For the past several years, I have read through the Bible in a year. This focuses my time in the Word and helps me to continue to study. I now have two daily Bibles, and I think I will start alternating using them. The one gives you a different section from the Old & New Testament, along with a Psalm and Proverb or two.
Currently, I am reading through my chronological daily Bible. I find this approach very helpful since it merges in the Psalms with the experiences David had when writing them, along with having the prophets “speak” during the time of history the events occurred.
I just finished reading the Old Testament part. Surprisingly,this set-up ends with portions of I Chronicles. Evidently some people feel that Ezra possibly wrote these sections after Jerusalem was resettled after the exile. This re-formed nation needed to see how God had worked throughout their checkered past.
I must admit that I almost groan when I see the genealogical records in the Bible. The more I read the record of the names, the more I get a bit lost in the list of unfamiliar names. So I try to make a game out of all these people I never had the fortune of meeting. Mainly my investigative side comes out …
Remember this is all from the first several chapters of I Chronicles …
- Dan & Zebulon’s tribes are not mentioned. Did they stay back in Babylon? Was Ezra frustrated by their choices? Did they merge into the rest of the tribes?
- The women. I always think it interesting when a woman’s name is thrown in the mix. Like lists of sisters. And random wives. The one I appreciated was mentioned in the middle of chapter seven. Seerah. Heard of her before? Evidently she built Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah. I guess if she built two towns first she deserved to have the third one include her name. Does building mean construction or that she gathered everyone together and said “Settle here.”
- Jabez. If you have ever read the book, The Prayer of Jabez, here is where you can find his story. The two verses that have now directed many a beseeching of God.
- Shimei. Bet you have not heard of him before either. In 4:27, we read about him. This is the part of that makes me smile: “He had 16 sons and 6 daughters, but his brothers did not have many children; so their entire clan did not become as numerous as the people of Judah.” Did this bother Shimei? Did he tell his brothers, “Hey, with 22 children, I definitely multiplied. Why couldn’t you do your part?”
- Chapter 9 is the one that solidifies the authorship of a later man since it talks about the resettlement of Jerusalem. All of the responsibilities of the gate keepers were interesting since they would guard the house of God. Plus four of them had keys to open the place up each morning. I didn’t realize they locked up buildings back then.
Of course once I finished several days of family records and read a few days of historical interlude explanations, I was in the New Testament. Guess how that starts? Yep, genealogies. These are a bit easier to read since they are not quite as lengthy. I do think the fact that Jesus could be systematically traced all the way back to Adam is pretty amazing. Ancestery.com has nothing on the Jewish people.
No one handles genealogies better than Andrew Peterson. His song, “Matthew Begats” sets the list to music and makes it memorable. This song is a part of his “Behold the Lamb of God” production that tours across the country each December. If you have never been to one of his events, I highly recommend it! Since many people think that Jesus was actually born in late October, sharing this song today makes a lot of sense. After all, maybe it is time to break out the Christmas albums. 🙂