These chapters get a little hard to follow, and keeping up with the timeline through 1 Kings is nearly impossible. It might help to draw a picture of the kings that ruled in Jerusalem and Judah during this time. (I don’t mean draw portraits or stick arts of each king. I mean a timeline-like picture.) One thing – and I think the main thing – to remember as we read through these chapters is that Israel is divided, and a civil war is taking place throughout these pages. This was a time of bitter unrest for the entire nation. Even though some kings, like King Asa, were good kings and did right in the the eyes of the Lord, it doesn’t change the fact that constant fighting, killing and disagreements were taking place. We can look at these pages and see why there remains considerable unrest in these same lands during present day. 1 Kings describes a split that has never been fully healed. We can look at this as a hopeless situation, or we can see it as a reason to pray for these nations today. I’m guessing many of the inhabitants of these lands in modern times don’t even know why they are at such odds with others. We know from the news that gets reported that civil war in these nations continues, and it is often blamed on religion, but it also is attributed to material possessions, such as oil and natural elements, like gold, silver and precious gems, which are abundant throughout the Middle East. Like many of the events that take place in the Bible, I don’t pretend to understand why they had to happen, but as I read, I can see the many blessings and miracles that resulted from them. We can choose to concentrate on the heartache, or we can choose to focus on God’s ultimate plan and the fact that because of these wars and divisions, we now have the assurance of Jesus that we can remain in God’s favor.
Writing prompt: Jesus
Write about how Jesus comes into play even before Judah and Jerusalem knew they needed Him.