The Chronicler returns to the tribe of Benjamin in chapter eight with two distinct genealogical stories. The first paragraph shows us the fulfillment of Jacob’s words of blessing at his death regarding this tribe that descended from his youngest son: “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.” Though the territory given to this tribe was relatively small, descendants of Benjamin had fought their way into all kinds of places. Men like Ehud were used to bring a rather gruesome victory over the weighty Moabites. At the end of the book of Judges the town of Gibeah (from whim King Saul came) is shown to be a place of great violence and depravity.
The second paragraph gives us the genealogy of the most famous Benjaminite, King Saul, including many of the descendants that came from this man who was greatly used by God. Despite his impressive beginnings, Saul was unable to rejoice in God’s chosen line that would come from David of Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah. What Saul was unable to countenance, his son Jonathan wholeheartedly embraced. Jonathan was ready to cast any future crown at David’s feet.
Many centuries later, Saul of Tarsus from the tribe of Benjamin was transformed from a “ravenous wolf” who was proud that he was a “persecutor of the church” to a new man who was utterly devoted to Jesus the Christ, David’s most renowned descendant.
In this dangerous world, we are often thankful for a strong attack dog, provided that he is kept on a leash. Often people are ready to destroy the reputations of others or even to kill in their religious zeal. But Jesus began his kingdom not by killing but by teaching with authority, working heavenly miracles, and then dying for our sins. He has shown us the power of divine mercy and has made a way for a new life of shalom with God. Do you desire to receive the peace that he so freely bestows upon those who call upon His Name?