We zero in on the genealogy of Saul. Last time we looked at his line from Benjamin down. Today we duplicate the line from Jeiel.
I read ahead several days ago and almost put this section with the first section on Saul’s genealogy. I held off because I noticed that they are not a full overlap. But today I compared word for word the two passages and found that 1 Chronicles 8:29-37 is almost identical to our passage today. The only difference is in the opening verse. The information is the same but the sentence structure is a little different.
I’m not sure why God had our author include Saul’s genealogy twice but He must have had His reasons. Maybe He wanted us to pay special attention to the fact that He chose an ordinary citizen to become king. Saul was from the line of the LAST of Israel’s sons. When it came to inheritance, Benjamin would have been last in line. This reminds me of the Campbell’s Chicken Soup commercial where all the brothers are getting their serving of soup based on age. When the bowl comes to the last brother, because Campbell’s had increased the amount of chicken in their soup, the little one shouts “I never knew there was chicken in this soup!” Benjamin’s tribe found ‘chicken in their soup’ when he was first in line to produce a king for the nation of God. What a surprise!
Something else this repeated genealogy demonstrates is that the father’s sins didn’t fall fully on the sons. Yes, Saul lost all his sons during his last battle with the Philistines. He even had this prophesied to him by the spirit of Elisha when he called him back from the dead. But his line didn’t end on that hilltop. Through his grandchildren Saul’s line lived on.
David could have ended Saul’s line and done as SEVERAL kings after him did. They destroyed the entire family of the previous king when they took the throne, especially if it was won in battle or passed out of the family’s hands. But David had made a promise to Jonathan and to Saul that he wouldn’t do this. He kept his word to Saul and never sought vengeance on any from his household for wrongs done to him during Saul’s life. There was one from Saul’s household that David asked Solomon to avenge him against, but that was for a personal wrong done to him many years later. David could have left things at this point and he would have fulfilled his promise. But because of his love for Jonathan he wanted to honor Saul’s family.
Jonathan’s only son was found and brought to David’s table. From this position of protection Saul’s family was able to flourish again. All the other ‘sons of Saul’ either died with him or were killed for his sins against the Gibeonites. Even his grandsons through his daughter Merab were included in the blood debt paid by ‘Saul’s sons.’ But Jonathan’s son was spared and Saul’s line continued.
Saul’s family would never serve as kings again but they were given a second chance to be part of Israel’s future. God is the Author of the second chance for ALL of us. None of us have earned that chance. He gives it as a free gift to any who would accept it. And that chance brings with it TRUE life. Eternal life with Him.
God gives us a free gift but it will cost you everything. Accepting His gift will change your life. If it doesn’t then you really never ‘opened the gift’ He gave you. You will find you don’t want to do the things you did before. You will discover a desire to become more like Him. You will cherish spending time with Him and building your relationship. You will be a new person. It cost you the old you but it is SO worth it!
Father God, thank You for Your free gift of salvation. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without it. I don’t have an astounding transformation story when it comes to the day of my salvation but I have a WONDERFUL story of daily transformation. Walking with You and spending time together has changed me forever. And for the BETTER. The anger/temper I carried so much of my life no longer rules in my heart. I will admit that it resurfaces from time to time but it doesn’t rule me any longer. I look forward to the day when I am surprised that I didn’t get upset by something that would normally frustrate me. I know that day will come. I wish it would hurry up though. But patience in waiting is another lesson we are working on together. Thank You for ALL my ‘second chances.’