1 Chronicles (Letter 13, Larry Crabb’s 66 Love Letters)

You cannot now enjoy what you once did. The satisfactions of earlier days are no longer available. Life feels empty. Not much is fun. I invite you to delight in your distress. Nothing else provides the same opportunity to move strongly and joyfully into life on the basis of My promises alone, the promises of My presence now and My satisfaction forever. Seizing that opportunity will free you to passionately engage life for my purposes with no demands.

You underestimate the obstacle your unholiness presents that I must overcome before you can live the life I want you to live. You, therefore, reduce My letters to practical tips for satisfying lesser desires now.

We can’t fathom that God’s love has a purpose in mind far greater than our present comfort. We listen to smiling preachers who tell us that God can be persuaded to turn things around for us before He makes us holy.

God’s message is a message of hard and humbling love: We are not entitled to the good life. Stop whimpering as if we deserve what he is not providing. That is what he still says to us whose resentment over suffering is keeping us from flowing with grateful hope in this stream of His plan.

In spite of appearances, the former days of Solomon’s splendor are as nothing compared to the glory days ahead. When you find yourself in the desert, draw near to God, not with an entitled spirit but in confident hope. You will discover that hope only in His presence. Therefore, devote your first energies to rebuilding the temple, not your lives.

1 CHRONICLES: David and the Ark of God – From Ray Stedman<-(click here for entire Bible summary)

The books of Chronicles cover the same historical ground that the books of Samuel and Kings do, but from quite a different point of view.

The central points around which everything in these books gather are the king and the temple. The king was David. In one sense, he is the only king that appears in these two books. He is God’s king. The first book centers on him completely.

The first nine chapters are given over to a long list of genealogies.

Wherever there is an obedient heart God begins a new line with him. Wherever disobedience occurs, that name is dropped. You can trace this principle throughout this entire genealogy.

In Chapter 10 there is a brief account that com pletely covers the life of King Saul, the first of Israel’s kings.

So Saul died for his unfaithfulness … Therefore the Lord slew him, and turned
the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse. {1 Chr 10:13-14 RSV}

The rest of the book is all about David. David was a king after God’s own heart – a king with an obedient heart.

Mighty men who gathered about David and shared his exile eventually became the leaders
in his kingdom. All of this is a picture for us of the reign of the Lord Jesus in his coming to earth again. We are promised that we who share his sufferings now will also share his glory when he comes to rule over the earth to establish his kingdom of righteousness.

When Uzzah, walking along beside the ark, saw it shaking as it passed over a rough spot in the road, he reached out to steady it. When his hand touched the ark, he immediately dropped dead. David was tremendously shaken by this.
There is no incident from the Old Testament that teaches more clearly the importance of a careful, precise obedience to what the Word of God says.

But David learned his lesson. He returned to obedience and asked the Levites to bring up the ark according to the Law; then the ark came into Jerusalem.

When at last we are led by the Spirit to the place where our stubborn will is broken, and we give up, once and for all, our insistence on running our own affairs, we recognize that this is the principle of God by which we must live. Now we may not always follow it faithfully even
from there, but at least we realize that God is ruler over our life and Jesus Christ is Lord. In other words, “You are not your own, you are bought with a price” {1 Cor 6:19b-20a RSV}. Your life is no longer yours to plan, to program, or to work out in advance. You belong to the Lord and he becomes king in your life.

At that very moment, what is pictured here is fulfilled. When the king comes, the ark is fixed in the temple and is immovable from then on. All the blessing of God then flows to the heart that is in full submission to the lordship of Christ. The result is that the temple is a new beginning.

This is always the problem in any Christian circle when men begin to depend upon numbers.
One of the great principles that runs through the Bible from beginning to end is that God never wins his battles by majority vote.

All through Chronicles this same principle is repeated again and again. God’s method is quality – never quantity.

What is the message of this book? It is the supreme importance of the temple in our lives; the authority of God. Over the three great doors of the cathedral in Milan, Italy, are three inscriptions:
• Over the right hand door is carved a wreath of flowers and over it is written, “All that pleases is but for a moment.”
• On the left hand door is a cross and over it is written, “All the trouble is but for a moment.”
• Over the main entrance are simply the words, “Nothing is important save that which is eternal.”

This is the very lesson of the book of Chronicles. It is the lesson of the whole of the Bible, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of [by the authority of and by the ability of] the Lord Jesus [king in his temple],” (Col 3:17a RSV).

Book Name – David Jeremiah (Understanding the 66 Books of the Bible)

Key thought: God’s covenant to David and His promises to Israel are perpetual, designed to give His people a heritage and a future.

Key Verse: Set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 22:19

Key Action: Crown the Lord as King, and joyfully labor in the service of His work.
Key prayer:

Key Prayer: Lord, help me to remain strong and courageous, trusting my future in Your hands.