A prayer to use before reading from the Book of Common Worship:
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
You will find and introduction and outline to Chronicles here.
An Outline of First and Second Chronicles ( from Allen)
I. 1 Chronicles 1:1-9:34 Israel: Elect and Inclusive, Unfaithful but Restored
II. 1 Chronicles 9:35- 2 Chronicles 9:31 The Reigns of David and Solomon
III. 2 Chronicles 10:1-28:27 The Divided Kingdom
A. 10:1-12:16 Rehoboam’s Checkered Reign
B 13:1-16:14 Trusting the True God in Times of Crisis
C. 17:1-21:1a Jehoshaphat Chooses and Loses the Lord’s Presence:In the middle of this section on the divided kingdom, Jehoshaphat receives four chapters worth of attention. Jehoshaphat is presented as a strong ruler, although not without failings. Chronicles contains material about Jehoshaphat not found in Kings.
17:1-19 Jehoshaphat’s reign. Notice how Jehoshaphat is portrayed. Recall that building projects, for the chronicler, signify God’s blessing. Also notice that Jehoshaphat sends out a delegation to instruct the people in the Law.
18:1-19:3 Alliance with Ahab of Israel. This story is also told in 1 Kings 22. In 1 Kings this story focuses on the distinction between true and false prophets and the death of Ahab. Here, the story warns against foreign alliances. According to chapter 17, Jehoshaphat didn’t need to make an alliance with Ahab and is chastised by Hanani for doing so.
19:4-11 Judicial Reform:Jehoshaphat continues his reforms and creates a judicial system based in following God.
20:1-21:1 Jehoshaphat’s Victorious Prayer: Jehoshaphat is faced with a crisis, an invasion of Judah. Verses 1-4 describe the situation along with Jehoshaphat’s and the people’s faithful response. Verses 5-13 are Jehoshaphat’s prayer. Then God’s response is given. After that, (v 18- 19) God is worshiped. Then Jehoshaphat and Judah do what God has told them to do and God defeats their enemies. Jehoshaphat and the people praise God before, during and after the battle.
What are the major theological themes reiterated in Jehoshaphat’s prayer?
Verse 31-37 tell us about the rest of Jehoshaphat’s reign and describe his second error.Once again Jehoshaphat joins with the king of Israel when he should not, this time in an economic venture.
Read More About It:
Here are several good sources to aid your reading of 1 and 2 Chronicles
Allen, Leslie C. “The First and Second Books of Chronicles: ” in The New Interpreter’s Bible Vol 3, Keck, Leander E. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press) 1999.
Anderson, Bernhard W., Katheryn Pfister Darr, Understanding the Old Testament Abridged fourth Edition. (Upper Saddle River,New Jersey: Prentice Hall) 1998.
Knoppers, Gary N.”1 Chronicles” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, Fully Revised 4 th Edition, Michael Cougan, ed. (New York:Oxford University Press) 2010.
Stinespring, William F. and Burke O. Long “1 Chronicles” and “2 Chronicles” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books Metzger, Bruce M., Roland E. Murphy, eds.(New York: Oxford University Press) 1994.
Throntveit, Mark A. “I Chronicles” and “2 Chronicles” in HarperCollins Bible Commentary Mays, James L. ed.(San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco) 2000.