While reading the selective genealogies found at the beginning of 1 Chronicles, take some time to reflect on how much scriptural ground you have covered. Many of these names should be familiar to you because you have invested the time to attend to God’s story. Also, use this reading to brush up on what you might have forgotten (e.g., “Oh right, Canaan is a son of Ham”). The names and people groups are important in order to remember what has gone before, but these also prepare us for what lies ahead.

The more we understand about the peoples in the ancient Near East, their family divisions, and their hostilities, the more the stage is properly set for our readings in the prophets and the New Testament. Through these genealogies, we recognize God’s work over a thousand years of history. When we read these names, they rise and fall, but God is the one constant.

And God is still constant for us today, working history out to satisfy His people. This is a list of people with messy stories, with many chaotic events along the way. God’s constancy in working redemption remains. As we read history in the Chronicles we do more than learn; we are given reason to be thankful that God is in charge amid the vicissitudes of history.