Random thoughts on Chronicles

Watch this 7min vid if you’re interested in how Chronicles holds together as a whole. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=388&v=HR7xaHv3Ias

Here’s some thoughts.

This section of Chronicles captures two moments that couldn’t be more different from each other. Firstly, David is given a crown with ‘precious stones’ (20:2), and defeats a number of armies in God’s strength. And yet, in the next chapter, he ‘sinned greatly against God’ because he didn’t trust him to help him with his other battles! This contrast left me contemplating the paradox of how easily success that God gives us can actually make us less trusting of God. I was also left thinking in what ways I rely on my own achievements and ability rather than trusting in him.

It is just so easy to do sometimes.

But if the entire bible points to Christ, how does this section do that? I think at the very least it shows our need for a perfect David. David, in all his goodness, still wasn’t good enough. Even after all he had seen God do, he was still scared of his enemies and so wanted to know exactly how many soldiers he had. He did this rather than trust that God would be with him regardless. This shows me our need for a king who really does trust God despite his own ability, crowns and achievements. The way Jesus trusted his father’s will at the cross, rather than his own will, is testament to this (Mk 14:35).

A random point I also found interesting, is that behind David’s lack of faith was Satan tempting/”enticing” him (21:1). A quick Bible Gateway search showed that this is one of the very few references to Satan in the entire OT besides Job and Zechariah. Despite this temptation though, David is still held responsible for how he acted. Passages like this confirm to me that even though there are so many factors that ultimately lead us to sin that are beyond our control, there is still some level of responsibility for all our actions.  I know personally that I use situations I find myself in as an excuse for sin. A Classic example is when people are jerks to me and I feel like this somehow makes being a jerk to them defensible. This passage clearly shows that no matter what the circumstances surrounding our temptation, even if we are being directly tempted by Satan himself, even if this reduces some of our responsibility, there is still a level of responsibility to all our actions. Maybe this is part and parcel of taking for ourselves the knowledge of good and evil.

Contemplating my need for a Saviour, and the excuses I use,

Peter L

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2 thoughts on “Random thoughts on Chronicles

  1. Important thoughts thank you Peter. Thank the oh also for opening up that helpful video on Chronicles

  2. Thanks Pete for an insightful look into the life of David. He is certainly a pivotal character in the Old testament. Also interesting the link to the overview of Chronicles as a window into the way the Bible as a whole is put together by different authors.
    What is also interesting is to read the account of this incident recorded in 2 Samuel 24. The accounts are almost identical except for 2 important details. Firstly the number of soldiers counted is reported differently in each book. Secondly and more importantly the authors attribute the instigator of Davids sin as [1] God [2] Satan! Now one view is that therefore the Bible tells us that God works through Satan. That does not explain the discrepancy in the numbers and is hardly congruent with the role ascribed to Satan in the Gospels, in particular with Satan’s confrontations with Jesus.
    My view is that God works through people (Jesus sent out the 12 apostles to spread the gospel), people wrote the Bible and people are fallible, especially when they are writing hundreds of years after the event. Scholars say that the original versions were divinely inspired and therefore perfectly compatible but have become corrupted. But why would God go to the trouble of divinely inspiring authors to write perfectly correct accounts, knowing (omnisciently) that the Bible would pass on contradictory accounts through mis-copying and mis-translation for future generations.
    Rather I think God has enabled these mismatched accounts of historical occurrences to be passed down as a heads up to us to view the message of the Bible as a whole, and not get bogged down on the transliteration of one particular version, one particular author or one particular word. Was it Satan or was it God? It is the author’s attempt to explain why David would go directly against the law. In the end, we are all like David! We all sin. No matter how close we are to God, (even St Paul writing many documents that are included in the Bible), we as human beings can never be perfect. David is a great confidence builder in the doctrine of God’s grace. If God could forgive David, then there is a hope that He can forgive me also. Thanks Pete

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