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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

May 1, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: I Chronicles 3-5


I Chronicles 5:20

And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.


Today, you will read, or have read, of two great prayers and one group that should have prayed. In chapter 4 Jabez prayed. This is a prayer that was made famous a few years ago through marketing efforts. It is commonly called “The Prayer of Jabez", though the hero was actually Almighty God. He answered the man’s prayer. All glory should go to the Lord, not the person who prays.


The second prayer recorded in today’s reading is lesser known, in fact it is hardly known at all. It is found in chapter 5, verses 18-22. This prayer came from the Reubenites (Reuben), the Gadites (Gad), and those of the half tribe of Manasseh. These all lived on the east side of the Jordan river. In this army there were 44,760 men and the Bible says, …they cried to God...  Imagine 44,760 people covenanting together to implore Heaven with their prayers asking for help. God heard their prayer and answered them, simply because they put their trust in Him.


Then there is I Chronicles 5:25-26. It is a sad commentary. The war mentioned in verses 18-22 is not able to be reckoned by date. There is no way to know how much time passed between the time they prayed for God’s help in the war with the Hagarites (the lineage of Ishmael) and these sad verses of 25-26. Somewhere along the line, this tribe turned from praying to God to worshipping the god of the people of the land. They were idol worshippers. They were also among the first to be carried away in the Assyrian captivity. Evidently these three tribes, Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh provoked God mightily. Maybe, they should have continued praying.


It can happen quickly, or it may take time. But all too often individuals who once prayed to God, lived for Him, trusted in Him, and were totally dependent upon Him change. They leave Him. Ask any pastor, they’ve seen it. It happens more than one would think.


What happened to these tribes? We don’t know. What happens to cause some to leave the Lord God for false gods and sinful manners of living? We don’t know. But we do know this: it can happen. Perhaps Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:12 holds a clue as to why. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.


Dr. William T. Howe

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