We are beginning our series on Elijah and how to have the faith to stand as we continue in the book of 1 & 2 Kings. But we are unable to appreciate the culture and environment that Elijah is called to work in if we simply start studying Elijah in chapter 17 of 1 Kings. It is important to see Israel before his name comes on to the pages of scripture so that we can understand where Israel is at and why God must send him to his people. Remember that the kingdom of Israel has divided due to Solomon’s sins. The division of the kingdom was not by accident. The scriptures repeatedly tell us that the events leading up to the division of the kingdom and the division itself were God’s doing (cf. 1 Kings 11:38-39; 12:15, 24). Previously in 1 Kings 11-12 we looked at Solomon’s failure which was the trigger for Rehoboam’s failure. But God determined to give Jeroboam, a servant of Solomon, an opportunity to serve the Lord and have a dynasty built through him (cf. 1 Kings 11:38). Ten tribes of Israel are given to Jeroboam because of Solomon’s faithlessness and Jeroboam is told to walk in the ways of the Lord. If Jeroboam will be faithful to the Lord, the Lord promised to be with him, build a dynasty through him, and give Israel to him. What will Jeroboam do with these promises and with this opportunity to lead Israel where Solomon and Rehoboam failed?
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