In our last episode we talked about the first two kings of the united kingdom of Israel: Saul, who had no heart for God and David who had a whole heart for God. This did not mean David was perfect, for sure. He too, experienced failure and shame. But his heart for God carried him through his failures and shortcomings into a special place in God’s heart. Apparently, when we overcome both ourselves and our adversities, we also experience favor with God.
Today we discuss King Solomon, perhaps one the wisest and richest kings to ever live on the face of the earth. His staying power was ultimately terminated by compromise, and he is a perfect example of the conflict that exists over what constitutes true wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to put knowledge into practice – until our final day on this earth!
Here we talk about Solomon’s writings: Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. It is fitting that his wisdom writing legacy would cover the span of youth (Songs), years of building strength (Proverbs), and reflections of age (Ecclesiastes).
This leads into the time of the divided kingdom, yet another turbulent period in Israel’s history. From these chapters in 1 and 2 Kings emerge the prophets Elijah and Elisha, both of whom are incredibly Jesus-Centric. 2 Kings is the story of the Jewish exile to Assyria and then Babylon. 1 Kings covers Solomon and the split in the Kingdom. 2 Kings talks about the exile and scattering of God’s chosen people. We also take a moment to consider John the Baptist, and where he will fit in as God’s forerunner to His Light shining into the darkness!
Some attention will also be given to 1 and 2 Chronicles, books which cover much overlapping information of 1 and 2 Kings. These books, however, were put together as the Jews returned to the land after an 80 year captivity. This will be our next story of God’s incredible grace which we will consider in Epoch 4: Prophets and Captivity.
As you read make sure to take the time to go through each overview chart and look up the verses in each section. This gives you a great head start into the heart and purpose of each book in the unfolding, Jesus-Centric story. And use a highlighter – it really helps as you master the Word of God (and let it Master you). Saul/no heart – David/whole heart – Solomon/half a heart. Three options for the spiritual man or woman!
What an epic epoch!
Dave and Burnadette