Lesson 5

The Divided Kingdom

III. The Divided Kingdom

Solomon had built a great kingdom, but after his death it was divided. Solomon's son, Rehoboam, threatened to lay a heavier tax burden on the people than Solomon had. The people demanded reforms but Rehoboam took the counsel of his younger advisors, rather than that of the older and more experienced men. The results were a revolt and a kingdom divided into North and South, Israel and Judah (I Kings 12).

A. The Northern Kingdom (I Kings 12-16)

The Northern Kingdom consisted of ten tribes, and was known as the Kingdom of Israel. Their first King was Jeroboam and their capitol was Samaria. Israel had a total of nineteen Kings reign over them to say, all of them were wicked and spiritually depraved. There was not one strong, spiritual leader among them. Because of this weak spiritual leadership, idolatry was rampant.

God in His mercy sent many prophets to warn Israel of impending judgment. Two of the most notable prophets to Israel were Elijah and Elisha, mighty men of God who performed many miraculous works. All of their prophecies were fulfilled in their lifetime. They are referred to as contemporary prophets. The people refused to repent of their evil and the judgment of God came. Israel's kingdom fell and they were taken away captive by Assyria in 721 B.C. (II Kings 17).

Judgment will soon come upon this world, and those who have not served God will be "carried off captive for eternity." It is important that the gospel message be obeyed now!

B. The Southern Kingdom

The Southern Kingdom consisted of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, and was known as the Kingdom of Judah. The first King of Judah was Rehoboam, and the capitol city was Jerusalem. Judah had nineteen kings and one queen who reigned over her. Unlike the Kingdom of Israel, Judah did have some good kings, although many were idolatrous and evil.

Judah received her prophets from God also. They warned of the judgment of God, and His wrath that would surely come, unless they repented. Such men of God as Isaiah and Jeremiah were sent to Judah with a message of impending judgment. However, Judah refused to repent and in 606 B.C. this nation was carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (II Kings 25). This captivity was to last for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). While in Babylon, the Spirit of God moved on such men as Daniel and Ezekiel.

C. Last Day Prophecy

In anointed prophecies, we can learn much concerning this present time, the last days. There has never been a time that the Scriptures have a more significant meaning than now. Surely, these days are the last days. Although the exact hour or the day is unknown/ Jesus did give a forecast of the the prevailing conditions of the end time. The days of Israel and Judah were a period of spiritual apostasy with an idolatrous people with their own gods. Material things, entertainment and the love of money are popular idols of our time. It is important to obey the Word of the Lord. The time is at hand!