If God can redeem his ancient people from bad leaders like Saul by giving them good men like David, through whose lineage comes the Son of David, there is hope for us. Through Jesus, the only perfect God-man, we find eternal rescue. Yes, God will redeem us too, warts and all.
Going Deep // Focus: 1 Chronicles 8:1,33
Benjamin was the father of Bela his firstborn…Ner was the father of Kish, Kish the father of Saul, and Saul the father of Jonathan, Malki-Shua, Abinadab and Esh-Baal.
Israel’s first king turned out to be a complete disaster. The prophet Samuel anointed Saul, a once humble Benjamite, to be Israel’s inaugural monarch. He began with such promise and utter dependence on the Lord. He looked to Samuel for mentoring, and early on, he led the nation to stunning victories over their enemies—the dreaded Philistines and pesky Ammonites, to name a few. After hundred’s of dismal years under the Judges, Israel had a champion, a man who was head and shoulders, both physically and in terms of personal charisma, above everybody else. You can read about Saul’s early successes in 1 Samuel 10-11.
But things quickly went south when Saul began to take credit for his stunning successes. His victories and growing popularity among a nation desperate for a king went to his head, for he didn’t have the depth of character to withstand human worship. In fairness, not too many people can, since only God is built for worship. Because Saul drifted from humble dependence, organic acknowledgement and quick obedience to God, the Spirit of God lifted from him and he became an increasingly desperate, even demented leader. Saul crashed and burned—publically and spectacularly.
So why would scripture then give him am entire chapter by spelling out his genealogy? Why not hide this sad and sordid part of Israel’s history? Well, the chronicler probably had several things in mind, not the least of which was to connect the dots in the history of Israel’s monarchy. That is the job of someone who is tasked with reporting the history of something. But I believe that God had a higher purpose in mind than what the writer may have been thinking in his conscious brain.
You see, one of the things that powerfully authenticates the veracity of scripture is its willingness to present God’s people, warts and all. The Bible doesn’t try to hide the flaws of its characters, even it’s heroes: Abraham’s fears, Jacob’s deceptiveness, David’s adultery, Solomon’s addictions, Peter’s blunders, and so on. Other books that purport to be divinely inspired go to great lengths to hide the misdeeds and missteps of their heroes; not the Bible. It is raw, it is real and it treats sin as it deserves, roughly.
That is one of the reasons why you can trust the Bible. There are other reasons of course, and this is neither the time nor the place to detail those reasons, but the transparency of scripture is a very powerful indicator of its trustworthiness as well as a legitimate apologetic.
Now an important reason for this transparency must be acknowledged here: The Bible is this way because it is not a book primary about man; it is the book of God. It is about God and his plan for the ages. And what the Bible clearly reveals in exposing the flaws of our faith ancestors is that even the best of us are deeply flawed and desperately in need of God’s mercy and grace—which is exactly what is revealed throughout the pages of scripture, from beginning to end.
And that gives hope to thoroughly flawed and desperate people like you and me. If God can redeem his ancient people from bad leaders like Saul by giving them good men like David, through whose lineage comes the Son of David, there is hope for us. Through Jesus, the only perfect God-man, we find eternal rescue for our Saul-like souls.
Yes, God will redeem us too, warts and all.