Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Daily reading assignment – 1 Chronicles 1-4

As stated in its name, 1 Chronicles is a chronicle of events in the history of Israel as a nation and her kings.  There were many events recorded in our earlier readings of 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings that are not recorded in the Chronicles.  There is also a repetition of names and events that you will recognize; however, there are also events recorded in the Chronicles omitted in the prior historical books.

As far as the Chronicles and their author, it is believed by many authorities that Ezra is the human author and wrote the books sometime after the Babylonian captivity.  For novices of a “Read Thru the Bible” plan, you may find the genealogical list of names that make up much of the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles tedious reading; however, the genealogies were invaluable to the Hebrew people in establishing the priesthood and the distribution of ancestral lands following the captivity and the return of the Jews to their lands.

1 Chronicles 1 establishes the lineage of Adam to Noah and the lineage of his sons from whom all mankind descended after the Flood (1:1-54).  The famous and the infamous are named here and for students of Bible and human history, the genealogical record is rich!

The individual genealogies of Noah’s son are listed: Sons of Japheth (1:5-7); Sons of Ham (1:8-16); and the Sons of Shem (1:17-54) of whom would be born Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael (1:27-28).  The fathers of ancient kingdoms of the Middle East are found in this record.

The twelve sons of Jacob, later named Israel, are recorded in 1 Chronicles 2 (2:1-2).  Of particular interest is the genealogical record of Judah, the father of the royal tribe, and his five sons (2:3-5) of whom will be born king David (2:15), Solomon and ultimately the LORD Jesus Christ (both Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph were of the tribe of Judah).

The descendants of king David are recorded in 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, followed by those of his son Solomon (3:10-16).  1 Chronicles 3:17-24 is the birth record of David and Solomon’s lineage born during the Babylonian captivity (3:17-24).  1 Chronicles 4 continues the genealogical record of Judah, the royal tribe (4:1-23).

The lineage of Simeon, the second son of Jacob (i.e. Israel), is recorded in 1 Chronicles 4:24-43 and includes their inheritance in the land as well as the cities and villages assigned to the tribe (4:28-43).

Some reading this brief devotional commentary might ask, “So what? What is so important about a list of names?”  My answer, “Everything if you hope to have a legitimate claim to an inheritance of land, possessions, titles and privileges!”   A genealogical record proving one’s bloodline was essential in Israel.  Tribal and family lands were passed from generation to generation based on the genealogical record of one’s ancestry.

An inheritance based on one’s physical lineage is temporal at best; whatever you inherit…lands, possessions, jewelry…all will eventually pass to others.

I close with a question for you to ponder: “What about your spiritual inheritance?”

You and I were born sinners and with the fallen nature of Adam.  In his letter to believers in Corinth, Paul writes, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).  If you have confessed you are a sinner and trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior Redeemer, you are a child of God “by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-29) and your spiritual inheritance of forgiveness and eternal life is in Christ alone!

Remember, without a proof of lineage, one’s claim of inheritance is in vain!

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith