Kings & Prophets

Few Christians have a deep understanding of the Old Testament kings of Israel, or the prophets and their messages. The purpose of this series is to allow anybody to quickly gain a better understanding of those things, as well as an appreciation of how that information is relevant today. The Old Testament prophets were real people who proclaimed important messages from God that have stayed true for thousands of years. Jesus and the apostles thought the kings and prophets were important, so we should, too.

It is no wonder that few Christians have deep familiarity of the kings and prophets. Christians tend to read the New Testament, while the kings and prophets are in the Old Testament. The books of the kings and prophets  are not arranged in chronological order, the history of ancient Israel and its neighbors is complex, and the geography of the region is an ever-shifting jigsaw puzzle. The language of the prophets is often symbolic or metaphorical, and the intended messages seem to be shrouded in mystery. Lastly, many people assume that Old Testament prophecies have mostly been fulfilled, so they must not still be very important.

Perhaps our attitudes would change if we thought of prophets as truth tellers, not fortune tellers. Their truths stand important today. Besides, it may be that a number of their prophecies of the future have not yet been fulfilled.

A Good King?

After King Joash, the Southern Kingdom was ruled by his son Amaziah; by Amaziah’s son, Uzziah; by Uzziah’s son, Jotham; by Jotham’s son, Ahaz; and, by Ahaz’s son, Hezekiah.

One of the saddest scriptures in the Bible is about Amaziah. “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.” Eventually, he abandoned the Lord completely.

Uzziah started off well, like his father had done. Also like his father, he eventually let his pride lead to his downfall. God punished him by making him a leper.

Jotham was a king who acted faithfully before God. However, he did not stop the people from worshiping false gods.

Ahaz was an evil king who worshiped false gods and led the people to worship them, too.. God punished him by letting his enemies defeat him in battle.

Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king and immediately began cleansing the Southern Kingdom of its idols and places of worship to false gods. He reestablished worship of God at the Temple.

King Hezekiah, Isaiah
Primary Scriptures:
2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 25-32, Isaiah, Micah
Story Summary:
The lives of King Hezekiah and Isaiah
Southern Kingdom (Judah)
730-686 BC