Raising Significant Children Obed-Edom – Part 6

1 Chron 26:6&8 – because they were men of great ability.  

All these were of the sons of Obed-Edom, they and their sons and their brethren, able men with strength for the work: sixty-two of Obed-Edom.

Today, looking at these sons of Obed-Edom and how they turned out, makes me want to reflect on why these sons became so significant. Was it the fact that God blessed Obed-Edom’s household? Was it what Obed Edom did with these sons of his? Was it just a fluke? Really why were all his sons so great, that the bible records it twice?

I have lived over 60 years on this earth. I have seen many people show great promise and end up ship-wrecked and I have seen others born into dire circumstances and without any hope of becoming significant, yet they have transcended their seemingly disadvantaged backgrounds and become great people. Do good homes naturally produce good children and vice versa? This is not a simple conundrum. It baffles the mind.

The ark was in the house of Abinadab for about 20 years and not one of his sons was captured by the bible as significant. Samuel was a great prophet, used so mightily by God, yet his sons were not great men. Aaron was the father of Nadab and Abihu, who offered profane fire before the Lord, Eli was the chief priest in Israel and his son (Hophni and Phinehas) were referred to as sons of Belial (sons of the devil, wicked and worthless). David had sons like Absalom, Adonijah and Ammon. He was also father to king Solomon. Yet David was a man after God’s own heart. Jabez was born in pain and misery, yet the bible reflects that Jabez was more honourable than all his brothers and God heeded his cry for transformation. Esau and Jacob were twins. One was loved by God and the other was referred to as a profane man. Cain and Abel were most probably also twins. One was righteous and the other a murderer. Jacob had twelve sons. Ruben the first born defiled his father’s bed by sleeping with his step mother. Simeon and Levi were known for their cruelty and anger. Yet they had a brother, Judah who was full of integrity, Joseph who was full of mercy.  Rachael was beautiful, yet a crook and an idolater (she stole the family idols) and Leah was a woman of delicate eyes and seemed to have become the matriarch of her time.  She was buried in the same burial place, Abraham and Sarah were buried, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah in Hebron. What an incredible testimony. Judah had two sons God killed because they were wicked. The list goes on.

Let me clear. Upbringing, family circumstances, values, discipline and training all have a way of affecting lives and making people turn out right. Also, God’s grace, favour and mercy is probably the most important reason for doing what is right and ending up being upright and righteous. Education, friends, acquaintances and even your spouse can be instrumental in how your life goes. But, none of these is an exact science and cannot be a cast-iron indication that one will end up right.

I have a theory, or maybe it is a hypothesis, that personal choices are the most important determinants in how a life is lived.

You can be born and brought up in the most abysmal situation and end up a resounding success in life. Whilst on the other hand one could be born with all the right genes, right family, right values, discipline, education and training and still end of a disgrace to your family. So, the choice as to what one does with one’s life is most important. Obed-Edom must have given his sons the right teachings etc, but these men must have heeded the instructions and made individual personal decision to follow the way of the Lord. This to me is the defining factor. At some point, parental input will cease and children will have to make their way in life. It is at this stage that the heart of the child is exposed and the Lord is able to transact and deal with that child on their own personal choices and relationship with Him.

Let me quickly bring a character into this narrative today. His name is Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron. His uncles, messed up before God and were destroyed. Let’s read the account of what he did in Numbers 25:1-15 – 251 

While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. 3 So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the Lord’s anger burned against them. 4 The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.” 5 So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death those of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.” 6 Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand 8 and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; 9 but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000. 10 The Lord said to Moses, 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. 12 Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. 13 He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.” 14 The name of the Israelite who was killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri son of Salu, the leader of a Simeonite family. 15 And the name of the Midianite woman who was put to death was Kozbi daughter of Zur, a tribal chief of a Midianite family.

Phinehas, at this moment showed his heart for God and undertook and action that stopped the plague that had killed 24,000 people. God spoke to Moses and singled Phinehas out as the one who stopped the plague and also blessed him and his descendants with a covenant of shalom and a lasting priesthood.

It seems that parents need to teach their children to fear God more than anything else in this life. It appears that the ability to stand for God is the defining posture that makes people stand out and be ‘successful’ in godly terms.

The sons of Obed-Edom were called ‘men of valour’, men of ability, men with strength to do the work. Perhaps the greatest legacy of Obed-Edom was his ability to transmit to his sons, the singular heart to prioritise God in their lives.

So, it does not matter so much what your past or antecedents have been, it matters most what you do for and on behalf of the Lord. Children from good homes end up bad and those from bad homes end up good. It boils down to the heart of the individual and their decision making before the God who sees and knows all things.

Let us Pray: Father God, today I want to ask you to give me the grace to love what you love and hate what you hate. Grant me the grace to always choose what pleases you even if I am unpopular and people reject me. Lord, help me to stand unshakingly for You in my generation. Let this quality be passed on to my descendants. Let my generations to come have this legacy that they are god fearing and will never compromise on God’s standards, no matter the personal cost. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

3 thoughts on “Raising Significant Children Obed-Edom – Part 6

  1. “the choice as to what one does with one’s life is most important”. Very very true and I thank God for redirecting my step according to his love and mercy.

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