Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reflecting on 1 Chronicles

Reading the book of 1 Chronicles, there were a number of verses that caught my attention, and demanded further reflection.

The overall theme of reaping and sowing, consequences of obedience and disobedience is evident throughout the book of Chronicles. It is however, tempered with a sense of hope found in the mercy and grace of God, which allows for repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Hope too is found in the understanding that God is in control – God will be faithful to His promises. Though kings and Israelites sin and face punishment, God’s promises, specifically those with regards to David’s kingdom remain.

There are a number of times, when a call is given to be strong and courageous, not to be afraid or discouraged – it is verse 28:20 that so eloquently sets forth the hope filled charge “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you...” Verse 21:13 implies of the mercy and grace of God when David said to Gad “Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” I love this verse, and upon further reflection, it is evident that even against the backdrop of the consequences and punishments of disobedience, there is an incredibly deep beautiful truth in the realization that the worst that God has for those who love Him is still better than the best the world can offer.

Yet another great lesson is found in Chapter 5, verse 2 “…because they cried out to Him during battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted him.” The emphasis on God answering the prayers of His people seems to rest on our submission and trust. God cannot bring victory to us if we do not include Him in the battle; secondly victory will not come if we do not Trust God enough to let Him have control of it.

Finally the one specific verse that resonated with me perhaps most of all is found in chapter 28:9 “…for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.” God is not looking for religious peons, He is searching for willing servants dedicated to loving Him with whole-hearted devotion, and He knows the difference between the facades of our actions and the sincerity of our motives. Continuing in this theme verse 29:17 says “I know my God that you test the heart, and are pleased with integrity.” Love it! 

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