Tuesday, September 4. 1 Chronicles 1 – 3

    In our journey through the Bible, we’ve used the book of Kings as our chronological guide, reading other Old Testament books at the points in time they would appear in the story.  Kings is a good guide, but using it that way does have a disadvantage – we miss the point of that book.

    Kings was written about the same time Jeremiah was written – perhaps by the same person.  Notice that they both end almost exactly the same way, and they end with God’s people in captivity.  Both books detail how God’s people came to be exiled.  Kings differs from Jeremiah in that it focuses more on the failure of Israel’s leadership.

    But now we come to the book of Chronicles.  Chronicles covers much the same territory as Kings, but it was written at a different time (as the exile comes to an end) and for a different purpose (to give God’s people hope).  God’s promise of redemption from exile is coming true.  But what kind of nation will Israel be?  Chronicles reviews the past as a warning for the future: “Don’t be what you were!”

    The writer of Chronicles hurries to get to the days of David.  It is why David’s ancestry is covered first.  David is the exemplar king (which is why you won’t read the story of Bathsheba in Chronicles – though the writer expects you to know it).  The main focus of these genealogies is to let you know that though in exile, Israel has not lost her identity.  The presence of these genealogical records (mentioned eight times in the first nine chapters), available in Babylon at this late date (after 539 B.C.)  indicates that Israel, as a distinct people, have survived.  God is true to His word.