I Heard You the First Time
When I was growing up, I remember that my parents had a habit of repeating certain instructions to me. “Alright, alright”, I would say back to them, “I heard you the first time!” Little did I know that I would end up doing the same thing with my own kids later in life! Perhaps only then did I understand why: I repeated myself, not only to make sure they heard it, but also to communicate how important I considered the message to be that I was communicating!
Sometimes when we read the Old Testament for the first time, the question might come up in our minds, “Why are there two narratives about the history of Israel – “Kings” and “Chronicles”?” Well, generally speaking, God is doing something similar to what I described above.
First of all, He is indeed making sure that we ‘heard it the first time’. He is even putting into practice His own principle that an event witnessed, and being considered as to its truthfulness, needs to be confirmed “in the mouth of two or more witnesses”. (See Matthew 18:15-17).
Secondly, He is stressing the importance of the message being communicated. The Old Testament – including in this case Israel’s history – is the ‘branch upon which we are sitting’ as Christians, theologically speaking. In fact, our entire view of the world, and of mankind, and of God Himself, presupposes that the history of Israel is true!
But what is the message being communicated through the history of Israel? Simply this: If the Jewish nation couldn’t faithfully and consistently walk with God while having the advantage of His prophets, priests, and Kings, than neither can we who are not Jewish. We all need a Savior – and that Savior is Jesus!