Bible Study Series - 11: The First Book of Kings
- The history before us accounts for the affairs of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
It is more interesting than any common histories.
Also please look at the main messages of the 'Book' at the end.
1 Kings and 2 Kings tell of David's death, the golden age of Solomon's reign, how the nation divided into two kingdoms, and their eventual captivity by heathen powers.
Solomon, David's son, began his rule with great wealth, glory, and power, but it ended in disgrace. He did not seem to have the same spiritual toughness of his father. Solomon compromised some of the most sacred spiritual principles in order to achieve his political ends. In other words, the end justified the means. Also, he began to depend on military might instead of the true God. He taxed the people so much that the stage was set for rebellion later.
The spiritual condition of Israel was of paramount importance to the writer amidst political changes. The author registers a spiritual value-judgment concerning each king: Those kings who tried to maintain the traditional worship of the God of Israel were "good," and those who abandoned the true God were "evil."
The apostate northern kingdom (Israel), which had been established by Jeroboam I, finally went too far and was destroyed, but the smaller, southern kingdom (Judah) proved to be more penitent. The ancestry of Jesus Christ was traced through the tribe of Judah.
The main messages of the Book of 1 Kings are: (1) Human governments are faulty even at their best, but this is especially true when God is not included in the scheme of things. (2) God's rule continues despite the foibles of man. The will and purpose of God will indeed prevail. He still spoke through His prophets even when some of the people did not want to listen. God showed His power through the forces of nature and He incited foreign hostile armies to accomplish His purpose. God is always in control!
St. Thomas Orthodox Church