This is the book that is a summary of all the good stuff in the Old testament. It is not for the casual reader as it is filled with genealogy and battles. It reminds me of the Vineyard I toured in New York years ago. The caretaker Bob led my friend and I around and showed us the vines and grapes. Do you now that each vine has dead looking branches around the newer ones to make predators think there is nothing there to grab? It’s fascinating. Well, Chronicles is like that. You read the first couple of chapters and it looks like a boring history book – and then you are surprised with the beauty and awesome loving God. I recently read the first five chapters in preparation for a sermon. I had committed to the Lord that I would preach the “whole counsel” of God. I wanted each chapter to read my heart so I plunged through. In the midst of these chapters were many foreign, difficult names. Three things stuck out to me during this time.
- A guy named Heshbon loved his wife. What an odd side note. God and Ezra (The supposed author of these books or some other priest) makes mention of this one guy loving his wife. It drew attention in the midst of long, violent battles. It doesn’t say he was great at business or the warrior of all warriors. It doesn’t say he was the biggest tither or usher or charismatic speaker just simply “he loved his wife”.
- Jabez has extraordinary prayers. He prays that God would extend his border and enlarge his tent. Sounds prosperous. There have been books written about this guy. Thousands of chapters of surmise and speculation over just a few verses. In the past I kind of blew that off but when I read it afresh this past week I noticed something new. His mom bore him in miserable pain and named him “the one who causes pain.” What kind of a half wit mother would name a child something like that? It’s absurd and cruel to do so. Before this little guy even had a start his mom tried to define him by her experience. She placed a whole load of blame and shame on a kid before he could even crawl. That’s a messed up family system. Jabez cried out to a holy God in spite of everything and God not only blessed him but defined him in new ways. Miserable baby gets mention and miracles. We learn about God that what family says about us does not define us or change the destiny God has planned for an individual. That’s good to know.
- Then there is the collective group of people who cry out to God in 5. I realize that the main theme of this book is God’s sovereignty over events and the focus is worship in the Temple. The last of this book tells us about the undoing of the Temple. We’ll get back to that in a minute, but first read this:
20 They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him. 21 They seized the livestock of the Hagrites—fifty thousand camels, two hundred fifty thousand sheep and two thousand donkeys. They also took one hundred thousand people captive, 22 and many others fell slain, because the battle was God’s. And they occupied the land until the exile.
Most of the Christians I know are going through some type of warfare or battle right now. It is a season to contend for what God is doing in our lives and guarding our families in the Spirit. In the midst of the list of families in the Bible are these simple words – God delivered them because they cried out to Him DURING the battle. The battle was fixed, the battle was GOD’s. Regardless of the messed up people and family systems, God was still active and glorified. Those who called on Him saw His mighty hand and were helped. I need that help, my family system needs that help, my friends and nation need that help. We are not alone in battle. Not matter the event or circumstance, we are NOT ALONE and God is SOVEREIGN over the events of our lives. That is Great news.
The genealogies from Adam on prove that the Bible is true. If anyone was going to write a fake historical account they certainly wouldn’t include all the mess-ups, yet the Bible does. It is accurate and traces each family so we can prove these biblical characters were not fictional or just mythical people for story or parable sake. What is really fun is to thread those historical figures through Messiah.
Back to the Temple – it was a shame to be destroyed and the Jews lost heart when they came back to see the renewed version. It was quite the disappointment. When the historical record returns in the book of Matthew it ends in the church (spiritual and filled with Gods priests) being released for His glory. This is our heritage, this was God’s plan. In the midst of Divine order and purpose is a man who loved his wife, a miserable boy who cries out for change and a people who turn to God for help. That’s Gods currency by the way, what draws Him near – Love, faith and hope. We are book 67 In the people of God’s story. What will future generations remember about us? That we loved our spouse, that we let God define us, that we cried out to God for mercy and help?
On Thursday of this week I was going to start the dash diet. I had big plans. Instead I went into a critical care unit and could have died. I was born in one year – and only God knows my last year. The dash in between can be filled with wickedness or goodness. God is there in the middle, He is there in the dash and that space matters very much to Him. My prayer for me and for you is that our lives will be obedient and postured towards God. I pray that our love, faith and hope will draw God’s ear near. I pray that between our birth and death will be many years of worship and wonder, trusting God with every decision and circumstance because He not only KNOWS but He knows BEST.
Thank you for seeking God and His word with me on this blog. We are trying to keep in God’s word and learn His heart and that is worth something in God’s economy.
Glad to be alive – Love ya friends! RenaeRoche2019