Reading Through the Bible, April 15. 1 Chronicles 3-5

Don’t give up!

Reading through these genealogies can be tedious work, especially since most of the time the names given are not mentioned anywhere else in the Old Testament story.  We might well wonder why they are mentioned at all!

Remember that this book was written after the exile of God’s people.  As we read the prophets, we will see God’s people going through a difficult time.  They will well wonder if God has abandoned them.  But this extensive genealogy is a reminder: God knows His people.  He has not abandoned them.  They have been preserved, along with their family lines.  Reading the names, we are amazed that the writer of Chronicles is able to bring together such a wide variety of descendants.

Of course, if your view of inspiration is that God dictated this book, therefore it was no problem at all, it takes a bit of the wonder out of it.  While, however, I believe in God’s “inspiration” of the Bible, I do not believe the Bible is the result of divine dictation.  Biblical writers would have been required to do a bit of “homework” (research).  As you read, note the references to the “records” of “Samuel the seer,” Nathan and Shemaiah the prophets, the “genealogical records” consulted the prophet,” the “annals of Jehu” and the “annotations of the book of Kings” (just to name a few).  “Inspiration” is God’s guarantee that what is written is indeed His message.

Note in chapter three that the genealogies extend a good bit past the exile.  The underlying message for the readers is that the royal line of David has been preserved.  There is hope for restoration among the people of God.

God knows you.  He knows you by name.  He knows your prayers.  You are His people, in all your exile and in all your struggles.