Many Kings Fail to Heed God
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war."Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people. 2 Chronicles 16:9-10
1 Kings 17-25; 2 Kings; 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles
Key chapters: 1 Kings 17 and 25 and verses: 2 Chronicles 16:1-15
Key personalities: Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Elah, Omri, Nadab, and evil Ahab
Timeline, about 930-586 B.C., during the time of the Divided Kingdom, the areas were ruled by off and on Israel, Egypt, Phoenicians, Dorians and Assyrians; the Babylonians were rising, the Iron Age is at hand, and bronze is still in the majority of weapons and farming tools. The Greeks were at their pinnacle of power and influence, the Medes was settling in Iran, Homer composes the Illiad and Odyssey, the first Olympics are held in Greece, and Rome was being founded.
What happened? It all fell slowly and dramatically. After Solomon's life and reign, Israel goes bad and down hill. It all started from the wisest person who ever lived; Solomon left his wisdom and bowed to pride, and he made two terrible decisions. First, Solomon did not disciple his children and they, especially Rehoboam, turned evil. Next, Solomon enslaved a portion of His own people and caused a rift that resulted in a civil war and division that lasts hundreds of years. This set a tone of sin that replicates itself to many generations. This sin eventually leads the North and South into captivity (Deut. 28:15, 36-37, 49-68; Jer. 29:11; 1 Pet. 2:9-10).
1 and 2 Chronicles are parallel accounts to 1 and 2 Kings. It is a testimony in small information bytes, much like an ancient Twitter feed. It is also a showcase to the Bible's sacred reliability. 1 and 2 Kings were originally in the Hebrew Canon as a single, one-volume account, "Annals of the Days." The Greek Septuagint Version gave this work the title, Paraleipomena, meaning "things left over," and entails a supplement of sacred history" that is basically a summary of the history of the Hebrew people and to encourage them that God is still at work and with them.
Key Happenings: The Breaking of God's heart!
A succession of many evil kings who refused to follow God's law, and instead listened to false prophets because they tickled their ears and gave them false hope while they fought the real Prophets and against those who stand for truth, reason and God's true Truth. The leaders and people chose what was fleeting, temporary. They craved sin and the lusts of the world causing untold hurt and devastation to their lives and all those around them, leaving a broken kingdom that has no Light of Truth to shine to the world as it once did (Deut. 17:14-20; Jeremiah 1-7).
The Israelite Kings!
Saul, 1050-1010 BC
The Divided Kingdom
Judah (and Benjamin)
1. Rehoboam was extremely arrogant, lost 10 of the 12 tribes who rebelled and had a very bad character; he was challenged by God though the prophet Shemaiah, and he reigned 931-913 BC for 17 years.
2. Abijah, also called Abijam, Rehoboam' son was as described, "he walked in sin like his father," Bad and reigned only 3 years, 913-911, (1 Kings 15:3; 2 Chron. 13).
3. Asa, Abijah's son, did not walk in sin; rather, 'did right in the sight of the Lord, as he sought to live as his great-great grandfather David', he was Good, got rid of the idols and shrine prostates, even removed his evil mother from her reign of wickedness; he redid the Temple and set up 80 years of prosperity because of devotion to the Lord. He reigned, 911-870 for 41 years.
4. Jehoshaphat, Asa's son, also did well and continued in the prosperity, but for some reason, he did not remove the high places where people worship the pagan gods. He was very Good, and he reigned, 870-848 BC for 25 years.
5. Jehoram, Jehoshaphat's son, was bad, and he reigned, 848-841 BC, for 8 years.
6. Ahaziah Bad, he reigned, 841 BC for 1 year.
7. Athaliah, Bad, he reigned, 841-835 BC for 6 years.
8. Joash, Good. He became king at age 7; he started well, but he ended terribly and was kept in check by the Prophet Joel. He reigned, 835-796 BC for 40 years.
9. Amaziah, mostly Good. He reigned 796-767 BC for 29 years.
10. Uzziah, (Azariah), was Good. He was kept in check by the Prophets Isaiah and Micah, and he reigned, 767-740 BC for 52 years.
11. Jotham, he was Good and was kept in check by the Prophets Isaiah and Micah; he reigned, 740-732 BC for 16 years.
12. Ahaz, he was very Bad. He was challenged by God though the Prophets Isaiah and Micah; he reigned 732-716 BC for 16 years.
13. Hezekiah. He was very Good, and he was kept in check by the Prophets Isaiah and Micah; he reigned, 716-687 BC for 29 years.
14. Manasseh, became king at age 12, was the worst of the Bad, but he repented. He was challenged by God through the prophets Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, and he reigned, 687-642 BC for 55 years.
15. Amon, he was Bad. He was challenged by God through the prophet Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah; he reigned, 642-640 BC for 2 years.
16. Josiah, he was the best, became king at age 8. When he was 15, he began focusing and trusting God, very Good, and he was kept in check by the Prophet, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. He reigned, 640-608 BC for 31 years.
17. Jehoahaz, he reigned 3 months, and he was taken prisoner to Egypt by Pharaoh Neco. He was Bad, he was challenged by God through the prophets Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, and he reigned in 608 BC.
18. Jehoiakim, he was Bad--as in wicked--and died in Jerusalem; he was challenged by God through the prophets Ezekiel, and Jeremiah and Daniel (a child then), and he reigned, 608-597, 11 years, 609-598 BC.
19. Jehoiachin, he was taken prisoner to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, with Ezekiel, he was Bad, and he was challenged by God through the prophets Ezekiel, and Jeremiah and Daniel (a child). He reigned 3 months, 597 BC.
20. Zedekiah, was the last king of Judah and under his watch Jerusalem is destroyed in 586 BC. He was taken prisoner to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, then Nebuchadnezzar sets up a replacement puppet king. This starts off the 70-year Babylonian Captivity, Bad, and he was challenged by God through the prophets Ezekiel, and Jeremiah and Daniel, he reigned, 597-586, 11 years.
Israel (The other ten Northern Tribes) 1 Kings 12-22;
1. Jeroboam, a servant of Solomon, felt betrayed by his wrongdoing of enslaving his own people, and he led secession of Israel. He was Bad, he was challenged by God through the prophet Abijah, and he reigned, 931-910 BC 22 years,.
2. Nadab, Jeroboam' son, "did evil in the sight of the Lord," Bad, he reigned, 910-909 BC, 2 years.
3. Baasha, wiped out Jeroboam's family because they were wicked and then he became wicked by following idols and not the Lord, Bad; he reigned, 909-886 BC, 24 years.
4. Elah, Baasha's wicked son, was killed while drunk by his trusted military leaders, Bad, and he reigned, 886-885 BC, 2 years.
5. Zimri, Elah's assassin, reigned a whopping 7 days and killed all of Elah's family, but he was a coward, and as he tried to kill Omri, he set fire to the palace and got trapped and died. Bad and an idiot, he reigned in 885 BC, 7 days.
6. Omri, got rid of the wicked, yet became wicked himself, more so than all before him, very Bad, he was challenged by God through the prophets Elijah and Micaiah, and he reigned, 885-874 BC, 12 years.
7. Ahab, Omri's son, he is the climax of evil and disobedience before God, the worst of the Bad and he had the audacity to challenge God, he was challenged by God through the prophets Elijah and Micaiah, and he reigned, 874-853 BC, 22 years.
8. Ahaziah, he was also Bad, and he reigned, 853-852 BC 2 years.
9. Joram, was Bad, he was challenged by God through the prophet Elisha, and he reigned, 852-841BC, 12 years.
10. Jehu, was conflicted, was very Bad and sometimes good, and he reigned, 841-814 BC, 28 years.
11. Jehoahaz, he was Bad, he was challenged by God through the prophets Jonah, Amos, and Hosea, and he reigned, 814-798 BC, 17 years.
12. Jehoash, he was Bad, he was challenged by God through the prophets Jonah, Amos, and Hosea, and he reigned, 798-782 BC, 16 years.
13. Jeroboam II, he was Bad, he was challenged by God through the prophets Jonah, Amos, and Hosea, and he reigned, 782-753 BC, 41 years.
14. Zechariah, Bad, he reigned, 753-752 BC, 6 mo.
15. Shallum, Bad, he reigned, 752 BC, 1 mo.
16. Menahem, Bad, he reigned, 752-742 BC, 10 years.
17. Pekahiah, Bad, he reigned, 742-740 BC 2 years.
18. Pekah, Bad, he reigned, 740-732 BC, 20 years.
19. Hoshea, Bad, he reigned, 732-712 BC, 9 years.
· In 722 BC, the fall of the North, Ten Tribes, to Assyrian King Shalmaneser V. Then, the Israelites go as captives to Assyria. Notice that all the northern kingdom kings were bad and they fell 3 generations, 130 years before the South.
· In 586 BC the Southern Kingdom fell, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, then the best of the people were taken out of their homeland to Babylon, a strange land and language as cheap labor, the 70-year Babylonian Captivity.
· God is patient, but He will not tolerate sin and disobedience, and He will not allow evil to go unpunished!
· The theme is the people suffered under a bad king--they did not prosper, had wars, had problems with disease and crop failure. Yet, they did not overthrow them or cry out to God; rather, they just just feasted in bitterness to their situation and contempt of God.
· During the Good kings, the people prospered with abundant healthy crops, peace, prosperity and they worshiped God and loved their neighbors.
Do you Fear God? The problem with the people in the time of the Judges and the Divided Kingdom is most did not fear God, and they suffered the consequences. Did you know that fear is how we are to come before God, and with humbleness (1 Pet. 5:6)? Having fear for God is a term of endearment and respect that is supercharged with more meaning and power because it infers intense reverence and awe of God and His holiness (Job 28:28; Prov. 1:7; 3:5; 8:13; 9:10; 16:6; 31:30; Psalm 2:11; 34:11; 111:10; Isa. 12:6; Eccl. 12: 13; Mal. 1:14; Matt. 10: 27-33; Rom. 2:11; James 2:1). It does not mean being afraid of Him, rather fearful of His wrath (Romans 3).
Key Takeaway: Having suffered under bad kings and man's sin of pride, God lets us know there is hope in Him. Even in the midst of apostasy, He has His remnant and faithful. He asks us to hang on to the Truth and hold on to Him as Lord. Our God is faithful, and we can have hope beyond what we see or what may lie ahead.
The foreshadow of Jesus Christ? This section points to how we are to revere Christ as LORD--to trust and obey Him, to worship and surrender to Him. To never forsake and betray Him!
Questions to Ponder
1. How do you respond to good leadership and example?
2. Why did the people of God not obedient to God? What are the similarities to people today?
3. How do you need to be encouraged that God is still at work and with you? Why is this important? How can you do this for others?
4. Why do you suppose those kings, representing God and His people were fighting against those who stand for truth, reason and God's true Truth? How do you see this today?
5. Why did the kings listen to false prophets? How do bad and false teachers today tickle our ears and gave hope, even if it is a false hope?
6. What can we learn from these kings, good and bad, about trusting and obeying Christ as LORD?
7. What can church leaders learn about placing the Lordship of Christ first and foremost and not follow one's pride and worthless trends?
8. What causes people in leadership to crave sin and the lusts of the world? Why would someone pointed by God cause hurt and devastation to peoples lives?
9. Who we we the redeemed chose what was fleeting, temporary and fleeting? What can we do to be on guard of sin?
10. Without good leadership and example, the people were not obedient to God and chose sin and not Him. What can we learn from this? What can the church to to be on guard?
11. What can you do to trust that Gods plan is working and your reward is certain, even when we do not receive it when we would like to?
12. Why do you suppose the people did not overthrow the bad kings? Why did they just feasted in bitterness to their situation and contempt of God? How do some of us to this today? What can we do?
© 2013 R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org