In Case You Missed It -- 1 Chronicles 9, Psalm 39
2 Kings ended with the leaders of Judah exiled in Babylon along with but a few from the southern kingdom. 1 Chronicles 9 details in brief what the book of Nehemiah will explain in detail. Israelites, Levites, and others charged with caring for temple worship return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. As 1 Chronicles has not been chronicling Israel’s story in chronological order just yet, everything written in this book until today gives a preview of where the writer of the Chronicles is leading us. Tomorrow we will begin a more chronological but different version of many of the same events already covered in the books of Samuel and Kings. The Chronicles will end with Cyrus, King of Persia, encouraging the people of Judah to go back home and rebuild what has been destroyed.
The first readers of the Chronicles would have been those living after the exile. This original audience would read the Chronicles as a story of Israel’s history, triumphs, and tragedies, persuading them to avoid the sins of their wicked ancestors and embrace the God worshiped by their righteous ancestors. This history is given as a warning and an encouragement that God has been true to His promise at the end of Deuteronomy to both bless obedience and curse disobedience.
The message which Chronicles gives to Israel also beckons us to see the misery of prevailing sin and the blessings of obedience. Even if the blessings and curses are different for us, the people of God rescued from the ends of the earth by the blood of Jesus, Chronicles invites us still to embrace the blessings that come from being true to YHWH.