True to God’s word, Solomon’s excesses and lack of alignment with God dissipate the family and soon after his death, the kingdom is headed for division.
Read 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles.
The Rapid Decline of the Kings
- God’s Warning
- Division Triggered
- Kings of Judah and Israel
- Leaving a Legacy
God had spoken to Rehoboam’s father, Solomon… The Lord said, “As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, “You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’ (2 Chronicles 7:17,18).
But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.” (2 Chronicles 7:19,20).
.. thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes (but he will have one tribe, for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem.. (1 Kings 11:31, 32).
My Father laid heavy burdens on you but I’m going to make them even heavier (1 Kings 12:11)
Rehaboam’s Pronouncement – Cont’d
My father beat you with whips.. (1 Kings 12:11)
Rehaboam’s Pronouncement Cont’d
…but I will beat you with scorpions (1 Kings 12:11)
The older men who had been Solomon’s advisors counseled Rehoboam, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” (1 Kings 12:7)
The Kingdom Divided
So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the LORD, that He might establish His word, which the LORD spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. (1 Kings 12:14-15)).
Kings of Israel
Jehu, not good but better than the rest, 841—814 BC
Jehoahaz, bad, 814—798 BC
Joash, bad, 798—782 BC
Jeroboam II (overlap), bad, 793—753 BC
Zechariah, bad, 753 BC
Shallum, bad, 752 BC
Menahem, bad, 752—742 BC
Pekahiah, bad, 742—740 BC
Pekah (overlap), bad, 752—732 BC
Hoshea, bad, 732—722 BC
Kings of Judah
Rehoboam, bad mostly, 933—916 BC
Abijah, bad mostly, 915—913 BC
Asa, GOOD, 912—872 BC
Jehoshaphat (overlap), GOOD, 874—850 BC
Jehoram/Joram, bad, 850—843 BC
Ahaziah, bad, 843 BC
Athaliah (queen), devilish, 843—837 BC
Joash/Jehoash, good turned bad, 843—803 BC
Amaziah, good mostly, 803—775 BC
Uzziah/Azariah (overlap), GOOD mostly, 787—735 BC
Jotham (overlap), GOOD, 749—734 BC
Ahaz, wicked, 741—726 BC
Hezekiah, VERY GOOD, 726—697 BC
Manasseh, the worst, 697—642 BC
Amon, the worst, 641—640 BC
Josiah, THE BEST, 639—608 BC
Jehoahaz, bad, 608 BC
Jehoiakim, wicked, 608—597 BC
Jehoiachin, bad, 597 BC
Zedekiah, bad, 597—586 BC
Better Kings of Israel-God’s Patience
- Jehu – destroyed Baal worshippers but retained calves of Dan and Bethel – did not honour God with an undivided heart and turn from sins of Jeraboam
- Joash – did not deviate from sins of Jeraboam’Beat Aram 3 times (strike ground and prophet story)
- Jeraboam – Did evil as Jeraboam – but God did not want to blot Israel out – gave him victories
Better Kings of Judah
- Asa:Got rid of prostitutes and threw out idols. Did not get rid of local sex-and-religion shrines. War with Baashah king of Israel.
- Jehoshaphat: Continued in ways of Asa. Maintained peace with Israel. Did not get rid of sex-and-religion shrines
- Joash: Renovated temple but after Jehoaida’s death joined leaders of Judah and took up with cult of sex godesses. Killed Johaida’s son Zechariah who warned him. Aramanean troops attacked and wounded Joash so badly that his own had to kill him
Better Kings of Judah (Cont’d)
- Amaziah: Served God but did not get rid of sex-and-religion shrines
- Uzziah: Served God but did not get rid of sex-and-religion shrines – skin disease
- Jotham: Served God but did not get rid of sex-and-religion shrines. God sent Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaiah to attack Judah.
Best Kings of Judah
- Hezekiah: Destroyed sex-and-religion shrines and pulverized bronze serpent.
God saved them from Assyria
- Josiah: Destroyed all sex-and-religion shrines including those built by kings of Israel. There was no king to compare with Josiah
– killed by Pharoah Neco.
God’s anger did not cool and he decided to hand over Judah to enemies
Highlights of the Kings 
- Evil rulers
- God’s patience
- God’s grace when King and people turned to Him
- God’s long delay before captivity
- Good father’s bad sons, vice versa
- Man’s total inability to rule for God.
- Prophets killed, pursued, ill-treated
- Prophets become more prominent, priests play a lesser role
What Legacy Do We Leave?
“For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.” (Psalm 78:5-7).
- What trends do we observe causing the decline of the kings?
- What lessons do we learn?
- What steps can we take to leave a good legacy?