The dynasty of the kings of Israel prefigured the eternal kingship of Jesus Christ.
This lesson is about the first three kings of the united kingdom of Israel (the 12 tribes). After Israel had been ruled by judges for 300 years, Saul became the first king of Israel in 1050 BC. He was followed by David, in 1010 BC and David was succeeded by his son, Solomon, in 970 BC. These three kings ruled Israel for 120 years (40 years for each one). The life of Saul ended in disaster because of his rebellion against God. David is remember to this day as the best king of ancient Israel. David‘s son, Solomon, is remembered mainly for his wisdom and foolishness, the wealth and power of his kingdom, and for building a temple at Jerusalem for the Lord.
SAUL, THE FIRST KING
A. Israel Demands a King
1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
…….To understand this story, it is important to understand who Samuel was. Samuel was the greatest Priest of the Lord other than Moses and Joshua, but thought by many to be just as equally influential. There have been many occasions recorded in the Bible where Samuel had verbal conversations with the Lord, especially in dealing with the people of the nation of Israel.
1Sa 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
…….”the sons walk not in thy ways”. (1Sa 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.) Samuel was appointed Priest by God himself through the Prophet Eli because his own sons were corrupt. Now, Samuel is in the same position Eli was in, except Samuel wasn’t blind to the rebellion. “Now make us a king”. Never before had Israel been ruled by a king, but only by judges and prophets. The difference in being ruled by a king rather than a prophet is this; a prophet ruled by hearing the voice and commands of the Lord. A king ruled by the influence of man made rules and personal and often emotionally influenced opinions. The danger in this is, only God has perfect judgement. The reason why the governments of the world are corrupt is simply because the rulers have turned a deaf ear to the voice of the Lord.
1Sa 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
1Sa 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
…….The children of Israel were tired of following the precedents of the Lord. They wanted a fleshy man so they could attempt to manipulate Gods commands get away with sinful living.
1Sa 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
1Sa 8:9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
…….We have heard the saying. “Be careful why you pray for”. In this verse the Lord heard their request, and though He knew the results of a carnal king, He gave them what they wanted. God doesn’t restrict all of our desires simply to show us at times where we stand with Him. When we are in tune with Him, our desires will line up flawlessly.
1Sa 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
1Sa 8:20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
…….A life of sin produces a false showing of happiness. People who are miserable do all they can to make everyone around think that they have it going on. Just like the other nations the people of Israel thought they wanted to be like, they were most likely living a life of outward prosperity, living a life of partying and celebration, putting on like everything is good. Christians cannot be fooled by the facades of sin. Just like Israel, Christians will later find the misery in desiring and attaining thing that wasn’t the will of the Lord.
1Sa 8:21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
1Sa 8:22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.
1Sa 9:17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.
1Sa 10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
B. A Reluctant King Chosen
1Sa 10:17 And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh;
1Sa 10:18 And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you:
…….Samuel did just what the Lord told him to do, go and remind the people how the Lord had saved them in ways that no earthly king could ever do. And still they desired a king. “Side note”: We were created to worship and give glory, it is nature to all humans. The truth is, when Christians worship only out of routine and not out of sincerity, our desire to worship remains but shifts to the flesh. We seek to work for things that lead to sin and give glory to things and people who are not worthy, including ourselves. Our worship must stay pure and sincere.
1Sa 10:19 And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.
1Sa 10:20 And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken.
1Sa 10:21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found.
1Sa 10:22 Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.
1Sa 10:23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.
1Sa 10:24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.
1Sa 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.
…….Though Saul had just been anointed by Samuel to be king, he thought himself unworthy for the position. If Saul had kept this attitude throughout his reign as king, God would have made his life so much better. Instead, he destroyed his life and many others around because of his pride and rebellion against God. 1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; 14 And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
DAVID, THE SHEPHERD KING
A. The King From Judah
1Sa 16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
…….Make no mistake, people are still people regardless of position. Samuel, one of the greatest men of God that has walked this earth still dealt with disappointments and mournings. Pastors, teachers and evangelists are not numb to emotions, but at times are affected more. Every time a child of God falls, a true spiritual leader fells the fall.
1Sa 16:2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.
1Sa 16:3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
1Sa 16:4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
1Sa 16:5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
1Sa 16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
1Sa 16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
1Sa 16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
1Sa 16:10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
1Sa 16:11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
1Sa 16:12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy (red complexion), and withal (with all, accompanying) of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
1Sa 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
…….David’s experiences as a shepherd in his youth, served him well, for success as a warrior for Israel (1 Samuel 17:33-36), and as a spiritual leader of Israel (Psalm 23). When David eventually became the king of Israel, he saw his role as that of a shepherd to God’s people, serving under God, who was for him and Israel, the supreme shepherd of Israel.
B. The Covenant With David
1Ch 17:1 Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains.
1Ch 17:2 Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.
1Ch 17:3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
1Ch 17:4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:
1Ch 17:5 For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.
1Ch 17:6 Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
1Ch 17:7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
1Ch 17:8 And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
1Ch 17:9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
1Ch 17:10 And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.
1Ch 17:11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
1Ch 17:12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
1Ch 17:13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:
1Ch 17:14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
1Ch 17:15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
…….Throughout the entire reign of David as King, though there were failures and mistakes, he remained humble and continuously worshipped the Lord. Because of this, the Lord promised David that his kingdom would be “evermore” and “established fore ever”. This prophecy, and this covenant God made with David, pointed to the coming of Jesus the Messiah (Luke 1:32-33).
SOLOMON, THE BUILDER KING
A. Solomon Built the Temple
…….Solomon the son of David was the most successful and richest King ever. Though he was known for his prosperities and carnal ways of living, he was also known for his great wisdom that was granted by the Lord. Solomon was the king whom the Lord chose to build His temple.
2Ch 1:1 And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.
2Ch 1:2 Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.
2Ch 1:3 So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness.
2Ch 1:4 But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.
2Ch 1:6 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.
2Ch 5:1 Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.
2Ch 5:2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.
2Ch 6:1 Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.
2Ch 6:2 But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.
2Ch 6:3 And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood.
2Ch 6:4 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying,
2Ch 6:5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
2Ch 6:6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
……. though we see here a small portion of the dedication of the temple, the full account of the dedication of the temple (ch. 5-7) is the description of a profoundly reverent worship service in which God manifested his presence. The temple was by far the most important of the many structures Solomon built.
B. Solomon’s Kingdom
2Ch 9:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
…….Think about this, the Queen of Sheba was from Ethiopia. This extremely successful queen traveled with a caravan nearly 1600 miles away. Today by way of car it would take 84 hours. To walk as a caravan would travel it would take approximately 780 hours, or 32 days. What a thought that a ruler would leave the comforts and duties of her own to see the successes of a king said to be blessed by God himself.
2Ch 9:2 And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.
2Ch 9:3 And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,
2Ch 9:4 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
2Ch 9:5 And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom:
2Ch 9:6 Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.
2Ch 9:7 Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom.
2Ch 9:8 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.
…….The coming of the queen of Sheba to see Solomon and his kingdom was one indication of the greatness of Solomon and his kingdom. The queen of Sheba, after she had seen the wisdom and works of Solomon, confessed that all she had heard about the greatness of him and his kingdom was true, although before she saw it, she did not believe it. Of most importance, the queen of Sheba attributed all the glory of Solomon’s kingdom to the favor of God toward him and Israel.