The Kings of Israel
You Shall Have No Other Gods - Session 5
~ Northern Kingdom ~
Advent greetings to Little Cedar and Marshall Lutheran Churches!
Onto the homestretch of our study…
So here we are getting into the home stretch of our study on the Kings of Israel. Really, we could spend weeks upon weeks studying the kings of Israel and so I’d invite you to do some rummaging around in the remainder of the book of Kings. I wouldn't worry about looking at the book of Chronicles. It's basically a rewriting of the history that we've already covered.
For this study, we will take this week to look at the Northern Kingdom and next week we will look at the Southern Kingdom. We will take an opportunity to see what we can learn from them, and also give you a framework of where things go from here.
God told Solomon, the last ruler over a united Israel, that the people would split after his death and generate kings from at least two distinct family lines (Jeroboam and Rehoboam). The Lord did this because Solomon caused the people to worship many strange pagan gods.
Death and Taxes
~ Read 1 Kings 12:1-24
As the saying goes, “nothing is certain, except death and taxes.” King Solomon was busy building up his army, the temple, and the trade business of Israel. However, this all takes money. The taxes under Solomon was quite steep. Solomon was one of the few kings to raise taxes. The biggest problem, however, was the burdensome taxation fell primarily on the northern tribes, and yet exempted Judah, leading the ten northern tribes to defect. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” What are your thoughts?
A Golden What….?
~ I Kings 12:25-33
Yeah. That’s right. A golden calf. I must admit that the worship of statues has always been strange to me in the Bible. However, when I consider the idea of idolatry, it takes shape into some different meaning to me. We may not worship golden calves, but we do have things and people that we treat as our own kind of idols. There are indeed priorities that we place above our love of God.
Ups and Downs
~ God ahead and skim through some the remaining chapters of 1 Kings
The Northern Kingdom went through periods of rule by dynasties or families. After the overthrow of the first two dynasties in only their second generations, the Israelite dynasty of Omri, in the ninth century, finally established itself, spanning the reigns of three more kings: Ahab, Ahaziah, and Jehoram. Omri’s line was the most powerful and important of the kingdom of Israel. Jehu’s dynasty lasted through a total of five kings and was followed by the brief reign of Shallum, the short-lived dynasty of Menahem, and the reigns of Pekah and Hoshea. The last two of these kings coincided with the rise of the Assyrian Empire, which destroyed forever the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C.E.
I told you so.
~ Read Micah 1:2-7
We could have picked one of the other prophets to read, but well... I picked Micah. Again and again, prophets are sent to these kings to warn them of their wicked ways. However, the kings did little to heed those warnings. You can almost hear God saying, "I told you so."
The Final Collapse
~ Read 2 Kings 17:5-12
The recurring theme through these kings is that of idol worship. Beginning all the way back with the golden calves, they continue their ways. They were given warning again and again and again. In the end, God says enough.
To wrap up our study next week, we will take a look at the Southern Kingdom and path that they took. In the meantime, hope you are all doing well!!