Why the books of Kings matter

1 Kings 1:1–27

Today we begin a walk through the Old Testament books of 1 & 2 Kings.

What, you say? You’ve never read Kings? Not heard a sermon preached out of Kings lately? Didn’t know Kings was even in the Bible? Are Christians supposed to get anything out of Kings? Never fear. We’ll get all that figured out. Here’s what you need to know.

Kings is the conclusion of an epic narrative thread that began back in the book of Joshua, running through Judges and 1 & 2 Samuel. If you imagine each book as seasons of a TV show, Kings is the next season. While Samuel told the story of establishing the kingship in Israel and Saul and David (a span of about 100 years), Kings follows the royal ancestors of David who rule over Israel for the next 400 years.

What does all this have to do with Jesus? I’m glad you asked.

Imagine a continuum and at one edge is a conversation God has with David (through the prophet Nathan) in 2 Samuel 7. The gist of the conversation is God promises that one of David’s descendants will rule over God’s people forever.


And at the other end of this continuum is Jesus, whom the early church saw as the fulfillment of God’s promise to David. Philippians 2 is one of the clearest images in the New Testament of King Jesus. The books of 1 & 2 Kings are the middle of this sandwich.

This is the story of how God gets from Point A (David) to Point Z (Jesus), and there are a lot of messy, corrupt, twisted, sin-soaked, power-hungry individuals in the middle. I don’t know about you, but that gives me a little bit of hope about who God can use.

Kings is the story of Israel. And the story of Israel is the story of Jesus. And the story of Jesus is the story of the Church. And this is why it matters to us.

Question: Have you ever read the books of Kings with this “big picture” in mind?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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