TODAY’S READING: 1 Chronicles 1–2
The books of Chronicles are a review of Israel’s history through the lens of the priests. “The priests were the ones responsible for maintaining genealogical records, which explains why the genealogies that are preserved tend to be most complete when they describe the priestly families… These [genealogies] serve as a sort of historical shorthand to bridge the generations from the first man, Adam (1 Chr. 1:1), to the first king, Saul (9:35–44), after which the historical narrative begins.” These genealogies are missionary oriented because they clearly link humans to God’s majestic plan, a plan that began with Adam, was covenanted to Abraham, and prophesied through David. In fact, Abraham and David figure prominently in all critical biblical genealogies, including those of the Gospels.
Chronicles begins with a list of nations, similar to Genesis 10 and 11 where God listed all the different ethnicities of earth He would bless through Abraham’s seed (Gen. 12). God’s global heart is demonstrated here and we should read these lists with wonder, not boredom, for they remind us that God is passionate about every unique culture and every individual person. Names and places strange to us are comforting, for they assure us the great God of glory has a plan for our nation, our tribe, and our person, and if no one else knows or remembers us, Almighty God does and will. The Lord doesn’t want us to forget that the ones that scare us are actually family members. Edomites, Moabites, Ishmaelites, and Midianites (1 Chr. 1:29–54), and Egyptians (2:34) are all part of our family tree, and they often are more scared of us than we are of them.
As in the genealogies of Jesus recorded in the Gospels, the Chronicles genealogies take care to remind us of the inclusive nature of our heavenly Father. David came from Judah’s line, thus we are reminded that the sons of Judah were born to him by the daughter of Shua, the Canaanitess and by Tamar, also from Canaan, who employed one of the oldest professions in order to gain her child (v. 3–4). The mention of Boaz (v. 12) of course implies the Jordanian widow named Ruth, as well as David’s sisters and an Ishmaelite (v. 16–17).
The God of all peoples tolerates no racism in His children. Over and again God reminds us that His kingdom plan includes and centers around every tribe, every tongue, and every people group worshiping Him. It is ironic that Western peoples feel we have more affinity with biblical figures than Arabs or Middle Easterners or Africans or Asians, when in reality our cultures are more distant. We joined the family much later than the peoples of the Fertile Crescent and Mediterranean, so we should have a little bit of humility regarding our family history. Perspective of our past (that God grafted the nations of the world into Him thousands of years before us) not only helps us stay lowly, but it also helps us stay faith-filled when faced with the decline and decay of our home culture. Our home culture has no corner on the market regarding the presence or favor of God. God’s powerful and intimate blessing descended on cultures older than ours before we existed—and He always has a remnant. As our culture collapses, we can be certain that God’s kingdom is unstoppable. The glory will find an obedient and holy people elsewhere, and the mission of God will steam on to its irrepressible conclusion: a throne room, a throng, all colors, all ages, all peoples, all songs, and one Lord.
 The Chronological Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 959.