We covered 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles in one week of SBS – a lot of work, but extremely necessary. I know before SBS I didn’t really relish reading these books, especially 1 & 2 Chronicles. I wondered, “What is the point of having these books in the Bible? It’s just a repeat of everything I’ve already read!” While Chronicles does tend to repeat a lot of Kings (that’s one of the reasons we do these books in one week), these books are foundational for understanding the historical background of the prophets. As we begin to study the prophets, it’s vital to know which king was in power when prophecies were made, the history of Israel and Judah, and whether the leadership of God’s people was focused on Him or focused on everything but Him. There are 737 prophecies in the Old Testament, and less than 2% of these are about Jesus; less than 1% of these are about what we would call the “end times.” So what are these prophecies about? Historical events that actually happened, such as the exile of Israel to Assyria in 722BC, and the exile of Judah to Babylon in 586BC. Why is this important? We know that the vast majority of the prophecies of the Bible have already come to pass, which means we can rest assured that the other prophecies will be fulfilled – Jesus will return. To truly understand these prophecies and their fulfillments, however, we need to understand the historical background of Israel and Judah. That’s where Kings and Chronicles comes in.
We studied this book by doing profiles of each and every king that ruled in Israel and in Judah from the time of David through to the time these nations were taken into exile. All too often, the kings did not follow the law, did not follow the Lord, and did not keep the covenant with God. Through reading and understanding these books and the lives of the kings, we can come to understand God’s justice when it comes to the exile of Israel and Judah, and God’s mercy when we consider how many opportunities His people had to turn back to Him.
The next books to read are Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Job. Altogether, these books take approximately three hours to read. On another note, please keep Michael in your prayers, as tomorrow he will be teaching the (very challenging!) book of Joel.
1 & 2 Kings
Main Idea: Overviews the history of the northern and southern tribes (Israel and Judah, respectively) and the kings that led them, showing how Israel and Judah ended up in captivity to other nations.
Reason Written: Written to show the exiles how their breaking of their covenant with the Lord (under their kings’ leadership) resulted in their exile.
1 & 2 Chronicles
Main Idea: Overviews the history of the line of David as kings of Judah, and the prophets that spoke to the kings in the hopes of bringing them back to their covenant with the Lord.
Reason Written: Shows how Judah ended up in captivity, and how under Cyrus, the Judeans were permitted to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the house of the Lord. Also shows how God tried to get the attention of His people through His prophets.
Timeless Truth (for both Kings & Chronicles): A leader is called to be humble before the Lord, putting God first, rather than becoming prideful (2 Chronicles 32:24-26).