05/01/16 They Had No Sons

READING: 1 Chronicles 6

The brevity of the line in today’s reading is itself striking: “The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazer, and Ithamar” (1 Chron 6:3). This chapter is filled with dozens of examples of fathers and sons — a father gave birth to a son, who later gave birth to a son, who later gave birth to a son, etc. God’s work goes on and on, as it always does. 

No sons of Nadab and Abihu are listed, however; in fact, other texts remind us that these men had no sons (Num 3:4, 1 Chron 24:2). We know why that was the case, of course: God struck Nadab and Abihu dead when they offered a wrong offering just after the priesthood was instituted (Lev 10:2). God intended for His people to follow His plans exactly, and He early on dramatically showed them how serious He was. So, the only lasting influence of Nadab and Abihu was a negative one. No believing offspring resulted. 

This story leads me to consider several different applications. The parallels are not the same, but I wonder, for example, how many non-believing parents have generations of non-believing offspring for decades to come. Many of us born to non-believers would not be believers today were it not for God’s gracious interruptions of our lives.

Then, I think about the number of children of believers who’ve rejected the faith after seeing the sins of their parents. Because they’ve seen no lasting transformation in their parents’ lives, they see no reason to accept their parents’ faith. The family faith line then ends with the first generation. 

Finally, on a spiritual plane, I wonder how many believers have no “sons in the faith” because we’ve never shared the story of the gospel with anyone. Our faith lineage thus ends with our silence. 

My prayer is that (1) all of us would so walk with God that others would want to walk with us; (2) our children might be the first ones to follow; and (3) God might give us courage to witness to others, followed by His granting us spiritual offspring. 


  • Make a list of the spiritual offspring of your life. Thank God for each name you can add to the list. 
  • If you have no names on the list, ask God to give you some. 
  • Walk in accordance with God’s will so you don’t risk His anger. 

PRAYER: “God, please don’t let my spiritual lineage end with me.”  

TOMORROW’S READING:  1 Chronicles 7-8


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