My Reflections on the role 1 Chronicles 1-29 played in community life.
The first 9 chapters of Chronicles shows me through the long lists of names and family lines dating back from Adam all the way to the twelve tribes of Israel, that the scriptures played a vital part in keeping a sense of identity over the generations.
It seems that the writers of these books were able to look back over hundreds and hundreds of years, and were able to trace their family lines back to the beginning: Adam.
This is impressive to me, in that I can only trace my family back a few generations.
I wonder what that says about my own identity? I don’t feel like I have strong family roots beyond that of for sure feeling like I belong to my parents, but beyond that I feel like I don’t know what my roots are.
Maybe part of the intent of these long genealogies is to help the community of Israel remember who they are in the midst of so many other people groups. But not only who they are, but where they came from and how they got to be where they are today.
Again, as I think of my own life, I can honestly say that I don’t know how my larger family got to be where they are today. At least in my family, there doesn’t seem to be a strong value placed on preserving our roots to promote identity or just to carry our story forward for future generations.
• The scripture seems to serve as a record of the promises between the Lord and his people.
• I think there is also a reminder of how the people, the King (David) prospers when the Lord is with them. (When they are walking in His ways.)
• “God forbid that I should do this!” he said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors. The text goes on to list other members of David’s mighty men, and their brave deeds. Maybe this story and the list of David’s mighty men was important to the community of Israel because it gave them heroes to look up to. Maybe for morale and a sense of national pride that they have King David and this group of amazing warriors who have done pretty epic things. Surely this would be useful in recruiting other warriors, and would be useful to maybe deter enemies from engaging with them. Look also at 1 Chron. 12:8 – another example of how maybe these scriptures/texts were used as morale boosters, or to help create heroes for the people to look up to, as well as to create ‘legends’ for their enemies to fear.
• I think the scriptures also served as a sort of storage place of their collective history – how David became king, how the army came to be, etc. (1 Chron. 12:23 )
• 1 Chron. 13:9-10) I think the scriptures served to help the nation remember that God was not to be taken lightly, or without regard to who He is, and HOW they were supposed to interact with Him and worship Him.
• 1 Chron. 14:16 – “So David DID as God commanded him….and the Lord made all the nations fear him.” – again, I see scripture here serving as a reminder to anyone reading it or sharing it orally, of what happens when you obey the Lord, and DO what He says HOW he says it. Obedience to the Lord = success. Prosperity. Defeating your enemies.
• Scripture serving as a reminder of what happens when you don’t do what the Lord asks – failure happens. And a reminder to seek the Lord BEFORE you do something so that you can go about it according to what God wants, not according to your well intentioned plans. God has an opinion about what to do/what not to do and HOW TO do it.
• 1 Chron. 16:8-36 I think here we see scripture serving as a sort of instructional about how to worship. An invitation to seek the Lord, and to seek His strength and to share what He has done with others – but a reminder over all of who God is and what he does around the community or those who would read this. It would have helped the community to focus in on God and call them to worship- “And all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”
• 1 Chron. 16: 37-43 sets up another lesson in worshiping the Lord how they were supposed to – following the ways God had set out. And in the next chapter we see God responding. Once again, it feels like a lesson for the community – follow the ways of the Lord, and you will prosper.
• 1 Chron. 17:4 – “Go tell my servant David…” how interesting that we see God’s way of talking about David become ‘my servant.’ David’s relationship with God transformed as he sought him, and as he obeyed him, and looked for ways to make God a part of his life, and the life of the community. David wasn’t just seeking the Lord for his own spiritual growth, he was seeking to bring the Lord into the everyday life of the community even going so far as to wanting to build a house for the Lord. The rest of the chapter – 1 Chron. 17 goes on to describe God interacting with David — once again prosperity and blessing flowing as David obeyed and sought the Lord. Once again a record or example for the community of what happens when you seek and obey the very real God.
• 1 Chron. 21 – an example for the community of what happens when you do not do what the Lord has said – and what you need to do to make things right: Look at 1 Chron. 21:24 – David refuses Araunah’s offer to supply everything David would need to make a sacrifice to God. David’s response: “I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing. “ True worship comes from you. It is not something you can copy or take from someone else.
• 1 Chron. 25-27 maybe these chapters are recorded in scripture to help the community know who should be doing what. To help them organize their government and the roles each tribe needed to play in the kingdom. Chapter 27 explains how the army was to be set up, with rotating divisions on duty each month, and who was to be in charge of each division.
• In 1 Chron. 27:16-22 – a detailing of the leaders of the tribes of Israel – maybe this was recorded for history, but also to give the community a record of who was/is and . would be leading.
• 1 Chronicles 28:2–10 – I think this part of the scripture is recorded to serve the community as a reminder to the people of who their king was, and to position Solomon as the next king and to let the people know that God was the one who was setting this transition up.
• I also see a reminder to the community of how important it is to be ‘unswerving’ in obedience, and to carry out God’s words so that they may have success. A common theme it seems of this book. Do what the Lord has asked, and continue to serve Him = you will have success. God will prosper you. God will fight your battles for you, and raise you up.
• I think 1 Chronicles 29:3–9 is here to serve the community as maybe a financial record of sorts – to explain where the finances to build the house of the Lord came from, and to show to all the willingness of their king to give, which also seemed to open the hearts of the people to give freely. This was not forced on the community of Israel – this was something done out of willing hearts.
• 1 Chronicles 29:14–17 what a great reminder for the community – and for me – of where all the resources that we need and that we use come from. They all belong to God. “Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
• And finally, 1 Chron. 29:21-30 this text serves, I think, to show the community the transition of power, the transition of kingship from David to his son, Solomon. And to show God’s approval of Solomon in that God highly exalted Solomon, and bestowed upon him royal splendor… this was not done by men. Solomon’s kingship was established or set up by God. Not man.
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:08 PM September 24, 2019.
List of Highlighted verses:
1 Chronicles 11:3 NIV
When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the LORD had promised through Samuel.
1 Chronicles 11:10 NIV
These were the chiefs of David’s mighty warriors—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the LORD had promised—
1 Chronicles 11:9 NIV
And David became more and more powerful, because the LORD Almighty was with him.
1 Chronicles 11:19 NIV
“God forbid that I should do this!” he said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.
Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.
1 Chronicles 12:8 NIV
Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains.
1 Chronicles 13:9–10 NIV
When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.
1 Chronicles 14:16–17 NIV
So David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army, all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
So David’s fame spread throughout every land, and the LORD made all the nations fear him.
1 Chronicles 15:13–15 NIV
It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves in order to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the LORD.
1 Chronicles 16:8–36 NIV
Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Israel,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
“To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.”
When they were but few in number,
few indeed, and strangers in it,
they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
He allowed no one to oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:
“Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.”
Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
Tremble before him, all the earth!
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
and glory in your praise.”
Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the LORD.”
1 Chronicles 17:4 NIV
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in.
1 Chronicles 28:2–10 NIV
King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’
“Yet the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the tribe of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. Of all my sons—and the LORD has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time.’
“So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever.
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”
1 Chronicles 29:3–9 NIV
Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the LORD today?”
Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the LORD in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.
1 Chronicles 29:14–17 NIV
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.