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April 3, 2023 - 1 Chronicles 10-12

The kingdom was established and Saul was set as the first king but his reign was, how might we put it, a bit less than stellar. Ultimately, he was rejected as king and another, David, rose to the throne. But Saul did some good things; primarily, he united the tribes of Israel in a way that they had not experienced before and he fought against Israel’s enemies. His last battle is described: “Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was wounded by the archers. . . . Thus Saul died; he and his three sons and all his house died together” (10:1-6).

A different story emerges with David: “And David became greater and greater, for the Lord of hosts was with him” (11:9). Of course, that right there – “for the Lord of hosts was with him” – made all the difference. But the Lord had also provided David with his “mighty men,” that is, those great men who went to battle with him and supported him. Just a reminder that, likewise, God is with us, his people, but he has also surrounded us with fellow believers who walk with us and support us and encourage us. The fellowship of the church is a non dispensable component of the Christian life. We do not and cannot live genuine Christian lives without the fellowship of the church. Thank you, Lord, for wonderful, faithful brothers and sisters in Christ!

In the ranks of Christ we stand

With the Savior’s noble band,

Joining with them hand in hand

To defend the truth and right

Touched by holy heavenly love,

“In His name” we forward move.

Praying to our God above

To aid us with His might.

In the ranks of Christ we stand

With the Savior’s noble band,

Joining with them hand in hand

To defend the truth and right! --Elisha A. Hoffman (1899)

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