“Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you … However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant.” (1 Kings 11:11-14)
King David was succeeded by his son Solomon, under whose reign the Israelites had peace and prosperity. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king in his father’s place. But right at the beginning of Rehoboam’s reign, he was deposed. This turn of events was a judgment of the Lord on David’s dynasty. Because “they have not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my rules, as David his father did” (1 Kings 11:33). However, God did not take the whole kingdom from Rehoboam, “for the sake of my servant David” (1 Kings 11:32). From then on, the nation of Israel was divided into a northern and a southern kingdom.
The Bible books of Kings and Chronicles record the further history of David’s descendants. Some of them were good kings, who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David their forefather had done. But many chose to turn away from God and to serve idols instead. This evoked God’s wrath, and He repeatedly warned them to turn back. God did not abandon them, but remained faithful to his promise to David!
What is your definition of a good king?