I’ve been reading the Book of Chronicles this week. It is easy to get bogged down in that one. (The two books were originally one.) All those lists of names I can’t pronounce! So, I stopped reading and asked God, “Why did you include this in the Bible.”

God doesn’t usually answer my “why” questions with an actual answer. But this one wasn’t a whiny, why-did-this-happen-to-me?. It was a real question. I’m not sure He answered. I’m careful about tagging a “God said” onto anything. I know how easy it is to deceive oneself into believing God really did say it would be okay to do something that I want to do. Like, “God told me I could quit my hateful job and sponge off my parents till I find something that’s a better fit.” (None of my real-life children ever pulled that card, so I’m safe using it as an example.)

Anyway, I turned to my study Bible and read the background of the Book of Chronicles. I probably knew this once, but it has slipped into the mist along with the names of people I should know but can’t recall when I meet them on the street. The chronicler wrote down all those lists while his people were in exile.

That makes a difference.

He was living in a foreign land, far removed from the Holy City and the rituals of worship that made God’s people a people. And, he didn’t want anyone to forget. He wrote for future generations, “You are not a child of the foreign gods. You are the daughter of Felicity (or Serenity or Charity) who is the daughter of Kathy, who is the daughter of Virginia, who is the daughter of Viola, and so forth.

In other words, “Even though we live in this crazy world with all its influences and pressures, don’t forget who you are.”

I love the Book of Chronicles.