What does it say?
One chapter. It’s all about lists of people and places. It’s long. Since it’s just one chapter, do pay a bit more attention today to what you might be tempted to write off as just another genealogy. Look for the commentaries and bits of information that are strategically placed among the names of people and places.
Why do these chapters take up so much space in the Bible? Remember that the purpose of Chronicles is to connect a returning generation of Jews to God’s story and their place in it. These lists are meant to be read aloud and are organized in such a way to promote memorization. They know the story is too important to lose; they want their children and grandchildren to be able to tell the story.
What does it mean?
As you read this chapter, approach it as though you were a Jew living centuries before Jesus was born. You are learning your place in the story, what God did for your ancestors and what you can expect him to do for you and your offspring. The tidbits of information you hear are landmarks, mnemonic devices so that you will soon be able to tell the story as well as anyone.
In Luke 24 following the resurrection, Jesus eats with some of his disciples in Emmaus. In a matter of a couple of hours he is able to walk them through all the scriptures as they relate to him. Missionaries today are often trained in storytelling, and in particular they learn to quickly and accurately relate the whole story the way Jesus must have done it. As you grow in your biblical understanding you will also grow in your appreciation of the value of genealogies and other lists in the Bible.
How will I respond?
There are three stories I need to be able to tell well. I need to be able to quickly tell the story of the Good News of Jesus Christ in a concise, understandable way that avoids a lot of “churchy” words. I also need to be able to tell the story of the Bible. Yes, the story from Genesis to Revelation. It’s not as hard as you might imagine. There are even courses that teach you how to do this. And, I need to be able to tell my story as it relates to God’s story – my life before I met Christ, how I met him and the transformation in my life since.