365 1 & 2 Chronicles

Good morning 365 Bible Challenge Readers.  Whew, 1 & 2 Kings was quite a disaster – we saw the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and a good explanation of why (2 Kings 17), and then we saw the fall of the Southern Kingdom/Jerusalem/Judah and its people sent into exile (2 Kings 25).  We will catch up with those in exile in a bit, but for now we start in the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles.

The Chronicles overlap quite a bit with 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings… let me explain why.  The Chronicles were written for the exiles who were returning to Jerusalem.  The Chronicles explain “this is who we are and this is our heritage” to a bunch of scraggly displaced people who are trying to rebuild a nation in Jerusalem.  And so it looks like this:

1 Chronicles 1-9:  The family tree from Adam to Israel in exile

1 Chronicles 10-29: The reign and legacy of David, especially the organization of the kingdom (but leaving out Goliath and Bathsheba)

2 Chronicles:  Solomon, the temple, and the Southern Kingdom (especially the good kings of Judah).  Remember that the Northern Kingdom was completely destroyed and no remnant remained, so the Chronicler only tells the story of the Southern Kingdom of Judah (to which the returning exiles belonged).

As you read the Chronicles, note the theme that “worship of the true God had made Israel strong”.  Of the kings who did right, what made them successful?  What lessons of faith can we learn from them?

Also, keep your chart of the kings handy!

365 1 & 2 Kings

Good morning 365 Bible Challenge Readers!  I hope you have enjoyed the stories of Samuel, Saul, and David in the books of 1 & 2 Samuel… I always enjoy the passion and transparency we see in King David’s life.  Our reading plan starts 1 & 2 Kings today (4/8).  If you’re behind, try to catch up this weekend, or just start fresh in 1 Kings!

1 & 2 Kings were originally one long book – the story of Israel after King David, through the reign of Solomon (Israel’s glory days!), and then civil war, destruction, and exile (an ancient Game of Thrones!).

As you read about Solomon, ask yourself: “How did the liveliest, wealthiest, most contented nation of its day slide so disastrously in one generation?”  What character lessons can we learn from Solomon?  What character lessons can we learn from the other kings?

As you read of Elijah and Elisha (some of my favorites!), ask yourself what we can learn about God from their stories?

Kings is laid out documentary style, but after the kingdom divides it cuts back and forth between Israel/Northern Kingdom and Judah/Southern Kingdom quite a bit… and can become very confusing.  I am attaching a map of the divided kingdom with two capitols (Samaria in Israel/North and Jerusalem in Judah/South).  I am also attaching a list of the Kings, which I recommend you print out and keep handy so you don’t get lost.  It’s important to work at understanding the historical framework, as you’ll need it when we get to reading the various prophets later.

KingsofDividedKingdom

Keep reading!  There are some colorful and tragic characters in the coming chapters!