Recognize how the offices of king, priest and prophet each helped to maintain the faith.
- The king’s role
- To model covenant obedience
- • The king was to write-out a copy of the Law, read and follow it daily, and not consider himself better than others. If so, he would rule a long time. (Dt 17:18-20)
- The priest’s role
- To make atonement for the people (when they failed to obey the covenant stipulations).
- • God provided a system of sacrifice for sins accompanied by repentance of the heart.
- To teach the law (as preventative maintenance)
- The prophet’s role
- To speak oracles of judgment (warning) or salvation (hope) – the prophet’s central role.
- • Oracles of judgment: “Do not continue on your path of idolatry; if you do, God will send judgment.” Prior to the Babylon Captivity, prophets primarily spoke oracles of judgment.
- • Oracles of salvation: offered hope and encouragement. After the return from Babylon Captivity, prophets primarily spoke oracles of hope. E.g., “The only reason I tear (judge) is to heal.”
- To act as mediators of God’s covenant enforcement
- Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel (1 Ki 18:16-40)
- • Elijah challenged evil King Ahab and his 400 false prophets of Baal with a power encounter. Elijah and the false prophets both set up a sacrificial altar without lighting its fire. Elijah proposed that each call on the name of their god. He challenged them, “The god who answers by fire—he is God.” The false prophets frantically called on Baal’s name for hours and cut themselves, but nothing happened. Then Elijah had his altar thoroughly drenched. When he called on God, the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!" Then they followed Elijah’s orders to kill the 400 false prophets.
- Micaiah and the court prophets of Ahab (1 Ki 22)
- • Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) and Ahab (king of Israel) decided to seek the Lord’s counsel about going to war against Ramoth Gilead. Ahab assembled the prophets, who all said the Lord would give them success. But Jehoshaphat knew they were lying and asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?” Ahab complained, “There is still one through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
- • The prophet holds up the measuring rod of God’s Law (the stipulations of the covenant) and announces the consequences of falling away (apostasy).
Recognize the three battleground issues between Canaanite and Yahwistic faith for Israel.
- 1.Covenant faithfulness as demonstrated by obedience to the covenant stipulations
- • Loyalty to God – and his guidelines out of love for him; trusting he will give us the blessings that we really need, according to his wisdom.
- • Following a prosperity cult – to get increased crops, fertility and wealth, people engaged in immoral sexual activities to engage their gods.
- 2. Holiness (cf Lev 19)
- • Separation unto God in ways that reflect his character or moral excellence.
- • Following Canaanite immoral practices.
- We become like (and our behavior reflects) what we really worship.
- 3. Lordship over creation
- Having a lifestyle that reflects God is Lord over every area of life.
- • Chocolate milk Christianity – your loyalty to God (chocolate syrup) is mixed homogenously throughout your whole life (milk).
- • Grapefruit Christianity – your life is compartmentalized (grapefruit sections) so that the Christian section is separate from and does not affect the others.
Recognize the two criteria used by the author of Kings to assess the reigns of each king.
- 1. Destroy the high places (idolatry)
- • The high places were viewed very negatively because they led to immoral activity (e.g., sexual worship with the prostitutes of Baal).
- • A “good king” removed the high places.
- 2. Restore the Temple (i.e., proper worship of Yahweh)
- • The Temple is God’s palace where heaven and earth meet, sacrifice for sin is made for renewed fellowship with God and people can come into his presence in a special way.
- • A “very good king” removed the high places and restored the Temple. Bad kings robbed the Temple to pay off foreign powers.
Recognize the ten major historical events of the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah. (Sect.53)
- 1. The kingdom is torn in two - Jeroboam’s revolt
- 2. The Dynasty of Omri (885-874 B.C.) and the glory of Israel (1 Ki 16:23-28)
- 3. Elijah versus King Ahab and Jezebel – Israel at a crossroads (1 Ki 16-22)
- 4. Elisha – man of God for all peoples
- 5. Athaliah threatens the Davidic succession of kings in Judah (2 Ki 11, ca 841-835)
- 6. The end of the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Ki 17, ca 722)
- 7. King Hezekiah’s response to the Assyrian threat (2 Ki 18-19, ca 701)
- 8. King Manasseh’s most evil reign (2 Ki 21, ca 697-642)
- 9. King Josiah’s reforms (2 Ki 22-23, ca 640-609)
- 10. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquers (ca 597) and destroys (ca 587) Jerusalem (2 Ki 24-25)
Recognize the “sin of Jeroboam,” which is repeatedly referenced in Kings and the prophets.
Israel worshipped other gods
State (in sentence each) the three features of the epilogue of the northern kingdom in 2 Ki 17.
- 1. Israel worshipped other gods (which was the sin of Jeroboam)
- 2. They rejected God’s decrees and covenant, and ignored his prophets
- 3. Therefore, God revoked the blessings (descendents, land, and prosperity) and enforced the curses of the covenant
State (in a 1-sentence If-Then statement) the golden thread of Israelite history from Lev 26 and Dt 28, which also runs through Judges, Samuel and Kings.
If you obey the stipulations of this covenant, then you will be blessed with descendants, land and prosperity!