Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for May 1, 1 Chr 3-5

Today's readings are 1 Chronicles 3-5.

Considering 1 Chronicles was written shortly after the Babylonian exile and return, around 538 BC, the genealogies become a poignant reminder of God's faithfulness, even during times of hardship and trial. We see the descendants of David are now back in Jerusalem and Judah (1 Chr 3:19-24), restored and once again living in the land of promise. We also get a glance at the tribes that settled beyond the Jordan, in Gilead, Moab and a few other Eastern countries (1 Chr 5:1-24). If you remember, they didn't want to go into Canaan, asking for land that looked good but was not necessarily the land they were promised. These areas and tribes will be interesting to watch as 1 & 2 Chronicles tells the story of all twelve tribes.

As some familiar names pop up, we’ll also see, as we have so many times in the past, that there is a price to pay for not heeding God's word and blessing for those that do.

What these chapters provide for us is an accurate historical record of Israel, placing the people and events in very specific time periods. This makes tracing the storyline of the Bible in history an easier task. Another characteristic of these genealogies is that they show us the meticulous detail in the way the Jews traced their lineage.

This desire to maintain the genealogies was a gift God gave to the Hebrews so that they could ascertain the lineage of the Messiah through David.  As it turned out, those who should have been checking were so blinded by their preconceptions that they refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah, apparently never bothering to check their records.

We can miss many of God’s blessings by paying more attention to our feelings and convictions than we do to God’s word.

Another point to ponder, Jabez shows up in 1 Chr 4:9-10. A popular book was written in 2000 concerning these two verses. The book begins with the premise that, if we ask God to “enlarge our borders,” He will. The author then proceeds to cite various Scriptures to prove his point. However, the author repeatedly takes the Scriptures he employs out of context as he did with his premise. The primary message of 1 Chr 4:9-10 is not that God wants to expand the borders of His people. Rather, these two verses show us that He listens to the prayers of His people. God honors trust in Him, a contrite heart and a cry for help, all attributes that Jabez exhibited. The lesson of Jabez is “God hears,” not that a prayer for “expanding borders” can guarantee material or spiritual success.

We should always be wary of any theology or doctrine that is developed from one or two verses taken out of context.

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