Bible Readings for November 17th
While the bulk of 1 Chronicles will follow the story of David, the first ten chapters look back to the days far before David as well as look forward to the days long after his death. In 1 Chronicles 9 and 10, then, we read the genealogy of the exiles of Judah who return from Babylon after the Davidic dynasty comes to an end, as well as the story of Saul, who immediately precedes David on Israel’s throne. Today, we will look at two main points the writer is highlighting in these stories.
First, the author of the Chronicles wants to draw our attention to the lack of faith that existed from beginning to end during the reign of the kings of Israel and Judah. So, in 1 Chronicles 9:1, we read this: “And Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their breach of faith.” And then, at the end of the brief account of Saul’s life in 1 Chronicles 10:13, we read very similar words: “So Saul died for his breach of faith.” In other words, the same problems that disqualified Saul were also the problems that eventually disqualified the people of Judah from remaining in the Promised Land.
Second, by ending this section of genealogies with a look beyond David after the exile and a look before David in the life of Saul, the Chronicler presents David as the hinge on which the entire story of the Old Testament swings. In 1 Chronicles, David is presented as the epitome of faithful kings. He will expand the kingdom of God in the Promised Land through warfare, establish the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant in Jerusalem for a permanent dwelling place, and reorder the worship of Yahweh’s people by assigning new roles to the Levites and by preparing for the construction of the temple under Solomon. Furthermore, while we will read in 1 Chronicles 21 about his sin in requiring a census, we will not read of his other failures that we read about in 1 and 2 Samuel—neither his failure to discipline those around him nor his sin with Bathsheba.
The point of all this, however, is not actually to point to David himself but rather to point beyond David to the Son of David who would come. That David would not only lead his people beyond their longstanding breaches of faith, but that David would be the fulfillment of every promise, shadow, and covenant. That David would expand the kingdom of God through his sinless life, death, and resurrection; he would establish a new temple where God would dwell with his people by the Holy Spirit; and he would reorder true worship in spirit and in truth. That David—the Lord Jesus Christ—is himself the point of all the laws, stories, and genealogies, not only of the Old Testament, but of the entire Bible.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.