Like the Books of Samuel and Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles were originally one book, according to Jewish tradition. However, the Chronicles are not simply a repeat of the history already recorded in the books of Samuel and Kings. The book of Chronicles was written to remind the nation of their entire history, and of their position among other nations, emphasizing the history of priestly worship from the death of Saul to the end of the Babylonian captivity. The Chronicles contain more detail on the organization of public worship, of religious ceremonies, of Levites and singers, and of the relationship of kings to the worship of God, than does the book of Kings. The history of the northern kingdom is omitted from the Chronicles because the northern kingdom had no bearing on the development of the true worship of God in Jerusalem.
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. 1 Chronicles 28:20
What did David tell his son Solomon, that many of the kings that followed did not remember?
Even as the kings and people generally forgot God, God in His mercy sent prophets to remind them that God was still there. The chart below identifies all the kings of both Israel and Judah and the prophets that were active during their respective reign.
For the most part, Ezra covers the events of the Jews returning from the Babylonian captivity. The decline of Babylon and its eventual overthrow by the Persians enable the Jews to return to Jerusalem after seventy years as captives. The Jews are numbered and are allowed to return to Judah to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. Samaritan assistance is rejected and their opposition is a contributing factor to the slow progress of the Temple construction. Despite the delays, the Temple is completed and dedicated to God during this period.
And And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. Ezra 3:11
The remnant of a once great nation was still greatly oppressed. It was only with distress that they rebuilt the temple. Why did they rejoice at as time like this in their history?
That was then, does GOD regard Israel the same today?
The book of Nehemiah begins with Nehemiah returning from Babylon as Governor of Jerusalem appointed by Artaxerxes king of Persia. He plans and oversees the rebuilding of the city walls despite the discouraging opposition and disunity within the Jewish population. The wall is completed and more exiles are returned and registered as Jewish citizens. Nehemiah's dedication to God drives him to make several religious reforms. A public reading of the Law and arrangements for worship are among these reformations. This book is of great encouragement to us to be dedicated to the work of God. Nehemiah shows us how to have a great passion for the truth of God's word, whatever the cost.
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1 Timothy 4:14-16
What about today.should we be dedicated to the work of the LORD? Why?
The book of Ruth is dated to the period of the Judges. It shows that in a time of national decline and immorality, God preserved a remnant that would serve as the core for a future revival. This would be accomplished in Ruth's descendant, David, from whom the Messiah would come. This story shows us that while the rest of the world may abandon the right ways of the LORD and live in darkness, there are still pockets of people who remain close to GOD, and in whose lives the light of GOD's love shines. While the rest of the world lives in selfishness, there are good men and women who are willing to commit themselves sacrificially to others and, of course, to GOD. It is thought that the book was written after the period of the Judges and describes customs of that time period.
The book is a love story where Boaz redeems his bride Ruth by paying a price.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Galatians 3:13
We as "the bride of Christ" are redeemed as well. How was that accomplished?
Esther is an historical book, written during the period of the captivity. It records the plot of Haman, the prime minister to the Persian king, to exterminate the Jewish race. Esther, the queen of Persia, who was a Jewess, foils this plot. Behind this story is the providence of God. He is not working miracles, or speaking through prophets --just working gently, invisibly, quietly, keeping his promises, making all things to work together for good . This book gives us the origin of the Feast of Purim, which celebrates God's goodness in delivering the Jews from Haman.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
As believers in Jesus, does GOD work out everything in our lives for good. just like Esther?