Today, we continue our journey through the Bible with today’s study of 1 Kings. May we remember to ask God to show us what He wants us to learn? Psalm 19:14; “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”
Questions for Bible Study
As we study the Bible alone or in a group setting, I think there are several questions we can ask ourselves to help us dig deeper. The five questions are as follows:
- What does the scripture say about God?
- Then what does the scripture say about me?
- Does something in this passage challenge me?
- What gives me hope in this passage?
- Is anything unclear to me?
I hope these questions help you as much as they help me.
- Author: Unknown: Possibly Jeremiah or some other prophets
- Audience: For Israel living in exile
- Date Written: between 560 and 540 B.C
- Length: 22 Chapters
- Key Words: Kingship and adultery
- Key Verses: “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.” (9:4,5)
- Key People: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, Elijah, Jezebel
Summary of 1 Kings:
The book of 1 Kings starts with Solomon and ends with Elijah. And, the difference between these two men gives us an idea of the material covered in the book. We start the book with Solomon’s wise choices outlined in chapter three and his successful temple building in chapter eight. But then we discover Solomon has a weakness for women that brought him down just like his father. Although he did well at first, he spent more time building a palace for himself than he spent on building the temple of God.
After Solomon’s death, Israel was ruled by many kings, most of whom were evil and idolatrous. And, as the nation of Israel falls further away from God, we find Elijah on the scene. He tries to bring the nation back to God. One of the highlights occurs when Elijah challenges the idolatrous priests of Baal to a showdown with God on Mount Carmel. Of course, God wins, and this makes Queen Jezebel angry. Then, she ordered Elijah’s death, so he ran away and hid in the wilderness. We end the book with the call of Elijah.
Sections of the Book:
The book of 1 Kings has four sections which are:
- Establishment of the kingdom (Chap 1 & 2).
- Glory, unity, and splendor of the domain (Chap 3-10).
- Disruption in the kingdom (Chap 11-12:24)
- And the decline of the kingdom (Chap 12:25-end)
Messages in 1 Kings:
The wisdom of Solomon symbolizes Christ, who “became wisdom from God” (1 Cor 1:30). Yet, in the Book of 1 Kings, Solomon leads his kingdom into apostasy by marrying many foreign women (11:1). In contrast, Christ Himself proclaimed that He was “greater than Solomon” (Matt 12:42). Therefore, the future kingdom of Christ will not pass away. And, we also see God’s characteristics displayed in the following ways in the book:
- God fills heaven and earth – 8:27
- God is glorious – 8:11
- God is merciful – 8:23
- God is a promise keeper – 8:56
- God is provident – 21:19; 22:30, 34, 37, 38
Much of the book is a historical account of the period. But, we find many details of the consequences of unfaithfulness in marriage and faith. It ruins not only lives but also entire countries. Also, the book records the rise and fall of King Solomon due to his involvement with the false gods and pagan customs of his foreign wives. Also, it details the decline of Israel because the later kings and people turned away from God.
Lessons from Bible Studies
Each book of the Bible contains lessons for us to learn and historical information. And, we need to study God’s Word to see what to do and what not to do in life. Also, Paul reminds us of the importance of the words within the text in 2 Timothy 3.
2 Timothy 3:14-17; “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Grant me the understanding and knowledge of You and Your word. And, as I open my Bible to read the scriptures, give me wisdom and discernment. And even as I sit and listen to the pastor, preacher or apostle reveal what Your Holy Book is speaking into my life, help me see and understand. Help me know Jesus Christ and how He lived His life so that I can follow in His precious footsteps.