1 Chronicles 27

Organisation of the military guard for the temple. A big list chapter again.

There really isn’t that much to 1 chronicles.

The first nine chapters are lists of people. They make genaelogical points about God operating though history, but few people attempt to deny they are boring reading.

Then a bit of plot. David’s life with the messy bits left out.

Now very detailed lists of temple priests, musos, accountants, gatekeepers, etc. The lists are 2/3rds of the book!

I won’t mention again the meta story of how this might fit into the sweep of the Bible, just pray for my family and get on with the day!

1 Chronicles 25

The musicians for the temple. Reflecting a modern church where the music is as important as the other ministry roles.

Certainly music was made for praising God, reaching for the divine, bonding communities.

They were divided into 24 bands of 12 musicians and played twice during the 48 week yearly cycle, like the other priests.

I wonder what it was like being completely unmusical and being born into the music priestly families. Your calling is determined by clan, not talent. Maybe that’s why the Psalmist wrote ‘make a joyful noise unto the Lord’

1 Chronicles 24

A technical chapter about how the priests, the Levites, were split into 24 groups, who would each have a week of performing the temple services, twice a year.

It’s also a list chapter, all the families of the tribe.

It’s Sunday today, and a special indigenous service to mark the start of NAIDOC week. Looking forward to that.

This church has worked out being the most enjoyable church experience of my life, it really is like my Sunday candy!

1 Chronicles 9

In answer to the last entry, this now lists the families from Judah and Benjamin who returned to Jerusalem. Levite priests too, plus some details of where people were and what their roles were.

I don’t know what the significance of the post exile Jerusalem was in the greater story. I mean it is part of establishing that Jesus is the longed for Messiah. I suppose none of the prophesy could have been fulfilled but for that…

I remember talks from when I was young that God may have some remaining plan for Jewish people specially, some things Paul says maybe.

1 Chronicles 8

The genaeology of the tribe of Benjamin. It includes the line of king Saul, which David ended.

There’s much more detail about this because they lived around Jerusalem, and as it’s widely thought this was written to support resettlement of Jerusalem Post exile, the information would have been particularly relevant.

1 Chronicles 7

Another list, will it never end!

This goes though the other tribes, having devoted a chapter to Levi, listing all their descendents with occasional biographical notes.

The numbers of fighting men they were able to provide is noted, I suppose to just give a sense of the relative size of the tribes as much as anything.

These are male blood lines, there are others that trace the female lines, which is more relevant to Jesus who had a human mother only. But I can see how in a patriarchy, the male lines were important for restarting society.

I had the thing happen where a day ago I was full of stress, vulnerability and pain, and Kelly alerted me yesterday that it’s the 3rd anniversary of my father’s death.

So you know, family, bloodlines, mean things to us, affect us in ways we don’t always understand.

1 Chronicles 6

The priests and musicians, what they did, where they lived, who they were.

They are the most complicated tribe, Levi, the priest tribe didn’t have a section of Israel but were scattered through.

It’s obviously very useful to have a record of this for reestablishing the temple and religious practice in Israel, which they were doing at the time this record was compiled.

A trend in the church has been to have full time music ministry people, it’s clearly not new.

I wondered what the local priests did. There wasn’t a network of temples, the was just the one. By Jesus time there was synagogues. It’s a whole history I just don’t know.

1 Chronicles 4

The bald list of descendents of Judah is punctuated with a few small comments and biographical facts. The lists are so meaningless to us now that those facts become very prominent.

Jabez was a good man.

The valley where these people settled became famous for handicrafts.

I remember teachers giving advice about answering exam questions “think about the answers, don’t just write down everything you know”. But when you are preserving what you can of a shattered national culture, a heritage, that is actually the right approach.

I interviewed a woman at work who told how the broken culture of her people was preserved through unlikely magazines designed by the government to help Aboriginal people assimilate, reporting on them and emphasising ways in which they matched expectations of them living a western life. They formed a sort of written social history that is very valuable for people teaching their Aboriginal heritage.

So I do understand the value of these lists, building blocks of the identity of Christ and the Jewish nation.

But they don’t make interesting or enlightening reading particularly, taken as I am, daily devotional chunks.

1 Chronicles 3

We get to David’s sons, the princes of Israel.

Then a list of all the kings of his line.

I’ve already seen in a number of places how one of the royal line, Jehoiachin, survived in Babylonian exile after the fall of Jerusalem. This genaeology fills in the post-exile line, up presumably to the time of Ezra when they were rebuilding Jerusalem.

I suppose they could have made another Davidic king, but maybe they had lost the taste for them by then.

So that’s three chapters of lists of names…