In reading the books of 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles, there is an unavoidable feeling that the events, people, and places are familiar. It is, as James Newsome Jr. wrote, very much like reading the synoptic Gospels 1. Whilst individual and unique in many ways, the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles are telling the same story at the core: that of the Hebrew monarchies.
As we move through them Day by Day we will take a deep dive into many topics; work, politics, economics, religion, faith, victory, defeat, sin, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. Along with the titular characters we will read of soldiers, commanders, judges, elders, parents, families, and all manner of people.
Samuel and Kings seeks to answer the question “why are we in exile?” for the people and Chronicles seems to give them a much broader and further reaching history from which to learn after their exile is over. Chronicles, then, whilst talking of some of the same events seeks to provide a “what now?” for the people.
In all the books we will see the continuing grand narrative of Scripture and God’s passionate pursuit of His people and in looking at the role of the King (key to the six books) we will do our best to learn from them in both their triumphs and their defeats. At the same, however, time we really want to be looking ahead to the truer and better King of God’s people that all Scripture bears witness to (cf. Luke 24.44-47).
I’m sure that working through these six rich and fascinating books will be a journey filled with discovery, challenge, and conviction, but one certainly worth taking. I hope you will take it with me!
1 – synoptic – presenting or taking the same or common view.
Newsome Jr., D. A Synoptic Harmony of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles