1 Kings 1:1-2:12; Acts 10:23b-11:18; Psalm 74:10-17
God’s purpose does not stand still. It moves forward. “So Solomon sat on the throne of his father, David, and his rule was firmly established” (1 Kings 2:12). “The circumcised believers … were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles” (Acts 10:45). Israel’s true King – the Lord Himself – is the God of salvation for both Jews and Gentiles: “But, You, O God, are my King from of old; You bring salvation upon the earth” (Psalm 74:12).
1 Kings 2:13-3:15; Acts 11:19-12:19a; Proverbs 15:1-10
Solomon asked for wisdom – “a discerning heart to govern Your people and to distinguish between right and wrong” (1 Kings 3:9). “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this” (1 Kings 3:10). In Acts 11:24, Barnabas is described as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith.” It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to live, by faith, as good people who are learning to distinguish between right and wrong. He gives us the power to choose right rather than wrong. In Proverbs 15:8, we read that “the prayer of the upright pleases the Lord.” True wisdom involves calling upon the Lord in prayer, receiving strength from the Lord, doing His will and pleasing Him. The prayer of the upright leads to the pursuit of righteousness. It’s the way of living which is loved by the Lord – “the Lord loves those who pursue righteousness” (Proverbs 15:9). The pursuit of righteousness is not to be half-hearted. It’s to be a whole-hearted pursuit of God Himself.
1 Kings 3:16-5:18; Acts 12:19b-13:12; Psalm 74:18-23
“God gave Solomon wisdom” (1 Kings 4:29). When wisdom is recognized as God-given, the people of God say, “Praise be to the Lord today” (1 Kings 5:7). True ministry, which promotes “wisdom unto salvation”, is based on the prompting of the Spirit and leads to the proclamation of the Word (Acts 13:4-5). The work of the Lord is to be done by those who are controlled by the Lord. “Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts” (Psalm 74:19). The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The beast is a symbol of evil. This is a prayer that we may be led by the Holy Spirit. It’s a prayer that we will be delivered from evil.
1 Kings 6:1-7:22; Acts 13:13-41; Psalm 75:1-10
In the reign of Solomon, God fulfilled His promise to David (1 Kings 6:11-13). There is, however, a greater fulfilment: “From David’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Saviour Jesus, as He promised” (Acts 13:23). When we consider what God has done, we say, with the Psalmist, “We praise You, God, we praise You, for Your Name is near; people tell of Your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 75:1).
1 Kings 7:23-8:21; Acts 13:42-14:7; Psalm 76:1-12
The Temple is built. The glory goes to God: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel” (1 Kings 8:15). God’s purpose was not, however, to be limited to Israel: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47). He is not only the God of the Jews. He is the God who calls all nations to worship Him: “You alone are to be feared” (Psalm 76:7).
1 Kings 8:22-9:9; Acts 14:8-28; Proverbs 15:11-20
The majesty of the Temple was not merely human. The glory belonged to the Lord. His glory would be among His people, as they honoured Him by doing His will. The servants of the Lord must always say, “we are only men … We are bringing you Good News, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God” (Acts 14:15). The most important thing is this: “the fear of the Lord.” “Great wealth” is nothing without it (Proverbs 15:16).
1 Kings 9:10-11:13; Acts 15:1-21; Psalm 77:1-9
“We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved” (Acts 15:11). Once we have been saved, we are to live a godly life (Acts 15:20). This is the way in which God’s blessing is to remain and increase in our lives (1 Kings 11:9-11). There are difficult times in the life of faith, times when we can only ask questions (Psalm 77:7-9). These are not the questions of unbelief. These are the questions of faith seeking understanding.
1 Kings 11:14-12:24; Acts 15:22-41; Psalm 77:10-20
“They obeyed the Word of the Lord” (1 Kings 12:24). They were “commended … to the grace of the Lord” (Acts 15:40). Obedience to the Word of the Lord and being commended to the grace of God – these two things belong together. We can only promise obedience to God “in dependence on divine grace.” If we do not feed our faith on “the deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 77:11), our obedience will waver. “I will consider all Your works and meditate on all Your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:12). This is the way of strengthening faith and obedience.
1 Kings 12:25-14:20; Acts 16:1-15; Psalm 78:1-8
“The Lord will raise up for Himself a king over Israel” (1 Kings 14:14). There was much “sin” among God’s people (1 Kings 13:33-34). God did not abandon His purpose of salvation. His saving purpose finds its fulfilment in Christ. He is the Gospel (“Good News”) which God has called us to preach (Acts 16:10). When Christ is preached, the Lord opens the hearts of men and women to respond to Him (Acts 16:14). Christ is the message which we must “not hide … from our children”. We must “tell the next generation” of Him (Psalm 78:4).
1 Kings 14:21-16:7; Acts 16:16-40; Proverbs 15:21-30
The history of the kings was, for the most part, a history of rebellion against God. So few were asking the question: “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). God has given His answer to this question: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). “The path of life leads upward for the wise” (Proverbs 15:24). This is the wisdom which leads to salvation, eternal life, heaven. It’s the wisdom which is faith in Christ.
1 Kings 16:8-18:15; Acts 17:1-21; Psalm 78:9-16
Elijah confronted King Ahab in the Name of the living God (1 Kings 18:15). The apostles confronted Caesar in the Name of “another King … Jesus” (Acts 17:7). It was in the Name of the Lord that the authority of Egypt was brought to nothing: “He did miracles in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt” (Psalm 78:12).
1 Kings 18:16-19:21; Acts 17:22-18:8; Psalm 78:17-31
In the relationship between God and the gods, we see (a) the conflict between good and evil (1 Kings 18); (b) God’s way of salvation – He leads people out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of knowledge (Acts 17:23); (c) God’s word of warning – Where people choose error and darkness rather than truth and light, there is judgment (Psalm 78:17,31).
1 Kings 20:1-21:29; Acts 18:9-19:13; Psalm 78:32-39
As a prophet of God, Elijah brought this message to the people: “This is what the Lord says” (1 Kings 21:19). This was Paul’s ministry: “teaching them the Word of God” (Acts 18:11). Elijah’s ministry was the denunciation of the evil king, Ahab. Paul’s ministry was the proclamation of “the Kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8). In our proclamation of God’s Kingdom, we must remember that God is our Rock and our Redeemer (Psalm 78:35).