02 April 2016

Stone 13 - 1 Chronicles

Last week we wrapped up taking a look at a long line of Kings that ruled in the northern and southern division of Israel. This week we will look at another view of history focusing mostly on the reign of King David.

More Names... Really?
The first nine chapters are a genealogy beginning all the way back to Adam. One might sort of roll their eyes at this sort of inclusion - again - but it is worth noting that at that time a family line and tribe was where one found their identity. We could possibly liken this to how people today often find their identity in their career. Just think about the awkward small talk when you meet someone new. Often one of the first questions is "So, what do you do for a living?" As such, these types of details, while dry reading for us, were important details for the author of Chronicles.

Time to Review - With Emphasis
All the family trees bring us up to chapter 10 and the death of Israel's first King, Saul. While nearly identical to 1 Sam 31, we see that the author of Chronicles adds an additional comment to the retelling of Saul's death by stating that Saul died for his unfaithfulness to the Lord (1Chr 10:13).

Next, we pick up with David becoming King. Interestingly, David's childhood is not mentioned nor is the encounter with Goliath. Rather we jump right into the kingship of all of Israel (1Chr 11;4). At this stage in Isreal's history, they are split for about seven years. David had become king over the tribe of Judah but the house of Saul was still reigning over the rest of Israel. Becoming unified again was a big deal (1Chr 12:38) so the author of Chronicles gets to this point quickly and continues to stress the unity.

We then recount the efforts of David to bring the Ark to Jerusalem but we also learn about David assembling all of Isreal to do it (1Chr 13:5). We read this again in (1Chr 15:3) and (1Chr 15:28).

David, at some point, desires to build a permanent home for the Ark after realizing that he himself had better living quarters (1Chr 17:1) but it was not time for that yet (1Chr 17:11-12). The kingdom of Isreal was still being established and there were more wars to fight. Chapters 18, 19, and 20 outline the wars and chapter 21 recalls the mistake that David had made about doing the military census and the punishment over it along with the building of the altar.

Temple Planning
Here we have some new material. While 2 Samuel shares about David's desire to build the temple and God's plan for a descendant to take care of that, it does not share any of the background preparations that David makes. At this time, Solomon is already on the scene and learning from his father (1Chr 22:6-10). We also note how much material was gathered for Solomon (1Chr 22:14-16). Take note of what David tells his son in 22:13 - he advises him to follow the statutes and ordinances that the Lord commanded if he is to be successful.

**Is this not a recurring theme...?

Levite Assignments
We also learn in 1 Chronicles that David assigned work for the line of Levites. Remember that the Ark was carried from place to place as the Israelites wandered the desert and it was the responsibility of the Levites to take care of that. Now that the Ark was going to reside in Jerusalem full-time, the Levites needed something to do (1Chr 23:25-26). They were split up to be in charge of the work on the Lord's temple, officers and judges, gatekeepers, and musicians (1Chr 23:4-5).

David's Address
David talks to the nation about the plans for the temple and lets them know that it will be Solomon who will build it (1Chr 28:2,6). Notice another plea to obedience found in 28:8-10 and another mention of "all Israel" in 29:25 for Solomon.

It is interesting to note some things from the point of view of the author of Chronicles. It would seem that ultimately, we can be unified with the Lord if we obey his commands and serve him first rather than ourselves or our own self-interests. We should focus our efforts on bringing him glory, honor, and praise. All that we do should be an act of worship. As leaders, we should live for the Lord and lead our subordinates in the same direction. Then we may have peace for eternity. It is when we fail in this that things begin to drastically break down.

Next week we will look at the second book of Chronicles where we will review the events in Solomon's reign, the division of Israel, and the reign of many kings over a divided nation.

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