Last Days Prophecy
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Gospel Briefs on 1-2 Chronicles and Ezra
Date written – 1350 B.C. Author – Ezra
The Book of 1 Chronicles was likely written between 450 and 425 B.C.
Purpose of Writing: The Books of 1 & 2 Chronicles cover mostly the same information as 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. Perhaps the biggest distinction is that 1 & 2 Chronicles focus more on the priestly aspect of the time period. The Book of 1 Chronicles was written after the exile to help those returning to Israel understand how to worship GOD. The history focused on the Southern Kingdom, the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. These tribes tended to be more faithful to GOD. According to Jewish traditions, like the Book of Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one Book. The translators of the Greek Version gave them the title, Paralipomena, meaning things left over or things added in a supplement. Implying their use as a continuation to Samuel and Kings . . . but, Chronicles is not just a repeat of the history already recorded in the Books of Samuel and Kings. It provides more detail on organizing public worship, religious ceremonies and of the relationship of kings to the worship of GOD. The Book of 1 Chronicles is a book that was written from the viewpoint of a priest. The author’s goal is to help the people who have been away from the Temple to understand what life in Jerusalem was like before the Babylonian captivity. This is a history of the southern kingdom called Judah and the city of Jerusalem.
It is an account of history from Adam to exile, written to direct the restoration of the kingdom during the post-exilic period. The Book was written to remind Israel of their entire history, and of their position among other nations, highlighting the history of priestly worship from the death of Saul to the end of the Babylonian captivity. The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles, is dedicated to lists and genealogies. The genealogies also contain names of all twelve tribes of Isreal. Issac sons Esau and Jacob, the later was renamed Israel. The sons of Israel were the 12 tribes of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Judah, Benjamin. The last two eventually became the Southern Kingdom, and the others the Northern Kingdom. In between, it records David’s ascension to the throne and David’s son Solomon becoming King of Israel. Most of the bad descriptions of David recorded earlier in Kings is omitted, showing David in a good way. The last part of the Book is a condensed history of the kings of Judah. Basically, Chronicles was written to help GOD’S people understand the kind of future that GOD intends, fully realizing the love and power of GOD.
Summary, for 8 chapters there is a long list of names. Finally in 9:1, we see the connection back to the end of 2 Kings . . . The people of Judah were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness. The reason for this list of names is that people are looking back at their history. They are remembering where they came from. They are recounting how GOD has worked in the past to bring them to where they are now . . . in captivity in Babylon. When we look at the past, it gives us hope for a better future. This list of names was meaningful to them. These are their forefathers, their patriarchs. After listing all these generations of past Israelites, the writer goes back to Saul and works from Saul to David to Solomon, echoing much of what we read in 1 Kings. Although, in Chronicles we get much more of a devout feeling to what we read as more space is given to the Levites (the tribe the priests were to come from) and preparation for the Temple. 1 Chronicles ends with David’s death.
Brief Summary: The first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles are dedicated to lists and genealogies. Further lists and genealogies are scattered throughout the rest of 1 Chronicles. In between, the Book of 1 Chronicles records David’s ascension to the throne and his actions thereafter. The Book concludes with David’s son Solomon becoming King of Israel. Briefly outlined, the Book of 1 Chronicles is as follows: Selective Genealogies (ch.1-9:23); David’s ascent (ch.9:24-12:40); David’s reign (ch13:1-20:30).
Prophesy: In David’s song of thanksgiving to God (1 Chron.16:33), he refers to the time when God will come “to judge the earth.” This looks forward to Matthew 25, when Jesus describes the time when He will come to judge the Earth. Through the parables of the ten virgins and the talents, He warns that those who are found without the Blood of Christ covering their sins, will be cast into “outer darkness.” He encourages His people to be ready (WATCH) because when He comes, He will separate the sheep from the goats in judgment.
Part of the Davidic Covenant which GOD repeats in chapter 17 refers to the future Messiah who would be a descendant of David. Verses 13-14 describe the Son who will be established in GOD’S House and whose throne will be established forever. This can only refer to the LORD Jesus Christ.
How do we apply this to our lives today? Genealogies such as the ones in 1 Chronicles may seem boring to us, but they remind us that GOD knows each of His children personally, even down to the number of hairs on our heads (Mat.10:30). We can rest assured in the fact that who we are and what we do is written forever in GOD’S mind. If we belong to Christ, our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev.20:15), and no one can erase them, for we are sealed by GOD for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30), and because all those whom the Father has given to the Son, He will lose none of them (John 6:39). The LORD Jesus Christ proclaimed, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28–29). Salvation is GOD’S work, not ours (Tit.3:5), and it is His will and His power that keeps us. Scripture is clear that a TRUE believer is safe and secure by the power of GOD. God is faithful to His people and keeps His Promises.
In the Book of 1 Chronicles, we see the fulfillment of GOD’S Promise to David when he is made king over all Israel (1 Chron.11:1-3). We can be sure that His Promises to us will be fulfilled as well. He has promised blessings to those who follow Him, who come to Christ in repentance, and who obey His Word. Dear one, obedience brings GOD’S blessing; disobedience brings GOD’S wrath and judgment. The Book of 1 Chronicles, as well as 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings, is a record of the pattern of sin, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration of the nation of Israel. In the exact same way, the LORD God is patient with us and forgives our sin when we come to Him in TRUE (sincere) repentance (1 John 1:9). We have comfort in the fact that He hears our prayer of sorrow for disobedience, forgives our sin, restores us to fellowship with Him, and sets us on the path to comforting joy.
JOY = is the response and the reaction of our soul when we know the LORD Jesus Christ.
Biblical joy is NOT based on our possessions, it is a deep, inward peace and adequacy that is not affected by outward circumstances. It does NOT Christians never feel or express their pain, because the Christian life is filled with afflictions, and we, like the psalmists, should express our grief and pour out our hearts to GOD. But, even during our trying times, we still can have joy because of our hope in Christ. 2 Cor. 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. (KJV) We can be exceeding joyful in all our tribulation (2 Cor.7:4).
We have joy because we HAVE (hath) eternal life NOW! John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (KJV)
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (KJV)
How could the Apostle Paul experience joy in the midst of all his tribulations? Maybe Charles Spurgeon had the answer: “believers are not dependent upon circumstances. Their joy comes not from what they have, but from what they are, not from where they are, but from whose they are, not from what they enjoy, but from that which was suffered for them by their Lord.”
2 CHRONICLES Date written – 450-430 B.C. Author – Ezra
2 Chronicles is similar to 2 Kings. It starts with Solomon and the Temple and then goes to his successors and whether or not they were faithful to God. Like 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles ends with the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. The mention of Cyrus, king of Persia in 2 Chronicles 36:23 ties us in to Ezra (Ezra 1:1).
Purpose of Writing: The Books of 1 & 2 Chronicles cover almost the same information as 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings, except the Books of 1 & 2 Chronicles stress more on the priestly aspect of the time period. The Book of 2 Chronicles is essentially an evaluation of the nation’s religious history.
Brief Summary: The Book of 2 Chronicles records the history of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, from the reign of Solomon to the end of the Babylonian exile. The decline of Judah is substandard, although importance is given to the spiritual reformers who zealously seek to turn the people back to GOD. Little is said about the bad kings or of the failures of good kings; only goodness is stressed. Because 2 Chronicles takes a priestly view, the Northern Kingdom of Israel is rarely mentioned because of her idolatry and refusal to acknowledge the Temple of Jerusalem. Second Chronicles concludes with the final destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
Prophesy: As it is with all references to kings and temples in the Old Testament, we see a reflection of the TRUE King of Kings, Christ Jesus . . . and the Temple of the Holy Spirit GOD’S people. As with all mankind, even the best of the kings of Israel had the faults and led the people incorrectly. But when the King of Kings comes to live and reign on the Earth in the Millennium (Rev.20), He will establish Himself on the Throne of all the Earth as the rightful heir of David. Only then will we have a perfect King who will reign in righteousness and holiness, something the best of Israel’s kings could not do.
In the same way, the great Temple built by Solomon was not designed to last forever. Just 150 years later, it was in need of repair from decay and defacing by future generations who turned back to idolatry (2 Kings 12). But the Temple of the Holy Spirit . . . those who truly belong to Christ Jesus . . . will live forever. We who belong to Jesus are that Temple, made not by hands but by the will of GOD (John 1:12-13). The Spirit who lives within us will never depart from us and will deliver us safely into the Hands of GOD one day (Eph.1:13; 4:30). NO earthly temple can offer that promise.
Prophesy: The Book of Ezra continues the Biblical theme of the remnant. Whenever disaster or judgment falls, GOD always saves a remnant for Himself . . . Noah and his family from the destruction of the Flood; Lot’s family from Sodom and Gomorrah; the 7,000 prophets reserved in Israel despite the persecution of Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 19).
The remnant theme is carried into the New Testament where Paul tells us: Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (KJV)
Although most people in Jesus’ day rejected Him, there did remain some people whom GOD had reserved and preserved in His Son, and were in the Covenant of His grace. Through all generations since Christ, there has been the remnant of the faithful whose feet are on the narrow road that leads to eternal life (Mat.7:13-14). This remnant will be preserved through the power of the Holy Spirit who has sealed them and who will deliver them safely at the last day (2 Cor.1:22; Eph.4:30).
We must understand that the LORD God hates sin and will NOT tolerate it. But if the Chronicles teach us anything, it is that God really wants to forgive and heal those who will come humbly to Him, pray and worship Him, and turn from our sin. 1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (KJV)
If the LORD were to ask us what He could do for us, for what would we ask? Most would ask for worldly riches, unlike Solomon. He asked for wisdom and knowledge to do the work GOD had given to him and to do it well. The lesson for us is that GOD has given each of us a job and instructions to fulfill and the greatest blessing we can seek from God is the ability to carry out His will for our lives. Any time GOD calls a person to do something, He always equips that person to fulfill that task! We need wisdom from above (James 3:17) to discern His will, as well as the understanding and intimate knowledge of Him in order to motivate us to be like Christ in both deed, words and boldness. James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (KJV)
We must never be proud and boastful, we must be humble, meek! Meek describes someone who shows patient restraint, like Jesus! Meekness shows that we are able to remain calm and quiet even when being provoked, like Jesus!
What can we today, learn from this Book? The Book of Ezra is a record of hope and restoration. For TRUE Christians whose lives are scarred by sin and rebellion against God, there is great hope that our LORD God is a GOD of forgiveness. He is a GOD who will not turn His back on us when we seek Him in prayer for repentance (1 John 1:9). The return of the Israelites to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple are repeated in the life of every Christian who returns from the captivity of sin and rebellion against God and finds in Him a warm welcome home. No matter how long we have been away, He is ALWAYS ready to forgive us and accept us back into His family. He is so willing to show us how to rebuild our lives and revive our hearts . . . for we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. As with the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, GOD oversees the work of renovating and rededicating our lives to His service.
The opposition of the enemies of GOD to the rebuilding of the Temple display a pattern that represent that of the great enemy of our souls. The devil uses those who SEEM to be in agreement with GOD’S purposes to deceive us and try to frustrate GOD’S plans (Ezra 4:2). Satan will use deceptive, false speech (LIES) to those who claim to worship Christ but whose real intention is to tear down, never to build up. We must be on guard against such deceivers, and answer them as the Israelites did . . . refusing to be fooled by their smooth words and false professions of faith.
Ezra was a descendant of Aaron the chief priest (7:1–5), so he was a priest and scribe in his own right. His zeal for GOD and GOD’S Law spurred Ezra to lead a group of Jews back to Israel during King Artaxerxes’s reign over the Persian Empire (which had since replaced the Babylonian Empire that originally exiled the people of Judah).
Why is Ezra so important? The Book of Ezra gives us provides a much-needed link in the historical record of the Israelite people. When their king was dethroned and captured and the people exiled to Babylon, Judah as an independent nation ceased to exist. The Book of Ezra provides an account of the Jews’ regathering, and their struggle to survive and rebuild what had been destroyed. Ezra stated that they were still GOD’S people and that GOD had not forgotten them.
In the Book of Ezra we see the rebuilding of the new Temple, the merger of the returning tribes as they shared common struggles and were told to work together. Later, when the original remnant had stopped work on the city walls and spiritual laziness ruled, Ezra arrived with another two thousand people and sparked a spiritual revival. By the end of the Book, Israel had renewed its covenant with GOD and was obedient to Him.
Ezra also contains one of the great intercessory prayersof the Bible (Ezra 9:5–15). Daniel 9 and Nehemiah 9 also has great intercessory prayers. Ezra’s leadership was crucial to the Jews’ spiritual advancement.
Is the Gospel in the Old Testament?
YES! It certainly is!
The GOSPEL is in the Old Testament
The Bible Helps us Better Understand GOD
Gospel Briefs in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers
Gospel Briefs in Deuteronomy and Joshua
Gospel Briefs in Judges and Ruth
Gospel Briefs in 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings
Gospel Briefs in 1&2 Chronicles and Ezra
Gospel Briefs in Nehemiah and Esther
Gospel Briefs in Job and Psalms
Gospel Briefs in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song
Gospel Briefs in Isaiah Chapters 1-33
Gospel Briefs in Isaiah Chapters 34-66
Gospel Briefs in Jeremiah and Lamantations
Gospel Briefs in Ezekiel and Daniel
Gospel Briefs in Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah and Jonah
Gospel Briefs in Micah, Nahum, Habbakkuk and Zephaniah
Gospel Briefs in Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi
The GOSPEL IS in the OLD Testament
The Gospel IS in Exodus Chapter 12
The Gospel IS in Isaiah Chapter 53
The Gospel IS in Psalm 90
The Gospel For the Jews IS in the Old Testament
The Gospel IS in Many Places in OT, Many rolls of JESUS!
The Gospel, Special Comments to OT Books
The Gospel, WHAT Does GOD want From YOU?
The Gospel, Which Is the Truth of the Gospel?