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Officials of David’s Kingdom

Read 1 Chronicles 27:30-31, 33

Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels. Jehdeiah from Meronoth was in charge of the donkeys. Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the king’s flocks of sheep and goats. All these officials were overseers of King David’s property.

Ahitophel was the royal adviser. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend.
(1 Chronicles 27:30-31, 33)

Reflect

To our modern eyes, these names with their hometowns or ancestry seem like quaint details that are otherwise meaningless. But look more closely.

Obil was a descendant of Ishmael, the banished older brother of Isaac. Ishmael’s descendents were openly hostile to Israel’s descendants (Genesis 16:12; 25:18).

Jaziz was a Hagrite, descendants of Abraham’s banished concubine Hagar. Relations between Israel and the Hagrites were usually hostile. The tribe of Reuben battled against them repeatedly (1 Chronicles 5:10, 19-20). Asaph, the psalmist, asked God to curse the Hagrites (Psalm 83).

Hushai was an Arkite from Canaan (Genesis 10:15-17). God instructed Israel to eliminate the Canaanites from the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 7:1-5).

Men like Obil, Jaziz, and Hushai reveal something of God’s grace (see Exodus 12:48; Leviticus 22:18-19). They were foreigners among God’s people. More than that, they were in the top tiers of power.

We were once foreigners to God’s grace too (Ephesians 2:11). We “lived in this world without God and without hope,” but “now all of us can come to the Father,” the top tier of power (Ephesians 2:12, 18).

Respond

The New Testament tells us, “You Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family” (Ephesians 2:19). Praise God that we, who are Gentiles, have become members of God’s household.

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