We see who dwells in 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).
The Israelites had been captives for 70 years when Babylon fell and Cyrus, king of Persia, proclaimed their freedom. This fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy two hundred years earlier that Cyrus. . . . shall let go My captives (Is. 45:1,13). Every devout Jew must have been assured beyond all doubt that Jehovah was with them in their return to Judah.
About 80 years after this first group of Jews returned to their homeland, Ezra, a descendant of Aaron (Ezra 7:5), received permission from Artaxerxes, king of Persia, to return to Jerusalem to initiate a religious reform (7:1,6).
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 (8:15,21-23), they set out. Four months later they reached Jerusalem, having traveled about 900 miles.
The Chronicles were especially written to encourage Jews in Judea. 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 (9:25,33).
The Chronicles encouraged new loyalty among the Israelites then and 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 men and women give ourselves to provide Bibles and teaching material to the spiritually dying throughout the world today. Tomorrow never comes.
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest (Matt. 9:38).
Thought for Today:
Our Lord wants us to serve Him not for fame or reward but because we love Him.
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 =b> Zechariah (not the prophet); 9:21 porter =b> gatekeeper of the entrance way; 9:22 set office =b> trustworthy position; 9:23 by wards =b> as guards; 9:28 bring them in and out by tale =b> count them when they bring them in and take them out; 10:2 followed hard after =b> closely pursued and overtook; 10:3 went sore =b> was fierce; 10:4 uncircumcised =b> those without a covenant relationship with God.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. Daniel Klein • Government Officials: Sen. Byron Dorgan (ND), Rep. Alan Mollohan (WV), Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN), and Rep. Jackie Speier (CA) • Country: Jamaica (3 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: English and Creole • Religious freedom • 78% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 7% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is faithful to keep His promises (Heb. 10:23).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:4