Throughout our study of these books, you will discover that there is a recurring theme that threads through the entire three periods. And that theme is that God is a covenant keeping God, who will bless Israel when they obey, and chastises when they disobey.
The author of 1 & 2 Kings depicts Israel’s obedience or disobedience to the Mosaic covenant as the decisive factor for her historical destiny. This is made explicit in the captivity of Israel by the Assyrian in 722 BC (2 Ki 17:7 -23) and the exile of Judah (2 Ki 21) in 586 BC.
In fact, 1 & 2 Kings was written to explain to a people in exile that the reason for their condition of humiliation was their stubborn persistence in breaking the covenant, thus bringing upon themselves the curses of the Mosaic Covenant.
However, Israel in exile may look to the future with hope of their final return, restoration and revival as recorded by Ezra and Nehemiah.
Thus, in order for us to understand the basis on which God dealt with the people of Israel, we need to go back in time to that historical crossing of the Jordan where blessings were proclaimed from Mount Gerizim and curses pronounced from Mount Ebal (Dt 27:12) as the people crossed the Jordan and into Canaan.
Provisions of the Mosaic covenant includes:
1. Eliminate completely the heathen nations of the land
2. Worship God only at the one place he will choose
3. Destroy completely all the worship places on the hills and mountains
4. The king must not acquire a great number of silver and gold, horses and wives
5. Observance of the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments
Punishment for persistent disobedience would escalate from:
1. The land being cursed and unable to yield the abundance of crops, to
2. Plagues and diseases, to
3. Defeat at the hands of the enemies, and finally
As you will realise in your study of the books, that the Israelites broke every term of the covenant and despite warnings from prophets like Elijah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, they persisted in sinning till God finally exiled both the nations of Israel in 722 B.C. and Judah in 586 B.C. Only Judah was restored in keeping with the Davidic covenant.
– Summary in Points –
– God keeps His Covenant
– He will bless Israel when they obey
– He will punish Israel when they disobey
God’s dealing depicted in:
– Israel’s captivity by Assyria in 722 BC
– Judah’s captivity by Babylon in 586 BC
1 & 2 Kings explain reasons for exile:
– Israel broke covenant
– Brought on themselves the curses of the Mosaic Covenant
Promise of Return for Judah
Provisions of Mosaic Covenant includes:
– Eliminate heathen nations in Canaan
– Worship God only at the One Place He will choose
– Destroy completely all the high places
– The king must not acquire great number of silver and gold, horses and wives
– Observance of the Sabbath and the Ten commandments
– Land cursed
– Plagues and Diseases
– Defeat at hands of enemies
– Ultimate exile
Israel captured and exiled in 722 BC
Judah captured and exiled in 586 BC