1 & 2 Kings
What happens when you ignore God
1 Kings describes David’s death and then focuses on the reign of Solomon:
- his wisdom,
- the building of the Temple,
- his wealth,
- his army,
- his one thousand wives.
Then we begin to see the worm in the apple. Israel has been commanded to worship one God (Deuteronomy 11:26-28). It has been authorized to anoint kings, but they are to be strictly limited in what they do (Deuteronomy 17:16-20). See Tribal Leaders or a King?
Solomon has ignored these instructions – imposing heavy taxes, using forced labor. Now the people pay for it.
The unambiguous message is that tragedy results when Israel turns to other gods.
There is a political and religious schism after Solomon’s death, and Israel splits into two separate kingdoms.
1 & 2 Kings describe the tribulations that follow. The only bright spot on the horizon is that God has promised to send prophets/holy men to guide he people when they are in trouble.
The books of 1 & 2 Kings are a call to faithfulness, repeated over and over to a mostly deaf population. At the end of these books,
- Jerusalem is sacked by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
- the glorious Temple is burned, and
- the people deported to far-off, alien Babylon.