The book of Ecclesiastes concludes with “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all”. Basically, everything is meaningless under the SUN unless we have a relationship with the SON, Jesus Christ. And that’s a wrap on the Kingdom Era! 🎉 Saul reigned 40 years, David reigned 40 years and then Solomon reigned 40 years.
Today Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, becomes king of Israel. The people ask him to lighten the heavy labor load that his dad, Solomon, put on them. Instead of listening to the wise counsel of the elders he takes the terrible advice of his young buddies. 🤦♀️ Rehoboam says “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke”.
However, this is all part of God’s plan. The “turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His Word” regarding tearing 10 kingdoms from Solomon’s son due to Solomon’s disobedience and giving them to Jeroboam.
Jeroboam returns from Egypt and leads a revolt against Rehoboam. Rehoboam assembles the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to fight against the other 10 tribes of Israel, but the Lord says they shall not fight their brothers “for this thing is from Me”. So Jeroboam becomes king over 10 tribes of Israel.
Jeroboam fears if he allows the people to go to Jerusalem and worship the Lord that their hearts will turn back to the Lord and to King Rehoboam, and then they may want to kill him. In an effort to keep them in Northern Israel, Jeroboam forms a new blended religion that looks similar to they way they have been worshipping the Lord, except that he throws some false gods in the mix and changes some rules. He takes 2 golden calves and says “Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!”. 🤔 You wouldn’t think that the people would go for the golden calf worship stunt again after what went down in the wilderness with Aaron, but they totally do.
Jeroboam sets the calves up in Dan and Bethel, builds shrines on high places, and makes priests of every class instead of only the Levites as the Lord instructed. 😳 Since the Levites are rejected by Jeroboam, they leave Northern Israel and go to Southern Judah with all the others wanting to worship the Lord God of Israel. “So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.”
Ok, this section can get a little confusing bc there are 20 kings of Northern Israel (all evil) and 19 kings and 1 queen of Southern Judah (all from King David’s bloodline and are a mix of good, bad and in-between), plus the various prophets. (I attached a chart below that you might want to print and keep in your Bible during this section of the Story.)
The Northern Kingdom will last 209 years before they are overtaken by the Assyrians. Southern Judah will last 345 years before they are taken over by the Babylonians. So the Divided Kingdom begins…keep reading!
(Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14, 1 Kings 12:1-20, 2 Chronicles 10:1-19, 1 Kings 12:21-24, 2 Chronicles 11:1-4, 1 Kings 12:25-33, 2 Chronicles 11:5-17)
Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26)✅
Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job)✅
Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✅
Conquest Era (Joshua) ✅
Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✅
Kingdom Era (1,2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✅
Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) is up now!
Eras to follow:
Captivity, Return, Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End Times/New Beginnings