As I begin this study of 1 Kings, let me mention that a modern title for the book could be, “How to lose everything you have.” This book begins the saga of how Israel lost the promised land that they had worked so hard to procure in the book of Joshua. Indeed they lost everything they had.

You will notice that the book opens and closes with a death. It opens with the death of the King who was known as “the man after God’s own heart.” It ends with the death of the most wicked, selfish King in Israel’s history: King Ahab.  In between those two deaths we read the history covering about 150 years. That history is a story of national decline, disruption, disintegration, and disaster.  Israel and Judah passed from affluence and influence to poverty and paralysis.

The story is told by relating the specific accounts of each of Israel’s & Judah’s national leaders – the kings. Most interesting it refers to how the kings came to be king and how each would stop at nothing to gain control. The kings of Israel cared little for the people of Israel.  What concerned them primarily was what they could get out of being king for themselves.  That is why the story of the kingdom of Israel is a story of intrigue, assassinations, and much bloodshed.

From David to Ahab we can trace every form of government that man has devised and each and every time it results in disastrous failure. They all failed because the people do not acknowledge God’s sovereignty.  People cannot govern themselves effectively.  The result is always decline, disruption, and disintegration.  This is one of the great revelations of 1 Kings.

People need the Lord. It’s true of people and it’s true of nations.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6