Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Books of Chronicles

The Life Project: Chronicles
Candice Roberts

Remember the Lion King? Hakuna Matata, the Circle of life? There is a scene in the movie where an exiled Simba is brought by the wise Rafiki to a pool to remember his father. It goes like this.

(Simba looks into a pool of water.) Simba: "That's not my father, that's just my reflection" Rafiki: "No, look harder." (Simba's reflection changes to that of his father.) Rafiki: "You see? He lives in you!" Mufasa's ghost: "Simba." Simba: "Father?!" Mufasa's ghost: "Simba, you have forgotten me." Simba: "No! How could I?" Mufasa's ghost: "You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life." Simba: "How can I go back!? I'm not who I used be!" Mufasa's ghost: "Remember who you are. You are my son. Remember..."

This is the dominant theme of 1st and 2nd Chronicles. The Chronicler is writing this history for the people of Israel who have just returned from Babylonian exile. I imagine they were feeling pretty defeated, unsure of themselves, unsure of who they were. And so the chronicler takes them on a journey from Adam to Abraham, to Joseph, to King David, to Solomon, and so on. The stories had already been told. After all the Israelites had the Pentateuch; they had the books of Samuel and Kings. But the Chronicler, inspired by the Holy Spirit, felt the need to retell these stories. God wanted to remind His people that they were still His people and they were “more than what they had become”.

Maybe you are a bit like Simba today. You are ashamed of what you have become. You remember what you’ve done. Maybe you are still living with consequences of your sin. Maybe you are scared to death to live for Christ, constantly reminded of your failures. You may have tried to live this life of faith and failed so many times, that you are just about done trying. I am sure the people of Israel felt that way. How many times had they walked away from God? How many chances had God given them and how many chances had they squandered? The people of Israel were a completely unfaithful lot. But the good news of Chronicles is that God is a completely faithful God, full of second chances, full of mercy.

2nd Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” No matter how many times the people of God missed it, no matter how many times WE miss it, if we are willing to turn from our sin, and remember who we are; God is willing to take us back.

I believe God is still in the business of calling us back and reminding His people who they are in Him. So then, who are we? 1st Peter 2:9-10 says this, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had
not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” This “royal priesthood” is the same heritage
that God has given to us. If we are part of the “priesthood” this means we have direct access to God.
Gone are the days when only a select few can approach the throne. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then
approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in
our time of need.”

Not only can we approach God as priests, which is indeed significant, we can approach God as sons and
daughters. Galatians 4:4-7 says, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a
woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba,
Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also
an heir.”

While we once were exiles, homeless, orphans; now we are priests, children of the King, heirs to His
throne. Kind of changes things, doesn’t it? Aren’t you glad that God is in the business of reminding us
who we are?

Chronicles Suggested Reading
Monday- 1Chronicles 1-10
Tuesday-1 Chronicles 11-20
Wednesday- 1 Chronicles 21-29 and 2 Chronicles 1-3
Thursday- 2 Chronicles 4-14
Friday- 2 Chronicles 15-25
Saturday- 2 Chronicles 26-36

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