Script for the May 17th episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast.
Welcome to the May 17th episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast. I’m Matt Ellis, and I’m the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida.
Today’s reading is 1 Chronicles 1-3. Hopefully, you’ve already spent time in God’s Word so let’s get started.
1 Chronicles 1
As we begin reading the book of 1 Chronciles, we come to a place that so many Christians believe to be boring and irrelevant to their lives. We tend to base value on pragmatism and fail to realize that if God put it in His Word, it must be important.
After all, we have Scripture’s assessment of its value:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (CSB): “16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Not just some Scripture is profitable; all Scripture is profitable!
We would readily agree that all Scripture is not equally profitable. But 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that everything on the pages of Scripture is there on purpose and it’s there to help us.
So we would do well to do the work of determining WHY our daily readings are important, even chapters and chapters of not much else but names.
So, with that mindset, let’s look at the chapter before us.
It would seem that the first few verses are intended to let us know that we are all of the same human race.
1 Chronicles 1:1-4 (CSB): “1 Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, 4 Noah, Noah’s sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
All of us go back to the same man, Adam. Then, about 1000 years later, Noah comes along with his three sons. And all of us go back to them.
It’s not a small thing to say that Christians should never speak of the various races of humans. We do not believe in different races. We believe in one human race that goes back to the same people. We believe in different ethnicities but only one human race.
In verses 5-27, we watch as the three sons of Noah (Ham, Shem, and Japheth) spread out and grow into various nations.
As we read the lists, some of the names sound familiar.
For instance, we read in verse 8 that Ham had four sons.
1 Chronicles 1:8 (CSB): “Ham’s sons: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.”
The first of Ham’s sons was named Cush. Cush was the ancient name of the area that is now southern Egypt. So it seems that some of Ham’s descendants traveled south to Africa.
The second of Ham’s sons was named Mizraim. That is the Hebrew name for Egypt.
The third of Ham’s sons was named Put. There is still much debate about where his descendants settled. But it is generally thought that he also went to Africa.
Then, the fourth son of Ham was named Canaan. This is the one whose descendants would settle in the Promised Land and would be wiped out by the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership.
It is interesting that about 950 years before Joshua led the Israelites to conquer the Canaanites, Noah had prophetically spoken about the descendants of Canaan. Ham had gone into the tent of his father, Noah, and saw him naked. Then, it appears that Ham went out to scoff at his father’s nakedness with his brothers. Then we read…
Genesis 9:24-25 (CSB): “24 When Noah awoke from his drinking and learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said: Canaan is cursed. He will be the lowest of slaves to his brothers.”
When the Israelites conquered the Promised Land, they killed the Canaanites and enslaved much of the rest, fulfilling Noah’s prophecy.
Well, I wanted to share some of these things so that you could see how fun it might be to dig into these names. There is much to be discovered in these chapters that seem to only have names. Yet, the time it would take to dig into this information is what I don’t have much of right now so I want to pick up the pace in this podcast.
We read that Noah’s son, Japheth, had descendants that tended to spread north. One of his sons was named Magog which is a name and people that Ezekiel and even John referred to in the book of Revelation.
Noah’s other son, Shem, is the one that the Chronicler will eventually focus on. He is the one from who Abraham would come (v. 27). His people tended to spread to the land of the east.
In verses 28-37, we are given the descendants of Abraham.
1 Chronicles 1:28 (CSB): “Abraham’s sons: Isaac and Ishmael.”
As we read and studied through the book of Genesis and beyond, we have a context and understand much of the story that followed these two men. In fact, we recognize some, maybe many of the names who are associated with Abraham and descended from him as we get to verse 37.
In verses 38-54, we read about the Edomites. In Hebrew, Edom means “red.” Isaac’s son, Esau, inherited the name Edom. According to Genesis 25:30, he got the name “Red” because he gave away his birthright for some red stew that his brother, Jacob, had made. Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, settled south of the Dead Sea.
1 Chronicles 2
As this chapter opens, we focus on Jacob’s sons. Remember, that Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” by the Lord in Genesis 32:28.
1 Chronicles 2:1-2 (CSB): “1 These were Israel’s sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, 2 Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.”
For the remainder of 1 Chronicles 2, we read of Judah’s descendants. The writer of Chronicles, possibly Ezra, focuses on the line of people through whom Israel would get King David, King Solomon, and others.
But before we can even get to Judah’s descendants, we learn that they are all descendants of the Canaanites.
1 Chronicles 2:3-4 (CSB): “3 Judah’s sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. These three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanite woman. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the Lord’s sight, so he put him to death. 4 Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar bore Perez and Zerah to him. Judah had five sons in all.”
Honestly, even though the Canaanites were cursed under Noah, we come to realize that God, in His grace, often overlooks those sorts of things. In His grace, He works through people who are cursed, sinful, disobedient, imperfect, and messed up in every other way to accomplish His wonderful purposes.
Honestly, when I see the broken people who are mentioned in this list, it causes me to praise God for His mercy and grace. But it also enables me to breathe a sigh of relief because I, too, am messed up and it is comforting to know that my God is so kind and gracious and can work out a beautiful plan for His glory and our good, too.
I suspect you feel the same way.
1 Chronicles 3
In verses 1-9, we read about David’s children. It doesn’t take a moment’s reflection to realize that David didn’t have a traditional Christian marriage and home. His marriage didn’t fit the definition of “one man, one woman, for life.” Instead, we observe that he had many wives, many of whom were from pagan origins.
We also read in this list of people whose stories we have read in the Bible. We read of treachery, lust and adultery, murder, and so many other things.
And once again, we are reminded that when sinful humanity does its own thing, and even reaps many of the consequences of its sinful choices, God is still graciously and masterfully working out His plan.
So, I’m going to read 1 Chronicles 3:1-9. As I do, listen for the names that you know. Let some of those names bring up the stories you associate with those names. But also realize that amidst all of the trauma and sin associated with those names that surround King David, remember that it is a God of grace who said that David was “a man after my own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).
1 Chronicles 3:1-9 (CSB): “1 These were David’s sons who were born to him in Hebron: Amnon was the firstborn, by Ahinoam of Jezreel; Daniel was born second, by Abigail of Carmel; 2 Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur, was third; Adonijah son of Haggith was fourth; 3 Shephatiah, by Abital, was fifth; and Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah, was sixth. 4 Six sons were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years. 5 These sons were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon. These four were born to him by Bath-shua daughter of Ammiel. 6 David’s other sons: Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet—nine sons. 9 These were all David’s sons, with their sister Tamar, in addition to the sons by his concubines.”
Then, we read in verses 10-16a a list of the kings of Israel. The first name mentioned, Solomon, was king over the unified nation of Israel. But the second name, Rehoboam, was the first king over the divided nation of Judah. All of the names that follow are the kings who reigned over the southern nation of Judah until Babylon captured the people and took them off into exile.
In verses 17-24, we read of the descendants of Jeconiah, also named Coniah and Jehoiachin. One name in this list that is worth mentioning is in verse 19.
1 Chronicles 3:19 (CSB): “Pedaiah’s sons: Zerubbabel and Shimei.”
We will read about Zerubbabel in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
He could have been king if it hadn’t been for the curse that God placed on his ancestor, King Jeconiah. But, even though Zerubbabel couldn’t be king, he did oversee the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple. His Temple was the one place of worship that Herod was upgrading when Jesus frequented the Temple in first-century Jerusalem.
So even though Israel and Judah have been taken off to exile, we are looking forward to them coming back under the Persian ruler, Cyrus. We will read about that later.
But for now, let’s continue our journey into 1 and 2 Chronicles where we will be given the stories of the kings of Judah but will be given much more information than we were given in 1 and 2 Kings.
Lord Jesus, thank You for making it so clear in the Old Testament how You took what was sinful and horrible and still worked out Your incredible will. That gives us so much comfort when we come to understand that You can take whatever we give to you, no matter how messy it might be, and You can do something incredible with it. So, right now at this moment, we give our lives anew and afresh to You. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
I hope today’s episode has helped you to understand and enjoy God’s Word so that you can apply it in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The “Enjoying the Bible” podcast is a ministry of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida. Check us out at fbcpolkcity.com. See you tomorrow!