Journey Word 7: Divided they Stand
After King Solomon died, tribal loyalty had fallen hard. Civil war broke out between the ten northern tribes and two southern tribes. What was once unified by King David was now very separate.
Kings and Prophets
1 Kings 12-22; 2 Kings 1-25; 2 Chronicles 10-36
Rehoboam claimed kingship over the region of Judah. This was called the southern kingdom. People were quite involved in very sinful activities. In the northern kingdom, Jeroboam was made ruler. Since Jerusalem and the ark of the covenant was in the south, Jeroboam decided to set up new gods and new temples for people to worship.
Just as Aaron once set up a golden calf idol, Jeroboam set up two of them and told people they can worship them. Rehoboam and Jeroboam were considered wicked kings, and caused many problems that angered the Lord. God sent prophets to deal with their rebellion with words of warning. Even with military threats from Assyria and Egypt, Israel was still prosperous.
Especially prominent were King Ahab of Israel along with Queen Jezebel. Jezebel brought Baal worship with her and killed the prophets of God. She even threatened to kill Elijah for defeating her Baal priests on Mount Carmel. However, God intervened for Elijah. Therefore, Elijah was taken into Heaven by a whirlwind. Jezebel and Ahab suffered violent deaths. The Kingdom of Israel had fallen to Assyria in 722 BC, and Judah had fallen to Babylon in 586 BC. Jeremiah saw the fall of Judah and lamented.
Book of Jonah
God called Jonah to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it. Bringing God’s judgment on an enemy of Israel was ideal; however, Jonah just ran away from the idea. He boarded a ship to a deep sea and was thrown overboard by the crew. He was then swallowed up by a huge fish, which saved him from drowning.
Once God commanded the fish to release Jonah, he obeyed God’s Word and went to Nineveh – to which they believed his message. They repented, fasted, and made changes to their lifestyle right away.
At the end of the book, Jonah complained to God, as he knew God was compassionate, which was why he fled in the first place. God asked him should He not have concern for the city of Nineveh.
Timeline of events during the Division of the Kingdom
Division of the Kingdom: After Solomon died, the kingdom divided into Rehoboam of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and Jeroboam of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) (1 Kings 12-14; 2 Chronicles 10-13).
About 900 BC – Israel’s King Ahab and Queen Jezebel killed the Lord’s prophets (1 Kings 16 and 18).
About 800 BC – Elijah and Elisha prophesy to the land of Israel (1 Kings 17-21; 2 Kings 1-8, 13; 2 Chronicles 21).
Jonah spent three days and nights in the belly of a huge fish (Jonah). Jesus said that like Jonah, He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:39-40).
Amos and Hosea prophesy to Israel. Micah prophesies to Israel and Judah. Isaiah prophesies to Judah. Because of Jesus being Messiah, nations would receive God’s Promises just as Amos prophesied (Amos 9:11-12; Acts 15:15-17). Jesus as Messiah was called out of Egypt just as Hosea prophesied, came out of Bethlehem just as Micah prophesied (Hosea 11:1; Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4-6; 2:15). Jesus also declared that the prophecy in Isaiah 61 was about Him (Luke 4:17-19).
Fall of Israel: Assyria conquered Israel (2 Kings 17).
716 BC – King Hezekiah restored the Temple, observed Passover (2 Kings 18; 2 Chronicles 29-32).
Hezekiah is healed from his illness, and Isaiah prophesies to him (2 Kings 19-20; Isaiah 36-38).
Nahum prophesies Assyria’s destruction.
Zephaniah prophesies the coming day of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 tells us the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
King Josiah found the book of the Law and brought revival to Judah (2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34-35).
Jeremiah prophesies to Judah before and after the fall to Babylon. Jeremiah also spoke of the New Covenant that God would make with His People. Jesus announced that during the Last Supper (Jeremiah 31:31; Luke 22:20).
The last four kings of Judah after Josiah were evil (2 Kings 23-24; 2 Chronicles 36).
Habakkuk prophesied to Judah.
586 BC – Fall of Judah: Babylon conquered Judah and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 52). Jeremiah writes his Lamentations while Obadiah prophesies against Edom.