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

By John Woodhouse, General Editor R. Kent Hughes

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The book of 1 Kings outlines the rise and fall of ancient Israel through the stories of fourteen kings. It is a book of great victories and devastating failures. In its pages are violence, betrayal, power, and politics. But no matter how great the accomplishments or evil the deeds, none of these kingdoms built by human kings could last.

John Woodhouse walks us through this book passage by passage as it reveals how God’s purpose for the kings reaches far beyond what they could accomplish in their lifetimes. Their lives are part of a greater story, bearing witness about the King of kings, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world—building and strengthening our faith as we set our eyes on the kingdom that will last forever.


John Woodhouse

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 three volumes in Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series.

Product Details

Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 800
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 44.31 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-1457-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-1457-9
ISBN-UPC: 9781433514579
Case Quantity: 6
Published: November 30, 2018

Table of Contents

A Word to Those Who Preach the Word
Introduction: Fourteen Kings of Israel and “The King of the Jews”

Part 1: 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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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)

Scripture Index

General Index
Index of Sermon Illustrations


“John Woodhouse’s commentary on 1 Kings is scintillating. It is characteristically full of sharp and original insight, searching application, and a refreshing, insistent focus on Jesus and his gospel as foreshadowed in the book of Kings. I am confident it will inspire many teachers and preachers to engage God’s people with the gospel treasure of this neglected part of Scripture.”
Kanishka Raffel, Anglican Dean of Sydney

“With his usual precision and profound insight, Woodhouse digs up the treasures and wisdom of the gospel in this commentary. Readers will not only learn to expound the narrative of 1 Kings, but will also have their own hearts expounded and edified by the truth and hope of the gospel. Eight hundred pages full of treasures have shown me the glorious promise we have in Jesus Christ more clearly, more truly, and more deeply than I have seen it before. It is a joy to recommend this book to all fellow servants of Christ.”
Hank Lee, Assistant Minister, Enfield & Strathfield Anglican Church, Strathfield, Australia