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Lesson No. 12—Life’s Worthiest Ambition is to Know the Bible.

LESSON THEME:—1 KINGS and 2 KINGS

1 Kings 8:22-29.

  • KEY WORD—”TEMPLE.”

  • KEY VERSE1 Kings 8:27.

  • KEY PHRASE—”A GLORY-FILLED HOUSE.”

Home Readings.

Read this lesson through and the books of Kings this week or:—

  • Sunday—Building of the Temple.—1 Kings 6:1-14.

  • Monday—Dedication Prayer.—1 Kings 8:22-53.

  • Tuesday—Folly of Solomon’s Son.—1 Kings 12: 1-11.

  • Wednesday—Elijah.—1 Kings 17:1-16.

  • Thursday—Translation of Elijah.—2 Kings 2:1-13.

  • Friday—Israel Carried into Captivity.—2 Kings 17:7-23.

  • Saturday—Judah Carried into Captivity.—2 Kings 25:1-21.

NAME—First and Second Kings is one story intended to be a continuation of the books of Samuel. They derive their name from the fact that they record the events of the reign of King Solomon and of the kings of Israel and Judah.

AUTHOR—Jeremiah. Time of writing during the Exile 588-538 B. C. History recorded covers about 400 years from 977-577 B. C. (From the accession of Solomon to the Babylonian captivity and the destruction of the temple.)

PURPOSE—To give the history of the glorious kingdom of Solomon, of the divided kingdom and the captivity. The southern kingdom (Judah) had 20 kings in 390 years (977-587), and the northern kingdom (Israel) had 19 kings in 256 years (977-721), which ended in the Assyrian captivity.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Solomon.

  2. Kings.

  3. Prophets.

Great Fact I. Solomon’s Reign.

1 Kings 1; 1 Kings 2; 1 Kings 3; 1 Kings 4; 1 Kings 5; 1 Kings 6;
1 Kings 7; 1 Kings 8; 1 Kings 9; 1 Kings 10.

Solomon was the son of David and received his religious training from prophet Nathan. He succeeded his father at a favourable time and was approved by God and accepted by the people. His kingdom embraced 60,000 square miles, 10 times more than his father inherited; this shows the achievements of David. Solomon’s reign began with a blaze of glory but it ended in a division of the kingdom. His greatest work was the building of the Temple at Mt. Moriah, the eastern hill of Jerusalem. The temple was very magnificent, the materials being of the very best and overlaid with gold, silver and precious stones, so that a moderate estimate of its cost is $600,000,000.00. It was 90 feet long by 30 feet wide by 45 feet high.

It contained the outer court of the Gentiles, and the inner court of the Jews, the court of the priests where daily sacrifices were offered up, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, the walls of which were covered with pure gold. In the Holy of Holies was the Ark with the mercy seat, overshadowed by the Cherubim and the supernatural Shekinah, light, the symbol of the presence of God. None but the High Priest, and he only on the Day of Atonement once a year with the blood of his offering, could enter the Holy of Holies. The temple was dedicated with great pomp and solemnity and Solomon’s sermon and prayer were masterpieces.

Solomon maintained a wise and strong administration or home affairs, erected many building and fortifications. Found leisure for writing the Proverbs and Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes. Formed alliances with foreign nations. Became so famous that the Queen of Sheba visited him and declared upon seeing his glories that the half had not been told her. His decline set in because he married many heathen wives who introduced idolatry. Because of his backsliding God raised up enemies to vex Solomon. Ecclesiastes describes the bitterness of Solomon’s heart at this time. Solomon reigned 40 years.

LESSON—We must be wary of success. Not only as to how we get it, (but as to how we stand it. To succeed, we must build on a good foundation, must connect with right things and big things, not overlooking small things and then consecrate it all to God’s glory.

Great Fact II. Kings of the Divided Kingdom.

1 Kings 11; 1 Kings 12; 1 Kings 13; 1 Kings 14; 1 Kings 15; 1 Kings 16; 1 Kings 17;
1 Kings 18; 1 Kings 19; 1 Kings 20; 1 Kings 22; 2 Kings 1; 2 Kings 2; 2 Kings 3;
2 Kings 4; 2 Kings 5; 2 Kings 6; 2 Kings 7; 2 Kings 8; 2 Kings 9; 2 Kings 10; 2 Kings 11;
2 Kings 12; 2 Kings 13; 2 Kings 14; 2 Kings 15; 2 Kings 16; 2 Kings 17; 2 Kings 18;
2 Kings 19; 2 Kings 20; 2 Kings 21; 2 Kings 22; 2 Kings 23; 2 Kings 24; 2 Kings 25.

During Solomon’s reign the country groaned under an intolerable burden of taxes. Luxury, vice and idolatry broke down integrity, and the religious principles of the people. There had long been jealousy between the northern kingdom (Israel) and the southern kingdom (Judah), so when Solomon’s son Rehoboam, foolishly threatened to impose heavier burdens upon the people, there was instant revolt and Jeroboam was made king of the northern kingdom. He made Shechem his capital and set up idolatrous calf worship at Dan and Bethel. Israel had nine dynasties and 19 kings from Jeroboam to Hoshea, 977-721 B. C., 256 years. Then the people were carried into captivity by Shalmanesser never to return. He was the king of Assyria with his capital at Nineveh. Many of God’s prophets warned Israel of impending captivity if they turned not from idolatry. The names of the prophets are Elijah, Jonah, Amos, Hosea and Micah.

The southern kingdom (Judah) sought to conquer the northern kingdom but failed, and internal divisions weakened both kingdoms. In Judah there was only one dynasty, and 20 kings, from Rehoboam to Zedekiah, which reigned 390 years from 977-587 B. C. The prophets of Judah who kept alive the religion Of Jehovah were Joel, Isaiah, Nathan, Zephaniah, Habakkuk and Jeremiah. Judah fell to Nebuchadnezzar, who had his capital at Babylon, in 587 B. C., about 136 years after the northern kingdom had fallen. Jerusalem was destroyed and the temple was burned. The causes of the captivity are, the people had forsaken God and disregarded His word and ill-treated His prophets. So He permitted the nations to take away their freedom, in order that they might learn in adversity, that which they were too self-willed to learn in the time of privilege.

LESSON—No nation or life can prosper and be happy if it forsakes God and disregards His word. It is not our genius and strength that makes our lives fortunate, but the supporting hand of the Almighty. Great is the gain of godliness. Said a wise Roman, “I would rather have the love of the Emperor, than his gifts.” So acceptance with God is the greatest privilege, for in the light of His countenance is life.

Great Fact III. Prophets.

The prophets played an important part in the history of these times. For the most part they were flaming evangelists like Billy Sunday, seeking to stir up the consciences of the people, to abolish idolatry, and keep religion pure and undefiled. Also to encourage a spirit of earnest expectation of the coming of the Messiah.

Perhaps the outstanding prophet was Elijah, who ministered in Israel during the reign of Ahab who had married a heathen princess, Jezebel. She did much to spread the worship on Baal. When Jehovah’s school at the prophets had been broken up, and heathenism was at its zenith, Elijah suddenly appeared and prophesied a three-year drought. While in retirement he was fed by the ravens. He gave life to a widow’s son at Zarephath, challenged Ahab again at Mt. Carmel, brought rain down from Heaven, trained Elisha as his successor and ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire.

Elijah is the most romantic character of the Bible.

LESSON—In the midst of the Dark Ages the prophets of God have always borne witness to the fact that God lives. When a woman whose husband had died was full of despair and weeping her little girl came up, and looking up into her tear-stained face, said, “Mother, is God dead?” Putting her arms about the child, the woman said, “Darling, you are His messenger to me.” “The Lord reigneth.” So, when the outlook is dreary, let us say again, “God is not dead; the Lord reigneth.”

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. How do these books get their name?

  2. Who was the author? When? How many years covered?

  3. What purposes?

  4. What is the key word and key verse?

  5. Name the great facts.

  6. How much of the book did you read last week?

  7. How much more territory did Solomon inherit than did David?

  8. What was the greatest work of Solomon’s lire?

  9. What the size and cost of the temple?

  10. What did the temple contain?

  11. Tell of the dedication.

  12. What books of the Bible did Solomon write?

  13. Why did his decline set in?

  14. What must we do to succeed?

  15. Why was there a revolt after the death of Solomon?

  16. How many kings in Israel and time covered?

  17. Who were the prophets of Israel?

  18. How many kings in Judah and time covered?

  19. Who were the prophets of Judah?

  20. Who took Israel captive and where taken?

  21. Who took Judah captive and where taken?

  22. Who was the outstanding prophet?

  23. In dark days what should we remember?

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