Old Testament – Judges to Esther
Judges through Esther continues Israel’s history from where it left off in the book of Joshua. After the death of Joshua, Israel was ruled by a series of Judges. This time in Israel’s history is characterized as a downward spiral of disobedience towards God. The children of Israel continue to be influenced by the various Pagan cultures in the land and eventually they cry out to God for a human king to rule them. God grants them this wish even though they were essentially rejecting God as their king. The first king is a failure but the second and third kings of Israel – David and Solomon – see the most prosperous times in the history of Israel’s kingdom, including the building of God’s temple in Jerusalem.
Following the death of Solomon, the kingdom of Israel is divided into two kingdoms – the Northern and Southern kingdoms. From here the story of Israel is mostly charactized by sin against God until both kingdoms are conquered by other kingdoms and the people are taken into exile. But the story does not end there, God is not done with His people and he remains faithful to the covenant even though the children of Israel have not. The latter books in this section tell the story of God’s faithfulness in exile and the raising up of leaders who lead the people back to the land God promised.