1 Chronicles 1:1–2:17
Just curious, did you read all those names? Not to brag, but I did. Only because I know it’s all inspired by God, it’s all there for a reason, I always learn something new in reading these genealogies, and every once in a while you find a little “nugget” tucked away in the midst of all those names.
1 and 2 Chronicles pretty much cover the same material we read in 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings, honing in on the southern kingdom of Judah. We’ll have nine chapters of genealogies and then begin the reign of David in chapter 10.
More than likely 1 and 2 Chronicles were written by Ezra, and it’s for that reason you’ll notice a distinctly priestly perspective. Genealogies would be important to Ezra who wrote to encourage those in captivity of their divine heritage and godly ancestry, especially kings and priests (Ezra 2:59, 62). As you read the history of the kings in Israel and then Judah (after the kingdom divided) you’ll find further details in 1 and 2 Chronicles. Ezra had time to pull and compile from other resources, all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Warren Wiersbe said this of 1 and 2 Chronicles, “These books were important to the Jews who returned to the land after the captivity. The genealogy established their tribal connections, something especially significant to the priests (Ezra 2:59–62). The people needed David’s example of godliness, and the emphasis on the temple was needed at a time when it had to be rebuilt. The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles encourage people seeking to rebuild in a time of change and difficulty. As you read 1 and 2 Chronicles, you will want to note the cross-references to Samuel and Kings and compare complementary passages.”
The book begins with Adam, and swiftly moves to Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
One of the descendants of Shem was a man named Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided (1 Chronicles 1:19). Some have speculated that this speaks of continental drift.
Another descendant of Shem was named Abram (1 Chronicles 1:24), a name changed by God to Abraham (Abram = exalted father; Abraham = father of a multitude) (Genesis 17:5). He’s the human father of the Jews.
1 Chronicles here hones in on the two sons of Isaac – Esau (Seir) and Israel (Jacob). In respect to Israel, the Chronicler interestingly begins in the tribe of Judah and her kings.
In the midst of many names, we have little bits of information. We’re reminded (and warned) of the sins of Er and Achan.
1 Chronicles 2:3 (NKJV) “The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, and Shelah. These three were born to him by the daughter of Shua, the Canaanitess. Er, the firstborn of Judah, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; so He killed him.”
1 Chronicles 2:7 (NKJV) “The son of Carmi was Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the accursed thing.”
What will the summary of our lives be? After all, God knows us ALL by name.
We can assume that Paul was deeply discouraged, which is why we read those beautiful words in:
Acts 23:11 (NKJV) “But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.’”
What a comfort to know, that God knows our struggles, He’s always there…He’s here, standing by us, to encourage us, especially in the difficult times.
I noticed that God didn’t comfort Paul by changing his circumstances or getting him out of jail, He comforted him with His presence and His promise that the pain was not in vain, God would use his “trials.”
Of course, the enemy wants Paul dead, so forty men band together to neither eat nor drink, til they kill Paul – wow! Such hatred, but such resolve! My stomach turns at the thought of these men murdering Paul with malice, but I’m also super convicted that often times I’m not willing to do for God (deny my stomach) what they’re willing to do for the enemy – some serious full-on fasting! Help me Lord.
Paul’s nephew gets wind of their evil plan, he informs his uncle, who has him tell the commander. God protects Paul and ushers him out of town, down to Caesarea with an escort of 470 soldiers. Claudius Lysus includes a letter to Governor Felix, explaining Paul’s predicament, and the governor keeps Paul in Herod’s Praetorium until he can hear both sides of the story.
When you’re God’s man or woman, you can safely say, it’s all part of God’s plan.
What a horrible time that must have been – David was torn as he ran from his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15-18). His enemies were many and his trials increased, but by faith he not only wrote this song, he sang this song and made important declarations:
Psalm 3:3 (NKJV) “But You O LORD are a shield for me, my glory, the One who lifts up my head.”
David sang, he cried (Psalm 3:4), he prayed. When his eyes were heavy he wasn’t sure if he’d make it through the night – but he did, and he gave God the glory.
He encourages himself (something we all need to do), just say it, “I will not be afraid…” Believe it, know it, there’s nothing to fear, the future is our friend for God is our Father.
If we pray as David prayed, “Arise O Lord and fight for us.” He will…for He is our salvation!
V. 14 – This Proverb teaches us that when someone is sick, they can be sustained by their spirit. I believe the context here carries the connotation of maintaining a positive outlook and a solid “up” look (to God). If we’re upbeat on the inside – we can be helped, even healed physically, because we’re healthy, spiritually and emotionally.
But when a person gives up, refusing to look up; when they’re broken and crushed due to a lack of faith and trust in God, choosing to dwell only on the negative – it will be absolutely unbearable.
V. 15 – You may’ve noticed this isn’t simply an acquisition, it’s an inquisition, “A period of prolonged and intensive questioning or investigation.”
When it comes to godly knowledge and wisdom, the prudent are what we would call “go-getters.” They incline their ears, they open their hearts to God and His Word. How huge is an open heart?
May this Proverb strengthen us to be prudent in this way.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.