Down the family line…stepping stones and stumbling blocks

31 01 2012

DAY TWO HUNDRED AND SEVEN : 1 Chronicles 1 v. 1 – 2 v. 17; Romans 9 v. 22 – 10 v. 4; Psalm 89 v. 14 – 18

1 CHRONICLES – the books of Chronicles revolve around the lives of David and Solomon, after opening with the genealogical lists which reinforce the national identity, and are probably written some time after the Exile and return, around 400 – 450BC. Much of the work is taken from Samuel and Kings (though Chronicles misses out key stories, like David and Bathsheba, and Adonijah’s ‘attempts to usurp the throne of Judah’, or Solomon’s apostasy (key to 1 Kings 11).
The writer, therefore is keen to outline the triumphs of the past to a people who are only to aware of the failures.
‘The Chronicler calls his people to return to an absolute abandonment into God’s will through faith and genuine worship’. (Wesley Study Bible).

Historical Records From Adam to Abraham – the first list is from Adam, through Noah and his sons (the Japhethites, Hamites and Semites). The descendants of Ham included Nimrod ‘who became a mighty warrior on earth’, Mizraim who fathered peoples who became known as the Philistines, and Canaan who was the father of the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites etc…
Abraham was a descendant of Shem.

The Family of Abraham – Isaac and Ishmael, sons of Sarah and Hagar, with their descendants, and also the descendants of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine. Isaac had Esau and Israel.
‘The name Israel rather than Jacob stresses the uniqueness of this child of Abraham as the son of promise’. (WSB)

Esau’s Sons –
Esau’s sons are listed, and then the line through the eldest, Eliphaz, and the second, Reuel.

The People of Seir in Edom – In the parallel passage in Genesis 36, Seir is described as ‘the Horite who inhabited the land’. Here his descendants are listed through Seir’s sons.
And then the kings of Edom before Israel’s kings ruled are listed:
Bela whose city was named Dinhabah, then Jobab, then Husham the Temanite.
Then Hadad who defeated Midian in Moab country, whose city was named Avith, then Samlah, then Shaul, then Baal-Hanan.
Then Hadad whose city was named Pau (his wife Mehetabel, daughter of Matred, daughter of Me-Zahab also gets a mention).
The chiefs of Edom also get listed.

Israel’s Sons –Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher

Judah –
Judah’s sons are listed:
Er (firstborn, ‘wicked in the Lord’s sight…so, put to death’), Onan and Shelah – to a Canaanite woman
Perez and Zerah – to Tamar

Then the sons of Perez and Zerah are listed:
two to Perez, five to Zerah
and the sons of Carmi (‘Aschar who brought trouble on Israel by violating the ban on taking devoted things’), Ethan and Hezron (including Jerahmeel, Ram and Caleb) are listed

Then the descendants of Ram are listed:
through his son, Amminadab
and then his son, Nahshon – ‘the leader of the people of Judah’
and then his son, Salmon, and his son, Boaz, and his son, Obed
‘and Obed was the father of Jesse’
Jesse’s family are listed :
sons : Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, Nethanel, Raddai, Ozem and seventh son, David !!
daughters : Zeruiah, Abigail

it is clear that the compiler of these genealogies is keen to underline the centrality of the line of David – ‘the author’s conviction is that David’s line was to be God’s instrument of blessing for all humankind’.

I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall


ROMANS

God’s Sovereign Choice (continued) – Paul suggest that God shows His power by bearing with those who have caused His wrath great patience. In doing this God is making ‘the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory.’
The objects of his wrath and mercy are both Jews and Gentiles, says Paul, quoting Hosea
‘I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people….they will be called ‘sons of the living God’.’
and reminding them of Isaiah’s call to the remnant of Israel.

Israel’s Unbelief – This will be hard to believe for many, that those who were not pursuing righteousness (the Gentiles) have obtained it – ‘a righteousness which is by faith’; and many in Israel, who have pursued a ‘law of righteousness’ have not attained it.
‘Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works’.
Paul describes a stumbling stone, quoting passages from Isaiah 8 and 28, over which they have stumbled
‘a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame’.

Jesus Christ is the stumbling block, the rock which causes some to stumble, and those who put their trust in Him to be blameless, right with God.

Paul’s prayer is that all Israel will be saved…Paul knows their zeal for God, a zeal ‘not based on knowledge’, but rather establishing their own path of righteousness, not God’s.
‘Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.’

PSALM
My Lord, my God,
Your throne stands upon the foundation blocks of justice and righteousness
Love and faithfulness are always a step ahead of You, announcing Your arrival.
Those who walk in the light of Your presence, who have learnt to acknowledge You in all things, are truly, truly blessed.
They are heard rejoicing in You all the day long, praising how perfectly good and right are all Your ways.
You, my Lord, my God,
are glorious and strong,
and You raise us up.
You are our shield, and our protection comes from You
O King,
O Holy One.

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