Journey Word 6: The Kingdom Unified
Hannah had no children, and cried out to the Lord to help her with her barrenness. The Lord granted her a child, and who was born was named Samuel. Now, Samuel heard God’s Call at a very young age.
Samuel, Saul, and David
1 Samuel 1-31; 1 Chronicles 1-10
Samuel led Israel as a prophet and the last judge of the era of Judges. People had begun to reject God as King, and demanded a king. But God warned the Israelites that unpleasant things would arise if a king were to rule. However, the people still insisted, so Samuel was to anoint a man named Saul to be Israel’s first king.
The Spirit of God came strongly upon Saul, as he was a man that could lead the kingdom well. However, he eventually disobeyed the Lord and ignored God; therefore, Samuel prophesied that the kingdom would not endure anymore for another man was to be chosen to take his place as king. David was the next man in line for the throne.
David was a shepherd, and a humble man who received the Spirit of the Lord once it departed from Saul. David quickly rose to prominence and power in Israel and defeated a giant Philistine warrior named Goliath. Saul and David warred each other, and Saul nearly killed David – so David fled Jerusalem.
David moved through the wilderness of Judah, and lived as a fugitive from Saul. David built a militia of 600 men strong. He raided different towns and lived with the Philistines for a while, which were the enemy of Israel. Soon, David, a shepherd boy, would become a man of war. Saul and his sons died in the battle against the Philistines, which allowed David to take the throne. God directed David to go to Hebron, and David obeyed.
2 Samuel 1-24; 1 Chronicles 11-29; 1 Kings 1-2
In Hebron, David was made King of Judah, where he reigned for seven and a half years. The rest of the tribes made David king over all of Israel. His first act as King was to make Jerusalem the capital and bring the ark of the covenant into the city as well. When the ark entered Jerusalem, the sound of celebration could be heard! David would also write almost half of the 150 Psalms.
God blessed King David, giving him rest from enemies, and made a covenant with him. The Davidic Covenant would mean that the Kingdom would reign forever. Bringing national unity was something David had done that Saul could not do.
But King David did do something foolish, which was sleeping with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. David tried to conceal the fact that Bathsheba was pregnant, and had Uriah to die on the battlefield so that David could marry Bathsheba. God confronted David by Nathan the prophet, and David confessed his sin of abusing the flock of God. David prayed for mercy in Psalm 51. David received forgiveness from God, but there were consequences of this sin.
The series of troubles that occurred included one of his sons assaulting his daughter. Another son named Absalom attempted to usurp David’s throne and call himself king. Disloyal leaders in his kingdom attempted another coup. War between Israel and the Philistines would occur again, and a plague caused thousands in Israel to die. David would rule for forty years in Israel, and would allow his son Solomon to inherit the throne.
2 Chronicles 1-9; 1 Kings 3-11
Solomon reigned during a time of national prosperity and economic flourishing in Israel. Solomon began his kingship by asking God for wisdom. During his reign, he expanded the boundaries of Israel, and achieved many economic successes along with building the first temple in Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant would be placed in the Most Holy Place in the Temple.
Solomon’s wisdom was heavily recorded, and can be read in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and two Psalms (72 and 127). King Solomon married over 700 foreign wives and had 300 concubines. Not sure how wise that is, but definitely something to consider there. Royal marriages were usually a way of forming political and economic alliances between different nations to foster an era of trust. Solomon apparently desired to strengthen his kingdom by these marriages.
Incidentally, Solomon would fall into sin, by which he set up multiple places of worship for the gods of these many wives he had. Solomon’s heart would slowly turn toward these deities, and was no longer fully devoted to the Lord. During most of his reign though, Israel remained prosperous and unified. However, the kingdom was fragile and about to dissolve when Solomon would die.
Timelines of Events from Samuel to Solomon
1100 BC – God gives Hannah a son named Samuel (1 Samuel 1).
Samuel heard God’s Call (1 Samuel 3).
The ark is captured temporarily by the Philistines. The High Priest Eli died (1 Samuel 4-6).
Samuel led Israel as a judge and prophet. Samuel and David were heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:32).
1051 BC – Israel demands a King, so Samuel anointed Saul (1 Samuel 8-10).
Saul disobeyed God, so God rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 13 and 15).
Samuel anointed a young shepherd named David to be the next King (1 Samuel 16). David was from Bethlehem and Jesus was born in Bethlehem… What a coincidence! (1 Samuel 16:1; Matthew 2:1).
David kills Goliath with a slingshot (1 Samuel 17).
David married Michal and befriended Jonathan (Saul’s son) (1 Samuel 18).
David spent 14 years as a fugitive after Saul tried to kill him (1 Samuel 19-30; Psalms 18, 56, 57, 59, 63, and 142).
Samuel died (1 Samuel 25:1) and David married Abigail (1 Samuel 25).
1011 BC – Saul and Jonathan died in battle against the Philistines (1 Samuel 31; 1 Chronicles 10).
David is made king of Judah in Hebron and ruled for 7.5 years (2 Samuel 2).
David becomes king over all Israel and conquered Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5; 1 Chronicles 11).
David brought the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6; 1 Chronicles 13-16).
Davidic Covenant: God made a covenant with David (2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17).
David slept with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed so David could marry her (2 Samuel 11).
Nathan rebuked David, and David repented of his sin (2 Samuel 12; Psalm 51).
Absalom attempted a coup, but was killed in battle (2 Samuel 15-18; Psalm 3).
A plague occurred but then ceased, when David bought the threshing floor of Araunah and built his altar there (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21).
Nathan and Bathsheba urge David to make Solomon the new king (1 Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 28).
971 BC – David died after a 40 year reign (1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29).
Solomon is made King and received wisdom from God (1 Kings 3; 2 Chronicles 1).
960 BC – Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem on the threshing floor of Araunah (1 Kings 5-8; 2 Chronicles 2-7; Psalm 30).
950 BC – The Queen of Sheba visited Solomon and admired his wisdom and wealth (1 Kings 10; 2 Chronicles 9).
Solomon foolishly married many wives and worshiped their gods (1 Kings 11).
931 BC – Solomon would die after his 40 year reign (1 Kings 11; 2 Chronicles 9).