In a recent essay "The Unmarked Way" Harvard scholar Oscar Handlin wrote: "At some point, midway into the 20th century, Europeans and Americans discovered that they had lost all sense of direction. Formerly familiar markers along the way had guided their personal and social lives from birth to maturity to death. Now, disoriented, they no longer trust the guideposts and grope in bewilderment toward an unimagined destination...."
Dr. Handlin's observation confirms the fact that history has repeated itself. One of the guideposts that could lead us through the maze of confusing theories is the Book of Kings. Without the light of history shining over our shoulders we lose our sense of direction. The admonition of the prophet Jeremiah points us back to the lighted path: He counseled the people of his day to "Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."
Now, more so than ever before, we need the teaching of 1 and 2 Kings, and that after all is the purpose of these studies. Read them and see.
Cyril J. Barber
Dr. Cyril J. Barber is pastor emeritus of Plymouth Church, Whittier, CA. He lives with his wife of fifty years in Hacienda Heights, CA. They have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.