Week 4 of our journey and holding on tight! Breadcrumbs for the Journey
This week our Bible readings focus on the kings leading God’s people, first as a unified kingdom under David, and then as the divided kingdoms of Judah (southern) and Israel (northern) following Solomon. The first three kings have been described as having no heart toward God (Saul), having a full heart toward God (David), and having a half-heart toward God (Solomon). It's hard to stay focused on God with 700 wives and 300 concubines. After Solomon, virtually none of the 19 northern kings followed God’s ways and only a handful of the 20 southern kings followed God. This led to the defeat of these kingdoms and the exile of God’s people away from the Promised Land. The history of the kings reminds us that God’s ways are always best for us. There is blessing that comes when we follow Him. As God told Samuel, “It is not you they have rejected (by asking for a king to lead and protect them), but they have rejected Me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods.” (1 Samuel 8:7-8) Let’s pray that we don’t make the same mistake in our lives.
Tip of the Week
All the names and details in Samuel and Kings can be confusing. Remember, there were separate kings of Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom). Instead of focusing on all the details of these kings, try to focus on their patterns of behavior. Most of them displayed bad behavior, making those who exhibited good behavior stand out. The charts below will help clarify that point.
Quote to Know
If leaders were viewed as pilots of airplanes, you might get the feeling that the “pilots” of the northern and southern kingdoms were flying blind. Let’s all take the advice of that bumper sticker that says, “If God is your copilot, switch seats.” Fun Activity For the Week
Want a fun word search to help solidify those kings in your mind? Or perhaps you want the bigger challenge of a crossword puzzle. Just right click, download, and print (enlarge the scale if needed). However, be warned! The crossword puzzle is not for the faint of heart and will take some serious effort to complete! Good luck!
Pressing on with you!