1 Chronicles 9:1–10:14
We’re nearing the end of the genealogies in 1 Chronicles. It’s good to keep in mind that the books 1 and 2 Chronicles are written from a priestly perspective, so it’s no wonder the city of Jerusalem and the tribe of Levi (the priestly tribe) get more attention in this section.
Today’s reading covers:
The dwellers in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 9:1-9)
The priests in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 9:10-13)
The Levites in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 9:14-16)
The gatekeepers (1 Chronicles 9:17-27)
The Levitical servants (1 Chronicles 9:28-34)
The family of King Saul and his death (1 Chronicles 9:35-10:14)
Verse 1 of chapter 9 gives us a brief description of how Judah was conquered and carried away captive by the Babylonians (586 B.C.). The reason? Unfaithfulness. After years of warning from God and His prophets, the sins of the nation persisted and His people were therefore judged.
Seventy years later the Jews were permitted to return to the land. As a matter of fact the Bible Knowledge Commentary said this, “The purpose of the remainder of chapter 9 is to identify the people who settled in Jerusalem and Gibeon after their return from the Exile.” So we read in:
1 Chronicles 9:2 (NLT) The first of the exiles to return to their property in their former towns were priests, Levites, Temple servants, and other Israelites.
We read of the Dwellers in Jerusalem, Priests who headed up the ministry, Levites, who were helpers to the priests, and the Gatekeepers. Holmon Bible Dictionary explains what a gatekeeper is, “One who guards access to a place, either a city (2 Sam. 18:26; 2 Kings 7:10–11), a residence (John 18:17), the sacred precincts of the ark (1 Chron. 15:23–24), or the temple (1 Chron. 23:5). KJV uses “porter.” Temple gatekeepers were charged with preventing anyone unclean from entering the temple (2 Chron. 23:19) and with guarding the temple treasuries and storehouses (1 Chron. 9:26; 26:20–22; Neh. 12:25).”
I’m fascinated by the detailed responsibilities of the Levites in 1 Chronicles 9:28-34. There were those in charge of the serving vessels, furnishings, fine flour, wine, and oil. There who those who made spices, others who baked, and those who prepared the showbread each week. We read in 1 Chronicles 9:33 of the singers who were free from other responsibilities, they did music ministry full-time. As I read this section I’m reminded that the church is described as a body. We’re all different parts of that body with different responsibilities, and we all need each other. What’s your part? Ask God and He will reveal this to you; if you’re willing to follow Him, He will lead you, and use you (see 1 Corinthians 12:15-27; Ephesians 4:15-16).
The account of King Saul and his sons killed in battle is a heartbreaking story. Not necessarily that he died (for we will all die one day). It’s just the fact that his death was premature and his death was due to his unfaithfulness (1 Chronicles 10:13). It’s truly tragic how his unfaithfulness caused the death of his sons and the defeat of a nation. King Saul had a good beginning, but a terrible ending. God help us to learn from his tragedy. How will our lives end?
1 Chronicles 10:13–14 (NKJV) “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. 14 But he did not inquire of the LORD; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.”
After a long abstinence from food, Paul stood up in the middle of everyone and spoke, for he had been praying. He told them how an angel had appeared to him, encouraging him not to be afraid, for he must be brought before Caesar. The angel also told Paul that God had granted him all those who sailed with him, all 276 souls would be safe! Isn’t that cool? How Paul had been praying for them? Paul believed and received the promise! I love what he said in:
Acts 27:25 (NKJV) “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”
They finally reached the shores of an island called Malta, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves. The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, but the centurion wanted to keep Paul alive, so he commanded those who could, to swim to the shore, and he instructed that the others float on pieces of wood. Sure enough, they all escaped safely to land (Acts 27:44).
Warren Wiersbe offers some insight, “Although Paul started the voyage as a prisoner and passenger, he ended it as the captain of the ship. The ship was lost; but by the grace of God, Paul’s presence saved all the passengers. Can the Lord depend on you to sail by faith when you face the storms?”
O Lord, please help me to sail by faith; to bring You glory, and to somehow, someway, make a difference for good, in the lives of the people I “sail” with.
What a beautiful Psalm on how much God values mankind! Isn’t it mind boggling to think that the Maker and Maintainer of all things is mindful of us? He even visits us! (Psalm 8:3-4)
You may have noticed the distinction in your Bible between the LORD and Lord (Psalm 8:1, 9). LORD (all caps) is the covenant name of God. This Psalm begins and ends with the fact that the God of the Bible, (the LORD) is our Lord, which means He’s the master, commander, the shot-caller in our lives. This is why we must confess Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3). We must surrender to His lordship.
Psalm 8:2 teaches us the power of pure praise that comes from children. This is why, whenever I’m desperate, I ask the children to pray for me.
Psalm 8:2 (NIV) “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”
But then again, all believers are children of God (1 John3:1).
Just a little reminder today – the Maker and Maintainer of the stars and the moon is mindful of us, He’s thinking of us. He made us too…a little lower than the angels (for now). God gave us dominion over the works of His hands (the earth) and even the beasts of the field.
We have an absolutely awesome, powerful, and personal God – who visits us – He’s with us, every day. I pray that truth encourages you in whatever you might be facing in life.
V. 23 – This is probably a poor man asking for mercy, or alms, or for a little more time to pay his debt.
Proverbs 18:23 (NLT) “The poor plead for mercy; the rich answer with insults.”
V. 24 – Now this is one of those verses where we need to keep in mind that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew not English.
The New King James version makes a good point, if you want friends you need to be friendly. But the other translations probably did a better job on this one. You can look this up for yourself, you’ll find that the Hebrew word translated, “must be friendly” is the word Rawah and it means “to be evil or bad.”
Other versions say it this way:
Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24 (NLT) “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”
There are some people who just not good for us.
The end of the verse reminds us, however, that “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Ultimately this is Jesus! (John 15:15)
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.