March 11, 2014 in Bible Study
by: Jonathan Jenkins
Chapters 21-30 of this survey focus on kingship. Israel had failed to live faithfully under the kingship of God. The summary of their attitude in the days of the judges who followed Joshua was that “in those days there was no king in Israel and every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). At the end of the period of the judges, Israel came to the last judge, Samuel, and demanded that a king be given unto them. Israel’s life under its kings brought both its greatest leader and its greatest departure from God. The time of the kings proclaims the coming of the King and foreshadows the fate of the nation that rejects Him.
21) 1 Samuel 8 – Give Us a King
The time of the judges was intended to be a time when Israel recognized the kingship of God over them (Judges 8:23). They repeatedly failed in that effort. Their solution is to appoint a king over of the nation. They adopted that model from the nations around them just as God had predicted they would (Deuteronomy 17:14-20; 1 Samuel 8:5). In response to their rejection of Him, God gave the nation a king just like they had requested. Their first king, Saul, was a man of great stature and strength (1 Samuel 9:1-2). However, his heart was not perfect with God and eventually rebelled against God’s authority and was rejected from being king (1 Samuel 13, 15).
22) 1 Samuel 16 – God Gets His King
Saul’s failure set the stage for God to appoint a king of His choosing. Saul was the people’s king and lived liked the kings of the nations around Israel. However, God found in David “a man after his own heart” to be king (1 Samuel 13:14). At the time of David’s anointing to be king, God makes this great statement about His evaluation of a man’s worth to be God’s servant: “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). David was the man God knew would serve faithfully as a king of His own choosing.
23) 2 Samuel 7 – The Seed of David
While David sinned in his life, God’s evaluation of him was perfect. This fidelity to God allowed God to extend to him a great promise. 2 Samuel 7:11 prophesies of the Seed of David that will be raised up to sit on the throne of David. The promise of the passage is foundational to the development to the rest of the Bible. The kingship of the Messiah is forever tied to the lineage of David. So powerful is this connection that as Matthew begins his account of the gospel the first statement he makes about Jesus is that He is the “son of David” (Matthew 1:1). Of the promise that the Messiah would come through has an important effect on the history of Judah. In the chapters of the Old Testament that follow in our survey it will often be the case that the nation of Judah (the tribe of David) will be living in rebellion to God. Yet time and again, God will spare Judah from destruction. Behind His actions will be this promise. Because of the life of David and God’s promises to him, David’s seed can never be destroyed until Jesus comes.
24) 1 Kings 11- David’s Kingdom Divided
After David’s death his son, Solomon, ascended to the throne. In time his heart would turn away from God and idolatry would enter the nation. In response to that God decreed that the nation would be torn in two. Upon Solomon’s death, two nations emerged. Ten tribes rebelled against the house of David and under the leadership of Jeroboam formed the nation of Israel. Two tribes remained loyal to David (Judah and Benjamin) and their nation took the name Judah.
25) 2 Kings 17 – The Fall of Israel
The history of the northern ten tribes is bleak. Not even one of the twenty kings of Israel was faithful to God. Jeroboam codified idolatry in the northern kingdom (1 Kings 12). Its presence never left. So deep was the spiritual depravity of Israel that God caused the destruction of their nation and the scattering of their people by the Assyrian Empire in 721 B. C.
26) 2 Kings 25 – The Fall of Judah
The two southern tribes that made up the nation of Judah fared marginally better. 1 and 2 Kings describe righteous kings like Asa, Hezekiah, and Josiah leading the people. However, the books will also show the great depravity of Manasseh and the eventual departure of Judah from God. Just as happened to her sister nation, Judah would feel God’s judgment fall upon her through her being conquered by the nation of Babylon. By 586 B. C., the worship of God at His temple was ended. His people had been scattered among the nations. For a time, it appeared the power of the throne of David had vanished from the earth.
27) Ezra 1 – Israel Returns from Exile
One thing that is confusing for many Bible students is the chronology of the Old Testament. The three books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther actually bring us to the close of Old Testament history. From Genesis to Esther, the Old Testament moves forward in basically a chronological progression. However, nearly all of the books that follow them fit in the timeframe constructed by the first 17 books of the Bible.
So it is in Ezra 1 that the last major event of Old Testament history is introduced. 70 years after Babylon first invaded Judah, just as Jeremiah had prophesied (Jeremiah 25:11), the Jews were allowed to return home. This return from exile restored the nation to the Promised Land, reinstituted the worship of God at the temple, and set the stage for the coming of Jesus.
28) Job 1 – The Accuser of the Brethren
The books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon provide us an insight of the philosophy of life God revealed to the Israelites. In the book of Job, we are shown an important dynamic in the interaction of good and evil in the world. Job’s life is devastated because of Satan’s accusation that injustice existed in God’s relationship with Job. Satan’s claim was that God was blessing Job unjustly. God allows this assertion to be tested. In the end, Job passes Satan’s test and God’s favor upon Job is vindicated.
Ultimately, it would be Jesus that would put an end to the power of Satan’s compliant against man. The blood of Jesus would provide all people an opportunity to stand righteous before God. Jesus would defeat Satan and his works (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8). With the coming of salvation and the kingdom of Jesus, Satan would no longer be allowed to stand before God and make accusations against His people (Revelation 12:10ff). The picture introduced into the Bible in Job 1 is a powerful testimony to the great blessing it is to be Christian.
29) Psalm 2 – The Son of God
The lessons of the psalms are nearly limitless. Perhaps no book in the Bible provides more insight into God’s care for His people than this great collection of poetry. Yet, the book is also immensely rich in its doctrinal statements. Psalm 2 just such a psalm. It is used repeatedly in the New Testament to affirm the sonship (and so the deity) of Jesus (Acts 4:25-26; 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5; Revelation 2:26-27; 12:5; 19:15). This great passage answers any doctrine that would challenge the divine nature of the Messiah.
30) Psalm 16 – The Resurrection is Promised
Fourteen psalms later another impactful testimony about the Christ is found. Psalm 16 prophesies that Christ would not be abandoned in Sheol, the grave (Psalm 16:10). The New Testament writers knew this promise to be prophecy of the resurrection and appealed to it in that manner. This passage is quoted in Acts 2:25-28 and Acts 13:35. The resurrection of Jesus is a matter of prophecy. It is further proof of his deity and Lordship.
This section of chapters begins with a failed king Saul and ends with prophecies about the King of Kings. The lesson within it is that God is king and all men must submit their lives to His authority.