1 Chronicles 5 Commentary

First Chronicles 5 Commentary


Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. These tribes are listed together largely because they shared a common destiny. Their portions of land fell on the eastern side of the Jordan, as allocated by Moses. Numbers 32.

The Trans-Jordan tribes were the first to be scattered because they were the first ones to lose faith. The LORD had helped the Trans-Jordan tribes to conquer others. Because of sin, the same LORD helped others to conquer and scatter them.

Like communities, Reuben the person was scattered from his position as the firstborn son of Jacob.

Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it. Genesis 49 verse 4. NIV.

Reuben was both weak and wicked. Consequently, his rights as firstborn were given to Joseph. Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, would represent the double portion that traditionally went to the firstborn son. They were listed independently and would occupy two different portions of land.

The blessing of fruitfulness would go to Joseph. The blessing of dominion, be it a shadow version, would go to Judah.

Many centuries had passed since the events that defined Reuben’s destiny. Time is a great healer but it cannot heal sin. Only genuine repentance can. The descendants of Reuben still lived under the blessing reversals suffered by their errant ancestor. What the saint does affects countless generations after him.

A moment of moral failure defined Reuben’s destiny. Joseph had the same exam with the wife of Potiphar. It became a moment of great worship. Those who honor the LORD are honored in return.

Sadly, the turbulence of Reuben had become the turbulence of Israel. Israel would no longer excel. We have seen the workings of the word of the LORD – so rigid. Like an all-conquering train, it defines its own rails and smashes all obstacles. It cannot be stopped. These lines are a celebration of the unchanging and all-powerful word of God. Our own lives are defined by what it says, be it negative or positive.

Genuine repentance has a way to stop or completely alter the course of history as defined by the word of the LORD.

More resources visit http://www.lovingscripture.com

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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