Sunday, October 30, 2011

On Chronicles

I realized recently that I had never read all the way through the books of I and II Chronicles. Since they were originally one book, I'll henceforth (a fun word to write) refer to them simply as "Chronicles."

The reason I had never bothered reading through Chronicles is because I thought of the book as simply a repeat of II Samuel and I and II Kings. I was wrong. Although there is much overlap, there is also a good amount of variation. While II Samuel and I and II Kings are basically a time line of the monarchy of Israel, Chronicles focuses in more on the highlights. In particular, the Chronicler (the author, whoever he was) spends much time on the temple and those who we might refer to as the "good kings" of Israel.

In reading Chronicles, I learned new things about David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Hezekiah, and Josiah. The best part is seeing the hearts of the kings who genuinely, if imperfectly, sought after God. The Chronicler also repeatedly shows God providing for these kings and Israel as a whole in various ways.

Even though the good kings are the focus, we do see a bit of the evil kings showing through. For example, late in Chronicles we read about the long and evil reign of King Manasseh. Unlike II Kings, however, we not only see his wickedness but also his repentance:

II Chronicles 33:10-13, "The LORD spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention. Therefore the LORD brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon. And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God."

The Chronicles is full of small but significant differences from II Samuel and I and II Kings. I encourage you to read through it. I admit to skimming through the genealogies. Don't feel bad about that. Just enjoy reading a book that you may never have looked at much before.


Steve Scott said...


A funny thing happened to me. I was once struggling with insomnia and a friend recommended reading II Chronicles each night when I wanted to go to sleep. It would make me drowsy for sure. But I learned what a wonderful book it really was. The brief commentaries on some of the kings provided some really fascinating things.

Eric said...


It really does make for interesting reading. Too bad Chronicles has such a bad "rep." God's word is full of so many riches; I'm glad I came across these unexpected ones.

Scott said...

Reading them myself over the last couple weeks since I had decided there was much to say in them about thanks, I scheduled my November thanksgiving series on several passages.

I have enjoyed both reading them and the historical commentaries on them. BTW I'm glad the author is unknown - I like referring to him as "the Chronicler" almost as fun as writing henceforth.
Blessings, Scott ><>

Eric said...


Thanks for commenting. Which passages in particular are you speaking from? I'd like to read them again. As for the "Chronicler," I agree that it is fun to say.

Scott said...

Brother Eric,

For the most part I teach/preach straight through books of the bible. I'm normally not a fan of topical preaching, mostly because I think it tempts us to stretch the scripture to satisfy the topic. Therefore I do very little of it.

With that said... I did decide I would teach on thankfulness in the month of November (before I start my next book). I developed a four part series on thankfulness out of the book of Chronicles.

As looked beyond the somewhat monotonous record of the genealogies, I began to see a beautiful picture of thankfulness throughout these historical books (one book).

First there is Davids song of thankfulness in response to God's covenant keeping love and provision for the Ark in 1 Chron 16, the the idea of working for the lord and serving in the Lords Temple out of hearts of gratitude in 1 Chron 23, then I saw expressions thankfulness in the free will offerings given to build and maintain the temple in 1 Chron 29, and finally the familiar admonition and warning for God's people to walk with hearts of repentance and thankfulness before God in 2 Chron 7, thereby receiving the blessings of our covenant keeping God.

I realize these are OT historical accounts primarily concerning the building, servicing, and maintaining of the temple. Yet looking forward, I think they point to the thankfulness that should be in our hearts out of love for the Most High God who does not dwell in houses made by hands.

Here how I set up the series.

Thanking God – With our Words
1 Chronicles 16:8-33

Thanking God – With our Works
1 Chronicles 23:24–32

Thanking God – With our Wealth
1 Chronicles 29:1-18

Thanking God – With our Walk
2 Chronicles 7:11–22

Again I am looking as much forward to the Sunday PM participatory discussions, as I am the Sunday AM expositions. More than that I pray it will work itself out through the Mon-Sat lives of God's people.

Thanks for your prayers. Brother Scott ><>

Eric said...


Thanks for commenting brother.

You said, "For the most part I teach/preach straight through books of the bible. I'm normally not a fan of topical preaching, mostly because I think it tempts us to stretch the scripture to satisfy the topic. Therefore I do very little of it." I agree completely. It's far too easy to stay with the topics we like otherwise.

The series you are going to be leading sounds excellent. I hope it is a great blessing to your church family. I'm sure it will be.

The passage from I Chron. chapter 16 is one of my favorites in all the bible. What a pleasure to read and teach it.

Enjoy the preaching and discussion.