Walking Thru The Bible

Old Testament -- First & Second Chronicles

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          Walking Thru The Bible
                       1 & 2 CHRONICLES
          In the Hebrew Bible these two books formed a single work but the
          Greek translation (The Septuagint, or LXX) divided it into two books
          because of their length and the limitation of the length of the scrolls onto
          which they were copied.
          AUTHOR & DATE: Jewish tradition attributes the authorship of
          Chronicles to Ezra saying that wrote of the history of Judah down "unto his
          time."  The Bible doesn't tell us who wrote Chronicles, but from
          1 Chronicles 3:19-21 and 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 it is evident the books
          could not have been written before Ezra's time.  Therefore, conservative
          scholarship dates the Chronicles in the latter half of the fifth century B.C.,
          probably between 450-425.
          OVERVIEW:  In one quick span, from Adam to Nehemiah, the Chronicles
          give us the main genealogies of the Israelite nation, and the main events of
          the Davidic kingdom down to the Babylonian exile.   They cover practically
          the same ground as Second Samuel and the two books of Kings.  However,
          they are not a mere repetition of those books.  The first books give us history
          from the viewpoint of the prophets, while Chronicles give us history from
          the viewpoint of the priests.   The former books look more intently at the
          political side of things, the Chronicles from God's view.  For example, the
          revival under Hezekiah is given three verses in Kings, and three chapters in
            Six of the nine chapters telling of Solomon's time are devoted to
          Temple matters.  A.T. Pierson observed:
            While much contained in the Books of Kings is repeated or
          restated in the Chronicles, much is omitted because it is
          foreign to the author's purpose.  But whatever bears on the
          temple, its preservation and restoration, the purity of its
          worship, the regularity and orderliness of its services;
          whatever makes idolatrous rites or relics hateful, or lifts God
          to his true throne in the hearts of the people, is here
            I.      Genealogical Material         (chapters 1 - 9)

            II.     The Rule of David             (chapters 10 - 29)

                    A.   The conquests of David             ch. 10-21
                    B.   Preparations for the Lord's Temple ch. 22-29
               LESSONS from FIRST CHRONICLES
          1.   We see the tragic picture of what a man's unfaithful to God can
                 do to himself and his family (Saul) -- 1Chron. 10:13-14.

          2.   We see that a man's noble idea can be overruled by God for His
                 purpose (when David wanted to build God a Temple) -- 1Chron. 17:1ff.

          3.   We see the importance of preparation -- 1Chron. 22:2ff (v.5).

          4.   Like David was concerned for the Ark of God, so we should
                 always be concerned for the church of our Lord and its welfare -- 1Chron. 17:1ff.

          5.   We see that we mush honor even what we may think are the most
                  insignificant laws of God (cf. ignoring the simple rule about the
                  Levites carrying the ark on their shoulders cost Uzza his life)--
                  1 Chronicles 13:7-10; 15:2.

          6.   May we ever worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness,
                  1 Chronicles 16:29  (see margin notes).

          7.   No man sins without affecting those around him adversely,
                   1 Chronicles 21:7, 14.

          8.   We should not try to make our sacrifices "cheap" before the Lord
                    -- 1 Chronicles 21:22-25.

          9.   We are only stewards of what God gives to us -- 1 Chron. 29:14.

          10. Let us never forever that our days on the earth are as a shadow
                   and that there is no abiding -- 1 Chron. 29:15.

          11. Every parent should pray for his children as did David for
                   Solomon, "give ... my son a perfect heart, to keep thy
                   commandments, they testimonies and thy statutes and to do
                   all these things...."  1 Chron 29:19.
            I.      Solomon's forty years' reign            ch. 1 - 9) 

            II.     The division of the kingdom             ch. 10

            III.    History of Judah to the Captivity       ch. 11-36:16
                         (With cycles of declines, apostasies and reforms)
                    A.   Reform under Jehoshaphat (25 yrs)  ch. 17-20
                    B.   Reform under Joash (40 yrs)        ch. 25-28
                    C.   Reform under Hezekiah (29 yrs)     ch. 29-32
                    D.   Reform under Josiah (31 yrs)       ch. 34-35

            III.    The Captivity                 (ch. 36:17-23)
          1.   If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God -- 1:9-10 (James 1:5)

          2.   The Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands -- 2:6
                         (Acts 7:48)

          3.   In building the temple, Solomon had a divinely given pattern to
                         go by.  In building the Lord's church we have a divine pattern in
                         the New Testament --28:11-12,19 (Heb 8:5).

          4.   In Solomon's day, Jerusalem in Palestine was God's chosen city,
                         today His Church is his heavenly Jerusalem -- (Heb. 12:22).

          5.   God faithfully kept His promises to David and will keep His
                         promises to us today (Heb. 13:5)

          6.   If God's people will humble themselves and pray and seek His
                         face and turn from their wicked ways, God will hear their prayer
                         and forgive their sins-- 2 Chronicles 7:14.

          7.   Rehoboam was not the last young fool in a seat of power --

          8.   "Fight ye not against the LORD... for ye shall not prosper" -- 2
                         Chronicles 13:12.

          9.   "The LORD is with you while you are with him..." -- 15:2

          10. "The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth
                      ... -- 16:9.  (In this we see God's omniscience and omnipresence.)

          11. We need public leaders who would encourage the public reading
                      of the Word of God as did Jehoshaphat -- 17:6-9

          12. Just as Uzziah was punished for ignoring God's laws regarding
                      worship so will men today -- 26:16-21.

          13. God can give a nation victory or defeat without the use of modern
                      armaments -- 32:20-22.

          14. Give the Lord 10,000 young men who seek the Lord in their teens
                      like Josiah and it will change the world enormously -- 34:3.

          15. How strange that the word of God can be lost in His temple, but
                      it is evident all about us today -- 2 Chron. 34:14

          16. Nothing will reform and purify a people like the reading and study
                      of God's word -- 34:29-32.

          17. When the people mock and despise God's messengers, they leave
                      God no recourse but judgment -- 36:15-16.

          18. What God foretold by His prophets came true, not a word of it
                      failed -- 36:21.

          19. God breaks down sinful nations, but He also raises up those who
                      repent -- 36:22-23.

          20. Nations are judged in time, individuals will be judged in eternity.
          Think how much poorer we would be if we did not have the
          Chronicles to tell us about God's work with His chosen people.
------- SERMON --

                              The Sin of the Census

          1 Chronicles 21:1-8
          1.   David commands Joab and the army to make the census.

          2.   Joab objects, but does so reluctantly. (9 months, 20 days)
            a. In Israel 1,100,000 "valiant men that drew the sword."  
            b. In Judah 470,000 "valiant men that drew the sword."  
                (This is a tip-off that it was purely a military census.)

          3.   God arranges punishment by choice:  Three years of famine; or
                         "three months before thy foes"; or three days' pestilence.  (The
                         last was chosen and 70,000 of the valiant men died.)
             I.  DAVID'S SIN

          A.   Rejects God's rule and provision for his own course of action.

          B.   Comes to rely on material numbers rather than on God 
               (Cf. 1 Sam. 17:45,46).

          C.   Nature of the census considers the people of God to be but units
                         in a military machine.

          D.   Such a census in a time of peace could mean only a plan for
                         aggressive war.  God's people were to have a home, but not to be
                         marauders.  See the punishment-- David's price was in his army--
                         that is where he was hit.

          A.   Just as David was over-confident after his victories we need to
                         beware of consequences of our quick success in the Persian Gulf. 
                         In America's finest hours our reliance was on the greatest of
                         right, rather than on might.

          B.   On what is America relying today?  God or armaments? Are we
                         counting on our "rightness" or our 'right weapons.' Luke 12:21

          A.   The church had great power in the days of numerical weakness--
                         eleven men against the world! (Acts 2)

          B.   Lost out when she proudly counted emperors and armies in her
                         ranks.  Darkest days when she had armies and great political
                         power. (Exodus 23:2)

          A.   As in first century and restoration movement, we had no power
                         in numbers but depended on the power of the Word-- we know it,
                         believe it, teach it. (Hebrews 4:12)

          B.   Do we rely on numbers, wealth, buildings, etc, or on the WORD
                         of God; knowing it, believing it, & teaching it? 

-- Windell Gann -- Walking Thru the Bible --

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