Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

27 November 2012

Advent, with a little help from my friends


This weekend - whether you start on Saturday being the first day in December or Sunday being the first Sunday in Advent - marks the beginning of the great countdown to Christmas.  Each year we mark the days and prepare our hearts for Christmas using an Advent calendar.  Our boys are blessed with beautiful godparents - and their godmother gave them an Advent calendar when our eldest was born and each year she supplies us with material to put in the pockets of the calendar.

But first things first.  Do you have an Advent calendar?  If not, it isn't too late.  You could buy one.  Or you could make one.  The lovely Ally at harrysdesk has set up a page of ADVENT INSPIRATION here.  So many beautiful ideas.  And it doesn't have to be all that complicated.  You can go a long way quickly with 24 envelopes or 24 takeaway noodle boxes or 24 plastic cups. 

And then, what to put inside it?  Lollies, chocolates, coins (real or chocolate) and so on.  And then the good stuff.

For young children you can use the first 24 stories in The Jesus Story Book Bible to great effect.
Very generously, Wendy at Musings has kindly made two sets of Advent readings available here - one covering the birth Jesus and another covering Genesis to Jesus, great for young and old alike.

And below, a series of verses that provide an overview of the whole Bible.  These come with warm thanks to our boys' godmother.  This is the material she has prepared for our calendar this year.  And she has generously allowed me to share it here on my blog.  This series of short readings would be good for older children who have made their way through their children's Bibles plenty of times and have a good knowledge of the big picture of the Bible.  And it is great for adults too.  They are short readings that should inspire some deep discussion about God and why Christmas and Easter (because you can't have one without the other) had to happen.  She hasn't included any part of the actual Christmas story in her choice of verses which will seem strange to some, but kids have a pretty good grasp of the Christmas story - and there is a fair chance they will be hearing it in its entirety during December.  I think it's going to be amazingly powerful to reach Christmas Eve with Jesus' resurrection from the dead and the great commission.  We will head into Christmas Day fired up and with so many Good Reasons to celebrate.

So click on the links above, cut and paste to your heart's content below and get inspired for Advent. 

 
 

Our readings for 2012

1.  In the Beginning
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
(Gen 1: 1)

2.  Sin....
When the woman (Eve) saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband (Adam), who was with her, and he ate it.
(Gen 3: 6)

3.  Noah’s Ark
The Lord then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. .. and the rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights.
(Gen 7: 1 & 12)

4.  The Lord Promises Abram to make him into a Great Nation
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you”... “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them... so shall your offspring be.”
(Gen12: 1 & 15: 5)

5.  Sarah Becomes Pregnant
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in her old age, at the very time God
had promised. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him
(Gen 21: 1 – 2)

6.  Jacob and Esau
Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren.  The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.  The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?"  So the she went and enquired of the Lord. 
The Lord said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated, one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."
(Genesis 25:21-23)

7.  Jacob Wrestles with God
Then the man said, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.’
(Gen 32: 28)

The coming Messiah- Jesus - would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (mentioned in the New Testament in Matthew 1 & Luke 3)

8.  Joseph reveals himself to his Brothers
Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with
yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sentme ahead of you. For two
years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be ploughing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’
(Gen 45: 4 – 7)

9.  Moses and the Burning Bush
Then the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in flames of fire from within a bush... Then God said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob... I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave
drivers... so I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey..’
(Exodus 3: 2 & 6 – 8)

10.  The Exodus
When Pharoah let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country... so God led the people around by the desert road towards the Red Sea... By day the Lord went ahead of the Israelites in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light
(Exodus 13: 17 – 18 & 21)

11.  Moses at Mount Sinai
Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, ‘This is what you are to say to the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my
covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.’
(Exodus 19: 3 -5)

12.  Joshua Leads the Israelites to the Promised Land
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son Nun, Moses' assistant, "Moses my servant is dead.  Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them -  to the Israelite.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses...I will never leave you nor forsake you."
(Joshua 1:1-5)

13.  The Appointment of Judges
The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. The anger of the Lord burned against Israel... But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer...judges.’
(Judges 3: 7 – 11)


14.  Samuel Anoints David as King
The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over
Israel?.. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king... and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.’
(1 Samuel 16: 1 & 13).

It was prophesied that Jesus would be from the line of David in Isaiah 9:7 and 2 Samuel 7: 12 -13.

15.  Solomon Builds the Temple
When Solomon had finished building the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and he had achieved all he had desired to do, the Lord appeared to him a second time..."I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated the temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever.  My eyes and my heart will always be there.
(1 Kings 9:1-3)

16.  Prophecy that Jesus would be born of a Virgin Woman
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (which means God with us).’
(Isaiah 7: 14)

17.  Prophecy of the Coming King Jesus
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
(Isaiah 9: 6 – 7)

18.  The Baptism of Jesus
When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as he was praying, heaven was
opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’
(Luke 3: 21 – 22)

19.  Jesus has Authority over Evil Spirits
Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of
God!’
‘Be quiet!’ said Jesus sternly. ‘Come out of him!’
The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
(Mark 1: 23 – 26)

20.  Jesus has Power over Nature
Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him... he replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’
(Matthew 8: 23 – 27)

21.  Jesus has Power over Death
While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. ‘Your
daughter is dead,’... Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed.’
When Jesus arrived he said, ‘Stop wailing, she is not dead but asleep.’
They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, ‘My child,
get up!’ Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.
(Luke 8:49 – 55)

22.  Prophesied that Jesus would be Despised and Crucified
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering... Surely he took
up our infirmities (our failings) and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions (our wrong doing), he was crushed for our iniquities (failings); the punishment that brought us peace was upon him; and by his wounds we are healed... For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’
(Isaiah 53: 3 – 12)

23.  God’s Saving Grace
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not
perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to
save the world through him.
(John 3: 16 – 17).

24.  Jesus' Resurrection from the Dead
The angel said to the woman, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who has been crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.
...Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
(Matthew 28:5-7 & 18-20)


18 November 2012

How is your Bible reading going?

I have put all the "How to read ALL of the Bible" posts together in the one spot.  Just click HERE.

And below is a small quote from Jon Bloom from the Desiring God blog about the goodness of good books - especially the Best Book.

Lord… You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)

Christians are word people. We’re really into words because the Founder of Christianity is the Word (John 1:1). He came to earth to deliver a message in words. Those of us who have believed his words recognize them as the “words of eternal life” (John 6:68). And we seek to speak these words to others so they too can have eternal life. We call these words the gospel.

Christians are also book people. We’re really into books because our Founder left us a book, a collection of the words he determined are most important for us to know and remember.

This means we’re not into books merely because they’re good for us — as in a good book is health food for the brain, though that’s true. We’re into books because words mean the difference between life and death. If books contain the right words, people may live — forever!

13 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 12 - And finally...


That is how to make basic sense of the Bible - how to navigate through all of its 66 books - and so ends this series.  Now there is nothing for it but to get busy and get reading your Bible.  All of it. 

I have found it helpful to use a reading plan to guide my reading and so once again I share the link to a whole series of really good Bible reading plans, any of which will help you to be systematic in your approach.  Drop me a line in the comments if you would like some help to choose a plan.

My only advice is this.  Don't wait until the 1st of January to get started.  Don't worry about all of those little dates on the side of the reading plans.  Ignore them.  Just put a tick next to the readings as you do them and disregard the dates.  We all know that starting on the 1st of January will only end in tears - be it two weeks or two months down the track.  And if you wait until the 1st of January, that will be a good six weeks before you can get underway.  How could you possibly want to wait??

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the Lord are sure
and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
 
Psalm 19:7-14

12 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 11 - The contents page and the New Testament

The New Testament is easily divided up.


Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell the story of Jesus.

Acts tells the story of what happened in the thirty or so years after Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection.

Following that is a series of letters (or epistles). Romans right through to Philemon were written by Paul. We don't know who wrote Hebrews. And then James (the brother of Jesus) wrote James, Peter (the disciple) wrote 1 and 2 Peter, John (the disciple) wrote 1, 2 and 3 John and Jude (younger brother of Jesus and James) wrote Jude. The letters are written to churches and to individuals. All serve to explain the significance of Jesus and how to live as one who loves God in light of Jesus, awaiting his return.

Revelation is written by John - a record of the visions God gave him to assure all Christians that Jesus will come again and at that time, all will be made perfect under God for those who love Him.

09 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 10 - The contents page and the Old Testament

So how do all those events unfold across the 66 books of the Bible?

You can divide the books of the Old Testament into three main sections - the history books, wisdom literature and the books of the prophets.


The history books tell the story from the beginning of creation up to that point of 400 years of silence.

Genesis starts with the creation story and then covers the stories of Adam and Eve through to Jacob and his sons.

Exodus through to Deuteronomy is the gathering of the Israelite nation and their preparation to head into the Promised Land - their own land where they can live as His people. 

Joshua is the story of the Israelites entering the Promised Land but failing to take it over completely.

Judges describes the time when the Israelites live in the Promised Land, bearing the consequences of not having effectively conquered the other nations before settling there. This is the book with the cycles of sinning, calling out to God, getting a leader to guide them out of the difficulties, all going well for the period of the life of the leader and then falling into sin again.

Samuel, Kings and Chronicles is the history of Israel as they live under the rule of human kings and ultimately find themselves banished from the Promised Land to Assyria (Northern Kingdom) and into the territories of the Babylonian Empire (Southern Kingdom.)

Nehemiah marks the period when they return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the temple...a small pocket of the Promised Land.  And that marks the end of the history of the Old Testament.

(Ruth slots in amongst the time of the Judges, Ezra slots in alongside Nehemiah and the story of Esther unfolds as the Israelites live in exile in the Babylonian Empire.)

The wisdom literature books, mostly written in poetic form, are Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. These were written in a particular time and place but are timeless in their content - offering insight, response and perspective on what life is like (with all its ups and downs) lived under God.

The books of the prophets are interwoven throughout the period of the kings (1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles), full of warnings to turn away from foreign gods to follow the true and living God. They are full of life and hope for those who heed the warnings and full of terrible judgment and complete despair for those who don't.

08 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 9 - What this is and what it isn't

From The King, the Snake and the Promise
 
What I have presented in posts two through seven of this series is a very broad outline of the key events of the Bible.  I have left out all sorts of detail.  This is just a skeleton. You have to read God's words in the Bible to give it flesh and muscle and to make its heart beat – to see God’s majestic plan for creation, to see the relentless examples and impact of sin, to see God's endless grace and mercy found on every page towards sinful humanity, to see why Jesus had to come to die on a cross and be raised to life again and to see what that all means for all eternity. THAT is the story of the Bible. And it’s told through all the separate stories of individuals and communities through the pages and chapters and books of the Bible...which is why it is important to read all of it.  It all matters.

I have always tried to read all of the Bible.  In the early days I would be fed by the stories I recognised from childhood, the other bits I could make sense of and understand and then through the long sections that had me flummoxed, the occasional verse that would jump out at me in God's good providence.  About ten years down the track I did an “Introduction to the Bible” course.  I had been sitting under good teaching in good churches during those preceding ten years and reading through the Bible all that time but somehow the big picture had eluded me.  When I did that introductory course it was like the  proverbial scales falling off my eyes.  I remember saying to various people, “Where have I been these last ten years?  What have I actually been doing?  How did I get this far without knowing all of this?” 

Once I knew the big picture, the next few years of reads through were about watching that big picture unfold and beginning to learn the detail - whose myriad parts came together to form the magnificent whole.  Then for a few years, with the big picture essentially under my belt, I was noticing the theme of God’s sovereignty in all of my reading.  A few more years on and I started to notice the theme of God’s mercy in all my reading.  Every page of the Bible, even some of the most terrible bits, is filled with the mercy of God.  At the moment I find the attributes of godly, faithful people coming to my notice - people whose decisions, words, reactions and responses take my breath away. 

These posts have not been about showing how God’s mercy and sovereignty, grace and justice is revealed in every single page.  Those wonderful discoveries are made by reading the Bible.  Rather, these posts are about explaining the big picture – about providing a few landmarks along the way – to give it some order and make this big and complicated book easier to navigate.  With every prayerful pass of the Bible there is more to see and learn - and God will provide for you and bless you everytime and at each stage.

Three posts to go.  Next – a guide to the contents page.

07 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 8 - The New Testament

Following the 400 years of silence the story recommences, as told in the New Testament. Now the very helpful diagram doesn't go into the New Testament but the story becomes a little easier to follow at this point.

God knows that His people - people now scattered over many countries following the exiles and four hundred years of trade, travel and expansion - need to be rescued from their sin that continues to fracture the relationship between God and humanity.  God sends a Saviour - His Son Jesus Christ - to die on the cross taking the punishment for all sin for all time. And so the New Testament starts with the story of that Saviour - with the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

Jesus' saving work on the cross is for all who love God. Following Jesus' return to heaven there is a glimpse into the lives of the early Christians and a look at the establishment of the early Christian church.

And throughout Jesus' time on earth, he promises that He'll come again. The Bible finishes with a peek at what things will be like on that day when Jesus comes again - both glorious and terrible - glorious for those who call on Jesus as their Saviour and terrible for those who do not.

06 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 7 - some extra help for the period of the kings

In my experience the most difficult section of the Bible to navigate is the period of the kings - the time of the Northern and Southern kingdoms.  This part of biblical history also takes in the prophets...so the events of the last seventeen books of the Old Testament are interwoven into this part of the history.  However without a good roadmap it is all very, very hard to navigate. 

For at least fifteen or so years I have had two pieces of paper slotted into my Bible at the beginning of this section.  They are the trusty diagram (from Gospel and Kingdom: A Christian Interpretation of the Old Testament by Graeme Goldsworthy, page 32, published by Paternoster Press in 1982) that we have been following...


...and this table...



... a chronology of the kings that I found in the New Bible Commentary (3rd Edition), page 322, published by IVP in 1970.   This table is a lifesaver.  1 and 2 Kings flips back and forth between the Northern and Southern kingdom and it can be very hard to remember (if you have a memory like mine) which kingdom and which king is being discussed at any one time.  A quick check on the trusty table when you read a new king's name and you are set on the right track and reading in the correct context.

The other difficulty with this neck of the woods is the prophets who, apart from Elijah and Elisha, are all clumped together at the end of the Old Testament rather than being woven into the story as it happens. Click HERE for is a post I wrote with a short summary of the prophets with navigation guides to help place as many of them as we can in their correct context.

Knowing which kingdom, king and prophet you are reading at which particular time and place in history makes all the difference in this part of the Bible.  It's a really exciting part of the Bible - but it's extremely bewildering without some landmarks and guide posts along the way. 

05 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 6 - The Southern Kingdom

The Southern Kingdom (or Judah) also has a succession of kings (nineteen) and one (very bad) queen. Now God has promised King David (from the tribe of Judah) that someone from his line will always be on the throne of Judah.  Consequently all of the kings of the Southern Kingdom are from the family line of David.  Some love and honour God and others fall away to serve other gods. The pendulum swings back and forth for nearly 400 years. During the reigns of the bad kings God sends prophets including ISAIAH, MICAH and JEREMIAH.

Unfortunately there are more bad kings than good and again the warnings of the prophets go unheeded - and things deteriorate. Eventually God sends the Babylonians into the Southern Kingdom to take over. The FIRST DEPORTATION TO BABYLON IN 597BC sees the key leaders of the community taken in captivity to Babylon. During the SECOND DEPORTATION TO BABYLON IN 586BC all but a very few poor people (who are left to keep the wild animals and tumbleweeds from taking over the land) are deported and spread all throughout the vast Babylonian Empire. God continues to speak to His people through the prophets, even in exile, such as through EZEKIEL.

The Israelites are still holding onto God's promise that someone from the line of David will always remain on the throne.  In 538BC there is an EDICT OF RETURN. A small contingent of Israelites with NEHEMIAH the governor and EZRA the prophet/priest return to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, starting with the city wall. Most of the Israelites stay put, having done as God instructed and made themselves a comfortable life and home in Babylon. The small contingent that returns is encouraged along in their endeavours by the prophets HAGGAI, ZECHERIAH and MALACHI. The rebuilding and repatriation project goes ahead but they are unable to return things to their former glorious state - as built up during the reigns of David and Solomon.

That marks the end of the main events of the Old Testament.  What follows is a period of about 400 years when God remains silent. There are no more prophets and no further key developments in the history of His people during that time.

This diagram is from Gospel and Kingdom: A Christian Interpretation of the Old Testament by Graeme Goldsworthy, page 32. (Published by Paternoster Press in 1982)

02 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 5 - the Northern Kingdom

The Northern Kingdom (or Israel) which commenced under the rule of Jereboam, is led by a succession of kings, twenty in all, spanning four different dynasties, none of whom love, follow or serve God. They serve other gods and lead the people far away from Him. Through the reign of these kings God sends prophets including ELIJAH, AMOS and HOSEA, warning them to turn away from their wickedness and turn back to Him or they will meet their destruction. They do not heed the warning, God reduces the size of the Northern Kingdom through a succession of lost battles and in 722BC the Assyrian army comes in, takes over the land and the people are sent into EXILE IN ASSYRIA. The Northern Kingdom/Israel is no more.


This diagram is from Gospel and Kingdom: A Christian Interpretation of the Old Testament by Graeme Goldsworthy, page 32. (Published by Paternoster Press in 1982)

01 November 2012

How to read ALL of the Bible # 4 - Samuel, Kings and Chronicles

Eventually the Israelites look around at the nations that surround them, led not by God but by human kings, and they want a human king too. God warns them through the prophet Samuel (a prophet is messenger from God) that to live with God as their king is a much better way to go. But they insist on having a human king so God gives them over to their desire and presents them with King Saul. Saul (not to be confused with the Saul who becomes known as Paul in the New Testament) doesn't keep his eyes and heart fixed on God and has a troubled time of it.

Following Saul is King DAVID (of David and Goliath fame) - a man after God's own heart. A lot of David's reign is spent in battle, securing the Israelite borders as should have been done when they first entered thePromised Land but despite the many battles that mark this period, it is a time when the Israelites, under David whose rule is under God, seem to be heading in the right direction.

David is succeeded by his son King Solomon - the wise king who did well to a point but fell into all the pitfalls God warned of in relation to human kings - amassing an army with many horses and chariots and also amassing enormous wealth (relying on his own power and might) and amassing a huge collection of foreign wives and concubines (who with their foreign gods lead Solomon astray.)

After Solomon there is a SCHISM. Solomon is succeeded by his son Reheboam however Solomon's advisor Jereboam, thinking he can do a better job of it, also has a tilt for the throne. In the end Reheboam becomes the king of two of the tribes/areas of Israel - Judah and Benjamin - and Jereboam becomes king of the remaining ten tribes/areas.

Reheboam's territory of two tribes now becomes known in the Bible as the SOUTHERN KINGDOM or JUDAH.

Jereboam's territory of ten tribes becomes known as the NORTHERN KINGDOM or ISRAEL.

It is really important to get these titles straight. Judah was one of Jacob's sons and now it is the name of the combined land of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Israel was Jacob's new name, then the name of the nation of all of his descendants and after the schism, the territory of the ten remaining tribes other than Judah and Benjamin.

This diagram is from Gospel and Kingdom: A Christian Interpretation of the Old Testament by Graeme Goldsworthy, page 32. (Published by Paternoster Press in 1982)