Saturday, May 5, 2012

1 Chronicles 12-14

Daily Reading
Daily Thought

The Chronicles follow the Samuels and the Kings, and there is a sense that we are reading the same thing over again. The death of Saul and his sons in 1Chronicles 10 was told before in 1Samuel 31; David's mighty men, listed in 1Chronicles 11, were listed before in 2Samuel 23; Uzzah and the Ark is found in 1Chronicles 13 and 2Samuel 6. Why was Chronicles written if the stories had already been told?

In 1Samuel, God spoke to David, "Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever" (1Samuel 7:16), but in 722BC, the northern tribes of Israel were conquered and taken captive by Assyria, never to return. All of God's promises of an enduring, everlasting kingdom depended now on Judah, but in 586BC, Judah was exiled to Babylon. As the post-exilic Jews returned from captivity and began rebuilding Jerusalem, they were asking, "Are we still the people of God?" Chronicles is the answer. It tells the same story with a different focus.

Although Chronicles is placed after Kings in our Bibles, it is the last book in the Jewish Scriptures. It is a retelling of Israel's story to a people returning from captivity, slavery, and exile, and questioning their future. The opening nine chapters of genealogy trace back, not to Abraham, but all the way to Adam, to remind Israel that they are God's people, and his plan for them extends from the very beginning, the first man. Their first king, however, was put to death, because "he did not seek guidance from the Lord" (1Chronicles 10:14). David follows Saul, and the Philistines bring the first battle. "And David inquired of God, 'Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?' And the Lord said to him, 'Go up, and I will give them into your hand'" (1Chronicles 14:10). 

Chronicles reminds God's people that God's promises are sure, but his blessings depend on their faithfulness, and they had been unfaithful. "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2Chronicles 7:14).  I am still your God, you are still my people, and this is how we will move forward.

Daily Prayer

My forever faithful Father, God of heaven and earth, Creator of all, Creator of me, I shall live my days serving You and Your desires in this world. Teach me and lead me into Your everlasting life, Your kingdom of grace and truth. I pray that my heart remains at all times true to You, for You are always faithful, worthy of my trust. 

I know, however, that I am not always true.  All too often I pursue my desires over Yours. Your patience is incredible, because I put it to the test, and yet, Your grace is there waiting. I ask for forgiveness and You grant it, and I return by Your side, walking again along Your path. Fill my heart with Your love, so that I will not stray, but will remain forever faithful to You. 


No comments:

Post a Comment