1 and 2 Kings
This book that begins with the glory of God filling a magnificent gold plated temple with his glory, ends with this same temple broken and burned. How did this happen? Why did the kingdom divide? As you work your way through these books you will discover the persistence and longsuffering patience of Israel’s God. You will see how the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy are worked out in the national life. You will encounter the God who is "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…” Ex 34:6,7. The history you will learn in this Unit is an important foundation for your future studies in the prophets, and will help these wonderful books come alive.
1 and 2 Samuel
1 and 2 Samuel were originally one work, as were Kings and Chronicles, and are therefore studied together. In these books you meet significant figures of Israel’s story. Samuel, who (reluctantly) leads the nation into the monarchy, Saul, a king of so much unrealized promise, and David, the man after God’s own heart, the man who finished what Joshua began. With David we enter Israel’s golden age. As you apply your inductive skills to these books, you will be thrilled and challenged by the vivid application into so many areas of life, both personal and in the wider spheres of your influence.
In the midst of a dark period of Israel’s history, we have this jewel. Ruth, the gentile, chooses the God of Israel over and against her own pagan roots. You will discover examples as to how the Law of Moses, Israel’s national constitution, worked out in the daily life of ordinary people, and see the wonderful hand of God’s guiding providence.
In this book of Judges, you encounter one of Israel’s dark ages. As you study this book, you will encounter a God of faithfulness and covenant love as you work through the cycles of rebellion through to deliverance. You will be intrigued by the people God raises up to be his means of deliverance, and encouraged by their courage and faith, even as you will be appalled by the depth of Israel’s sin. You will also discover the rich application each of the judges affords, both for your life and the area of your ministry.