11/29 Reading (2 Chronicles 1-3; Romans 14)

Introduction to 2 Chronicles: This book begins with the Solomon’s reign and shifts to focus on the history of Judah during the divided monarchy and exile. I noticed that there is no mention of the Northern Kingdom in the introduction. This comes from the NRSV introduction: “The writer excludes the independent history of the Northern Kingdom because he regards both the kingship and the sanctuaries of this new state as an affront to God (13.4–12)” (p. 617). Kinda harsh.

As I have probably said before, I’m not the biggest fan of Chronicles. It only presents the good stuff. I find this troubling, especially if today this was all that someone read. You would miss a lot if you only read Chronicles.

2 Chronicles 1: The first nine chapters of 2nd Chronicles focuses on Solomon’s rule. This chapter starts with Solomon meeting God for the first time. It was during this meeting that God told Solomon he could ask for anything and get it. Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge. It’s actually a really smart move on his part. God also gives Solomon a tremendous amount of wealth.

Such a contrast from the New Testament where wealth doesn’t seem to be as valued as it was in the OT.

2 Chronicles 2: Solomon prepares for the building of the temple. This chapter includes a letter Solomon sent to King Huram of Tyre. According to the this differs from the account found in 1 Kings 5 in that King Huram reached out to Solomon instead of Solomon reaching out to King Huram. Pretty interesting. I do wonder why the Chronicler felt the need to present this in a different way.

2 Chronicles 3: In this chapter Solomon builds the Temple. The text describes the opulence of the Temple in detail. Again, I find it so interesting how the OT seemed to stress wealth whereas the NT seemed to do the exact opposite.

Romans 14: Pretty much Paul’s message of this chapter is to respect each other’s differences. He focused on the way the Jews and Gentiles treat food and the days of the week as examples showing their differences. He argues for the importance of welcoming each other even their cultural differences. I like how this chapter ends:

19 So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up. 20 Don’t destroy what God has done because of food. All food is acceptable, but it’s a bad thing if it trips someone else. 21 It’s a good thing not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that trips your brother or sister. 22 Keep the belief that you have to yourself—it’s between you and God. People are blessed who don’t convict themselves by the things they approve. 23 But those who have doubts are convicted if they go ahead and eat, because they aren’t acting on the basis of faith. Everything that isn’t based on faith is sin. (CEB Bible, Romans 14:19-23)

So…this definitely resonates to what is currently going on in American society. We have a large percentage of people, many who most likely identify as Christian, screaming that we shouldn’t accept immigrants from particular countries (actually, it’s easy to argue that the emphasis is on Islam, but no need to go there now). Many also argue that marriage is damaged in our country because of same-sex marriage. Others argue against scientific areas like evolution. There are several more examples, but I think it’s important to look at these groups and see how these actions are Christian. I definitely don’t think they are, but instead of just judging people, perhaps we could talk again.  

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