May 23 | Daily Devotion

May 23 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“All Israel was listed in the genealogies recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. They were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness.” ~1 Chronicles 9:1

The theme of 1 Chronicles is fully developed in today’s reading. As we have already established, Chronicles was written sometime during the exile in order to give the people of God hope. The Chronicler reminds these descendants of Adam and Abraham that they have a family, a land, and important work to do for the Lord. Their ultimate purpose is still the worship of God, and they will be restored.

The Chronicler circles back to the story of Israel’s first king, Saul, as a means of relaying both a word of hope and a gentle warning. He writes, quite explicitly, the reason why the people were exiled: “They were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness” (1 Chron. 9:1). Later, he reminds them that “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord” (1 Chron. 10:13). God has not forgotten them, and now they have been warned not to forget God.

The Hebrew word translated unfaithfulness in the NIV is the same word that is used when a spouse is unfaithful to his or her marriage covenant. It conveys the idea of a commitment broken. Israel’s unfaithfulness is in the past, but the people are meant to keep in mind that the consequences of betraying God are devastating. Exile isn’t the only possible result of unfaithfulness though. The Jewish leaders who tried to kill Jesus Christ in today’s reading in John practiced a brand of religion that was all about self. Their unfaithfulness to God’s Word so twisted their minds that the truth, Jesus in the flesh, was staring them in the face and they didn’t see it.

The history that the Chronicler imparts is our history, too. We have great reason to hope because we are part of the family of God and have not been cast aside. Likewise, the lessons he lays out apply to us. Our family has been unfaithful, and we too will be tempted to be unfaithful to the God who made and saved us. And just as our family members endured difficulty because of their unfaithfulness, we too may encounter trouble when we betray the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-13). Let us pray in all humility the words of the hymn writer: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.” May the Lord help us to remain faithful to Him!


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.