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We are following a plan to read through the bible in one year. you don't have to worry if you fall behind or if you are starting late. Start at the beginning or, if you already started, pick up where you left off and follow along.
People just starting this goal often get bogged down in details, go slow, and eventually quit because it's to hard to reach the end. Remember that it doesn't have to be in one year. When you fall behind just keep going. As you get used to reading you will find yourself going faster and farther and may even catch up.
The first time I did this it took me over 18 months. The last time it took just over 2 months. This time I'm pacing myself to 1 year so others can follow along. Join the quest

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Second Chronicles 9-12

God’s message to me: God can and will provide all I need and far more. He will bring prosperity and abundance into my life. This blessing is dependent on my faith and recognition of Him. Solomon, in his early years as king, recognized that both he and the people of Israel were not deserving of God’s favor and that nothing they could ever build would be good enough or large enough to hold God. Only God’s love and grace provides us with His blessings and His promises to us supersede our unworthiness as He will never fail His promises.

Promises: God honors the honest prayers of His servants. Solomon asked for the wisdom to rule the Israelites as God intended. Because Solomon asked for the thing that would be most pleasing to God, he was granted wisdom in abundance as well as health wealth and power. He was the wisest, richest and most powerful king in history. His wisdom brought rulers from throughout the world to his throne to learn from him. He received tribute from all around him and, despite having ruled in peace throughout his entire reign, Solomon had one of the most powerful armies in the world.

Commands: Obey God’s command and keep your faith in Him or suffer the consequences. The division of Israel was a result of idolatry and false worship. The capture of the Israelites, the destruction of their lands and the general oppression the periodically went through was always a direct result of turning away from God.

Timeless principles: Advice is only as useful as the person who hears it. Rehoboam ignored the advice of his father’s advisors and took the bad advice of his friends resulting in a revolt which divided Israel and left Rehoboam as king of Judah while the rest of the nation separated and succeeded from the union.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Understand that peace comes through strength. The kings of Israel fielded some of the most powerful armies of their time. God granted victory to them against enemies who were far more powerful and at other times he granted such victory by providing Israel with the overwhelming force. Most often in Israel’s history, the times of peace were marked by wise kings who followed God and kept strong armies ready to defend the land. The victory of small Israeli forces over much larger forces was generally preceded by a time of weakness during which the Israelites neglected the necessity of having a strong military.

more to learn for in-depth study: More books and documents listed: The book of Nathan the prophet, the prophecy of Aijah the Shilonite the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the book of Shemaiah the prophet. These books are not scripture but they are the historic references used for compiling some of the books of the bible. Many would say that these books, written during captivity in foreign lands, are the result of oral traditions and subject to mistakes but the authors made it clear that they compiled the information from multiple written sources that recorded the events as they happened or shortly after, and in some cases prior to those events occurring.

tomorrow: Second Chronicles 13-17

Second Chronicles 6-8

God’s message to me: Jerusalem and the temple are never abandoned by God. While there are times when the city and the temple have been destroyed and the people scattered or taken captive, the people have always returned to rebuild the city and the temple. Those times of punishment serve to remind the world what happens when we rebel against God. We see what He did to His own people and know how much more He would do to us.

Promises: When people turn to God and ask His forgiveness and His help, He is faithful to provide forgiveness and help regardless of whether we are Jew or Gentile as long as we fear and trust God for salvation.

Commands: “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”. God has placed His name there and true peace for that land and that city can only come when it is wholly under the control of His people Israel and when they turn to Him for salvation. Understand this when you pray for peace. There is no compromise between good and evil and “land for peace” deals will never work because God has condemned them.

Timeless principles: When Solomon finished his prayer of Dedication for the temple fire from heaven came down and consumed the sacrifice on the alter making it clear that God approved of what was done. Once again, God’s approval isn’t usually hard to recognize.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Trust God to provide when I call on His name and remember where He has chosen to place His favor and support that favor.

tomorrow: Second Chronicles 9-12

Second Chronicles 1-5

God’s message to me: Find what God wants me to do, follow God’s plan for doing it, look for God’s result(it’s normally easy to spot).

Promises: It is not difficult to know when what your doing pleases God. When the Temple was dedicated, the cloud descended into it just as it had on the Tabernacle of Meeting in the wilderness to show that God was present there. When the church has done well in following God’s mandates we see great revivals in which Christians prosper, many are converted and the church itself finds great prestige and prosperity.

Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake and never got sick. He survived stoning, shipwrecks and other disasters. Other Apostles healed the sick, raised the dead and did other great works that showed God’s favor. Today is no different. If you want to see God’s power, do what God asks.

Commands: Find the best person for the job. When you are serving God the goal is to give Him your best. Because of that fact it is best to find the best people to do the jobs that need to be done. Solomon hired the best woodcutters, lumberjacks, jewelers, tailors, and other workers to do each of the jobs in building the temple.

Timeless principles: God has placed His name in a place, a city and a nation for all time and no Christian should ever turn from that fact. The Temple is the place, Jerusalem is the city and Israel is the nation and the Jews are God’s people in which He placed his name. No Christian has the right to undermine this fact. We must support the Jews, we must support the Nation of Israel, we must support Jerusalem as the home of the temple and the capital of Israel and we must support the Temple mount as the place in which God placed his name and the home of the Temple of God. No matter how politically correct and open minded it may appear to recognize these places as the home of Judaism, Christianity and Islam this idea is false. Christianity is the descendant of Judaism and should never be seen as separate. God made a blood covenant with the Patriarchs of Israel which can never be broken and no other people will ever replace the Jews as God’s chosen people. Christians are the adopted children of Israel and joint heirs not replacements. Islam did not exist until around 600 AD and the “Al Aqusa mosque” in Jerusalem wasn’t built until 691AD. The true Al Aqusa Mosque is in Mecca and dates to the time of Mohammad. Jerusalem was never said to be a holy sight in Islam until Israel was reborn as a nation and the Muslims needed an excuse to fight that outsiders might support.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Consider the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. The disciples and Apostles watched as Christ ascended into heaven then returned to an upper room in Jerusalem where they prayed and studied and fellowshipped in the word for a month until the Holy Spirit came upon them. They walked out immediately into the city and preached in languages they didn’t even understand but were understood by others. 3000 people were added to the church that day. What was the formula? They prayed for 30 days, preached for 30 minutes and 3000 people were added to the church.

more to learn for in-depth study: 2 Chronicles 5:9 this is written while the temple is intact and the Ark of the Covenant is in the Holy of Holies in the Temple.

tomorrow: Second Chronicles 6-8

First Chronicles 28-29

God’s message to me: God has already prepared a way. When David became king he had already made all the contacts he would need with neighboring kingdoms while he was running from Saul. When Solomon became king he had all David’s contacts and everything David prepared for him to accomplish the building of the temple. When Solomon died he left behind great treasuries that would provide for Israel’s rescue from trouble in multiple occasions over the next several hundred years.

Promises: When God has something for you to do you may rest assured that He has already prepared the way. It was Solomon’s job to build the temple. Just as God told Moses the exact details of the construction of the Tabernacle of Meeting, He provided David with the exact details of the Temple of God (mistakenly called the temple of Solomon by historians). When Solomon began the project he had a detailed written plan for every aspect of the temple and it’s contents, he had more supplies than he needed to do the job, all the money needed to pay the workers, exact details down to the weight of the metals to be used in each item, workers ready to do the job, and everything else he needed. All he needed to do was start the job.

Commands: Prepare the way for what God tells you will happen. Charity is a wonderful thing but so is passing along an inheritance. God provides the ability to gain great things and for some it is a means to do charity and for others it is a path for future generations to gain security. Next time you’re tempted to believe that the guy on TV telling you it’s evil to leave an inheritance and all your wealth should go to charity, remember how many biblical characters left their estates to charity (none, though several left large estates as well as large amounts given to the temple and/or national treasuries) and how many left large estates to their heirs(almost all of them though some died without heirs or without an estate) MAN’S WAY MAY SEEM RIGHT BUT GOD’S WAY IS RIGHT.

Timeless principles: God expects us to do the jobs He assigns. David was not to build the temple but he was given the plans and the requirements. David took what he knew and prepared for the building project by making certain all the supplies were ready, the plans were laid out, the people were in place and the job was assigned to the man who God wanted in charge of it, Solomon, before he left the throne and then died.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Judge everything deemed a virtue by the measure of God’s word. There are many fine sounding ideas in this world that most would deem virtuous but God would find offensive. The stories of David show us several. Leaving an inheritance, securing your land and your nation, weapons in a place of worship, arming ministers, and so on. given the rest of this post this portion may seem out of place but, this is what I got from the text. What did you get?

more to learn for in-depth study: The end of First Chronicles tells us where we can learn more of David. The books of Samuel are found among the scriptures and the books of Gad and Nathan would be found among historic documents like the Talmud.

I have been asked who decides what goes into the bible. The answer is, God decides and showed early leaders of the Israelites and of the early church what should and shouldn’t be there. Many books that didn’t make it into scripture are still found in the Talmud. They have history important to the Jews. Some are books of prophecy that applied only to the time. Some are books of history and legend that provide insight into the times but are not useful for teaching doctrine. Others are simply not from reputable sources. The reason that the books of the Apocrypha didn’t make it into protestant bibles is simple. When the King James bible was translated, the Rabbi’s who passed along the scripture pointed out that parts of the document were not scripture but merely history and legend. This doesn’t make them worthless it just means they should not be a source for doctrine and deciding how God wants us to live our lives.

tomorrow: Second Chronicles 1-5

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekly Assignment

Monday: Ezra 7-9
Tuesday: Ezra 10
Wednesday: Nehemiah 1-4
Thursday: Nehemiah 5-8
Friday: Nehemiah 9-10
Saturday: Nehemiah 9-10
Sunday: Esther 1-3

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekly Assignment

Monday: Second Chronicles 21-24
Tuesday: Second Chronicles 25-27
Wednesday: Second Chronicles 28-30
Thursday: Second Chronicles 31-33
Friday: Second Chronicles 34-36
Saturday: Ezra 1-3
Sunday: Ezra 4-6

still not up to date or fully recovered from that sinus infection that moved to my chest. Working on it though. Wanted to make sure you had your reading assignments in the mean time.

Friday, May 8, 2009

First Chronicles 24-27

God’s message to me: Everyone has their place and their job. When the Apostles set out to seed churches throughout the world they would start out handling all the jobs until the church began to grow and then let the members take up those jobs. When there was strife over the division of food they appointed the first set of deacons to handle the job. In David’s time things were already in place. The Levites had the job of helping the sons of Aaron who were also Levites but set aside for the priesthood. With the temple about to be built and the Tabernacle of Meeting no long being need to be hauled around the Levites were redistributed from the duty of hauling specific items to doing specific jobs. Some were musicians, some were assistants some were guards and etcetera. Just as Christ told us were are all parts of the same body. We each have our function and none could function effectively without the rest. It’s also important to understand that God did not intend us to take on all the jobs or even many of the jobs. It isn’t wrong to help out in any area we can but to try and take over multiple jobs when others are there to fulfill them only causes us to fail in the job God created us for.

Promises: God made us for a purpose. We were intended for important work in the service of our Lord. Each of us is important even if we see other jobs as getting more glory. It is important to realize that our duty is vital to making the other jobs work. Someone has to do the jobs and if we don’t do what we are needed to do then someone else will be forced to take time from their duty to do what we aren’t doing.

Commands: Remember your place. David was not to build the Temple and so he did not. He was told by God through a prophet where to make his sacrifice for the sin of rushing the census. He set the place up as a place of worship and sacrifice because he knew that his actions had made God angry and was afraid to go to the Tabernacle. He prepared the supplies for his son to build the Temple but made no attempt to do it himself.

Timeless principles: Defense has always been a part of life. Even among the Levites there were people assigned to combat roles as guards and soldiers. When the city guards took time off for the Sabbath they were replaced by the Levite guard units. There are two false concepts that get a lot of play. The first is that a minister cannot be a combatant. Just as the priests and Levites took up arms in defense of their nation, US History provides many examples of pastors who took of their garments of ministry and put on military uniforms and took up arms to lead their congregation into the war of Independence from England and to defend the country in later wars.

The idea that weapons don’t belong in a church is newly popular because it gives government another excuse to pass laws in violation of the second amendment. The temple of God was protected by armed guards. Many of the pastors mentioned above wore their uniforms and weapons under their robes while they preached, and the only foreseeable purpose to disarming those in a church is to make them easier targets for oppression.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Understand the truth about biblical views. This section covered 3 points of contention that are playing out in US Politics. Weapons in church, armed pastors who lead in battle and just compensation for property. When we seek to choose leaders who represent us we should be seeking those who do not violate biblical principles. Politically correct views dressed up as religious fervor are still false doctrine and should be overcome. We should never let our political desires override what we know is right in the eyes of God. When we allow others to twist our faith to suit their political will we are no better than the Israelites who willingly turned from God to the golden calf because their king told them to.

more to learn for in-depth study: David had the poser, as king, to take whatever he needed. When Ornan learned that David needed part of his land to make sacrifices to God for an end to the plague he was willing to give anything without repayment. David knew that his actions had caused the problem and refused to use what wasn’t his to accomplish what he needed to do. He took what was needed but he refused to do so until payment was made. Our own government was founded with this principle when the Fifth Amendment to the constitution states “...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” eminent domain laws do not comply with this amendment and the government has been abusing their authority for a long time. It would be good to consider this when you are deciding where to cast your votes on election day. When choosing a government representative we should be seeking those that will represent our values as Christians. One of those values is not stealing private property for public use without good cause and just compensation.

tomorrow: First Chronicles 28-29

Weekly Assignment

Monday: First Chronicles 24-27
Tuesday: First Chronicles 28-29
Wednesday: Second Chronicles 1-5
Thursday: Second Chronicles 6-8
Friday: Second Chronicles 9-12
Saturday: Second Chronicles 13-17
Sunday: Second Chronicles 18-20

First Chronicles 21-23

God’s message to me: Be prepared. Throughout the bible there are comments on the need to be prepared. The story of the bridesmaids and their lamps in the new testament is an example of being ready for the long term. Christ also told us not to burden ourselves with concern for tomorrow. This may seem contradictory but consider the examples. David knew that building the temple would be his son’s job so he set aside what he could to ensure Solomon would have the materials to build the Temple. The bridesmaids did not know when to expect the groom so the ones who kept extra oil and wicks to ensure their lamps would last as long as needed were rewarded.

God doesn’t ask us to do what is beyond us, He asks us to use the resources we have to make ready for what we know is coming. We all know that the end times are coming but the idea that “no one knows the hour of His return” has caused some to believe the study of prophecy is wrong. God didn’t give us the information so that we would ignore it. He has given us the signs and told us to know the times. We cannot predict the moment of Christ’s return but, we know what leads to it because it is written in the bible. It is important to know what is coming and what to do. God told us when we see these signs we should be looking up for the moment of His return is at hand.

Promises: Be prepared doesn’t mean we must get ready for every contingency. God tells us what to expect so that we can focus on the actual need rather than worrying about “what if”.

Commands: Stick to God’s timing. You cannot put off or speed up God’s will. David decided to take the census early and God brought judgment on Israel for his action.

Timeless principles: The acts of the leader effect the entire nation. David’s sin of rushing the census caused a plague that killed thousands in Israel. Neville Chamberlain made his country an easy target when he sought a treaty with Hitler. Hitler brought destruction and decades of division under the control of other countries to Germany with his campaign to rule the world(it’s important to note that the goal of Hitler’s Aryan Race program was to bring the Nephelim and the Rephiam to power over the world). Jimmy Carter sought to bring peace in the middle east with land for peace deals that chipped away at Israel’s territory and we all remember what life was like during his administration. While you may disagree with my conclusions, history is filled with the story of countries that suffered because their leaders did wrong.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Recognize the signs of the times. Prepare for what God has shown us will come. Stand up for God’s values and principles and seek leaders who will do the same.

more to learn for in-depth study: Prophecy is an in-depth study we haven’t gotten to yet but here are a couple signs ignored by those who predicted Christ’s return earlier. Christ would return within the lifetime of the generation that saw the rebirth of Israel. The message of the Gospel would go throughout the world. Life would me much as it was in the time of Noah just before the flood (whether this includes the physical presence of giants is debatable). The mark of the beast, an unmistakable mark of loyalty would be possible. There are others but, these few have only occurred in recent times. In fact all of them occurred after WWII.

tomorrow: First Chronicles 24-27

falling behind

I am becoming an example of falling behind and trying to catch up. After the Revival I came down with a sinus infection that layer me out for a couple of days. With a temp going between 100 and 102 degrees I didn’t get on the computer so I never got caught up. I do apologize and am going to get you caught up as quick as I can.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

First Chronicles 17-20

God’s message to me: I have written elsewhere that all the key prophecies have been fulfilled for the end times. One is still in question. Christ said that just before the rapture it would be as it was in the days of Noah. While the sinfulness of man is certainly at that stage this is not the first time that has been true. One point about Noah’s time that people don’t normally consider is the presence of 6 fingered, 6 toed giants descended from the Nephalim. The spirits of these giants were imprisoned after their bodies were killed but are connected to several biblical accounts of demon possession. While we may not see physical giants the alternative would be more possessed people making serious trouble and taking positions of authority through the use of supernatural power. While some suspect this is already happening, the giants of Noah’s time were not in the habit of concealing their power. They used it brazenly. This is something we don’t see yet.

Promises: God will establish you for His name’s sake. If you are working in His will and acting in a manner that promotes Him you will find success to come much more naturally. He wants the world to see examples of His people prospering because of Him. You are not condemned to poverty by your Christianity. In fact God wants to make the whole world know His power through your success. Give Him the glory for the things He has done and you will find He enjoys doing them even more.

Commands: Recognize your place in things. David felt it was wrong that he should have great palaces and homes while the Tabernacle of the Lord was a tent. God told him that is was not for him to build a house for the Lord and that his son would accomplish that goal. David made certain to dedicate great riches to that task so that his son would be able to build the temple quickly and grandly with little wasted time. He did not attempt to step outside God’s will and build the temple himself. He did give God the praise for all his successes recognizing that all of his talents and abilities were from God and that he could do nothing without Him.

Timeless principles: I can do all things through Christ but I am nothing without God who made me. I have been blessed with talents and worked hard to learn skills but without God I could do none of what I have accomplished. He gave me the intellect to learn, the judgment and endurance to work and to lead, the talent for music and the voice for teaching. I am proud of my achievements and thankful to God for the ability to achieve.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Never forget where my abilities come from. Trust God to provide what I need to succeed and thank God for the abilities He gave that lead to every success.

more to learn for in-depth study: Giants are a bible theme rarely visited outside of the story of David and Goliath. Nephelim, Rephaim, Anakim, whatever name is given to refer to them they are of serious importance. Others have done in depth studies of the giants and I won’t try to pretend this brief comment covers the subject but you should learn from them. The Nephelim or fallen ones were angels sent to earth to teach man God’s ways. Having taken a human form these angels fell prey to temptation and took wives of the daughters of men. The result was the giants who were the mighty men of renown. These descendents of fallen angels had no place among men. They did not share the ability of man to find salvation in Christ. Many of the great destructions in the old testament were meant to wipe out this race. The flood, the genocide of some nations in the promised land, wars against the giants by the Edomites and other events mentioned not only in biblical history but the history of the world. Even the Native Americans tell stories of a race of red haired, pales skinned giants with 6 fingers per hand and 6 toes per foot. The practice of raising a hand in greeting is not just a Hollywood affectation. The natives of this land lived in fear of a 6 fingered race and the practice of raising a hand when greeting unknown people was to get a good look at how many fingers they had and to show they themselves had only 5.

tomorrow: First Chronicles 21-23

First Chronicles 13-16

God’s message to me: doing things the right way is more important than getting them done.

Promises: When things are done right God grant’s success and the joy and celebration that go with it.

Commands: God has a proper order for things. When things are done wrong it brings problems. When they are done right it brings rejoicing. Calling the Levites to handle moving the ark and preparing the Tabernacle was the proper order. When we do the wrong thing, even for the right reason, it is going to bring trouble. Uzzah being struck down for touching the Ark is an example.

Timeless principles: Music is a large and important part of worship. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord. The Israelites worshiped God with cymbals, trumpets, sounding brass, etc. The made a lot of noise and had a lot of fun. Why are some Christians so afraid of noisy and rambunctious music?

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Learn how God wants things done before rushing off to do His work. so many get so enthused that they rush into things without knowing what should be done and they get it wrong. It’s so much faster and easier to learn first then act.

tomorrow: First Chronicles 17-20

Thursday, April 30, 2009

First Chronicles 10-12

God’s message to me: It is important to understand the times. Past, present and future come together to form a picture we can use to understand our place in the world and God’s will for us. We are not of this world but we are in it and we are expected to effect it for the better. We cannot hope to do that unless we understand and act on the times.

1) Stand up for what God’s word tells us.
2) Stand up for the principles that protect our rights to worship and to teach the truth.
3) Stand up for God’s chosen people Israel.
4) Stand against those who label sin as personal choice.
5) Stand against those who demand we accept their “personal choice”.
6) Stand against those who redefine Christianity and Godliness as accepting everyone regardless of evil.
7) Stand up for the truth of the Gospel.

In the past few years I have heard leaders tell us that religion is the source of evil, that man is the source of law, that government is the source of wisdom, that Israel is a racist and evil state, that the US Constitution is an impediment to government and that the government can ignore the rights of the people when it is in the governments best interest(that last one is a supreme court decision regarding campaign finance reform). I see the present. I understand the past and how the progressives led us into the evils of Eugenics and Socialism while pulling us away from God. I see the future in the pages of scripture and know that Christ will return within my own life expectancy.

Promises: God’s word will tell us what is coming and what to do about it if we simply read it. While current events in the US may not be precisely predicted in scripture, the scripture can still be applied. Through it we know when what our leaders are doing is leading us in opposition to God. We can also see when the path our country is taking is right, wrong or even leading towards the end times.

Commands: Understand God’s word. When Saul was killed and David was made king there was a period of strife in the land because of those who didn’t understand or refused to acknowledge the prophecy of Samuel. Saul had disobeyed God in his first major act as king and was doomed by God to lose the kingdom. David was raised up to be Saul’s replacement. Those who knew and understood God’s will in the matter joined him immediately. Those who failed to keep up with what was going on found themselves on the wrong side of God’s will.

Timeless principles: Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it. The time of the Judges was a steady stream of Israelites repeating the same mistakes over and over again. The time of the kings was a steady stream of kings who followed God and kings who didn’t and history meaning nothing to most of them. Josiah learned history through the book of the law and mourned and prayed forgiveness for the sins of his fathers. Most kings served God or didn’t based on personality. Some would follow in their father’s footsteps while others did the opposite of their fathers. Few ever gave a glance at history or the idea of turning from God would scare them to death.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: Understand the times. 1 Chronicles 12:32 mentions that members of the tribe of Issachar, that understood the times, came to make David king. God commands us in many places to understand the times and to understand prophecy so that we can be prepared. Like the men of Issachar that did not come, we will no be prepared to do the right thing and avoid the wrong actions if we don’t know what is happening and what God has to say about it.

more to learn for in-depth study: Keeping up with current events, understanding politics, knowing prophecy and learning history are all things people tend to avoid. Without and understanding of history you cannot hope to understand the present or to know the future. (those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it) Without understanding current events you will find the world passes you by. Without understanding politics you will find others control your life and you don’t even know why. Without understanding prophecy you will not know how the other 3 subjects apply to God’s plan and how you should react to what is happening and what is coming.

tomorrow: First Chronicles 13-16

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First Chronicles 7-9

God’s message to me: God has a purpose, plan and place for me. While the genealogies may seem pointless and refer to people we don’t even know, they show the plan that brought great things. While the you may need to check center column references you will see many names you have heard before. Some people were known by other names and, translation sometimes resulted in different spellings over time but, the references can show you the name you are familiar with. You’ll see the line of king Saul, the line of the priests. The line of later kings and other lines to important figures, even prophets.

Promises: God planned things long before we got here. You can see through these genealogies the path that brought high priests and kings into power and provided a place for the prophets. You can see how that plan was developed over generations and began to take shape decades or even centuries before the major players were born.

Commands: Another command for Israel. Take a census every ten years. The US Constitution provides for a census every 10 years based on that command. For us it is a simple count of the population to establish political districts. In Israel it was an exercise in Genealogy. Keep in mind that these were not separate family trees. These are all part of the same family tree going back to Jacob (Israel) for the family of Israel and beyond to Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Esau and others because they are cousins to the brothers of Israel. The relationship of Israel towards Edom and the Ishmaelite was determined by their familial relationship. God commanded Israel not to harass them because they were brothers. Edom and the Ishmaelite weren’t quite as good about recognizing that reason for peace which led to conflict and eventual destruction for them as we will see.

Timeless principles: No matter how much we try to stand out as individuals, our heritage will always be a factor in our lives. Whether we are descended from royalty or rug makers, Whether our families were rich or coal miners, we are a product of our background. Family ties are generally the strongest and determine how we interact with others. Even if we don’t like our family we are stuck with them and the influence us.

How can I apply what I’ve learned: The genealogies become more interesting as we realize how they effected who was king and how different kings were influenced by family loyalties. We’ve seen the line of kings in Israel (Samaria) and Judah (Jerusalem), these genealogies make it easier to understand the family ties that caused people to chose different kings.

more to learn for in-depth study: As the genealogies bring us up to date on where the major players came from we approach the details of stories we already heard. King Saul is the first person we see in the next section and we will flesh out details for a great many more.

tomorrow: First Chronicles 10-12