1 Chronicles (1 Chr)

Book 13 of the OT containing 29 chapters. It records events that occurred from about 1000 to 960 BC and is believed to have been written by Ezra about 430 BC. It describes many of the same events recorded in 2 Samuel, but from a different perspective. It teaches the exiles returning from Babylon about their heritage as a nation in order to inspire a deeper relationship with God. Time to read: 2hrs 35 mins.

Key people: David, Solomon.

Outline. The early chapters trace Jewish heritage back to Adam. The majority of the book focuses on David – his being made King, the capture and establishment of Jerusalem (Zion) as his capital, his relationship with God, the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant back to the tabernacle in Jerusalem to restore true worship, his conquest of many enemies and the preparation to build the temple. David challenged his son Solomon to really know and follow God (1 Chr 28:9).

Main lesson. Tracing the family history strengthened their identity, and helped restore Israel’s national and spiritual unity, which was important for rebuilding the demoralized nation. The listing of many names shows God is interested in individuals not just nations. As Christians, our roots are in Christ, and although we may have a Godly heritage of several generations, it is the personal ‘Jesus and me’ relationship that is vital as we can’t get to heaven on our forefathers faith!  What will be recorded of me for future generations to learn about – will they be proud or ashamed of me as their ancestor?

Key verses and thoughts: * The reason why the Jews had been taken into captivity was because of their unfaithfulness to God (1 Chr 9:1). This was a harsh lesson not to revert to the lifestyle that caused their deportation, but to make a new, concerted effort to change the way they lived. Sometimes we need to be reminded of our past to cause us to aspire to live as God would have us.

* Although David was not permitted by God to build the temple he did not succumb to self-pity or jealousy and do nothing. Instead he did what he could, by collecting the necessary materials regardless of whether others got the recognition for his efforts (1 Chr 22:2-19). Do I serve God purely so that His Kingdom will increase or from an ulterior, selfish motive?

* David considered the real purpose for the physical building was the worship of God. To this end, he began assigning duties and responsibilities to the spiritual workers (1 Chr 23:4ff). In our churches sound guidelines are still necessary to provide an orderly context enabling each person to grow in appreciation of Christ’s salvation and fulfill their potential to God’s glory.  Be open to instruction to faithfully serve and worship God in an acceptable way. Today so much emphasis is often given to the physical church buildings that God is neglected in this misguided devotion.

See also: Ark (of the Covenant), David, Ezra, Jerusalem, 2 Samuel, Solomon.