(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, when you read 1 Chronicles, you get greeted with a long set of genealogies. It's the genealogy of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and you may wonder why is that genealogy there? Well, it’s really meant to highlight the genealogy of two tribes, the tribe of Levi and the tribe of Judah. Levi, the tribe of Levi, is that priestly line; and the tribe of Judah is that royal line; and why are those lines highlighted? Because God again is reminding us of what this story is about.
This story is about the biography of a Priest and the biography of a King, happens to be the same person, the Priest King Jesus who is the ultimate mediator. He is not only the one who makes the sacrifice, He is the sacrifice, and He is the King of kings who invites us into His Kingdom, a kingdom not of this world, a kingdom where He rules our hearts. You get that time in this moment of genealogy, pushing us toward the coming of the Kingdom Priest.
You see a couple of other things; you see Solomon’s quest for wisdom. Solomon doesn't get wisdom because he had earned God's favor; he got wisdom because he already had God's favor. Wisdom is a gift of grace.
You see the awesome moment where the temple is finally built, and a fire comes down from heaven, and the glory of God is now living amongst His people. God chooses to dwell in the middle of His people even though His people could never earn, achieve, or deserve the right of His presence. His presence is a constant sign of the glory of His grace. You can't think of that Shekinah Glory filling the temple without realizing that God's plan is that His presence would not be just in one temple in one place, but we would become the temple of God, the place where God dwells, where He is wherever His people are.
Sadly, you see, in 1 and 2 Chronicles, a nation in decline; the end is near; and before long, this nation is taken in captivity. It’s another moment where you think, “Is the story over; is this the last chapter?” How could it be that Israel would be gone? How could it be that Jerusalem would be gone? How could it be? You wonder, “Is God faithful to His promise? Does God hear the cries of His people? What is going on with the plan of God? How could evil triumph over good? Is God really sovereign?”
These are the questions, the deep theological questions of these passages of Scripture. These questions are forced onto us. You're meant to ask those questions. You're meant in moments to say, “Where is God? What is He doing? Is He sovereign? Does He care? Is He near? Are His promises faithful?”
Because asking those questions as you read through the Old Testament will prepare you to ask those questions in your life. There will be moments where you will say, “Where is God? What is He doing?” And the way you answer those questions will determine everything in your life. Nation in decline! Is God here? Does He hear? Does He care? Lord, where are you?