1 Chronicles 10:13-14 and Seeing History Clearly

Sauls_deathI have to admit, sometimes I have a difficult time reading 1 and 2 Chronicles. Yes, there are some different details than 1 and 2 Kings, but a lot of times it seems just like a retelling of the same stories. However, this time I was reading I realized something different. Look at this passage once we get through all the genealogies:

Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord and hadn’t followed the Lord’s word. He even consulted a medium for guidance.  He didn’t consult the Lord, so the Lord killed him and gave the kingdom to David, Jesse’s son.

This is different. There is no reminder that Saul was “the Lord’s anointed.” There is no reference to David and Jonathan’s friendship. There is no mention that David served Saul, ran from Saul, and was still loyal to Saul. No, this passage is short and to the point: Saul greatly disobeyed God, so the kingdom was given to David.

Both 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles were written after the events happened. They both know of the exile because of the unfaithfulness of the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. Yet it seems that Chronicles takes a much more direct approach. There is no pretense left in trying to show some semblance of faithfulness. Having suffered for seventy years in exile, the author of Chronicles has no problem calling sin a sin and showing the consequences of those sins. I get the feeling in Kings that there is still some effort at justification for the sinful actions of many of the people, but that is not present in Chronicles.

Sometimes in our own lives the best way to move forward is to see ourselves more like the author of Chronicles–call sinful actions what they are without trying to justify or sugar-coat them. Only then can real repentance and growth come. Only then can we begin to see real development of our souls further into the image and likeness of Christ.

When we can see our own history clearly, we can repent and move forward.

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