1 Chronicles 8:1-17 – Hey Moms, How Do You Like The American Dream?

Posted: May 6, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 8:1-17

David’s Military Victories

Do you have more month than you have money? Is it always a struggle every month to pay your bills? Do you often have to pick and choose what to pay and what not to pay instead of just paying it all? Do you complain about it? Are you frustrated by it and does it cause friction in your relationship? But yet, look outside. We claim that we HAD to have both of those brand new cars (and the payments that go with them!). As you sit outside on the back porch this mid-spring day and sip your fresh-brewed fancy starbucks for home coffee and your back porch has all the finest porch furniture and plants. It just looks so perfect. There’s a pool just beyond the porch that was a big chunk of change. You look back at your house. It is over 3,000 square feet of space. It is a modern classical house. The finest brick. The appliances in the kitchen would put any of HGTV’s home makeovers to shame. The living room has the latest in audio and visual technologies. It is an entertainment paradise. None of it was cheap. The bedrooms are spacious with the finest furniture for you and your family. The dining area is the latest in chic in-home dining. Beyond that is the laundry/mudroom with all the latest in laundry technology. The door locks to the house and security system are all on-demand video enhanced tech gadgets. You look again out back at the specially built detached garage that your husband built. Inside it you see the four-wheelers, the jet skis and the boat. On the coffee table beside you, there are bills from the beach house including the mortgage on it. But yet, life is a struggle. We have more things that require upkeep and payments than we have money. But, hey, this is the way life is supposed to be. This is what we wanted. This is the American dream. To have all the stuff, right?

However, do you feel like that your stuff rules you. Do you look back at your parents and grandparents and wonder how your mom or your grandmom got to stay home and raise the kids and keep the house but you are having to be a mom and work a 40-60 hour a week job too. And between you and your husband making two incomes, there just never seems to be enough money to go around. Do you think that at some point in the future y’all will get ahead of the endless cycle of swimming upstream against the bills vs. money thing? Do you long for a day when you as a mommy can choose to work or not rather than it being an absolute necessity? We you are not alone in this picture that I just painted. Most American moms live the same life. On the outside it looks like you have everything that you could ever ask for, beautiful house (inside and out), new cars, all the latest recreational toys, a pool in the backyard, a beach house, you name it. But it’s a tense struggle of staying ahead of all the bills that almost completely sucks the joy out of life.

That rat race cycle of life is what I thought about when I read about how David handled the spoils of victory. It was the complete opposite of what most of us would do. Most of us when we get a sudden windfall of money, we blow it on something extravagant. David took it and put it to use for the Lord. With that idea in mind along with the American Dream rat race, let’s read 1 Chronicles 18:1-17 together right now:

Chapter 18

1 In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Gath and its surrounding villages from the control of the Philistines.

2 David also defeated the Moabites, and they became subject to him and brought him tribute.

3 Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah, in the vicinity of Hamath, when he went to set up his monument at[a] the Euphrates River. 4 David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses.

5 When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. 6 He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought him tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

7 David took the gold shields carried by the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 From Tebah[b] and Kun, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, David took a great quantity of bronze, which Solomon used to make the bronze Sea, the pillars and various bronze articles.

9 When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer king of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Hadoram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer, who had been at war with Tou. Hadoram brought all kinds of articles of gold, of silver and of bronze.

11 King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold he had taken from all these nations: Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek.

12 Abishai son of Zeruiah struck down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He put garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

14 David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelek[c] son of Abiathar were priests; Shavsha was secretary; 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief officials at the king’s side.

In this passage, we see the list of battles that David won. It shows how God gave David victory after victory. Those who do not love God in the way that David does often think that our victories whether it be in our personal life or our careers are a result of our own skill and maybe a little luck. However, David always acknowledged God’s role in his success. Additionally, these sentiments were not just words to David. He took action on them as well. Whenever there was plunder from victory or tribute paid by a subdued kingdom, he would dedicate the spoils of victory to the Lord. These goods and currency were used for the glory of God. It is often easy for us to think of our material blessings are the result of our own ingenuity, skill and/or hard work rather than coming from God. Realizing that God is the source of our ingenuity, skill and ability to work, we should dedicate all of our resources to His glory. We should arrange our lives in such a way that money does not rule us and allow us to give generously to our Lord and to better the lives of those around us.

Getting back to my illustration now. Why is it that we have succumbed to the lie that we have to have all these things to be happy. And we are training our kids that this is the way it’s supposed to be as well, so that adds additional fuel to the fire. Why is it that we go down this road. Almost every American does and we do not even realize it until we are swimming in debt to the point that it swallows us or we get divorced or we lose our job. Let us stop the madness right now. Let us begin to put God first in our finances like David did here in this passage.

Let us use our tax refunds not to spend on frivolities but to pay down and pay off debts such as cars, boats, second properties, and so on. Let us use bonuses to do the same thing including paying of outstanding credit cards. Let us then get our bills under our incomes. Let us shoot for getting our bills under 90% of our income. Let us then begin tithing 10% to our church. Let us continue to getting those bills under control such that all our bills can be paid by your husband’s income and then allow you, the mom, the one who makes the family run, to work outside the home (1) to build a nest egg for the future or (2) stay home and run the family full-time. Let us then live simply. Let us then pay of the cars and keep them in tip top running condition instead of buying new ones every 2-3 years. Let us take a breath and exhale. Let us live where we can be generous to the Lord like David. Let us live simply where we can be generous to those in need in our sphere of influence when the situation calls for it. Let us be able to be a blessing to others financially when the Lord leads us to it. Help us to stop the craziness of the rat race that is the American Dream! Live Simply. Love The Lord. Be Generous.

Amen and Amen.

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