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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 16, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: I Kings 10-11

 

I Kings 11:43

And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

 

Time marches on. If the reading of the Bible proves anything, it proves this fact, time marches on. Kings rise and kings fall. People live and people die. Great champions can defeat just about any human foe, but they cannot defeat time. From the Exodus to the reign of Saul, to David, to Solomon, one thing is certain. Time catches up to all. In today’s reading, Solomon dies. His life was a fairytale that ended in disgrace. The wisest human to ever live fell prey to the weaker cravings of his flesh. His heart was stolen from the Lord God by his countless wives and concubines. His is a cautionary tale. For if a man endued with wisdom such as he was can fall, any person can likewise fall.

 

Given time, the spotlight once again changes. Israel will change. No longer will that nation be the great leader of nations. It will be divided and will suffer many things over the next 225 years. There will be civil war, heroes, villains, great leaders and awful leaders, loyalty, and deceit. This time in the life of Israel is commonly called the “Divided Kingdom Age.”  It will end around 722 B.C. by being conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and carried away to Babylon in bondage.

 

Because of Solomon’s personal sin, the nation suffered. God gave Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, two tribes to rule over (Judah and Benjamin). This kingdom is called the “Southern Kingdom” or Judah. Its capital is Jerusalem, and there will be ten kings to rule over her.  The other kingdom, the “Northern Kingdom” or Israel, will be made up of the other ten tribes. Its first king is Jeroboam, its capital is Samaria, and it will have twenty kings. These both exist from about 930-722 B.C. While reading about these two separate nations the reader must be careful to identify which of the two nations the Bible is speaking of. They overlap, and intertwine, and their events overlay one another, but usually, the Bible makes it clear to the careful reader.

 

Chapter 11 of I Kings is a transitional chapter in the life of Israel. Through it all know this fact, while God seems to move from operating through the kings of His people, He begins to highlight the prophets of God. Men like Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, and Jeremiah, come upon the scene and speak for God. The office of prophet becomes much more integral to God’s manner in which He communicates to the world. The prophets will be largely ignored, rejected, mocked, persecuted, and even martyred for their messages to the nations.  But there they will be, standing and speaking for God of Heaven to the human race.

 

Later another change will take place, they will be called preachers. But in the meantime, while reading the balance of the Old Testament, (excluding the books of I and II Chronicles which retell many of the stories in the books of Samuel and Kings) the focus seems to fall on the prophets. Keep reading, for as Grandma would say about her homemade desserts, “The best is yet to come.”

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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