1 Chronicles and the big picture background to the story

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This week’s podcast

Here are the notes:


1 Chronicles 1-9 covers the whole of world history and specifically the history of God’s people up until the end of King Saul’s life.  It does this by recording the family trees of key people with occasional, pithy commentary.

It would be helpful as we reach the point where things slow down just to recap on what that Big Story is.

Here are the key points:

  • Creation and Fall
  1. God creates a good world and places humanity in it to worship him and rule over it.
  2. Humans are tempted and rebel against God. They experience judgement -death and exile.
  • Flood
  1. Sinful humanity populates the world, filling it with evil.
  2. God sends a flood to wipe out creation as judgement.
  3. One man is discovered righteous, Noah.
  4. God rescues Noah, his family and representative animals on an ark.
  5. God makes the first covenant and gives the sign of the rainbow.
  6. After the Flood, people continue to rebel -building a tower at Babel in defiance.
  7. God scatters the people, confusing their languages.
  • Patriarchs
  1. God calls a man called Abram from Ur and promises him a land, descendants and blessing
  2. Abram’s name is changed to Abraham
  3. Abraham finally has a son, miraculously – called Isaac.
  4. Isaac has two sons, Esau (the elder) and Jacob the younger
  5. God chooses to bless Jacob ahead of Esau.
  6. God wrestles with Jacob and changes his name to Israel.
  7. Jacob has 12 sons who will become the heads of Tribes.
  8. The youngest son is sold as a slave to Egypt where he rises to become a leader.
  • Exile and Exodus
  1. Joseph’s brothers eventually come to Egypt looking for food. He forgives them and they settle there.
  2. A later Pharoah forgets Joseph and fears the people of Israel. He makes them slaves and attempts genocide.
  3. God raises up  a man called Moses to lead the people to freedom back in the land promised to Abraham.
  4. God sends plagues on Egypt as judgement.
  5. The people leave Egypt, crossing the red sea through a miracle.
  6. God provides food and water for them in the desert and there he gives them his Law.
  • Possessing the land
  1. Moses does not lead the people into the land, this task falls to a man called Joshua.
  2. The people quickly forget God and fall into idolatry.
  3. God sends in surrounding nations to attack the people as judgement.
  4. When the people cry out in repentance and ask for mercy, God raises up deliverers/judges who rescue and lead them for a time.
  5. The final judge/deliverer is a man called Samuel at a time when the main threat comes from the Philistines.
  6. The people are dissatisfied and demand to have a king instead of occasional judges.
  7. Samuel anoints Saul as King. 
  8. Saul fails to follow God wholeheartedly.  So God judges him and says the kingdom will be removed from his family.
  9. Samuel anoints a young shepherd, David as the next king. 
  10. When Saul fails to stand as Israel’s champion against the Philistine champion, Goliath, David steps in and kills the giant with a sling shot.
  11. Saul brings David into his court and sends him on military assignments but David’s popularity grows and Saul becomes jealous of him.
  12. Saul seeks to kill David and so he flees for safety.  Saul hunts him but is unable to kill him
  13. The Philistines launch a major invasion attempt and Saul foes out to do battle with them.  Samuel has died, so Saul seeks to call up his spirit, God seems to allow this but only for Samuel to confirm that judgement and disaster are coming.
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