Online Service Chapter 15- God’s Messengers to the Northern Kingdom
Scripture: 1 Kings 16–18
When we left The Story, the nation had split into two kingdoms. While in the lower story, this was a conflict between Jeroboam and Rehoboam, in the upper story God was achieving his purpose. The question is: Why did God divide the nation?
I. God divided the nation because his people were sending the wrong message.
A. God wanted his people to be blessed by him so that others would be drawn to God.
B. The nation rebelled from God, becoming complacent in devotion, disobedient to God’s commands, and worshipers of pagan gods.
C. In disobedience, God’s people were sending a wrong message to themselves and to the surrounding nations.
Illustration: If Max Lucado and Randy Frazee robbed banks in San Antonio and had their mug shots posted everywhere and continued to preach the Word of God on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings, they
would send a wrong message to the church and to the city.
II. God divided the nation so that he could purify the message regarding God’s character.
A. God does not need all 12 tribes to fulfill his promises to Abraham and David.
B. From the offspring of David from the tribe of Judah God will bring the Messiah. This promise is fulfilled in Jesus.
III. God sent prophets to the Northern Kingdom to call his people back to obedience.
A. God sent 9 prophets to the 19 kings in Israel over a period of 208 years.
(The only prophet to the northern kingdom heard and obeyed was Jonah and that was by the pagan Ninevites, not Israel.)
B. Two of the nine prophets were Elijah and Hosea.
1. Elijah and his encounter with the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Caramel is well-known. Israel’s God answered by fire.
2. Hosea, under Jeroboam II, was commanded by God to marry, Gomer, a prostitute, and to love her.
C. God through Hosea is demonstrating by life and by word that he deeply loves Israel and he wants Israel to turn from idols and come back to him.
1. Hosea 1 – 3 shows the life message to God’s people.
2. Hosea 4 – 14 reports the prophetic message to God’s people.