Summary: A friend of mine told me of the kings of the Old Testament this really good insight: “There’s never a period in your life where you cannot identify with some stage of one of the kings of Israel or Judah.”
A friend of mine told me of the kings of the Old Testament this really good insight: “There’s never a period in your life where you cannot identify with some stage of one of the kings of Israel or Judah.”
I’m going to need some volunteers later this evening, volunteers with a neat handwriting. There is a lot of moving pieces to this study but we are going to watch God bring judgment upon some wicked people.
God will do His act of judgment in a boomerang sort of fashion. Let me explain. In 1918, a small British Hull steamer named The Flixton was making its way up the English Channel. The look-out man spied a white line darting toward the ship and He knew what it was almost immediately, a torpedo from a German submarine At that very moment, the German submarine surfaced in order to relish the disaster its missile would bring. The lookout gave a shout and everyone ran to that side of the ship, but it was hopeless. It was too late to turn the vessel because in a matter of seconds they would be blown up. Then one of the strangest things happened. Within yards of its target, something went wrong with the torpedo mechanism. The torpedo reared its nose above the water, abruptly turned in its course, and shot straight back on the path it had just crossed. It completely reversed its course! The doomed British seamen saw the torpedo slam the German sub and blow up!
We are going to see the very people God has selected to judge the evil dynasties will themselves by judged.
Week One: The People Demanded a King Like Every Other Nation Week Two: we examined the lives of Saul, David, and Solomon Week Three: we examined the divided monarchy and the lives of Rehoboam and Jeroboam Tonight, we advance our study of the time when Israel has torn apart into two nations.
The Southern Kingdom has twenty kings over its history. These twenty kings will reign from around 930 BC to 587 BC, or The Northern Kingdom will have nineteen kings (with a caveat) from around 930 BC to 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom is known a Judah and will last for around 345 years. The Northern Kingdom is known as Israel which is confusing. This would be similar to our Civil War and had the confederate states won, the northern states may have very well called themselves the United States. So Israel is the name of the nation when it is united and it’s the name of the northern kingdom when the nations are divided. The Northern Kingdom will last for around 210 years (less than the length of the US).
Now, Judah’s kings are all sons of King David were in Israel (Northern Kingdom), none of the kings are the sons of David. Judah is the unbroken succession Davidic dynasty were in Israel (Northern Kingdom), you have a series of mini-dynasties. Only four kings in Judah’s history are godly men (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah) while none of the kings in Israel (Northern Kingdom) are godly men. Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah are all men you want to take home to meet your mother.
We have included a map (in the handout) that may help you put this period of time together in your mind as well.
All this happened around 35 years after the death of Solomon and the division of the kingdom into north and south. My friend, professor, and now fellow church member with you, Malcolm McDow writes of this period when he says: “During the last years of Solomon’s reign, the nation’s spiritual resolve drastically declined. Solomon amassed wives and concubines as readily as he amassed wealth. In attempts to appease these women, he defected from the worship of God and implemented pagan practices throughout the land. He started his reign so rightly and ended it so wrongly. He started it with deep spiritual commitment and ended it in worldly compromise. Solomon had the wisdom to astound the world, but he did not have the wisdom to control his life. The nation of Israel paid an enormous price for Solomon’s lack of resolve and discipline.”
1. “Flip Flop” King Asa
I don’t mean that King Asa wore flip flops under his royal robe. Asa started out strong from God but ended up altogether different – he flip-flopped. I’m getting ahead of myself.
Asa is the third king of the Southern Kingdom. King David would have been his great, great grandfather. It’s likely he is just a boy of around 10-12 years of age when he ascends to the throne. Remember that Asa came to the throne just after his father, Abijam (or Abijah), had reigned only briefly (913–910 BC). In fact, the Bible says this about Asa: “And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done” (1 Kings 15:11). And to add those beautiful words, listen to this: “…the heart of Asa was wholly true to the LORD all his days” (1 Kings 15:14b). Only two other kings (Hezekiah and Josiah) receive higher commendations than Asa. Here was a man that honored God, feared God, and pleased God.