1 Chronicles 8 Commentary
We saw in the Book of judges how the Israelites copied the practices of the Canaanites. Instead of driving them out, they simply mixed in. Confusion reigned. Leadership was lacking. In reality, it was the blessing of dominion that was lacking. A human king was would help stabilize the ship. The LORD chose Saul. Chapter 8 is about Saul’s family line.
We have an expanded family line through Saul’s firstborn son Jonathan. Jonathan is a worthy son who never became king. His invalid son Mephibosheth would go on to father his own and preserve Jonathan’s line. But it’s a list of ‘nobodies’. Contrast David’s line and the line of his all-time best friend Jonathan. David’s line, chapter 3, is a line of kings and community leaders. On the other hand, Jonathan’s line, chapter 8, is a line of ‘nobodies’, comparatively.
During a deep crisis at the palace, Mephibosheth was dropped and became permanently lame in both feet. Consider the fate of Joash, the baby prince who survived a similar crisis at the palace. One went on to settle at Lo-debar, a getto town. The other would seek protection at the temple of the LORD under the High Priest Jehoiada. He became king aged 7 and would later father the next king in line.
What we do, or don’t do is important. Jonathan’s potential was undone by a sinful Saul. Saul’s dynasty was short-lived.
David’s heart was drawn to the LORD. The equally sinful southern kingdom survived for a longer period. The LORD kept on remembering David each time He drew the sword of judgment against Judah. Parents do well to remember that a life lived under the Law is a life well invested. It is never wasted.
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