1 & 2 Kings (Program #20) – Concluding Word of the History of the Kings among Israel
During the 400-year period when the kings rule in Israel, God witnessed the hearts of His people drifting farther and farther away. Except for a very few exceptions this degradation was actually led by the kings themselves. Idolatry, immorality and general hardness of their hearts were the things that characterize this dark dark period in the history of God’s people. But actually there is much that we can learn even from the failures of those kings. Because as we have seen so often in this life study, the Old Testament is a book of types of typology and the New Testament is the fulfillment of those types. We will explore the New Testament fulfillment of the type shown to us by the kings in this final program in the life study of Kings
1 & 2 Kings (Program #19) – The Reign of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, & Zedekiah over Judah and the Governing of Gedallia
In the final chapters of 2 Kings, the Lord was ultimately forced to give up His people Israel because of their continual degradation and the hardness of their hearts. Even when He allowed the Syrians to conquer the northern kingdom of Israel and carried them away into captivity those in the southern kingdom of Judah refused to heed this warning and continue in their evil ways. Eventually the great king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and the walls of the city and took the king Zedekiah to Babylon. Soon the entire nation of Israel was taken in captivity. But through the following several hundred years though the nation of Israel was never again fully restored, Jehovah maintained a linage of the descendant of King David until ultimately Christ, the promised seed of David could be brought forth in Israel. This maintained God’s original intention and made possible both our redemption and our regeneration.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #18) – The Reign of Manasseh, Amon, & Josiah over Judah
A picture is worth a thousand words and in the Old Testament God gave us many pictures. Today we are continuing the life study of Kings and in the life study of Kings we are seeing the picture of God’s economy through the history books, the books of history.
1 & 2 Kings (Program #17) – The Reign of Hezekiah over Judah
During the long history of the kings of Israel and Judah recorded in the Old Testament spanning a period of several hundred years, there are very few positive accounts. Of course, we remember David, who was according to God’s heart though he himself was not without his own serious failure. But not until we come to Hezekiah near the end of the account in 2 Kings do we find another who was nearly as positive as David. Yet despite this dark negative period in the history of God’s people, God maintained His thin line of overcomers, mainly among the prophets such as Isaiah. In fact the book of Isaiah gives us a direct linkage to God’s New Testament economy and even to Christ Himself. As Isaiah focuses our attention on Christ, we want to focus on Him in His New Testament economy today.
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.