First Chronicles 4 Commentary
The listing of God’s people continues but it is the usual names and not simple and summarized figures like ‘x’ clans for Judah, or ‘y’ clans for Simeon. Summarized figures would be easier for us but it is not the LORD’s way. The LORD calls us by name. We are listed in the Book of Life by name. Names are important to the LORD.
This chapter lists the other clans of Judah and the last section is reserved for the tribe of Simeon. The tribe of Simeon is listed next, not because it was the second-largest but because Simeon resided within the territory of Judah. At the last census recorded in the Book of Numbers, Judah numbered 76,500 while Simeon’s population was only 22,200. Judah would go on to inherit a much bigger portion of land while Simeon would get portions of land within Judah.
We are reminded of the blessing of Simeon and Levi in Genesis 49. “Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.” Genesis 49 verse 7.
There is a way the word of the LORD throws its weight around through generations. We often cannot see it, but it actually determines the course of a man’s destiny. Simeon remained an insignificant force in Israel – the scattering bearing fruit to perfection.
This chapter is highlighted by an isolated section: the story of Jabez. It interrupts the smooth flow of the listing, but what a beauty! Jabez petitioned the LORD for a blessing: increased territory, the LORD’s presence, and protection. What a lesson to the praying saint! What a lesson to the world of pain and suffering. The world cannot live free of pain without the Jabez formula.
We are reading about all these names here because of the LORD’s blessing. Isaac, who fathered all these children was a non-starter project of an overly aged barren womb.
We exist today because of the blessing in Genesis 1 verse 28. The LORD had blessed the first couple with the ability to reproduce. Your children exist because of this blessing. Jabez wasn’t joking when he sought the blessing of the LORD. The word blessing is one never to be used lightly as it contains the very purposes of the LORD. Pain represents the absence of the blessing of the LORD and we all know why. But the good news is that a man, like Jabez in this chapter, can seek the blessing of the LORD by prayer.
Should saints be reminded that prayer must be said in Jesus’ name? Perez is the son of Judah and therefore inherited the blessing of Judah. Is Jesus Christ your father for you to enjoy the name? Are you born again into this new family and earned the right to use this name?
More resources visit http://www.lovingscripture.com