1 Chronicles 26:7
Shemaiah's sons were Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad; his brothers were Elihu and Semachiah, also capable men.
Sermons
The Blessing of GodW. Clarkson 1 Chronicles 26:1-28
Doorkeepers, Treasure-Keepers, and External ServicesF. Whitfield 1 Chronicles 26:1-32


The reference made to Obed-edom recalls the fact that he and his family were blessed in the trust of work to do for God, the work of caring for his sacred, ark-symbol. We may dwell on God's design in relation to the moral and spiritual characters of men by his putting them in trust, pressing them under the sense of responsibility.

I. MEN PUT IN TRUST. Life is full of these trusts from its beginning to its close. The Divine idea for all men is exhibited in the two great heads of the race. The first Adam was put in Eden, and trusted to dress and keep it, and not to touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The second Adam was set in our human spheres, and trusted with the great work of revealing God to men, and redeeming men from their sins. We may trace the same dealing with men at every stage of life. Man is not his own; he is under authority, trusted with his Lord's goods, and his Lord's commissions.

1. We deal with our children on this principle. We train character by trusts of increasing value. It is only the bad child that may not be trusted.

2. In youth-time there are foretastes of the grave life-responsibilities which help to prepare us to undertake them. In youth-time we begin to feel the gravity of life, and there is a deepening thoughtfulness, the overshadowing of the seriousness of full manhood.

3. The beginning of manhood brings larger and heavier trusts and responsibilities, which call out our best powers. These trusts concern business, the family, society, and religion.

4. And advancing life provides constant addition of trusts, until our middle manhood sometimes seems to be overweighted, and flesh and heart almost fail. Illustrate by a few special cases: e.g.

(1) A man waking up to the consciousness of power, in knowledge, skill, influence, position, or wealth: if he be a true-hearted man to feel - I can - brings a solemn sense of responsibility, and a great longing to be found faithful.

(2) A girl changed into a woman by the responsibility of becoming's wife and a mother.

(3) The case of accepting a religious life. The religious man goes every day under the pressure of this trust - "a God to glorify." And if there is any peculiar nobility and power about the life of the religious man, it comes out of his "trust," and is cultured by his "trust." Then we are no true men or women until we have found out our holy burden, and are taking it up, and bearing it cheerfully, as our Lord's yoke laid upon us. When a man views life on earth aright, he finds it to be no play-scene, in which mere appearances meet the eye and the ear. He finds it full of awful realities and possibilities - a life, not a pastime.

II. MEN CURSED OR BLESSED THROUGH THEIR TRUSTS. A design of blessing is in them, and a tremendous possibility of curse. Lest they should become a curse, they are only given up to the measure of a man's ability. If more were entrusted to us than we could undertake, our natures could only be crushed. In this view some may be thankful that they have only one talent; and some warnings come from the careers of those whom we call "men of genius." Men are blessed by their trusts when their whole natures open to accept them, - as flowers, responsive to sun and shower, open to receive, and are blessed. In lifting ourselves up to meet trusts is found the repression of all evil, and the culture of all good - the very blossoming of our nature. The true conception of the angel is not with folded wings, standing, but with poised, or outspread wings, ready to obey, rising to meet his trust. Men are cursed by their trusts, when they despise or neglect them; when they are unwilling to belong to another; when their natures are shut up to pleasure, not to duty; to self, not to God. Do you say - But my trusts seem such little things? So they are. So must all human trusts be. It is a little thing just to take care of God's ark. Nevertheless they are arranged in the heavenly Father's wisdom, and they may - if we will let them - culture the earth-children for their heavenly home. Let us be "faithful over the few things." - R.T.







For God blessed him.
Learn —

I. THAT GOD WILL HONOUR SIGNAL SERVICE.

II. THAT SIGNAL SERVICE THUS REWARDED IS COMMENDED TO OUR NOTICE.

1. That we may discern the goodness of God.

2. That we may imitate the example.

(J. Wolfendale.)

I. WHAT IT CONSISTS OF.

1. Family increase.

2. Family honour.

3. Family reputation.

II. HOW IT IS GAINED.

1. By a right mind.

2. By right action.

(J. Wolfendale.)

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