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1 Chronicles 27-29

1 Chronicles 27 – Military Commanders and Divisions

V 1-24 – Soldiers guarded and protected the Temple.  There were 12 groups of 24,000 soldiers.  Each group served for one month.  Jashobeam was the mightiest warrior.  He killed 300 enemy warriors with a spear in a single battle (11:11).  He was the chief commander of the first group for the first month.  Asahel was actually killed in battle many years ago.  But his name is stated here probably in his honor (v 7).  David’s sin in taking a census of Israel is mentioned again as a warning.

V 25-34 – Various officials were in charge of the towns, farms, vineyards, and animals.  David had advisors who were wise and insightful:  Jonathan, Jehiel, Ahithophel, Hushai.

Thought:  For God’s work to succeed, men and women with all kinds of talent are needed.  Everyone’s input is valuable.  God is not unfaithful to forget the good that you have done for Him (Heb 6:10).

1 Chronicles 28 – David’s Instructions to Solomon

V 1-21 – David was very old but he still had this last task to perform.  He charged all Israel and Solomon to build the Temple.  He exhorted Solomon to know God and obey Him (v 9).  This is the foundation for building a strong and prosperous country.  He gave instructions on how the Temple was to be built.  He urged Solomon to follow through the building project.

Thought:  God’s people are the temple of God.  We are involved in building up the people of God.  What part do you play in this building project?

1 Chronicles 29 – The Death of David

V 1-9 – David gave generously to the Lord for the building of the Temple.  His leaders also followed his example.

V 10-29 – At the end of David’s life, he was full of praise for the Lord.

Thought:  Here is David, a man who is after God’s own heart.  But more importantly, it shows David’s God, a God who fights for us, gives us victories, preserves our families, is gracious, slow to anger, and full of mercies.  What a wonderful God we have!

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1 Chronicles 24-26

1 Chronicles 24 – Duties of the Priests

V 1-19 – Aaron’s descendents served as priests.  The oldest son served as high priest.  David divided the priests into 24 cohorts.  These groups served till the time of Christ.  Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, was from the eighth group under Abijah (v 10; Luke 1:5).

V 20-31 – The Levites who were not from Aaron’s family were also divided into 24 groups for service.

Thought:  Duties are divided equally so that the work is shared by everyone and everyone has a fair opportunity to serve.  No one can excuse himself from duty.  No one can claim that he is not given any opportunity to prove himself.

1 Chronicles 25 – Duties of the Musicians

V 1-31 – Songs of praise carry God’s truth with them.  They could be didactic or encouraging in nature.  288 skilled musicians led the worship.  Altogether there were 4,000 musicians (23:5).  Asaph was the leading musician.  David had chosen Asaph to lead in the worship procession that brought the ark to Jerusalem (16:5).  Heman and Jeduthun were also worship leaders in the Tabernacle (16:41).

Thought:  Worship leaders and musicians today are the equivalent of these Levitical musicians.

1 Chronicles 26 – Duties of the Gatekeepers

V 1-19 – The Temple was not constructed yet.  But these Levites were already assigned their duties to be the gatekeepers.  They controlled the crowd coming in and going out of the temple.  6 Levites were assigned to the east gate because it was the king’s entrance into the Temple (v 17) whereas 4 Levites guarded the other gates.

V 20-32 – These officials took charge of the gifts and treasuries of the Temple.

Thought:  Ushers are the equivalent of the gatekeepers.  Church accountants are the equivalent of these treasurers.  The duties were rotated so that the Levites could serve and rest.  They could serve and also participate in the worship when it was not their duty to serve.

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1 Chronicles 20-23

1 Chronicles 20 – David Captures Rabbah

V 1-3 – Rabbah was the capital city of Ammon.  Though David scored a victory against Ammon in chapter 19, the Ammonites retreated to Rabbah.  David decided to attack Rabbah in the spring of the year.  It was during this time that David committed adultery with Bathsheba.  The writer did not mention this incident here.  He wanted to focus on the worship of God and the Temple.  However, he did mention one of David’s sins in the next chapter.

V 4-8 – Courageous men produce courageous men.  David slew Goliath.  David’s warriors were inspired by their king’s example.  They slew the giants of the Philistines.

Thought:  Be an inspiring example of faith to others.  Be inspired by the stories of great men and women of God.  William Carey says, “Expect great things from God.  Attempt great things for God.”

1 Chronicles 21 – David Takes a Census

V 1-17 – David wanted to take a census of the people of Israel either for tax or military purposes.  It seems he was motivated by pride.  Even Joab protested against such an action.  The Lord was displeased with the census (v 7).  As a result of his sin, 70,000 people died.

V 18-30 – The Lord told the angel to refrain from striking Jerusalem when David offered the burnt and peace offerings.  God’s anger was appeased when He saw the sacrifice.  Jesus is our Sacrifice.  This incident is recorded as a prelude to the construction of the Temple.

Thought:  David’s sin with Bathsheba was a personal sin.  Whereas in this sin, Satan moved against the nation Israel.  This sin affected the whole nation and her relationship with God.  We may not see this as a terrible sin, but God sees it differently to the extent that judgment was sentenced against 70,000 people.  We must see sin in its right perspective.

1 Chronicles 22 – Preparations for the Temple

V 1-19 – The threshing floor of Araunah became the site for the Temple.  From this chapter onwards to the end of 1 Chronicles, the writer concentrates on the preparation for the construction of the Temple.  David collected materials needed to construct the Temple.  These materials were of the best quality that befits the Almighty God (v 5).

David emphasized obedience to the Lord to his son, Solomon (v 11-13).  He also instructed his ministers to assist Solomon in the building project.

Thought:  We see David’s passion and love for God in constructing the Temple.  He wanted the best for God.  He did everything he could to ensure the success of the project.  He gave generously to the Lord.  He was indeed a man after God’s own heart.  The Temple was to play a very vital role in Israel.  It was the centre of life in Israel.  It influenced and affected every facet of life in Israel.

1 Chronicles 23 – Duties of the Levites

V 1-23 – David divided the Levites according to their families.  He set up a duty schedule for them to serve in the Temple.  Entire families served together.  There must be family unity.  Levites started serving at the age of 25 till they were 50 (Num 8:24-25).

V 24-32 – The Levites assisted the priests (v 28).  They prepared the showbread and meal offerings (v 29).  They offered burnt sacrifices at designated times (v 31).  They generally kept charge of the Temple (v 32).  More men were needed to serve in the Temple.  So the age for service was lowered to 20 (v 24, 27) from 30 (v 3).  Every morning and evening, songs of thanks and praise were offered to God.  There were two places of worship:  Temple at Jerusalem and Tabernacle at Gibeon.

Thought:  God’s work in the church needs to be organized and duty rosters drawn for His servants.  When duty calls, will you answer the call of duty?

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1 Chronicles 16-19

1 Chronicles 16 – David’s Song of Praise

V 1-36 – Apparently, David led the worship and procession in worship of God.  He composed a song and gave it to Asaph to sing on that day.

V 37-43 – The ark was now placed in a tent in Jerusalem (v 1), while the Tabernacle of the Lord was still in Gibeon (v 39).  Later, Solomon would bring all the holy furniture together in the Temple.

Thought:  God is portrayed as great, strong, and just.  Can you name His attributes in this song?

1 Chronicles 17 – The Lord’s Covenant Promise to David

V 1-15 – David wanted to build a Temple for the Lord.  God honored David’s intentions by promising him that He would build an everlasting kingdom for David and his descendants.  God will use David to destroy his enemies and establish peace in the land.

David’s descendents became disobedient and the kingdom was taken away from them.  But God’s promise is fulfilled in Christ, a son of David, who came to establish His eternal kingdom.

V 16-27 – David humbly accepted God’s plan.  He praised God for what He had done in the past and will do in the future for Israel.

Thought:  Be humble and happy to do God’s plan for your life though you might not get to do what you want to do.

1 Chronicles 18 – David’s Military Victories

V 1-17 – The Lord made David victorious wherever he went (v 6, 13).  He accumulated wealth for use in the future construction of the Temple.  David could not have accomplished these victories without the help of other men: Joab, Jehoshaphat, Zadok, Ahimelech, and Benaiah.

Thought:  This is a picture of the blessed person who prospers in whatever he does (Ps 1:3).

1 Chronicles 19 – David Defeats the Ammonites

V 1-19 – Hanun was suspicious of David’s kind intention to offer condolences at his father’s death.  It later resulted in war between the Ammonites and the Israelites.  The combined armies of the Ammonites and the Arameans could not overcome the Israelite army.

Thought:  Do not be too quick to suspect others.  Deal with those who are suspicious of you wisely.

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1 Chronicles 13-15

1 Chronicles 13 – David Tries to Bring the Ark to Jerusalem

V 1-14 – The Philistines returned the ark to the Israelites by using a cart (1 Sam 6).  David tried to transport it the same way.  Maybe it seemed to be the best way.  Uzzah tried to steady the ark, but was struck dead by the Lord.  David and Uzzah had good intentions.  But both of them did things the wrong way.  The proper way to transport the ark was to have it carried by Levites on their shoulders (Num 3-4).  Uzzah would not have been struck dead if things were done the right way.  David failed to consult the priests and perhaps the priests failed to advise David.

Thought:  Are we tempted to take shortcuts, do something convenient, or compromise standards in order to get things done?  We might even try to justify our actions by saying they were done for the Lord.  We live in an age of pragmatism, where the end justifies the means.  This is wrong.  We must do things the Biblical way if we are to please the Lord, even if we do not see the result.

1 Chronicles 14 – David’s Victories

V 1-7 – Polygamy was not in God’s original plan.  It is a departure from God’s ordained plan for marriage consisting of one man and one wife.  The practice is not blessed by God.  David’s family suffered bad consequences of conflict, jealousy, murder, grief, pain as a result of his having many wives and concubines.

V 8-17 – The Philistines decided to attack David before he grew any stronger.  But the Lord gave David victory over them.

Thought:  David always inquired of the Lord before he acted (v 10, 14).

1 Chronicles 15 – The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

V 1-29 – This time, David did it the right way.  The priests were consecrated and then carried the ark to Jerusalem.  There was much celebration and joy when the ark made its entrance into Jerusalem.

Thought:  God’s work must be done in God’s way.  David celebrated the presence of God in joyful worship.  We should practice the same way.

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1 Chronicles 10-12

1 Chronicles 10 – The Last Days of Saul

V 1-14 – The Philistines were sea people who migrated from the Mediterranean and settled down along the south-western coast of Palestine.  They were constantly at war with the Israelites since the time of Joshua.  Their power grew during Saul’s reign.  This time, they advanced very deep into Israelite territory and defeated the Israelite army under Saul.  They killed Saul’s three sons.  Saul himself was critically wounded.  Rather than die at the hands of the Philistines, he decided to take his own life.

Verses 1 to 12 could have been taken from 1 Samuel 31:1-13.  The writer gives further insight into Saul’s decine.  He was unfaithful to the Lord.  He failed to obey the Lord’s commands in offering the burnt offering when he was not supposed to (1 Sam 13:13-14), and failing to totally destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:9-23).  He even consulted a medium when it is forbidden by the Lord (Lev 19:31; 20:6).

Thought:  Saul is a picture of the person who functions without God’s help.  He relied on his own thinking.  He knew God was displeased with him yet he did not repent.  His sons were killed by the Philistines.  His kingdom would be passed to his enemy, David.  He died a terrible death, instead of as a hero.  What a wasted life for a man who started out with great potential!

1 Chronicles 11 – David’s Rise

V 1-3 – After Saul died, his son, Ish-Bosheth ruled over the ten tribes.  When Ish-Bosheth was assassinated by his own servants, the other tribes made David king over all Israel.  This occurred 7½ years after David reigned over Judah in Hebron.

V 4-9 – The defenders of Jerusalem were so confident their city could not be conquered.  But every strong city has its weak spot.  The reason for David’s success:  The Lord was with him (v 9).

V 10-47 – David’s mighty men.  Strength is not usually found in numbers.  Here, David’s warriors were capable of killing hundreds in just one encounter.  They brought victories for David because the Lord was with them (2 Sam 23:10)

Thought:  Contrast Saul and David in chapters 10 and 11.  Saul was unfaithful to the Lord.  But the Lord Almighty was with David.

1 Chronicles 12 – Mighty Men Join David

V 1-40 – Many men sought David for help – those who were in distress or in debt or discontented (1 Sam 22:2).  Among the first who came were the kinsmen of Saul.  Perhaps they saw that the Lord was with David, and not with Saul.  These Benjamites could use their left and right hands (see also Judg 20:16).  Soon men from other tribes came to join David every day (v 22).  They believed that David was chosen by God to be their king instead of Saul (v 23, 38).

Thought:  If God called you to a task, He will send people to help you.

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