Title of the book: The Desolation of the Nation of Israel.
The book of second Kings completes the history of the nation of Israel which began when Israel decided to reject the sovereignty of God and become like the other nations by desiring a king. This decision by the people resulted in the establishment of an earthly kingdom controlled by men and the rejection of the heavenly kingdom by God.
The books of Samuel and Kings form the history of this earthly kingdom beginning with a man after the heart of the people eventually being replaced by a king after God's own heart. In the book of first Kings, we see the kingdom divided due to Solomon’s departure from God and the further deterioration of the kingdom's beginning. Everything that Samuel warned the people about came to pass as he prophesied.
And although these books give emphasis to the kingdoms of men, the kingdom of God never ceased. During this period of the Kings, God had many prophets that he raised up who tried through their ministries to keep the deterioration from taking place, but the people persisted in their disobedience and had to learn the hard lessons by experiencing the consequences of their foolish choices.
Evidences of the kingdom of God were apparent to all the prophets and their ministry which took place. During these times, there were many prophets that God sent but the ones we give attention to are the major and minor prophets listed in the scriptures. Although the message of the Old Testament and the prophets is largely neglected, the message of the prophets declare to us a more practical message than those of the apostles.
Consider: Joel, who speaks to us of the day of the Lord; Jonah speaks against the dangers of exclusivism; Amos thunders forth a message concerning national accountability; Hosea speaks to us of the great forgiving love of God; Obadiah deals with the problem of pride and cowardice; Isaiah is a prophet of the theocracy of God; Micah deals with false and true authority; Nahum speaks of the vengeance of God upon sin; Zephaniah's message speaks of this severity and the goodness of God; Jeremiah speaks of the consequences of failure; Habakkuk speaks to us of the importance of faith. These prophets all sent forth their message during this period of the Kings, giving us continual reminders that though the kingdoms of man ruled, God was in control of the final outcome of his people.
1. In I Kings 19:16, what was about to happen to Elijah that might have caused him some concern? Discuss the possible reaction that he might have had.
2. Read I Kings 19:19-21 and discuss the action and dedication on the part of Elisha
3. Who were the kings who reigned in Israel and Judah during this period?
4. In II Kings 2: 1-7, discuss the various ways that Elisha’s dedication was testes and his response. Discuss what it meant.
5. In verse 9, what request did Elisha make and what was the reason for it? What condition did Elijah put on his request?
6. In verse 13,14, what confirmation did Elisha receive concerning his request?
7. Follow the narrative through the remainder of the book and determine who the king were after Jehoshaphat. Who were the Good kings and who were the evil ones?
8 Who was the King of Israel at the time that Israel was taken into Assyrian Captivity?
9. In chapter 22,23, who became King and what significant events took place at that time?
10. From the remaining Chapters, discuss what happened ti Judah, despite the great reforms accomplished by Josiah.