We are not to let that distract or discourage us from what God has called us to do.

Both Israel and Judah got distracted from their God given purpose and ended up in time out. Time out is not the end, it is a stop on the way that allows us to regroup and set things in order. Being enrolled in the Genealogies reminds the people that they are children of God. I think David had spent some time in time out when he wrote Psalm 139 where he writes in verse 14, “I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well.” NASB

When we, the children of God, get off track we too can expect that God will take action. He loves us too much to let us go to our destruction even if it means time out and isolation. In time out it seems like nothing is happening. It is like being stuck in the mud. We are spinning our wheels exerting much energy but getting nowhere. When stuck in the mud spinning our wheels only makes things worse. This is a case where continuing to do the same thing over and over expecting a different result is insanity. God knows we need to make a change and we are not going anywhere until we do.

Of course this is not about how to get your car free from being stuck in the mud. It is about our relationship with God. When we drift from God and go our own way we suffer greatly. We see “life” in the things the world promises only to end up frustrated and trapped because the world cannot give life. If we continue down this road in life soon our relationships with friends, spouses, and family will suffer to the point where we find ourselves even more isolated. If we don’t stop there we will start to think everything depends on us. Of course, along this path, we are trying everything the world has to offer to alleviate the pain we are causing ourselves, but these things bring harm and usually enslave. Isolated and alone, there is only one thing to do, go back to where we got off course in our relationship with God. We need to be careful that we go back in humble surrender to His will. Our old controlling nature will want to take control of God and make Him do our will. Obviously God is not going to allow that, but the blind insanity we have developed on our path down cannot see the obvious. There must be surrender and that is the purpose of time out. When we get tired of time out and are willing to listen, God will lead us out and that is what is happening in Chapter 9.

In Chapter 9 we read that Israel is starting to return. We gather from this that an important change has taken place. No longer are the nations divided. No longer are they fighting with each other or isolating from each other. Once the relationship with God is set right, other relationships can be restored as well. In Psalm 133:1, we read,” Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”  NASB

As we continue in Chapter 9 we read that the first ones to return are the priests and Levites. God has called them for specific tasks according to His plan and purpose. This is also a sign that the relationship with God has been restored. They are serving God according to His plan and call and not their plan.

In 1 Corinthians 12-14 we read that God has a plan for his people and has gifted them accordingly. Chapter 12 describes the gifts and Chapter 13 describes how these gifts are to be administered. Chapter 14 warns of some of the abuses that will result if envy and jealousy are allowed to displace the law of love for God and others.

The greatest commandment Jesus said was to love God with all we are and have. The second commandment is to love one another. We cannot do the second commandment without doing the first on an ongoing basis.  It is no accident that 1 Corinthians 13 is in the middle of these two chapters on spiritual gifts. Just as the tabernacle was set up with all the Levites and then the tribes camped around it, so too, God is to be in the center of our life leading and empowering all we are doing. Each clan of the Levites had a different ministry as did each of the tribes. It is God that held them together and led them. As they remained close to Him, they went forth in unity.

The same is true for us individually and the Church. God knows His children better than we  know ourselves. He has gifted each of us according to His plan and our abilities that He has given us. We must surrender our will and follow God. If we try to lead God we will find ourselves off course but on course for time out!

Pastor Dave