In 2020, I plan to preach from 1 Kings, and I have ascertained with the help of one commentator (Mr. Woodhouse) some solid reasons to do so. I call these “Keys to First Kings.”

Key #1 Fix Your Eyes on the Champion King

“Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.””

John 19:19

Woodhouse writes, “1 Kings tells the account of fourteen kings who ruled over all or some of the ancient Israelite people from about 961 to 850 B.C.” Nevertheless all fourteen of these kings point us to one King, namely Jesus of Nazareth (at that time to come). This is the first key to understanding 1 Kings.

Key #2 Take a Trip to Kingdom Outfitters

“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.””

John 18:36

We are balanced by this very thing and outfitted for salvation through 1 Kings. How so? First, as glorious as the greatest kingdom this world has seen (King Solomon in 1 Kings 1–11) we would not trust in it. Second, as bad as the worst kingdom this world has seen (King Ahab in 1 Kings 16–22) we would no despair over it. Rather, as 2 Timothy 3:15 states, “the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” includes that of 1 Kings, and especially 1 Kings. This Book that speaks of fourteen kings helps us to see the kingdom anticipated in the coming of Jesus Christ is not of this world. Nevertheless, we can be outfitted (that is what made wise for salvation means) for the out-of-the-world kingdom.

Key #3 Imagine a Forever Indestructible Kingdom

“And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’””

2 Samuel 7:16

God promised early on that there would be a king to make things right forever (Genesis 3:15). In Genesis 35:11 the Scripture speaks about the covenant, “And God said to [Jacob], “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body.” One has said that wherever there is a sovereign king and his subjects there is a covenant (Frame). God promises or covenants to bring forth kings from Jacob (Israel). This is the concept of Messiah or King promised to come and establish his forever kingdom. And this kingdom is also indestructible as stated in:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”

Genesis 49:10

and

“The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.””

1 Samuel 2:10

That is the third key.

Key #4 A Kingdom Predicted to be Rejected yet still rules

“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”

John 1:11

The out-of-this-world forever, indestructible kingdom that points us to our champion king and outfits us for salvation is one that is predicted to be rejected by his own people.

Woodhouse writes that 1 Kings

“is a story of power and politics in which we will learn many interesting and important things. By far the most important is the wonder of the extraordinary inscription that Pontius Pilate put on the cross when seen in light of the Scriptures. The story of these kings will (as Jesus put it) “bear witness about me.” Our task is to listen carefully to this testimony.”

It is no surprise to anyone who listened to the testimony of Scripture that the Messiah’s kingdom would be rejected. The breadth of fourteen kings illustrates how man will often accept everything but the Messiah’s kingdom, whether with the glory of Solomon or the darkness of Ahab; but something greater than Solomon is testified in 1 Kings.

These are the keys to 1 Kings:

  1. Fix your eyes on your champion king—this book will be your hero.
  2. Take a trip to kingdom outfitters—this book is holy; it will make you wise enough to trust Jesus and be saved.
  3. Imagine a forever indestructible kingdom—this book will be your hope.
  4. Do not be surprised at this king’s rejection, nor sad because he rules—this book is a harbinger of the cross.