AUTHOR: Jeremiah
DATE: ca. 550 B.C.

Originally one book, 1 and 2 Kings get their names from the fact that they present the history of the kings of Israel. The book begins with the death of King David, and the succession of Solomon to the throne, and ends with the kings of the divided kingdom around 853 — Jehoshaphat in the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Ahaziah in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

The author is thought, without certainty, to be Jeremiah.  However, someone other than Jeremiah would have written the last chapter since Jeremiah was taken to Egypt (Jer. 43:6-7) and Jewish tradition suggests that he died there.  

Historical sources are used (11:41; 14:19, 29) and it is both a record of kings and a declaration that the success of any of the kings, and that nation as a whole, was dependent on their faithfulness to God and His law.  Apostasy and disobedience led to decline and downfall, and eventually captivity.

Significant passages include the description of Solomon’s great wisdom (chapters 3-4), the dedication of Solomon’s Temple (chapter 8), the Queen of Sheba’s visit  (chapter 10), and the ministry of Elijah (particularly his confrontation with the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel, chap. 18).

OUTLINE OF 1 KINGS

I. The United Kingdom, 1:1-11:43
A. The Accession of Solomon (2 Chron. 1:1-17), 1:1-3:1
1. The struggle for the succession, 1:1-53
2. The final charge of David to Solomon, 2:1-12
3. The purge initiated by Solomon, 2:13-46
4. The marriage of Solomon, 3:1
B. The Wisdom of Solomon, 1 Kings 3:2-4:34
1. Solomon’s request for wisdom, 3:2-15
2. Solomon’s display of wisdom, 3:16-28
3. Solomon’s administration, 4:1-28
4. Solomon’s fame, 4:29-34
C. The Temple of Solomon (2 Chron. 2:1-7:22), 5:1-8:66
1. Preparations for the Temple, 5:1-18
2. Description and construction of the Temple, 6:1-38
3. Construction of other buildings, 7:1-12
4. Furnishing the Temple, 7:13-51
5. Dedication of the Temple, 8:1-66
D. The Fame of Solomon (2 Chron. 8:1-9:28), 9:1-10:29
1. His covenant from God, 9:1-9
2. His gift to Hiram, 9:10-14
3. His subjects, 9:15-25
4. His navy, 9:26-28
5. His visit from the queen of Sheba, 10:1-13
6. His wealth, 10:14-29
E. The Downfall of Solomon, 11:1-43
1. The reasons, 11:1-8
2. The warning, 11:9-13
3. The adversaries, 11:14-28
4. The prophecy of Ahijah, 11:29-40
5. The death of Solomon, 11:41-43

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II. The Divided Kingdom, 12:1-22:53
A. The Rupture in the Kingdom, 12:1-24
1. The request of the northern tribes, 12:1-4
2. The reply of Rehoboam, 12:5-15
3. The revolt of the northern tribes, 12:16-24
B. The Reign of Jeroboam in Israel (931-910), 12:25-14:20
1. Establishing religious centers and worship, 12:25-33
2. Encountering the man of God, 13:1-32
3. Elevating non-Levites to the priesthood, 13:33-34
4. Experiencing his son’s sickness and Ahijah’s prophecy, 14:1-18
5. Expiring, 14:19-20
C. The Reign of Rehoboam in Judah (931-913; 2 Chron. 10:1-12:16), 14:21-31
1. Apostasy in Judah, 14:21-24
2. Attack by Shishak of Egypt, 14:25-28
3. Death of Rehoboam, 14:29-31
D. The Reign of Abijam (Abijah) in Judah (913-911; 2 Chron. 13:1-22), 15:1-8
E. The Reign of Asa in Judah (911-870; 2 Chron. 14:1-16:14), 15:9-24
1. His reforms, 15:9-15
2. His war with Baasha, 15:16-24
F. The Reign of Nadab in Israel (910-909), 15:25-31
G. The Reign of Baasha in Israel (909-886), 15:32-16:7
H. The Reign of Elah in Israel (886-885), 16:8-14
I. The Reign of Zimri in Israel (885), 16:15-20
J. The Reign of Omri in Israel (885-874), 16:21-28
K. The Reign of Ahab in Israel (874-853), 16:29-22:40
1. The beginning of Ahab’s reign, 16:29-34
2. Elijah’s prediction of drought, 17:1
3. God’s provision for Elijah, 17:2-24
4. Elijah’s challenge to the priests of Baal, 21:1-29
5. Elijah’s flight to Horeb, 19:1-18
6. Elijah’s appointment of Elisha, 19:19-21
7. Ahab’s Aramean victories, 20:1-43
8. Ahab’s desire to have Naboth’s vineyard, 21:1-29
9. Ahab’s final battle, 22:1-40
L. The Reign of Jehoshaphat in Judah (873-848; 2 Chron. 17:1-20:37), 22:41-50
M. The Reign of Ahaziah in Israel (853), 22:51-53

A Hidden Message in Psalm 23

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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