One of the areas that I really decided I needed to take some time to develop and focus for 2019 is my Spiritual Disciplines. This includes things like Bible reading, prayer, and Scripture memory. I did really well with this in January and then in February it kinda fell by the wayside. So at the end of February and all throughout March I took some time each day to use the lined space in my planner to write out one Scripture verse each day that points to an attribute of God.
As that came to an end I began to look for what I would do for the month of April. As I was scrolling facebook I came across the announcement that the new Women Living Well study of 1 Kings would be starting April 1st. I was excited to jump in considering I have never really done an indepth study of one of the books of the Old Testament outside of the requirements for a class here and there.
Introduction to 1 Kings
1 Kings tells the story of..you guessed it…the Kings. It starts with the end of David’s life and follows the rise and fall of good kings and bad kings.The book and the one that follows paints the picture of God’s desire for his people to follow Him and the human desire to be in control. From beginning to end this desire for earthly control grows with one bad king after another falling into every kind of sin, however, there are beacons of light in the form of the prophets, most especially Elijah and Elisha, to continue to point back to God and His desire for the people.
The Reign of Solomon
- David dies and Solomon’s throne is established. (1-4)
- Solomon builds the temple and his royal palace. (5-10)
- Solomon’s spiritual decline. (11)
The Kingdoms Divide
- Jeroboam’s reign of Israel (11:26-14:20)
- Rehoboam’s reign of Judah (14:21-31)
- Abijam’s reign of Judah (15:1-8)
- Asa’s reign of Judah (15:9-24)
- Nadab’s reign of Israel (15:25-32)
- Baasha’s reign of Israel (15:33-16:7)
- Elah’s reign of Israel (16:8-14)
- Zimri’s reign of Israel (16:15-20)
- Omri’s reign of Israel (16:21-28)
- Ahab’s reign of Israel (16:29-34)
Prophets and Kings
- Ahab and Elijah (17)
- Elijah against the Caananite Prophets (18)
- God speaks to Elijah (19:1-18)
- The call of Elisha (19:19-21)
- Ahab’s Misconduct (20)
- Ahab and Jezebel’s evil deeds (21)
- Micaiah’s judgement against Ahab (22:1-40)
- Johoshaphat’s reign of Judah (22:41-50)
- Ahaziah’s reign of Israel (22:51-53)
1 Kings 1-3
The first chapter of 1 Kings opens up with David as an old man. He has had the opportunity to do many great (and many not so great) things for the Lord. It is clear here that David is not long for this world. That means it’s time to start looking into the future. The question looming is “Who will be the next king?”
David’s son Adonijah makes the executive decision that it will fall on his shoulders to become the next king. A job he is more than willing to except. Long before David is ever dead and burried Adonijah exalts himself to status of King over Israel. Rather than waiting for his father to make the proper announcement he begins his own celebration party. The problem for him comes when David makes the announcement mid-party that Solomon would become the next king leaving Adonijah fearful for the repercussions of overstepping his authority.
In chapter 2 we read about David, knowing his time on earth is coming to a close, calls Solomon to his side where he gives his son one last charge before his death. He reminds Solomon to keep God’s commandments always and he will be successful in whatever he sets out to accomplish. He reminds Solomon that God has given David a promise and it is now on his shoulders to fulfill their end of the requirements. Walk with God with truth in his heart. David also charges Solomon to right some wrongs that were done while also showing mercy where it is needed.
By the 10th verse of the second chapter David has died and Solomon is now the rightful king. Solomon follows his dad’s requests and punishes those that needed punishments and showed mercy on those needing mercy and the kingdom was squarely established under the rule of King Solomon.
Chapter 3 of 1 Kings contains a story almost anyone can tell. It is in this iconic chapter that we learn how and why Solomon became known as the wisest of them all. Here, when given the opportunity to ask for anything from God Solomon made the right request. Rather than asking for the most money, the most power, the largest kingdom, or any thing else that would be so very temporary in the grand picture; Solomon acknowledges his weakness and asks that God grant him the wisdom to rule properly. And this pleases God. This request pleases God so much that not only does he receive the one thing he asked for BUT he also received all the things he didn’t ask for. Solomon didn’t have to wait long to find out just how far the wisdom he had been granted would go. Two women both fighting over the life of the same baby allowed Solomon the opportunity to use that newly granted wisdom in a way that was fitting for all involved.
The theme of obedience and reliance on God runs through these first three chapters. In the first chapter we see the consequences of jumping the gun and allowing ourselves to move before God is ready. Chapter two David reminds Solomon to stay close to God and follow all the things He as commanded in order to succeed. And then chapter three paints the picture of the need to focus not on earthly treasures but on following close to God for wisdom.
The three questions that can be asked from these chapter are:
- What have I been working and striving for that I haven’t taken the time to talk with God about? Once that is determined, take some time to pray over that situation right now.
- In what areas of life or ways have you prospered because you were obedient to God? Thank Him for His blessings.
- And what would happen if God gave you the chance to ask for anything? Would that request be pleasing to God?
The answer to the first question is a simple one for me to answer. The one thing I have been wanting the most is for God to open doors for my family in terms of work and ministry. Most importantly I have wanted God to open doors for ministry for my husband. Secondly, I believe that my obedience to God has lead to prosperity within my marriage. At the beginning things were rough but through the ability to focus on God and the commands found in Scripture my marriage is getting stronger day by day. And lastly, I can honestly say that if God were to allow me to make one request, right now I would ask that He open the greatest door for ministry opportunity for my husband and family that he could do. That he would allow us to work in the place he has designed for the best kingdom growth.
What about you?
How would you answer the reflection questions? Take some time to think them through and if you feel like it drop a comment bellow!
Come back soon for the rest of the book of 1 Kings.