Howdy. That’s Texan for hello. Welcome to Series Six of Satisfied. The Series Six podcasts enhance the Reboot Renew Rejoice Bible Study of the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles. I’m Melanie Newton, just an everyday kind of woman who loves the Lord and His Word.
In the last podcast, we looked at the rewards of approaching life God’s way. Today’s podcast will cover Lesson 3 of Reboot Renew Rejoice Bible Study. We’ll look at how trustworthy people put God first in their hearts and in their ambitions.
A Trustworthy Servant Who Put God First
Marching through David’s life in 1 Chronicles, I saw lots of names mentioned. And, many of them have special notations about the character of the people or their purpose in the kingdom. For example, 1 Chronicles chapter 26 mentions "Zechariah, a wise counselor." In 1 Chronicles chapter 27, Benaiah "was a mighty man among the Thirty and was over the Thirty." We read that Jonathan, who was David's uncle, is described as a counselor, a man of insight, and a scribe.
Then, there's Obed-Edom. His name just keeps popping up from 1 Chronicles chapter 13 all the way through chapter 27. Lots of times. Yet, he is pretty-much unknown by us Christians except for a few Old Testament scholars. After reading the various references, my conclusion was that one word could especially describe this man—trustworthy.
I first read Obed-Edom's name in 1 Chronicles chapter 13. After David's disastrous attempt to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem, the Bible says that,
"[David] took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom, the Gittite. The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the Lord blessed his household and everything he had." (1 Chronicles 13:13-14)
Would you have raised your hand and said, “Yeah, put the Ark of God in my spare bedroom?” I’m not sure I would.
This Obed-Edom guy wasn't a random person whom David picked to get the Ark off of his hands for a few months. He was a Levite who had already demonstrated his faithfulness as a "gatekeeper"—the job assigned to his particular branch of the Levites. According to 1 Chronicles chapter 9,
"The gatekeepers had been assigned their positions of trust by David and Samuel the [prophet]. They and their descendants were in charge of guarding the gates of the house of the LORD." (1 Chronicles 9:22)
The house of the Lord at that time was the Tabernacle. A team of gatekeepers served for seven-day stints. Some guarded the four sides. Others were entrusted with the responsibility for the rooms and treasures stored there. Some were also in charge of the articles used in the worship service. They counted them when they were brought in and when they were taken out. They even had the key to open and close the Tabernacle morning and night.
Obed-Edom had been in charge of the South Gate and the storehouse, probably for several years. And, he had proven that he could be trusted to guard the Ark in his own house. He did that faithfully for 3 months! He was trustworthy.
When the Ark was finally moved to Jerusalem, Obed-Edom was part of the praise team, playing his harp during the celebration parade (1 Chronicles 15:21; 16:4-5). I picture a man whose reputation was that he loved God and loved praising God. When the ark was placed in its new tent in Jerusalem, Obed-Edom was designated to be one of the 4 gatekeepers for it there. This man was trustworthy.
A man of character like that usually has an impact on his own family. A description of his family is in 1 Chronicles chapter 26. We find out that God had blessed him with numerous sons. The Bible says that his firstborn son also had sons "who were leaders in their father's family because they were very capable men. All the descendants of Obed-Edom and even their relatives—62 in all—were capable men with the strength to do the word.” I love that. Strength to do the word of God. Whatever God had decreed that they were supposed to do, they did it. Wow! What an impact! Leaders. Capable. Strength to obey God. Sons, grandsons, and relatives. That’s the legacy of a trustworthy man.
Commission to the Next Generation to Put God First
King David also wanted his legacy as a trustworthy king to be continued after he died. As we finished out 1 Chronicles, we read how David so diligently tried to prepare for the building of the Temple and the passing on of his love for God to his own successor (Solomon) and to the people who would be surrounding Solomon.
In 1 Chronicles 22, David called Solomon to his side and commissioned him with the building of the house for the Lord, the God of Israel. But, that's not all. David says this to Solomon,
"May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous." (1 Chronicles 22:12-13)
When I read that, my first thought was that David planted the seed in Solomon's mind to desire discretion and understanding as king. That’s to desire wisdom. Solomon already had peace and prosperity. When God told Solomon later to ask whatever he wanted, Solomon responded with "wisdom." That's David's influence in his son's life.
After speaking to Solomon, David called together the leaders of Israel and commissioned them to do three things: devote their own hearts to the Lord, help his son Solomon, and build that Temple for God! This was David's commission to the current generation as well as the next generation. And, in those words, he kept telling them to put God first!
Later in 1 Chronicles 28, David knew his time to die was very near so he basically repeated the same commission but with a new twist. He summoned all the tribal leaders, government officials, army commanders, priestly leaders, and his palace officials together. In front of this huge group of Israel's leaders of every area of life, he reconfirmed God's choosing of him to be king and God's choosing of Solomon to be his successor. In front of the whole crowd, David turned to Solomon and said this,
"acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” (1 Chronicles 28 9-10)
What a commission! Put God first. Then, in front of everyone, David gave Solomon the plans of all that the Holy Spirit had put in his mind for the physical Temple itself plus the team assignments for all those who would work at the Temple and even the weight of precious metals to be used for each article that went into the Temple. David’s gift of organization just floored me.
David completed this commission with these words in verse 19,
"All this I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and He gave me understanding in all the details of the plan." (1 Chronicles 28:19)
That was the inspiration of the Spirit on David. That was David depending on the Lord! It was God's house to be done God's way. David's heart was with God all throughout his life. Once again David confirms to the young Solomon that God’s powerful presence is with him. Just do the work!
In 1 Chronicles 29, David modeled before Israel’s leaders what it looked like to give to God. David brought out from his own treasures to give to the Temple building fund. After seeing their king do this, the leaders all gave generously. David's public prayer that follows said this to God,
"everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand (1 Chronicles 29:14)."
If we could only see our wealth that way. Putting God first, even in that.
David then affirmed in front of all of Israel's leaders (current and future) that God would "test the heart" and that He is "pleased with integrity." Then he asked that God would, "keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever and keep their hearts loyal to you. And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands.”
David led his people in praise and worship of God and reminded them to stay strong in their faith as he had done in his life. They were to also support their next king and carry on the legacy of faithfulness to God. It's David's commission to the next generation. Put God first, and everything else will fall into place.
That’s how to recognize someone who is trustworthy. They put God first. They choose to approach life His way. They recognize and submit to the power of His presence.
I hope the Lord considers me trustworthy. I hope I have such a legacy in my descendants. The legacy of a trustworthy woman. What about you?
Our God’s powerful presence helps us to reboot our lives, renew our commitment to Him, and live a life of rejoicing as a result. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the power of His presence in you. You have the ability to be trustworthy. You can choose to renew your devotion to God every day so that it is wholehearted commitment not half-hearted. The rewards are immense. Rejoice, my friend, that God is with you.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with the power of His presence. Then, live in that power!
Until next time, I’m Melanie Newton. And, this is Series 6 of Satisfied.