1. LESSON: Review & Kings of Israel (1 Kings 15: 25-16:28)
- In the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the kings of Judah who ruled over the Southern Kingdom (2 tribes): (use actions to reinforce and review)
- Rehoboam: Not a servant king
(actions: an “X” sign with hands then open palms for “serving”)
Proud and refused to serve the people. As a result, his father’s kingdom was split into 2 — Judah (2 tribes) and Israel (10 tribes).
Jesus is our servant King who came to give us rest.
- Abijah: Relied on God for victory
(actions: do V for victory sign with fingers)
God gave him victory over Jeroboam (who tried to ambush Abijah with double the number of troops) because of His covenant with David.
Because of His New Covenant with Jesus, God fights our battles for us and gives us victory!
- Asa: Trust in God or trust in
(actions: stand on 1 foot and lean to one side; ie who are you leaning on?)
When Asa trusted in God, God gave him victory over the Egyptian king and his mighty army. But when threatened by King Baasha, Asa decided to rely on himself and formed his own alliances, instead of trusting God.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
- Today, we will look at 5 more kings of Israel (Northern Kingdom; 10 tribes) and see how they fared.
- Generally, all the kings of Israel didn’t follow God. They did evil and led the people to worship idols. It was a vicious cycle with each new king. And there were always wars and unrest as a result.
- Jeroboam (22 years)
(actions: 2 fingers on sides of head like cows’ horns)
- We’ve learnt about King Jeroboam. Who remembers what he did? He made 2 golden calves for the people to worship, so they didn’t have to go to the Temple in Jerusalem.
tried to let unholy people worship a holy God everywhere.
Jesus’ death made us holy and opened the way for us to worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.
- Nadab (2 years)
(actions: show thumb; he is 1st of 5 new kings we’re learning today)
- Son of Jeroboam; followed his father’s ways.
- One day, when Nadab was busy attacking a town in Philistine (Gibbethon), one of his own people, Baasha, from the tribe of Issachar, plotted against him and killed him!
- Baasha (24 years)
(actions: show 2 fingers — thumb and forefinger)
- As soon as Baasha killed Nadab, he made himself king.
- He killed Jeroboam’s entire family, as was prophesied to Jeroboam before as a result of his idolatry. (1 Kings 14:14-16)
- Last week we learnt of how Baasha tried to attack King Asa of Judah, but Asa made a treaty with King Ben-Hadad to stop him.
- Baasha also did many evil things and worshipped idols. God sent His prophet to tell Baasha: “I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins.”
- As a result, God told Baasha that he and his family will suffer the same end as Jeroboam and his family.
- Elah (2 years)
(actions: show 3 fingers — thumb, forefinger and 3rd finger)
- Son of Baasha.
- His official, Zimri, who commanded half his chariots, plotted against him. One day when Elah was drunk, Zimri came in and struck him down.
- Zimri (7 days)
(actions: show 4 fingers — thumb, forefinger, 3rd finger and ring finger)
- Zimri succeeded Elah as king of Israel and ruled in Tirzah.
- Just as Baasha killed the entire family of Jeroboam, Zimri killed all of Baasha’s family, as was prophesied.
- However Zimri was the shortest-reigning king in Israel. Guess how long he reigned? 7 days!
- When the Israelites in the army camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp.
- Omri and the Israelites then attacked Tirzah (where Zimri was ruling).
- When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died.
- Omri (12 years)
(actions: show 5 fingers)
- Some Israelites supported another person to be king —Tibni, but Omri’s followers were stronger, so Omri became king.
- Omri bought a hill from a man called Shemer for 2 talents of silver. He built a city on the hill and called it Samaria, after Shemer (the former owner).
- Sadly, like the other kings before him, Omri also did evil in the eyes of the Lord. In fact, the Bible says he sinned more than all those before him.
- What can we learn from the kings of Israel? (revise with actions)
- Because they didn’t follow God, because they did evil and led the people to worship idols, there were always wars and unrest
- (note: If you recall, in the beginning, God was the King over the nation of Israel when He brought them into the Promised Land. He had judges to rule over Israel. But Israel grumbled and complained — all the other nations had kings, so they wanted a human king too! That was how Saul was appointed as Israel’s 1st king.)
- Through history, we see how human kings always fail. Because they are human. They are not perfect. They make bad decisions. They try to do things their own way, not God’s way. And as a result, the people will suffer.
- Today, we have a good King. He never fails. He is perfect. He makes wise decisions. He does things His way because He is God. And as a result, all of us are blessed in Him! His name is Jesus!
- Out of the 5 kings, 3 became king by killing the previous king — Baasha, Zimri and Omri. They were greedy for power and seized it for themselves by destroying others.
- Jesus was King of all who came to give His life for us. When the people wanted to make Him king by force, Jesus withdrew because He knew that was not God’s time (John 6:15). When He finally entered Jerusalem as a king on a donkey (John 12:15), his purpose was to die on the cross and give His life for us.
- Because Jesus died for us, you and I can be prince and princesses of the Most High God! Thank you Jesus!