1 Chronicles 2:18-50 – Don’t Stack the Deck Against Your Kids

Posted: November 13, 2019 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 2:18-50a

Descendants of Hezron

Who was Hezron? He is not a very well-known biblical figure. His mentions in the Bible are few and there are no extended discussions of his life in the Bible. There is very little available on him when you do internet searches or explore biblical websites. He is just not that immense of a Biblical figure. However, his son Caleb is a seminal figure in the Bible. He was one of the two men that came back with positive reports when Moses sent 12 men out to spy out the Promised Land. Caleb represents to us a person that stands against the tide of public opinion and stands firm on the promises of God. He is an example of faith in the face of fear, faith in the face of great obstacles.

Much of what we are as children is shaped by the upbringing that we had at home. It got me to thinking about what we desire for our children. We know Caleb as a biblical great. We know Caleb as someone we look up to among the Old Testament bible heroes. I now think of how proud Hezron must have been of his son. Caleb must have learned the traits of faith and bravery resulting from faith at home. He must have been taught to have faith in God despite what we can see, taste, feel, sense to the contrary. He must have been taught that God has always come through for His faithful servants when they are doing His will. He must have been taught to love the Lord so much that we trust Him no matter what. He must have been taught to trust in the Lord. He must have been taught that “if the Lord says it to be true” then I am going to believe it. Caleb is an example of faith lived out. Where did he learn that? No matter how much we say or think that what we do in front of our children does not matter, we are wrong when we say that. The Barna Research Group surveys demonstrate that American children ages 5 to 13 have a 32% probability of accepting Christ, but youth or teens aged 14 to 18 have only a 4% probability of doing so. Adults age 19 and over have just a 6% probability of becoming Christians. This data illustrates the importance of influencing children to consider making a decision to follow Christ. How we live our lives in front of our children matters. Regardless of how much they rebel against as they grow up, they imitate us, they watch us. Our beliefs will be their beliefs. Our children are our mini-me’s whether we like it or not.

Just saying that they will catch this Christ thing on their own. Just saying that how I behave in front of my kids doesn’t matter and that they will not remember is just wrong. They do remember. They do imitate what they see. They do think what they see at home is the normal way of living. They do think what they see and experience at home as the way that things are supposed to be. So, don’t be surprised that if you display immoral behavior in front of your kids that they are going to grow thinking that this behavior is normal. What we do as parents in rearing our children matters. It affects them their entire life. Sure there are twists and turns in a person’s life that are uniquely their own responsibility. I get that. We can’t blame our parents for everything. I get that. What we do as children as we grow up ultimately is our fault when we screw up. We can’t blame individual actions on our parents all our lives. We must take responsibility for our own lives. I get that. The Bible expects no less of us.

However, the Bible does tell us that we as parents have a heavy responsibility not to stack the deck against our children as they grow up. The Bible tells us to raise our children up in the ways of the Lord and they will not depart from it. Yes, our kids will grow up to make their own decisions and they will be fully responsible for them. But, we cannot make them a horse with a broken leg before they get out the gate. We must live lives that demonstrate faith in God, a life steeped in Bible study, a life that shows that we incorporate God’s Word into our decision making, a life that weighs the difference between right and wrong and choose right even if it costs us something. Let us live lives that scream of faith in the Lord. That’s the soup that we want our children to spring from. What they do after that is up to them. But we cannot, cannot give them a bad starting point for that day when they become adults.

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read of the descendants of Hezron. He was the father of a great biblical figure. He, himself, was not famous among the great men of the Bible. However, he must have done something right in raising Caleb – the base level soup stock from which Caleb became a man, his dad. That idea that we are responsible for the matrix from which our kids grow up and the mighty responsibility that it is was what I thought of this morning when I read this passage, 1 Chronicles 2:18-50a. Let’s read the passage now:

18 Hezron’s son Caleb had sons from his wife Azubah and from Jerioth.[a] Her sons were named Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19 After Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrathah,[b] and they had a son named Hur. 20 Hur was the father of Uri. Uri was the father of Bezalel.

21 When Hezron was sixty years old, he married Gilead’s sister, the daughter of Makir. They had a son named Segub. 22 Segub was the father of Jair, who ruled twenty-three towns in the land of Gilead. 23 (But Geshur and Aram captured the Towns of Jair[c] and also took Kenath and its sixty surrounding villages.) All these were descendants of Makir, the father of Gilead.

24 Soon after Hezron died in the town of Caleb-ephrathah, his wife Abijah gave birth to a son named Ashhur (the father of[d] Tekoa).

25 The sons of Jerahmeel, the oldest son of Hezron, were Ram (the firstborn), Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. 26 Jerahmeel had a second wife named Atarah. She was the mother of Onam.

27 The sons of Ram, the oldest son of Jerahmeel, were Maaz, Jamin, and Eker.

28 The sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada.

The sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur.

29 The sons of Abishur and his wife Abihail were Ahban and Molid.

30 The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim. Seled died without children, 31 but Appaim had a son named Ishi. The son of Ishi was Sheshan. Sheshan had a descendant named Ahlai.

32 The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother, were Jether and Jonathan. Jether died without children, 33 but Jonathan had two sons named Peleth and Zaza.

These were all descendants of Jerahmeel.

34 Sheshan had no sons, though he did have daughters. He also had an Egyptian servant named Jarha. 35 Sheshan gave one of his daughters to be the wife of Jarha, and they had a son named Attai.

36

Attai was the father of Nathan.

Nathan was the father of Zabad.

37

Zabad was the father of Ephlal.

Ephlal was the father of Obed.

38

Obed was the father of Jehu.

Jehu was the father of Azariah.

39

Azariah was the father of Helez.

Helez was the father of Eleasah.

40

Eleasah was the father of Sismai.

Sismai was the father of Shallum.

41

Shallum was the father of Jekamiah.

Jekamiah was the father of Elishama.

Descendants of Hezron’s Son Caleb

42 The descendants of Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel, included Mesha (the firstborn), who became the father of Ziph. Caleb’s descendants also included the sons of Mareshah, the father of Hebron.[e]

43 The sons of Hebron were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema. 44 Shema was the father of Raham. Raham was the father of Jorkeam. Rekem was the father of Shammai. 45 The son of Shammai was Maon. Maon was the father of Beth-zur.

46 Caleb’s concubine Ephah gave birth to Haran, Moza, and Gazez. Haran was the father of Gazez.

47 The sons of Jahdai were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph.

48 Another of Caleb’s concubines, Maacah, gave birth to Sheber and Tirhanah. 49 She also gave birth to Shaaph (the father of Madmannah) and Sheva (the father of Macbenah and Gibea). Caleb also had a daughter named Acsah.

50 These were all descendants of Caleb.

These are names in a genealogy of Hezron. Many of these names mean nothing to us as Bible readers. It is hard to read them without beginning to lose focus that this genealogical reference is, too, part of the Word of God. However, there are names that do jump out at you. For example, one of the descendants of Hezron is Caleb. Caleb is the son of Hezron. Caleb is one of the mighty biblical figures. He is one of the twelve spies that were sent out to case the Promised Land. He is only one of two that came back with positive reports. Among them was Caleb, representing the tribe of Judah. The twelve men spied out the land for forty days and then came back to Moses. They reported that the land was indeed fruitful but its inhabitants were the mighty descendants of Anak. Terrified by the size and strength of the Canaanites, ten of the spies warned Moses not to enter Canaan (Numbers 13:23–33). Caleb silenced the murmuring, fearful men by saying, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30). Caleb took his stand because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly (Joshua 14:8–9). Caleb knew of the promises of God to the Israelites, and, despite the evidence of his own eyes regarding the obstacles, he had faith that God would give them victory over the Canaanites.

Unfortunately, the people of Israel ignored Caleb and listened to the report of the other spies. They were so frightened that they wept all night and even wished they had died at the hands of their slave masters in Egypt (Numbers 14:1–4). They turned on Caleb and Joshua (the spy from Ephraim) and wanted to stone them on the spot (Numbers 14:6–10). God was exceedingly angry with the people and threatened to destroy them until Moses interceded for them. God relented, but He decreed that the people would wander in the wilderness until all of that faithless generation had died. But God said that “my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly” and gave him the promise that he would own all the land he had seen as a spy (Numbers 14:11–24).

We set the stage for who our kids become by how we live. They are fully and completely responsible for their own actions but the garden from which they spring is our responsibility as parents. Let us not stack the deck against them by how we act and live our lives in front them. Our children are our greatest imitators. Since we are the single greatest influence in their lives, then, our lives are their reference point. May we be a Hezron to our Calebs. May we not handicap our children from the start with the way we demonstrate life in front of them. May we demonstrate a life of faith in the Lord in front of them just as Hezron had to have done in front of Caleb. Think about it!

Amen and Amen.

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