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Dynasties, fractured kingdoms, prophecies of coming hardships—the book of 1 Kings is a grand, sweeping narrative of the beginning of the downfall of God’s people. Its size and scope may seem intimidating, but Phil Ryken shows us in this biblical, doctrinal, practical, and Christological commentary how this imposing book can be divided into three key sections.

First, the stories of Solomon focus on the themes of money, sex, and power, inviting us to learn from Solomon’s example. Will we use these things wisely for kingdom purposes, or foolishly abuse them for selfish gain? Then the middle of the story, on the divided kingdom, shows the destructive consequences of sin among the people of God—especially the sin of idolatry. The final section demonstrates the power of prayer to the true and living God, as exemplified in the life and ministry of God’s prophet Elijah.

Phil Ryken brings out the key themes of these three sections and illustrates how they come together in their focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially his kingly and prophetic offices. This is an excellent resource for those who want a devotional aid and will help Bible expositors reliably teach a redemptive-historical view of this important Old Testament book.

Author Bio

Philip G. Ryken (1966–) has served as the president of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, since 2010. He earned degrees from Wheaton College, Westminster Theological Seminary, and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Ryken was the senior minister of Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church (where James Boice and Donald Barnhouse served previously) for about 15 years before he became the president of Wheaton College. He has been ordained as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.

Ryken has authored over 30 books, including several volumes in the Preaching the Word Collection, the Reformed Expository Commentary, the Crossway Spiritual Growth Collection, Written in Stone, Discovering God in Stories from the Bible, and Exodus: Saved for God's Glory.