What is the Chronicle's primary purpose?

Why did God consider it necessary to give a parallel account of ground already covered? It seems to have both a nearer and a broader purpose. That is, an immediate purpose for its time and a long range purpose for all times. As to the immediate purpose, it appears to have been given especially for the needs of those who returned from the Babylonian captivity.

Both for the material and practical re-establishment of the framework and organization of the nation, and also to unify and to inspire them spiritually and religiously - to teach them their highly privileged position before God with its great responsibility - to give them a strong link with the past and an understanding of the present, and an interest in the future - to give them stability and a national purpose based upon the covenant to David and the temple service - to re-establish the Levitical pattern - to emphasize the religious aspect of their life and their history - to resettle them according to their old estates - to magnify God before them and give Him His right place as the center of the nation - and to teach the vital importance of the true worship of God according to the pattern set down by God, as nothing else is acceptable, no matter how well meaning.

When we think of this people brought back after 70 years of captivity, their whole previous national life destroyed and this long wait, we can see how desirable and necessary was this book to review the past for them and set them on the right path. Obeying God, seeking Him, praying continually to Him, recognizing His activity on behalf of His people, and His judgment for good or evil - these constitute the theme of Chronicles.

It appears to have been the last written book of the Old Testament, together with Ezra and Nehemiah. Final - intended to complete the whole of the dispensation before Christ. It has four principle characteristics. First, its emphasis on worship and the temple arrangement-religious reformation and the religious state of the nation through its history.

Second, its genealogical background, lists and names - to give stability and reality and unity with the past. This is very important and where so many are drifting astray today. We must maintain our awareness of and harmony and continuity with the sound foundations of the past. We don't keep beginning again.

Third, its history built around the House of David - the covenant to David - Israel's link to the glories of their future.

And fourth, its ascribing every event, great or small, directly to God's hand and providence. This is another vital lesson. The more we can see and recognize and realize and remember that everything in our lives, great and small, is directly of God, and that He misses nothing and neglects nothing, the easier it will be to accept, and the better we shall react to it.

Bro Growcott - The words of the days

9 And Jabez [Yabetz] was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother [immo] called his name [shmo] Jabez [Yabetz], saying, Because I bore him with sorrow [beotzev].

In the genealogies, only the line of David and of the high priests are carried beyond the exile-the royal and priestly lines are the only ones that mattered. Many literal events are strangely interspersed through the genealogies, mainly to emphasize the hand of God in rewarding good and evil.

For example, in chapter 4, in a long and apparently dry list of bare names, suddenly we read,

"And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren...

This is worthy of much meditation. This is how God sees history. In a seemingly dreary list of father to son in the plodding forward of the divine purpose, in spite of human indifference, suddenly a name stands out brilliantly like a jewel in a dark cavern. Jabez "was more honorable"; he "called on God," and God gave him his request.

His mother had named him Sorrowful. That was her view of things. It is the common view, and it is true of all natural things at the last. But Jabez finds the only true and eternal joy. He changes his name from Sorrowful to Joyful. And God stops in the midst of a long genealogy to point out him for the instruction of generations to come. Let us remember Jabez, and how, in faith, he broke out of the animal pattern of his fellow men and made contact with God.

Bro Growcott - The words of the days