When I preached a series of sermons on the books of Kings, I was sorely tempted to rely on the two excellent volumes by Dale Ralph Davis and let him do the hard work for me. The struggle with temptation is not getting any easier. The same publisher, in conjunction with the Proclamation Trust, has now given the preacher another two accessible volumes on the books of Kings. They are companion volumes, designed to be read together.
Introducing 1 & 2 Kings is a small, introductory volume intended to whet the reader’s appetite for the larger commentary. The author, Bob Fyall, trains preachers for the Scottish Cornhill Trust and is therefore well qualified to write a book for preachers.
The author suggests that the comparatively neglected books of Kings should be read and preached on because they tell us about God — his kingdom, Word, and Son, Jesus.
They tell us about a God who cares for individuals, such as widows or a man who accidentally loses a borrowed axe head. They tell us about a God who keeps his covenant promises, who answers prayer (Elijah on Mount Carmel), and who judges sin.
They tell us about the kingdom of God, particularly in the glory days of Solomon. They tell us about the Word of God as it comes through prophets like Nathan, Elijah, Micaiah, Elisha and Hezekiah, all of whom confronted the kings of Israel and Judah.
They also tell us about Jesus; not so much in the details of the temple, but by assuring us that, in spite of the failure of most of the kings, God’s ultimate king will come and his covenant with David will be kept.
The rest of the book gives the reader an outline of the books of Kings and some useful advice on how to interpret Old Testament narrative. The final chapter is the first chapter of the larger companion volume. I warmly recommend this as an introduction and companion to the larger commentary.