We get a peek at “who’s who” in David’s kingdom. Some of these people we see a lot and others get very little mention. But they were all important to the running of Israel in David’s time.
Let’s start off with a “WHAT?” The last group mentioned in our reading is David’s sons. They “were priests” (verse 18b). How is this possible? God ordained the line of Levi to be priests. I haven’t seen anywhere where He changed that. And we KNOW David is of the line of Judah. This is a BIG departure from the Law. Did David ask God before doing this? Did his sons minister in the tent of David or were they priests of another nature? I seriously doubt they were priests to other gods. Yet I can’t answer the question of what this means. THIS will certainly be a bench question!
Back at the beginning of our reading we see a familiar name; Joab. David didn’t punish him severely for his actions against Abner. Joab became leader over the army. He was a skilled tactician and David made use of those skills. He will be part of David’s greatest sin later on. One of David’s final acts will be to insure that Joab does NOT become one of Solomon’s advisors. Joab will meet his end while holding onto the horns of the altar in the Tabernacle. He receives this death for the deaths of two “righteous men” whom he killed in peace time for blood shed during war. One of these men was Abner and the second will be Amasa. Joab will get into other conflicts with David but we will visit those later on.
I have heard the name Jehoshaphat before but don’t know much about his history. This Jehoshaphat is mentioned only twice and both mentions state he was the recorder for David. Apparently the life of this recorder didn’t garner a lot of attention. I wonder if he helped record the psalms David sang. Was he a recorder for ALL that transpired in David’s kingdom or a personal recorder? Did he help write the chronicles of the kings? He would be an interesting man to meet.
The next people on our lists are true priests. They are of the line of Levi. Zadok and Ahimelech were the priests David set in place over the tent of David. Ahitub is the son of the only surviving priest from the massacre at Nob; Abiathar. Abiathar joined David at Ziklag and brought with him the ephod. Abiathar stirs up trouble in David’s kingdom near the end. (Because names are reused and often changed a bit, Ahirub and Abiathar’s relationship in this order is only mentioned here. One bible commentary surmises that they were father and son and both had the same names which were used interchangeably by whichever scribe was currently writing. I leave this one up to you to decide.)
Seriaiah was secretary. I wonder what a secretary did. Was he the one who would write the edicts of the king as they were given? Did he take care of the treasury too? We aren’t given much information about this man but he was apparently important enough to list among David’s officials.
The last man we see named in Benaiah. He will become commander of the king’s army after Joab is killed. Benaiah is the one who actually kills Joab as he holds onto the horns of the altar in the Tabernacle. This is a task he was given, NOT revenge or an effort of advancement. He is faithful to David, and his decision of successor, in the end of his life; unlike Joab. Until Joab’s death, Benaiah is over the allies of David from other nations. They had been with David for some time.
I like seeing the ‘backstory’ of these people but I got lost a few times. There are repeat names and name changes that waylaid me. I also had to find out who all the players were and what happened to them. I think my ‘take away’ from today’s reading is that you don’t have to be spectacular in God’s kingdom to get noticed. God orchestrated these ‘shout-outs’ to these individuals. Some of them had no other distinction than making this list, yet make it they did. God sees ALL of us in the roles He places us in. EVERYONE is important in making His Kingdom grow.
Father God, thank You for my place in Your plan. It isn’t big but it’s where You put me. I pray my efforts always reflect Your truth. Help me do ‘my part’ with integrity and love.