Last week we ended with the kingdom of Israel being split into two separate kingdoms. The first kingdom was composed of 10 of the tribes of Israel and kept the name Israel. The second kingdom became known as Judah and contained the city of Jerusalem. Judah was made up of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and a majority of the tribe of Levi.
The history of these two kingdoms and God’s continued work in them is recorded in the books of 1st and 2nd Kings, 1st and 2nd Chronicles, and numerous prophetic books. This has caused quite a bit of confusion for Biblical readers over the years because the accounts jump back and forth between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and many of the same events are recorded in both Kings and Chronicles.
To alleviate some of this confusion, the readings over the next few weeks will focus on one of the kingdoms at a time, beginning with the kingdom of Israel. After that we will focus on the kingdom of Judah and the events that took place within her borders. Most of the time we will be reading from the books of 1st and 2nd Kings but we will jump over to Chronicles if Chronicles gives us more information or offers specific information that is important to understand God’s plan. We will also be making excursions into the books of Jonah and Jeremiah for the insights they will give us into God’s work within the two kingdoms.
An important thing to remember during the coming weeks is how God never stops moving His plan forward and never abandons His people. They regularly abandon Him but He never deserts them. He may allow them to face the earthly and eternal consequences of their actions but that is by their choice and not His. His desire was always that they would return to him and be forgiven.