The Divided Kingdom Intro
The Divided Kingdom
As we leave Solomon and his writings we enter into the divided kingdom period. Our reading has told us the story of God.
Before the Flood - Here we see the beginnings: creation, man, sin, death. We also have the beginning of the promise of God to save and redeem men.
After the Flood - Mankind has a fresh start but it quickly goes wrong again. Sin and rebellion against God is again the order of the day.
Patriarchs - God chooses one man and will bring his blessings to all mankind through Abraham and his family. Thus we begin the narrowing of our story to the descendants of Abraham who will be known as Israel.
Egyptian Bondage - In preparation for a nation that God will use to bring the messiah, He chooses to develop them through the struggle of slavery. After hundreds of years as slaves He raises up Moses and delivers them.
Wilderness Wanderings - What should have been a short trip to the promised land became forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The generation of the Exodus refused to obey God and were condemned to die in the wilderness. All through this period God was with them - leading them, providing for them. He preserved the nation of Abraham's people.
Conquest of Canaan - Joshua takes over the leadership and leads the army of Israel as they conquer the land that God had promised.
Judges - Even though they were established in the land the people were in large part unfaithful to God. Every man did what was right in their own eyes - but not what was right in God's eyes. God punishes and chastens them over and over again by letting them be oppressed by foreign powers.
United Kingdom - Wanting to be like the nations around them, they reject God as their king and ask for a human ruler. God gives them Saul - then takes him away. God gives them David and promises that David will produce a dynasty that will never be destroyed. With the coming of Solomon God replaces the temporary tent of worship (it has last for some 400 years!) with the glorious temple in Jerusalem. If only they would be faithful to God and let him rule over them through the Davidic kings.
Divided Kingdom - With the death of Solomon the kingdom falls apart and divides into two competing kingdoms. This period of history covers from 930 B.C. until 721 B.C., a little over 200 years. The northern group began on the wrong road and never recovered. Jeroboam rejected God and set up his own religion complete with golden calves and special religious days. The reoccurring phrase for the kings of the north is that they will "walk in the steps of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who taught Israel to sin…"
There will be 19 kings and 9 dynasties. King will arise against King. They will never turn back from their idols. Though God will send prophet after prophet, they will reject them all. In the end, God in his holiness will have no choice but to destroy them. In 721 B.C., after 200 years of evil and idolatry, God brought the Assyrian empire against them. God destroyed them as a separate nation. Their future hope can only be found in the seed of David.
In the south, Judah doesn't do much better. All of their kings will be descendants of David but not all of them will have the heart of David. Some of them will be good and will attempt to lead the people back to faithfulness to God. In the end they too will be destroyed. God brings the Babylonian empire and ends Judah as a nation for 70 years.
God keeps his promise to David (not destroying his offspring / dynasty) by bringing the people back from their captivity (632). They will restore the law, the priesthood, the temple, and the sacrifice. They will NOT have a king until it is fulfilled in Jesus. They then wait for the coming Davidic king.
We have a lot of reading to do until we read "Jesus, the son of Abraham, the son of David" (Matt. 1:1).