By now, you probably know the drill. If you are new to this, this series, as you may have deciphered, is an outline of the entire Bible, book by good ol’ book. If you want to truly know your King, you can follow this link to read all of the current portions to date!
Previously in 2 Samuel…The second book of Samuel chronicles the majority of David’s life as King of Israel. From the death of Saul to David’s old age, we get a compact snapshot of all that David faced and did for the Lord. In the first book of Samuel we saw David’s anointing as king, but we also saw grave opposition from Saul, the current ruler, which took the form of relentless pursuit. David showed great character as Saul constantly tried to take his life, and he was established as a man after God’s own heart. In 2 Samuel he finally takes on the mantle of King, but the man after God’s own heart was far from perfect. Amongst his countless victories and empowered rule as King, we also see clear failings (sin). Those failings had frightening consequences, but the Lord was faithful to see through them and to hold fast to the promise to establish David’s kingdom forever! The book introduces many characters including Nathan, the prophet, Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, Joab, David’s general, Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, Absalom, Solomon, and many more! All of these men and women play an important role in defining the heart of man towards God and the propensity of the same to sin, and we also see the terrible consequences of allowing the fruit of sin to come forth. But above all, we are constantly reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness and power to redeem all no matter the circumstance.
BEFORE READING MORE – It would be ideal if you read the chapters to be discussed prior to looking through the outline! This week we are covering 1 Kings 1 – 7.
1 KINGS – At the beginning of this book, we see an old King David in the final days of his life. As David’s time as King comes to an end, there is immediately turmoil in the kingdom as Adonijah, David’s son with Haggish, attempts to seize the throne. However, Bathsheba gains the blessing of David to make Solomon King. Solomon goes on to be blessed by the Lord with unmatched wisdom. He serves the Lord in many ways, in particular he establishes the first permanent temple of the Lord. Unfortunately, Solomon turns from the Lord and is swayed by the gods of his many wives. Because of his unfaithfulness, Israel is stripped from the house of David, but for the sake of the faithful David, the Lord allows the lineage of David to rule over Judah. Jeroboam the son of Nebat is appointed the new ruler of Israel, and we see a division of the rulers of the 10 tribes of Israel and those of Judah that is plagued with much unfaithfulness, selfishness, division, idolatry, and many evil things. Eventually Elijah and Elisha, the prophets, are brought into the equation as advocates for the Lord, but we continue to see many rulers turn from the Lord. Most notable of them all was Ahab and his wife Jezebel who incited him to do evil in the site of the Lord. Ahab did eventually repent, but the Lord punished his successor nonetheless. Every king of the 10 tribes of Israel through Jeroboam did evil before the Lord, but the kings of Judah wavered serving the Lord whole heartedly at times.
- 1 Kings 1 | King David is old and on the last days of his life, Adonijah attempts to seize the throne, Solomon is anointed King over Israel: At the start of this chapter, David is old of age and at the end of his life and rule as King. He was so old that he couldn’t even keep warm, so they sought a beautiful young woman named Abishag to keep him warm. She did so, but he knew her not. At this time in David’s life, his son Adonijah “exalted himself” and claimed himself as the new King. Adonijah was born after Absalom to Haggith, one of David’s wives, and many men were with him including Joab and Abiathar the priest. However, many men were not with Adonijah including Nathan, the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and David’s mighty men. Nathan and Bathsheba converse and trick David into establishing Solomon as king. They sent Bathsheba in to request of the King, and then Nathan went in shortly after to confirm her request. David granted the request, and Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah took Solomon to Gihon and anointed him King before all the people. Shortly after, Adonijah and all those with him dispersed after hearing that Solomon was anointed, and Solomon spares his life after he pays homage to the new King.
- 1 Kings 2 | David guides Solomon, David dies, Solomon rules: As David neared death, he instructed Solomon:
“Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke me concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel'” | 1 Kings 2:2-4
David continues to give him direction in regards Joab and Shimei who acted dishonorably and Barzillai the Gileadite who treated David loyally when he fled from Absalom. Then David died after reigning over Israel for 40 years. So Solomon went on to do what his father requested. Adonijah asked Bathsheba to request Abishag as a wife, and Solomon puts him to death for his allegiance with Joab and Abiathar. He expels Abiathar, puts Joab to death for his evil deeds against Abner, and restricted Shimei to Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Shimei left the city, and Solomon was forced to put him to death. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was Solomon’s right hand man in all of this, and he was placed over the army in place of Joab, and Zadok was placed over Abiathar as priest, which fulfilled the word of the Lord regarding the house of Eli in 1 Samuel 3.
- 1 Kings 3 | Solomon marries Pharaoh’s daughter to form an alliance, Solomon serves the Lord as David did, Solomon’s wisdom: Solomon married Pharoah’s daughter to form a marriage alliance, which may be a sign of the fault within him since the Lord clearly established principle regarding marriage to others outside of the nation of Israel. Nonetheless, we see that Solomon loved the Lord and walked in the statutes of David his father. He loved the Lord so much that when at Gibeon to sacrifice there, the Lord appeared to him and said “Ask what I shall give you”. Of all the things that Solomon could have asked for, he ended up asking for an “understanding mind” to be able to discern between good and evil.
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this | 1 Kings 3:10
So the Lord blessed him with wisdom that surpassed all others. The Lord also blessed him with riches, honor and long life as long as he kept the statutes of the Lord as David walked. Solomon went on to display his great wisdom by passing judgement on the issue of the two prostitutes who each had a baby. One had slept on her baby and caused it to die. She then switched the baby with the others. Solomon commanded to cut the child in half give one half to each woman, and the true mother out of love in her heart offered the child to the other woman because she could not bear to see harm done to her child.
- 1 Kings 4 | Solomon’s High officials and officers, the breadth of his wisdom: Solomon’s many officials are listed in this chapter, which include Benaiah, the commander of the army, Zadok, and many others. 12 officers were set over all Israel, and these provided food to the king 1 month in the year each. Judah and Israel enjoyed much happiness under Solomon at this time, and they were “as many as the sand by the sea”. Solomon’s house required much, but all of his officers did not let anything lack. The Lord “gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore…” His wisdom was greater than any other man, and he wrote 3,000 provers and 1,005 songs. People from all over came to partake of the great wisdom that they had heard of.
- 1 Kings 5-6 | Hiram sends his servants to Solomon, Solomon makes many preparations to build a temple, Solomon builds the Temple of the Lord: Solomon experienced peace and rest on every side. He recognized that his father, David, was constantly in war, so he could never build a house for the Lord. Solomon took the opportunity to build a house for the name of the Lord as was promised in 2 Samuel 7. Solomon requested the help of Hiram, the king of Tyre, and Hiram was ecstatic to lend aid because he loved David. Solomon prepared food, materials, and forced labor upwards of 30,000 men to build the temple of the Lord. Solomon spent 7 years building the temple which is described in great detail, and the Lord promised:
Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.” | 1 Kings 6:11-13
- 1 Kings 7 | Solomon builds his house, further detail about the house of the Lord: Solomon spent 13 years building his own house, which seems to provide for him and many of his closest officials. This chapter goes into great detail describing the construction of the House of the Forest of Lebanon, which included many halls for judgement and for his own rest. Hiram continued to help him with the construction of this house, and we see further details about the house of the Lord and its many features. At the end of it all, Solomon brings in all the silver, gold, and vessels, and stored them in the treasury in the house of the Lord.