I was looking at my scheduled posts for today and Wednesday – and groaned: 1 Chronicles 1-2 today and 1 Chronicles 3-5 on Wednesday. Really? They’re mostly genealogies! Talk about a very, very dry reading.
But God’s word always gives us something if we are careful to look between the lines.
What do these names mean to us? David Guzik said that “The steady repetition of the names may seem to be an irrelevant blur to the modern reader, but they have an important place in God’s plan of the ages. If nothing else, they demonstrate the reality of prior generations and our connection to both them and God’s broader plan – just as a walk through a graveyard can speak the same things to us.” Guzik then quoted F.B. Meyer, “This is an ancient graveyard. The names of past generations who were born and died, who loved and suffered, who stormed and fought through the world, are engraven on these solid slabs. But there is no inscription to record their worth or demerit. Just names, and nothing more.”
Just names and nothing more.
To us maybe, but to God, well, to God there’s always something more.
As I glanced at the names in this book, I thought about our names in another book – particularly the Lamb’s Book of Life. I read about this in my Revelation class and decided to dig deeper. It turns out that Scripture gives us not just one but five books that will be opened at the Bema Seat Judgment (not to be confused with the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. You wouldn’t want to be at the Great White Throne Judgment, no, ma’am).
- Book of the Living (Psalm 69:28) – check, because my faith is in Jesus and His redemptive work at the Cross, so yes, I’m in;
- Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 20:12) – check, again because of Jesus;
- Book of Tears (Psalm 56:8; 2 Kings 20:5) check, I just know my name has a lot of entries on this one;
- Book of Deeds (Daniel 7:10) – uhm, this one is tricky….; and
- Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16) check, yes, thank you, Jesus.
Let us leave the books for a moment to answer the question: what exactly is the Bema Seat Judgment? 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us that all Christians must appear before Christ at this judgment to receive a review of all the things they have done in their bodies, “whether it be good or bad.” The outcome of this judgment will determine their place, their role, their status and their position in the coming Millennial Kingdom. (Missler)
We should not look at the judgment seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather as God rewarding us for our lives. Yes, as the Bible says, we will have to give an account of ourselves. Part of this is surely answering for the sins we committed. However, that is not going to be the primary focus of the judgment seat of Christ.
At the judgment seat of Christ, believers are rewarded based on how faithfully they served Christ (1 Corinthians 9:4-27; 2 Timothy 2:5). Some of the things we might be judged on are how well we obeyed the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), how victorious we were over sin (Romans 6:1-4), and how well we controlled our tongues (James 3:1-9)…” from gotquestions.org
How well we controlled our tongues. Ouch.
Back to the books.
Chuck Missler noted that there are two “books of life” in which Christ will use in order to judge our lives fairly (Exodus 32:32–33; Psalm 139:16). These will tell the absolute truth about our lives. They will reveal our motives, our doctrine, our works, our stewardship, our service, our accountability, and our sanctification. Each of these areas will be scrutinized.
Matthew 10:26–27 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
The passage suggests that this judgment might be visible. Missler noted that it means, all will see and all will know the outcome. It says everything that is covered and hidden now will be revealed and out in the open there:
With that in mind, how then shall we live the rest of our days now? Before we are just names etched in a tombstone? While we live, we are still part of God’s story. God is still writing names into those books. When you come face to face with God, what do you want those books to say about you?
Luke 12:2–3 .Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]