These are notes collected from studying with Matt Lantz and Matt Roefer. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!
Ch. 1 – David Raising Children
Another thing I’ve been thinking about with David…he doesn’t seem a great example of raising kids in the Lord (all the tougher when polygamy is your starting point!)…I was thinking especially of 1 Kings 1:6 – “His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, ‘Why have you done thus and so?'”…
We see this other places: David privately disapproves of a matter with his children, but doesn’t seem to do anything about it. And the results are rape, rivalries, murder, etc. He just seemed overly hands off with them…but this is my vantage point from the little we read of the matters. I do get that you can do your best to raise kids and they still turn out rotten (sadly and soberly, I say this) — consider Isaiah 1:2. But it is a mark of an elder that they’ve raised children in the faith, and I only see that in Solomon, not in the others (again, polygamy wasn’t really helping his cause in the first place!)
Ch. 4 – Solomon’s Songs
I’m touched by 1 K 4:32 ~ Solomon wrote 1,005 songs. YET, only 1 song is called:
“Solomon’s SONG OF SONGS” (Song of Songs 1:1). Of all the topics his songs covered, romance with the King gets the preeminence. Similarly, of all the topics God covers in the Bible, romance/love of Christ gets the cake (see Rev. 2:4-5)
I was also struck that he wrote about these songs/proverbs yet, how many of them do we have in the Bible? Probably a lot we’ve never read.
Ch. 3-11 – Solomon’s Wisdom and Fall
I was moved by Solomon’s prayer for wisdom in chapter 3, and his seeming humbleness before the Lord. Yet I’m reading chapter 11 today and seeing how much Solomon was tripped up by sexual sin, and how then God severely punished him for this. Yet, in His mercy He still has a remnant and shows His kindness for future generations and does not immediately show his wrath.
This was a reminder for me though of how 1) sexual sin has lasting consequences 2) the generational nature of so many sins (including sexual). Even in this though, God referred to David as being much more righteous quite a few times, and Solomon not living up to the same standard as his father David. Of course, God was disappointed by David after Bathsheba and I think what separates this is two fold. First of all, David’s repentant heart (Psalms 51), and secondly has egregious the sin was of Solomon (100’s of wives and concubines) with no regard or desire for change.
Ch. 8 – Solomon’s Prayer
I was really touched by Solomon’s prayer in 1 K 8. Some standouts:
- v. 16 – “I chose no city…But I chose David.” I continue to be moved that God is not so interested in strategy and methods (choosing a city, if you will), but is chiefly concerned with people. Jesus chose 12 leaders. Not a lot is said on HOW they were to lead, but just that these were the guys to lead. Then, God reveals to his chosen leaders (like David) how to proceed with his plans (like building a temple).
- vv. 33-34 – sin hidden in our heart brings defeat from the enemy.
- v. 46 – “there is no one who does not sin”…compare this with v. 32…I think v. 46 speaks of absolute righteousness while v. 32 is relative righteousness
Ch. 13 – A Prophet to Remember
Consider 1 K 13!!
The prophet goes to those in rebellion because God calls him. He:
- Speaks prophetically that a king named Josiah would come to purge the idolatry (before Josiah was even born!!!)
- Says the altar would break as a sign (which it did shortly after)
The king stretches out his hand only to have it shrivel. Then:
- The prophet prays for it and it’s restored
- The prophet later gets eaten up by a lion out of disobedience, and the lion just stood there as a sort of testimony in itself
Such raw and amazing power displayed!!
But the backdrop was a new level of rebellion and idolatry by people called by Gods name.I think we will see more power displays by the Lord in our day, but they will counter the extreme rebellion and idolatry we will also see. As Satan becomes more overt, so does God. And vise-versa.
Ch. 14 – No Health-Wealth Gospel!
In 1 K 14: A blind prophet prophesies judgment on Israel, but says a child who will die of sickness is the one being blessed (because he will be spared from the judgment to come). I think this chapter on its own completely contradicts the health-wealth-prosperity view of God.
Ch. 15 – David’s Only Sin
1 K 15:5 – the only sin of David was Uriah the Hittite.
This is a challenging verse in light of other things we read about David. I read it as, “of the light God gave him, he was faithful to all of it, except with Uriah” …meaning: God didn’t reveal the other matters of sin to him, but what He did reveal David did.
I do think such considerations can really help us give grace toward people who had blind spots but otherwise really loved the Lord. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield, for instance, with slaves, who nevertheless were used for great revival and repentance in the church.
God actually has said this a couple times about David and almost seems to view him as flawless except for the Bathsheba/Uriah episode. We know he had more sin than this. We have a merciful God and He can use us in our sin, and again, he looks at the heart.
Ch. 18 – Elijah
Elijah is quite the character/prophet- what a guy! As he approaches the wicked king Ahab his faith and courageous is inspiring. He is not worried about death, he just stays true to what the Lord has given him to speak.
I think in chapter 18:21 as he is then speaking to the people about either following the Lord or Baal he speaks amazingly directly and really speaks to them frankly about counting the cost. He says, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow Him.”
But the people said nothing…
Sometimes we have to lay it out like this and then give people the choice. This might even be a good scripture to share with others…
Ch. 22 – The Only Truth-Teller
May we be more like Micaiah, Lord (1 Kings 22)–speaking the truth from the Lord regardless of consequence!
1 Kings Summary
People are prone to evil. Kings don’t alter that; on the contrary—they solidify it even more. Gods method, instead, was/is to raise up faithful prophets to speak hard truths while they are vastly outnumbered by false prophets who tickle itching ears. May God give us the courage and insight to be in the minority of true prophets in our generation—even at the cost of our life and that of our family.
Consider the lines of Jason Upton’s, “Panic Room,” which seemingly addresses this very type of thing:
Our prophets are nicer
And kinder and sweeter,
We’ve partnered in their great reward.
They bless us with peace
In exchange for a token,
What more could we ever ask for?Jason Upton’s, “Panic Room”