Descendants of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, Reuben, Gad

1 Chronicles 4-6 record the descendants of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, Reuben, Gad, the half tribe of Manasseh and Levi.

One of the major highlights of the descendants of the tribe of Judah was a man named Jabez. His mother chose to name him Jabez because of the pain she experienced during his birth. This pain was the result of the curse that God pronounced in Genesis 3:16. However, while his mother chose to give him a name on the basis of that single painful incident in her life, Jabez wisely sought God on that account and asked God to reverse the tag given to him. Instead, he asked for blessing, enlargement, favour and protection so that instead of the curse, the blessing could take over and operate in his lifetime!

What an amazing example! And God answered his prayer showing that that was exactly what God wanted for Jabez too, 1 Chronicles 4:9,10. Othniel was another outstanding man who judged Israel for 40 years. He was the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, and married Acsah, who was Caleb’s daughter, vs 13, Judges 1:12,13, Judges 3:9-11.

Pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah married Mered who was also part of the tribe of Judah, vs 17,18. The clan leaders of the tribes of Simeon were enterprising and went looking for pasture for their sheep. They subsequently attacked the Hamites’ settlements, as well as the Meunites they discovered there, and dispossessed them, for they found pasture for their sheep, vs 38-41.

Reuben lost his right as the first born because he defiled his father’s bed, 1 Chronicles 5:1,2; and instead that honour was given to Joseph who overcame temptation in the sexual area in relation to Potiphar’s wife. Even Judah was not given this honour, perhaps because he too failed in the sexual area! However, Judah acknowledged his sin and so we see that eventually Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah! The tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh were skilful warriors, and yet, sought God’s help to fight their enemies. God responded to their prayers and fought for them and they won and gained hugh amount of spoils as a result, vs 18-22!

However, as time went by, they were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors and worshiped instead the gods of the native peoples whom God had destroyed before them. So God stirred up enemies against them and they were eventually carried away into exile, vs 25,26!

As the Levites served God faithfully, God Himself was their inheritance and He provided them with the best part of the sacrifices that were offered, as well as the pasture lands for their cattle, 1 Chronicles 6:49-81.

From many of the above examples we can see how our destiny can be changed, if we only turn from our wrong reactions to the situations of life and seek God earnestly, while refusing to settle for anything less than His best. Just because we were born in a certain tribe or under distressing circumstances, that does not necessarily determine our destiny.

Through those situations, it is God’s will for us to rise above those hurdles and become the best version that God has desired us to be.

However, that can only be possible as we refuse to succumb to our ‘so-called fate’, and earnestly seek the ‘author and perfector of our faith’ to know and enter into God’s amazing and dynamic vision and purpose that He has for our lives! Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.