Themes in the Books of Kings (03) - Death and Resurrection

Date: 6/19/2016
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Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Bible 1 Kings
Organization: All Saints
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Themes in the Books of Kings (03) - Death and Resurrection          

Now behold, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. 2 He cried against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’” 3 Then he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign which the LORD has spoken, ‘Behold, the altar shall be split apart and the ashes which are on it shall be poured out.’” 4 Now when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him.” But his hand which he stretched out against him dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. 5 The altar also was split apart and the ashes were poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. 1 Kings 12:33–13:5 . . . After he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 “For the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria.” 1 Kings 12:3; 13:26–32

Kings includes amazing stories and some difficult passages. It speaks of Solomon’s wisdom and glory, the construction of the temple and palaces, the great stories of Elijah and Elisha, Jehu the avenger, the evil of many kings and queens, such as of Ahab and Jezebel, the fall Samaria (Israel) to Assyria, the reforms of Josiah, and finally the exile of Judah and the destruction of the temple and city. The two books (1st and 2nd Kings) together unfold from the reign of Solomon to the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of Judah, emphasizing key themes: the fulfillment of the Word of the prophets, the Davidic promise, the judgment of exile coming on Israel and Judah, and hints of the promise of “resurrection” after exile. Kings addresses the faithfulness of the leadership of Israel and Judah as they respond to the word of the Lord given through His prophets. For example, “The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them until the LORD removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day” (2 Kings 17:22–23). “So He sent them [Chaldeans] against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken through His servants the prophets” (2 Kings 24:2).

The Parallel Structure of 1st and 2nd Kings
A. King Solomon Prosperity to Idolatry/Prophet Nathan (1 Kgs 1:1-11:25)
   B. Jeroboam Division and Idolatry/ Prophets: Ahijah the Shilonite/Shemiah/Old Prophet from Bethel (1 Kgs 11:26-14:31)
      C. Kings of Israel and Judah/Prophet Jehu (1 Kgs 15:1-16:22)
         D. Omride Dynasty and Idolatry/Prophets Jehu, Elijah, Obadiah, Elisha, Micaiah, Other Prophets (1 Kgs 16:23 - 2 Kgs 12)
      C'. Kings of Israel and Judah/Prophet Elisha (2 Kgs 13-16)
   B'. Fall of the Northern Kingdom to Assyria (fulfilling Prophets words 17:13, 23) (2 Kgs 17)
A'. Jerusalem’s Fall and the Survival of David’s Son/Prophet Isaiah (2 Kgs 18-25)

We have seen that despite much idolatry, God graciously fulfilled His covenant to preserve the line of David and we considered the rise of David’s son Solomon, as well as his demise into idolatry and disobedience (1:1-11:43). Neither Solomon’s great wisdom, nor his great temple could preserve Israel and Judah from the death of exile. In order to understand some of the very odd stories and events in Kings, we must read Kings in light of the threat of exile and the promise of return. The final referent to exile and return (Jesus), we can infer that it is a type of death and resurrection. We are told this in the case of the sign of Jonah. The story of Jonah is a prophecy of Israel being taken in captivity by Assyria. More important, Jesus gives us His interpretation of the Old Testament: “And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginni

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more