The Family Line and the Coat of Arms (‘armour of light’)

29 05 2012

DAY TWO HUNDRED AND ELEVEN : 1 Chronicles 7 v. 1 – 9 v. 1a; Romans 13 v. 1 – 14; Psalm 89 v. 38 – 45

1 CHRONICLES
Issachar – Issachar’s sons are listed: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron. Their descendants are listed – altogether 87,ooo fighting men (counted during King David’s reign)

Benjamin – Benjamin’s sons are listed: Bela, Beker and Jediael. Their descendants are listed – totalling nearly 60,000 fighting men.

 Naphtali – Naphtali’s sons are listed: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem.
‘The Shuppites and Huppites were the descendants of Ir, and the Hushites the descendants of Aher’
(I don’t know why this verse amused me…I need to find out more about the Shuppites, Huppites and Hushites….)

Manasseh – Manasseh’s sons are listed:
Asriel (through his Aramean concubine, who gave birth to Makir, Gilead’s father). Makir’s wife was from the tribe of Huppites and Shuppites. Makir’s sister was called Maacah. There is another descendant, Zelophehad, who only had daughters.
Makir and his wife had two sons, Peresh and Sheresh. Their descendants are listed.

It is noteworthy where there is a family line which is a little out of the ordinary…even some of the female family members are mentioned here (not always by name, though).


Ephraim –
Ephraim’s sons and descendants are listed. There is a painful episode recalled here, where two of Ephraim’s sons (Ezer and Elead) are killed by .natives of Gath. Ephraim mourned his sons, and was comforted. A further son was born to Ephraim and his wife, Beriah (whose name represents the family’s ‘misfortune’). It was Beriah’s daughter, Sheerah, who ‘built Lower and Upper Beth Horon, and Uzzen Sheerah’ – an inspiring granddaughter for Ephraim.
Ephraim’s descendants occupied Bethel, Naaran, Gezer, Shechem.
Also, the towns which Joseph and his descendants will occcupy are mentioned: Beth Shan, Taanach, Megiddo, Dor.

Asher – Asher’s sons are listed: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah, along with their sister, Serah.
Their descendants, through Beriah’s line are listed.
‘these were…choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders’ and they would number up to 26,000 fighting men.

The Genealogy of Saul the Benjaminite –
Benjamin’s sons are listed: Bela, Ashbel, Aharah, Nohah and Rapha. Then the descendants of the sons are listed. Noteworthy amongst those listed is Shaharaim (in Moab) who divorded two wives, named as Hushim and Baara. With his next wife, Hodesh, he has seven sons.
The descendants of Jeiel and his son, Gibeon, are listed. Through his family, living near Jerusalem, Saul is born, and his sons, Jonathan, Malki-Shua, Abinadab and Esh-Baal are listed.
Jonathan’s descendants are listed.
‘All Israel was listed in the genealogies in the book of the kings of Israel’.

ROMANS
Submission to the Authorities – Paul’s understanding of government authorities is that ‘everyone must submit’ to them, as their authority is ‘God established’. Whereas we may wish to question whether or not certain regimes or governments can really be authorised by God (and some very nasty regimes come to mind), Paul is addressing the need for people to win others over by doing right, not doing wrong.
‘Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.’
Ultimately, we are to
‘give everyone what you owe him; if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour’.
and be good citizens (surely until acting rightly will bring us into conflict with those in authority…)

It’s sobering to think of all the uprisings, the oppositions to regimes we’ve seen in recent years, to rejoice in the downfall of dictators (and to experience the anxiety of what may fill the vacuum); yet in other places, to reflect upon what it means to be a good citizen, to pay our dues, and to do good to those in authority. It is certainly good to be praying regularly for our leaders.

Love, for the Day is Near – the only debt Paul urges us to be outstanding, ongoing, is the debt to ‘love one another’ – ‘for he who loves others has fulfilled the law’. Paul chooses the later commandments and sums them up with the Jesus commandment ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’, showing how this rule fulfils the law.
The Romans need to ‘understand the present time’ (and so do we)
it’s time to wake up (stop snoozing, dozing off)
our salvation is nearer now to when we first believed (every day that comes is a day closer to the end of time (ours or this world’s))
the night is nearly over, the day is almost here (God’s kingdom advances daily, ‘nearer and nearer draws the time…when the earth will be filled with the glory of God)
we should put aside deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light (love the notion of ‘armour of light’, putting on the spiritual garments, spiritual armour daily)
deeds of darkness are equated with sexual immorality, drunkenness, debauchery, dissension and jealousy
– clothing ourselves ‘with the Lord Jesus Christ’ is the alternative lifestyle, rejecting the impetus, the drives and desires of our sinful natures

Lord Jesus, clothe me today with Yourself
with honour, truth, grace and peace
with the armour of light.
AMEN.

PSALM
‘O my Lord, my God,

see how You have rejected Your chosen, anointed one, in Your anger;
see how You have cancelled Your covenant and trampled Your servant’s crown in the dirt;
see how You have breached his defences, brought his strongholds tumbling down.

He has been completely plundered, scorned.
His enemies have been completely exalted – they are enjoying their celebrations.

See how You have rendered him useless in battle, his sword is made ineffective
You’ve left him to fight his battles unsupported, alone.
His splendour is gone, his throne is utterly defeated.
His days are numbered, his life is covered with a ‘mantle of shame’.

(pause for reflection, to catch breath)’

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