Read 1 Chronicles 8
Inhabitants of Jerusalem and their duties (I Chr. 9:2-3; Neh. 11:3). Tragic deaths of Saul and his sons. David's great loyalty (I Chr. 10:11-12).
Ezra, a descendant of Aaron (Ezra 7:5), had received permission from Cyrus, the King of Persia, to return to Jerusalem to initiate a religious reform. Two hundred years earlier, Isaiah had prophesied that a man named Cyrus shall let go My captives (Is. 45:1,13). When Babylon fell and Cyrus proclaimed their freedom, it must have assured every devout Jew beyond all doubt that Jehovah was with them in their return to Judea.
Ezra was appointed to leave Babylon, where the Jewish people had lived in captivity for many years, and return to Jerusalem. About eighteen hundred Jews left Babylon with him to rebuild the Temple that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's armies many years earlier. After fasting and praying for three days for a safe journey, they set out. Four months later they reached Jerusalem, having made a journey of about 900 miles.
The Chronicles were especially written to encourage Jews who were to reconstruct the Temple and reinstate Jewish national and religious life in Judea (Ezra 5:8-11). These people had returned to rebuild the Temple, and their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; (were) very able men for the work of the service of the House of God (I Chr. 9:13). They needed assurance of the presence of God and His prophetic promises for the future. Therefore, this Book centers around the Temple, the priests, and proper worship.
The return was at a critical time and exposed every volunteer to many dangers. The reconstruction required courage and able men for the work of the service. Being able men meant perseverance and working long hours. In fact, they volunteered to be available day and night and stayed a week at a time (9:25).
The Chronicles were meant to encourage new loyalty among the Israelites as well as all the people of God. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving (Col. 2:6-7).
Oh, that we might awaken to the seriousness of our opportunities, the urgency of the need around us, and the fleeting nature of time! Let us as faithful Christians give ourselves to provide Bibles and teaching material to the spiritually dying throughout the world today. The night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4). Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest (Matt. 9:38).
Thought for Today:
For Thou art my Rock and my Fortress; therefore for Thy Name's sake leade me, and guide me (Ps. 31:3).
By Jerusalem, which means "foundation of peace"(I Chr. 9:3). Christ is the only Foundation of Peace upon which man can stand before God. Jesus said: My peace I give unto you (John 14:27; II Cor. 5:18; Eph. 2:14).
8:31 Zacher, Zechariah (not the prophet); 9:21 porter, gatekeeper of the entrance way; 9:22 set office, trustworthy position; 9:23 by wards, as guards; 9:28 bring them in and out by tale, count them when they bring them in and take them out; 10:2 followed hard after, closely pursued and overtook; 10:3 went sore, was fierce; 10:4 uncircumcised, those without a covenant relationship with God.
Pray for Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN), Rep. Jackie Speier (CA), and Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN) • Country: Germany (82 million) in north-central Europe • Major language: German • Religious freedom • 33.8% Evangelical (Lutheran); 33.6% Catholic; 3.4% Muslim; 1% Orthodox; 1% Other Christian; .2% Other; 27% None • Prayer Suggestion: Offer your gift of praise to God in prayer (I Pet. 2:5).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 John 3:22