1 & 2 Kings (Program #16) – The Reign of Hoshea over Israel
As the kings of both houses of Israel slid further and further into degradation and failure, the Old Testament provides us with a parallel account of the prophets that God had raised up during the same period to carry on the line of His testimony and of His economy. Often the prophecies of these ones touch the very center and focus of God’s New Testament economy in His eternal purpose which was embodied and manifested in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah particularly is rich with references to both Christ’s incarnation, His marvelous and all-effective redemption.Yet the challenge for us as believers today is not to stop with Christ’s wonderful redemption but rather to take it by faith as God intends as a starting point for our Christian life and walk. This is what we hope to touch in today’s life study.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #15) – The Reign of Azariah, Jotham, and Ahuz over Judah
The history of Israel and the various kings over Israel is recorded in the book of Kings and 1 Chronicles and other history books reveals again and again how Israel and its kings failed God and His expressed intention for them as His people. Yet even when their failure reached extraordinary levels forcing God to temporarily abandon the nation of Israel, there always remain a line of faithful ones. Ones that would stand with God for His purpose and for His testimony. The prophets were such ones, prophets like Nathan and Elijah, Elisha and even Isaiah. The New Testament has a name for such ones; it is overcomers. In the book of Revelation, this title appears seven times, most of which sounding like this reference in Revelation 2:7, “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, to him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.”
1 & 2 Kings (Program #14) – The Reign of Jehoahaz, Jehoash, and Jeroboam over Israel
In reading the Old Testament it’s easy to become lost at times in page after page of history because much of the Old Testament is devoted to telling this history, the history of God’s people Israel in both their triumphs and in their many failures. To study it in this way does have some values, but if that is the extend of our realization of the Old Testament, we will miss a lot. In fact, we will miss the Lord’s burden for us in that portion of Scriptures. For both the Lord Jesus Himself in His direct speaking concerning the Old Testament and the apostle Paul in example after example of how he applied the Old Testament made it clear that in reality the Old Testament is a book of types and symbols that if properly understood reveal Christ to us in marvelously clear pictures that can often convey more of the spiritual reality than even the direct and condensed passage of the New Testament. One of the great types of Christ in the books of history surely is the prophet Elisha, who typified Christ in his living, his ministry and as we will see today even in his death.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #13) – The Reign of Athaliah and Joash over Judah
The history of the kings of Israel and Judah recorded in the books Kings and Chronicles includes many troubling accounts of corrupt politics, twisted and distorted religion and even murder between those vying for leadership over the kingdom of Israel and Judah. As startling as problems of this magnitude may seen among God’s people, an honest consideration of the more contemporary history of God’s people, that is us, His New Testament believers, the church reveals that within the church today, at least in principle many of these same kinds of problem are still present. But what is most critical for us today is to realize whether we are talking about that ancient history between the kings of Israel and Judah or leadership among those in the church today. The root cause of many of these things is the same and that is the ease with which God’s people accept and tolerate division.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #12) – The Reign of Jehu Over Israel
Many prominent figures of the Old Testament are important not only because of the actual events associated with their lives historically but also because they represent or typify something greater and more significant than themselves. For example, in the New Testament, Moses still typifies the law and similarly Elijah represents the prophets. Of course, Moses and Elijah were godly and used by Him to advance His purpose in the Old Testament age. But there is another Old Testament figure that was utterly evil and led God’s people into idolatry and inequity and is also referred to in the New Testament typifying the idolatry and inequity that still consume many of God’s people today. Today we come to consider the evil prophetess Jezebel from the books of 1 & 2 Kings.
The mighty prophet Elijah was a clear type of John the baptist in the New Testament. John the baptist was mighty and most assuredly he was clothed with the Spirit of power as was Elijah. But John’s most critical role was to announce and usher in Christ. Centuries before Elijah ushered in Elisha. Just as Elijah was a type of John the Baptist, the prophet Elisha typified Christ and the New Testament ministry of grace.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #10) – The Reign of Ahaziah Over Israel & Rapture of Elijah
In 2 Kings, the might prophet Elijah was taken up from the earth into the heavens in a whirlwind. At that moment Elisha who had been with Elijah picked up his mantle and the Spirit of God descended upon Elisha. This moment marked the transition from the ministry of Elijah to the ministry of Elisha. But is that all that was represented by this transfer? Actually if we understand the clear types and symbols of the Old Testament, we can see that in reality, this story unveils the transition from the Old Testament to the New.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #9) – The Reign of Ahab Over Israel (2)
In the Old Testament history of Israel, God often resorted to miracles either to save His people Israel from a fierce enemy or to establish in the faith of the people that He, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob was the only true God. Often these miracles were performed through the ministry of the prophets, such as Jeremiah or Isaiah or Elijah. In fact, most people considering Elijah probably think first and foremost of him as man of great power and mighty miracles. Yet he himself when he was threatened by the evil prophetess Jezebel was powerless to perform even the simplest of miracle to save himself. Instead he ran away and hid himself. Until Jehovah came to him not in a earthquake or in the wind or in the fire but rather the great and powerful God came to Elijah the way He most often comes to you and me; in a gentle and quiet voice.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #8) – The Reign of Ahab Over Israel (1)
In the Old Testament we find the record of the deeds of many of the great and powerful men of God. Of all of these, perhaps none was more mighty and performs more miracles than the prophet Elijah. In a way Elijah typifies and represents all of the prophets of the Old Testament, even appearing with Moses on the mount of transfiguration when the Lord Jesus revealed His glory to some of His disciples.
The first appearance of Elijah in the Bible is in 1 King 17, where he is called by Jehovah to confront the evil King Ahab, whose heart had been fully turned away from the God of Abraham to the idols of Jezebel, his wife.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #7) – The Divisions of the Kingdom of Israel
The Lord has committed much into the hands of His people. For example, in the Old Testament, Israel bore the responsibility of maintaining Jehovah’s testimony on the earth. One of the key factors that the Lord was very eager to maintain among His people was their oneness because their oneness reflects His oneness. “The Lord is one”, the Old Testament people would declare and it is true. So following the reign of Solomon, when the nation of Israel was split into two sections; a northern kingdom under the rule of Jeroboam, Solomon’s servant and a southern kingdom, under Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. This was a grave matter to Jehovah. So it should be also to us today. As we consider and study the history of God’s move among His people, the testimony of the oneness of God’s people continues to be a vital matter to Him and it’s a matter that is far too often taken for granted by His people.