Today I read 1 Chronicles 26 (as well as Genesis 22; Psalm 22; and Luke 23 as part of my daily reading plan to get through the Bible in a year). 1 Chronicles is a brutal read for almost anyone. It is a book full of names. The first 9 chapters are names, then at chapter 10 we think that we are going to get a reprieve, but then, halfway through chapter 11 we get 20+ verses of names, then chapter 12 is mostly names and numbers.
Once chapter 13 starts I burst out with joy– narrative has returned! Phew! But then chapters 23-27 are again… names and numbers!
What are we supposed to do with all of these names and numbers?!?
I will give you a couple of nuggets I have found so far in the first 26 chapters.
1 Chronicles 2:13-17 lists a few names that are important to the story of David: Abishai, Joab, and Asahel. These would be the nephews of David. Joab is David’s army’s leader in the book of 2 Samuel. Knowing this helps make sense of the drama which is the life of David.
1 Chronicles 5:24-26 reminds us that even all the might, power, and legendary fame which the warriors of Manasseh had does not matter. What truly matters is faithfulness to God. Read 1 Chron 5:23-26 and ask yourself if this sounds positive or negative.
1 Chronicles 6:16-23 informs us that the Korahites were Levites. Who are the Korahites? Well, they were the rebellious ones of Numbers 16. They were also the authors of Psalms 42; 44-49; 84, 85, 87, &88. They were also the appointed keepers of the Gate of the temple (1 Chronicles 26). What does all this mean? God allows for the redemption of an entire clan that was known for rebellion! That incredible story of Numbers 16 does not end with entire judgment, but the redemption of a clan to the position of worship and ministering in the temple. Do we offer people the same chance in our churches if they are part of a family that has shame in their history?
1 Chronicles 6:26 mentions Elkanah, a Levite, who gives birth to a Samuel. Big deal? Yes, this is the Samuel who anoints Saul and David as kings! This is the promised child of blessing to the barren Hananiah. Yes, Samuel is a Levite. Remember what Levi did in Genesis 34 (read it if you don’t remember the whole story)? You mean THAT GUY later has descendants who who run the temple? One of the most famous Israelites of all time is a Levite? Wow! Redemption is beautiful.
1 Chronicles 11:41 mentions 2 of David’s mighty warriors. Uriah the Hittite, and Zabad son of Ahlai. Snooze, right? Wrong! This is the Uriah that was married to Bathsheba! Read 2 Samuel 11. Yes, this was one of David’s own mighty men. He wasn’t just another soldier. this was one of his most trusted warriors. Wow, it adds even more sorrow and pain to that story.
Anyhow, I am reaching almost 500 words. There are many more examples to look at, but eyes start glazing over once a post hits so many words.
I challenge you to read closely the names and numbers in 1 Chronicles. It helps put together pieces of stories that start in Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers, that are then continued later on in 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, and Isaiah and Jeremiah. It adds flesh to the names found in the Psalms.
And most importantly, it is God given Scripture (2 Tim 3:16&17; 2 Peter 19-21).