Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Daily reading assignment – 1 Chronicles 5-9

Our reading of the history of Israel and her people continues in 1 Chronicles 5-9.   As mentioned in the earlier devotional based on this historical book, the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles is largely dedicated to the genealogical record of the sons of Jacob (i.e. Israel) and the Twelve Tribes of their lineage.

1 Chronicles 5 is the record of the lineage of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh that requested and eventually settled on the east side of the Jordan River (5:1-17).   Reuben was the firstborn son of Israel, whose name was Jacob at birth.   Although he was Jacob’s firstborn, Reuben sinned against his father by lying with Bilhah his father’s concubine (Genesis 35:22; 49:3-4) and the consequence of his sin was his inheritance passed to the sons of Joseph’s (1 Chronicles 5:1) and the privilege of his birthright as Jacob’s firstborn son to Judah (5:2).

1 Chronicles 6 gives us the lineage of the priestly tribe of Levi that includes Aaron, Moses, and Miriam (6:1-53). The cities assigned to the Levites in the midst of the tribal lands are noted (6:54-81).

1 Chronicles 7 documents the tribal lineages of Issachar (7:1-5), Benjamin (7:6-11), Naphtali (7:13), the half-tribe of Manasseh (7:14-19), Ephraim (7:20-23), and Asher (7:30-40).

The lineage of Benjamin, of who was born Saul, Israel’s first king (8:29-32), is recorded in 1 Chronicles 8.

1 Chronicles 9 concludes the genealogical record up to the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity.   The tribal records were stored in the temple and returned to Judah after the captivity where they were maintained until the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  The genealogical records were lost in the destruction of the temple.

The genealogical record of the Levites and their occupation in the ministry of the temple is recorded in 1 Chronicles 9:2-34. 1 Chronicles 9 concludes with a record of the lineage of king Saul and his sons (9:35-44).

On a personal note, in recent years I have explored my family lineage and, with the aid of Ancestry.com and my own sleuthing through courthouse records and cemeteries, I have built my own ancestral tree.   My research has reinforced in my soul a universal truth we must inevitably face…death!  (As suggested in my title, everyone who eats Ice Cream…Broccoli or Carrots… eventually Dies!)

As it was with my ancestors of generations past, so it is for you and me… “thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17) for “it is appointed unto men once to die” (Hebrews 9:27).  Physical death is inevitable and spiritual death; eternal separation from God and Hell is the destiny of all sinners apart from a Savior who will take our place and bear the punishment we deserve for our sins (Isaiah 59:2).   Friend, God has provided us a substitute, a Savior-Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith