The Times of Individuals and Nations
1 Chronicles 29:29-30
Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer…

The word "times" does not convey here the ides of duration merely; the word in the plural includes also the events and circumstances which marked that period of duration, and in all their variety of complexion gave to it its distinguishing character. The expression reminds us that seasons of eventful importance are often occurring to individuals and peoples, and of the manner in which these succeed each other in frequent alternations, both in personal and national life.

I. IN INDIVIDUAL LIFE. Each one has his own times — his own part in the events which transpire as the great wheel of providence revolves. How varied a scene does life for the most part present. We are like travellers who pass now through smiling vales, and now are shut in by mountains, and look up on steep cliffs and overhanging crags. We am mariners around whom the winds are ever shifting, and often dying into calm — now they spread their salts to the breeze, now again not a breath is astir and they can scarcely feel that they advance — now yet again they have to make way against head-wind, and to tack hither and thither to make way at all — variable are the scenes of our journey or of our life's navigation. Look at David; at Paul. See the great Tasso, at one time frequenting a palace, and wooing, as was thought, princesses with his song, but ere long immured in a prison. Think of Napoleon at Erfurt when on his way to Russia, with attendant kings waiting in his ante-chamber, and of the same man a few years afterwards at St. Helena — his visions of glory all gone — thrown back wholly on the memories of the past, the caged conqueror of the nations! These are marked cases illustrative of "the times" of human life. All these things constitute an important moral exercise. This discipline of life is in wise and beneficent co-operation with the voice of conscience and the calls of the Bible. It varies the tones of the appeal by which men are summoned to duty and to God.

II. THE NATIONAL. LIFE. Here we find the same variety in the complexion of events, the same aspect of vicissitude, as in the caps of individuals. Look, for example, at Israel, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Venice, and our own country. In nature the wild play of the winds, and the drifting of the snow, and the seething of the lightning is all but part of a system. We might think that these agencies were running riot, controlled by no law, and tending to no issue but confusion and chaos. But it is not so. And in the times that go over the earth year by year, as summer pasture into autumn, and the temperature declines, and the days are shortened, and the trees are stripped of their foliage, and the discoloured leaves are seen falling to the ground, and rotting there, till there comes the rigour and the frost of winter — all, nevertheless, is not going to desolation. The failing leaves nourish the soil on which they are left to decay. Wild winds and storms, shortened days and lengthened nights, are just the discipline the earth needs, and winter becomes thus the necessary prelude to and preparation for the opening buds of spring and the fertility of summer. So it is in nature, and so it often is in the providence of God over nations and the world.

(E. T. Prust.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,

WEB: Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer,

Life's Vicissitudes
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