We continue our Church Reading Plan and head into 1-2 Chronicles, and as we’ve done in the past, here’s a quick overview of the book to help you dive deeper into your daily reading.
While reading through Chronicles you may think, “Hmm… well this seems familiar. Didn’t I just read this?” And the answer is yes, most likely. 1-2 Chronicles overlaps with 2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings, which is what we recently finished reading. So, why the repetition?
Well, besides the fact that it’s a good reminder (do you remember Jehoram? Probably not); there’s actually a much cooler reason. To find the answer, let’s look at the author’s intent in writing 1-2 Chronicles.
So first we must ask, who is the audience? Who is the author, the Chronicler, writing to? He’s writing to Israel, post-Exile.
A Quick History of the Exile
The Babylonian Empire conquered Judah and destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, deporting Israel into settlements near Babylon. This seemingly concluded the Davidic Monarchy and Judah as a nation-state. Years later, Babylon fell to Persia and allowed the Israelites, the remnant, to return to their land to rebuild their cities and rebuild the temple.
The exile is over! Yet, how does one rebuild again? How does one make sense of what happened?
Here’s the Answer
The Chronicler answers this question differently from the author of 1-2 Kings. Unlike 1-2 Kings who wrote to explain why the Kingdom fell, Chronicler shows us the hope and faithfulness of God during the period of kings (and he even goes further back into time to the beginning, starting with Adam!).
He demonstrates how faithful kings and people had experienced God’s blessings when they acted like David — seeking God with their heart in spite of their sin.
The Chronicler consistently encourages the reader to remember that there is forgiveness and restoration in God through sacrifices of atonement and humble prayer. There is hope! The exile is not the end of Israel’s story. He asks, what can we learn from the events that led up to the Exile? Where do we see God working in it? How do we as covenant keepers respond to God blessing those who seek after Him?
Join us for the next couple of months as we dive into a more hopeful understanding of Israel’s history.
If you would like more information on this time period and genre, read or re-read our previous blog post on the Historical Books.
We invite you to join us as we read the Historical Books as a church. You are welcome to access the reading plan via this spreadsheet.
If you want to dive in deeper or have questions, contact me (Tawny@RealChicago.com) and I can offer resources and/or a nerdy conversation.