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Making sense of the 9 chapter chronology of 1 Chronicles.
Making sense of the 9 chapter chronology of 1 Chronicles
Today's focus: 1 Chronicles 1-3

In 2 Timothy 3:15-17 the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy these words about the Word of God; "from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

On the basis of these words, we are going to take a look at 1 Chronicles 1-9 over the next 2 weeks. Today our focus will be on 1 Chronicles 1-3.

At first blush, this exercise might seem a bit sterile and if you read these chapters these week the word "bored" may have crossed your mind. However, let me assure you that if you commit yourself to reflect upon these chapters you won't be bored-- you will be edified. Personally I found that my reading and re-reading of 1 Chronicles 1-9 this past week to be strangely comforting.

A general thought on genealogies

Some people put a lot of stock and time in knowing their family history and can trace their lineage back hundreds and in some cases a couple of thousand years.

Culturally speaking, some value the knowledge of their past more (sometimes this has to do with their religious backgrounds)

In a general way, it's kind of a cool thing to know where you are from, who your relatives were and some of the significant things they did.

Knowing our past family history can be a comforting thing -- for it serves as a kind of anchor in the present, helping us understand who we are and how we fit in the world. To illustrate the truth of this, consider the opposite: For those who don't know who their mother or father was or who there brothers and sisters are, it can be quite disconcerting (hence the effort people put in to finding their families)

Some introductory thoughts on the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1-9

-They cover 3500 years of history- from Adam to the surviving heirs of the line of David in the time of Ezra (who is thought to be the compiler and author of Chronicles)
-Over the course of these 9 chapters over 900 different people are named and about 25 nations are referenced.
-Chronicles was initially written for the benefit of the exiles who returned from 70 years in captivity in Babylon. In 586 BC, by the Word of the Lord, the Babylonians came, destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and took away the majority of the inhabitants to Babylon. Having returned by the Word of the Lord the returning Jews were wondering how they connected to the prior generation and whether or not the promises of God were still for them. The Book of Chronicles was written that they might know that God was theirs and that His promises belonged to them.
-The dominant emphasis of the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1-9 is upon the line of David/the line of promise. Note how 1 Chronicles 3 is entirely focused on tracing the line of David

Why is the focus on David?

In 2 Samuel 7:11-16 God makes an incredible promise to David saying; "The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'"

Why is God's promise to David relevant to us?

Because Jesus is the eternal king promised to David. Jesus is the Messiah and Savior of the world, who without, we would die in our sins.

Are you following Jesus? In Christ alone is salvation and the forgiveness of sins. In Christ alone is an escape from the Judgement to come. Turn to Christ and be saved.

READ 1 Chronicles 1

Note that 1 Chronicles 1-3 a unit that compromises 3 parts

1. Chapter 1 A general sweep of history beginning with Adam and branching out to various nations and kingdoms
2. Chapter 2 An overview of the sons of Israel (who comprised the 12 tribes of Israel)
3. Chapter 3 A tracing of the line of David to the time of the author

Note also that genealogies don't include every last person (the people included are there for a reason-- most often because they notable or someone in their line is notable)


Question: Did you recognize any of the names that we just read?

I imagine that you recognized some of the names i.e Adam, Seth, Methuselah, Noah, Shem, Ham, Nimrod, Abraham, Sarah, Esau, Isaac, Israel, Seir, Edom.

They all have a story, they all form part of our history that begins in Genesis

When I say "I know that name" it brings back memories of what I've learned in my Bible reading. Lessons are brought to mind from the lives they lived.

Don't know the names or their stories-- Get into the Word

1. The history of 1 Chronicles 1-9 belongs to us who are the followers of Christ.

As much as 1 Chronicles 1-9 belongs to the Jews, tracing the history of the world and God's promise to Abram and David through to the year 450 B.C, it belongs to us who are the followers of Christ for it traces the path to Jesus and his coming into the world to save us from our sins and the judgment to come.

Such is why I find the reading of 1 Chronicles a comfort and enjoy reading it and pondering it

2. That the Chronicler begins with Adam is significant- for we are reminded that we are not evolutionary accidents

A few years ago the Human Genome project came out with this incredible declaration-- we all share a common ancestor. WOW! The Bible has told us this from the very beginning.

Note how in covering history that Chronicles doesn't begin with "from the apes their came man" NO. Chronicles takes us back to the days of creation when God spoke and world was formed out of nothing.

On the sixth day of creation (literally) God we are told that God made man in His image (Genesis 1-2, Exodus 20:8-11 says; "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

Another thing about Adam

Adam is our representative head. We all come from Adam and Eve. When he sinned, we all sinned in him. Because of Adam's rebellion against God, we all die. (See Romans 5:12-21).

While in Adam we are reckoned as sinners from birth- as ones born in sin; in Christ we come to be reckoned as righteous.

3. The mention of Noah reminds us of: The Judgment of God that came upon the world, the Judgment that is to come, and of the only solution for sin -being Jesus Christ the Righteous One--who is the ultimate end of the genealogies of Chronicles 1-9

Between v.1-4 a broad section of history is covered, verse 4 telling us how and by whom the world was repopulated. Yet with Noah a very significant event occurred. Because of the sinfulness of people a world wide flood (for which much geological evidence exists-- sedimentary rock, the Grand Canyon, etc) happened and all people save Noah and his family died. God then started over with Noah's family.

In 2 Peter 3 we are told that one day the world will be destroyed by fire. The only way to escape the judgment to come is through and in a relationship with Jesus Christ-- who came on a rescue mission, dying for our sins on the cross and taking upon himself the punishment that we deserve.

If you are not right with God, put your faith in Christ. Turn to him for the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life.

4. Chronicles 1 introduces us to many of the earliest nations that existed- seen in the tracing of the lines of the 3 sons of Noah. Such shows us that God keeps his promises to whoever he makes promises too and that God cares about and is sovereign over all peoples and nations.

Interesting: The biggest enemies of Israel came from the the line of Ham (one of the sons of Noah) v.8-13.

Note v.13-16 and how these were the nations that Israel had to dispossess out of the promised land (nations bigger and stronger than they and given to every imaginable wickedness before God.

A few points

a. God keeps track of saints and sinners. He follows both His friends and His enemies. Nobody is obscure to God. Every person is accountable to Him. Every soul is precious in His sight
b. Genealogies prove that God keeps his promises.

Of Esau (who featured in v.35-42 and Jacob it says in Genesis 25:23 "The Lord said to her (Rebekah), "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."

Esau indeed became a great nation and their was conflict between Israel and them. (see also Genesis 36 Genealogy)

Trust God! He always keeps His promises. Lean upon Him. Wait upon Him, for those who do shall renew their strength.

5. The genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1-9 and of 1 Chronicles 1 teach us that we must learn to weigh the consequence of sin

We need to learn think more about the results of our actions -while thanking God that He does not treat us as our sins deserve

In Genesis 12:1-3 God calls Abram and tells him that He was going to make him into a great nation that through him the whole world will be blessed. Abram obeys God. Later we learn that Abram has a small problem-- He and his wife had no children. God promises Abram a child. Time passed and still no baby so Abram and Sarah decided to help God out. Hence came Ishmael by Sarah's servant Hagar. To Hagar, God promised that Ishmael would become a great nation but a nation at odds with his brother (Genesis 16). Fast forward to today- those who are of Arab descent are related to Ishmael. At the moment, relations between them and Jews are not the best.

Yet note this: Jesus came to save not just Jews, but Gentiles too. The promise of God's Word is this "If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9

Something else to note as it regards sin and consequence: Note v.45 "These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned"

These simple little words remind us of how Israel rejected God's kingship because they wanted to have a king like the nations around them. (1 Samuel 8). When Samuel heard the news, he was ticked, and so was God-- for the people were rejecting Him so they could be like everyone else.

God gave the people what they wanted and yet, despite their sin, He purposed to bring them good nonetheless- for the sake of His holy name He promised that to King David that from Him a Savior would come-- A Savior that every person needs to embrace and turn to.

6. The genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1-9 are super relevant for us because they lead us to Jesus- the only Savior

As a whole, the thrust of 1 Chronicles 1-9 is on the line of David and the promise that God gave to him that an eternal king would sit on his throne.

In his coming, His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension to Heaven, Jesus fulfilled God's ancient promise to David in 1 Samuel 7.

Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

COMMUNION focus- an expansion on how the genealogies of Chronicles lead to Jesus and how our response is to worship Christ

Matthew 1:1 "This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham...

Matthew 1:17-21 "Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Matthew 2:1-6 "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.

-- coming from Micah 5 but corresponding back to Genesis 49:10 which says; "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his