On the Plains of Moab Blog
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September 9, 2013, 12:33 PM

Monday Morning Quarterback

So, we are off with a new sermon series in Chronicles.  Seeing that I did not really do an introductory sermon, I think it is probably a good idea for some of those kind of thoughts here on Monday morning.

Many Bible readers, when they come to the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles, decide that they don't need to read these two books, and skip on to Ezra and Nehemiah.  There are a couple for reasons for this skip.  First, Chronicles begins with a mind deadening 9 plus chapters of genealogies!  Who wants to get a heavy dose of the "so-and-so begat so-and-so's"?

Another reason that Chronicles gets jettisoned is that to the casual eye, it just looks like a repeat of 1 & 2 Kings.  Same history.  Yada, yada, yada.

Big mistake on both counts to skip over Chronicles.  The genealogies do have a purpose:  The story is not exactly the same.  And, Kings & Chronicles have some historical distance along with distinct purposes.

First things first.  The book of Kings was written to God's people in Babylonian exile.  The purpose of Kings was to explain why the people of God were sent into exile.  In service to that aim, the writer of Kings uses the Judahite kings to demonstrate how they failed to keep covenant, and how the people blissfully followed them in their disobedience.  David, the man after God's own heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22), is portrayed as a good, but flawed king.  For example, his sin with Uriah and Bathsheba and the broken relationships within his own royal family with Absalom.  And Solomon, the wisest man ever to walk the face of the earth?  My, how he crashed and burned!  (How many wives and concubines there??)  David and Solomon's successors do not fair any better.  Some good, but mostly (really) bad.  This, Judah, is why you were sent into Babylonian exile.

The book of Chronicles, on the other hand, is written to the people of God after they have come out of exile.  They are back in the Land.  The writer of the books, usually called "the Chronicler," wants to encourage them to remember who they are.  They are God's people.  They are the ones who are the legitimate heirs to the covenant promises. Now, get to work.  Rebuild the temple!  Restore right worship!  Be my people!  In service to that aim, the history that that the Chronicler records is mostly positive.  Gone are the accounts of Bathsheba and Absalom.  David is a good king.  Look to David and follow his example!  Look to Solomon and follow his example!  Roughly half of the Chronicler's accounts of David and Solomon center around their work on preparing for and building the temple.  They were kings who understood the heart of God.  The other kings who follow David and Solomon are equally portrayed in a more favorable light -- even the wicked king Manasseh (2 Chron. 33:1-20)!

And... The allegedly meaningless genealogies that lead off the book have their purpose in this grand scheme.  You see, the genealogies connect the now returned nation of Israel to the wilderness generation.  The generation that was the recipient of the Mosaic Law and the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The people, now back in the Land, can see where they came from.  They can see who they belong to.  They can see what their purpose is.  They ARE the people of God.  Genealogies don't lie!

One final tidbit of introductory material:  Chronicles, in the Hebrew Bible, is the very last book in that canon.  It is a positive note to end on.  A note of exhortation to the people of God.  It is a book that, like Revelation in the New Testament, draws from a number of Old Testament books to weave it's theological history of the nation, and leaves the door wide open for a greater David to come in the future (i.e. Jesus).

I think that my strategy for the remainder of the sermons will be to take a snapshot look at some of the significant kings in Chronicles, to examine how they meet this theological purpose of the Chronicler.  But also, more importantly, how they prepare us for and point to the David to come, the ultimate King of kings yet to come. (i.e. Jesus).

One penultimate note on this Monday Morning Quarterback session.  Please do note that due to the recent tweak on our church website, it is now possible to make the sermon manuscript available on the audio download page.  I know that for many, there is a preference for the written message.  Saves you from having to hear my nasally voice.  (You don't know how envious I am of Steve Brown of Key Life Network, one of my preaching professors in seminary.  His deep, rich bass voice in his "Think Spots" are Sinaiatic:  "I'm Steve Brown. You think about that.")  Now, you can just click on the Word link above the summary of the sermon on the audio page.

Now the ultimate and final thought.  Another cool feature tweak on the webpage.  Whenever you see a Scripture reference anywhere on the website, all you have to do is move your mouse over the Scripture reference, and walla!  You will get an immediate pop-up with the ESV text.  Great feature from our host.  Enjoy!

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