Category Archives: I Kings

I Kings 22:1-49; II Chronicles 18-20 — Unwise associations

Jehoshaphat was by all accounts a good king.  He was a man that loved God, and wanted to do what was right.  But he had one major fault.  He was very unwise in his associations, and more than once, it … Continue reading

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I Kings 21 — Selling ourselves to do evil

Don’t covet.  Don’t murder.  Don’t steal. Often times when we think of Israelite kings that broke those commandments, we think of David in his sin with Bathsheba.  Coveting his neighbor’s wife, murdering the husband, and then taking the woman for … Continue reading

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I Kings 20 — How sin deals with us; how we deal with sin

King Ahab had a habit of making bad decisions, and it shows here in his dealings with Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram. Ben-Hadad, came out to Samaria and besieged it.  First, he demanded Ahab’s gold and silver and the best … Continue reading

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I Kings 19:19-21 — Leaving all behind to follow

I’ve always thought about this story, whenever I read the story of the man Jesus called to follow him.  The man said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”  Jesus … Continue reading

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I Kings 19:1-18 — When we lose perspective

It’s amazing how after a great victory, one can get so depressed.  It happens to us, and it definitely happened to Elijah. Right after his great victory over the prophets of Baal, Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, threatened Elijah’s life, and filled … Continue reading

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I Kings 18:19-46 — The one who is truly God

And so we come to one of the great confrontations in the Bible, Elijah and the prophets of Baal (and Asherah — funny how that often got lost every time I heard the story as a child). Elijah, starts, however, … Continue reading

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I Kings 18:9-10, 16-18 — Blaming God, blaming others for our troubles

I kind of think that Ahab just brushed off Elijah as some kind of kook after Elijah prophesied that there would be no rain in the land for three years.  Otherwise, Ahab probably would’ve tossed him in jail. But it … Continue reading

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I Kings 18:1-15 — Hanging in there in an ungodly world

Obadiah, (not to be confused with the prophet Obadiah), was in a tough place. He was in charge of King Ahab’s palace, and obviously well-trusted by Ahab himself.  But Ahab was an ungodly man who had led the entire nation … Continue reading

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I Kings 17:17-24 — Is God punishing me?

I love Calvin and Hobbes. It’s one of my favorite comic strips.  In one particular strip, Calvin left Hobbes lying around somewhere but Calvin couldn’t remember where.  And after moping on his bed for a while, he cried out to … Continue reading

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I Kings 17:1-16 — How far are we willing to trust?

Tax day.  My “favorite” time of year.  Yesterday I got my tax bill, and I got a very unpleasant shock.  My tax bill more than doubled last year.  I’ll tell you this much:  my income didn’t double last year. It’s … Continue reading

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I Kings 15:25-16:34 — Whose lead do we follow?

These passages kind of remind me of the Japanese political situation.  I came to Japan in 1995, roughly 17 years ago, and in that time, we’ve gone through 11 prime ministers.  Needless to say, we don’t exactly have strong leadership … Continue reading

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I Kings 15:8-22; II Chronicles 14-16 — Starting well, finishing badly

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that’s important.” Very cliche, perhaps, but also very true.  And it’s exemplified in the life of Asa, king of Judah.  He had a very good start to his reign as king.  … Continue reading

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I Kings 15:1-8; II Chronicles 13 — Whole-heart, half-heart, no heart

If you look at the Chronicles description of Abijah, you would think that he was a pretty good king.  He sure sounded good in his speech to Jeroboam before their battle, and God did help the people of Judah defeat … Continue reading

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I Kings 14:21-31; II Chronicles 11:5-12:16 — The difference between serving God and serving sin

Jeroboam got off to a bad start and never did climb his way out of the pit.  For that matter, it seems he never tried.  Rehoboam, however, didn’t do much better. All the priests, Levites, and other God-fearing people went … Continue reading

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I Kings 14:1-20 — The God who cannot be mocked

Jeroboam is an interesting character in that although the actual recounting of his life is very short, nevertheless his legacy lasted well beyond his death.  Unfortunately it wasn’t a good one.  Time and again, throughout the books of the Kings, … Continue reading

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I Kings 13 — When we fail to test what we hear

This is another one of those strange stories we find in the Bible that leaves us with as many questions as it gives answers. It starts with a prophet from Judah that goes up to Israel and confronts King Jeroboam … Continue reading

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I Kings 12:25-33 — What sin really is

In Japan, one really needs to be careful to define what we mean when say the word sin when preaching the gospel.  The Japanese generally associate sin with “crime.”  So things like murder or robbery or rape would be “sin” … Continue reading

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I Kings 12:1-24; II Chronicles 10:1-4 — Hearing only what you want to hear

King Solomon wrote about how vain it can be trying to build up your estate and your business because you don’t know what will happen when you die.  The person following in your footsteps may be a fool, and destroy … Continue reading

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I Kings 11:14-41; II Chronicles 9:29-31 — When God disciplines

Is God punishing me?  Sometimes when people are going through tough times in life, they ask that question. Actually, I think that most of the time, we bring hard times on our own selves.  The hard times we go through … Continue reading

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I Kings 11:1-13 — Spiritual adultery

I was talking to a student recently, and he told me that his wife was counseling a friend whose husband was apparently having an affair.  My student was friends with the husband, and what my student told his wife was, … Continue reading

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I Kings 10:1-13; II Chronicles 9:1-12 — How the world should see us

How do the people see you?  What do they hear about you? Solomon is an example for us all, when it comes to this.  When people spoke of him, they spoke of his great wisdom.  So much so, that the … Continue reading

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I Kings 9:10-13 — Giving less than our best

Solomon was wise in many ways, and apparently a sharp businessman.  But sometimes, he would get too sharp.  We see this in his dealings with Hiram, the king of Tyre.  Hiram had been a friend to David, and was now … Continue reading

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I Kings 9:1-9; II Chronicles 7:17-22 — How to lose everything

Solomon had everything.  Wealth, power, wisdom, everything he could’ve wanted.  And God told him that as long as he and his descendants followed him with all their hearts and obeyed him, their dynasty would continue forever, and that God’s eyes … Continue reading

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I Kings 8:22-53; II Chronicles 6:12-42 — A prayer for the temple of God

As I look at the prayer Solomon prayed for the dedication of the temple, I see many things we should be praying about our own lives as the temple of God. One thing Solomon prayed is that the temple would … Continue reading

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I Kings 8:1-11; II Chronicles 5 — What makes the temple, the temple

Solomon made a beautiful temple.  Its beauty was unsurpassed by anything else ever built in Israel up to that time. And yet for all its beauty, it was just a building.  A beautiful building, but just a building nonetheless.  And … Continue reading

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I Kings 5-7; II Chronicles 2-4 — A God that cannot be contained…yet is.

When you read about the temple that Solomon built, it’s really amazing to think about how beautiful it must’ve been.  I would’ve loved to have seen it. But for all its beauty, Solomon said, But who is able to build … Continue reading

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I Kings 3-4 — Who our gifts are for

All of us are given gifts by God.  But sometimes, it can be easy to forget who these gifts are really for.  And it’s not for ourselves, nor for our glory.  Rather, it is to be used to serve others … Continue reading

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I Kings 3; II Chronicles 1 — Mirroring the values of God

It’s like a dream isn’t it?  God asking you what you would like to have and then granting it.  What would you have asked for? I could think of a lot of things.  My house loan paid off.  A better … Continue reading

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I Kings 2:10-12; I Chronicles 29:26-30; Acts 13:36 — Fulfilling our purpose

And so we go on to the final footnote to David’s life.  And of all people, it’s given by Paul, in his sermon to the Jews in Pisidian Antioch as he preached the death and resurrection of Christ. And he … Continue reading

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I Kings 2:5-46 — A time for judgment

I won’t lie and say that this passage doesn’t bother me to some extent, namely David’s charge to Solomon concerning Joab and Shimei. His orders concerning Joab bother me not because Joab didn’t deserve death.  Joab should have been punished … Continue reading

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I Kings 2:1-4 — What it means to be a man

Be a man! How often in society do we hear this charge to the young men.  And even in the Old Testament, fathers gave their sons this charge.  On David’s deathbed, he told Solomon who was to succeed him as … Continue reading

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I Kings 1 — Usurping the King’s throne

The timing for events is a little shaky in my mind, so my chronology may be a bit off.  But for now, I’ll put this event in front of David’s preparations for the temple. Here again, we see family problems … Continue reading

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