Chapter 15 So Jeroboam is still reigning in the North (Israel) and now Abijah is king in the southern kingdom, Judah. He was a terrible king....he committed all the sins his father and done before him, his heart was not fully devoted to God (like David's was) but....there was continual war. These "books of annals" it is talking about are sources that the author of 1 and 2 Kings used while writing this historical account....so this means that this is not an "eyewitness" account. It was being written as it happened....it happened....THEN it was written. But these books are probably official court records from the royal archives in Jerusalem. I kept wondering what they were. So now we know. :)
Chapter 16 So these kingdoms are at constant war....war has become the norm since the kingdom has divided. So Asa becomes king in the south, Nadab in the north then Baasha in the north again. The Israelites try to live in Jericho after its destruction, but the city was unwalled and unfortified.
Chapter 17 The ravens, the widow and the "dead" boy! What a chapter! We've never had ravens feeding humans before, huh?! :) The widow and her son were completely out of food and hope. She was preparing to die. But God never fails. That old widow woman could never imagine in her wildest dreams the miracle that God had planned for her. The same God who brought drought was also the God would gave sustenance to the woman and her son through Elijah. And then the boy dies and the women thinks that it is because Elijah is in her house. But thank goodness he was -- he took him upstairs, laid down on top of him and cried out to the Lord. And then the woman knew for sure that when her son was alive that Elijah was a prophet from the Lord.
Lesson learned: when our own resources appear to be tapped out, we can trust that God is greater than our circumstances--even when we doubt!