Imagine being ejected out of your home. Your neighborhood. Your country. Led to a foreign land where the culture and religion clashed with your own. Forced into exile from the land and people you loved, what would you do?
The writer of Chronicles, a Hebrew book that originally bore no name at all, contemplated Israel’s complex history and the One God who had orchestrated it all. Commonly attributed to Ezra, the writing compiles Adam’s lineage leading to Israel and establishing the right of His chosen people to return from exile to the land God had originally given them.
They hadn’t imagined it. It was already recorded in other books. God had made a promise to Adam that concluded in an eternal deliverer. The question was: where was He? Since Adam’s fall, every descendant had worn his own remains of sin, ingrained in the fabric of each separated soul. Yet God’s faithfulness never wavered. Constantly drawing close to the people He loved, He chose men throughout those early days to devote themselves to Him. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and other leaders saw and loved the One who called them. Through their line, Israel enjoyed the unity, peace, and God-centered prosperity brought through the one person they deemed their crowning point of history: King David.
Little did they know. Though David’s victorious reign prospered in His affection for God and truth, another king from David’s line was yet to come whose power and rule would never end. Through Jesus, born from David’s royal lineage from the tribe of Judah, God would finally resolve His age-old promise of redemption. Opening wide the gates of salvation to every Jewish and Gentile soul that received Him, God established eternal hope for all of God’s people from every tribe and nation.
Ezra recorded an amazing scene that unfolded just before David’s death, as the king assembled all of God’s people together. Unified in praise under his leadership and love of God, they worshipped God together as one people, a picture of the permanent Paradise yet to come. It was a beautiful vision of hope the writer wanted Israel—and all God’s people—to remember.
God instructs His people to keep record of His greatness for good reason. As Ezra sat in exile pondering Israel’s history, he remembered God’s faithful hand in it all. We, too, find comfort and purpose when we extend our gaze backward, counting God’s blessings over the years. His history of mercy and grace fuels our faith for whatever the future holds.