1 Kings Explained

Published on
September 5, 2023




The book of 1 Kings in a single episode. Bodie and Joey unpack the essential details of 1 Kings, where it falls on the storyline, the structure of the book, major themes and ideas, what 1 Kings teaches us about God, what it offers our Christian lives, and a couple of our favorite details to equip and inspire you to read, study, and love this historical book which takes us through the reign of King Solomon, the nation's split, the early kings of Northern Israel & Judah, and the rise of the prophets Elijah and Elisha.



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​Hospitality and the love of God will allow us to do so many things that we would do, that's not selfish. And so listen, Jesus models for us a sacrificial life, and I just would pray for all of our listeners today. You're gonna be so much happier when you focus on God and others not live for yourself and kings is a great reminder to us of that. Get our eyes off of ourself and live for God and His glory and be the temple God's called you to be on this earth.

Hello and welcome to the You Can Learn the Bible podcast where we summarize complete Bible books in single episodes. My name is Bodie Quirk from YouCanLearntheBible.com here with Joey Rozek, Lead Pastor of Living Springs Fellowship in New Jersey. What's up Joey? How are you today my friend?

Bodie, my brother. Well, I am doing great except for I got a hurt foot man. My age is starting to catch up with


I was running with my son. The other day, and in full sprint, I felt something snap at the bottom of my right foot. And

Uh, oh.

me that, I am not in this glorified body yet, but, my spirit, the inward man is being renewed. So I'm, I'm excited to talk about First Kings. I'm just a little wobbly right now,

Well, man, I hope you're okay. And I am, I know that you're gonna be fully here for this episode because you're sitting down. We don't do this standing up. Hallelujah. Um, but episode 17, where are we going, Joey? And tell us kind of what people can expect from First Kings.

right. Yeah. Well, Speaking of the brokenness of humanity and the reality of our fallen nature, First Kings and Second Kings, these two books, which is all one volume in Hebrew, is gonna show us the reality of fallen man. We're gonna see King after King, basically display why we need Jesus ultimately to come into this world.

These are kings ruling from their positions as men of the world, and, even though they are of Jewish descent, we're gonna discover that the sinful nature of man is alive and well. And so, this is gonna be a great book though for, character studies. This is gonna be a great book for examining our lives in light of obedience versus disobedience to God, and this is really applicable for all of us, isn't it,



Oh yeah.

all gonna have to give an account at some point in our

Always. Yep. I think we're starting to enter a time in the Bible where I think it's a lot of things start to have, instead of a single storyline, it starts to actually split between multiple nations, foreign nations, and then prophets. I think people start to get lost, and so our hope for you, is that with Episode 17, First Kings Explained, we will give you a seven part framework to help you understand the book. So the parts of that framework include the essentials of the book, where it falls on the storyline, the major themes and ideas, the basic structure of the book. But really all of that is to set up the main questions that we really want to answer.

What does it teach us about God? What does it offer our life today and what are some of our personal favorite things as well too? We apply this framework to every episode, and now Joey, we get to apply it to First Kings.

But before we start walking through the framework, a couple quick reminders upfront. First of all, you can all, you can watch us on YouTube, or you can listen to the audio only version on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. But a new thing that we're starting to do is we are starting to offer a summary, a PDF one page summary of every episode where we give you all of the content distilled down to a single page. So if that sounds like something that you would like to get at the end of the episode, we will tell you where you can go to get that.

So, Joey, are you ready to go? Because I'd love for you to tell us where we should help people get started when we walk into the book of First Kings.

Yeah, let's do it right into the essentials. Right? So, What do we need to know when we enter into this book? Well, remember, this is coming off of first and second Samuel, and of course we were introduced to two kings in those books, king Saul and King David.

And one of the things we learn is that Israel was a United Kingdom for the first 120 years. And so the beginning of First Kings, they're still united as the third King Solomon comes on the scene. What we're gonna discover in this book is we are going to see a lot of progression of not only more kings, but we're actually gonna see a kingdom that is divided.

And so this book takes place between 970 and 853 BC roughly. It begins in with the death of David, the man after God's own heart, the Shepherd King, who we've spent a lot of time talking about in our previous episodes. And then we're gonna move into all the different kings that are gonna be mentioned in this record account, in two books, which again, was one book in Hebrew, which was called "Melachim", which is the plural word in Hebrew for, maleek, for kings. And so we're, we're gonna see a lot of different aspects about that, who wrote this? Well, we actually don't know much like some of these historical books, but I would say, and most scholars do, that it was possible multiple authors that contributed to the history of these books.

Some have suggested Jeremiah, but we really don't know for sure, but as we look at the history of the kings, we're gonna see it centered upon this whole big nation of Israel, which we see get split right after Solomon's reign. And one of the key things about this whole book that we need to know is every king gets judged and measured as an analysis of whether they were following after the footsteps of David or this man, Jeroboam, who will be introduced in


because of his disobedience to God. And so this is for all of us to learn valuable lessons Bodie, about whether or not we obey or disobey God, but also, how our influence is used either to further the glory of God and the expanse of his kingdom, or whether we choose to establish our own kingdoms, our own names, and do things according to our own ways.

What we're gonna see in this

Yeah, exactly. We're gonna get going into the book because what First Kings covers is basically the final season of the United Kingdom of Israel and the first part of what's called the divided Kingdom of Israel. So if those are new terms for you, we wanna help you understand what those mean and why they are so important in the Bible. So that's the essentials, number one.

Number two, where does First Kings fit in the overall story of the Bible? So this is kind of where we left off at the end of First Samuel last time.

There is a transition of power from David to Solomon happening right here, Joey already mentioned David's death is the very first major event of this book, but there was a recent pestilence, if you remember at the end of first of second Samuel, that David's offering averts a plague from the Lord.

And another key thing was that the temple, the Temple project, is now in motion. It's not just a promise anymore, it's actually in motion, and now we're gonna now see how Solomon is going to be set to become the next king of Israel.

And so we have been using this timeline to help us keep track of where we are in the larger story of scripture. So if you remember, there's the season of the nation of Israel as a united monarchy. Well, in this book we're gonna see the final chapter and we're gonna see the split in that, and so if we were to zoom in on our timeline,

we can really see that First Kings really does start right at the end of David and into the beginning of Solomon's reign, but Joey, there's some verses in First Kings, especially here in chapter nine, that I really think set the tone for everything that covers this whole episode. So tell us why one Kings nine, four through seven are important, and then if you would just read 'em and take us into a little bit of some of the major themes and ideas, which we'll cover next, but this I think, is the banner over the whole thing, isn't it?

Yes, because here we have the Lord reiterating the covenant promise that is conditional when it comes to the various descendants that follow David. And so what we read here, let me read it first, it says, one Kings nine, four through seven. And as for you, if notice, the "if" here. If you'll walk before me, as David, your father walked with integrity of heart and uprightness doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, then that's key.

So if then, then, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David, your father saying, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel. Now comes the disobedient portion, but if you turn aside, From following me, you, or your children, and you do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them.

And so right off the bat, Bodie, do you notice there are two if and then statements in these two set of verses here, and it really has to do with God blessing, the obedient and God in a sense, bringing judgment on the disobedient. And every king is gonna be measured by this, right? As we go through these

Yep. That's what First Kings is. It's basically a record of each king being measured against this exact standard that Joey just read for us. Awesome. Thank you so much. So just a quick reminder,

if you are watching us there. Here's what the land of Israel looked like, and if you're not, Just know that there was a northern region that was known as Israel, and there's a southern region called Judah, we're gonna see in this episode that they actually become two separate nations after the split, but we'll get there, in a little bit.

But now we need to talk about the major things, Joey, that drive this book from a thematic standpoint. So if somebody's never read this book before. What are some of the major themes and concepts that we need to be aware of before we start walking through the structure of the book? Would you take us through these?

Yeah, so just like the scripture we just read in 1 Kings Nine, we're gonna see that David's righteous standards

are given actually verbally to his son Solomon before he passes, and so it's a, there's a real passing of a torch here, a real father son moment when David says, prove yourself a man to his son, so that's gonna be important.

Then of course, there, there's a lot of focus early in the book on Solomon. We see he was the wisest man that had ever walked the earth, of course, until Jesus comes along. Um, his glory as a king was phenomenal. I mean, the longest reign of peace and of course prosperity. He built the Temple you know, uh, we're gonna see in this book that what David wanted to do, his son Solomon does. Which is build that glorious temple and dedicate it to the Lord and everything seems to be really good.

Solomon seems to be a man after God's own heart, until we see his heart goes astray. He has a problem with women and foreign people he brings into his life and then comes the foreign gods. So an idolatrous heart is what actually fractures the nation. The kingdom divides evil, amplifies, and we're gonna start seeing the standards be the opposing, contrasting ways of David vs. Jeroboam, which one are you gonna follow?

And then, God sends messengers, seers known as prophets that come along and give the word of the Lord largely to rebuke and to expose the sin of the idolatrous hearts.

And then Judah and Israel's kings are evaluated accordingly. And so these are the major themes in the book of First Kings here, and of course it'll follow over into Second Kings as well.

Oh yes. Yeah, and you already mentioned that the reason why there's a first and second of Samuel Kings and Chronicles was because of the length of the scroll. It just was too long to be a single, single book. And we're gonna really see that in this book. First Kings doesn't end, it just stops, right?

It just kind of gets cut off, and Second Kings picks up immediately. But, and that gets us into our next one, so now like these themes, David's righteous standards, Solomon's wisdom and glory. And on this list, Joey, you just gave us, we bring this up front 'cause we want you to see 'em at work through the structure of the books.

So we've covered the essentials, the storyline, the themes and ideas. That was one, two, and three. Now, four, five, and six, we wanna treat together. So as we walk through the structure, which we'll introduce next, with each section we go through, we want to evaluate and ask the question, what does it teach us about God and what does it offer our Christian life? So that's where we wanna turn next.

Okay. so number four, Joey, the structure of the book, how is First Kings broken down? So, if you're listening, there are four major sections of this book. There's 22 chapters in this book and there's a lot that happens. So let's zoom up and get a high level view, four sections.

The first section is chapters one through 10, that is Solomon's Rise and Israel's Glory. So in this first section, Solomon, he succeeds. David is Israel's king. He fears the Lord. He acts wisely. He builds the temple and he leads Israel into the season of national wealth, power, and peace. That's all section one, which are chapters one through 10.

The second section is just chapter 11, because such it's such an important turning point chapter that is Solomon's idolatry and God's judgment. That's when things really start to shift, isn't it, Joey? So you got one through 10 is the first part. Chapter 11 is the second part.

Then, section three goes from chapter 12 to 16. That's where the kingdom divides, and sin multiplies. So we're gonna talk about all the circumstances of how the kingdom divides. When we get there. But that leads us to the fourth section of the book, which is chapter 17 through 22. Israel's prophets Arise, specifically speaking of Elijah and Elisha.

So you have a four-part structure here. Solomon's Rise and Israel's glory, his idolatry, the kingdom divides and then the prophets. So, that's a lot for someone to even just take in. Let's, let's zoom back a little bit. Let's just start with the first one. Can we do that?

So when we talk about this first major section, part one, Solomon's Rise in Israel's Glory, we're looking at 10 chapters. First Kings chapters one through 10. Joey, give us a high level view of what happens in this section and then what we can learn, what we can draw out from it.

Yes. Well, the first couple chapters in this book, is again, this passing of David, not just as a king in Israel, but also as, a father imparting wisdom to his son and, and preparations for the temple, and so, what we see in these first two chapters is now Solomon rises up, he becomes king, and, and I love how chapter three comes with this question from God, ask me anything. What do you

Hmm. Right.

and Solomon answers the prayer of God by asking not what anybody in the world would just answer such a question, imagine if you have an unlimited God who can do anything at any time with all power, and he ask you a question, ask me, what do you want me to give to you?

Solomon, wisely, and I'm sure learning this from his father, he realized he would need wisdom to rule, so he asked for wisdom and understanding and a, a discerning heart to judge matters. And that's exactly what God gave to him, and this is why God exalts this man. I mean, not only does God answer his prayer to give him the wisdom, blessed him with the things that he could have asked for as well. He became the richest, the wisest, the most prosperous king. So chapters three and four is all about Israel's glory under Solomon, and all that comes as he at this point is showing great covenant loyalty unto God.


Right. Well, then we get to chapters five through nine and here's where we get the focal point of the temple, and in these chapters, Bodie, we see that not only was the temple built, but it was built gloriously. I mean, Solomon makes all these deals with different kings, and he starts getting some of the best wood to build the house of God with, he gets the cedars of Lebanon, I mean, it doesn't get better than that.


the timber, he gets gold, the gold of Opher. He gets Hiram king of Tyre to work a deal with him. They make a peace treaty and they work together, and of course, Solomon's blessing him with food, and resources from his land, and he's getting the best of the wealth of the surrounding areas. He builds the temple within seven years, and then it tells us that he also builds his own palaces and house in 13 years.

So he actually takes, listen to this Bodie, twice as long to build his own personal, space for his own life and entourage, and that's gonna really be the beginning of where you see the decline in Solomon.

He starts to be prosperous, and you know what I've learned, Bodie, I'm sure you've seen this too, one of the most volatile, dangerous times in Christian life and living is when you actually are doing well. When you're prospering, you know why? It's in those times when we start to pray less, it's in those times where we make careless decisions. It's in those times where we think, ah, what's the big deal?

You know, things are going so well, I can dabble with this sin, or, and Solomon's case takes 700 wives and 300 concubines and all the rest, and so Solomon builds this massive entourage and as a result, his heart begins to slowly, slowly shift, and so chapter 10, we're gonna see Solomon's disloyalty grow, and foreign wives come with foreign gods, which comes with being foreign in his relationship with God, and that's where it all begins, and that's where it grows and goes bad from there.

There's so much. It's, and I think Joey too, it's sometimes difficult to assess for people, um, material wealth, because a lot of times the assumption is sometimes very bipolar. Either material wealth is bad and no one should have it, or it's a sign of God's favor and blessing, and here the material wealth was part of God's providential plan for this nation at this time, but it was the very thing that began to see Solomon's heart drift.

And I think it wasn't like he was a, it was a slow drift, because his attention was pulled on so many other places, and we're gonna see it really come to fruition in the next section. Chapter 11 is a landmark chapter, we're not there yet.

But it didn't happen in a vacuum. It happened because Solomon's eyes and attention drifted off the Lord and friends, that is the same thing that can happen with us. We hope this podcast is one of many anchors for your attention in an attention seeking world, because where our eyes go, our allegiance normally follows.

So that's what we start to see in Solomon. He is a blessed man. God does bless him, but that is not like a shield that protects him from his own sinful nature, right? So we see God's blessing even though we know Solomon's gonna fall.

Jesus said, where your treasure is there, your heart will be also in Matthew 6:21, and we really see that to be so true. And you know, Solomon's wisdom was not only a gift from heaven, a gift from God, but we have to steward our gifts. I. Just because you're gifted doesn't mean you're going to use it rightly.

It was Solomon who says in the book of Proverbs, when he writes all these amazing, wise sayings in Proverbs four verse 23, he says, keep your heart with all diligence for out of its spring the issues of life. Well, Solomon wrote the right things. He imparted the right wisdom, but he didn't follow it in his own life because he began to actually allow his heart to drift, and it turned into idolatry and eventually, it really led the way for a divided kingdom, didn't it?

Yeah, it did. Well, I think just before we even jump into that, like that's why Jesus is so incredible because Jesus proclaimed the high standard and then he met the high standard with his righteous, obedient life. Whereas here, Solomon gave the wisdom, but he didn't always follow the wisdom that God had given him through those, I'm glad you mentioned the proverbs as well, but don't miss that this is a really great section in Israel's history.

Even though bad things follow, God is rich in his blessing and his love to them in the same way that he's rich and blessing to us in our lives when we don't deserve it as well, but there is a drift happening now, Joey isn't there? So anything you wanna say about section one before we see where it goes after chapter 10?

Well, I would just love to point out that before Solomon fully drifts, he gives some of the most wonderful worship and praise to God when he dedicates the temple. I would definitely encourage our readers, our listeners, those who are checking this out on YouTube, whatever, really look at First Kings chapter eight, and read the dedication of prayer that Solomon prays when a temple is erected, and the Ark of the Covenant.

And by the way, this might be interesting to note. The Ark of the Covenant was the only thing that was similar between the tabernacle and the


It was a complete restart with the temple, but the ark of the covenant was the same, which is interesting because

It is.

the presence and power of God, in the midst of his people. And Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 'cause he is our son of the covenant, not the Ark of the Covenant. I think that's important to mention, and so, Solomon speaks wonderfully to God. He just didn't get to live wonderfully before God.

And so I think that's important for us to realize, and God appears to him a second time with this issue about if you walk before me as your father David did, it'll be great blessing, and not a single person will ever be absent from the throne and so forth.

But if you fall away, if you do turn away from me, we're gonna see Israel will be cut off and we're gonna see, there'll be a casting out and Israel will be a proverb and a by word among all peoples.

And in fact, to this day, Bodie, we even see the repercussions that Jewish people all over the world has gone through great persecution over the years and a lot of it comes down to whether their heart is fully loyal to God or not, because of the covenant promise that was given, and Jesus Christ wants to save everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, and now Jesus, is the real key for bringing people back, but this is at this time period, it really had to do with whether you followed God's commandments or not

Right, and the kings, the Kings play such a big role in, in how the national obedience either goes toward the Lord or away, and that's what we're gonna start to see starting with Solomon.

So that leads us to section two. So we see his rise and we see Israel's glory. Israel's greatest season is in First Kings, chapters one through 10, but in chapter 11, a lot of really important things happen back to back. This is now section two, Solomon's Idolatry and God's Judgment.

So here, let's look into this section a little bit because it's one chapter, Joey, but five important things happen First in, in the first 8 verses we see Solomon's heart, drifts away for foreign women, at which they cause him to then build altars to false gods. So it was his sexual lust that ended up, drifting his heart from God. But it was already started previously, but it really, really sets in, in chapter 11 verses one through eight.

We see God's judgment in the next part, and what's crazy is judgment is a promise to tear the nation, from him. He doesn't strike him dead, but he does say This nation is going to be ripped from you. And so we start to see the next part, God raises up enemies, but then specifically at the later part of chapter 11, the most important enemy is the rise of Jeroboam, he's gonna play a key role in this book.

But then at the end, Solomon dies. And so, so many things happen in chapter 11, at the end of chapter 11, we have the next king, which is Rehoboam, Solomon son, and that's where things really go down, but that's our next section, Joey. What do we need to know from all of these key moments in chapter 11 when it comes to Solomon and his life?

Yeah, as we look at these five subtopics in this, chapter 11, I, I think it's important to kind of note that Solomon was aware of his success. In chapter 10, the Queen of Sheba came and she was amazed at what she saw, right? And, and Solomon wrote all kinds of songs he wrote, wise sayings like these proverbs and it even says. Bodie, that he knew all about like nature, and animals and the created world.

So when a man becomes so prosperous, and then becomes so aware of his prosperity, it's no wonder why his heart turns to such idolatry. In chapter 11, we really see that the Lord is grieved by his heart being turned away by all these wives and women and the abominations that came with it as he kept the high places there and listen, for those that are listening right now, if you haven't removed the stumbling blocks in your life, if you haven't removed the potential dangers to put something else above God, maybe you're in a relationship or maybe something's going on in your life.

This is what went wrong with Solomon. He set himself up for the fall, he literally created his own hole and pit and he fell into it. And, and I think that's what's so key about chapter 11 is, is you see this rebellious heart begin to become fully manifest, and the rise of Jeroboam, such a key part that we have in verses 26 to 40 because what we see here is a man that, that actually he goes away and he, you know, he flees right into Egypt and he, he's trying to really look out for himself, but he has in his heart a great ambition, doesn't he, for power and for prominence.

And we're gonna really see this play a big part in the next section. So really chapter 11 is just showing you the condition of the heart of man, especially when you know you're too wise for your own eyes. The Bible says, let another man praise you and not your own lips. And I think everything here starts to come into a real, downfall when you become so aware, rather than being humble and realizing everything you have comes from God.

John the Baptist is contrasted beautifully here because he's the kind of man that says that a man only has what's given to him from above, and he must increase and I must decrease, he says about Jesus. Well, here we see the opposite happen when you start to increase, and the Book of Ecclesiastes is a book that Solomon writes in great regret as he reflects on his life and how he says all was like chasing after the wind. It was vanity of vanities. And chapter 11 is the chapter that shows the vanity of vanities, isn't it?

Right, yeah, and remember too, friends, we're entering a season where books start to overlap a lot, and we wanna try and keep a reference of any time we go, we are, we wanted you to understand each book on its own, but we we're gonna more and more reference things like Proverbs, things like Psalms, things like the prophets, 'cause now they are all happening in the same spot in the timeline, but they're organized differently in our Bibles, so, yeah.

Alright Joey, so Solomon is dead. Rehoboam is now king, and he's gonna be an awesome king. He's got, he's gonna make up from all of his father's mistakes, didn't get influenced by any of his father's downfalls, right?

It's gonna get better,

No. not how it goes, Bodie, not how it.

so why not? What happens? Part three, the kingdom divides and sin multiplies. So here, what happens? Well, Rehoboam, Solomon's son makes the really bad choice, but it was also, God's providence behind there. A civil war within the tribes of Israel erupts so much that the nation, it fractures and it never comes back together, and so there are future prophecies about that. That's not what we're talking about today.

So Joey, now we're into part three of the book, right? Solomon's rise and glory was the beginning, then his sin and idolatry, but now the kingdom divides and sin multiplies, a lot happens in chapters 12 through 16.

So I'm gonna give you the highlights and Joey jump in with what people need to know about these four chapters. So the first thing is that the Northern tribes abandoned the tribe of Judah because Rehoboam basically says as hard as it was on you building the temple, I'm gonna make it twice as hard.

And that is a very poor PR decision and his entire nation freaks out and they all abandon except Judah, which is of course what God had promised to Solomon and prophesied to Solomon. Joey, jump in,

Yeah. Well, I think so let's just go right back to this beginning, defect that causes the division of the nation of Israel. What's interesting is there was a prophet named Ahijah, and Ahijah had made a prediction about this very thing happening to Jeroboam when he took a new garment , that he had on, and he basically cut it up into 12 parts and said, this is exactly what's gonna happen. The nation's gonna be put into 12 pieces, 10 are gonna go with Jeroboam, and two are gonna stay down south in Judah.

And you know what's so sad, Bodie? You made a great point like, this didn't have to happen. I know it was predicted ahead of time, but this is also God knowing ahead of time, the wickedness of Rehoboam's heart here, because Rehoboam had a chance to make peace, didn't


He did. He totally did.

all the elders and the ones who were with Solomon all gave him the wisdom that clearly learned from Solomon. You have a chance to make great peace and keep prosperity going if you'll just serve these men and let them serve with you with peace and let's work together, but instead, Rehoboam consults his peers, not the older, wiser ones, and his peers are like, forget these guys. We're gonna do this new kingdom our way.


a result, as you said, Bodie, he makes things even harder. He says he wants to make things, twice as hard as it was a even heavier yolk, and he's going to scourge them, and so because he spoke roughly to the people, they turned on him.

Eventually what happens is they choose Jeroboam to be their king, and the 10 tribes all defect to be under king Jeroboam now to the north, now Rehoboam, down to the south only has now the tribe of Judah, which is the Messianic tribe, the important prominent tribe for later on with Jesus coming out of that.

But outside of Judah and Benjamin, and these Levites who are down south. It's just really now, a divided kingdom where the vast majority is up in the north where Samaria is the new epicenter. I think this is really key, is we actually start to see that Jerusalem is the centerpiece of the southern kingdom and Samaria becomes the central piece of the northern kingdom.

And you know what even happens, Bodie? Because Jeroboam is afraid to have people go down south and worship there in case they turn back to Judah. He actually makes two golden images, just much like we saw with the golden calf in Exodus, and they begin to just worship these false gods, and it's all full idolatry in the north.

Absolute idolatry among all the 10 tribes in the North, and now we only have eight good kings who are gonna come outta Judah, everybody's committing adultery North, South everywhere because pride, pride is what brings destruction. We learned that in the proverbs, right? A haughty spirit before the fall, pride comes before destruction.

Oh man. Yeah. Yeah, so, so here's what's going on. We went from one nation with one king to two nations with two kings that are now fighting with one another. So there's two factors there. Now we're gonna start to see two additional factors come in, and I think this is why I feel so hard for people to follow.

The third additional factor, essentially, foreign nations and their. Influence on Israel, so Israel, the North Kingdom is called Israel. The Southern just becomes Judah. So now Israel at this point doesn't mean the entire nation. It means the northern tribes who oppose Judah. That's what it means here, right?

Which it's important to keep in mind throughout the storyline. That's why we always want to go back to the storyline. So now we have, these two nations now that used to be one, we have the foreign influences, but now we start to see God's response and we're gonna see the rise of the prophets because what's now gonna happen is that the north , they're gonna have a set of kings, and then Judah is gonna have its own kings as well.

So that's where it goes from here. So this kinda leads us Joey, into, we're in an entirely new season now. When we did our full Bible overview, one of the major turning points was the split of the nation, and it is right here, right now. So the kingdom has divided, the sin is multiplied, idolatry is rampant. What is God's response? Prophets. That's our last section, number four of our four sections.

So just a review of Solomon's rise in chapters one through 10, Solomon's idolatry in chapter 11. The kingdom divides that takes us all the way up to 16, and then 17 through 22 is where we wanna go. Now, Israel's prophets arise specifically Elijah, and Elisha.

So, we're coming to this really interesting part of First Kings, because now there are two nations, not just one, and so we wanna try and keep them in play. But really this is, Elijah is a key prophet of the Old Testament, but he doesn't get his own book like Isaiah or Jeremiah, these four chapters. If there were a book of Elijah, it would be these, wouldn't it Joey? Why do we care about this part of First Kings? What can we glean from it?

Well, you know, as we mentioned the idolatry, which sets the stage for why prophets arise and why God uses mouthpieces, it's not that far off from the world we live in today, right? When we see so much evil and immorality, and Jesus even said in the latter days, you know, because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Well, one of the ways that God deals with lawlessness or even hearts that turn away is he. He raises up witnesses, voices, in the church today. In the old Testament times, these faithful voices were calling people back into alignment with God. There were calls of repentance. There were calls of future judgment, and they predicted things very specifically.

In fact, in the previous section in First Kings 13, a powerful chapter, we would encourage you to read on your own, about a man of God who comes along and begins to, prophesy about the days of Josiah who will come, one of the last good kings of Judah, and he speaks against this idolatry in Bethel, but in this section where we're in now, the prominent prophets is Elijah and Elisha.

these prophets are men of God who are willing to face the kings, come head on with them, and they really bring the revelation of God, the Word of God.

So Chapter 17 opens up with this proclaiming of a drought, right? There's gonna be no rain until God's word says so, and so three years of famine, and no rains, and so this affects the crops, this affects the farming. This affects the economy, this affects prosperity in the land, and Elijah, confronts Ahab, who's this evil king who marries a daughter of another king, the king of the Sedonians, her name is Jezebel, and she is wicked as it gets.

Oh man. Right?

Power, and she's a seductress, and she just really manipulates Ahab. Ahab is like this weak man under this powerful woman who is just controlling him every step of the way with evil and Elijah's willing to confront all of this, and so we get into this powerful sections of like chapter 18 where he calls all the prophets of Israel together up on Mount Carmel and says, all right.

You guys make your altar, and I'll make an altar and let's see who the real God is. You guys call upon your gods, you go first since there's so many of you, and all day long, Bodie, they call out to their false gods, and guess what happens? You ready for this? Are you ready? Are you ready?

Nothing absolute silence. The false gods don't speak. You wanna know why the false gods don't speak, Bodie? 'cause they don't exist. They don't have eyes that, see, they don't have ears that ear, they don't have mouths that speak.

So Elijah waits until they're all done. Even kind of mocks them a bit, like maybe you're God's sleeping, maybe he was, in the private room taking care of him himself, you know, but actually what happens in the end is that Elijah puts 12 stones down. He sets up the heritage of Israel, the 12 tribes all united again, around this altar.

He puts water all around the altar, and then he calls upon the Lord. And what happens? Bodie? Fire comes down from heaven, consumes the altar. The glory of God is seen. This is very much like earlier, in the previous chapters like chapter eight, when Solomon's dedicating the temple where the glory of God falls again.

You see, here's the continuity, the glory of God follows the obedience of man who aligns themself with God and does his will and his purpose on the earth, and that's what the prophets are there for, to bring us back to the heart of God, the will of God, and the purpose of God on the earth.

And the prophets. Okay. That was phenomenal. That summary, man. I just, I feel like you, you just, because we extract that one scene, as if it's like this like episode of a show, but if we miss the larger continuity in the larger context of God's glory at stake, that's what was so incredible, you have one guy against 450 prophets of Baal and God, doesn't favor Elijah because Elijah's so great, he is amplifying his glory through this nation who Elijah is representing. And so it's incredible. It's so incredible because the prophets are proof of God's love. In a desperate and wicked time.

And that is so encouraging for us because even when things look bleak, God is always doing more than we realize. Always, and this is why this is in here. And what's crazy is that this, so really this is much about Ahab, and Jezebel as it really is about Elijah and Elisha, but it's really about the northern kingdom.

But Elijah is a key player here because he's obedient to God, but he's not a superhero. And in chapter 19, the most interesting thing happens immediately after consuming and calling down fire from heaven, that God answered. He gets a note from Jezebel and it scares him to death, and he goes and hides.

She threatens him and he is afraid of her, and that's when the well-known still small voice thing that people often take out of context is found. It's not about hearing God's voice, that's what prophets were designed to do. God was encouraging him to remember and to see the very thing that I just said because he says that, Hey, you think you're alone. You are alone on Mount Carmel. I have. 7,000 more that you're not aware of.

So God is encouraging him in low moments the same way that he wants to do with us when we are obedient. So then we have kind of just the wrap up, there's a lot of things that happen regarding Ahab at the end here.

But Joey, this is important for me because I feel like we often feel like when we displease God, he's against us and this shows us, man, you don't have to have a large crowd. You just have to be obedient to what God is calling you today. Anything else you have on this fourth section that you wanna share?

Yeah. You know, it makes me think about how. We stunt our growth. When we live selfish lives, we actually, not only affect ourselves, but we affect everybody around us. And you remember when Paul in the New Testament says in First Corinthians 13, there at the end in verse 11, he says, when I was a child, you know, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, everything was acting childish, right? But when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Well, you don't get more childish than a Rehoboam earlier on saying, I'm gonna make things harder for you and I want to consult my peers and, and ignore all sound wisdom. And you don't get more childish than an Ahab who actually is crying because he doesn't get a vineyard that he wants and, and he asks his wife to go get him a vineyard.

And so, what I see is a great picture here of whether you're childish or mature. It has nothing to do with age, does it, Bodie? Maturity has everything to do with whether or not you finally learn to get over yourself, to no longer be selfish, and to learn to live for the glory of God and for the good of others, and that's really what we see is the determining factor for so many of these kings.

You mentioned Elijah before with the still small voice and how God was just redirecting his heart back to him. I love how there's also this picture of discipleship. You know, one of the things I personally, I love seeing when we impart what we've learned to others in a good, healthy transference, and one of the things about Elisha is Elisha actually prayed for a double portion, didn't he?

A double blessing, and he actually winds up doing almost double the amount of miracles that are recorded in his life as compared to Elijah, and you really see this beautiful picture of men who start to align themselves of God, mature men, men who are willing to do the hard things, and the holy things.

And I also just wanna point out one last thing. When you look at this whole prophetic section, we even see this part where Ahab's actually complaining about one prophetic voice named Macaiah, imagine this, Bodie, imagine this. He actually speaks the truth and speaks the will of God, but it's not favorable to me. Ahab wanted massages and Macaiah was giving him messages. And there's the difference between so many things in this world is are you all about yourself and you just need somebody to promote your own will?

Or are you willing to hear the will of God even when it doesn't work in your favor or it's might be hard to hear. And so literally all the true prophets that are the true prophets, They speak what needs to be said, whether you wanna hear it or not. And that's really what we see in this final section, and I think we need to heed the word of God more than ever in our time and age. 'cause we have so many people who are lovers of themselves rather than lovers of God.

Right, right. Well, that's why we always start with these themes. The themes are always universal, but each book spotlights certain themes over other themes, and then that's why the full volume of scripture is so important, and that's what we hope to be able to deliver.

But you're right, Joey, there's a lot, there's always more in here than we can cover, but one of the things that we would wanna end with as we wrap up this episode

is just a visual of the timeline of First Kings, which was this episode and where we're going, and I think this is where a timeline can really help, because first Kings covers the end of National Israel, United Israel with Solomon's Reign. We see the split that happened with Jeroboam, but now you've got the north and the south kind of compared. So we've got Kings up in the north and the kings down in the south, and we get to see how long they ruled, and how it related to each of the other nations.

So if you want a visual for that, that is on the YouTube video, as well, and I'll give you a place that you can download this timeline at the end of the episode. But it's important to know that First Kings doesn't really end, it just stops, 'cause Second Kings is gonna pick up from where it left off.

So in the north we have King Ahaziah, and in the South, king Jehosaphat, and it just stops because that's where they decided to divide the scrolls. So in our next episode, we're gonna pick up in the midst of this north and south different kings and prophets season, and we're gonna see that Second Kings takes us from this moment.

All the way to the end or the fall of Judah because they don't last the same amount of time, do they, Joey? The North was more wicked, so they were overtaken earlier. The South lasted longer because of their righteousness, certain kings were more righteous. Therefore, God extended the reign of Judah until where we're gonna see, which is the fall of Judah from Babylon, that's down the road. But that is where we're going in Second Kings.

So it's, and it's important to keep in mind that there's more than just what's happening in this particular book, and we wanna try and help you know the larger story, but also know each book on its own.

So, but that's, I think where we're gonna wrap up, unless Joey, you have anything else as far as number seven, our personal favorite things, I would love to hear you go first. I'll share after, and then we'll tell our listeners where we can get both the timeline and the notes for this episode.

Well, I would just say just some final comments as I looked at the whole book of First Kings is, God is looking to dwell with man in the temple that Solomon Erects is only really the type. The ultimate temple, it's not gonna be made with human hands. We learned that in the New Testament. God does not dwell in temples made with hands.

As great as Solomon's temple was, praise God, by the hands of Jesus who was crucified on the cross of Calvary, he would birth a greater temple. And the greater temple would be all believers of every tribe, tongue, and nation who put their faith and trust in King Jesus. One thing that I just, really see when I read through First and Second Kings is I'm so thankful for King Jesus. King Jesus is the ultimate. True sacrificial king.

He has no blemishes. He was willing to lay down his life for all of us, and he showed us the greatest demonstration of love the world has ever seen. And, I love that if we trust God, if we learn from the good kings that did do that, and even though there were lots of evil kings in different degrees, To the degree that we follow closely the authority of God, the better off it'll be for us and for others.

There's so many great things to learn from these prophets as well. I love the stories of Elijah and Elisha. I love how when he went to Zarephath, how, even though he meets this poor widow who is about to die with her son, What does he do? He says, give me a cake first. Trust me, if you do this, you're never gonna run out of flour or oil.

And she had to trust God's word, didn't she, Bodie? That would be like something, the last thing a mom would do would be to feed a stranger, but

hospitality and the love of God will allow us to do so many things that we would do, that's not selfish. And so listen, Jesus models for us a sacrificial life, and I just would pray for all of our listeners today.

You're gonna be so much happier when you focus on God and others not live for yourself and kings is a great reminder to us of that. Get our eyes off of ourself and live for God and His glory and be the temple God's called you to be on this earth.

I love it and I love it, and I love Joey. How you mentioned that you didn't say this, the offices of Christ are prophet, priest and King, all of which we're starting to now see in this season. Right? There's more and more that we're gonna see Jesus fulfill later, but I love

Amen. It all

out the, yeah. It all, the volume of the book, right? So friends, we hope that this episode has been helpful for you because First Kings, there's a lot going on here. But, if this helped move the ball down the court just a little bit for you, then we praise God for that.

But we want you to get in and read this book, use the framework, use the tools that we have, and really we pray that you would be in the word regularly, and that's what we hope to help you with.

So that is episode 17. Joey First Kings Explained. So for each episode, we wanna give you a single page, PDF summary of the notes of everything that we just shared with you. If you want that, just go to, YouCanLearntheBible.com/notes, and if you go there, you'll be able to download a one page PDF that has everything that we covered in this episode.

Now, I also mentioned that the visual timeline is really starting to be important to understand how the events in these books we're now heading into, to how they relate to one another. So if you would like to download that timeline, so the notes are at YouCanLearntheBible.com/notes, the timeline, shocker, YouCanLearntheBible.com/timeline. So just add slash notes or slash timeline, we wanna equip you to read the Bible.

Lastly, if you find this helpful, we would love it if you would leave a comment on YouTube or a review in your podcast app. That really helps other people find the show and be blessed by this as well.

So, Joey First Kings is done. We are heading into Second Kings. What is one thing that our listeners could look forward to in our next episode? Second Kings explained, episode 18.

But we're gonna have a lot more kings to look at. So that means a lot more biographical sketches, a lot more things to learn from the both, the good, the bad, and the ugly. But we're also gonna see, as you said, how it all points to Jesus. Whether they're prophets, priests, or kings. So let's keep our eyes on Jesus and let's keep learning as much as we can from the word

Amen. Amen. Thanks for joining us today. We pray that you stay blessed. Stay in the word. As always, we believe that you can learn the Bible. So until we meet again, God bless you and we'll see you in the next episode.