According to Fee and Stuart the book of Chronicles is,
a brilliant retelling of the story of Judah intended to give the present generation a sense of continuity with its great past and to focus on the temple and its worship as the place where that continuity could now be maintained’. How to Read the Bible Book by Book, page 101
In other words it draws from other portions of the Bible, especially 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings, which portray Israel’s history as an ever increasing spiral of sin and idolatry, which inevitably lead to exile. However, in contrast with these books, Chronicles reflects events and circumstances from a positive perspective. The authors intention was not to ‘rewrite’ history but to communicate where the community should find its identity; in God. It was written to answer the questions, ‘are we still in covenant, are we still God’s chosen people, and do we still fit into God’s plan?”.
While we in the West have not experienced exile per se, there is a well documented trend that the Church here is in decline. Also, there are many books written to explain the intricacies and development of this phenomenon. One message to come out of this research (especially those who look into the effects of Christendom) is that the Western Church has neglected or forgotten how to be missional into its own contemporary situation, therefore inevitably aiding to its own decline. While understanding the need and importance of this work, sometimes there is a negativity that overshadows any positive accomplishments. Could this be said to be a reading of history through the lenses of Kings? If so, do we need to try on the lenses of Chronicles to find some sense of continuity with the past, and therefore understand at a more profound level how the Western Church actively entered into Mission with God. In doing so we might be encouraged to see the extent our identity is found in Christ, become motivated to partake in the Spirit’s mission in bringing the restoration and reconciliation of God to the here and now.
What do you think?