Study Notes and Personal Bible Study Activities for
1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17 The books of Chronicles -- God’s very purposeful retelling from the beginning of his salvation plan and his grace to the people of Israel. God is speaking to the dispirited people who are returning from exile and reassuring them, “Despite appearances, you are my chosen people through whom I will bring the Savior according to my covenant promise.” He is also reminding those returning, “Don’t make the same idolatrous errors as your ancestors did. Walk in my Word and truth. Worship me in the prescribed manner, worship me in spirit and in truth.” Thus the Spirit dedicates about one half of these two books to David and Solomon: what they did, and how they worked to further the spiritual edification of God’s people.
1 Chron. 15:1-16:36 While David used much care in his worship of God, we also see great joy and celebration. We, too, are to exercise such care, but rejoice as well in the grace of God that allows us through Christ to come into His presence with singing. The psalm of praise we find in chapter 16 is found also in the book of Psalms; compare 1 Chro.16:8-22 with Psalm 105:1-15, 16: 1 Chron. 16:23-33 with Psalm 96:1-13; and 1 Chron. 34-35, with Psalm 106:7 and 8.
An In-Depth Look at 1 Chronicles 16:8-36
Let’s take a closer look at the song found in I Chronicles 16:8-36. It was composed by King David and “sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers”. The occasion was the arrival of the ark of the covenant in Jerusalem, to be housed in the tabernacle, their tent of worship. From that day on, David appointed that music was to be a regular part of their “order of service” when they gathered to worship. This song celebrates the LORD as Savior of His people.
I Chronicles 16:8,9
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!”
“Pray, Praise, and Give Thanks” is the well-known summary that Martin Luther provided for the proper use of God’s Name in his explanation of the Second Commandment. Each of those elements is part of this introduction to the song.
The LORD is the focus of the song. David exclaims: “Oh give thanks to the LORD...” His heart is overflowing with wonder at the saving works of God. He is amazed by the LORD and what He has done for His people. He can’t help but express thanks and praise. “Sing praise to Him, sing praise to Him!”
We know that feeling, don’t we?! When we pause and consider the awesome deeds of God, especially His full forgiveness and free salvation in Jesus, we too have a sense of amazement come over us that results in a desire to give thanks by expressing praise. It’s a natural response from the Spirit’s presence in us.
God’s gracious help in the past makes us bold and confident to come to Him with our present and future needs too. “Call upon His Name.” The LORD’S history has established His reputation as the Helper and Savior of thosewho seek Him. Knowing His “track record” we don’t hesitate to bring our present needs to Him. We know He will hear. So we “ask, seek, and knock”.
We also understand that although He is our personal God, He is not our private God. He wants to help not only us but all. So, we “make known His deeds among the peoples...(we) tell of all His wondrous works”. Everyone needs help. Those who do not know the LORD need to hear about what He has done and can do for them so that they too will be encouraged to come to Him with their needs and experience His salvation. That will result in more praise to God and more help to people.
PRAYER: LORD, what a wonderful place it is in which we find ourselves: giving You thanks and praise; remembering and relating what You have done so that others can join us in receiving and responding to Your gracious works. Accept our praise - hear our prayers - let the glory of Your Name be known in all the world by everyone! AMEN
I Chronicles 16:10,11
”Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
11 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!”
“Seek His Presence Continually!” The Presence of the LORD is an amazing thing. The Bible tells us that He is omnipresent, that is, present everywhere. So, God is not absent from where you are no matter where you may be. (See also Psalm 139.)
Now, thanks to our faith in the life, death, and resurrection of our LORD, Jesus Christ, you and I anticipate living in God’s Presence in glory forever in heaven. There we will be continuously conscious of His awesome Presence.
Our glorious God is present with us at all times now too; although we do not see the fullness of that glory in our present condition. Still, the LORD invites us to “seek Him” now too. And, to “seek His Presence continually”. We are encouraged to cultivate an awareness of His Presence at all times, places, and circumstances. He is always with us - omnipresent indeed! We are to see His gloryin the awesome created world around us and in His mighty acts in nature. We are to savor His grace as He makes His Presence known through His Word and Sacraments. By His grace, we live conscious of God’s Presence already now on earth on our way to seeing Him “face to face” in His glorious splendor in heaven.
As the Spirit enables us to seek and see His continual Presence in our lives already now, the result will be joy in life and strength for life.
PRAYER: LORD, please give me the continual awareness of which the Psalmist spoke: “Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23) Help me find joy and strength in My Savior’s promise: “Surely I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) AMEN!
I Chronicles 16:12,13
“Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
13 O offspring of Israel his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!”
WORKS and WORDS Jesus described this characteristic of His disciples “If you hold to My teachings you are truly My disciples...” (John 8:31) Remembering what God has done and what He has said is a vital part of discipleship. Remembering comes from reading and listening over and over again; as Jesus said: “My sheep listen to My voice, I know them, and they follow Me...” (John 10:27)
God’s works and words. His Word tells us what He has done - His works; and, those words are His very Words.
Honestly ask yourself, do you know the basic Bible stories now as well as you knew them when you were a child? Do you know as many passages from memory as you did when you were a teenager? Ought we not to know the stories better - on a higher level - and have more passages on the tip of our tongue than we did in the past?
Is it time to make a fresh effort to discipline yourself to take a significant amount of time each day to read and savor what the LORD has done and said? Perhaps reading the Bible in a new translation or a contemporary rendering will awaken your interest again. It would be an appropriate goal as a disciple to increasingly know God’s works and words better than we did yesterday.
PRAYER: LORD, You have commanded me “Remember!” Move me to get to know Your works and words ever better. AMEN
I Chronicles 16:15-18
“Remember his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
17 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
18 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,
as your portion for an inheritance.”
FAITHFUL! One thing that is most prominent about the LORD, when we go back and remember His works and words, is His faithfulness. When He makes a promise - and He makes lots of them! - He always, always, keeps them!
He promised Abraham an heir from his own body; that heir would lead to a numerous nation; that nation would have a special land of their own to call home; from that nation the Savior of all people would be descended. Check! Check! Check! Check! All done! Faithful!!
As time goes by in our lives and things continually change, you can count on God to never change. Immutable is the word theologians use. He remains faithful. He keeps His promises. It’s time to refresh our memories about the promises of God - there’s a Book full of them! You can count on Him to keep those promises. Knowing that and believing that will bring you strength and comfort; joy and peace; contentment and hope.
PRAYER: “O Thou, Who changest not, abide with me! AMEN
I Chronicles 16:19-22
“When you were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
20 wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
21 he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
22 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”
Protective! God’s people were few in number at various times in the Old Testament. His servant Abraham, by God’s command, picked up and moved. It was a caravan of three people (plus unnumbered servants): “of little account”...sojourners...wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another...” Jacob too, with a slightly larger company, was vulnerable as he traveled about with his family.
The company of the apostles and believers numbered about 120 at the time of the first Pentecost. Throughout the world ever since that day, wherever the gospel is proclaimed and people are brought to faith, the numbers virtually always start small. It’s a little flock in perilous circumstances, unable to defend itself.
Enter God! “...He allowed no one to oppress them; He rebuked kings on their account saying, ‘touch not My anointed ones, do My prophets no harm!’”
God’s people, every single one of them including you (!) are precious to the LORD. He purchased each of them by the priceless blood of His only Son! Protecting those people is His personal responsibility. No one touches His people without His permission. Although many may seek to harm them; and indeed, sometimes the devil and those following him in darkness, defy God and “touch” His precious people; the LORD always turns the devil’s “touch” into His touch of blessing for His people. While they are experiencing that, He is with them. Praise God!
PRAYER: “LORD Jesus, Who dost love me, O spread Thy wings above me, and shield me from alarm. Though evil would assail me, Thy mercy will not fail me, I rest in Thy protecting arm!” AMEN
I Chronicles 16:23-27
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.”
There’s only ONE! The Name translated LORD, literally means, “the God Who Is”. That LORD has made Himself known in His world and in His Word. Most especially He has made Himself known in “the Word made flesh”, Jesus Christ, the Savior of all!
He is the only God. He is the only Savior. There’s only ONE! This fact absolutely needs to be “declared among the nations...among all the peoples”. The LORD “is to be held in awe above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.”
There are many false gods that have found their way into America - those gods are idols. Yet, their adherents promote these false religions and, in some cases, gain many followers. What should we do?
Without ceasing we need to live authentic Christ-like lives for the glory of God while we “Tell of His salvation from day to day and declare His glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.” No other religion has a Savior. We don’t need to argue, we need to confess. Let the Holy Spirit do His work of convincing while we let Him speak through us.
PRAYER: LORD, there is none like You. Use me to make Your exclusive claim known as the true God and the only Savior of all. AMEN
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
35 Say also:
“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
36 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”
Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord.
AMEN! (Yes, it is so!) The heart filled with the joy of being loved and saved by the LORD, simply can’t praise Him enough!
Hear the glorious conclusion to this song - why not read it aloud with emphasis and feeling?!
The LORD deserves our praise - let’s worship Him! Come before Him in holy awe, this One Who made and upholds all things. Join with all His creation in bringing to Him glory and praise and thanks! Implore Him to continue to save us - to gather us - to deliver us that we may give thanks to Him and glory in His praise from everlasting to everlasting.
1 Chron. 16:37-18:17 David had in mind to build God a permanent temple. God had something else, and better, in mind – that He through David would build a permanent house via the Messiah to be born of his line. Rejoice with David as he sings his song of praise.
1 Chron. 19:1-21:30 Despite all the blessings he had received, David still was susceptible to sin. Notice God’s response to his sinful foolishness and David’s selfless prayer on behalf of his people. (The threshing floor of Ornan is where Solomon would eventually build the temple [2 Chron. 3:1]).
1 Chron. 22:1-23:32 David continues his preparation for the eventual building of God’s temple both with regard to funds to build the physical structure and then designating and organizing those who would minister in that temple. Note his generosity in providing for the temple and its service. Prayerfully reflect on your offerings.
1 Chron. 24:1-26:11 The detailing of who would do what in the temple continues. Notice again how great and meticulous care is given to and in every detail so that in all things God is given the worship He deserves, and He alone is glorified.
1 Chron. 26:12-27:34 Concluding details of temple work and workers are given. Then, as is fitting, matters of secondary importance - the earthly details of David’s administration - are dealt with. A reminder to ‘seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
1 Chron. 28:1-29:30 David’s story ends. But before it does he provides for the future: blessing his son in his building of the temple, giving his own generous offering so that work would not be hindered and encouraging the people to do the same, and leading the people in worshipping God for allowing them to do this great work. We cannot improve on the wonderful example he leaves us as we pray for and do the LORD’s work today.