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2 KINGS | Titus-Philemon | 1 CHRONICLES| Hebrews | 2 CHRONICLES

DateScripturesDaily devotional commentary
May 22: Titus & Philemon
May 23:1 Chronicles 1-3* The Genealogies, by D Sween
May 24:1 Chronicles 4-6:59* The Genealogies, Continued, D Sween
May 25:1 Chronicles 6:60-9:23* Why Learn History?, N Sween
May 26:1 Chronicles 9:24-12:40* Like the Army of God, D Sween
May 27:1 Chronicles 13-16* The Ark of the Covenant, N Sween
May 28:1 Chronicles 17-21:16* When Humility Turns Arrogant, D Sween
May 29:1 Chronicles 21:17-24:31* Seeking the LORD After Sinning, N Sween
May 30:1 Chronicles 25-27* Organizational Lists, D Sween
May 31:1 Chronicles 28-29* Living in a Theocracy, N Sween
June 1-4: Hebrews

The Genealogies
May 23 reading
1 Chronicles 1-3
1 Chronicles Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* Chronicles, Wikipedia
* David's Family Tree
BLESSING: "Be fruitful and multiply." (from Genesis 1:28)
The genealogies in 1 Chronicles served to remind the returned exiles of their connection to the past through a careful reporting of their ancestors. But their main purpose was to remind them of the continuing redemptive purposes of God (salvation is through the Jews).

The genealogies eventually bring the line of David into view ... and it was from this royal family that the "King of Kings", the "Lord of Lords", the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, would come. Starting with Adam, the great family of our Lord begins to unfold: Adam, to Noah's sons (1:1-4), the Japhethites (1:5-7), the Hamites (1:8-16), the Semites (1:17-27).

The family of Abraham, the descendants of Hagar, Keturah, Sarah, Esau. The people of Seir in Edom, rulers of Edom (1:28-54).

Israel's sons (the chosen people - I chose you, you did not choose Me). These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher (2:1) followed by Judah, Hezron, Caleb, Jerahmeel, Caleb (2:3-55).

Chapter 3 lists the sons of David and the royal line after the exile. Although the earthly kingdom of David was gone, the people are reminded that his descendants live on ... Christ is coming (Chapter 3)

The Genealogies, Continue
May 24 reading
1 Chronicles 4-6:60
1 Samuel Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* 1 Chronicles,
Jamieson, Fausett, & Brown
JABEZ: "Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, 'Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.'" And God granted his request. (4:10)
Chapter 4 continues the genealogies with the other clans of Judah, ( 4 - 1 - 23 ) Simeon ( 4 : 24 - 43 ) Reuben ( 5 : 1 - 10 ) Gad ( 5 : 11 - 22 ) the half tribe of Manasseh ( 5 : 23 - 26 ).

One of the prominent spiritual principles in Chronicles is that disobedience and sin brings trouble and judgment. On the other hand obedience out of love (He who loves me keeps my commandments) brings peaceful fellowship with God and blessings.

Chapter 6 lists the descendants of Levi. The sons of Levi had been chosen by God for spiritual service in the tabernacle. This chapter points out the importance of true worship ( You must worship me in spirit and truth) according to Godís instruction. 1 Chronicles 6 : 32 reminds us of the importance of song as a method of worshiping and praising God.

Why Learn History?
May 25 reading
1 Chronicles 6:61-9:21
1 Samuel Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* 1 Chronicles Survey,
by Ray Stedman
"The people of Judah were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness." (9:1b)
The genealogy records continue with descendants of the tribes of Levi, Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Asher. Chapter 8 lists the ancestors and descendants of King Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin.

These lists of names represent generation after generation of Jewish lives. Just like the leaders of Judah and Israel recorded in 1 and 2 Kings, some individual people lived in obedience and love of the LORD, while others preferred the beliefs and cultures of their Canaan neighbors surrounding them. Being related to or descended from a faithful person didn't work to save Judah from punishment from the LORD. The charge against Judah was unfaithfulness and broken promises, and the sentence was exile to Babylon.

When people slowly began to return from Babylon to Jerusalem, among them were some Israelites, priests, Levites, and temple servants, including the gatekeepers. The temple was destroyed, so these gatekeepers were guarding the house called the Tent. Others began writing this book of Chronicles to have something to show returning exiles how they were connected with their ancesters, heritage, and homeland.

Like the Army of God
May 26 reading
1 Chronicles 9:22-12:40
1 Samuel Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* 1 Chronicles,
Matthew Henry
Compare with 2 Samuel "And David became more and more powerful, because the LORD Almighty was with him. (Mighty warriors)... gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the LORD had promised." (11:9-10)
These 212 gatekeepers "were in charge of guarding the gates of the house of the Lord - the house called the Tent." (9:23) Chapter 9 ends with the genealogy of Saul. (9:35-44)

The sad chronicles of the death of Saul is found here (chapter 10). Defeated by the Phiilistines. Saul and his sons (Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua) die on Mount Gilboa. Verse 13 says "Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord...."

The Lord turned the Kingdom over to David son of Jesse (10:14). David conquered Jerusalem, took up residence in the fortress, and built up the city. No one accomplishes things of this magnitude without help. David's mighty men are now listed. (11:10-47) [Note: compare these mighty men with their beginnings in 1 Samuel 22:1-2.]

Other warriors join David. Of particular note were the Gadite Army Commanders of whom 15:14 says, "the least was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand." "Day after day men came to help David until he had a great army, like the army of God." (12:22)

All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks fully determined to make David king over Israel. (verse 38)

The Ark of the Covenant
May 27 reading
1 Chronicles 13-16
1 Chronicles Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* Importance of Small Things in Religion,
Charles Spurgeon
Compare with 2 Samuel 6-9 "ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness...Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.." (16:29,34)
After David became king of Israel, he began setting things in order. He asked the army and all Israel to join him and bring the Ark of the Covenant from Abinadab's house at Kiriath Jearim the 10 miles to Jerusalem. No one had inquired of the LORD at the ark anytime while Saul reigned. But when the Levites attempted to move the ark by cart rather than by the LORD's instructions, Uzzah - a Merarite Levite whose hereditary job was to care for the frames of the Tabernacle (Numbers 3:3) - died steadying the ark. His death angered David. Afraid to continue the move, David sent it to the home of Obed-Edom, a Levite harp player.

For awhile, Israel was at peace. David and his various wives had 13 more children in Jerusalem. Hiram, king of Tyre, sent equipment and workers to build a palace for David. The Philistines, on the other hand, sent their army to raid Israel. David inquired of God about fighting plans, and defeated the Philistines, who fled so quickly that they left their gods there (good luck charms???) and David had them burned. This victory encouraged David, and his fame spread. After he had the City of David built up and pitched a tent for the ark of God, once again he called all Israel to join him and bring the ark to Jerusalem. This time David had inquired and found out that the Levites needed to consecrate themselves, then carry the ark.

David had the Levite priests appoint singers and musicians for joyful songs for the event as well as part of daily worship. Their instruments were cymbals, lyres, harps, rams horns, and trumpets. Some of the musicians were also doorkeepers and gatekeepers for the ark. Bringing the ark to Jerusalem was a hugely joyful time. They sang, they danced, they brought offerings, and they celebrated loudly. David gave gifts to everyone who came. In honor of the LORD, David had written a song, a psalm of thanks which the priests of music sang for the event. In addition to the musical ministries, David appointed some priests to continue ministering before the ark of the LORD, by making petition to Him, giving thanks to Him, and praising Him daily on alternating shifts. Then David and all the people went back to their homes.

When Humility Turns Arrogant
May 28 reading
1 Chronicles 17-21:16
1 Chronicles Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* Identifying the Messiah,
"And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also subdue all your enemies." (17:9-10)
Chapter 17 begins with a good hearted attempt on David's part to do something for God. God's answer comes quickly. "You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in." (17:4)

God then reminds David of the many things God had already done for David. He then stated in verse 10b "that the LORD will build a house for you." Overflowing with love and gratitude, David prays. (16-27)

Next is a listing of David's victories (chapter 18). David defeats the Phlistines, Moabites, Zobah, Arameans, and put garrisons in Deom. Trouble with the Ammonites cames next (chapter 19). A peaceful overture by David is rebuffed and war breaks out. Fighting both the Ammonites and the Arameans, the forces of Israel defeat both. The chapter ends, stating "the Arameans were not willing to help the Ammonites anymore." (vs 19)

Next, Rabbah is attacked by Joab and left in ruins. David finds a particularly fine golden crown which is placed on his head (20:2). War also flares in Gezer.

David and Israel in their arrogance sin by taking a consensus. Joab tried to talk David out of doing this. Realizing his sin, David and Israel were punished and 70,000 died. Jerusalem is saved a the last minute. (21:15)

Seeking the LORD After Sinning
May 29 reading
1 Chronicles 21:17-24:31
1 Chronicles Commentary
Dictionary and Books
Sermons by Spurgeon: * The Best of All, God is With Us and * One Worker Preparing for Another
Compare with 1 Kings 1 "Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God." (22:19a)
After David had taken an illegal census to check his military strength by numbers, the LORD God said, in effect, "Count THIS!" and 70,000 men died. At David's choice, the LORD sent an angel to spread plague all through Israel, and an angel to destroy Jerusalem. David actually saw the angel of the LORD with his sword drawn against Jerusalem, and Araunah could see the angel spreading the plague up to his threshing floor. David asked the LORD not to punish the people - the sheep - but himself and his family. The LORD spoke to David through his seer, Gad, telling him to build an altar to the LORD on Araunah's threshing floor. As his ancestor Abraham, when faced with a need for someone else's property David refused the land as a gift, and publicly paid full price. "I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing," he said. David prepared his sacrifice and called on the LORD, who sent fire from heaven to consume the burnt offering. So David could see the LORD had answered his prayer even though he couldn't inquire of the LORD at the tabernacle and altar at Gibeon. David was afraid to leave Jerusalem because of the sword - ie., the plague - of the angel of the LORD. David declared that this threshing floor would be where the LORD's house and altar would be built.

1 Chronicles reads somewhat differently from 1 Kings 1, with King David taking a very active part in preparing workers, gathering supplies, training and encouraging his son Solomon, and ordering the leaders of Israel to use this peace time to build the LORD's house. David could not be the Temple builder. He had shed so much blood in so many wars (22:8). The LORD had told David, "He (Solomon) is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever." (22:10) The similarity here between Solomon and the Messiah to come is striking. Both are called "Son" and both are to call the LORD, "Father". Both would build a house for the LORD's Name. Solomon's was a physical house. Jesus' is a spiritual house (Ephesians 2:19-22; Hebrews 3:6).

Near the end of David's reign, he was allowed to count the 38,000 Levite males aged 30 or more. A big part of David's work as king was to organize, prepare, and specifically assign the Levites for full time work - 24/7 - in the coming temple. In accordance with Moses' written instructions, the Levites were to help Aaron's descendants in the service, to provide security, to handle purifications, to bake bread, to thank and praise the LORD. All was to be done regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them (23:31b). David, Zadok (chief descendant of Aaron's son Eleazar), and Ahimelech (chief descendant of Aaron's son Ithamar) oversaw the lots being cast for specifice assignments for each Levite male over 20 years old. God and country were to be of one accord.

Organizational Lists
May 30 reading
1 Chronicles 25-27
1 Chronicles Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* History of Chronicles,
1911 Edition Encyclopedia
"All these men were under the supervision of their fathers for the music of the temple of the LORD... (Their fathers) Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the supervision of the king. Along with their relatives - all of them trained and skilled in music for the LORD - they numbered 288. Young and old alike, teacher as well as student, cast lots for their duties." (25:6-8)
Chapters 25-27 contain various lists. They list singers, gatekeepers, army divisions, officers of the tribes, and the king's overseers.

Of particular note is verse 1 of Chapter 25.

"David, together with the commanders of the army set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres, and cymbals."
Donald Stamps, noted Pentecostal writer, makes the following comments -
"The usual meaning of 'to prophesy' is to use one's voice for God's service and to His glory under divine impulse. Here it is used to signify singing and playing music to the praise of God, most likely under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit. Under the new covenant, prophesying came to be a predominant manifestation of the Holy Spirit among those who believe in Christ and who are filled with the Spirit."
The depth and complexity of the Kingdom is shown in the variety of duties performed by the King's overseers. Their duties were supervision of storehouses, field workers, vineyards, winevats, olive trees, olive oil, herds, camels, donkeys, flocks, and the army.

Living in a Theocracy
May 31 reading
1 Chronicles 28-29
1 Chronicles Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* Theocracy: Jewish & CQ Press
Sermons by * Erickson and * Piper
"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever." (28:9)
We don't live in a theocracy here in the United States, so this view of how David's kingdom was organized caught my attention. The people of Israel were recognized and organized by tribal families rather than by what - political party? labor union? church preference? In David's kingdom, family members cast lots for work assignments without regard for experience or skill. They were to be a people set apart from other cultures, a people who remembered they were aliens and strangers in the LORD's sight.

1 Chronicles doesn't mention the strife between David's sons for becoming the next king that 1 Kings detailed. Instead, it focuses upon David, in his final years, calling a meeting of all the officials of Israel to hear what the LORD had said about building the temple to hold the ark of the covenant. Much of the law that Moses wrote down dealt with this house, this temple, for the Name of the LORD. The LORD had allowed David to participate in drawing up the plans for it. But He didn't want a warrior who had killed people - even David - building his house. He chose younger son Solomon to succeed David as king and to build the temple. The LORD's plan was for younger generations to carry on the work of the older ones with detailed oral and written instructions. Remember how Moses had insisted that the Law be obeyed and the exodus be celebrated generation after generation after generation, with the parents teaching and supervising the children? So David reported that the Spirit had put the plans for the temple into his mind to write down, then handed them to Solomon. He blessed and encouraged the young and inexperienced Solomon, much as Paul later encouraged Timothy. David had made sure that the Levites were organized and knew their specific work to be done on rotation. Because of conquests, skilled workers were available in great number. And because of his devotion to the LORD, David had stockpiled many of the necessary materials. Who else was willing to consecrate himself to the LORD? Family leaders, officers, commanders, and officials were, and wholeheartedly gave more supplies for the temple. People rejoiced and worshipped, delighted their leaders gave back to the LORD.

David concluded the meeting with prayer, praising the LORD for his greatness, power, glory, majesty, splendor. "Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things." David's attitude changed from stating his preferential treatment by the LORD (28:4) to being amazed that he, a former shepherd, and his people, former wanderers, had so much to give. He acknowledged that all the abundance came from the LORD's hand, and it all belonged to the LORD. He knew that the LORD tests people's hearts and is pleased with integrity.

David also prayed "Keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you." Within several generations, many of His people would turn away, and finally go into exile. But David asked because sometimes he had displeased and disobeyed the LORD himself, so he understood the grace of desiring the LORD and asking for His help.

Then the whole assembly praised and celebrated the LORD. At the next day's sacrificial feast, Solomon was anointed king and was co-ruler with David for awhile before David's 40 year reign ended.

Tomorrow's Reading (June 1): Hebrews 1-5 with Commentary and Study Guide

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