Why Genealogies? (1 Chronicles 1-2)
The book of 1 Chronicles opens with a lengthy and detailed set of genealogies. However, these chapters (and the ones following) provide a lot more information than just a list of people. This book fills in many of the details that are missing from other books of the Old Testament. Originally just one volume called The Chronological Events of the Period in Hebrew, Chronicles was first broken out into two books when the work was initially translated into Greek. This translation titled the two volumes, The Things Left Out.
Large portions of this book include precise and in-depth genealogies. And while these genealogies can be useful in connecting up timing and lineage in God’s unbroken story of salvation, it also provides us with additional insight into how God wants us to read the Bible. We live in a time when we are told that the Bible needs to be taken metaphorically, that it’s riddled with errors but contains some wisdom that’s useful. And while there is a precise account of the creation story included in Genesis, we are told that it’s just a myth to provide some general sense of introduction to the Bible at large. However, when we read through the genealogies in 1 Chronicles, it becomes quite clear. God communicates His Word to us with great precision and the timing and order of His Word must be taken literally. Otherwise, why does He go to such great efforts to establish it? As such, the extensive genealogies found in our reading today can be used both for in-depth research of the nation of Israel, as well as an inspiring reminder to us that God has given us, through the Bible, a precise telling of history with critical details that He wants us to know. The earth is young. God promised to deliver a Messiah through the lines of Abraham and David, and that is exactly what He did – the genealogies prove it. What an amazing God we serve! He loves us enough to send His Son to die for us but has also preserved these important details from history and shared them with us in the pages of the Bible.