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Author: The Book of 1 Kings does not specifically name its author.

The tradition is that it was written by the Prophet Jeremiah. Date of Writing: The Book of 1 Kings was likely written between 560 and 540 B.C. Purpose of Writing: This book is the sequel to 1 and 2 Samuel and begins by tracing Solomon's rise to kingship after the death of David. The story begins with a united kingdom, but ends in a nation divided into 2 kingdoms, known as Judah and Israel. 1 and 2 Kings are combined into one book in the Hebrew Bible. Key Verses: 1 Kings 1:30, "I will surely carry out today what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place." 1 Kings 9:3, "The LORD said to him: 'I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.'" 1 Kings 12:16, "When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: 'What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse's son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!'" 1 Kings 12:28, "After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, 'It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'" 1 Kings 17:1, "Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.'" Brief Summary: The Book of 1 Kings starts with Solomon and ends with Elijah. The difference between the two gives you an idea as to what lies between. Solomon was born after a palace scandal between David and Bathsheba. Like his father, he had a weakness for women that would bring him down. Solomon did well at first, praying for wisdom and building a temple to God that took seven years. But then he spent 13 years building a palace for himself. His accumulation of many wives led him to worship their idols and led him away from God. After Solomons death, Israel was ruled by a series of kings, most of whom were evil and idolatrous. This, in turn, led the nation away from God and even the preaching of Elijah could not bring them back. Among the most evil kings was Ahab and his queen, Jezebel, who brought the worship of Baal to new heights in Israel. Elijah tried to turn the Israelites back to the worship of Jehovah, even challenging the idolatrous priests of Baal to a showdown with God on Mount Carmel. Of course God won. This made Queen Jezebel angry (to say the least). She ordered Elijah's death so he ran away and hid in the wilderness. Depressed and exhausted, he said; "Let me die." But God sent food and encouragement to the prophet and whispered to him in a "quiet gentle sound," and in the process saved his life for further work.

Foreshadowings: The Temple in Jerusalem, where Gods Spirit would dwell in the Holy of Holies, foreshadows believers in Christ in whom the Holy Spirit resides from the moment of our salvation. Just as the Israelites were to forsake idolatry, so are we to put away anything that separates us from God. We are His people, the very temple of the living God. Second Corinthians 6:16 tells us, What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." Elijah the prophet was for forerunner of Christ and the Apostles of the New Testament. God enabled Elijah to do miraculous things in order to prove that he was truly a man of God. He raised from the dead the son of the widow of Zarephath, causing her to exclaim, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth." In the same way, men of God who spoke His words through His power are evident in the New Testament. Not only did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, but He also raised the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:14-15) and Jairus daughter (Luke 8:5256). The Apostle Peter raised Dorcas (Acts 9:40) and Paul raised Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12). Practical Application: The Book of 1 Kings has many lessons for believers. We see a warning about the company we keep, and especially in regard to close associations and marriage. The kings of Israel who, like Solomon, married foreign women exposed themselves and the people they ruled to evil. As believers in Christ, we must be very careful about whom we choose as friends, business associates, and spouses. Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33). Elijahs experience in the wilderness also teaches a valuable lesson. After his incredible victory over the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, his joy turned to sorrow when he was pursued by Jezebel and fled for his life. Such mountaintop experiences are often followed by a letdown and the depression and discouragement that can follow. We have to be on guard for this type of experience in the Christian life. But our God is faithful and will never leave or forsake us. The quiet, gentle sound that encouraged Elijah will encourage us. Recommended Resources: 1 & 2 Kings, Holman Old Testament Commentary by Gary Inrig. 1st & 2nd Kings, New American Commentary by Paul House. Question: "What should we learn from the life of Solomon?" Answer: Solomon is the third and last king of the united kingdom of Israel, following King Saul and King David. He was the son of David and Bathsheba, the former wife of Uriah the Hittite whom David had killed to hide his adultery with Bathsheba while her husband was on the battle front. Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon, the book of Ecclesiastes, and much of the book of Proverbs. His authorship of Ecclesiastes is contested by some, but Solomon is the only son of David to be king over Israel (not just Judah) in Jerusalem (Ecclesiastes 1:1, 12), and many of the descriptions of the author fit Solomon perfectly. Solomon reigned for 40 years (1 Kings 11:42). What are the highlights of Solomons life? When he ascended to the throne, he sought after God and

God gave him opportunity to ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon humbly acknowledged his inability to rule well and unselfishly asked God for the wisdom he would need to rule Gods people justly. God gave him wisdom and wealth besides (1 Kings 3:4; 10:27). In fact, his riches and wisdom surpassed all of the kings of the earth (1 Kings 10:23). God also gave him peace on all sides during most of his reign (1 Kings 4:20-25). The favorite illustration of that wisdom is his judging a dispute over the identity of the true mother of an infant child (1 Kings 3:16-28). Solomon was not only wise in his rule but had great general wisdom as well. His wisdom was renowned in his day, and the Queen of Sheba traveled 1,200 miles to verify the rumors of his wisdom and grandeur (1 Kings 10). Solomon wrote many proverbs and songs (1 Kings 4:32) and completed many building projects (1 Kings 7:1-12, 9:15-23). Solomon also built a fleet of ships and acquired tons of gold from Ophir with Hiram, king of Tyre, as a partner (1 Kings 9:2628; 10:11, 22). Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, many of them foreigners who led him into public idolatry in his old age, greatly angering God (1 Kings 11:1-13). There are many lessons we can learn from the life of Solomon. First, when we seek God with all of our heart, He will be found (1 Kings 3:3-7). Second, those who honor God will be honored by Him (1 Kings 3:11-13; 1 Samuel 2:30). Third, God will equip us to accomplish the tasks He calls us to if we will rely on Him (1 Kings 3; Romans 12:3-8; 2 Peter 1:3). Fourth, the spiritual life is a marathon, not a sprint. A good start is not always enough to finish well (1 Kings 3, 11). Fifth, we can sincerely ask God to incline our hearts toward Him (1 Kings 8:57-58), but we will wander off the path of righteousness if we choose to violate His revealed word. Contrary to Gods written word concerning kings, Solomon multiplied to himself gold, horses, and wives (700 wives and 300 concubines) (Deuteronomy 17:14-17). He also married non-Jewish wives (Deuteronomy 7:3, 4; Exodus 34:16). Sixth, those closest to us will affect our spiritual lives (Exodus 34:16; 1 Kings 11:1-8; Daniel 1, 3; 1 Corinthians 15:33), and we must therefore be very careful of the company we keep. Seventh, life lived apart from God will be meaningless, regardless of education, fulfilled goals, the greatest of pleasures, and the greatest abundance of wealth (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Recommended Resource: The Great Lives from God's Word Series by Chuck Swindoll. Question: "Who was the Queen of Sheba?" Answer: The Queen of Sheba, according to the biblical narrative, was a woman of great wealth, beauty and power. Sheba, believed to be either in Ethiopia or Yemen by most biblical scholars, was a wellestablished city, and although there is little evidence outside the Bible as to the nature of the monarchy and how it was established, it is clear that the Queen of Sheba ruled alone and was not enamored with the religions in her own land. The Queen of Sheba traveled to Jerusalem as she had heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, *and+ came to test Solomon with hard questions (1 Kings 10:1). As God had granted Solomon the gift of wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-12), nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her (1 Kings 10:3). After a meal together, the Queen of Sheba declares how impressed she is with Solomons answers, hospitality, and the reputation that preceded him. The story ends with an exchange

of resources and Queen Sheba returning with her retinue to her own country (1 Kings 10:13). Sources outside the Bible suggest that the Queen of Sheba conceived a child in secret with King Solomon, while some Bible commentators have suggested that the nameless woman in the Song of Solomon is the Queen of Sheba (with the man being King Solomon). Both are speculative and while interesting, cannot be declared factual. Whether she has any relation to the Sheba mentioned in Genesis 10:7 and 28, or if she was the ancestor of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians (Acts 8:27), is again, open to speculation. The Queen of Sheba is mentioned again in the New Testament, by an alternative title, the Queen of the South (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31). Jesus refers to her, reaffirming her historical personage, as a means to illustrate the point that, despite being originally pagan in belief and Gentile in race, the Queen of Sheba recognized the truth and reality of God, unlike the religious leaders who opposed Jesus. As such, they would be condemned for their ignorant and defiant nature. Two lessons can be learned from the story of the Queen of Sheba. First, like King Solomon, believers are to show evidence of Gods favour in their lives, whatever their role, profession or environment. Second, the reputation of believers should precede them by their godly words and actions, for we are Christs ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns. Question: "Why was Israel divided into the Southern Kingdom and Northern Kingdom?" Answer: Throughout their history in the Promised Land, the children of Israel struggled with conflict among the tribes. The disunity went back all the way to the patriarch Jacob, who presided over a house divided. The sons of Leah and the sons of Rachel had their share of contention even in Jacobs lifetime (Genesis 37:1-11). The enmity among the half-brothers continued in the time of the judges. Benjamin (one of Rachels tribes) took up arms against the other tribes (Judges 20). Israels first king, Saul, was of the tribe of Benjamin. When David was crowned kingDavid was from the tribe of Judah (one of Leahs tribes)the Benjamites rebelled (2 Samuel 23). After a long war (2 Samuel 3:1), David succeeded in uniting all twelve tribes (5:1-5). The frailty of the union was exposed, however, when Davids son Absalom promoted himself as the new king and drew many Israelites away from their allegiance to David (2 Samuel 15). Significantly, Absalom set up his throne in Hebron, the site of the former capital (v. 10). A later revolt was led by a man named Sheba against David and the tribe of Judah (20:1-2). The reign of Davids son Solomon saw more unrest when one of the kings servants, Jeroboam, rebelled. Jeroboam was on the kings errand when he met the prophet Ahijah, who told him that God was going

to give him authority over ten of the twelve tribes of Israel. Gods reason for the division of the kingdom was definitive: Because they have forsaken me . . . and have not walked in my ways. However, God promised that Davids dynasty would continue, albeit over a much smaller kingdom, for the sake of Gods covenant with David and for the sake of Jerusalem, Gods chosen city. When Solomon learned of the prophecy, he sought to kill Jeroboam, who fled to Egypt for sanctuary (1 Kings 11:26-40). After Solomons death, his son Rehoboam was set to become the next king. Jeroboam returned from Egypt and led a group of people to confront Rehoboam with a demand for a lighter tax burden. When Rehoboam refused the demand, ten of the tribes rejected Rehoboam and Davids dynasty (1 Kings 12:16), and Ahijahs prophecy was fulfilled. Only Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to King Rehoboam. The northern tribes crowned Jeroboam as their king. Rehoboam made plans to mount an assault on the rebel tribes, but the Lord prevented him from taking that action (vv. 21-24). Meanwhile, Jeroboam further consolidated his power by instituting a form of calf worship unique to his kingdom and declaring that pilgrimages to Jerusalem were unnecessary. Thus, the people of the northern tribes would have no contact with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day (1 Kings 12:19). The northern kingdom is called Israel (or sometimes Ephraim) in Scripture, and the southern kingdom is called Judah. From the divine viewpoint, the division was a judgment on not keeping Gods commands, specifically the commands prohibiting idolatry. From a human viewpoint, the division was the result of tribal discord and political unrest. The principle is that sin brings division (1 Corinthians 1:13, 11:18; James 4:1). The good news is that God, in His mercy, has promised a reuniting of the northern and southern kingdoms. He will raise a banner for the nations / and gather the exiles of Israel; / he will assemble the scattered people of Judah / from the four quarters of the earth. / Ephraims jealousy will vanish, / and Judahs enemies will be destroyed; / Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, / nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim (Isaiah 11:12-13). When the Prince of PeaceJesus Christreigns in His millennial kingdom, all hostility, jealousy, and conflict among the tribes will be put to rest. Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns.

Question: "Why was Israel divided into the Southern Kingdom and Northern Kingdom?" Answer: Throughout their history in the Promised Land, the children of Israel struggled with conflict among the tribes. The disunity went back all the way to the patriarch Jacob, who presided over a house divided. The sons of Leah and the sons of Rachel had their share of contention even in Jacobs lifetime (Genesis 37:1-11). The enmity among the half-brothers continued in the time of the judges. Benjamin (one of Rachels tribes) took up arms against the other tribes (Judges 20). Israels first king, Saul, was of the tribe of Benjamin. When David was crowned kingDavid was from the tribe of Judah (one of Leahs tribes)the Benjamites rebelled (2 Samuel 23). After a long war (2 Samuel 3:1),

David succeeded in uniting all twelve tribes (5:1-5). The frailty of the union was exposed, however, when Davids son Absalom promoted himself as the new king and drew many Israelites away from their allegiance to David (2 Samuel 15). Significantly, Absalom set up his throne in Hebron, the site of the former capital (v. 10). A later revolt was led by a man named Sheba against David and the tribe of Judah (20:1-2). The reign of Davids son Solomon saw more unrest when one of the kings servants, Jeroboam, rebelled. Jeroboam was on the kings errand when he met the prophet Ahijah, who told him that God was going to give him authority over ten of the twelve tribes of Israel. Gods reason for the division of the kingdom was definitive: Because they have forsaken me . . . and have not walked in my ways. However, God promised that Davids dynasty would continue, albeit over a much smaller kingdom, for the sake of Gods covenant with David and for the sake of Jerusalem, Gods chosen city. When Solomon learned of the prophecy, he sought to kill Jeroboam, who fled to Egypt for sanctuary (1 Kings 11:26-40). After Solomons death, his son Rehoboam was set to become the next king. Jeroboam returned from Egypt and led a group of people to confront Rehoboam with a demand for a lighter tax burden. When Rehoboam refused the demand, ten of the tribes rejected Rehoboam and Davids dynasty (1 Kings 12:16), and Ahijahs prophecy was fulfilled. Only Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to King Rehoboam. The northern tribes crowned Jeroboam as their king. Rehoboam made plans to mount an assault on the rebel tribes, but the Lord prevented him from taking that action (vv. 21-24). Meanwhile, Jeroboam further consolidated his power by instituting a form of calf worship unique to his kingdom and declaring that pilgrimages to Jerusalem were unnecessary. Thus, the people of the northern tribes would have no contact with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day (1 Kings 12:19). The northern kingdom is called Israel (or sometimes Ephraim) in Scripture, and the southern kingdom is called Judah. From the divine viewpoint, the division was a judgment on not keeping Gods commands, specifically the commands prohibiting idolatry. From a human viewpoint, the division was the result of tribal discord and political unrest. The principle is that sin brings division (1 Corinthians 1:13, 11:18; James 4:1). The good news is that God, in His mercy, has promised a reuniting of the northern and southern kingdoms. He will raise a banner for the nations / and gather the exiles of Israel; / he will assemble the scattered people of Judah / from the four quarters of the earth. / Ephraims jealousy will vanish, / and Judahs enemies will be destroyed; / Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, / nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim (Isaiah 11:12-13). When the Prince of PeaceJesus Christ reigns in His millennial kingdom, all hostility, jealousy, and conflict among the tribes will be put to rest. Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns. Question: "Why was Israel divided into the Southern Kingdom and Northern Kingdom?" Answer: Throughout their history in the Promised Land, the children of Israel struggled with

conflict among the tribes. The disunity went back all the way to the patriarch Jacob, who presided over a house divided. The sons of Leah and the sons of Rachel had their share of contention even in Jacobs lifetime (Genesis 37:1-11). The enmity among the half-brothers continued in the time of the judges. Benjamin (one of Rachels tribes) took up arms against the other tribes (Judges 20). Israels first king, Saul, was of the tribe of Benjamin. When David was crowned kingDavid was from the tribe of Judah (one of Leahs tribes)the Benjamites rebelled (2 Samuel 23). After a long war (2 Samuel 3:1), David succeeded in uniting all twelve tribes (5:1-5). The frailty of the union was exposed, however, when Davids son Absalom promoted himself as the new king and drew many Israelites away from their allegiance to David (2 Samuel 15). Significantly, Absalom set up his throne in Hebron, the site of the former capital (v. 10). A later revolt was led by a man named Sheba against David and the tribe of Judah (20:1-2). The reign of Davids son Solomon saw more unrest when one of the kings servants, Jeroboam, rebelled. Jeroboam was on the kings errand when he met the prophet Ahijah, who told him that God was going to give him authority over ten of the twelve tribes of Israel. Gods reason for the division of the kingdom was definitive: Because they have forsaken me . . . and have not walked in my ways. However, God promised that Davids dynasty would continue, albeit over a much smaller kingdom, for the sake of Gods covenant with David and for the sake of Jerusalem, Gods chosen city. When Solomon learned of the prophecy, he sought to kill Jeroboam, who fled to Egypt for sanctuary (1 Kings 11:26-40). After Solomons death, his son Rehoboam was set to become the next king. Jeroboam returned from Egypt and led a group of people to confront Rehoboam with a demand for a lighter tax burden. When Rehoboam refused the demand, ten of the tribes rejected Rehoboam and Davids dynasty (1 Kings 12:16), and Ahijahs prophecy was fulfilled. Only Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to King Rehoboam. The northern tribes crowned Jeroboam as their king. Rehoboam made plans to mount an assault on the rebel tribes, but the Lord prevented him from taking that action (vv. 21-24). Meanwhile, Jeroboam further consolidated his power by instituting a form of calf worship unique to his kingdom and declaring that pilgrimages to Jerusalem were unnecessary. Thus, the people of the northern tribes would have no contact with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day (1 Kings 12:19). The northern kingdom is called Israel (or sometimes Ephraim) in Scripture, and the southern kingdom is called Judah. From the divine viewpoint, the division was a judgment on not keeping Gods commands, specifically the commands prohibiting idolatry. From a human viewpoint, the division was the result of tribal discord and political unrest. The principle is that sin brings division (1 Corinthians 1:13, 11:18; James 4:1). The good news is that God, in His mercy, has promised a reuniting of the northern and southern kingdoms. He will raise a banner for the nations / and gather the exiles of Israel; / he will assemble the scattered people of Judah / from the four quarters of the earth. / Ephraims jealousy will vanish, / and Judahs enemies will be destroyed; / Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, / nor

Judah hostile toward Ephraim (Isaiah 11:12-13). When the Prince of PeaceJesus Christ reigns in His millennial kingdom, all hostility, jealousy, and conflict among the tribes will be put to rest. Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns. Question: "What does it mean that God speaks in a still small voice?" Answer: There is only one place in Scripture where God is said to speak in a still small voice, and it was to Elijah after his dramatic victory over the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:20-40). Told that Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, king of Israel, was seeking kill him, Elijah ran into the wilderness and collapsed in exhaustion. God sent an angel with food and water to strengthen him, told him to rest, and then sent him to Horeb. In a cave there, Elijah voices his complaint that all of Gods prophets had been killed by Jezebel and he alone had survived. God instructed him to stand on the mountain in His presence. Then the Lord sent a mighty wind which broke the rocks in pieces; then He sent an earthquake and a fire, but His voice was in none of them. After all that, the Lord spoke to Elijah in the still small voice, or gentle whisper. The point of God speaking in the still small voice was to show Elijah that the work of God need not always be accompanied by dramatic revelation or manifestations. Divine silence does not necessarily mean divine inactivity. Zechariah 4:6 tells us that Gods work is not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, meaning that overt displays of power are not necessary for God to work. Because He is God, He is not confined to a single manner of communicating with His people. Elsewhere in Scripture, He is said to communicate through a whirlwind (Job 38:1), to announce His presence by an earthquake (Exodus 19:18), and to speak in a voice that sounds like thunder (1 Samuel 2:10, Job 37:2, Psalm 104:7, John 12:29). In Psalm 77:18, His voice is compared to both thunder and whirlwind. And in Revelation 4:5, were told that lightning and thunder proceed from the throne in heaven. Nor is God limited to natural phenomena when He speaks. All through Scripture, He speaks through His prophets over and over. The common thread in all the prophets is the phrase, Thus says the Lord. He speaks through the writers of Scripture. Most graciously, however, He speaks through His Son, the Lord Jesus. The writer to the Hebrews opens his letter with this truth: Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world (Hebrews 1:1-2). The difference between God speaking through the thunder and whirlwind, then through the still small voice can be also considered as showing the difference between the two dispensations of law and grace. The law is a voice of terrible words and was given amidst a tempest of wind, thunder, and lightning, attended with an earthquake, Hebrews 12:18-24, but the Gospel is a gentle voice of love, grace, and mercy, of peace, pardon, righteousness, and the free gift of salvation through Christ. The law breaks the rocky hearts of men in pieces, shakes their consciences, and fills their minds with a sense of Gods fiery wrath and punishment they deserve, and then the gospel speaks gently to them of the peace and pardon available in Christ.

It is less important how God speaks to us than what we do with what He says. God speaks most clearly to us in this day through His Word. The more we learn it, the more ready we will be to recognize His voice when He speaks, and the more likely we are to obey what we hear. Recommended Resource: Hearing God's Voice by Henry & Richard Blackaby.
Question: "What should we learn from the life of Jezebel?" Answer: Jezebel is a name synonymous with evil; she is the epitome of the wicked woman. So infamous is her name that, to this day, no one names their baby daughter Jezebel. To call a woman a Jezebel is the greatest insult imaginable. Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, a priest of the cruel, sensuous, false god Baal. Ethbaal, the priest-king of Tyre who murdered his own brother to take over the throne, was hardly a good father figure. But Jezebel followed in her fathers footsteps and was herself a power-hungry murderess who stopped at nothing to get what she wanted. The king of Israel at the time was Ahab, a weak, self-pitying man who abdicated his authority to his bride, the princess Jezebel. In spite of Gods laws forbidding idolatry and the worship of any god but Jehovah, Ahab married this princess who brought to Israel with her hundreds of priests of lewd Baal worship, a cult which tended to destroy manhood and drag womanhood into shame. Jezebel was such a domineering person that she soon became master over her weak husband. One of her first acts was to order the extermination of the prophets of Jehovah (1 Kings 18:4, 13) and set up altars to Baal. So pervasive was her idolatrous influence in Israel that Jesus later used her name to refer to a woman who led the church at Thyatira into immorality and the worship of false gods (Revelation 2:20). Jezebels strongest enemy was the great prophet Elijah, who defied her and opposed her evil rule. First, he pronounced the punishment of God upon Israel in the form of a drought which lasted three years (James 5:17). This culminated in a contest on Mount Carmel between the powers of Israels true God and the Baals. After the 850 priests of Baal spent the day beseeching their gods with wailing and selfmutilation to end the drought, all to no avail, Elijah prayed to his omnipotent God who responded by accepting the sacrifice, having the false prophets slaughtered, and providing an abundance of rain (1 Kings 18:16-46). Instead of acknowledging the awesome power of the one true God, Jezebel was enraged and vowed to kill Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-2). Elijah fled from her wrath to the wilderness (1 Kings 19:3-8). In the meantime, Jezebel was proving herself to be the greedy, murderous, evil woman she truly was. A righteous man named Naboth owned a vineyard next to Ahabs palace. Ahab offered to buy the vineyard, but Naboth, honoring Gods command to keep inheritances within the family, rightly refused to sell. Ahab became sullen and angry and went home to sulk on his bed. Jezebel ridiculed him for his weakness and told him to cheer up for she would get the vineyard for him. She plotted with two lying scoundrels to have Naboth falsely accused and denounced, then put to death. Then she calmly declared to Ahab that the vineyard was his (1 Kings 21:1-16). Here we see the formula for a disastrous marriage: a

weak, childish man who allows his evil, domineering wife to rule the home. This is the exact opposite of Gods plan for marriage: a loving husband who leads his family, and whose care for his wife mirrors that of Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25-26, 28-29), and a godly woman who submits to her husband as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22), each submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:7). As with all who defy the Lord, Jezebels end was not a pretty one, although it was more gruesome than most, perhaps as an object lesson to all who set themselves up against the one true God. Her doom was sure, having been prophesied by Elijah in 1 Kings 21:23. Even as she saw her death approaching, she remained defiant to the end, painting her face and adorning herself in queenly garments. She looked out the window and shouted her defiance to Jehu, the next king of Israel who came to take his throne (2 Kings 9:30-37). Jehu commanded her to be thrown out the window to her death, where she was trampled by the horses hooves and almost entirely consumed by dogs. Her thirty years of tyranny over Israel had ended. The terror visited upon Jezebel was a testimony to the Israelites, and to us, that Gods power is supreme and those who defy Him will meet a terrible end. Recommended Resource: The Great Lives from God's Word Series by Chuck Swindoll.

Question: "Why did God use a lying spirit to deceive Ahab?" Answer: In 1 Kings 22:19-23, there is a troubling passage in which we are told that God used a lying spirit to deceive Ahab. Does God really use evil, lying spirits to do His bidding? Why would God do such a thing? To find the answer to this question, we need to learn a little background about King Ahab, and also understand something about the sovereignty of God. King Ahab was the son of Omri, and he reigned over Israel in Samaria for 22 years (1 Kings 16:29). Continuing the example of his father, Ahab did evil in the sight of God by worshiping Baal and did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel that were before him (1 Kings 16:33). Ahab again and again proved he was bent on evil, evidenced by his continued refusal to listen to the prophet Elijahs warnings. Ahab accused Elijah of troubling Israel by the drought, but Elijah declared that it was Ahab's own sin which caused the troubles for the nation (1 Kings 18:18). Since Ahab had declared war on God by killing His prophets (v. 13), God then brought the war to Ahab in the form of a contest (1 Kings 18:19-40) between the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal on one side, and Elijah on the other. When God miraculously verified Elijahs status as His true prophet, Ahab should have repented, but he remained in his sinful rebellion, fueled by the wicked anger of his wife, Jezebel. In many subsequent incidents, God again showed His power and mercy to Ahab, but the king refused to submit and obey Him. Finally Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, came to visit him and Ahab persuaded him to join in battle to take Ramoth-Gilead from the Syrians. Wisely, Jehoshaphat insisted that they seek God's will in the matter, so Ahab brought 400 false prophets together, who all assured him that God would give them victory (1 Kings 22:6). Jehoshaphat recognized their falsehood and asked whether a true prophet of God could be summoned. Ahab acknowledged that Micaiah was a true prophet, but he hated him, because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad (1 Kings 22:8).

Micaiah was brought before the kings and delivered God's final warning to Ahab. He said that if they went to war, they would be defeated and left without a king. Ahab replied, Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad? (1 Kings 22:18). Ahab was again rejecting the clear warning from God, and choosing a path of wicked rebellion. In response to Ahabs constant choice of sin, God revealed some of the inner workings of the spiritual world. God had already pronounced a death sentence upon Ahab (1 Kings 20:42, 21:19), but had given him opportunity to repent of his wickedness. With this final rejection of God's counsel, God determined to carry out the death sentence. Since Ahab continued to prefer the lies of his false prophets over the truth given by God's prophets, God chose to use the false prophets to carry out His plan. When God asked for volunteers to entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there (1 Kings 22:20), a spirit (fallen angel/demon) said he would be a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophets. God gave the spirit permission to proceed, and Ahab received the message he desired. God chose to use a lying spirit because Ahab rejected God's rebukes and warnings all through his life and cup of Gods wrath was full. Since God is sovereign over all of creation, He is not restricted in what or who He can use to accomplish His holy purposes. All of creation is under His authority and He chooses to use people and spirits, both good and evil, to bring His divine plans to pass and bring glory to Himself. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: What have you done?" (Daniel 4:35). In the case of Ahab, God chose to using a lying spirit to accomplish His perfect and righteous plan (Psalm 18:30). The lying spirit will receive its punishment just as Ahab did, and those who repent of their sins will receive forgiveness just like Ahab could have. The real question is, Will I respond to God's warnings with faith and obedience, or will I reject His counsel and be rejected by Him? Recommended Resource: Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen.
Question: "Who were the kings of Israel and Judah?" Answer: In the period that preceded the monarchy, Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit (Judges 21:25). God raised up Samuel to lead the people (1 Samuel 3:4). All of Israel knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord (1 Samuel 3:20). Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life, and when he was old he made his sons judges over Israel (1 Samuel 8:1). Israel rejected the sons, refused to obey Samuel and demanded a king (1 Samuel 8:19-20). When Samuel reported their request to God, the Lord answered, Listen to them and give them a king (1 Samuel 8:22). Saul was the first king. He was of the tribe of Benjamin, which, in the days of the judges, had almost been annihilated. Tall, handsome and humble, Saul began his reign with a brilliant victory over the Ammonites. Any misgivings about the new kingdom disappeared. But success rapidly went to his head, and humility gave place to pride. He offered sacrifice, which was the exclusive function of priests, showing his presumed self-importance. He deliberately disobeyed God, causing God to tell Samuel; I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my

instructions (1 Samuel 15:10). Saul reigned unsuccessfully from 1049 B.C. to 1009 B.C., then he took his own sword and fell on it (1 Samuel 31:4). David, although anointed as king when just a boy, did not take the throne until after Sauls death (2 Samuel 2:4). David was short of stature, ruddy, of beautiful countenance, handsome, of immense physical strength and great personal attractiveness. He was a man of war, prudent in speech, very brave, very musical and very religious. His most recognized claim to fame was Gods promise that Davids family should reign forever. A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse *Davids father+ and from his roots a Branch [Jesus] will bear fruit (Isaiah 11:1). After Sauls death, David was made king over Judah, and seven years later he was made king over all Israel. He was 30 years old when he became king and reigned from 1009 B.C. to 969 B.C. Solomon became king in 971 B.C., possibly two years before his father David died, and reigned until 931 B.C. Solomon was born of Bathsheba, and, though not in line for the succession, he was chosen by David and approved by God to be Davids successor (1 Chronicles 23:1). Solomon had inherited the throne of the most powerful kingdom then existing. It was an era of peace and prosperity with vast business enterprises and literary attainments. God told Solomon to ask what he would, and Solomon asked for wisdom to govern his people. That pleased God, who richly rewarded him with wealth, wisdom, power and the important task of building the temple (1 Chronicles 28:2-6). After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was divided. Ten tribes formed the Northern Kingdom, called Israel; Judah and Benjamin formed the Southern Kingdom, called Judah. The date of the division of the kingdom is approximately 931 B.C. The following dates are approximate, due to overlapping reigns, associated sovereignty, intervals of anarchy and parts of years referred to as full years. Some of the reigns were, in part, concurrent. All the kings of Israel practiced idolatry; the worst served Baal. Many of the kings of Judah served idols; few served Jehovah faithfully. Some bad kings were partly good; some good kings partly bad. The kings, the approximate dates of their reigns and their dispositions are listed below: KINGS OF ISRAEL: Jeroboam, bad, 930-909 B.C. Nadab, bad, 909-908 B.C. Baasha, bad, 908-886 B.C. Elah, bad, 886-885 B.C. Zimri, bad, 885 B.C. Tibni, bad, 885-880 B.C. Omri (overlap), extra bad, 885-874 B.C. Ahab, the worst, 874-853 B.C. Ahaziah, bad, 853-852 B.C. Joram, bad mostly, 852-841 B.C. Jehu, not good but better than the rest, 841-814 B.C. Jehoahaz, bad, 814-798 B.C.

Joash, bad, 798-782 B.C. Jeroboam II (overlap), bad, 793-753 B.C. Zechariah, bad, 753 B.C. Shallum, bad, 752 B.C. Menahem, bad, 752-742 B.C. Pekahiah, bad, 742-740 B.C. Pekah (overlap), bad, 752-732 B.C. Hoshea, bad, 732-722 B.C. KINGS OF JUDAH: Rehoboam, bad mostly, 933-916 B.C. Abijah, bad mostly, 915-913 B.C. Asa, GOOD, 912-872 B.C. Jehoshaphat, GOOD, 874-850 B.C. Jehoram, bad, 850-843 B.C. Ahaziah, bad, 843 B.C. Athaliah, devilish, 843-837 B.C. Joash, good mostly, 843-803 B.C. Amaziah, good mostly, 803-775 B.C. Uzziah, GOOD mostly, 787-735 B.C. Jotham, GOOD, 749-734 B.C. Ahaz, wicked, 741-726 B.C. Hezekiah, THE BEST, 726-697 B.C. Manasseh, the worst, 697-642 B.C. Amon, the worst, 641-640 B.C. Josiah, THE BEST, 639-608 B.C. Jehoahaz, bad, 608 B.C. Jehoiakim, wicked, 608-597 B.C. Jehoiachin, bad, 597 B.C. Zedekiah, bad, 597-586 B.C. Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns. Question: "What is the Jezebel spirit?" Answer: There is a variety of opinions about what constitutes a Jezebel spirit, everything from sexual looseness in a woman to the teaching of false doctrineby a man or a woman. The Bible does not mention a Jezebel spirit, although it has plenty to say about Jezebel herself. Jezebels story is found in 1 and 2 Kings. She was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre/Sidon and priest of the cult of Baal, a cruel, sensuous and revolting false god whose worship involved sexual degradation and lewdness. Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel and led the nation into Baal worship (1 Kings 16:31).

Ahab and Jezebels reign over Israel is one of the saddest chapters in the history of Gods people. There are two incidents in the life of Jezebel which characterize her and may define what is meant by the Jezebel spirit. One trait is her obsessive passion for domineering and controlling others, especially in the spiritual realm. When she became queen, she began a relentless campaign to rid Israel of all evidences of Jehovah worship. She ordered the extermination of all the prophets of the Lord (1 Kings 18:4, 13) and replaced their altars with those of Baal. Her strongest enemy was Elijah, who demanded a contest on Mount Carmel between the powers of Israels God and the powers of Jezebel and the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18). Of course, Jehovah won, but despite hearing of the miraculous powers of Jehovah, Jezebel refused to repent and swore on her gods that she would pursue Elijah relentlessly and take his life. Her stubborn refusal to see and submit to the power of the living God would lead her to a hideous end (2 Kings 9:29-37). The second incident involves a righteous man named Naboth who refused to sell to Ahab land adjoining the palace, rightly declaring that to sell his inheritance would be against the Lords command (1 Kings 21:3; Leviticus 25:23). While Ahab sulked and fumed on his bed, Jezebel taunted and ridiculed him for his weakness, then proceeded to have the innocent Naboth framed and stoned to death. Naboths sons were also stoned to death, so there would be no heirs, and the land would revert to the possession of the king. Such a single-minded determination to have ones way, no matter who is destroyed in the process, is a characteristic of the Jezebel spirit. So infamous was Jezebels sexual immorality and idol worship that the Lord Jesus Himself refers to her in a warning to the church at Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29). Most likely referring to a woman in the church who influenced it the same way Jezebel influenced Israel into idolatry and sexual immorality, Jesus declares to the Thyatirans that she is not to be tolerated. Whoever this woman was, like Jezebel, she refused to repent of her immorality and her false teaching, and her fate was sealed. The Lord Jesus cast her onto a sick bed, along with those who committed idolatry with her. The end for those who succumb to a Jezebel spirit is always death and destruction, both in the physical and the spiritual sense. Perhaps the best way to define the Jezebel spirit is to say it characterizes anyone who acts in the same manner as Jezebel did, engaging in immorality, idolatry, false teaching and unrepentant sin. To go beyond that is to engage in conjecture and can possibly lead to false accusations and divisiveness within the body of Christ. Recommended Resources: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns.