I got home from a week long sleep away Camp in Linden (if your from Tennessee you know it) for me so I am going to make this light. Click here
- Why did Ramoth Gilead belong to Israel?
- Who is the King of Israel?
- Who is the King of Judah?
- Judah is willing to help Israel but what is the first thing Jehoshaphat asks for?
- Why does Ahab not like the prophet Micaiah?
- Why were all the prophets, prophesying victory for Ahab?
- Why did the King of Israel disguise himself?
- When Ahab died and in verse 38 it says “As the Lord declared” what prophecy was being fulfilled?
Let’s go back to Deuteronomy for a minute: Chapter 17:14-20. God said He was King, the people said No, they wanted a human King. SO God gave them what they asked for just to prove to them that human kings cannot measure up to God as King. So here is the scripture:
When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.
As we read further and further into the Old Testament we can see that the ONLY person that will fill that description will be Jesus, the King of Kings.
However, we now have Jehoshaphat King of Judah. (remember if is says king of Israel=bad but if it says King of Judah we have a slight chance of good) He is one of them. Jehoshaphat does what we ALL do, go to God with the BIG Questions or problems, but as far as day to day activity he does not. Right? If lose our job, get very sick, child is needs help, 401K is lost…we are in a constant state of prayer, just like Jehoshaphat says “First Seek the counsel of the Lord”. But when it comes to day to day stuff that truly is just as important, we tend to forget that God can counsel is in those decisions too.
So we end the book of 1 Kings today. Flip back and take a peek of how it started verse how it ended. SO much has happened. The nation was united under David as one, and we are ending a divided kingdom with the death of the most wicked king, Ahab (married to Jezebel).
As we think back did we notice how little God was worshipped, recognized or consulted in this book. Even as we end this chapter it says Jehoshaphat was a good king (he lives longer, 25 years) the bad kings live very short lives) but he still failed to take down the ‘high places’ of worship. A worship of convenience for his people, not what God required.
Writing a quiz for you…stay tuned.
Don’t get confused as to what is going on. Isreal and Judah have 3 major enemies right now for the next 2 centuries. Aram, Assyria, and Babylon.
Ben-Hadad-from Aram (Go back to 15:18) . King Asa of Judah had bribed him to be on His side. Now in Chapter 20 he is attacking Israel. This should not shock us, we are not to make treaties (unequally yoked) with the enemy.
King Ahab: bad king , he is the king who built all the pagan idols, he is also married to Jezebel who kills any of the God fearing prophets. Anyway, even with all that, God delivers Him in this battle (twice!).
Chapter 20 verse 29 starts the Battle, reminded me of Jericho! Whoo hoo
Ahab never acknowledges God for the battle and never changed his ways. I actually went and read Chapter 20 in the Message because I was really confused. In the defeat of the battle, Ben-Hadad disguises himself and comes to seek mercy from Ahab. It works and Ahab does not kill him. Uggggg seriously????
I know you read Chapter 21 and thought man they are evil! And they were. Ahab and Jezebel are quite the brats. Is it wrong that I smiled when Elijah prophesied “Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel”. Yes it will happen. That will be our 4th of July read. hee hee hawwww.
WARNING: This is not a read to skim. I repeat this is not a skimmer! This might be one of the best reads in the Old Testament!
Huge moment in the Bible. Elijah! Elijah means “Jehovah is my God”, He is the most outstanding of all the prophets. At this moment I cannot even express the adrenaline in my body as I read about Elijah. Elijah is one of 2 men in the Bible that never dies before going to Heaven (Enoch is the other from Genesis). Jews expect Elijah to come back to pave the way for the Messiah to come (they are still waiting). That is why in Matthew the followers keep asking Jesus “Are you Elijah”. John the Baptist comes in the spirit of Elijah and Elijah is with Jesus at the Transfiguration. Elijah could be one of the men that return in Revelation with the 2 spies are sent in . So take a minute to breathe and know what we are reading here and just look forward to the rest.
To cut and paste all his appearances would take all day but here is the one from the Transfiguration
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. (Luke 7:1-3)
(Moses represents the Law and Elijah will represent the Prophets, both are being fulfilled)
Ok ok ok…to the reading. I loved and related to Elijah. He boldly stepped on the scene to confront the most powerful people in the nation. The King and Jezebel. I love his boldness, his strength, his faith and his humor in this reading (you all know I love sarcasm). God’s provision was incredible and through Elijah he was able to turn a woman who lived in the heart of the pagan nation, who probably never even heard of the Lord, into a converted believer in God Almighty. Amen!
Obadiah the prophet enters the story today, we will actually be reading the Book he penned later this week.
So we have one man against 850. Elijah verse the false prophets. Elijah is so bold! He says in 18:21
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waiver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
I have that song from Hannah Montana running through my head “The best of both worlds”. Not true. Pick one.
Then we have the Mt Carmel Miracle. Was that the most incredible story. Elijah putting the 12 stones on the alter to remind Israel that they were once 12 tribes, not 10 and 2. And water! This wasn’t just any fire, this was the Lord! And after that huge moment in History, Elijah, like us, is so human: He is afraid, depressed and feeling lonely. He travels 200 miles to the very place that Moses was given the 10 Commandments. And like most of us expect to see God do huge things. But having a relationship with the Lord is not just watching Him move mountains, it is listening to Him speak. Whisper. Directly and personally to us. The greatest miracle of all is He can have a one on one with each of us at the same time.
“Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
And we end with a beautiful foreshadow of what it means to be a disciple. Elisha is chosen to succeed Elijah and he leaves his riches behind. He actually committed so deeply to the Lord that he burned up all he owned so he could not come back to his old life. He is now the hand and feet of the Lord.
Asa was the King of Judah for 41 years. Israel in the meantime buried 7 Kings in that time span.
(If you did not get the list of Kings emailed to you last week let me know)
Judah: IN 2 Chron 17 it says the appointed men were teaching the Book of the Law of the Lord. Some of you came in late, and might wonder what that is. IT IS THE SCRIPTURES…Amen! What is a very important Scripture in the Old Testament? Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (shema)
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Israel: Oye! What a mess! Killing their kings and their families, living for and worshipping false gods…it just went on and on and on. Kings getting drunk (we read about this in Ecclesiastes).
But here is some cool references. DId you catch the name Samaria in chapter 16. In the Gospel, Jesus goes through the land of Samaria and speaks to the woman at the well. Reading this you can see why that was a big deal. This would be a town that would be avoided by believers not visited.
Jezebel! Always heard of her, never knew who she was! (End of chapter 16) I read up on her a little and I found this statement by Henry Halley “Jezebel, a princess from Sidron, who was imperious, unscrupulous, vindictive, determined, devilish woman-a demon incarnate. She built a temple for Baal in Samaria, maintained 850 prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth (fake gods), killed prophets, and abolished the worship of the Lord” Wow! To call someone a Jezebel is quite serious. She is mentioned in Revelations as an adulteress who sought to seduce the church of its spirituality. Yikes. We will read much more about her this week.
Finally we read REBUILD JERICHO (at the cost of his sons)? What in the world? I know it was a long long long (March 24th) time since we read the Fall of Jericho so let me compare the Scriptures:
(1 Kings 16:34) In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.
Did you catch this Scripture. I was like what?? Did you look up the cross reference on it? Remember the Fall of Jericho. The Lord collapsed the walls inward. That was His city to destroy. Well here is the prophecy on that from Joshua 6:
Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day. At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:
“At the cost of his firstborn son
will he lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
will he set up its gates.”
Well there you have it. Lots of names and places. If at any moment you are confused or overwhelmed…just ask.
Click here I am at camp Linden this week so you guys are going to need to help each other with questions during the day.
So what we just read was Abijah (king of Judah) said “Jeroboam…don’t you know there is a Covenant here!…The line of David is Chosen, and you have completely broken the law with you choosing priests”. Israel (Jeroboam) ignored this and attacked Judah instead. Judah fought, sounding the trumpets (ushering the Lord in) and Judah won (well, God won it for them). Abijah died and his son Asa took over (this is all on the side of Judah).
Asa, a king who “did right in the eyes of the Lord took over and cleaned up the joint. He took down all the false religion and built clean healthy cities. chapter 15 goes into the History of the people and to be honest it was a BEAUTIFUL read.
The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.
Asa was very committed to the Lord (for a while), even deposed his own grandmother for false worship and THEN he failed. How? He failed by not remembering ALL that the Lord had done for his nation and turned to a pagan king for help. When Asa turned to Aram he was revealing A LOT about himself, that he now was relying on MAN and treaties. Ouch! A seer (a prophet) named Hanani spoke to Asa regarding what he did and Asa put the seer in Prison (Don’t shoot the messenger!).
So there you have it!
(If you have not read the reading yet, look at the notes I posted last night BEFORE reading today)
If you have ever taken the Bible Boot Camp class you will know this one of those chapters that I don’t “paraphrase” I actually READ it to the group. It is THAT important.
The Tribes didn’t divide overnight. This had been brewing always. However, great leaders like Joshua and David had been able to keep them united and focused on GOD. But now under these 2 men, the nations slips into huge sin. Solomon had a son from an Ammonite wife. Did it sound familiar but not sure where it was from? Moab and Ammon…Lot and his daughters ohhhh yeah I rememeber…yuck…drunk…sex…sons. The Moabs and Ammonites have always been huge enemies to Israel and not God fearing people. They had their own religion of many gods. But again back in Genesis, God warns to marry only God respecting people. God knows Best. This is some of the consequence of disobedience.
Chapter 12: the crux of the story “Solomon’s son, Rehoboam is the reigning king. The people say…Umm your Dad put a really heavy tax on us to build the Temple. now that the Temple is done can you lighten that tax. The elders tell him that he should yet the younger friends say dude, keep the tax high so we can be rich off the people and party. Rehoboam says, you think my dad’s tax was high…that was nothing compared to what I was going to charge you! Well, one of Solomon’s servants names Jeroboam says Oh yeah….well we will form our own nation so take that (tongue out)”
And that my friends is a HUGE moment in our History. The diving of the Kingdom to Israel and Judah!
There was so much in these 3 Chapters I really wish we had time to break them apart! But one of the stories that I was not expecting here was this prophet vs the man of God (Chapter 13). The prophet believed a fib and was killed for it. I was pretty tore up about it and thought about it all morning. I asked God, what about Grace? What about forgiveness? What was the big deal? Wasn’t that harsh? He didn’t know he was doing anything wrong? Actually he thought he was doing a God thing! And what God said back to me was very clear.
This story is HUGE and I am sure it has a much deeper meaning than I can peel off in my walk with Christ right now but for me this story is BIBLE verse CHURCH. The prophet had direct orders from the Lord. “DO not eat or drink anything on this mission”. The Bible is a direct order. Actually 613 of them. Then you have the Church. Let’s face it, every church has made up it’s own little rules, laws, rituals, and ways. So here it is. We can say “But that’s what the Church told me, That is how I was raised, I didn’t know because I never read the Bible, …etc” . READ the Bible and apply it and pray on it to change us from the inside out and know when “the prophet” is telling a fib or if it lines up with what God says. When we get to the New testament we will read letter upon letter about keeping the Church sound in its doctrine. The Lord knows this will be one of the biggest issues.
Chapter 14 is a self read. Very sad , very personal.
I will end on this. The Bible is black and white. It leaves no gray area. We need to continue learning it. In 3 months we will be reading the New Covenant and it will be a time of learning and application all based on these precepts. So let’s keep reading and building our foundation.
This may be short. I just spent 80 minutes writing out the cliffnotes and my computer deleted it.
- Rehoboam and Jeroboam: R and J. R for Reign. Rehoboam was Solomon’s son. The reigning King. J for Jerk. Jeroboam was the man that raised up against him.
- Shechem was the capital the last time they divided. Since then the Lord has appointed Jerusalem as the ONLY place to pilgrim to, the ONLY place to make Sacrifices and the ONLY place to Worship the Lord.
- Read 1 Samuel 8:11-18 to read Samuel’s prophecy about to come true.
- It is God’s way to consult with Elders, not young people we employ.
- Ahijah the Shilonite was the prophet who spoke in the last chapter.
- The tribes did not divide suddenly. The jealousy among the tribes has been since Genesis when Ephraim was blessed (Josephs sons) as if they were one of the original brothers. Ephraim was blessed the leadership role in Genesis, and Joshua was from the Ephraim tribe, and Samuel the prophet came from them too, and they even allies with enemies to revolt against David. David was from Judah. The largest and most powerful tribe. David became King over all (I am sure Ephrem’s were not happy) and now Judah (Solomon) was laboring and taxes the Ephraim people heavily.
- Calves are a Pagan symbol to be worshipped. They represent strength and fertility.
- ONLY Levites were to be appointed Priests.
Click here. HUGE HUGE HUGE read today!!
Let’s start with the term “Golden Age of the Hebrews” was figurative and literal. What we are reading is the peak of the Jewish nation and the begin on the descent. Solomon made a foundation for worshipping the Lord. But then didn’t live it out (that kicked me…Should we get our mirrors back out?) Solomon proves that relationships with others will have an influence on our beliefs.
Chapter 11 started with :
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.”
Uggggggggg. Do you remember all the gods the people in the Promise Land were worshipping when God instructed the Jews to kill them all (and they never completely did). There were fake gods called Ashtoreth, Baal, Molech (he was the one shaped like a cow with a fire pit belly so the families could sacrifice their child to the gods) and Chemosh.
Please note that this didn’t happen all at once. You might recall that there was a time when Solomon said he would not let his pagan wives in the temple, and over time letting a little sin in at a time makes us slip further and further away from God. (anyone singing the song “Slow Fade” by casting crowns?)
Sorry, I know I am being long winded today.
PLEASE UNDERLINE THESE SCRIPTURES IN YOUR BIBLE:
So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” 1 Kings 11:11-12
What a Prophecy! It is will fulfilled to the T!
About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country, and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes. But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe. I will do this because they haveforsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father, did.
One thing I want to note is that there are 12 tribes. The scripture talks about the 10 tribes verse the 1 tribe. The 1 tribe is Judah and Benjamin combined. The largest tribe and the smallest tribe are combined. So Here is how I remember who is who:
Israel will divide North and South. North keeps the name Israel (10 tribes) Judah is the South.
Judah (and Benjamin) was where the line of Kings started (Saul was a Benjaminite) and will end (Christ comes from the line of Judah).
If any of this is a bit confusing…just hold on to the rope…It will all make sence shortlly…I promise.
Click here. If I ever forget to attach the reading, you can click the word Schedule above the post and click on the day and the Reading will come up automatically. 🙂
Even thought the two readings parallel each other, I usually understand the writings of Chronicles over the Kings. I am picturing the building of these towns.
Listen, we have read A LOT! And that is wonderful but it is ok so scratch your head and ask questions. See the below Scripture. Is there anyone that questions any part of it? It’s ok…just let me know.
All the people left from the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites), that is, their descendants remaining in the land, whom the Israelites had not destroyed—these Solomon conscripted for his slave labor force, as it is to this day.
Another thing that stood out to me was that Solomon knew in his heart that all this marriage to pagan wives was wrong to the Lord. He said his wife must not live in David’s house because the Ark of the Lord passed through there. Solomon knew just because God allowed it and it was a custom does not make it right in the Lord’s eyes. We need to stop and think about that today as we do things that are acceptable in today’s standards, BUT not in God’s.
Soap Box 🙂