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March 1, 2021 – 1 Chronicles 1-5

All of God’s word is inspired and profitable for teaching, even these chapters which are mostly lists of names. I think this is one area where the author of the popular “Christian” book, the Prayer of Jabez (a book based entirely on the parenthetical prayer of Jabez in 1 Chron 4:10), went wrong. The author of that book likely read these chapters like we do, looking for something of application to the Christian life and the modern day in a text seemingly unrelatable. But the author went wrong when he ignored all the verses around the one verse that sounds nice (i.e., 1 Chron 4:10). Sure, we can learn from Jabez, his faith and trust in God, or the way he prayed. But we are not guaranteed that God will answer this prayer for us. We are guaranteed that God will give what we ask only when we ask in His name, or according to His will (John 14:13-14). We also should not expect the Christian life to typically be one dwelt in splendor with no pain and large borders. If our Master suffered so greatly and was reviled, we should expect to suffer even more.


Dr. T.J. Betts describes 1 and 2 Chronicles as “a retelling of the past to inspire hope in the present.” Chronicles is a summation of Israelite history written after the return from exile to give hope to the despondent returnees. In accordance with that, the genealogies in these passages serve to remind of God’s faithfulness to His promises and specifically His promise to Abraham of descendants as numerous as the stars. This should give us confidence that God’s promises of salvation in the gospel will also be fulfilled.

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