I have marveled at the insertion of 1st Chronicles in the Old Testament. It is a fascinating journey into how God worked in the lives of His people. Topics such as patriarchs, captivity, Jerusalem, Saul, anointing, reign, ark, victory, covenant, and worship are covered through stories.
I noticed several themes that the author presents for our consideration. The first is the genealogy of David, which later points to Jesus (1:1-9:44 and Matthew 1:1); The second is that God gives us chances to influence others for their good (11:2); The third is that good intentions do not justify disobeying God’s laws (13:1-14); The fourth is we will face conflicts, and in spite of them, we need to make opportunities to worship and praise God (29:10-13); and the fifth is God has a plan and destiny for everyone (29:1-30).
Old Testament scholars ascribe the authorship of this book to Ezra, and 1st and 2nd Chronicles were originally one book. The title basically means, “the words of the day.” What is interesting about Chronicles is that it gives us an overview of Old Testament history from the creation of Adam to the Israelites heading into the Babylonian captivity. A brief outline looks like this:
- The storyline (or genealogy) from Adam to David (1:1-9:44).
- David is anointed the second King of Israel (10:1-12:40).
- David’s reign as King over Israel (13:1-29:22).
- David’s son, Solomon, replaces him as King (29:22-30).
Read 1st Chronicles 1:1-4, 28, 34, 2:1-2, and 9:1-2.
The list of names in the first nine chapters of the book can be a bit rigorous to read through. It is a long list of hard to pronounce names. Yet the names serve two vital and practical purposes.
First, genealogical lists were crucial to providing a framework through which the Hebrews could establish their family roots, legal inheritance, and through which religious purity could be practiced and guarded against outside sources seeking to weaken and impugn their identity.
The second purpose of the list of names was to categorize and reflect the providence of God’s design. The Israelites could remember that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph served as reminders of God’s dealings with them in the past and the hope He provided for their future, which included the Messiah.
While we often struggle in reading the names in the genealogical lists, the Hebrews read and remembered stories of God’s grace, love, mercy, care, discipline, and patience that were attached to those names. The stories gave evidence of God’s presence, power, and provision, and were markers of “Immanuel – God with us” and His faithfulness to His promises and His people.
As you consider your own family heritage, think of how it can be a positive foundation for generations to come. Identify markers in your family life that will illustrate God’s providence and purposes. How can knowing your family history give you a sense of identity, heritage, destiny, and hope? How do you want to be remembered?
Grow devotionally. Godly character is the heritage you hope to leave behind.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz