1 Chronicles 8:29-9:1 (Part 1) – The Basketball Coach & His Point Guard

Posted: February 3, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 8:29-9:1 (Part 1 of 2)

The Descendants of Benjamin: Family of Saul

One of the things that the Lord has been pressing into my soul here in the last month is about trusting Him even when things just don’t seem to be going anywhere. I have become frustrated in the last month with some things professionally. Things just seem to be taking too long. Things seem to be not working as I had hoped. During January, there were just some things that have happened that have made me wonder if I am the right man for this time in this church’s life cycle. Things just seem to be in slow motion like those super slow-mo shots from the movie, The Matrix, where Neo has the ability to slow down time such that he could see bullets come at him and so on.

When you are to solo pastor at a church, you have to be able to keep the pulse on EVERYTHING that is going on in your church and where each ministry is and where it is going. Because of past experiences, I know what this church is capable of being and I just want to get there. However, frustration comes from knowing what will work if I can just get key people fired up and passionate. The key word from my relationship with God’s perspective is the word “I”. The thing that the Lord has struck home to me in my rather lively discussions with Him, also known as my prayer time, is that it is not about “I”. It is not about me. What I want this church to be is not really up to me. What I think and believe about what it can be and could be with a little fire and passion among its people is really not up to me. When I look at numbers, I get frustrated. When I look at the pace of getting where I think things should go, I get frustrated. But it’s not my game plan that I am to be executing. It is His. He is not asking me to control anything. He is not asking me to make over this church and turn it into some dynamo of a church. He is not asking me to WIN…anything. Winning would be my definition. Winning would be my pride.

He is impressing upon me that He is the coach not me. I am simply a player. Yes, I am supposed to push this church. Yes, I am supposed to push hard. Yes, I am supposed to do what He has put on my heart to implement in this church. Yes, I am supposed to dream the dreams that need dreaming for this church. Yes, I am supposed to be the cheerleader for those initiatives that God has placed on my heart that need to be acted upon by this church. Yes, He has placed me here to do not just be. But what He has been impressing upon my heart in the last few days is that He is the coach and I am just the player who is executing His game plan. I am to do the things that He has called me here to do. I am to do it with passion. However, what happens with it is not up to me. It’s up to the coach to see the whole game plan and where He wants it to end up by the time I am called away from here to my next stop wherever and whenever that will be.

He is asking me to simply to execute the game plan that He has laid on my heart. I am being asked to push and push hard. I am being asked to put in the work, do the workouts, do the jogs, do the sprints, do the stair climbs, do the hard work that needs to be done. What happens with this game at this place at this time at this point in this church’s history is not really up to me. I am simply the point guard and He is the coach shouting out the calls for the next play to be ran. I am the point guard who runs the plays on the floor for my coach. I must trust Him that it’s the right play for the right moment in the game. I can’t worry if the play does not result in points on this trip down the floor. My Coach, my God, may be setting up something for later in the game that I do not see but He can. He is simply asking me to run the plays as He calls them, right now, and trust Him with the later. It’s not up to me to call my own plays. It’s up to me to trust the Great Coach and run the plays He calls me to run and run them with passion and push it hard to make that play work. It’s His ball club. Just as players come and go in college sports programs, the coach often remains there much longer than the players. God will be here as Lord of this church much longer than I will ever be. I gotta trust Him to run the plays that He calls out to run and trust what He is doing with it even if there are not the immediate results that I expect. Just run the play. Pride can make us want to have the slam dunk on every trip down the court and when we don’t get it, get frustrated with how the play turns out in the game. God’s just asking me to run the play and trust Him with the outcome regardless of what I see at this moment. Trust. Not pride. Just trust. Run the plays as called. Report this adReport this ad

That’s what I thought of this morning when I saw the genealogy of Saul’s family in this passage. What could have been different for Saul if he had just trusted God, just run the plays that God called Him to run and trusted God with the outcome of those plays. Instead Saul got frustrated, got prideful, and started calling his own plays and it caused him to lose the game ultimately. All because of pride and lack of trust in God for the outcomes. Let’s read through this genealogy in 1 Chronicles 8:29-9:1 and reflect on what we know about Saul and his legacy as we do:

29 Jeiel[d] the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon, and the name of his wife was Maacah. 30 His firstborn son: Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal,[e] Nadab, 31 Gedor, Ahio, Zecher, 32 and Mikloth, who became the father of Shimeah. Now these also lived opposite their kindred in Jerusalem, with their kindred. 33 Ner became the father of Kish, Kish of Saul,[f] Saul[g] of Jonathan, Malchishua, Abinadab, and Esh-baal; 34 and the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal; and Merib-baal became the father of Micah. 35 The sons of Micah: Pithon, Melech, Tarea, and Ahaz. 36 Ahaz became the father of Jehoaddah; and Jehoaddah became the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri; Zimri became the father of Moza. 37 Moza became the father of Binea; Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 38 Azel had six sons, and these are their names: Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan; all these were the sons of Azel. 39 The sons of his brother Eshek: Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second, and Eliphelet the third. 40 The sons of Ulam were mighty warriors, archers, having many children and grandchildren, one hundred fifty. All these were Benjaminites.

In this passage, we are reminded of the legacy of King Saul. There are three lessons we can learn from the life of King Saul. But when you boil these lessons down into one word, that word would have to be “pride”.

  • First, obey the Lord and seek to do His will. From the very start of his reign, Saul had the perfect opportunity to be the benchmark by which all future kings could be measured. All he had to do was to seek the Lord wholeheartedly, obey God’s commandments, and align his will with that of God’s, and his rule would have been a God-honoring one. However, like so many others, Saul chose a different path and strayed away from God. We find a perfect example of his disobedience in the incident where God commanded him to kill all the Amalekites, but Saul kept the king and some of the spoils of war. Haman the Agagite, who would later seek to kill the Jews (see the book of Esther), was a descendant of the king whose life Saul spared. Saul compounded his troubles by lying to Samuel over the incident. He claimed that the soldiers had saved the best of the animals in order to sacrifice them to God (1 Samuel 15). This act, plus many others over the course of his rule, emphasized the fact that he could not be trusted to be an instrument of God’s will.
  • The second lesson we learn is not to misuse the power given to us. There is no question that King Saul abused the power God had entrusted to him. Pride often creeps into our hearts when people are serving and honoring us. In time, receiving “star treatment” can make us believe that we really are something special and worthy of praise. When this happens, we forget that God is the one who is really in control and that He alone rules over all. God may have chosen Saul because he was humble, but over time that humility was replaced by a self-serving and destructive pride that destroyed his rule.
  • Another lesson for us is to lead the way God wants us to lead. First Peter 5:2–10 is the ultimate guide for leading the people that God has placed in our charge: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” How much different Saul’s life would have turned out had he obeyed these principles. King Saul would have had no shortage of wise counsel available to him. By ignoring God and His wise counsel, Saul allowed the spiritual health of his people to deteriorate further, alienating them from God.

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That’s what Saul teaches me this morning and it’s a basketball analogy about the relationship between a coach and his point guard. The point guard on a basketball team is the on-the-floor liaison between the coach and the rest of the team. He is the one who calls out the offensive plays to be run each time down the floor. He is the one that calls out the defensive set to be run when the other team has the ball. All of his on-the-court directions to the rest of the team comes from the coach. He must trust that the coach is calling the right plays at the right moment and at the right time. He just runs the plays. It is not up to Him what to call. It is not up to him to measure success on each trip down the floor. He doesn’t know what the coach knows. He can’t see the overall painting that the coach is painting for the whole ball game. He is simply to execute the plays in the moment. The point guard is not in charge. The coach is.

Let us, let me, let you begin to trust that we have the hall of fame coach on our side, God, and trust that He is calling the right plays. And trust that this play that we are running right now may not seem successful. And trust the coach knows that is part of a greater plan He has that will set the team up for victory later in the ball game. All we can do is trust the Great Coach and do what He is asking us to do right now and trust Him with the rest of the game.

Amen and Amen.

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