The story of Elijah is an important story. Moses was the first prophet. Elijah was the second great prophet. He is the second man to be taken up to Heaven without dying.
Let’s start back with king Solomon. When he died, Jeroboam, one of his King Solomon’s officials, until he was exiled to Egypt. When Solomon died, the king’s son Rehoboam was set to take the throne. However, the political climate was greatly divided between the poor people and allegiance to the royal family. The king had heavily taxed the people to make himself rich. Then, his son wanted to tax the people even harsher because he wanted to be even more rich than his father. Jeroboam was a tradesman and servant. He wanted to be free from the slave labor and heavy tax burden.
Under Jeroboam’s leadership, the northern 10 tribes of Israel broke away from the Davidic kingdom to remain the kingdom of Israel. The remaining tribes of Benjamin and Judah consolidated to form the kingdom of Judah which held the Davidic line of king. The capital of Judah was Jerusalem where the palace and the Temple were. The people of Judah remained faithful to the covenant, more so than the northern kingdom, because the Kingdom of Judah worshiped at the Temple. Continue reading
Remember when the people asked for a king and God said no and the people persisted and God said fine, but this won’t go well? The story today is one of it not going so well for the people.
King David had many military victories and built the palace in Jerusalem. He had greatly sinned against God, yet remained in favor with God and the people. God recognized that David was a faithful man, albeit a flawed man. God had allowed David to build the palace, but had not allowed him to build a house for God.
When King David died, his second son with Bathsheba, Solomon was crowned king. Solomon was known as a very wise king. Continue reading
In the story of the history of God’s people, we read last week the call of Samuel as priest. Samuel anointed King Saul who was the first king of Israel. King Saul fell out of favor with God, though I’m not sure he was so favored to begin with because the people wanted the king, not God. When God rejected Saul as king, God sent Samuel to anoint David to be the next king of Israel. The reading from 1 Samuel 16: 1 – 13 is the anointing of David by the priest Samuel.
God does not look at people and judge them in the same when we look at people and judge them. “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God rejected the eldest son of Jesse to be the next king. He was probably the strongest looking son. This eldest son is probably the one we would have chosen because he was a man and looked most like king material. But, that was not the one God chose. Samuel needed to listen to God for God’s guidance, not rely on what he saw and what he thought would be best. Continue reading