Monday, August 26, 2013

Heman: God is More

Have you ever heard of Heman? No, not the 1980s television show, "He-man, and the power of Grayskull. I HAVE POWER!" So, I just completely dated myself. And no, we didn't really watch t.v. after about '85.

The Heman I am referring to is in the Bible. He is rather an obscure character. You may have heard of his grandfather, though...Samuel the boy whose name God called several times one night?

Samuel was the prophet in Israel for a long time. He anointed two kings, he led a revival, he led battles. But, when he got old, the who's who in Israel told him that they wanted a king to take Samuel's place.

Samuel had two sons, Joel and Abiah, who should have succeeded Samuel. They should have followed in his footsteps. They should have been serving God. But, they weren't great guys. They took bribes and weren't just judges. (1 Samuel 8:1-4) So little written about them in the Bible, yet that is what is written. Kind of sad really.

But, the story doesn't end there. If you keep on reading Israel's history through the Samuels and the Kings, you get to the Chronicles. The lists of the genealogies of Israel. Who belonged to who. Rather boring for the most part, except for a few gems.

Like the one in 1 Chronicles 6. There you see a list of Levitical genealogies, and find out that King David wants the Levite men divided into service teams. Teams according to jobs and according to months. One of those is the ancient version of the modern praise team, headed by...

Heman. Who seems no-one special, except when you connect the dots back and see that his dad was Joel and his grandfather was Samuel the prophet.

This Heman was a singer. He wrote Psalm 88. He was known for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:31). His job was to sing joyful songs, and to play instruments and to teach others how to do that. His job was to serve God in the temple. (1Chr. 15:16-21) A group was named for him, and his descendants would continue to serve God in this way.

Heman really doesn't have much more Bible mention time than his dad, but his legacy was way different.

The stories of Samuel, Joel, and Heman contain many lessons. But what stands out to me this time around is the glimpse of the grace and redeeming power of God.

God doesn't confine us to follow in the footsteps of our parents or our environment. The buck can stop here. By the grace of God.

Because God changes people. God redeems people. He makes sinners into a new creation. He pulls wallowing people out of the horrible pit, out of miry clay and sets their feet on a rock. He establishes their goings. He puts a new song in their mouths-praise to Him. Many see it, and fear and trust the Lord. (Psalm 40:2-3)

Who is your favorite obscure Biblical character? Why?