Yesterday, we talked about the Judges Era–the period of time in which God’s people were governed by men (and one woman) known as judges. But, if you remember, all was not rosy. In fact, most of it was pretty stinky. The Hebrew people had it really rough, mostly because they chose to disobey God.
Here’s a look at the review of what we’ve learned so far.
So, do things get better for the Israelites in their next period of history, the Kingdom Era? No, they really don’t. Check out this storyline summary.
As Anders puts it, “the Kingdom Era was a very turbulent time with many ups and downs.” When a righteous king ruled (which wasn’t very often), things went really well for the nation of Israel. When an unrighteous king ruled, things went really badly…and this eventually led to the nation being exiled.
See, the thing we need to remember is that God never wanted the Hebrew people to be ruled by a king. He wanted to be their king (and He wants to be ours too). But they saw how the other nations around them all had human kings, and they decided they needed to have one too. So, God gave into them and gave them what they wanted. We know how that turned out, right?
The first king was Saul, who seemed to start out trying to do what God wanted him to do, but he sure didn’t end that way. The next king was David who, despite his flaws, really was a man after God’s own heart (God said so), and he was a righteous king. His son Solomon started out being righteous, but, like Saul, he ended badly … and so did his kingdom. It ended in civil war.
After Solomon’s death, Israel experienced a nasty civil war that resulted in the kingdom being divided into north (Israel – 10 tribes) and south (Judah – 2 tribes, Judah and Benjamin). I love how Anders condensed all this information in an easy-to-understand explanation. I really, really got it easily and quickly. Now I know what the Bible writers really mean when they talk about Judah. Yay!
I underlined a lot in this chapter, but I learned a lot too. Pretty cool!
Here’s a look at the end-of-chapter self test. Be sure to check out the map.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at what ultimately happened after Israel (and Judah) continued to disobey God. He sent judgment upon them in the form of capture and exile. So, get ready to learn more about another dark period in Israel’s history.