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10th April

1 Kings 20-22; Psalm 100

Bible in a Year
6 minutes
In this article
10th April

1 Kings 20-22; Psalm 100

Bible in a Year
6 minutes


So far in 1-2 Kings we've read through Solomon's reign and the splitting of the kingdom. Solomon's reign started off bloody with the killing of his enemies and then looked positive as he asked God for wisdom to lead. This wisdom led to him and the nation flourishing with new levels of infrastructure being put in place and with a long era of peace. Solomon built the temple and a palace for himself. But through it all he started hoarding for himself horses, gold, and foreign wives, all of which Deuteronomy 7 warned against. These foreign wives led him to worship foreign gods. God rebuked Solomon and told him that once he died, his kingdom would be split in two. Israel in the north, and Judah in the south.

Rehoboam replaced Solomon and told the people he would be harsher than his father, which caused the northern tribes to split and start a new kingdom, with Jeroboam as their leader. Jeroboam led the northern tribes to worship idols in their own places of worship. Then we started the section of the book focused on the various kings of the two kingdoms, and the prophets that guided them.

In Israel, because Jeroboam led the people to worship false gods, God promised to remove his family from the throne. He died and was replaced by his son Nadab, who was killed by Baasha. Similarly, after Baasha came his son, Elah, who was murdered and replaced by Zimri, who was murdered and replaced by Omri. After Omri, came his son Ahab. All the northern kings were evil and their lines were bloody. In Judah, after Rehoboam came his son Abijam, who was equally wicked. After Abijam is Asa who did good and led the people back to God. But when attacked by the northern kingdom, he went to Syria for help rather than God. After Asa came his Jehoshaphat.

Then yesterday we focused on Elijah, a prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel. We read as he rebuked Ahab for leading the people to worship the storm god Baal and told him the rain would stop. He performed a miracle with some flour and oil and brought a Phoenician boy back to life. Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal in a prayer off and then fled from the wicked queen Jezebel. He met with God at mount Sinai and then anointed a new king over Syria, a new king over Israel, and a new prophet to replace him, Elisha.

1 Kings 20-22

Ben-hadad, king of Syria, comes to lay siege of the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel, Samaria. King Ahab offers Ben-hadad his own wives, children, and gold. But Ben-hadad is not happy until he has raided Samaria itself, and so the two prepare for war.

A prophet comes to Ahab and encourages him that God is on his sides, and to go into battle and attack first. So Ahab gathers up his men and they are able to defeat the huge army of the Syrians and chase them away. But the Syrians aren't done there. They assume that the God of Israel is a god of the hills, and that's why the Israelites were able to defeat them on the hills.

This time they come back with a superior army to fight in the valleys. Another prophet comes to Ahab and points out that the Syrians have insulted God by just assuming he is a god of the hills, so God will prove them wrong and help Ahab defeat them in the valleys, too. So once again Ahab's army defeats and chases away the vastly superior army of the Syrians.

This time Ben-hadad brings himself before Ahab and begs for his life, offering up all the cities that Syria have stolen from Israel over the years. Ahab agrees and lets him go. Another prophet then comes to Ahab, in a disguise, and shows him that he shouldn't have let Ben-hadad go and God will punish him for it.

A little bit later, Ahab comes to one of his neighbours, Naboth, and asks to buy his vineyard. He's willing to offer the man gold or to find him another similar vineyard, but Naboth refuses. While Ahab was a sinful man, he never oppressed his people or forced them to do anything. Grumbling, he goes home and complains to his wife Jezebel. Jezebel, however, was a violent woman and organised to have Naboth killed so Ahab could claim his vineyard. We see how completely depraved the king and queen of Israel have become.

Elijah comes to Ahab and rebukes him for what he has done. He tells Ahab that just as he and his wife killed Naboth, so will God kill him for what he has done. Miraculously, Ahab repents. He doesn't beg for his life but seems to genuinely grieve what has been said and takes time to fast before God. Because of this, God chooses to postpone his judgement.

Next is another one of my favourite Bible stories. Ahab, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, join together to go out and wage war against Syria. They check with the prophets at first, and all the false prophets say that this is a great idea. Jehoshaphat asks if there are any prophets of God around, they could also ask, and Micaiah is brought out. Eventually, Micaiah tells them that if they go into battle, Ahab Israel will be left without a king, like sheep without a shepherd.

He then gives us a glimpse into how this decision was made in heaven. In short, God said what he wanted to happen, in this case for Ahab to die. God then lets his angels decide how it's going to happen, and one steps forward saying he could trick the false prophets into telling Ahab to go off to war and they could kill him there. God likes the plan and tells the angel to set the plan in motion. We can often think that God has an exact plan he wants us to follow. But the reality is that he's got purposes for us, things he wants to do, but he actually wants to partner with us in how we get there.

Anyway, Ahab locks Micaiah up for disagreeing with him, and the two kings go into battle. Ahab is killed, exactly as God had desired it. In Judah, Jehoshaphat lived a little longer and then died and was replaced by his son Jehoram. In Israel, Ahab's son, Ahaziah, takes his place as king, and he behaved exactly the same as his father, leading the people of Israel into sin.

Psalm 100

This psalm isn’t attributed but is noted as a psalm for giving thanks. Because of this, it falls into the category of praise psalm.

Psalm 100:1-3 - Serve the Lord our creator and shepherd

Psalm 100:4-5 - Enter his course with thanksgiving and praise, for he is good

The psalmist opens with a call to make a joyful noise to the Lord. This call is for all the earth. They are to serve God with gladness and enter his presence with singing. All peoples should come and know the Lord because he is creator of all people and shepherd to all people.

Because of this, all people are able to enter into his presence with thanksgiving and praise. Why? Because he’s a good God, full of faithfulness and love.

This psalm is a short one, but reaffirms many of the themes we’ve seen in the other psalms of this fourth book of the psalms. God is Lord over all peoples, and all people can come into his presence. The fact that we enter his courts shows he reigns like a king, and he is a good king worthy of thanksgiving and praise.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

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