1 Chronicles 2:9-17 – David and Tombstone Dashes

Posted: November 11, 2019 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 2:9-17

From Judah’s Grandson to David

What will be your dash? It’s the age-old Christian commentary about the dash between a person’s date of birth and their date of death on a tombstone represents the life that we lived in between birth and death. What will be said of our lives? What will be said of our dash?

In wading through the lengthy genealogies at the beginning of 1 Chronicles (and they are quite extensive, taking up the first nine chapters), we know that it was Israelites who were living in captivity’s way of tying themselves back to the past of the once-great nation. I get it. It’s family history. It is making a displaced people feel like they belong to something greater than their current condition. I get it. However, not being part of the ancient Israelite people, these genealogies are in and of themselves not very inspiring. However, when you pick out names that you know from the previous books that come before 1 Chronicles, it’s like a montage episode, a flashback episode, an anniversary special episode of one your favorite television shows. You can pick out names and say oh yeah I remember that person’s story. These genealogies then give you an opportunity to reflect on the totality of that person’s life as played out in the story from somewhere in Genesis to 2 Kings. Today’s character that pops out at you is David.

He is one of the greats of the Bible. To the Jewish people of the biblical era, he was a great man. He represented the height of Israel as a unified kingdom. He represented the greatest extent of the land area of the ancient Israelite kingdom. He, himself, represented the standard for a godly king. He represented a man that was passionate about doing God’s will. His story is one of warning too as well. His sin weaknesses created the cracks in the kingdom that nearly destroyed him as a father and as a king. It is these cracks in the foundation of the kingdom that would ultimately lead to its complete fracture into two weaker kingdoms. His blind spots to his greatest sin weaknesses such as the pleasures of women and his unwillingness to be a real father to his children are warnings to us as men. His story is one that demonstrates to us that our sins will have consequences for a long time, even after we have repented of them. His story is a warning to us to think twice about making the choice to follow our flesh into actions that we KNOW are wrong. His story is a warning to us to listen to wise counsel about when we have sinned. His story is one that warns us to repent of our sins, drop our pride and trying to protect our reputation and position, and try to correct the wrongs that have been caused by our sins.

Further, his story is a warning to all parents. We must be actively involved in our kids lives. We must be willing more to be their parents than their friends. We must correct them when they have done wrong. We must show them tough love when it’s in their best interest. We must let them fall on their face at times in life so that they learn that there are consequences to their actions or their inactions. We must also defend them when they have been wronged. We must also keep right and wrong in mind when there is a conflict between children that we love equally. In those situations, where our children are in conflict with one another, we must be able to defend one and punish the other. We must demonstrate to them that each child will be judged by God’s definitions of right and wrong and that we will be the family enforcer of God’s plan for families. We must be parents first and always to them no matter their age. We must place raising our kids up in the right way as more important than any job that we have. Even if our job is a super-important one to the company, organization, or even a nation, we must be fathers first and leaders outside our family second. David’s problems in this area, that of being a real parent to his kids almost killed him and these problems dogged him throughout his reign as king.

However, for all his failings as a father and as man, what is David remember most for? It is not his failings but rather his love of God. He was known as “a man after God’s own heart!” For all the adultery, conspiracy to commit murder, and just downright bad parenting, David is best known for his passion for the Lord. David ultimately repented for all his sins, accepted all the one-time and ongoing consequences of his sins, and was restored to the God he loved. That was his dash. Redemption. Restoration. Passion for the Lord.

His dash screams loudly to us as Christ followers in the 21st century. With that in mind, let’s read this genealogy in 1 Chronicles 2:9-17 and pause at David’s name and think of him before moving on to the next name in the list. Let’s read it now:

9 The sons of Hezron were Jerahmeel, Ram, and Caleb.[a]

10

Ram was the father of Amminadab.

Amminadab was the father of Nahshon, a leader of Judah.

11

Nahshon was the father of Salmon.[b]

Salmon was the father of Boaz.

12

Boaz was the father of Obed.

Obed was the father of Jesse.

13 Jesse’s first son was Eliab, his second was Abinadab, his third was Shimea, 14 his fourth was Nethanel, his fifth was Raddai, 15 his sixth was Ozem, and his seventh was David.

16 Their sisters were named Zeruiah and Abigail. Zeruiah had three sons named Abishai, Joab, and Asahel. 17 Abigail married a man named Jether, an Ishmaelite, and they had a son named Amasa.

In this passage, we are reminded that David is one of the best-known people of the Bible. From Scripture, we know that he was in no way a perfect man, but he exemplified what it means to seek God first in all areas of life. God called David “a man after his own heart” (see Acts 13:22) because of David’s passionate desire to serve and worship the Lord. From the story of David, we can take instruction. Although we will not always be perfect, we can please God in the same way by making God our first consideration in all our desires and plans.

In David’s story, we can take heart that we, too, though not perfect, can be men and women after God’s own heart. In David’s story, we can find that our sins have long ranging consequences even if we are “after God’s own heart!”. We see that the consequences of our sins must be dealt with and that the consequences often do not go away after repentance from them. We are forgiven our sins through repentance but God never said he would take away the consequences of those sins. But part of repenting of our sins is humbling accepting the consequences of our sins and working to make things right. David teaches us of imperfections but yet of a continuing desire to shake those things off and continue loving the Lord.

David loved the Lord and learned from his consequences. David loved the Lord and accepted God’s correction and instruction with humility. But most of all, David loved the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul and strength. He was not perfect but, man, did he love the Lord. He was not perfect and most of all he knew it. He relied on the Lord not his imperfect self. He loved the Lord with passion. He was a man after God’s own heart.

May that be said of you and me. May that be our dash. May that be the thing that people remember about us and use as instructive. What phrase or what single word will come to mind when people reflect on your life? What better compliment can be paid than for people to say that you were a man or a woman “after God’s own heart!” May that be your dash. May that be my dash.

Amen and Amen.

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