1 Chronicles 7, 8
Now the sons of Issachar were, Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimrom, four.…

Two conspicuous features are presented in these chapters - genealogy and warfare. Only those are numbered who were found in the registers, and these are all soldiers and "mighty men of valour." They are described in the seventh chapter (vers. 11-40) as "fit to go out for war" and "apt to the war." Thus it is with all God's people. They are of the genealogy. They are "born again," "not of flesh, nor of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God." Their names are in the register, too, not in the earthly book - the baptismal register only, of which these earthly registers of Israel may be considered as figures - but in the "Lamb's book of life." They know their genealogy, they can trace their pedigree. They are "sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty." Christ is their elder Brother. And they are all "soldiers. They were redeemed for this end, that they should be good soldiers of Jesus Christ," and "war a good warfare." But how are they to become "valiant," "apt," "fit"? By the discipline of the Holy Spirit, by the afflictions and trials and sufferings of the way, which often make the heart to bleed and the eye to weep. We are told that Solomon bad "eighteen thousand stone-squarers" in preparing the stones in Lebanon for the temple on Zion. God has many more than these in preparing his "living stones" in this Lebanon-world for the glorious temple on Mount Zion. We have an instance of this spiritual discipline in this chapter (1 Chronicles 7:21-23). It seems to have been an episode in Egypt before Israel had left it. The patriarch Ephraim was then alive, and at a very advanced age. The men of Gath came suddenly down upon the family of Ephraim (for they, not Ephraim, were the aggressors, if we substitute the word "when" in ver. 21 for "because," the correct rendering) for the purpose of plundering their flocks. Ephraim's sons were slain. The aged father was deeply afflicted. In accordance with Eastern custom (see Job 2:11; John 11:19), distant relatives came to offer their condolences. So deeply did the bereavement weigh upon the aged father that he perpetuated the memory of his sorrow by calling his next son "Beriah, because it went evil with his house." So suddenly do calamities overtake us here l We know not what a day may bring forth. The postman's knock may dash the fairest schemes to pieces and drape our landscape in gloom. Oh, what is there sure here? Nothing but Christ. And, like the mother of Jabez and Ephraim here, our sorrows come, and we, in our unbelief and short-sightedness, look at our sorrows and see nothing else. We see not the bow of mercy spanning the cloud - the love that is behind - and so we hang our heads in sorrow, and we write "Jabez" on this and "Beriah" on that. Oh that we could trust that love more in darkness as well as in light! - W.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now the sons of Issachar were, Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four.

WEB: Of the sons of Issachar: Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four.

The Old Order Changeth
Top of Page
Top of Page