1 & 2 Kings
— Read and listen to the Bible being read at the same time; also, A. R. Wells, 1908, shares a (self-application) “tiny meditation” on each chapter.
Click for a brief summary of the book of 1 Kings.
1) Read the “tiny meditation” before and/or after you read the Bible chapter to help make a self-appllication of the scriptures read.
2) Want to use both your eye gate and ear gate in taking in the Word? Just click the “Read” chapter to get started.
Click to Read 1 Kings 1—My Enterprise
It would have been so easy for Solomon’s succession to go by default! It is so easy for any good thing to go by default! The friends of the good must be ever alert to push that cause, as the friends of the evil are ever ready to further the ends of evil.
Click to Read 1 Kings 2—My Retribution
All my wrongdoing shall return upon my own head. Not the barrier of many years shall shut it out. Not the gulf of long forgetfulness shall separate it from me. Punishment can bridge any gulf. Punishment can overleap any barrier. There is only one safety against it and that is thy bosom, O my Father!
Click to Read 1 Kings 3—My Choice
The Lord has given me Solomon’s choice; may I choose as wisely as he! Above wealth or fame or long life or any other good, may I choose the wisdom that is from above and that alone can go with me above! For with it shall come to me all other good things that could come to me in any wise.
Click to Read 1 Kings 4—My Fame
If I would win fame—and who would not?—let me know that the only way to win it and keep it is Solomon’s,–to be wise. For what men want, after all, is wisdom; and whoever can give them that, may have their honor. Nay, they cannot long withhold it.
Click to Read 1 Kings 5—My Inherited Tasks
There are many things the fathers could not do. The years were too short, or their strength failed, or the time was not ripe. These things, many of them, are my inheritance. They are better than an inheritance of wealth, or an earldom. They are a patent of true nobility, if I only lay hold upon them.
Click to Read 1 Kings 6—My Temple
I, even I also, will build a temple for God. It is my body, for He has said it. If it is pure and strong, if it shines in the beauty of holiness, then He will be as well pleased with this temple of mine as with Solomon’s.
Click to Read 1 Kings 7—My Temple
Let me think of God’s house as my house. What I would lavish upon my own house, of strength and riches and beauty, that let me rejoice to lavish upon the house of the Lord. No workmanship is too fine for it, no cost too great, no time too long. It shall be my pride. It shall be counted worth my whole life if I can add but one hewn stone to the house of the Lord.
Click to Read 1 Kings 8—My Prayers
I pray many things. My life is one long prayer of many petitions. Every desire is a prayer. Every hope is a prayer. Every ambition is a prayer. And now I wish to center my prayers upon God’s house. I wish to build them up about God’s Kingdom. I wish to remove their center from myself and fix it upon Thee, my God and my King!
Click to Read 1 Kings 9—My Covenant
God gives me no promise without a condition. He can give nothing without conditions. He will serve me, but only if I serve Him. He will enrich me, but only if I will use the riches in the best way. He will make me happy, but only if I am good. He will establish my throne forever, but only if I hold my scepter in obedience to Him
Click to Read 1 Kings 10—My Search
There is one errand upon which it especially profits me to go, and that is the pursuit of wisdom. There is one prize best worth gaining of all prizes, and that is the prize of wisdom. There is one reward which is the crown of crowns, and that is to be wise. The Queen of Sheba was wise indeed before she started on her quest, and that was why she started.
Click to Read 1 Kings 11—My Peril
Solomon’s enemy was not outside himself. Yes, though Hadad and Rezon and Jeroboam all should league themselves against him, Solomon’s enemy was within his own breast. It was an enemy that alienated God, and no other enemy could do that. And failing to do that, no other enemy could make headway against him.
Click to Read 1 Kings 12—My Choice
I have two sets of councilors. Every one has two sets of councilors. I am counseled for God. I am counseled for Satan. I am advised for pride and for humility. I am urged toward prosperity and destruction. My life is saved or it is lost, according as I take the right counsel. Lord, direct my steps, that I wander not away from Thy commandments!
Click to Read 1 Kings 13—My Obedience
I have obeyed God in this matter; may I therefore disobey Him in another matter? How easy it is to do God’s will when I will it myself! How hard, when I do not will it! There is no safety for me in doing God’s will unless I do it all; and I shall not do it all unless my will is God’s will. There is therefore no safety for me, O God, until my will is Thine.
Read 1 Kings 14—My Disguises
Like Jeroboam with his messenger, I try to disguise myself, and cheat the Lord. As if He who spells the stars, and pierces to the center of the earth, cannot discern my soul, and comprehend my shallow concealments. I am naked before His eye,–my secret thoughts, my most hidden deeds, are to Him as if spread in the light of the marketplace. O Lord, when Thou seest, forgive!
Click to Read 1 Kings 15—My Good and Bad
The high places were not removed, “nevertheless” Asa’s heart was perfect. He was wise, “but” he made that foolish alliance with Syria. He was prosperous, “nevertheless” he was diseased in his feet. What a tissue of good and bad in all life, is my life! Help me, my Father, to get rid of the bad, and make my life from end to end just what Thou canst approve.
Click to Read 1 Kings 16—My Jezebels
I may fill my heart with Jezebels, though I keep Jezebel out of my house. Lustful thoughts are Jezebels, malice, passion, pride, are Jezebels. So are falsehood, and envy, and hypocrisy. Heaven preserve me from the fatal brood!
Click to Read 1 Kings 17—My Cruse of Oil
The oil of gladness need never fail me, but God will renew my happiness day by day, my cup running over! What care I how it is done, with what gifts from God’s bounty? I know He is my loving Father, more eager to give than I to receive. I know that there is no limit of His beneficence, and why should I fear?
Click to Read 1 Kings 18—My Carmel
I also, like Elijah, am confronted by priests of Baal. They swarm around me by the thousand, devotees of the gods of this world. What shall I do but what Elijah did,–rear my altar, lay upon it my sacrifice, and pray to my God. The fire will fall upon my offering, the sword will fall upon my enemies, the floods of blessing will fall from heaven! And every day I must ascent my Carmel.
Click to Read 1 Kings 19—My Revelation of God
It may be in the whirlwind and the fire. It may be in the cake and the water cruse. It may be in the open desert. It may be in the cave. Wherever it is, and however it is, that Jehovah speaks to me, it will be with the still, small voice. And I shall know that the great things are the most gentle, and that the eternal things come most near.
Click to Read 1 Kings 20—My Forbearance
What God would have me devote to slaughter, against it may my sword be hot! Let not my anger cool nor my zeal grow slack. Let me make no parley. Let me hasten after it, and take no rest. Whatsoever the Lord hates will I hate, and there shall be no peace between me and it forever.
Click to Read 1 Kings 21—My Covetousness
Naboth’s vineyards all around me! Ahab’s spirit ever in me! How can I drive it out? Shall I condemn myself to a life as barren as Elijah’s? At any rate, I must mortify the flesh, and I must teach my soul to desire only the best gifts. For vineyards—for dirt and leaves and sweetened water—I must not sell my soul.
Click to Read 1 Kings22—My Truth-telling
Though a king confront me, let me learn to look him in the eye, and speak in honesty. Be my words such as God would seal. They shall outlast granite. They shall march with the ages. They shall lie with all eternal verities.
Click for a brief summary of the book of 2 Kings.
Click to Read 2 Kings 1—My Dalliance
Do I dally with the gods of this world? Do I wish to make friends of them and at the same time hold to Jehovah? Let me know Jehovah as a jealous God! Let me fear His lightning stroke. Let me count any converse with evil as worse than death.
Read 2 Kings 2—My Succession
Some one of the Lord’s prophets is ascending, and the Lord calls upon me to take up his mantel and fill his place. A humble place or a large one, it will be too large for me. I shall be Elisha to his Elijah. What of that? I shall be prophet of the same God.
Read 2 Kings 3—My Vision
What to one man is pure, clear water, to another is red blood, a treacherous snare. How do my eyes look upon this world? Do they see clearly, or is their vision full of scarlet passion? May the Lord grant me eyesight crystal-pure, to see His earth and His heaven!
Read 2 Kings 4—My Oil Jars
I shall bring them forth, receptacles of blessing, from all corners of my house, till there is no more! I shall go to my neighbors and gather them, and to the shop and buy them, till I have brought together as many as possible. For God’s goodness is unstinted. Only let my faith be unstinted.
Read 2 Kings 5—My Jordan
It is the river of Christ’s blood in which my soul must bathe. I have scorned it. I have sought the sparkling Abana and Pharpar of the world. But also I have tried it, and in it my leprosy has melted into health. Oh, the heavenly Jordan! Oh, the rewards of trust and obedience!
Read 2 Kings 6—My Allies
Lord, open my eyes, that I may see the angelic host, Thy ministers of defense around me! Why do I go through the world fearful and troubled? Surely, though no one seems on my side, they that are with me are more than they that are against me. I will trust, and not be afraid.
Read 2 Kings 7—My Discoveries
I have looked, and I have seen that the enemies are no enemies. I have perceived that the Lord is mightier than them all. I have gathered rich spoil of faith and hope and glad fruition. Shall I be worse than a leper? Shall I not tell all men what I have found?
Read 2 Kings 8—My Ambitions
It is right for me to be ambitious; it was right for Hazael; only, let all my ambitions be such as God and His saints can look upon with delight. My eyes must not fall before the searchings of any man, or surely they will fall before the searching of the All-seeing eye.
Read 2 Kings 9—My Retribution
Blood for blood, shame for shame, blackness for blackness! Sin and penalty are close as fire and light, weight and pressure, heat and consumption. Surely my sin shall find me out, and, finding me out, destroy me. There is only one safety; but, praise God, there is one.
Read 2 Kings 10—My Reform
Root and branch, to the farthest rootlet, to the least twig, digging up and overturning and burning,–such be my attack upon sin! There shall be no remainder. There shall be no lurking place of evil. There shall be no new brood. An utter destruction of iniquity,–grant it, O God!—that there may be a perfect reign of the good.
Read 2 Kings 11—My Covenant
I need no Jehoiada to make a covenant for me that I will be the Lord’s. I have been my own Jehoiada; I have made the covenant; now how am I keeping it? The Lord is mine, without reserve, all His wondrous self going out to me, for me. How much of my life is His? How much is basely and foolishly withheld from Him?
Read 2 Kings 12—My Church
Does my house of God need repairs? Are its walls dingy, its floors dirty, its cloths ragged, its windows broken? This house of God given me to tend, do I really regard it as a house of God? Do I cherish it as His house? It is for others also to care for it; yes, but it is also for me.
Read 2 Kings 13—My Arrows
Whatever I do for the Lord of Hosts must be done with all my might. Who am I, to be linked with His vast enterprises? It is an honor too great for me. And if I am lax and languid, if I am less than my best, I am false to the chief opportunity of my life.
Read 2 Kings 14—My Own Sin
I inherit much evil, through thousands of ancestors, generation back of generation, nation preceding nation, century on top of century. Some of my sins are theirs; but for them I shall not lose my soul. Alas, I have sins enough that are all my own! Alas, I have increased the fearful burden, under which the centuries groan! Lord, whom can we trust, they and I, except the Savior of men?
Read 2 Kings 15—My Imitation
How often my life imitates the evil in others, when it might just as well imitate the good in them, even as the kings of Israel followed after the sins of Jeroboam, rather than his energy and sagacity! It is well to draw from the lives of others; no man liveth to himself; only, let me draw life and not death.
Read 2 Kings 16—My Spoliation
I would not do as Ahaz did; I would not despoil the Lord’s house, and scatter its gold among its enemies. Ah, but do I not despoil it when I withhold its dues? Is it not the poorer by me? May not the Lord justly take my goods from me and give them to a more honest steward?
Read 2 Kings 17—My Captivity
How speedily do my sins send me into exile! Away from all joys, out of all peace, into loneliness and fear, into remorse and dishonor,–a captivity far worse than the Babylonian! Open the doors of my prison house, my Savior, and bid me come forth. And keep me so close to Thee that I shall henceforth dwell in Thy Holy Land.
Read 2 Kings 18—My Debate
The worldlings come up against me. They boast and threaten and sneer. Their words are large and lofty. Their claims and promises are alluring. But they are only words, empty air. One whisper of my Lord is worth them all.
Read 2 Kings 19—My Deliverance
I have called upon my God, and He has heard me. His hearing has been answering. His answering has been rescue. His words were deeds, His syllables were blessings. How mighty is this light-breathed instrument of prayer, since it can summon almightiness to my aid!
Read 2 Kings 20—My Recovery
If I am sick, and pray to God, or if some holy man prays for me, shall I recover? I know not. In one sense, I care not. If I recover, the added years will be beautiful, for they will be God’s gift. If I do not recover, the added eternity will be God’s gift also; and ah, but it will be beautiful!
Read 2 Kings 21—My Influence
As I walk, so others will walk. I need not be a Manasseh, to draw an entire kingdom after me, and my own child. I need only be my ordinary, humble self to draw a kingdom after me,–my kingdom, as important to me, however small, as his to him. Lord, help me to live as for other lives!
Read 2 Kings 22—My Bible
Is it hidden in some rubbish heap, forgotten and mildewed? Though it lies in a conspicuous place, is it nevertheless virtually hidden, its covers being never opened? Yet this is to millions the bread of life, the fountain of life. How little I use of the power and peace that are right at hand!
Read 2 Kings 23—My Reforms
When I see a wrong, shall I shut my eyes to it, or turn my back to it, or leave it to others to correct? It is not their wrong, but mine, since I saw it! Seeing it is a mandate. Feeling its iniquity is a commission. God has sent me against it, with His authority. Shall I not be true to my trust?
Read 2 Kings 24—My Penalty
There is no cheating the divine retribution. There is no hiding from it or parleying with it. Sure-footed and swift it approaches, steadily and inevitably. I may push back the planets in their orbits or wrench the sun from its place sooner than disturb its majestic course. If I am subject to it, I may not hope to escape it.
Read 2 Kings 25—My Doom
Shall my eyes be blinded, like those of Zedekiah? Shall love and peace and joy be slain before my eyes? Not unless my eyes were blinded already to the good and eagerly open to the evil. Not unless I had already spurned love and peace and joy, and stabbed them in my soul. Jehovah executes the doom, but I myself have chosen it.