December 5, 2015

1 & 2  Chronicles -  
God’s people are in danger of losing touch with what made them God’s people in the first place...A new writer, possibly Ezra, took it in hand to tell the old and by now familiar story but with a new slant.  His task was to recover and restore Israel’s confidence and obedience as God’s people.  

Remarkably, and improbably, considering the political and cultural conditions of the time, this author insisted on the core identity of Israel as a worshiping people in the Davidic tradition....There is no true storytelling without names and this immersion in names calls attention to the individual, the unique, the personal which is inherent in all spirituality.  Chronicles erects a solid defense against depersonalized religion...  And Chronicles provides a witness to the essential and primary place of worship in human life.  The narrative backbone of Chronicles is worship - the place of worship, the ministers of worship, the musical components of worship, and the authoritative role of King David, the Master of worship, who maintains faithfulness and integrity in worship.  

In the way this story of Israel’s past is told, nothing takes precedence over worship in nurturing and protecting our identity as a people of God.   And nothing in the preparation for and conduct of worship is too small to be left to whim or chance....right and faithful worship turns out to be what counts most of all.  The people of God are not primarily a political entity or a military force or an economic power; they are a holy congregation diligent in worship.  

To lose touch with the Davidic (and Moses-based) life of worship is to disintegrate as a holy people.  To be seduced by the popular pagan worship of the surrounding culture is to be obliterated as a holy people... Accurate worship, defined and fed by the God who reveals himself in Jesus Christ.  And personal names that add up to a people of God, a holy congregation...the worship of God  is the indispensable foundation for living whole and redeemed lives.  

I Chronicles 1
Israel’s family tree - the trunk - Adam through Noah’s 3 sons (Japheth, Ham and Shem).  Out of Shem’s branch (10th generation from Adam) came Abram ( 9th generation from Shem).  Abraham’s son Israel (Jacob) had Judah who also had Perez with his daughter-in-law Tamar.  Perez had Hezron whom had 3 sons, one of which was Ram.  Ram had Amminadad whose son was Nahshon, a prominent leader in the Judah family.  Nahshon had Salmon whose son was Boaz.  Boaz had Obed and Obed had Jesse whose son was David (7th son - 11 generations after Abram).  David had 6 sons while he lived in Hebron all by different women then moved to Jerusalem where he had 4 sons with Bathsheba, including Solomon, before having 9 more sons.  There were other sons by his concubines.  Solomon - Rehoboam-Abijah-Asa- Jehoshaphat- Jehoram-Ahaziah-Jotham-Ahaz-Hezekiah-Manasseh-Amon-Josiah- Jehoikim-Jeconiah-Pedaiah, Zerubbabel-Hananiah-Shecaniah-Shemaiah-Neariah-Elioenai.   

Revelations 2:1-2:17
Write this to Ephesus, The one with seven starts in his right -fist grip speaks:  “I see what you’ve  done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quite...I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out.  But you walked away from your first love--why?...Turn back!  Recover your dear early love.  No time to waste...Are your ears awake?  Listen.  Listen to the wind words, the Spirit is blowing through the churches....

Write this to Smyrna...I can see your pain and poverty--constant pain, dire poverty - but I also see your wealth...Fear nothing!  Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life.  Stay there believing.   Are your ears awake?  Listen.  Listen to the wind words, the Spirit is blowing through the churches.  

Write this to Pergamum-- you continue boldly in my Name; you never denied My name, even when the pressure was worst...But why do you indulge the Balaam crowd?  Don’t you remember that Balaam was an enemy agent...  Enough!  Don’t give in to them... Are your ears awake?  Listen.  Listen to the wind words, the Spirit is blowing through the churches.