Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Serving the King (1 Chronicles 12)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Let's give our attention now to first chronicles, chapter twelve. First Chronicles, Chapter Twelve. Now, these are the men who came to David at Ziklag while he could not move about freely because of Saul, the son of Kish and. They were among the mighty men who helped him in war. They were bowmen who could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand. They were Benjaminites, Saul's kinsman. The chief was Ahiezer, then Joe Ash, both sons of Shema AH of Gibeah. Also Jazeel and pellet, the sons of Ozma, Ozma, Ozma Deth Baraka, Jehu and Anatof Ishmai of Gibeon, a mighty man among the thirty and a leader over the thirty. Jeremiah, Jehaziel Johannon, Jazabad of Ghetora, Eluzai, jeremoth they aliah, Shamariyah, Chefataiah, the Hahaphite Elkanah Ishia, Azareel joazare and Jasobeam, the Krahites, and Joe Law and Zebediah, the sons of Jeoho, Jere Roham of ghetor from the GADDITES. There went over to David at the stronghold in the Wilderness, mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of Lions, who were swift as Gazelle's upon the mountains, as are the chief Ohbad I, a second, Eliab, the third, Mishmana Fourth, Jeremiah, v a Tai, sixth, Elliel, seventh, Johannon, eight, elzabad, ninth, Jeremiah, ten, Makbanai, eleven. These gaddyites were officers of the army. The least was a match for a hundred men, in the greatest for a thousand. These are the men who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks and put to flight all those in the valleys to the east and to the West. And some of the men, and Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David. David went out to meet them and said to them, if you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you, but if you would tray me to my adversaries, although there were, there is none wrong in my hands, then may the god of our forefaught, what God of our fathers see and rebuke you. Then the spirit clothed on Asi, chief of the thirty, and said we are yours, Oh David, and with you, Oh son of Jesse, peace peace to you and peace to your helpers, for your God helps you. Then David received them and made them officers of...

...his troops. Some of the men of Manassa deserted to David when he came to the Philip came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying, at peril to our heads, he will desert to his master Saul. As he went to Zik lag, the men of Manassa deserted to him. Odd Nah, Josebad, Jetta, Jettiel, Michael, Jose Abad, Elihu and Zillothi, chiefs of thousands in Manassa. They helped David against the band of Raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army. For from the day, for from day to day, came to men to help him, until there was a great army, like an Army of God. These are the numbers of the divisions of the armed troops who came to David in Hebron to turn the Kingdom of Saul over to him according to the word of Jehovah. The men of Judah, bearing shield and spear. Were six thousand eight hundred armed troops of the asseminate, Simeonites, mighty men of Valor for war. Seven thousand one hundred of the levice. Four thousand six hundred, the Prince of Jehoyda, the house of Aaron, and with him three thousand seven hundred Zadok, a young man mighty and Valor, and twenty two commanders from his own father's house. Of the Benjaminites, the kinsmen of Saul, three thousand of whom the majority had to that point kept their allegiance to the House of Saul. Of the EPHRAMITES. Twenty thousand eight hundred mighty men of valor, famous men to their father's houses, of the half tribe of Manassa. Eighteen thousand who were expressly named to come and make David King of Issakar, men who had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do. Two hundred chiefs and all their kinsmen under their command. Of ZEBULN, fifty thousand season troops equipped for battle with all the weapons of war to help David, with singleness of purpose, of Naphtali, when thousand commanders, with whom were thirty seven thousand men armed with shield and spear, of the Danites, twenty eight thousand six hundred men equipped for battle, of Asher, forty thousand season troops ready for battle, of the Rubenites and Gadites, and the half tribe of Manassa from beyond the Jordan, one hundred and twenty thousand men armed with all the weapons of war. All these men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with full intent to make David King overall Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David King, and they were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, for their brothers had made preparation for them and also their relatives. From as far as this...

...a car and Zebulin and naftally came bringing food on donkeys and camels and on mules and on Oxen, abundant provisions for flour, cakes of figs, clusters of raymonds and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel. God bless his word to us. Well, this is quite a scene, isn't it? It takes a little bit of time to describe, but it's very worth it and we can be glad that the Holy Spirit did take the time. What we have is a picture of David's anointing in chapter eleven. You remember, all Israel gathers together to David and Hebron and they say to him, this is the beginning of chapter eleven, behold, we are bone of your bone and we are bone. Sorry, we behold, we are your bone and flesh. And then they say, they say that he is to be anointed for God had promised that he would be shepherd over the people Israel. Also, at that time we see that the elders come to make him king. David makes a covenant with these representatives. Chapter Twelve points the chapter twelve adds another layer to this and describes from all of Israel, all over the map, thousands and thousands of men coming from every tribe to come and make sure that David stays king. Chapter twelve begins with a flashback. I'm reminding that there were men who came to David earlier when he was at Zick lag, when he was running from Saul. But in all of this you see God's provision or for David. From the very beginning, even when David was on the run, God was bringing men to him. God was providing David with the help he needed to do his job as king, all of these people flowing to him, submitting themselves to him and offering their service. Well, this all culminates in the final verses of Chapter Twelve, and it's this huge celebration, thousands and thousands of people coming together to have this three day feast. Food brought on, food don't brought on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen, this great procession of people and animals, all to celebrate the king, king who has come. Why a huge celebration? Why are all these mighty men of valor and of war sitting down to eat food? Well, the scripture tells us it was joy. There was joy in all Israel. A joyful army is an impressive thing. Armies know a lot of deep feelings, loyalty, loss, fear, courage,...

...duty and here joy. It's worthwhile for us to reflect on the why behind that joy. Why did all of these people come together for this purpose, to celebrate in all of the strength and power that was exhibited there. What made these men, brave, tough, valiant men, and their families so joyful? What caused them to sit down and celebrate such life and with such energy and such abundance? I think the answer is pretty simple. The strength of their beloved king. They came knowing that they were being led by this chosen one of God. They had committed themselves to hearing God's word as he had spoken it, and believed him. These armies and these people who are coming to celebrate. In many ways it feels like a victory celebration, doesn't it? This is often when armies celebrate right not at the beginning of the battle, but at the end, once it's all one, once everything's been accomplished and there is peace, unity prosperity. This great reason for rejoicing. Now, in a sense, the battle had been one. David had been brought to the throne, who had been on the run for quite some time, but yet there was also many battles still to come. You remember, one of the reasons David had to ascend to the throne was because Saul failed to conquer the Philistines. That was David's job. Now these men were coming to him not just to have a big party but to go to war, men who were not just any men, but throughout this entire chapter we're constantly told how great they were. Like the beginning, we read of these Benjaminites who were able to sling stones with either the right or the left hand, a very powerful advantage in a time of war. We read that when we these great numbers of troops, when they come, they're always seasoned troops. And even these, the smaller thousands of numbers, like one thousand or three thousand, these are often commanders, the best of the best Israel is sending their their mighty men, their special task forces there, their elite to come and serve the king. They serve David with faith and with confidence that God will do through him as he is promised, and they're ready to celebrate that. This is important for us to remember because, as David points to us and pictures to us our King King Jesus, we're reminded that we do the...

...very same thing, even every Sunday when we come to worship and we don't have a threeday festival, but we do have a one day festival. We take the time and we remember how Jesus ascended to the throne through the his work on the cross, to he ascended to power, to glory, to victory as the anointed one of God. And when we celebrate, we celebrate in this kind of great fellowship and even around a table. This happens both in worship and after worship. We break from our activities, we take time away from our lands, our people's are places so that we might pray and eat and sing and celebrate and worship, spending time together enjoy over what the king has done. So I want to think about this this evening, this joy that they're celebrating the strength of the king in three ways in particular, three aspects of this joy that they have that comes out in the chapter. You might think of it as this way. These are three benefits that result from the king's strength and the King's victory and God's promise, three things that give us cause for joy, and they are peace and unity and prosperity. First, peace. Now, peace is not usually the first thing we think of when we think of an army or the captain of an army. But it is the end for which any good army is ain't me peace, and this is what in chapter twelve, am as I prophesized. This is in verse eighteen, we read that the spirit clothed amsie, chief of the thirty, and said we are yours, Oh David, and with you so, oh son of Jesse, peace peace to you and peace to your helpers, for your God helps you. This is the aim of these warriors, this is the aim of these mighty men of war and a valor peace. And it's not just an aim, a goal, that they have. It is the spirit of God's expressed desire. He Clothes Amasi and he prophesies in this way, and David receives him. These men are aiming for peace. It's what King Nebuchadnezzar desired for his people and his Babylonian Empire. And Daniel, chapter four, verse one, King Nebuchadnezzar says to all people's nations languages that dwell in all the earth. Peace be multiplied to you. Often in the...

...greeting that I give in the beginning of our worship services, at the beginning of the various letters in the New Testament, we hear this. Grace and peace be to you. This is a goal that our Lord has for his people, and so it's what we read that of King Jesus, what he blesses his disciples with. On The Sunday after his resurrection, after his conquering of the grave, he comes and he stands among his disciples and you know what he says to them. Peace be with you. But peace, as you know, does not come easily, whether that's national peace, international peace or even personal inner peace can be a very hard thing to have sometimes, to feel comfort, to feel at ease, to feel at rest, to know that you are right with God and that things are are good. But there isn't battle and strife going on. It doesn't come easily because sin and evil are everywhere. It's between us as individuals, as neighbors, as Christian brothers and sisters, and it's inside to the Bible tells us that the flesh and the spirit are warring at one another, warring with one another, fighting this battle. We're reminded in scripture and Ephesians to put on the armor of God, to be mighty men of valor, because we don't fight the things of this world, but spiritual powers and darkness. Sin, Satan himself, seeks to tear apart families, churches, countries, to tear US apart from God. Peace is not easily come by, and so when God says here is my anointed king, peace will come through him, you can see why people should stand up and listen. Their ears should open up and say, I want to hear that. Who is this king? And when we hear that it is Jesus, even as they heard it was David, we are right to be filled with joy. That's why God puts these words in amasized mouth. That's why Colossians one says of Jesus, David's son, that through him God reconciled all things, through himself, whether on Heaven, on or on Earth, making peace by the blood of the cross. Jesus will go to his death, he will um go, he will go into battle,...

...he will shed his blood, he will die, but through it all he will be victorious and he will give you peace. So this is why they have joy, this is why they're going to celebrate, because they have been given a king who is giving them peace. Here's a second thing. We receive the strength of our king. Unity. Unity is a lot like peace, but it's perhaps you could describe it as something even greater than peace, because it describes not just the peaceful existence of things, but the peaceful coexistence of things. Unity describes more than things not at war, but as things joining together, becoming one. We read various descriptions of this kind of unity here in First Chronicles, Chapter Twelve, we read of the singleness of purpose of the tribe of Zebulen. We read of all of these people coming together to aid and to help David. Over and over we read that they were coming to help David, to help him. We read of their unity, as there are described in this kind of battle ready order. There and verse Thirty Eight, all these men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with the full intent to make David King over all Israel. It's not a simple thing to gather thousands and thousands of people who are strong and powerful and equipped to destroy one another to come in submission under one single person, unified strength and Power and glory, all coalescing together for unity under King David, multiple tribes, multiple representatives. We know how remarkable this is, because it doesn't last. One day, these tribes will be separated from one another, will be at war. David's own house splitting apart, factions, insurrections, rebellions, people using this power, you, using their strength, using their political and military acumen and wisdom and cleverness, to hurt one another, to destroy and bring things of God down. But not here. Here they are coming together, they're coming in unity. Can you imagine what it would feel like to be marching in this particular army to know that every single person around you is there for the same purpose, the same godly purpose,...

...to see David, the anointed one of God, crowned his King? This is how things should be under the Lord's anointed one, gathering together with him, with him at the head, victorious, a God sent leader. That's because of that unity that they also were able to sit around the table. In some ways. Is this one humongous family, worshiping God, celebrating and full of joy. Now this is true of David, think how much more true this is of King Jesus, who Unites People, not just for a time before all eternity, people who are can come together and celebrate despite great differences, not just coming from and coming from different tribes, but from different languages, different countries, different eras of history. It's remarkable wonderful. Jesus describes his church as one body. He envisions our unity together as so significant that we could be described as one person. That much unity is what all belongs to US under Jesus, our head. That's why, when we live our lives together, we eat and we pray and we laugh and we cry, and we do it not just as people who happen to have similar interests, people who happen to bump into each other along the way, but who people who are united under this king, who are united by the very spirit of God. The same one who, clothed on aside, prophesy about this piece, is the same one who is in each of us and unites us together in a spiritual unity. Again, no wonder we have joy. This is how good our king is. These are the things that he is done and what he has achieved through his blood on the cross and his ascension to power. The last one. There are many we could think of, but prosperity. This celebration is astonishing. Have you ever had a big party at your house, gone to some big box store and bought lots and lots of food, filled up maybe one, two three shopping carts to provide for a lot of food for your family, guests and friends. Maybe you've even done that recently or you're planning on doing it soon. Now listen to this description...

...of this particular celebration and consider this from the angle of prosperity, God's blessing under the anointed King Verse Thirty Nine. And they were with David for three days. Three days, not an evening party, a three day party, eating and drinking for their brothers and sister. Brothers had made preparation for them and also their relatives. From as far as this a car and Zebulin and naftally came bringing food on donkeys, on Campbels, on mules and on Oxen, abundant provisions for flour, cakes of figs, clusters of Raven, raven raisins and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in is real. So you can perhaps imagine a shopping cart full of food. Imagine a donkey or a mule, hundred pounds filled with food. Imagine and an ox or here listed oxen. From what I understand, they can carry about it one and a half times their weight. We're talking about thousands of pounds, thousands of pounds up pulled, I should say. Camels likewise can carry five hundred, six hundred and upwards pounds. This is a lot. Even if you had just four of these animals filled with food, imagine how much that would be. But here what we have pictured is this great celebration, all of these people with animals, pouring in, pouring in, pouring in, and with good food, abundant provisions of delicious things. This is a celebration God is not merely providing them with with the bread and water, gives them raisins and figs and cakes, wine and oil and meat, prosperity, good provision. This is when we put our Thanksgiving meals out on the tables. Right this is what we kind of say, wow at look at all that God has given than to us. We kind of go over the top as a way to celebrate his overthetopness to us, as a way to celebrate the way he just pours out blessings on us. That happens because of our king. You remember the way I quoted King Nebuchadnezzar speaking. He speaks to the whole Earth, all nations, tribes, languages, people's this is no doubt hyperbolely because we know the King Nebuchadnezzar did not rule over every square inch of the earth. But Jesus it's a little different, it's a lot different. Remember what Colossians one said, making peace by making peace by the...

...blood of the cross, reconciling all things to himself. On Earth and in Heaven, Jesus owns it all, the king of Kings, the Lord of Lords, when he ascends to glory, to His throne at the right hand of the heavenly father, he reconciles it all to himself. He owns it all to himself and he gives it to us. Remember what James said earlier, that we read every good and perfect gift coming down from the father who is above. Under the kingship of Jesus we have the prosperity that is pictured here with David and his people, and much, much more. God had promises to give us a new heaven and a new earth. He promises us even now. He says we have every spiritual blessing. Now it's true that sometimes God's people suffer under a lot. Like David, they find themselves in the wilderness fleeing, running, scared, relying on God by faith. There are some Christians around the world who suffer under persecution, under loss, under famine, under great difficulties. But even when these material blessings aren't present, God is continually producing a much richer fruit in all of us, bringing a harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self control. He's bringing these fruits of the spirit to bear on, to to blossom and grow. He provides for us and he promises us that these things will flower into rich blessings and the material blessings that we lack now. It's just for a little time to produce these great spiritual blessings in us, that one day we might enjoy everything, material and a material, physical and spiritual. Even now, God is providing this prosperity for us and all the necessary conditions for it to grow in you think what would it take for Israel to enjoy all these flowers and cakes and raisins? Good soil, good sun, rain, lack of insects, lack of disease, mold, the let's goes on and on. Think of the conditions it takes for God to grow the fruit of the spirit in US, peace with the father, life in the son of God, the pruning and cultivation by the spirit, all these things God is doing for us. He is making us a prosperous people, and this is what we have in Jesus. He is our king, pouring out his spirit on us, bringing to forth these spiritual blene of benefits,...

...promising us a world and a kingdom treasures that we can hardly even imagine. This is what we have in King Jesus, and this is why we, as Christian soldiers, go onward to him and say here, I am O, Lord and King, at your service, ready to help and serve in any way. We gather around the table of the Lord, around the Lord's table communion, and then our homes as well, over simple meals, joining with one and another, celebrating, all because of the grace and strength of our king. This is what God tells to it tells us and teaches us, and first chronicles twelve, this is the joy that we have in the Lord. Now, I admit that there is some degree in difficulty, a degree of difficulty in seeing this, because a lot of this, this celebrating, this joy, it comes to us by faith. You look around, you here now and you see a few people, a few warriors, men of war, people who have put on the armor of God. But we're small group. There aren't thousands and thousands around us. We don't see animals parading in loaded down with cakes and raisins. Can Be hard sometimes to see these things because in some ways we don't see them. Our King is not here, but in heaven, and our mightiest soldiers are not always mighty, are they? They fall, they get confused, they stumble. When we think about our own joy, we know that it is weak, sometimes weeping. Our peace inside is sometimes fraught with struggles. Sometimes we search for it for a long time before we feel peace. Our unity with one another sometimes feels more like strangers in a room than a family at a table. But God gives us this word to remind us of the truth. We, as Christians, are people who judge things not by the way they seem, but by the way they are. We judge things not by the way that they we see them at the moment, but the way that God says that they are, because he is truthful. We judge not. We don't judge eternity by the things that are temporal or the glorious things to come by our momentary afflictions or the things that are promised, by the things that we are waiting on. As Christians, we listen to the passage a God's word from...

...place like first chronicles twelve, and we look away from our situation as it seems to us, the lies that Satan tells us, and we hear the word of God as it is promised to us in Jesus, and we hear a word of truth and we know and we begin to see the peace and prosperity and unity that God has promised. We see the fruits of the spirit in our lives and those around us. We see the way that he provides for us daily, for our eating, for our clothing. We see the way that he has given US victory over sins in our life, over death itself. We judge life based on what God has said, what God has done in Jesus on the Cross. So if you have struggle with peace inside, think of David and think of Jesus, think of the peace that is secured here, the peace that is coming to God's people under this king, and remember how much bore peace, how much everlasting peace, a peace that passes understanding that comes to us in Jesus. If you desire unity with your brothers and sisters, if you feel like community and communion is lacking with those around you, then see things in the light of Jesus, in the light of the spirit that has been given to us, the spirit that unites us with one another. Treat your brothers and sisters not just as strangers, as in a room, but, even though you may not know them very well, as those who are members, even of the same body that you belong to. It gives you reason to have courage to go to them, to get to know them, to come close to them, to be submissive, to forgive, to love. If you desire prosperity, look to King Jesus again. Don't look to the things that fade in this world, but to the treasures in heaven that is waiting for you as an inheritance that belongs to you as the children of God. All of these things are a free gift that God gives to you. He gives this to you freely through his son, and he says here, enjoy. Here is the king who comes into glory, and all this is for you, and that's why we get up and we march together in this life under the banner of our King. It's why we come every Sunday together to worship, to celebrate and enjoy here and now, because our God has given us great joy, everlasting joy, through...

...the strength of the anointed king. May we learn to see things like this, to seek things in this way, not just struggling in the things of this world with no eye on the one whom God has given. But let us see everything, experience everything, feel everything and press on in the joy of the Lord. Let us pray.

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