I Chronicles 10-12
David’s Mighty Men come to the forefront.
I and II Chronicles, probably written by Ezra, the scribe, reiterate the history of Israel. Many of these stories are those which we have already seen in the books of Samuel and Kings. If we look closely, however, we’ll gain some new insight into the underlying principles of God’s kingdom.
Do you remember in I Samuel 22:2 when David fled to the cave of Adullam? He was running from Saul, and a few men fled to help him. The verse describes these men. “Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented, gathered to him (David); and he became captain over them.”
Now in I Chronicles we see his men listed and there are no distressed, discontented, or debt-bound men mentioned at all. Why? They have now turned into mighty men.
That’s the way it is with God. He will take those of us who seem total failures and turn us into successful people of God. He will replace our discontent with joy, our distress with great peace, and our lack with provision, as we follow Him unashamedly.
The more David stayed faithful to the Lord, the more he had favor with men. “Day by day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army like the army of God.”(12:22)
There is a progression that comes to the life which is committed to Him. It might start very small and insignificant, but He will continue to bless and empower us as we stick close to Him.
John 6: 45-71
Jesus certainly didn’t mind offending people. With all of the love which He showed, He also showed a tremendous willingness to “tell it like it is.”
So when He is sharing about His role as the Bread of Life, He says something very startling to the listeners. “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink of His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise Him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food and My blood is true drink.”(53-55).
What is the world is He talking about? His own disciples say, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”
And as a result of this, many of His disciples (other than the twelve) withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore (66).
As usual, Jesus knew that the only way people could understand what He was saying is if they were being drawn by the Father. Those who were not spiritually in tune would think that he was talking about cannibalism, and they would leave. Only those who could hear from the Spirit would know that there was a deeper meaning.
Jesus meant that only those who would partake of His life from their innermost being could be His disciple. Only those who would take up their cross and follow Him. He was getting ready to go to the cross to pay the price for all of our sins. He was laying down his life for us.
Those of us who are willing to partake of the fullness of His sacrifice will be willing to lay down our lives – not in physical death, as He did, but in giving up our desires, our plans, and our pursuits. To truly be His disciples, we must have a commitment that runs very deep.
Jesus’s disciples were perplexed. He said to them, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”
Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”(71)
Later, when Jesus has died, been buried, resurrected, gone to heaven, and sent back His Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of men, the disciples will have the Holy Spirit inside of them, teaching them what He meant. Yet at the time, they just have to hang on – not really understanding, but knowing that Jesus is the One.
There are times, in all of our lives, when things happen or He shows us ideas, which we don’t understand. We just have to hang on until the explanation comes, knowing that our Lord is faithful. He is the One with the answers.
In the meantime, we continue with Him, eating the flesh and drinking the blood. In other words, we continue to partake of Him at the deepest levels.
Psalm 116:12-13 says “What shall I render to the Lord for all of His benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.”
How can we repay him for his great sacrifice? We can partake completely, giving ourselves back to Him. That’s His desire, and that’s ours also when our hearts are truly His.