1st and 2nd Kings

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The most important facts about the formation of the world are found in the history contained in the Book of Kings. Kings was originally written in Hebrew and both 1 & 2 books of Kings were just one book.  Our Lord told king David that he would have a son who would be king and build a temple, and the book of Kings shows that prophecy fulfilled. The Lord appeared to a twenty year old kid named Solomon in a dream. “Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted.  So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil.” (1 Kings 3:7)

God was pleased with what Solomon asked for and He filled Solomon with all the Wisdom of God. This young king at the age of 21 wisely delegated tasks and made provisions for his vast kingdom without wearing out the people or the land.  He was the exalted ruler, and yet he remained approachable by the common people. The way in which he wisely dealt with the two prostitutes became legendary. Rulers from all around came to seek his advice. (1 Kings 3:16-27) God most certainly gave young Solomon supernatural wisdom to navigate the complex nation of Israel.  Our loving Father has also given us the Book of Proverbs, and also the powerful Holy Spirit so that we might navigate through this fallen world. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the experts….yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom” ( 1 Corin 1:18-25)  Let that wisdom sink into your heart, soul and gut.

God did not download information to Solomon so that he would be wise.  God downloaded the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Who is God’s wisdom. “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting.” (James 1:5-6)

Have you asked to receive Jesus Christ into your heart with faith?  Has your desire to know God personally been fulfilled? Have you envied the success or joy of another? Perhaps it is time to confess it, and not deny it, for God knows the contents of our hearts anyway.  Nothing is hidden from our Father.

God knew that Solomon’s heart was not like king David’s heart. “Who is wise and has understanding among you? If you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy an good fruits, without favoritism or hypocrisy.” (James 4:13-17)

We learn that Solomon received his religious training from Nathan the Prophet. His dad David was not the one who disciplined him. The hopeful charge from king David was full of promise. (1 Kings 2:1-9) Solomon’s reign began with a blaze of glory and stunning accomplishments. Our heavenly Father was not impressed. Above all, God desires our obedience, our faithfulness to His Word. God pens this report of Solomon. “His heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (1 Kings 11:4).   During his reign, the kingdom reached it’s height of grandeur and yet after Solomon died, God ceased to rule His people through kings placed in power.

There are many great stories tucked within the midst of the book of Kings. One story of great faith is found in 2nd Kings. It is about a wealthy woman who invited Elisha, a holy man of God to stay for a meal every time he passed through her village. Every time Elisha came, she fed him food as he fed her spirit with the things of God. She said to her husband “Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.” (2 Kings 4:10-36)

Elisha noted her kindness and he inquired what he could do for her. The Shunammite woman was barren.  “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.” A son was born, then he died and as the mother was full of faith in God, after her son’s death she quickly saddled up a donkey to go meet the man of God. She assured her husband “It’s alright” and when she met Elisha’s servant Gehazi she assured him “Everything is all right”. When the woman reached Elisha she took hold of his feet. What happened next? Her faith resulted in her son being brought back to life!!! It is a true story, full of promise. Read it and allow it to strengthen your faith in what God does for those who believe in His Word, power and mercy.

The book begins with the building of Solomon’s Temple where the Ark of the Covenant was placed.  Sadly, the book of Kings ends with the destruction of the Temple. The kingdom of God was divided because of a feud.  The Southern Kingdom was Judah with 20 kings, while the Northern Kingdom of Israel had 19 kings. The feud was born out of jealousy between the tribes of Ephraim (Israel) and Judah.  It began when Jacob gave Ephraim ( the son of Joseph)  his blessing (Genesis 48:19)

Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim and he boldly led God’s people into the promised land. God anointed a shepherd from Judah to be king, and David transferred the authority from Ephraim to Judah.  As God’s word makes it clear “David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.” (2 Sam 5:4-5) All tribes are made up of God’s people whom He called “Israel”. “Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel and he passed out his blessing which identified the 12 tribes of Israel.

“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.” (Gen 49:1). David’s son king Solomon was all wise, but his character was lacking.  Solomon’s unfaithfulness to God demanded judgment. (1 Kings 11:26 – 12:4)  When Solomon’s son Rehoboam threatened to collect more tax, his unwise actions added fuel to a fire that had been burning for 300 years. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained faithful to Solomon while the remaining 10 tribes revolted. Jeroboam was a man of low origin but because of his faithful service, the prophet Abijah gave a revelation to Jeroboam. “See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes.” (1 Kings 11:31)  The kingdom of God’s chosen people was divided because of sin and it has remained divided for 3,000 years.  God’s righteousness judgment fell upon Solomon as a result of his long years of pride.  Indeed, pride came before the fall of Israel into captivity (2 Kings 17 and 25).

The GOOD NEWS is that Israel is going to be reunited on this earth as Jesus returns in His blaze of glory! (Isaiah 11:10-13; Ezekiel 37:17-28).  The ministry of Elijah is found in 1 Kings 17-22; and 2 Kings 1:1-2:2.  Elijah was a bolt of fire that God let loose upon wicked Ahab and the idolatrous land of Israel.  His name Elijah means “Jehovah is my God.” His undaunted courage, zeal and his triumph on Mount Carmel, along with his glorious rapture into heaven  makes him the most outstanding prophet. Elijah then reappears on the mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. (Matthew 17:1-8).

His understudy was the prophet Elisha. He was known as the prophet of grace, love and tender mercy.  This is in direct contrast to Elijah, the prophet of judgment, law and severity.  Elisha’s miracles were deeds of kindness and mercy as he had great influence on the kings of the day. The book of Kings was written while the first Temple was still standing. This book is a continuation of the books of Samuel.  It is a detailed account of the events during the reign of Solomon and all the succeeding kings of Judah and Israel. The books of 1st an 2nd Kings covers a period of 400 years.—

Jeroboam was the ruler of the Northern kingdom of Israel and he is remembered repeatedly in scripture “Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin.” His life is a warning to all who read the Bible. “Beware” of man-made religion! After 200 years, the people of Israel were carried into captivity by the king of Assyria in 722 B.C. The Assyrians were cruel warriors who skinned men alive, cut out their tongues, drove spikes through the eyes as they dismembered bodies and made mounds of skulls. For 300 years Assyria was a world empire.

There was a continuous war between the North and the South kingdoms.  When the son of Jehoshaphat married the daughter of Ahab, the North and the South found peace for 80 years before they were captured.  The secret to the downfall of the Jewish people is found in 2 Kings 3:2 “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”  The lesson is simple, be loyal to God, submit and obey. Our actions are judged by our holy God and the consequence of sin is death. “They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left,  and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel..” (2 Kings 17)

King Solomon’s impressive cabinet included 4 priests; Zadok, Abiathar, Azariah son of Zadok, and Zabud. Benaiah was the Commander of the army. Ahishar was the Manager of Solomon’s palace. Elihoreph and Ahijar were his secretaries. Jehoshaphat was the historian, while Azariah son of Nathan was in charge of his 12 regional Managers.  Solomon’s greatest accomplishment was the building of the temple on the historic site of Mount Moriah, where Abraham offered up Isaac. (Genesis 22:2)  “And Solomon commenced to build the House of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where He had appeared to his father David.” (2 Chron 3:1) We are living in historical times, in prophetic times. Watch God using His anointed President spread “Good News”.

LESSON: Learn from your ancestors mistakes.

Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.  All rights reserved. Finished 4/18/19

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu responds to President Trump recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights: Published March 22, 2019 “We are deeply grateful for the U.S. support.”

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