How to Study 1 Kings
Chapter 12 of 1 Kings records a dramatic, pivotal point in the history of Israel. Therefore as we study 1 Kings, we will divide it into two segments with two sets of instructions.
Read through this first segment of 1 Kings one chapter at a time.
remember , you are studying the lives of real people. Observe the opportunities God gives them, His instructions to them, and how they respond. Watch when they succeed and when they fail; note why-and learn! Ask God to speak to your heart. In the margin of each chapter, if applicable, make a list of these two things: "Lessons for Life" (LFL) and "Insights about God" (∆). Your insights on God will be most enlightening.
Mark in a distinctive way the following words and phrases: word )or any reference to the word of the Lord), heart, pray (cry, cried), covenant, wisdom (wise), command (commandments), prophet, promise (promised), high places, house (when it refers to God's house), and sin (sinned). The first occurrence of the word sin is in chapter 8.
List the key words on an index card and use it as bookmark while you study. You might want to mark the beginning of a king's reign with a crown.
When you read "the Lord said," highlight or underline what the Lord said. Then underline anything you want to remember.
The main characters of these first chapters are David and Solomon.
When you come to Solomon's reign, read Deuteronomy 7:2-6 and 17:14-20 to understand Solomon's action as he took over the kingdom. Remember that sin was to be judge and murderers were to be put to death; otherwise the land would be polluted.
Second Chronicles 1 through 9 is an excellent cross-referent on 1 Kings 1 through 11.
Mark every reference to time with a ¹ and double-underline in green very geographical reference.
After you finish reading a chapter, record the theme or subject of that chapter in your Bible and on the appropriate place on Structure of 1 Kings.
When you finish chapter 11, see if any of the first 11 chapters can be grouped under a common theme or as part of an event: e.g. the building of the temple. These are called segment divisions and be recorded in the designated place on Structure of 1 Kings.
As you read chapter 12, study the char Israel's Division and Captivity. Note the division of the kingdom, which occurred in 931 B.C. From this point on, whenever "Israel" is used, you will need to distinguish whether it is a reference to the ten tribes of the northern kingdom (which it will usually be) or to the nation of Israel as a whole.
Add according to to your key word list. When you come to this phrase, note what was "according to" what. You will gain some important insights. Also add did evil, Elijah, and Elisha. Mark you key words in this section.
Watch for insights the Lord gives you about Himself, His ways, and about life in general through the example of the kings and God's people. Record these in the margin under "Insights about God" or "Lessons for Life" just as you did in the first segment of 1 Kings.
Compare 17:1 with Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 12, 15, 23-24 and James 5:17-18. What could be the scriptural basis for Elijah's prayer and word to Ahab? Think about it.
Record the chapter themes and any segment divisions you see on Structure of 1 Kings. Also fill any other pertinent information. Choose a theme for 1 Kings that best describe what happens during this period in Israel's history. Each time you finish reading about a king, record your insights on the chart The Kings of Israel and Judah
Second Kings is a continuation of 1 Kings. You will want to study it next.
Key Words in the NIV and KJV
Key doctrines in 1 Kings
God's judgments of the apostates nations (9:3-9; Deut 4:26; 28:27; 2Sam 14-16; 2Chr 7:19, 20; Ps 44:14; 89:30; Jer 24:9; Hos 5:11, 12; Matt 23:33-36; John 3:18, 19; 12:48; Rom 2:5, 6; 2Pet 3:10; Rev 18:10)
Fulfilled prophecies of God (13:2-5; 22:15-28; Num 27:17; 2Kin 23:15-20; 2Chr 18:16; Matt 9:36; mark 6:34; John 2:18)
God's faithfulness to His covenant with David (11:12-13, 34-36; 15:4; 2Sam 7:12-16; Luke 1:30-33; Acts 2:22-36)