1 Kings 11:14-1 Kings 14

Israel and Judah

 Today we read that the nation of Israel is now divided into two nations. Ten tribes have rebelled against Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, when he became king after Solomon died. The remaining two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, became the nation of Judah. It is surprising how things deteriorated from great God given prosperity to the division and rebellion in just one generation. The two nations will remain this way until Assyria conquers Israel and deports the people throughout the other nations Assyria has conqured.  It is interesting that Israel will be destroyed just one generation after the most prosperous times in its short history.

 We know from our past study that the ten northern tribes of Israel were quick to rebel against David. They were the ones that wanted a king like the other nations and sought to raise up a king from Saul’s family after Saul was killed in battle. In 2 Samuel 24:1 we read that God was angry with Israel and King David was moved to count the fighting men of the nation. The result was that 70,000 people died from pestilence that spread through the land. We are told in 1 Chronicles that Satan was accusing Israel of something and God allowed David to be tempted to make the count. When David realized his sin he interceded on behalf of the nation at a threshing floor that would later become the location of the temple.

It would appear that God gave the ten tribes what they wanted. He did promise Jeroboam, the leader of the rebellion, that He would make him king and his family a lasting dynasty if Jeroboam would follow God. However, fear overcame Jeroboam quickly and he made golden calves for the people to worship, changed the dates of the feasts, and set up a government sanctioned priesthood in order to prevent the possibility of the people of Israel wanting to be reunited with Judah where the temple stood. Israel will have nine dynasties and 18 kings over the next 209 years. Not one of those kings will follow God. All will continue with the structure Jeroboam set up.

Judah will remain a nation for 345 years and have 19 kings, 8 of which were considered good kings because they sought God. Israel will be the first to fall into idolatry but will soon influence Judah to do the same, however, the roots of idolatry go back to Solomon’s reign as we are told in 1 Kings 11. 

In our study of 1&2 Kings it is important to remember that we are dealing with two nations and our reading will switch back and forth with each king that comes to power. It is also important to realize that God sent some of the most powerful prophets to Israel. We will include these prophets in our study as we move through 1&2 Kings.

God has a plan for his people that Satan wants to destroy. As we read on we will see the spiritual battle that is taking place. We can learn much as we read and observe what is taking place in these books and the prophets God sent. For now Hebrews 2:1-4 comes to mind and is our homework for today.

Follow God and stay the course.

Pastor Dave