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Who Wants Chronicles in 2019?

Suppose 1 and a pair of Chronicles went lacking from the Outdated Testomony. Would anybody care? Would anybody discover?

It doesn’t inform us a lot we are able to’t discover some place else. Samuel tells us much more about David than 1 Chronicles does, together with the scandal with Bathsheba and Uriah, which matches unmentioned in Chronicles. First and a pair of Kings covers the identical historical past, from Solomon to the exile, and data much more in regards to the northern kingdom of Israel, together with the careers of Elijah and Elisha. Chronicles mentions Elijah as soon as in passing (2 Chron. 21:12). Chronicles ends with the decree of Cyrus, however that’s in Ezra too.

If we didn’t have Chronicles, we’d be lacking 9 chapters of family tree (ho hum!), particulars about David’s preparation for the temple, a handful of episodes within the lives of the kings of Judah (Joash’s apostasy, Uzziah’s try to supply incense, Manasseh’s repentance). That’s about it.

So, who wants Chronicles? I say, we do—that’s, we late-modern evangelical Protestants. Chronicles pointedly exposes the governmental and liturgical weaknesses of many American Protestant church buildings, and affords sketches of ecclesial repentance and ecclesial well being.

Vindication of Forms

Few books of the Bible stress the organizational dimensions of Israel greater than the Chronicler does. Within the Chronicler’s telling, the temple is a joint mission of David and Solomon. David assembles the supplies, organizes the craftsmen and clergymen, receives the blueprints, after which fingers all of it to Solomon to finish the work.

The e-book of 1 Chronicles devotes a number of chapters to Levitical duty-rosters. David numbers and organizes the Levites (1 Chron. 23), divides the Aaronic clergymen into 24 clans who serve on the temple on a rotating foundation (1 Chron. 24), creates a Levitical choir and orchestra (1 Chron. 25), and assigns overseers to protect and account for the temple treasury (1 Chron. 26) and keep his personal lands and storehouses (1 Chron. 27). The Chronicler gleefully data the gathering, storage, accounting, and distribution of temple presents in nice, to not say excruciating, element.

So, who wants Chronicles? I say, we do—that’s, we late-modern evangelical Protestants.

Each revival in Judah’s historical past entails a renewal of priestly group, elevated contributions to the temple, and cautious oversight of the temple and palace treasuries. The Chronicler slows the narrative tempo to a crawl to inform us precisely how Joash transfers donations from a set field on the temple gate to the workmen who restore the dilapidated home of Yahweh (2 Chron. 24:8–14). On reflection, the reason being apparent. Corrupt clergymen and overseers skim presents off to line their very own pockets. Yahweh’s home can’t be superb until those that deal with the cash are sincere.

For the Chronicler, Israel isn’t a free-form group, however a nation and folks with expert officers who perform particular duties inside a secure institutional construction. So too the church. Church bureaucracies can grow to be as clogged as federal companies, however strive planting a church with out a good secretary and treasurer.

Sacrifice of Reward

The Chronicler frequently depicts Israel in meeting (Heb. qahal). Practically each main occasion of David’s life takes place when he’s presiding over an awesome qahal—his coronation, the ascent of the ark to Jerusalem, the preparations for the temple. Solomon gathers Israel for the temple dedication, and each renewal is marked by a re-assembly of the individuals. In meeting Israel experiences the favor of Yahweh and the enjoyment that comes with it. In meeting Israel fights her battles and resists invaders.

What Israel does in meeting is as essential because the variety of assemblies. We count on sacrifice, plenty of useless animals, gallons of blood, flesh turning to smoke. That’s all there. However alongside animal sacrifice is one thing new: the sacrifice of reward.

Chronicles is among the Bible’s most essential books about music. Psalms provides us phrases to sing (typically designating devices and melodies). Chronicles tells us who sings, when, and why.

Chronicles is among the Bible’s most essential books about music. Psalms provides us phrases to sing. Chronicles tells us who sings, when, and why.

In response to the Chronicler, music-making is a priestly exercise. Clergymen and Levites are the first musicians, and the music they produce is a type of human sacrifice. Music rises to God just like the smoke of a sacrifice, mingling a soothing sound with the soothing aroma. Clergymen and Levites guard the sanctuary to maintain intruders at bay, and Chronicles describes music as a type of priestly “guarding” (1 Chron. 25:8). Throughout the Mosaic period, Levites carried the furnishings of the tabernacle from place to position, and Chronicles describes music as a brand new type of Levitical “bearing” (1 Chron. 15:22, 27). They increase their voices to enthrone Yahweh on their praises.

Kings make music too. King David writes music, invents devices, and establishes a choir. Later, taking a cue from Joshua’s musical conquest of Jericho, Jehoshaphat resists an invasion by deploying singers to the entrance traces (2 Chron. 20). The connection of music and kingship isn’t unintended. To sing nicely, we have now to rule our our bodies and breath. To make a musical instrument, we reduce bushes and form wooden, pull guts into strings, mine and mildew metals, practice our fingers to pluck. Music transforms creation into reward.

Music makes kings. Music fills us with the Spirit who enlivens our spirits. Troopers march to battle in rhythm. The pounding beat and hovering chords of warm-up music fill athletes with the spirit of the sport. Martyrs go to the sector singing psalms and hymns. No surprise David consults with the commanders of the military when he units aside the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun as musicians (1 Chron. 25:1). Temple music is essential to Israel’s nationwide protection.

Guide for Reformers

Chronicles was written after Israel’s return from exile. The Jews had been again within the land, rebuilding the temple and the town, however they had been weak to enemies within the land and within the Persian courtroom. Although a historic e-book, Chronicles additionally set out a program for the long run. If the Jews had been to flourish within the new imperial world, they wanted to study from Chronicles. Among the many most essential classes had been these: set up and sing.

As you pray for revival, don’t simply pray for extra evangelists and conversions. Pray for extra accountants. Pray for extra musicians.

We too are politically and culturally weak and would do nicely to soak up the teachings of Chronicles. If the church goes to outlive and flourish below these pressures, we are able to’t be glad with inchoate or sloppy church authorities. We received’t be geared up for witness or non secular warfare by sentimental songs. We’d like devoted males who govern successfully, and we have to study to sing psalms, the warfare songs of the Lamb.

As you pray for revival, don’t simply pray for extra evangelists and conversions. Pray for extra accountants. Pray for extra musicians.

Who Wants Chronicles in 2019?