Scripture reading – Psalm 21; 1 Chronicles 1
We are continuing our chronological Scripture reading with two passages from the Bible. Our study of the Psalms resumes with today’s reading of Psalm 21, titled “To the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David.” For those who enjoy Bible history, we are beginning a study of the first of two books known as the “Chronicles.”
A Psalm of Praise and Thanksgiving (Psalm 21:1-6)
Psalm 21 is a song of rejoicing that was penned by David as a psalm of thanksgiving for a victory the LORD had given him over his enemies (Psalm 21:1). Though kings, rulers, and politicians are quick to boast of their successes, David humbly acknowledged his victory on the battlefield was from the LORD.
Psalm 21:1 – The king shall joy [rejoice; be glad] in thy [the LORD’s] strength [might; power], O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God]; and in thy salvation [victory] how greatly [exceeding; abundant] shall he [the king]rejoice [be glad; joyful; delight]!
The LORD had answered David’s prayer and given the king his heart’s desire, and He had not held back one request (Psalm 21:2).
Psalm 21:2 – 2 Thou [LORD] hast given [put; deliver] him [the king] his heart’s [mind; understanding] desire [delight; longing; satisfaction], and hast not withholden [kept back; denied] the request [desire] of his lips. Selah.
The king’s victory had not come because he was a brilliant strategist or a great warrior (though we know David was both). The king prayed, and God answered his prayers! David acknowledged that the LORD had gone before him into battle and rewarded Israel with “blessings of goodness…[and] a crown of pure gold” (Psalm 21:3).
David asked the LORD to spare his life, and his prayer was answered with a Messianic prophecy that Jesus Christ would one day fulfill. The LORD also promised the king “length of days [lit. long life] for ever [everlasting; eternal] and ever [in perpetuity]” (Psalm 21:4).
The King’s Enemies, and His Victory over Them (Psalm 21:7-13)
Psalm 21:8-10 painted a picture of a battle waged without the danger of political correctness. David understood his foe would not be overcome or defeated by elaborate speeches, peace initiatives, or verbal assaults on his rivals. The people, having faith in their king and the LORD, called upon God to bless their soldiers in battle and unleash on their enemies His wrath (Psalm 21:8-10).
Israel’s adversaries would not be pacified, and God’s people realized the evil plot of their enemies (Psalm 21:11). They called upon the LORD and prayed He would turn the wicked devices of the enemy against them (Psalm 21:12). Psalm 21 concluded with a shout of victory and a verse of praise to the LORD (Psalm 21:13).
Psalm 21:13 – “Be thou exalted [high], LORD, in thine own strength [power; boldness; might]: sowill we sing and praise [i.e., celebrate with music on an instrument] thy power [might; victory].”
1 Chronicles 1 – An Introduction to History
As reflected in its name, the Book of 1 Chronicles is a historical account of men, nations, and events. It contains a history of Israel and a written record of humanity from the first man, Adam (1 Chronicles 1:1).
Though the human author of 1 Chronicles is unnamed (some scholars suggest Ezra wrote it after the Babylonian captivity), we can be sure it was inspired and preserved by God, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).
Many of the names recorded in 1 Chronicles 1 are familiar. The famous and the infamous are named here. For students of the Bible and human history, the record of names is rich, giving us greater insight into the passages.
The Lineage of the Patriarchs and the Posterity of Humanity (1:1-28)
You will find the following lineages in today’s reading: The Patriarchs from Adam to Noah and his sons (1 Chronicles 1:4). Following the Genesis flood, the genealogies of Noah’s sons (1 Chronicles 1:5-23): The sons of Japheth, whose ancestry settled in Europe (1 Chronicles 1:5-7). The sons of Ham, whose lineage can be traced to Asia and Africa (1 Chronicles 1:8-16). Finally, the Sons of Shem(1 Chronicles 1:17-54), of whom were born Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael (1 Chronicles 1:27-28).
1 Chronicles 2 will give us the most important lineage, that of Jesus Christ, who was born of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s seed, the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
A closing thought:
Many of the names recorded in 1 Chronicles are challenging to pronounce and unfamiliar, but they were men who are part of the Biblical narrative. Every Bible student should be encouraged that modern archaeology has only proven the accuracy and preservation of the Scriptures.
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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