The book of Judges takes place after the death of Joshua. There are 13 judges over the Tribes of Israel. The book shows how the Israelites did evil and served other gods and God would let them fall into captivity. He would send a judge to deliver them and they would obey for a while and then do evil and fall into captivity again. The circle continues through the book with the judges being the leaders who God used to give them deliverance. The most well known judges are probably Gideon with his army of 300, in chapters 6-8, and Samson with his great strength, found in chapters 13-15. The key message of Judges can be found in Judges 17:6 and repeated in Judges 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
A man named Elimelech and his wife, Naomi, and their two sons left Bethlehem-judah and went to Moab when there was a famine in the land. They stayed there for ten years. During that time the sons married Moabite women. When the father and two sons died, Naomi decided to go back to the land of Judah and told her daughters-in-law to go back to their homes, but Ruth went with Naomi. Boaz let Ruth glean barley in his fields and later married Ruth. She was the great-grandmother of David.
This book begins with the prayer of Hannah. She promised God that if He would give her a baby, she would lend him to the Lord. Samuel was born and Hannah kept her word and took him to live in the house of the Lord with Eli, the priest. Every year Hannah made a little coat for Samuel and carried it to him when they went to the yearly sacrifice. “And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” (I Samuel 7:15) Israel wanted a king so they would be like the other nations and God allowed Samuel to anoint Saul to be the first king of Israel. Saul disobeyed God, and Samuel anointed a young shepherd boy named David to be the next king. Chapter 17 tells how David killed Goliath, the giant, with a sling and a stone. The death of Samuel is found in chapter 25 and the book of I Samuel ends with the death of King Saul.
The book of II Samuel covers the reign of King David over Israel.
The book of I Kings begins with the death of King David and the reign of his son, Solomon. The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he wanted and Solomon asked for wisdom to lead the people. God gave Solomon wisdom, and also great riches and honor. Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, but in the end he let his many wives turn his heart away from God. After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam, became king and answered the people roughly so the kingdom was divided and most of the tribes followed King Jeroboam. You can read about the kings that followed and also about the great life and miracles of the prophet Elijah.
The book of II Kings continues with the kings of the northern kingdom, Israel and the southern kingdom, Judah. It has the translation of the prophet Elijah in the chariot of fire and horses of fire in the whirlwind and the double portion of the prophet Elisha. Many of the kings forsook the Lord and worshipped idols. The people were carried away as captives to Babylon and Jerusalem was destroyed and burnt with fire.
Week 2 -- Do You Know???
1. Can you name 2 of the 13 judges of Israel? ________________________________________________________________________
2. Who is the great grandmother of King David? _______________________________
3. What did Hannah take to little Samuel every year? ___________________________
4. Who did Samuel anoint to be the first king of Israel? __________________________
5. Who killed Goliath with a sling and a stone? ________________________________
6. What shepherd boy became the second king of Israel? _______________________
7. Who was the wisest king? _______________________________________________
8. Who built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem? ______________________________
9. Who went to heaven in a whirlwind in a chariot of fire and horses of fire? ________________________________________________________________________
_____ Judges A) The reign of King David _____ RuthB) Samuel judged Israel _____ I Samuel C) The reign of Solomon and dividing of the nation _____ II Samuel D) When judges ruled Israel _____ I Kings E) A Moabite woman goes with Naomi to Judah _____ II Kings F) The wicked kings and fall of Israel and Judah