Now these were the sons of David… 10 Now Solomon’s son was…. (3:1, 10).
The sons of Judah were…24 The sons of Simeon were… 38 these mentioned by name… 41 These, recorded by name (4:1, 24, 38, 41).
Yes, another lengthy list of Names. So many that mean nothing to me. And as I stumbled through these two chapters of names, most I’d never heard of, many I probably mispronounced, I wondered why. Why is it so important, Lord, in Your Inspired Word to chronicle this list of Names?
I read all the notes from these two chapters in my NIV Study Bible; but was still left feeling that I had just finished reading over my grocery list.
I reminded myself of what we learned yesterday about the purpose of Chronicles in bringing His Assurance to the nation Israel; He was not finished with them.
And these two chapters of genealogies are certainly not in order of birth. He begins with the lineage of David and then immediately turns the attention on Judah. To a people who have returned to a land they barely recognized, who are left wondering how they would every recover from seventy years in captivity, His Record of Names would confirm His Faithfulness and Sovereignty, through His Compassionate Grace, to fulfill His Word.
Consider His Record of Names
- Through His Record of Names, the Lord would confirm His Faithfulness to fulfill His Word. After seventy long years, every family from the sons of Jacob would be brought back to a hopeful future. “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:10-11).
- Through His Record of Names, the Lord would confirm His Sovereignty to fulfill His Word in giving Judah and his descendant, David, the place of prominence. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples,” (Genesis 49:10).
- The sons of Judah were Er, Onan and Shelah; these three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanitess. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, so He put him to death. 4 Tamar his daughter-in-law bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all. 5 The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul…9 Now the sons of Hezron, who were born to him were Jerahmeel, Ram and Chelubai. 10 Ram became the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, leader of the sons of Judah; 11 Nahshon became the father of Salma, Salma became the father of Boaz, 12 Boaz became the father of Obed, and Obed became the father of Jesse; 13 and Jesse became the father of … David… (1 Chronicles 2:3-5, 6-13).
- “Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David… 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever,” (2 Samuel 7:8, 16).
How do we respond to His Record of Names?
Pertinent to these times in which we find ourselves, perhaps wondering about our own future, the Lord has given us all we need to strengthen our faith through His Record of Names. Not one of His Compassionate Gracious promises failed for His chosen people, for by His Faithfulness and Sovereignty, He fulfilled His Word in preserving the families listed in His Record of Names.
We can place all our hope in His future planned for us when we know we belong to Him. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we too are His chosen people, whose preservation and security have been guaranteed and sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved… 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory, (Ephesians 1:3-6, 13-14).
And tucked inside His Record of Names in 1 Chronicles 4, is a brief story of one man who prayed a simple, yet profound prayer. One man who turned to the God of Israel in humility and faith, one man whose prayer was heard and answered.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested, (4:9-10).
It is as though this brief excerpt, inserted into His Record of Names, was included for our consolation and encouragement, especially for times such as these.
Perhaps the name his mother gave him, Jabez, “because [she] bore him with pain,” was a reference to the pain caused by years of captivity endured. But in Jabez, we see one who was not defined by his unfortunate environment or harsh circumstances. Somehow being raised in the midst of sufferings and trials, Jabez became a man of faith who believed that the God of Israel was a God of Compassionate Grace, Faithful and Sovereign in His ability to fulfill His Word.
Let us commit to allow His Word, not the fear of the unknown future, to shape us.
Today, may we be strengthened in our faith as we meditate on His Compassionate Grace through His Faithfulness and Sovereignty to fulfill His Word; for the truth is, our future is known, for He has revealed it in His Record of Names.
“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued,” (Daniel 12:1).
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him,” (Malachi 3:16-17).
“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven,” (Luke 10:20).
“He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels,” (Revelation 3:5).
I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, (Revelation 21:22-27).
May we be strengthened through reading His Record of Names today, to walk in humility and faith as we trust Him to fulfill all His Word.