Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Chronicle of Relationships...

The first twelve chapters of 1 Chronicles reads like a "who's who" in the early life of Israel as a nation. Most of it (chapters 3 to 12) are devoted to the relationships that were established by King David. While reading it through, one is tempted to be bored and skip over the details to get to the stories that start in Chapter 13. However, there are some interesting insights from reading the list of David's descendants, relatives and his mighty men.

For one, there are those listed who lay down their lives for David: Jashobeam, Eleazar and Abishai - the three mighty men. One time when David was thirsty, they risked everything and broke through the armed guard of the Philistine camp to draw water from the well at the gates of Bethlehem for David to drink.

There were the honored thirty, who were revered for their fighting skills and victories. Many of them were from his own clan but others were not even Israelites. Mighty fighting men from all of the tribes came over to David until, "there was a great army, like and army of God." (1 Chronicles 12:22)

But in that list, there were those who were murderers and betrayers of David. Also, there were some in that list that David himself betrayed (such as Uriah the Hittite, husband of Bathsheba). There were even 3,000 from the line of Saul, the king that preceded David after Saul had died for his unfaithfulness.

One thing stands out. In the mix of all of David's relationships, there were those who were loyal to the end. There were also those who would betray him (such as his son Absalom). There were even those David himself would betray.

In our world of relationships today, I wonder if we are any better than King David or any more blessed? I think, if the truth be told, there are those relationships and people who bring us utter joy. But at the same time there are those who can cause deep pain - even those we love the most.

As King David, we have to become people after the heart of God. We have to celebrate and enjoy those relationship that God gives us but we also must remember that we cannot put our trust in those relationships if we are to find fulfillment. Our relationship to God has to be first and foremost in all of our relationships and when that relationship is where it should be, He gives us the grace and wisdom to live with others.

Our relationships with others will give us pure joy. Some will cause deep pain. However, if we keep the primary relationship with God in focus, He will help us keep our eyes fixed on Him no matter what comes.

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