History of a nation: the hero in the family

Cover to Cover

Reading: 1 Chronicles 6:48-8:40

Focus: 1 Chronicles 8:6, 1-40

Continuing the series of genealogies of Chronicles, we come to the genealogy of the tribe of Benjamin. If you’ve noticed, most of the tribes only get a summary of their genealogy, where there is special mention given to the line of David in relation to the kings of Judah, the line of Aaron in relation to the priesthood, and now, the line of Saul in relation into his role as the first king of Israel.

One particular name that stands out in this genealogy is the Ehud. In the history of Israel, Ehud was one of the judges (Judges 3:12-30) which delivered the Israelites from oppression and led the people during his lifetime. Such a name within the ancestry of Saul must give the coming king added credibility. What greater credibility can one have than a renown hero of Israel’s history.

So, what’s the point of highlighting Ehud in Saul’s ancestry. Well, simply that one’s ancestry has little consequence on the character of a person. Just because you have a hero in the family does not mean that one becomes a hero in themselves. Saul was far from the hero that Ehud was known as (but we’ll see more of this later). However, the point still stands…one’s past family history may influence one’s future, but does not characterise how that future is fulfilled.

It is easy as Christians to take the easy way out and say that we are children of God redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, but that in itself only ensures our future destination in the Kingdom of God. It does not, in itself, ensure that we grow and mature in our faith and character as Christians. These aspects are known as “justification” and “sanctification”.
We are justified by the blood of Jesus Christ, that is, by His death and resurrection we are acquitted of our sins. However, we are not sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ, in and of itself—that is, our spiritual growth and maturity. We are sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives. Sure, you might say that you believe in Jesus, but that doesn’t make you any better a person than the person next to you. It is only by an intentional decision to allow the work of the Spirit in one’s life that one grows and matures as a Christian.

Next Reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-3:18