6/02/2015

The Heart of the Matter (What does God really want?) [An overview of Kings and Chronicles]

We want a king! God's people in the Promised Land were initially ruled by _________ (Judg 2:16). These were Spirit-anointed leaders raised up to deal with national emergencies. The people of Israel soon became discontent with this leadership and asked God to give them a _________, like the nations around them (1 Sam 8:4-9).

The United Kingdom. Israel's first king _______ turned out to be a disaster. God rejected him and chose a new king, "a man after his own heart" (I Sam 13:14). _________ was the greatest king Israel ever had and set the standard for all future kings. Next came _____________ who led Israel to her greatest splendor. But he modeled a ___________ heart.

The Divided Kingdom. Solomon's divided heart made possible a divided kingdom. Israel in the north (10 tribes) lasted about 200 years (930‒722 BC) and had ____ kings from many dynasties. All of these kings "did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord." Judah in the south (2 tribes) lasted about 350 years (930‒587 BC) and had ____ kings, all descendants of David. ____ of these kings "did what was right in the eyes of the Lord."

Even the "good kings" of Judah had a ______________ ______, and all finished _______! One _____ can sink a ship. These flaws are not _________ but ______________! And their sins cast a shadow over lives otherwise marked by godliness and faithfulness. The race is determined at the _______ _____, not in the ________ _______.

Study of the "good kings" may help us to better understand:
  1. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________. What should we realistically expect from our leaders?
  2. _________ character. How holy can a man/woman be?
  3. ______. Who is he and what does he really want?
  4. ____________. Is there a flaw in my character? Will I finish well?
What is a heart like David's heart (1 Sam 16:1-13)? Why did God choose David? What did God see in this teenager with a guitar? The answer is crystal clear. It wasn't his birth order, height, appearance, pedigree, education, or gifting that mattered to God. God was looking on the _________, at the _______ (v. 7). When it comes to leadership and character, the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. David was a man "after (God's) own heart" (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22). The word "after" can mean either a heart "______" God or a heart "____" God… or both.
  1. What does God really want? (2 Chron 16:9; Dt 6:4-5).
  2. Why can't I give God what he really wants?
  3. Can God heal my heart and make it whole? (Dt 30:6).
  4. How does this happen? (2 Chron. 7:14).
Reflection:
  1. The key to every leader is not in his ______ and _________ but in his/her ________. Do you agree/disagree?
  2. Has this study brought __________ / _______ to you, or has it been ____________? Explain.
  3. Do Christians/evangelicals today attempt to __________ heart disease (we're all sinners!) or cure it?
  4. What is your heart reading?
What kind of heart did David have?
  1. A faithful / true heart (1 Sam 16:11; 17:34-36) (cf. Mt 25:21).
  2. A hungry / thirsty heart (Ps 63:1) (cf. Ps 42:1-2; Mt 5:6).
  3. A worshipping heart (Ps 9:1-2; 13:5) (cf. Prov 17:22).
  4. A fixed / steadfast / immovable heart (Ps 57:7) (cf. Ps 112:6-8; Isa 26:3-4).
  5. A contrite / repentant heart (Ps 32:3-5; 51:17) (cf. Isa 57:15; 66:2).
  6. A pure / clean heart (Ps 24:3-4; 51:10-12) (cf. Mt. 5:8; I Tim 1:5).
  7. A Spirit-filled heart (I Sam 16:13-14) (cf. Acts 15:8-9).
  8. An undivided / single / whole heart (1 Chron 28:9; 29:19; Ps 86:11) (2 Chron 25:2; Eze 11:19; Jas 4:8). Your __________ heart will be the ________ in your armor that allows the devil to come in and exploit your character flaw.

King
Chapter (2 Chronicles)
Text (1 or 2 Kings)
Character Flaw
Solomon
1-9
1 Ki 1-11
Lust
Asa
14-16
I Ki 15:8-24
Unbelief
Jehoshaphat
17-20
1 Ki 22:41-50
Moral compromise
Joash
22-24
2 Ki 11:1-12:21
Fickle faith
Amaziah
25
2 Ki 14:1-20
Divided heart
Uzziah
26
2 Ki 15:1-7
Pride
Hezekiah
29-32
2 Ki 18-20
Bitterness
Josiah
34-35
2 Ki 22:1-23:30
Spiritual deafness

Manasseh (2 Chron 33; 2 Kings 21:1-18) is added to this list of "good kings." He is of interest because of the contrast he brings. All the "good" kings ended up "bad." But evil Manasseh repented in the end, and finished well!

Good Kings of Judah (Workbook with Answers). Stan Key, Francis Ashbery Society.