Daily D – 1 Chronicles 27:32-34
Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a wise counselor to the king, a man of great insight, and a scribe. Jehiel the Hacmonite was responsible for teaching the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the royal adviser. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend. Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar. Joab was commander of the king’s army. 1 CHRONICLES 27:32-34 (NLT)
Each of us has concentric circles of relationships, multiple degrees of closeness or distance. In the first circle is our spouse. The next circle is our immediate family. The third circle is made up of our closest friends, those described as “closer than a brother” or sister. This goes on out to nine levels of relationship. A quick internet search will provide a rich tutorial in social distancing. Guy Greenfield’s book, Self Affirmation: The Life Changing Force of a Christian Self Image, provides a rewarding study from a distinctively Christian perspective.
No one succeeds alone. No one.
Every successful man or woman you know achieved his or her place by the investment of others in addition to his or her own hard work. As John Maxwell and others like to say, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” If you want to build a great life, a great business, or some other great enterprise, assemble and develop a great team. Those closest to you will determine how successful you become.
In these three verses, we see David’s inner circle of trusted relationships. These are the people who were there in the background, behind the scenes, making David’s reign the success it was. Reading the chapters leading up to and including this one in 1 Chronicles, you see organizational genius at work. Read about King Solomon’s reign and you see additional organizational mastery. Neither David nor Solomon created these systems alone. They enjoyed the partnership of well-placed leaders of wisdom and insight
Notice those who were closest to David.
Uncle Jonathan “was a wise counselor to the king, a man of great insight, and a scribe.” He could read, write, and listen. Those three skills are invaluable to developing your own mind and in helping others develop theirs. David’s dad had seven other sons, some daughters, and a whole lot of sheep to take care of day by day. He may not have had as much time for David as the baby of the family required. Uncle Jonathan always had time. He was the kind of man who contemplated life and recorded his thoughts and feelings. We can probably thank him for David’s love for writing songs and poetry.
Jehiel was the mentor and trainer for David’s sons. It was his job to make leaders out of that competitive bunch of boys. He did a pretty good job in most cases. They served as regional administrators under their father’s leadership.
Ahithophel, Jehoiada, and Abiathar were advisers. When David weighed decisions, he used all the brains he had and all he could borrow. Every leader has blind spots. Trusted advisers help us see what we do not. They are aware of our strengths and seek to complement them. They are aware of our blind spots and seek to reflect additional reality to us. Team decisions are most often better than individual decisions.
Joab was the commander of the army. It was likely the only job he could do well. Every time we see him in the pages of the Bible, he is fighting or killing someone. He was an apex predator. His answer to every offense was, at best, a punch in the nose. He and Hammurabi would have been good friends. This leader of antiquity many compare to Moses (inappropriately) issued the death penalty for our equivalent of parking tickets.
Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend. He was the one who was closer than a brother. It was he, more than any other, who saved David when Absalom attempted to seize the kingdom and kill his father. Everyone needs someone to talk to at a deep level without fear of the conversation going any further ever. Everyone needs someone he or she can trust with anything at any time.
Who fills these roles for you? Who are those closest to you? How successful will you become because of those relationships? Who do you need in your circles? Who do you need to move up, and who do you need to move down? Who is that friend who is closer than a brother or sister?
There’s an old hymn entitled What a Friend We Have in Jesus. Even when our closest friends betray us, he never will.
If you want to live a life of maximum expression, give focused attention to your closest relationships.
I will cultivate deeper relationships with those who make me better, smarter, and faster than I ever could be on my own.
Our Father, thank you for the wonderful family and friends you have placed in my life. My circles are full of some of the most amazing people on this planet. I am far wealthier in relationships than Jeff Bezos is in dollars. Make me the kind of friend who elevates others to their highest and best. Thank you that none of us have to face this world alone. Thank you for being closer than close and forever loyal and faithful. Amen.
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