This week we finish 2 Samuel and dive into 1 Kings!
This week we come to the end of David's reign with a heavy heart. In the end, his story doesn't seem much different from Saul’s. David set into motion a series of events that all but destroyed his family and certainly destroyed him. While he may have found his way back to the throne, he is not the same David we saw at the opening of 2 Samuel.
The epilogue to this book provides several stories that are out of chronological order but are still important (2 Samuel 21-24). David gives a solemn and poetic rumination on the events of 1 and 2 Samuel, which should inspire confidence that God is at work despite arrogant and prideful humans who may interfere with his plan.
Most importantly, it reminds us that God will fulfill his promise to bring a messianic king who will deliver Israel in the ways that King Saul and King David failed to. At the beginning of 1 Kings, you'll see David one last time as he gives his son Solomon parting advice before passing away. Unfortunately, as we'll discover after reading the first movement in Kings, that advice only partially sinks in.
As you read the stories about King Solomon this week, you might feel like someone pulled a fast one on you. Wasn’t he supposed to be the wisest person on earth? We're glad you asked because that’s what this week's blog post is all about. Like most characters in the Bible, Solomon is a mixed bag.
Solomon asked God for wisdom (1 Kings 3-4). God grants this, and it helps Solomon to build a beautiful temple for God (1 Kings 5-8). However, as you will see in chapters 9-11, Solomon’s bad decisions multiply, and the kingdom of Israel goes downhill fast. By the end of his reign, Solomon becomes a symbolic Pharaoh in an intentional parallel from the author.
Unfortunately, Solomon’s son Rehoboam is no better. In fact, he sets into motion a sequence of events from which the kingdom of Israel will never recover.
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