1 Kings: Power, Politics, and the Hope of the World

By John Woodhouse, General Editor R. Kent Hughes

The book of 1 Kings tells the stories of 14 different kings and the power at play throughout the monarchies of ancient Israel and Judah. Designed to help modern readers—especially pastors and Bible teachers—understand and apply the message of 1 Kings to their own lives, this commentary by experienced Bible expositor John Woodhouse walks through the text verse by verse. Part of Crossway's award-winning Preaching the Word commentary series, this volume offers insightful observations, powerful illustrations, and practical applications to equip readers to see how these stories of power and politics bear witness to the coming King of kings, the hope of the world.


John Woodhouse (DPhil, Victoria University of Manchester) served as principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, from 2002 to 2013. Previously, he worked in pastoral ministry in a suburb of Sydney. He has published articles in various academic journals and is the author of two volumes in Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Fourteen Kings of Israel and “The King of the Jews”

Part One: Politics or Promise: How the Kingdom Was Established (1–2)
1. A Frail and Fading King: What Hope Can There Be? (1:1–4)
2. An Up and Coming King: “But It Shall Not Be So Among You” (1:5–10)
3.The Right Side of History (1:11–40)
4. Sooner or Later . . . (1:41–53)
5. Good Government—What Would It Be Like? (2:1–12)
6. The Bible’s Disturbing News (2:12–46)

Part Two: The Wisdom of God: How Things Were Put Right (3–4)

7. It’s Complicated (3:1–3)
8. What a Complicated World Needs (3:4–15)
9. The Wisdom of God to Do Justice (3:16–28)
10. What a Kingdom! (4)

Part Three: The Goal of History (5–8)

The Most Important Building in the History of the World (5–7)

11. A Chosen and Precious Stone (5)
12. A True Perspective on the History of the Whole World (6)
13. The King Who Will Build (7:1–12)
14. The Truth about Everything (7:13–51)

The Church of the Living God (8)
15. King Solomon’s “Church” (8:1–11)
16. Excited about Church? (8:12–21)
17. “Whatever You Ask in My Name” (8:22–53)
18. The Joy of God’s Blessing (8:54–66)

Part Four: Not Yet (9–12)

19. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (9:1–9)
20. Are We There Yet? (9:10–28)
21. “All the Treasures of Wisdom” (10)
22. The Failure of King Solomon (11:1–8)
23. There Are Consequences (11:9–25)
24. What Hope Can There Possibly Be? (11:26–43)
25. Power in Unworthy Hands (12:1–24)
26. The Terrifying Prospect of Actually Trusting God (12:25–33) 

Part Five: The Power behind Everything: The Word of the Lord (13)

27. The Word of the Lord versus Human Religion (13:1–10)
28. The Word of the Lord versus Human Lies (13:11–24)
29. The Word of the Lord and Human Hope (13:25–34)

Part Six: Power Politics Played Out  (14–16)

30. Deceiving God (14:1–20)
31. Do You Dare to Hope? (14:21–31)
32. Where Is the Promise? (15:1–24)
33. Power Politics in Perspective (15:25–16:34)

Part Seven: The Ultimate Question: Who Is God? (17–19)

How The Drought Began (17)
34. Does Your God Rule the Rain? (17:1–7)
35. Is Your God Too Small? (17:8–16)
36. Can Your God Beat Death? (17:17–24)

How The Drought Ended (18)
37. The Troubler (18:1–19)
38. Religion for Dummies (18:20–29)
39. Decision Time (18:30–40)
40. The God Who Answers (18:41–46)

Not Quite What We Had Hoped (19)
41. There is No Plan B (19)

Part Eight: The Failure of Political Power (20–22)
42. King Ahab Did Not Destroy the Enemy (20)
43. King Ahab Did Not Put Things Right (21)
44. King Ahab Hated the Truth (22:1–14)
45. King Ahab Did Not Have a Listening Heart (22:15–28)
46. King Ahab Died (22:29–40)
47. The Hope of the World and the Legacy of King Ahab (22:41–53)


Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 800
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-1457-9
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 40.0 ounces
Published: November 30, 2018