14–20 August 2016.
In the New Testament we have four gospels which all tell us about Jesus but from different perspectives. Here now in the Old Testament we also see the same thing. The writers of Samuel and Kings gave us one version of Israel’s history, and now Chronicles talks about the same stories again using a different perspective. The writers of Chronicles especially want to focus on the southern kingdom of Judah, and they like to stress the importance of the priesthood and the temple. And like today’s historians, the writers of these biblical histories are telling stories of interesting events that happened many hundreds of years before they lived.
Sadly at the moment, we aren’t seeing many stories. Instead, chapter after chapter we are just struggling through so many long lists of names! These chapters really are hard to read.
But as we read these lists, we notice that not every person in each Israelite tribe is named. Instead we only get a few names, and then we’re told that the rest of the tribe contained several thousand nameless people. In 7:40 the writer tells us that he is only giving us the names of the main people, the heads of those tribes and families, a few of the great and mighty warriors, and the most important princes.
We are very used to this today in our own society and in our own history books too. Important people get mentioned, but everyone else gets skipped over. Politicians, military leaders, and celebrities get their names recorded in history books. But ordinary people like us are never mentioned. Is that really fair? Famous people get to have names and to be treated like they’re important, but it’s like we don’t even exist!
While it’s typical for history writers to ignore us, thankfully God never ignores us. God never looks at us like nameless nobodies. Instead each of us is God’s own precious child; God our Father cares for us and he knows each of us. In fact the Bible even tells us that in God’s book, he has all our names written down. So maybe we aren’t famous, maybe the world doesn’t care about us, but to God each one of us has a name and we are each his precious children.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis