Some TIPS on How to Read the Book of Chronicles
1 Chronicles chapter 9 gives us the clues that this book was written after the people of Judah have returned home from the Babylonian exile. The purpose of retracing the history of the Israelites from post exilic back to Adam was to remind them that they were still God’s people after the fall of the kingship. These books were written in retrospect was to answer the question why the people of Judah were sent to exile. The author intentionally left out the Northern kings and the sins of David. The author portrayed King David as the ideal king and the image of the future messiah. The unfaithfulness of the kings of Judah and the people broke the covenant they made with their God that led them to exile. In spite of their unfaithfulness, this book of Chronicles brings a glimpse of hope, when God uses King Cyrus, the Persian king to fulfill His prophecy to bring them back home after almost 70 years in exile.
Suggestion of sections of reading
- 1 Chronicles 1 – 8 – The genealogy of the founding ancestors (Adam) to King Saul and it focuses on
the lineage of King David and the priesthood.
- 1 Chronicles 9 & 10 – The removal of King Saul
- 1 Chronicles 11 – 29 – The reign of King David
- 2 Chronicles 1 – 9 – The reign of King Solomon and the building of the temple
- 2 Chronicles 10 – 35 – The reign of 15 Kings of Judah & the failure of Kingship
- 2 Chronicles 36 – The last 4 Kings of Judah that leads to exile and the hope of restoration
King Saul consulted medium which was forbidden in the covenant. King Rehoboam abandoned the law of the Lord. King Uzziah attempted the role as a priest. King Ahaz worshipped foreign gods and closed the temple door. King Manasseh rebuilt the pagan shrines. Unfaithfulness was all over Judah and their disobedience led them to exile. Unfaithfulness violates covenant.
To run a marathon race (no matter how many kilometers) it requires endurance. It’s always very exciting to be at the starting line waiting for the flag off. The aim is to finish the race with certain timing set as goal. It’s not just about how you start or end the race, but how you complete each kilometer in the race is equally important. When the energy level runs low, the water station comes as precious stop to replenish energy for the remaining distance. ‘U-turn’ in any race is the nightmare for a runner. You cannot see how far before the ‘U-turn’ appears. It’s very tempting to take ‘short cut’ (run across the road illegally) instead of going all the way down the road before turning back to the other side of the road. Life always has short cut. The illegal short cut seems so tempting and no one will find out.
Our life is the same. There will be time when we feel the tiredness or tough challenge of life. Can we give in or how can we remain faithful in finishing ‘this race’ that we are called to?
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14.