After the prominence experienced during David and Solomon’s reign, the kingdom was divided and gradually descended into a shadow of what the nation was intended to be. Led by many ungodly leaders, the nation drifted further from God’s instructions.
- The division phase of the Old Testament focuses on when Israel endured a civil war of sorts and divided into two nations.
- The land and people were divided with Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
- This section is separated by:
- 1) First period experienced hostility (1 Kings 12:1-16:28),
- 2) Period of peace (1 Kings 16:29-2 Kings 8:29), and
- 3) Renewed hostilities prior to the fall of the northern kingdom (2 Kings 9-17).
- Elijah, like many other prophets, attempted to call God’s people back to obedience.
- Elijah’s name means “Yahweh is my Elohim.”
- His name shows the type of ministry he would have.
- When his nation is turning from God, he speaks out against the sin.
- He confronts the prophets of Baal and wins (1 Kings 18).
- After this experience, he is depressed and suicidal (1 Kings 19).
- His earlier boast (1 Kings 18:22) is the same as his later complaint (1 Kings 19:10) – “I am the only one left.”
- While many kings turned away from the LORD, there were some like Josiah who led the people back to obedience.
- Josiah became king of Judah at 8 years old (2 Kings 22:1).
- He is the prime kingly example of how a godly leader can turn things around.
- Under his reign, the Book of the Law was rediscovered in the temple (2 Kings 22:8).
- Upon reading it, King Josiah made sweeping changes to avoid God’s wrath.