Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bible Historical Books: Writing History as a Calling from God

If you love history as much as I do, you will have noticed that many primary historical sources are written to praise historical figures or to curry favor or to show the historian's skillz. Not so, the Bible histories. I'm not sure but I think they are the first historical documents written that shows one's nation's history -- warts and all. Probably because they were written by prophets or scribes who were priests.

Looking through the books of Samuels I+II, Kings, I+II, and Chronicles  I+II, one sees king after king -- even the good ones-- who do good, evil and a mixture of both. We see cause and effect...and can even figure our why certain historical and personal events happen in their lives...we can even understand why some of the good kings died so badly...and can even pin-point the moment they sealed their fate by doing some subtly ungodly act. Yep, even the subtle little not-so-bad things have some major consequence.

It definitely shows God is very involved in the lives of kings...and no doubt in the lives of commoners. It shows the power of curses uttered over one's self and by one's ancestors.

These prophetic historicans didn't even have to have insight (I think) about why certain events happened. God simply told them.

Sometimes we Christians go about saying they don't know why something bad happened in their lives, or we say something bad happened out of the blue, or we say God isn't working in our lives. But the histories show God is always working in our lives. Sure, the book is about kings but i suspect the same forces are  working in ours. We are led to either think that stuff happens for no reason at all or that there are spiritual causes working...stuff we might have done in this life, stuff our ancestors have done, etc.

A) I'm not saying God does everything. B) I'm not saying we are the cause of everything that has happened in our lives. C) I'm not saying that we personally deserve everything that happens but I am saying that everything really bad or good that happens seems to have a reason. Either because the king was not close to God or listening to God and some demonic force was fighting against the king and the king was unprepared (or made the wrong response.) Or the king made an ungodly decision (or two or three) and planted a seed which caused him to reap something really bad in the end. Or the king's ancestor did something and the curse fell upon the king.

Whatever the reason, I've got to give kudos to the Prophets and Priests who wrote the chronicles. They listened to God's spirit and were honest in their depictions of the kings. Even David, who was so loved, is shown in his horrible humanness. Pretty good history-writing for back in the day, I think.

When the kings listened to God
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