I’m making my way through the first part of Chronicles, written in the fifth century BC when the exiles from Judah were allowed to return to their homeland. After decades of captivity in Babylon, it’s easy to imagine a haggard group of people returning home, looking somewhat dazed, and wondering what to do now. As the book invitation puts it, “Their capital city and its temple had been destroyed; they were no longer ruled by their own king; many of them had married people from other nations; and foreigners had settled in many parts of the land.”
Clearly, Israel was suffering from an identity crisis.
Were they still a distinct nation, called to a holy purpose? Or had the Lord tossed them by the wayside, intent on finding a different, better people group with which to carry his purposes forward?
It was time to take account of who they were.
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