Teacher: Dee Briggs
The book of First Kings picks up and continues where Second Samuel ends. Chapter one and the first few verses of chapter two tell of the final days of King David’s reign and his last acts to ensure Solomon’s succession to the throne.
Chapters two through eleven focus on Solomon; then the rest of this book, through chapter twenty-two, continues the account of kings in both the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and the Northern Kingdom (Israel), for after Solomon’s death the kingdom was torn apart.
Besides brief histories of many kings, including a sort of spiritual report card at the conclusion of each reign to tell us whether that king did right in the eyes of the LORD or whether he did evil, this book also includes some wonderful stories about the prophets of those days, especially the prophet Elijah.
Don’t get discouraged as you read these many pages of humanity’s failures. You will also find that God’s faithfulness continues uninterrupted throughout; even when His people forget, He remembers the promises and continues to call for repentance and return to a loving relationship with Him
Some things to think about:
- Why do you think Solomon could build the temple in seven years, but his own house took thirteen years?
- What differences do you find between the ancient tabernacle built under Moses’ direction and the temple built in Jerusalem under Solomon’s direction? What were the similarities?
- Considering all the wives mentioned, why do you think only three of Solomon’s children are noted: two daughters, Taphath (4:4) and Basemath (4:15), and only one son, Rehoboam (11:43)?
- Politically and practically it seems very savvy of Jeroboam to provide places of worship within the newly formed Northern Kingdom of Israel, at Bethel and Dan (see 12:25-27). If their intent was to worship the one true God of heaven, what could be wrong with that?
- What lessons should we glean from the story of the prophet of God sent to reprimand King Jeroboam in chapter 13?
- Why was there a broken down “altar of the LORD” on Mount Carmel (see 18:30)?
- Why do you think Elijah fled from Jezebel after such awesome, God-directed and God-blessed experiences at Mount Carmel?
Short Outline of 1 Kings from Today's English Version
- The end of David’s reign (1:1 – 2:12)
- Solomon becomes king (2:13-46)
- Solomon’s reign (3:1 – 11:43)
- The early years (3:1 – 4:34)
- The Temple is built (5:1 – 8:66)
- The later years (9:1 – 11:43)
- The divided kingdom (12:1 – 22:53)
- The revolt of the northern tribes (12:1 – 14:20)
- The kings of Judah and of Israel (14:21 – 16:34)
- The prophet Elijah (17:1 – 19:21)
- King Ahab of Israel (20:1 – 22:40)
- Jehoshaphat of Judah and Ahaziah of Israel (22:41-53)