May 6, 2016
Introduction to 1 Kings
Now King David was old and getting on in years. 1 Kings 1:1 (LASB)
Both books, First and Second Kings, record the history of the reigning kings and the history of the nations of Israel and Judah. Both are part of the larger content of the Old Testament, known as 12 Historical Books (Joshua-Esther). Initially, these two books were only one book, but divided by the translators of the Septuagint (Greek translators of the O.T.).
There is a difference of opinion among the commentators as to the author of 1 Kings and 2 Kings. Some consider the Prophet Jeremiah as the one who wrote those books. However, he was exiled into Egypt and not Babylon towards the end, and would have been about the age of 86. The kings did have official recorders of the history of Israel. So, your guess is as good as mine concerning the authorship.
Both books cover about 410 years in history. First Kings begins with the death of King David, around 970 B.C., and Second Kings ends around 560 B.C., with the release of King Jehoiachin from prison. About 930 B.C. the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms, with both going into exile (Israel-722 B.C. and Judah 587 B.C.). That is why there are two kings reigning God's people at the same time.
From the theological perspective, both books expressed these themes:
- sinfulness of the kings and nation;
- conflict between politics and faith;
- glory God gave obedient covenant kings;
- God's harshness in judgment and leniency;
- conflict of worshiping the Lord and other gods.
The Davidic covenant established the king as the moral representative of the people for covenant purposes. The moral state of the king represented the moral state of the people, which eventually became not so.
The last two revival kings of Judah (Hezekiah and Josiah), experienced individual revivals that had few effects on either the rest of the royal house or on the nation as a whole. They simply delayed the inevitable judgment.
In the Deuteronomic history, Joshua-2 Kings, there was failure of the religious program in the people to live up to their part of the covenant with God. Thus they were sent into captivity.
I. Final days of David (chapters 1-2)
II. Solomon's Reign Over the United Kingdom (chapters 2-11)
III. The Divided Kingdoms of Judah and Israel (chapters 12-22)
[Resource: Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary]
LET IT GLOW
We begin with David reigning as king, picking up where 2 Samuel left off. In verse 1, David is old and stricken in years. He was approaching the end of his 70 years of age now. (Falwell)
David's years of hardship had deteriorated his health. What a blessing of long life David had experienced.
LET IT GROW
Israel was in their golden years of David's reign as well as David's physical condition. David was not senile, just growing old and getting on in years. He had problems with circulation, it sounds like. His bed clothes could not keep him warm, so they brought in a nurse named Abishag to meet his needs in that area. No electric blankets back then.Though considered a concubine, she had not sexual relations with David. (verses 1-4)
For years now, in the winter I often sleep with socks and sweats on, under an electric blanket. It is had to keep my little footsies warm. If they are not warm, then I struggle with going to sleep. If I don't get enough sleep, well, you know it makes for a grouch.
Not only do we grow older physically, but also spiritually. Are we maturing in our faith and obedience of the Lord Jesus?
As we grow older, do we get cold feet toward God? Do we tend to blame Him for the misfortunes in our life? Let's keep in mind that we have been given the freedom of choice, we are all sinners and others can affect our life, evil is always lurking to bring us down and separate us from God. How are we going to live in our golden years-gracious or grouchy?
LET IT GO
Forgive others and let the past go and remain in the past.
Work more on being gracious today instead of grouchy.
Thank God for my golden years.