A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
The first word of this book
(another one arbitrarily divided into two parts) means the events
, and this is the title in Hebrew. Those who translated it into Greek (about 250 B.C.) called the book the things omitted
, an obvious expression of their view that it was produced to fill in the gaps
in Samuel and Kings.
The book begins with a long genealogy
designed to remind people following their exile in Babylon that they are still the people of God. Ezra is traditionally seen as the author of this book, but there is no evidence for this other than tradition. The writer did use many sources, including the biblical Pentateuch, Judges, Ruth, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Zechariah, as well as the book of the kings of Israel
(1 Chronicles 9:1, etc.), the book of the annals of King David
(1 Chronicles 27:24), the book of the kings of Judah and Israel
(2 Chronicles 16:11), and the annotations on the book of kings
(2 Chronicles 24:27).
In an era of reestablishing the identity of God's People
after the exile (sometime after 500 B.C.) the book seeks to answer such significant questions as: 1) Does God still care about us? 2) Are the covenants made with our ancestors still valid? 3) As subjects of foreign powers, do God's promises to David and his descendants still apply? 4) What is our relationship to the past history of our people? The Chronicler emphasizes the Temple, the Law and the prophets throughout his work, and encourages the people to believe in the coming Messiah
. He emphasizes the rule of David and Solomon as the ideal and perhaps sees them as typifying the Messianic king to whose reign he looks forward. These first nine chapters start with Adam and lead up to the rule of King Saul.
Imagine the honor of being part of the list of ancestors of God's People.
Yet many of these ancestors were not very nice people (as we have seen). There names are remembered for all time because of what God did through them, not because of any special innate greatness they possessed.
Our lives are like that as well
. We do not deserve any special treatment by God; in fact, there are points when we wonder why He bothers with us at all! Yet God's love flows down through the ages, and He is able to make lives useful which might otherwise not be. We can be useful to God too!
Spend some time today reflecting
on the qualities of some of the people God used (Jacob the deceiver, Gideon the idolater, David the adulterer, etc.). Then ask God to use your life in some significant way as well. Ask His forgiveness where you need it, and make up your mind to change course where it is clearly His will for you to do so. Then trust Him to make your life significant.
It takes some of the pressure off and makes life an adventure instead of an ordeal!
A. Eugene Pearson 2011