After the prominence experienced during David and Solomon’s reign, the kingdom was divided and gradually descended into a shadow of what the nation was intended to be. Led by many ungodly leaders, the nation drifted further from God’s instructions.
- The division phase of the Old Testament focuses on when Israel endured a civil war of sorts and divided into two nations.
- The land and people were divided with Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
- This section is separated by:
- 1) First period experienced hostility (1 Kings 12:1-16:28),
- 2) Period of peace (1 Kings 16:29-2 Kings 8:29), and
- 3) Renewed hostilities prior to the fall of the northern kingdom (2 Kings 9-17).
- Elijah, like many other prophets, attempted to call God’s people back to obedience.
- Elijah’s name means “Yahweh is my Elohim.”
- His name shows the type of ministry he would have.
- When his nation is turning from God, he speaks out against the sin.
- He confronts the prophets of Baal and wins (1 Kings 18).
- After this experience, he is depressed and suicidal (1 Kings 19).
- His earlier boast (1 Kings 18:22) is the same as his later complaint (1 Kings 19:10) – “I am the only one left.”
- While many kings turned away from the LORD, there were some like Josiah who led the people back to obedience.
- Josiah became king of Judah at 8 years old (2 Kings 22:1).
- He is the prime kingly example of how a godly leader can turn things around.
- Under his reign, the Book of the Law was rediscovered in the temple (2 Kings 22:8).
- Upon reading it, King Josiah made sweeping changes to avoid God’s wrath.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.