Read THE Book 2019

Welcome to RTB 2019, a place to read through the Bible in the year 2019 and stay in contact with others who are doing the same thing and have a little hand-holding as you go. Want to jump right in? You can click on the “Read THE Book 2019” tab above to find the most current weekly notes.

Some of my local friends know that I’ve been teaching through the Bible chronologically for many years. My goal was to help you sort out all that confusing timeline stuff so that when you read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, you have an understanding of where you are, when you are, and what was going on in the world at that time.

In 2017 I decided to do a trial run of a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year discussion group that met every week to discuss what we read as we followed a reading schedule using the traditional book by book order. Have I mentioned that “book by book order” does not flow chronologically? Nope – the books are grouped into sections, but they don’t always flow in the order that the events happened. So to help us along, I wrote a weekly reading guide with three sections: What’s Going On? When and Where Are We? And Who’s Who? This was a one page handout that gave you just a little head’s up about things I thought you might want to know at the beginning of each week’s assigned reading to help you keep your bearings. The trial run turned out to be a success for those who finished.

I have decided to go ahead and make those weekly notes available here on the website so that anyone can read along at their own pace. If you missed the January 1st start date, the notes are designed so that you can start at week 1 any time of year and begin your own journey to Read THE Book. Feel free to contact me and let me know how I can help get you started. It doesn’t matter to me how you use this information as long as it does what I always imagined it might do. If it helps you to Read THE Book, then I’m happy to know I’ve made it a little easier.

Want to be part of the local discussion group? There are two groups to choose from. One will meet in Scottsboro, AL at the First Methodist Church on Sunday nights at 5:00 PM. Another group meets at Jamoka’s Coffee shop in Guntersville, AL Mondays at noon.

And of course, I’ll be having several workshops throughout the year that give the overview of the whole Bible, known as “THE Bible Story.” I encourage anyone local to try to come to this workshop as it will really help you get all the chronology sorted out. You’ll even make your own timeline showing the major people and events from Genesis to Revelation and that will come in handy as you are reading. If you want to host a workshop at your church, just let me know

It is my prayer that anyone who is thinking about making a New Year’s Resolution to read through the Bible in 2019 will join with me and let’s make a commitment to each other to do it together! It seems like everything is just a little easier when you have friends who can share the same experience with you. The reading schedule will begin on January 1, 2019 and I’ll have all the information you need well before that, so keep checking back as I post new information here.

Let’s Do This!

Daily Reading Schedule [Word][PDF]
One-Sheet Schedule Overview [Word][PDF]

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Group Guidelines & Reading Schedule

Daily Reading Schedule [Word] [PDF]
One-Sheet Schedule Overview [Word] [PDF]

  • You may use any Bible translation that you are comfortable with.
  • I have scheduled readings for Monday through Saturday with an average of about five chapters a day. Take Sunday off, use that day to catch up, or read some Psalms.
  • Each Sunday I will post notes about what you will be reading the next week. These notes will have three sections: What’s Going On, When and Where Are We, and Who’s Who. These notes are designed to guide you as you read through the Bible and my way of pointing out some things I wish someone had told me the first time I read through the Bible. For example, there are places the books don’t go in chronological order and there are times that when you begin a new book things have changed significantly in the world. I’ll try to help you keep it all straight.
  • You can Subscribe to the blog so that you will get an email notification when a new blog is posted by adding your email on the right side of the screen and hit “Subscribe”
  • I will be leading local discussion groups and encourage you to attend if you can. Or form your own discussion group with friends where you can share your a-ha moments, questions, and reflections with each other. If you are flying solo, please stay connected by following along on the website and use the comments section if you want to ask questions or share your own thoughts. One big advantage to this format is anyone can begin their reading journey at any point in the year and follow along at their own pace.
  • If you are part of the discussion group and you get behind or take time off for vacation, illness, or unexpected what-not, I suggest you rejoin the group when you are able and pick up with where the group is reading. You might miss stuff. That’s ok! Read the notes from the weeks you missed and don’t try to catch up. The goal is to stay with the group so that you can be current on discussions. You can read what you missed later.
  • I have decided not to include the Psalms in our reading schedule. Suggestions for how you might read through them:
    • Read one Psalm every day. There are 150 so you will read each one at least twice
    • Read 3-5 Psalms every Sunday
    • Wait until December (we finish our plan on Nov 30th) and then read all of the Psalms by reading five or six Psalms each day of December
    • Work your way through the book of Psalms any way that works for you
    • I don’t normally recommend the King James Version for daily reading. But the Psalms are at their most beautiful in the KJV. Consider reading them in several different translations
  • Consider keeping a journal as you read through the Bible for personal reflection. Everyone has their own style, but you might want to keep notes and random thoughts as you go along. I filled up a large 5 subject notebook in 2017 with my own a-ha moments and I’ve read through the Bible many, many times.
  • Some weeks will be lighter than others. I tried to keep the readings even throughout, but I want us to come to natural breaks in the story at the end of each week.
  • On the master schedule, there is a place to mark what you’ve read with an X. It feels good to mark things off as you accomplish them!
  • I’ve built in two breaks. One is halfway through the Old Testament and the other is between the Old and New Testaments. Use these weeks to catch up if you need to.
  • If you have never read all the way through the Bible before, your goal is just to keep up and finish! If you have read through the Bible before, I suggest that each time you read it through you find a different goal for that year. For example, you might read a different translation or use a study Bible with notes, or you might use the various maps to follow the story by location, learn the Names of God and see how they are used differently in different passages, etc. The last time I read through the Old Testament, I underlined all the words that God spoke in red. The words of Jesus are often in red in the New Testament and I thought it would be good to see the Words of the Lord in the OT the same way.
  • If at any time you read something that troubles you, ask Holy Spirit to guide you in your understanding. You may need to set something aside and trust that as the Lord wants you to learn something from that passage, He will bring it up at the right time. Don’t let it upset you if you struggle with some of the things you read. Bring it to the group and let’s talk about it. There are things that I struggle with, too. It’s ok. God knows our struggles and loves us anyway.

I suggest you begin each day with a prayer that might go something like this…..

Thank You, Father, for Your Word. Please guide me as I read today and help me understand what YOU would have me understand and absorb what YOU would have me absorb. Hide the words and the message in my heart so that I may carry it with me into everything I do. Open the eyes of my heart to what You would have me see, learn, know, and remember. Take me by the hand and walk with me on this journey. Send Holy Spirit to be my guide, my teacher, my helper, and my shield. In the Holy Name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

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Week 21: Job

“Be watchful and control yourself. Your enemy the devil is like a roaming lion. He prowls around looking for someone to swallow up.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIRV)

What’s Going On?

We turn a huge corner in our reading this week as we begin a new section known as The Writings, or the books of poetry and literature, Job – Song of Solomon. No one knows who the author of Job was, but it’s important to notice that the book is placed in this new section because it is obviously meant to be read as a literary work because of its complex and highly organized structure.

The last few books that we’ve read appear to have been written during the time period of the exile and the return. During the era of the exile, the displaced Jews began to gather together and try to identify their new role in a foreign land. They no longer have the Temple. They no longer have the priests making intercessory sacrifice for them. Synagogues began to appear as places for the Jews to gather, discuss, and study their own history and try to understand how the Law now applies to them.

Many believe that the book of Job was also written during the time of Exile. Job appears to be written by someone who questions ‘What is the relationship between sin and suffering?’ After all, they had just witnessed Israel’s sin bring about great suffering. Although the book was possibly written during this time period, it is written about a man named Job who would have lived long, long before this, probably during the same time period as the book of Genesis. This assumption is based on the fact that there is no mention of Abraham and his decedents and no mention of Moses or the Law, so it is likely that the time period for Job predates them. His story is placed here, however, because it IS a book of poetry, but is serves a double purpose by placing it right after the books of the History and continuing the act of reflection.  

The book of Job can be difficult reading because it deals with the battle between good and evil and appears to show God and Satan playing a high stakes game of winner-takes-all over a wager that a man named Job is only able to worship God because he is blessed. Would he still praise God when he had lost everything? The reader can’t help but question justice, fairness, and the suffering of the innocent. Job’s friends do a pretty good job of offering worldly wisdom and explaining the suffering in the only way that makes sense to them – Job must have sinned. Just when we begin to understand the relationship between God and Man, now we are introduced to the adversary who plays a mean hand of poker and has no qualms playing dirty. The way his story is told is similar to, and very likely predates, great literary masterpieces such as Dante’s Devine Comedy/ The Inferno, Goethe’s Faust, and Milton’s Paradise Lost/Paradise Regainedall of which wrestle with this same idea of good vs evil. Hint – in this one, Good wins! The real moral of the story is that Job trusted God completely.

When and Where Are We?

Likely during the era of the Patriarchs about 2000 B.C. in the Land of Uz, east of the Jordan River

Who’s Who?

  • Job – a righteous man who is tested, loses everything, questions why, and then encounters God personally, prays for his misguided friends and then is blessed abundantly for his unwavering faith.  
  • Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, Elihu – the friends who try to reason out the cause of Job’s suffering, but miss the mark by offering religion over relationship, cliché, worldly wisdom, and youthful optimism.

“In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” Job 1:22

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Sunday: Job 1-6
  • Monday: Job 7-12
  • Tuesday: Job 13-18
  • Wednesday: Job 19-24
  • Thursday: Job 25-30
  • Friday: Job 31-36
  • Saturday: Job 37-42

NOTE: Next week we will be taking a break. If you are caught up with the reading, enjoy taking a week off! If you are behind, use this week to go back and try to get caught up.

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Week 20: Nehemiah, Esther

“Remember the instruction You gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to Me and obey My commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for My Name.’” Nehemiah 1:8-9

What’s Going On?

Last week we saw the beginning of the era known at The Return when the Israelites begin to resettle in and around Jerusalem. We saw the first wave return under the leadership of Zerubbabel who will be remembered for rebuilding a much smaller version of The Temple. During the second wave, Ezra the priest led the people to turn their hearts back to God. This week we’ll see a third wave under the leadership of Nehemiah who will take on the project of rebuilding the Wall of Jerusalem.

The book of Nehemiah might have been titled ‘Ezra Part Two’ as it continues the story from our reading last week and Ezra himself is central to the storyline. Ezra has already been in Jerusalem for fourteen years when word gets to Nehemiah in Susa, Persia that they are having trouble. Nehemiah asks the Persian King to send him down to help out. When he gets there, Nehemiah inspects the wall and begins the work of rebuilding it by asking each person to repair the area in front of their homes (Facing the Giants is a movie which beautifully uses this illustration). The work is completed in just fifty-two days and then they all gather to hear Ezra read the Book of the Law. The people recommit to the Lord and then Nehemiah returns home leaving Ezra in charge. He makes a second trip to Jerusalem later when he learns that they fall short of keeping this commitment and gets them back on track.

Esther tells us of a young Jewish woman who becomes the wife of the Persian King after winning the position in a beauty contest. Once she is Queen, she uses her influence to stop an edict from killing all Jews within the Persian kingdom led by an official named Haman. One interesting thing about the book of Esther is that it is the only book in the Bible not to mention the Name of God! Also interesting, Esther’s name doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible outside this book.

When and Where Are We?

Nehemiah is living as one of the Jewish exiles in Susa on the far eastern side of the Persian Empire. He will travel about a thousand miles from Susa to Jerusalem (twice). The Persian Empire included what is today known as Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. The time period will be about 500-400 BC.

The book of Esther likely takes place at the same time as, or possibly before, the book of Ezra. It is during this time period that the word “Jew” begins to appear meaning those who came from Judah, even though this generation of Jews had been born into the Babylonian/Persian exile and had never even been to Jerusalem. You’ll also notice the word Israel no longer means the northern kingdom only, but refers to the original Israel including all 12 tribes.  Only the land around Jerusalem will be resettled, however.

Who’s Who?

  • Persian Kings – Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes (Ahaseurus), and Artaxerxes
  • Nehemiah – Persian Kings cupbearer who travels from Susa to Jerusalem to help rebuild the wall
  • Esther/Hadassah – Jewish girl who goes from beauty queen to Queen of Persia, saves Jews
  • Mordecai – Jew from the tribe of Benjamin, Esther’s older cousin and caretaker
  • Haman – an Amalekite who sends out a proclamation to have all the Jews killed

“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.”        Esther 4:14

Weekly Reading Schedule:

  • Monday: Nehemiah 1-4
  • Tuesday: Nehemiah 5-8
  • Wednesday: Nehemiah 9-13
  • Thursday: Esther 1-5
  • Friday: Esther 6-10
  • Saturday: (get a jump start on next week and read Job 1-6)
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Week 19: 2 Chronicles 25-35; Ezra 1-10

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5

What’s Going On?

The northern kingdom of Israel has already fallen to Assyria and the last ten chapters of 2 Chronicles show us the decline of the nation of Judah and how it eventually was overtaken by the nation of Babylon. What had once been the triumphant Kingdom of Israel has now ceased to exist. We get one final glimpse of the glory days under King Hezekiah, but the nation was too weak to fight off the Babylonians and at the end of 2 Chronicles we see the people of Judah being deported to be resettled in other parts of the Babylonian Kingdom. This is the beginning of the era of EXILE. The very last verses of 2 Chronicles are almost identical to the first verses in Ezra and hint at a time to come when some of the Israelites will be allowed to resettle back in their homeland, a time known as the RETURN, which will not happen all at once, but in waves.

If you remember the “food chain” from middle school science class, you remember the image of a fish being eater by a larger fish, then that fish being eaten by an even larger fish, and so on. We can begin to think of Israel as the smallest fish. The first bigger fish to come along and consume it was Assyria, who conquered the northern kingdom of Israel. Then a bigger fish came along – the Babylonians – and ate the Assyrian fish plus a larger portion of land, including the southern Kingdom of Judah. This week we’ll see a larger fish, Persia, chomp up all of the Babylonian kingdom.

As each new “fish” controls the land, the people who had been living there are removed and replanted in a different area of that fish’s kingdom and new people are carted in to take over the land they left behind. This repopulation was very effective in creating larger and larger kingdoms, each with their own laws, currency, beliefs, language, etc. With each change, which would be every couple of hundred years, new generations were brought up into the new era of that kingdom. At the end of the Chronicles and the beginning of Ezra, the land becomes part of the Persian Empire. This is actually great news for the displaced Israelites because the Persian King Cyrus wants a peaceful empire and begins to allow people to go back to their homelands and areas of their heritage. Each kingdom gets progressively larger and more powerful. And there are more fish out there just waiting for the opportunity to eat up the Persians, who ate the Babylonians, who ate the Assyrians, who ate Israel.

While we don’t read much about the actual time of the Exile here which lasted about seventy years, we’ll get to read more about that time period when we study the Prophets. Here in the book of Ezra we read about two waves of returning exiles and there is another wave which we’ll read about next week in the book of Nehemiah. The first wave will occur under Persia’s King Cyrus and will be led by Zerubbabel (Sheshbazzar). Zerubbabel is the grandson of Jehoiachin, one of the last kings who ruled in Judah before the exile, and is the legitimate heir to the throne. The second wave will happen under Persia’s King Darius and will be led by Ezra the priest who will lead the Israelites in a renewed commitment to their heritage as the People of God.

When and Where Are We?

The Israelites will live in Exile until Cyrus allows the first group to go back and resettle in and around Jerusalem in 538 BC. A second group will join them, including Ezra himself, about 458 BC.

Who’s Who?

  • Amaziah, Azariah/Uzziah, Jotham – Good kings of Judah
  • Ahaz – REALLY bad king who desecrated the Temple and joined forces with Assyria
  • Hezekiah– Great King who rid Judah of the false gods and idols and reinstates Passover celebration
  • Zerubbabel – leader for the first group that returns to Jerusalem, sets up a new Temple
  • Ezra – priest, leader for the second group that returns to Jerusalem

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: 2 Chronicles 25-28
  • Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 29-32
  • Wednesday: 2 Chronicles 33-35
  • Thursday: Ezra 1-3
  • Friday: Ezra 4-6
  • Saturday: Ezra 7-10
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Week 18: 2 Chronicles 1-24

“But just when Rehoboam was at the height of his popularity and power  he abandoned the Lord, and the people followed him in this sin.”                                           2 Chronicles 12:1 TLB

What’s Going On?

2 Chronicles begins with King Solomon asking for wisdom and the first few chapters tell of the building and dedication of the Temple. We will see, again, how the kingdom will divide after Solomon’s reign and become two distinct nations; Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Here’s where we start to notice a difference in the way the story unfolds. When we read about the divided kingdom in 1-2 Kings, we had to bounce back and forth between the two kingdoms and try to follow both of their histories in parallel form. This time around we are only going to get the story of the southern kingdom of Judah. While there are some references to what is going on to the north of them in Israel, the author concentrates solely on what happened in Judah.

Remember that the northern kingdom of Israel split from Judah when Jeroboam rebelled against Rehoboam who followed his father, Solomon, as king. The kings in the northern kingdom of Israel will not carry the family line of David and therefore aren’t important in this retelling of the story since it is the lineage of David that will carry on long after the nation of Israel has fallen. We saw time and time again how the kings in Israel became king mostly by killing the previous king, and often his entire family, and claiming the throne for himself. So here in 2 Chronicles, we are going to be following the Davidic lineage and the dynasty will remain with the southern kingdom of Judah. In other words – no more bouncing back and forth between the two kingdoms. Judah’s history is told here as one continuous story. Well, almost. We’ll actually finish the book of 2 Chronicles next week.

When and Where Are We?

In the first chapter we are at about 1000 BC and by the end of the week’s reading we are at about 700 BC, so we cover almost three hundred years of history in this book. The main location is the southern nation of Judah and its capitol, Jerusalem.

Who’s Who?

  • Rehoboam – Solomon’s son. He abandoned the Law and as a result Jerusalem is invaded by Egypt. The prophet Shemaiah delivers an unsettling message and he returns to the Lord
  • Abijah (Abijam) – Good king who leads a revolt against Jeroboam. He is surrounded but calls on the Lord and wins the battle
  • Asa – Great king, Judah’s first Godly king who rid the land of false idols and altars and led a movement to return to the ways of the Lord
  • Jehoshephat – Good king but he made an alliance with Ahab that will cause problems later
  • Jehoram – Terrible king. He kills all of his brothers and marries Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, King and Queen in Israel. He receives a letter from Elijah and is struck ill because of his sin
  • Ahaziah – bad king, his mother was Athaliah who was an evil queen in Israel. He is killed by Jehu
  • Queen Athaliah – had temporary rule in Judah after the death of her son Ahaziah. She has all potential heirs murdered, only Joash survives because he is hidden away as an infant.
  • Joash (Jehoash) – Mostly a Great King, wisely counselled by Jehoida the priest. He was crowned king of Judah at seven years old and ruled for almost forty years. Joash grew up to be a wise king who restored the Temple and the Law, but later blew it when his officials led him astray.

“Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper.                                 Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has forsaken you.”                                                   2 Chronicles 24:20 b

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: 2 Chronicles 1-4
  • Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 5-8
  • Wednesday: 2 Chronicles 9-12
  • Thursday: 2 Chronicles 13-16
  • Friday: 2 Chronicles 17-21
  • Saturday: 2 Chronicles 22-24
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Week 17: 1 Chronicles 1-29

“Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.” 1 Corinthians 10:6

What’s Going On?

We have now entered the “Déjà Vu” section of the Old Testament. When you turn the page from 2 Kings to 1 Chronicles, there is a leap back in time that goes all the way back to Adam. The first ten chapters are mostly family lists and records that are repeated here for the purpose of having all of the genealogies in one place. The author will trace the lines of Abraham’s family and the twelve tribes of Israel all the way up to Saul who was in the tribe of Benjamin. The rest of the book is going to concentrate on David and we’ll learn more about his reign as King over the then United Kingdom of Israel and his plans for building the Temple that will come later when his son Solomon is king. There is enough new information to keep it interesting, but there is also a lot that will sound familiar.

It’s important to know WHY we are going back over all of this again. While 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings were probably written in an effort to record what had happened, the Chronicles seem to be more about WHY these things happened. It is as though Israel is looking back over her life and trying to figure out just where she went wrong. All of the accounts were likely written many years after the events, most likely during the time Israel was in exile which we’ll read about in a few weeks. But Chronicles was likely written much later than Samuel and Kings and utilizes hindsight for reflection and the search to make sense of what has happened and why. The author seems to assume you have read Samuel and Kings and doesn’t go into as much detail but still references the events as though you know them already. This time, however, the focus is on linking the events together to show that the destruction of Israel was justified based on Her actions. We’ll see this contagion pick up speed in 2 Chronicles next week.

We’re only getting half of the repeated story this week as 1 Chronicles coverers the history of Israel up to the time of King David. Don’t get tempted to skip the reading this week because you just read all this a few weeks ago. There are going to be details here that we didn’t get the first time around. Look for those differences and think about why the author felt the need to include them here. We’re going to be watching the story unfold through different eyes and while the information is familiar, the telling of it is different.

When and Where Are We?

The first chapters contain lists of genealogies going back all the way to Adam and brings us up to the life of David and Solomon. So, over three thousand years are summarized very quickly! Remember that we can safely put David’s lifetime about 1,000 BC. 1 Chronicles brings us up to the time Israel was still one kingdom, before it was divided into the two nations of Israel and Judah.

Who’s Who?

The names will be familiar since this is a repeat of information we’ve already covered. Some believe that Ezra, who we’ll meet in a couple of weeks, wrote the next four books as one continuous story, but we really can’t say with any certainty that he was the author here. Whoever the author was, he must have had access to many different previous writings and records as he traces and integrates them to tell the history of Israel.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12 KJV

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: 1 Chronicles 1-5
  • Tuesday: 1 Chronicles 6-10
  • Wednesday: 1 Chronicles 11-14
  • Thursday: 1 Chronicles 15-19
  • Friday: 1 Chronicles 20-24
  • Saturday: 1 Chronicles 25-29
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Week 16: 2 Kings 1-25

“Then I will reject even the remnant of My own people who are left, and I will hand them over as plunder for their enemies. For they have done great evil in My sight and have angered Me ever since their ancestors came out of Egypt.” 2 Kings 21:14-15 NLT

What’s Going On?

The kingdoms of Israel and Judah are going to continue to function as two separate nations, each with their own king and each with their own history. Israel will mostly have bad kings that lead the people away from God, while Judah will have some good kings who try desperately to restore the glory that God intended for them. The way the story unfolds can be confusing at times, bouncing from north to south. I suggest that you pay more attention to where something is happening than trying to keep up with the names.

There will be a downward spiral for both nations as foreign kings begin to invade and take over their land. About 725 BC, the northern kingdom of Israel will be completely overtaken by the Assyrians and will cease to exist as a nation. Throughout the rest of the Bible, and for nearly two thousand years after that, Israel will be under the power of another nation. It isn’t until 1948 when Israel is finally reinstated as an independent nation.

The southern kingdom of Judah will continue to function independently for another hundred years or so because of several great kings who honored the Lord and His instruction. The Assyrians will fall to Babylon and eventually Judah will be conquered as well. In 586 BC, Judah will fall to the Babylonians and the end of the book of 2 Kings records how the people are being removed from their homeland and taken away in carts, scattered among the now very large and powerful nation of Babylon.

Elisha followed Elijah as a great prophet and continued to give messages and perform miracles for God’s people in order to show God’s power and draw them closer to God. There is a strong pattern visible as we watch the decline of both Israel and Judah. When the king loves the Lord and serves Him only, the nation prospers. But when a king turns away from the Lord, the nation suffers. Remember back when Israel first conquered the land and God told them to rid the land of its inhabitants lest they get comfortable with worshipping all of their false gods? Well now we see why God was so fiercely protective of His people and His land. He knew how easily swayed His people could be and not only the foreigners from within, but now the nations around them have introduced their gods and their detestable worship practice to God’s people and they were not strong enough to stand against them. Now the punishment for turning away from God reaches its full measure.

When and Where Are We?

This book is going to cover about three hundred years, from 875-561 BC. At the beginning of the book we still have two divided kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. In chapter 17 the northern kingdom will fall to Assyria which lies to the north and east of Israel. The Assyrians will overtake much of the land that we now know as Iraq, Syria, parts of Turkey, and Lebanon. Later, the Babylonians will conquer Assyria and the land of Judah plus new territories to the south reaching into northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait. There will be a series of world powers that will conquer larger and larger territories that I like to visualize as the big fish eats the little fish. So Assyria “eats” Israel, then Babylon “eats” both Assyria and Judah. This pattern will continue with a few more big fish on the horizon.

Who’s Who?

Kings in Israel: Joram, Jehu, Johoahaz, Jehoash, Joroboam II, Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea

Kings in Judah: Jehoram, Ahaziah, Queen Athaliah, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Joehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: 2 Kings 1-4
  • Tuesday; 2 Kings 5-8
  • Wednesday: 2 Kings 9-12
  • Thursday: 2 Kings 13-16
  • Friday: 2 Kings 17-20
  • Saturday: 2 Kings 21-25
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Week 15: 1 Kings 1-22

As Solomon grew older, his wives beguiled him with their alien gods and he became unfaithful—he didn’t stay true to his God as his father David had done.  1 Kings 11:4 (The Message)

“I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever”  1 Kings 11:39 (NIV)

What’s Going On?

I kings continues the story where 2 Samuel left off. We saw the Nation of Israel established under King Saul, at its height under King David, and here we see David’s son Solomon take the throne. Each of these three kings will reign approximately forty years, so for about 120 years we see Israel as one united nation under one king. In the first half of 1 Kings we are going to see the nation prosper under King Solomon who will be remembered for his wisdom (and his women) and for finally building the Temple, a spectacular dwelling place for the Ark of the Covenant and all the ritual and formality that will go with it.

Chapters 11 and 12 are the turning point where we see Solomon’s greatest folly result in Israel being split and becoming two Divided Kingdoms. Solomon’s son Rehoboam is next in line to inherit the throne but a group of rebels in the north choose to split apart and form their own nation. The northern ten tribes will retain the name of Israel under their new king Jeroboam (Jerry) and the southern kingdom will be named after the largest tribe where Jerusalem is located, Judah, and will be led by Solomon’s son Rehoboam (Rey). The kings in Israel will mostly become king by killing the king before him, while the kings in Judah will be passed from father to son and will carry the lineage of David for several hundred years. (hint – the genealogy will appear in Mathew 1 showing the connection from David to Jesus and showing that Jesus was technically in the line of the kings)

We’ll also be introduced to several prophets. While the second half of the Old Testament is filled with stories of different prophets, Elijah’s story is told here. The prophets play a very important role in the Old Testament, speaking God’s will to the people of Israel. They will constantly be calling God’s people to restore their broken relationship with God, reminding them of both God’s love and His demand for faithfulness. God had brought His people out of Egypt in order to be a holy nation, and within just a few generations of the height of the glory of Israel, we will see it begin to spiral out of control, falling further and further away from the Lord. (There is a wonderful oratorio by Mendelssohn called Elijah)

When and Where Are We?

1 Kings covers a little over a hundred years, from about 900-800 BC. The great territory of Israel that David had built up will continue to grow and then split into two distinct nations: Israel in the north will choose Samaria as its capital. Judah in the south with keep Jerusalem as its capital. While we don’t have exact dates, there is a system of stating how many years one king had been on the throne when another king rises to power in the other nation. Pay attention to which kingdom is which as the narrative tends to bounce from north to south but try not to get caught up in the chronology and exact timing of events. There are going to be two parallel stories unfolding during the time of the divided kingdom in 1-2 Kings.

Who’s Who?

  • Northern Kings/Israel: Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Tibni, Omni, Ahab, Ahaziah
  • Southern Kings/Judah: Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Johoshaphat
  • Prophets: Nathan, Ahijah, Shemaiah, an unnamed prophet, Jehu, Elijah, Elisha, Micaiah
  • Foreign Kings: Hiram (Tyre), Hadad (Edom), Rezon (Aram), Shishak (Egypt), Ben-Hadad (Aram)

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: 1 Kings 1-4
  • Tuesday: 1 Kings 5-8
  • Wednesday: 1 Kings 9-12
  • Thursday: 1 Kings 13-16
  • Friday: 1 Kings 17-20
  • Saturday: 1 Kings 21-22
Posted in RTB 2019 | Leave a comment