Remember when Joshua died, God allowed Israel to be defeated by her enemies. He did not appoint a new leader because Israel disobeyed God. It was not until Israel repented and God appointed a new temporary leader called a judge. However, when the judge died, Israel would disobey God again and again be defeated. This happened 15 times. Most of the countries around Israel were ruled by kings. This caused Israel to want a king too, even though God was their king. God decided to give Israel a king named Saul. Unfortunately, Saul did not obey God and chose another king to replace him. God chose David while he was still a young boy and while Saul was still king. David ministered to King Saul for a long time but eventually Saul continued to be disobedient and he could not control his anger. Sin cause Saul to be destroyed.
I wish I could go into more detail about this long story between King Saul and David, but for now, you need to know that King David is often considered the greatest king of Israel because he did everything that pleased God. He did sin and made mistakes. However, he always repented and obeyed God again. If you look at the book of Psalms, many of these songs were written by David and accompanied by stringed instruments.
David’s son, Solomon became the next king. God promised Solomon anything he wanted. Solomon asked God for wisdom. This pleased God so much that in addition to wisdom, He gave Solomon riches and honor- more than any other king has ever seen before! Solomon is famous for building the first temple for God that would replace the tent tabernacle that Moses had built. The tent tabernacle was used for 400 years, but now they would worship in temple made of the best stone, jewel, and wood. Sadly- Solomon eventually disobeyed God. He had more than 700 wives. Some of these wives worshipped idols which led Solomon to stop worshipping God. Remember when Israel married women from the enemy that worshipped idols when Joshua was leader? The same thing happened here. As a result, God promised to tear the kingdom away from Solomon. Israel split into two kingdoms- Israel and Judah.
See the chart on this page. The green represents Judah with the red line representing Jesus’s family line. The brown represents Israel. Judah and 20 kings and Israel had 19. Unfortunately, most of these kings were bad. Eventually Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 BC. Judah was conquered by Babylon in 586 BC, about 136 years after Israel was destroyed. The city of Jerusalem and the beautiful temple that Solomon built was also destroyed. This all happened because Israel and Judah both disobeyed God.
Join us next week as we study the prophets that rose up after the kings were destroyed. We are almost done with the Old Testament!