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1 Kings Lesson Index Pic


Introduction to 1st Kings

First Kings testifies to God’s presence among Israel, but also shows just how far a nation can fall when He is ignored. First Kings begins at the end of David’s reign, as his son Adonijah attempts to usurp the throne. Solomon however, is crowned king and he builds a temple for God. But after Solomon, the once-prosperous nation splits into two kingdoms. Most of the kings on both sides fail to follow God and allow idolatry to flourish. Meanwhile, prophets, most notably Elijah, boldly call unfaithful kings to account. The author of First Kings is unknown.


Background

The books of 1–2 Kings originally formed a single work, which was probably divided because its length required two scrolls. The division between 1–2 Kings is not based on a natural break in the text; it splits the story of Elijah between the two books.

The whole work of 1–2 Kings deals with the period from 971 BC (the transition from David to Solomon) to 586 BC (the Babylonian exile). First Kings covers about 120 years of that span, starting just before Solomon’s accession and ending shortly after Ahab’s reign over the northern kingdom (853 BC).


Key Lessons

First Kings profoundly illustrates how a lack of faith and fear of God, in national identity and leadership leads to failure. 

First Kings presents: 1) leaders (on different levels) who, struggle for power rather than the will of God. 2) The consequences and results of a nation whose leaders fail to pursue and maintain a strong relationship with God.

First Kings leads us to reflect on what kind of people we will turn out to be. We can choose to stand nearly alone like Elijah, proclaiming righteousness in an unjust time, or we can choose to follow after failed leaders—or worse, become like them. The choice to follow the Lord—or not—is ours to make.   


Key Scriptures To Consider Throughout This Study

Proverbs 16:12, “It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.”

Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…”

Psalm 9:17, “The wicked shall return to Sheol, even all the nations who forget God” (NASB).


Lesson Titles

Lesson 1: The Spiritual Strength of David Endures.

Lesson 2: The Growth & Development of King Solomon.

Lesson 3: The Rise & Fall of King Solomon.

Lesson 4: A Kingdom Divided: Rehoboam.

Lesson 5: A Kingdom Divided: Jeroboam I.

Lesson 6: Abijah/ Abijam: Courage & Power.

Lesson 7: Asa: Stay Humble.

Lesson 8: Six kings of Israel: A Throne Should be Established in Righteousness.

Lesson 9: Ahab: The Tragedy of Israel.

Lesson 10: Elijah: The Lamp in Israel.

Lesson 11: Jehoshaphat: “There is good in you.”