This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I plan to focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!
The Big Picture of 1 and 2 Kings:
In 1 and 2 Samuel we heard the stories of the first two kings, Saul and David. The two books we’ll dig into this week tell the stories of many kings who came after them. Some did well and sought to follow after God. Many did not. Throughout the book we hear stories of Solomon and other kings, the construction of the temple, Elijah and Elisha’s ministry along with many prophets who rise up to help try to get God’s people back on track, and ultimately the fall of Jerusalem and exile. Through it all we see a theme of God’s faithfulness contrasted with His people’s failures. The author of 1 and 2 Kings is unknown.
Timeline of Key Events in 1 and 2 Kings:
- 970 BC – David’s death (1 Kings 1)
- 967 BC – Solomon asks for wisdom (1 Kings 3, 4)
- 966 BC – Building of the Temple (1 Kings 6)
- 931 BC – Solomon’s Death (1 Kings 11)
- 931 BC – The Kingdom is divided – Judea and Israel (1 Kings 12, 13)
- 913 BC – Rehoboam’s Reign (1 Kings 14)
- 913 BC – Abijam’s Reign (1 Kings 15)
- 886 BC – Elah, Zimri, and Ormi’s Reigns (1 Kings 16)
- 963 BC – Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18)
- 858 BC – Elisha’s Call (1 Kings 19)
- 852 BC – Elijah Taken up to Heaven (2 Kings 2)
- 849 BC – The Healing of Naaman (2 Kings 5)
- 835 BC – Joash’s reign – one of the only good ones (2 Kings 12)
- 812 BC – Temple repaired (2 Kings 12)
- 722 BC – Israel Led into Captivity (2 Kings 17)
- 712 BC – Hezekiah’s Illness and Healing (2 Kings 20)
- 640 BC – Josiah’s Reign (2 Kings 22)
- 588 BC – Siege and Fall of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25)
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse (two this week since we’re in two books!). This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below–you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” 1 Kings 8:23
REFLECTION: How has God been faithful to you and shown you His love lately? Make a list!
- “After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11b-12
REFLECTION: What loud/hard/big things have happened lately that God hasn’t really been “in”? Where did he show up in the midst of those things for you?
- “First seek the counsel of the Lord…” 1 Kings 22:5b
REFLECTION: What does this look like for you ?
- “This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord…” 2 Kings 3:18
REFLECTION: What feels hard in your life right now? How does it make you feel to know that any hard thing for us is still easy in God’s eyes?
- “Rather, worship the Lord your God: It is He who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 2 Kings 17:39
REFLECTION: What are your “go-to” things to worship that you think might deliver you? How can you refocus your soul on the only one who brings rest and deliverance?
God’s Grace in 1 and 2 Kings:
The Gospel coalition describes the grace of God in these books this way:
1 and 2 Kings show God’s grace in repeatedly prolonging the exacting of justice and judgment for kingly sin ‘for the sake of’ David.
It also reminded that when we read this type of literature in Scripture there is something called “corporate solidarity”. This basically means that one person (the king) represented the people as a whole, and the people were for the king. When we see that whether it was “the people” who rebelled or “the King”, God’s grace, justice, and mercy were faithful always.
Some Other Resources:
- Phone Lock Screens for 1 and 2 Kings – Download the First 5 app to your phone and you can find beautiful pictures with scripture from these two books to use as a lockscreen on your phone this week
- The Bible Project summary video of 1 and 2 Kings
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for 1 and 2 Kings
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!