1 Chronicles Survey
Pr Edi Giudetti
Unfortunately the Audio is unavailable…batteries died in the transmitter and lost 2/3rds of the sermon, sorry 🙂
The Hand of the Lord.
The first book of Chronicles together with the second, demonstrate to us that there is an unseen hand throughout the course of events in human history. None is more evident than what we see concerning the nation of Israel.
In the accounts of 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings, God was involved behind the scenes. In the books of Chronicles however, God is manifestly front and centre.
The writer of Chronicles seems to have intended that those for whom this book was written, would clearly see that it was the Lord who demonstrates his hand upon his people for his purpose and for their encouragement.
The sovereignty of God in the events of the world, particularly over Israel, is clearly represented in Chronicles, The Hand of The Lord has a purpose, The Hand of the Lord has control in a manner that retains the accountability of people and kings, yet is perfectly sovereign in each event.
Though man is held accountable for his actions, both for reward and chastisement, and yet we see that it is the Lord who has purposed all things.
Chronicles is to this day featured and contained in one volume to the Israelite nation. We have it separated into two distinct books.
Though the theme and manner of writing is similar throughout, its structure in two volumes matches that which we see in both Samuel and Kings. As a result, many accounts in both 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings are repeated, but as we see in the New Testament Gospel accounts, nothing repeated is without purpose.
The Hand Of The Lord Upon A People
3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, 4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in: 5 For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. 6 Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars? 7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles provide for us a genealogical account of a people.
The first eight chapters show a genealogy from Adam, the first head of man representing man, to Saul the first head of Israel, representing Israel.
The ninth Chapter begins for us with a hint as to a boundary for the historical placement of the writing of the Book of Chronicles.
- The Patriarchs of all history are given to us in the first chapter, From Adam through to the sons of Esau.
- The Sons of Israel are covered for us in chapters 2 to 4
- The genealogy of the trans Jordanian Tribes, that is, the tribes which settled on the other side of the Jordan river, are given to us in chapter 5
- The tribe of Levi is given to us in detail in chapter 6
- With the genealogies of six other tribes of Israel (Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Asher) identified and given record in chapters 7 through 8.
So the summary of people and the nation of Israel are now set for us in the first eight chapters of this first book of the Chronicles.
Chapter 9 then begins with this interesting statement that provides for us a boundary marker as to it’s the historical writing of the book.
9:1 So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression.
So there we have a knowledge of placement, the first book of the Chronicles could not have been written prior to the captivity of Judah to Babylon, the author then had at least written Post exile even though the historical narrative is Pre Exilic.
Most of our men of learning hold that Ezra the scribe is the author of the Chronicles.
They do so because, rightly, there is a flow of writing that is very similar to Ezra’s own book written that bears his name.
The object of the accounts given to us are also distinct from that of both Samuel and Kings, in that it reflects and focuses greatly on the spiritual state of the nation rather than the political, with the clear HAND OF GOD demonstrated behind the scenes of history of the people.
Ezra was a priest, he more than any other, recognised the reason for the captivity of the people and his personal burden is given to us in the book of Ezra.
But chapters 1 to 8 of 1st Chronicles are given to us to show the hand of God upon people in general, to a distinct people in particular. The thread of genealogical history weaves its way from Adam and a notable thread is made evident as it narrows its generational line from that of the broad river of all nations, to the narrow stream of Israel and her people.
Do not think for a moment that these first chapters are without importance. Certain that there is nothing in the scriptures, directly inspired and preserved by the God of the Bible that is not without vital importance to us today.
Yet, this record was certainly of benefit to the particular people of Israel. For without their ability to show the line of their descendants, they were not counted as part of the nation but strangers. They must have been able to show their people, that their name is found in the pedigree of Israel, and Ezra particularly mentions the importance of this.
Turn to Ezra 2:59
59 And these were they which went up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father’s house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel: 60 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two. 61 And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: 62 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. 63 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
We see now that the pedigree of some individuals were not found, lost it was during the time of their captivity, during the time of enslavement for their sin some seventy years in Babylon.
The offices that they desired to stand for was no mean office but that of the priesthood of Aaron, separated for the purpose of God, yet they took no care to covet that pedigree, to keep it and retain their identity proudly.
It was an identification so vital for all Israel to be identified with, A peculiar people saved and retained by God.
But no care was taken in its preservation during their sojourn in a home not theirs, and they were therefore counted “polluted and put from the priesthood”.
There are times where each one of us, being in the world, might think that the record God has made of our names are perhaps a shame for us to bare to those in the world.
Though we are a separated people to God, we might despise our birthright in the face of a world who hates those peculiar people of God. Take great care in this for those who are ashamed of Christ today, he will be ashamed of in eternity.
God keeps the records of names, and our names are said to be recorded as a people separated to him for all eternity, CHERISH YOUR PEDEGREE, for it will not be long before the roll will be called and your name heard among the saints of God.
There is a second application that comes to my mind as I recall the conversion of a man who completed the eighth chapter of Chronicles. He noted that If God so cared for all these and named them by name to be preserved for all eternity, perhaps he cared for him.
He sought the Lord at that time and he did so diligently, and was found of him. Now his name also is found in the book of life for all time.
Is your name written there? Will you be able to find your pedigree among the people of God when your sojourn in this world is done?
There is indeed a genealogy, a generation that is counted as brethren to the one who saved them from their bondage, this generation are also sojourners in the world, captive here until they are called home.
In reading this genealogical record in Chronicles, it is clear to see the Lords Hand upon a particular people through history. Though he is hidden from them today, just as the veil covered the face of Moses, so does a veil cover their hearts, there will be a time yet coming when God will again have his hand so clearly evident upon his people Israel.
Meanwhile we, who are the “other sheep” the Lord has, who were cut out of a wild olive tree and were grafted into the good olive tree and not natural branches, we watch as we see the day approaching.
The Hand Of The Lord Upon A Place
9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning, 10 And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.
In these passages we are seeing only a glimpse of the involvement of the Lord in the workings of history to the People of Israel.
Here he makes clear that it will be the Lord and the Lord alone that will ordain the place for his people Israel, and that it would be he who plants them there.
All the argument the world over about the Land of Palestine today is not an argument against the current government of Israel, but against the Lord who planted them there.
Against the same Lord who had spoken through the prophets encouraging his people with all assurance that, though they will be scattered among the nations, it will be he who brings them from the four corners of the globe and sets them again in that PLACE.
Turn to Isaiah 11:11, a part of your reading that you will get through this week.
And it shall come to pass in that day,
That the Lord shall set his hand again the second time
To recover the remnant of his people,
Which shall be left, from Assyria,
And from Egypt, and from Pathros,
And from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar,
And from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations,
And shall assemble the outcasts of Israel,
And gather together the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.
Brethren, when was the first time they were gathered to return to the place he would plant them?
It was during the time of the writing of the Chronicles, their return from Babylon.
When was this second time, yet future at its writing, but now current?
1948 Israel was established again and since then there has been a continuous effort for all to return to the place the hand of the Lord is upon.
But during the historical account give to us in our passage this morning we discover that its context is set for the desire of David to build for the Lord a house to dwell in.
And yet in this we will see the historical account of the Lord directing the work and setting the exact place for the House of The Lord.
Turn chapter 21 of 1 Chronicles
21 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. 3 And Joab answered, The Lord make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?
We all remember this tragic event in the life of David and of Israel. Davids numbering of the people was a great sin before the Lord, identified even by Joab his general.
This displeased God and he smote Israel as a result, David choosing to fall into the hand of the Lord for this transgression.
17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. 18 Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite
In verse 22
22 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.
In verse 25 the scripture tells us he paid no less than six hundred shekels of Gold by weight for the place.
(Same event in 2 Samuel 24:24. 50 Shekels of Silver for the floor and the Oxen only)
Verse 26 the Lord consumed the sacrifice by fire from heaven, David seeing this incredible event.
See now Chapter 22
22 Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel. 2 And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.
Brethren, The Hand of the Lord was even upon the place of the house of the Lord. Move forward with me now to 2 Chronicles as we come to identify the place of the House of the Lord.
Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.
When we consider the Hand of the Lord, we can do so knowing that he is in control of all things and for purposes that concern things we may not even live long enough to see and understand.
We have identified that the house of the Lord was to be built on the threshing floor or Ornan the Jebusite, Jebusi is the ancient name of Jerusalem.
But now we have a further identification that specifies where this threshing floor is. Our text tells us that it was in mount Moriah. There are only two verses in all of the Bible where the name Moriah is mentioned, the second is here in this passage, the first is in Genesis chapter 22.
22 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
We know the scene, we are aware of the event that took place here. A father to offer a son, his only son whom he loves, as an offering.
But note that place; it was a mount in the land of Moriah.
Now consider how Abraham named this mount, turn to verse 13-14
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
Abraham named the place prophetically, a place where not only a temple would be built, but also a place close by where another son would be offered as an offering, a place for which the Hand of the Lord was upon.
The Hand of the Lord is upon the events of History, for a purpose yet future and not yet revealed. As the Lord is your father, trust him that “all things work together for good to them that love him”
The Hand Of The Lord Upon A Person
7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel: 8 And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth. 9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning, 10 And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.
From the tenth chapter to the end of this book our passages have one individual in its focus, David. In those nineteen Chapters is woven the work of God behind the scenes for the purpose of building for David a sure house. From the beginning the Lord shows his direction of this shepherd boy who would be King.
… I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
Lest there is at any time a heart of pride that may arise, the Lord makes sure that David is aware, through the prophet Gad in this passage, that it was the Lord who took him from the sheep fold.
This was not the ambition of David, this was not ever his planned goal, all David did was have his desire set on the Lord, the Lord did the rest in his time.
David was a man after Gods own heart, he had no ambition but to love the Lord, be pleasing to the Lord, desire nothing but the Lord and as such a heart was found in him so then the Lord took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
Who knows what the Lord will ordain for the one who has set their heart to follow the Lord? If we might clear our desires and narrow them only for the Lord, the Lord might takes us from our place and set us where he desires.
Moreover the Lord preserved his servant; 8 And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
David had no ability to preserve himself, it was not “self preservation” that protected David from the Lion, the bear and the giant, but the Lord that preserved him, kept him and cut off all his enemies before him.
Further we can make no name for ourselves that will last. What vain ambition it is to be famous for a time. What purpose do we find in making us a name of fame rather than lifting up the name of the Lord.
David had no desire of personal glory, but the Lord have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
Brethren, what is seen in 1 Chronicles is clearly that the Lord has his hand not only upon a people, not only upon a place, but incredibly his direction narrows to that being so much more personal, to have his hand even upon a person.
There is no doubt that the narrow focus of the Lord is upon you individually. Often we think to ourselves that it is not possible for the God of all the earth to draw his attention upon us individually, but we would be terribly mistaken.
For the love of the Lord is personal not general.
No matter how many are the children in a family, the love of a mother is never divided but multiplied and directed individually.
Just as She mourns the waywardness of a single child so too the Lord mourns our turning away individually.
The Bible is as much general as it is personal. All that is written in this book is for your learning and your encouragement and your direction and your wellbeing.
The Lord directs his attention to you individually.
In Revelation chapter 3:20 we have an account of Jesus speaking to the wayward Church of Laodicea. In this verse he draws his attention to the individual and not to the congregation saying;
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me
He cares for us individually and we turn to him dependently.
The Hand Of The Lord Upon A People ( 1 Chron 17:3-7)
The Hand Of The Lord Upon A Place (1 Chron 17:9)
The Hand Of The Lord Upon A Person (1 Chron 17:7-10)
The Hand Of The Lord Upon A Purpose
11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. 13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: 14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore. 15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
I have just finished a book by Viktor Frankl entitled ‘Mans Search For Meaning’. It’s not a new book, it was written in 1946 just after the end of the second world war and it chronicles his time as a Jew in Auschwitz, one of Adolf Hitler’s most notorious concentration camps created for the specific purpose of extermination of the Jews known as “The Final Solution”.
Dr Frankl lost both his parents and his wife to the Holocaust in Germany and Poland while he was a prisoner. He was a Neurologist and Psychiatrist and attempted through this book to explain meaning in life even through such depravation as the events of Hitlers war against the Jews.
Dr Frankl sought to find meaning or purpose to life.
Sadly Dr Frankl, though a Jew, did not hold to the faith the Jews were charged to hold, even having the Oracles of God, it is clear that the veil was indeed set upon his heart.
The book became a best seller, even though the very subject of Mans Search For Meaning is not answered in any of its pages. Dr Frankl was fatalistic in his faith, he held strongly to “fate” as that impersonal and arbitrary guide to life, and that comes through very clearly in his writing.
His favourite quotes repeated throughout the book is that of his mentor Friedrich Nietzsche, a fellow Jew and atheist who stated “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” and “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
As if this somehow helps to provides meaning to man
The best way I could describe Frankl’s answer to Mans Search For Meaning is “A Clutching at straws” in the hope that all that occurs actually has a purpose in an existence that he believes came to existence without a purpose.
But friends, apart from God there can be no purpose.
Purpose cannot exist without the determination to act in accord to a plan. A godless, random universe occurring by unintelligent effects cannot have an intelligent purpose.
‘Meaning’ simply cannot logically be found in an arbitrary vacuum, and this is why Frankl states his theory as “Irrational”, he does not intend for it to make sense. And we wonder why people find life so difficult to understand today!
Yet from the beginning of this book of Chronicles we see the hand of the Lord upon a purpose;
His purpose seen upon his selection of a people. From Adam through the nation of Israel was according to his will and plan to reveal himself to mankind.
His purpose was evident in his selection of a place to set himself and his people, and all history will know that “in the mount of the Lord it was Seen”.
His purpose in a person made clear to all generations that this kingdom ordained by God will be eternal. The throne of David is that same throne that Christ will take his rightful place, in a kingdom established in righteousness that will stand for ever.
But most importantly, for this is the entire purpose and plan of God from the beginning of time, all other purposes have as their end this most fundamental goal; to redeem mankind to himself.
That in Christ man will have eternal life and the Son of God will be glorified for ever more.
Friends, your very existence demonstrates that God has a purpose and a plan and it can perhaps be summarised in one statement.
Turn in your Bible to Ephesians 2:4-7
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Every book of the Bible is important, Chronicles shows to us both that God is sovereign and in control of all events, but also that he has a purpose.
Yours is to come to know him and to be a part of that plan for the salvation of others, That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.