For example, reading a good harmony of the Gospels gives a well rounded picture of the life of Christ, seeing how each passage (event, parable, sermon, miracle, etc.) fits into the overall account of Jesus' life. It is also interesting to see how they differ. Each Gospel presents Christ from a different perspective (with some overlap): Matthew presents Jesus as King of Kings; Mark as the Servant; Luke as the Perfect Man; and John as the Son of God. Each Gospel writer included material that reinforces the special emphasis the Holy Spirit wanted in their Gospel - and what is omitted also adds to the development of this picture. Every reading through of these books - whether reading them side by side or separately - always opens up the life of Christ a little more to our view.
The same thing can be said with reading the books of Samuel/Kings and Chronicles. For about half of the time I have been reading through the Bible, I have read these books side by side to see how all the kings and their reigns fit together, see how each event and person adds to the overall view, supplements it. But the last few times through these books, I have also thought to look for contrasts, noticing that Samuel/Kings focusses more on the kingdoms and families of the kings than does Chronicles - it seems to be more from a political or earthly view; whereas the books of Chronicles are focussing more on the spiritual aspects of each king's reign, especially in regards to the Temple and their walks with the Lord (or lack thereof!).
Just recently I was trying to figure out some differences, such as why Kings contains the repentance of Ahab and Chronicles contains the repentance of Manasseh - and why they were not both found in the same book. What I came up with (and feel free to disagree) is that Kings covers Ahab's repentance because that is the reason the Lord withheld His judgment on the Northern Kingdom until the next generation - He had mercy on Ahab and this resulted in his kingdom being spared temporarily. On the other hand, Manasseh's repentance AND salvation is clearly shown in Chronicles, and the book goes on to relate his spiritual condition and the spiritual changes he sought to make in the realm as a result of his true repentance. I'm sure there is more to glean from both those accounts, but this is just some of what I noticed this time through.
Tonight I noticed two things about king David's reign:
1) 2 Samuel 11 and 12 covers the account of David's adultery with Bathsheba, and then the consequences of David's sin.
2 Samuel 11:1-4 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
The rest of 2 Samuel shows the outcome of this sin in the lives of David's children - Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar, Absalom takes his revenge and flees, later comes back and tries to take over the kindgom, resulting in his death, then his brother Adonijah later tries to usurp the kingdom as well. The problems in king David's family because of his sin and compromise, and the political manouvering of his children.
But when we come to Chronicles, all we see is this statement:
1 Chronicles 20:1 And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.
The sin of David's adultery is not mentioned - it is forgiven and wiped away. (Remember Chronicles is dealing with the kings' reigns from God's perspective - looking at their reigns spiritually. David's sin in numbering the people IS mentioned, but that account was essential in laying the background for the Temple being situated where it was - on the site of the threshing floor of Ornan.)
2) The second difference I noticed this time through was in the accounts regarding God's covenant with David and his kingdom.
2 Samuel 7:11b-16 Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
In the passage quoted above, God refers to David's immediate seed, his son Solomon - and the fact that God would chastise him for his iniquity, but that his kingdom would remain.
Notice the contrast in Chronicles:
1 Chronicles 17:11-14 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
Here reference is made to David's greater Seed, the Lord Jesus Christ. No mention of sin, because Jesus would never sin. His throne would be established forever. Reminds me of Isaiah 9:6-7 - "of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end."
I noticed a few months back that it was Chronicles that told of the reasons why God struck down Uzza, referring back to the book of Leviticus.
It is Chronicles that tells us the organization of the temple worship.
Chronicles that tells us specifically that it was Satan that enticed king David to number the people contrary to God's way of doing it (ie. counting the nation's military might, rather than spiritual might by taking the redemption money required for each male numbered).
Chronicles that mentions that the Temple was built on Mount Moriah (where Abraham offered Isaac as a type of Christ).
Chronicles that tells of the victory of Jehoshaphat in the Valley of Blessing (Berachah), when he sent his singers out before the army, and the Lord won the battle for them that day when they sang and praised Him.
Chronicles that tells of Hezekiah's cleansing and rededication of the Temple, the rebuilding of the altar, the song in his heart while the fire consumed the burnt offering on the altar - so many spiritual lessons in this one chapter alone! (See my next Blog entry for my devotional, The Song Of The Altar.)
I look forward to learning more this time through - back to Chronicles...