Saturday, 3 May 2014

1 Kings 16-20

Here's how the study works: Read the chapters mentioned in the heading during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for several chapters creates the opportunity to revisit them and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people's insights.


Susan said...

16:31 He [Ahab] not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him.

This is very sad. Baal worship is officially accepted into Jewish culture. It came from the native Canaanites who the Jews never fully removed when they possessed the land in Joshua's time. Also Ahab's marriage to Jezebel was a political move to create an alliance.

If we don't deal with sin it will continue to be a stumbling block in the future.

Susan said...

17:15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.

This widow was not a Jew she refers to God as the "Lord your God" (v.12). Nevertheless she did as Elijah said, suggesting she had some faith in Elijah's God or that she was desperate enough to try anything!

Susan said...

18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.

Perhaps the people wanted to keep their options open. If God didn't come through for them there was always Baal. They were reluctant to make a decision.

Later God would say to a discouraged Elijah, "Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him" (19:18).

Maybe it was because they kept quiet that Elijah thought he was the only one left (v.10,14).

Susan said...

19:8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

Horeb (Mt. Sinai) was where God Moses hid in a cave while God passed by. This may have been the same cave (v.9). Certainly a similar area. Elijah in his discouragement went back to the place of the foundation of his faith.

Likewise when we are discouraged remembering the past and getting back to basics is a good idea.

Susan said...

20:23 Meanwhile, the officials of the king of Aram advised him, “Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they.

Note God's response: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord.’”

God deliberately reveals his character to his people and lets them know whatever situation they are in - on the heights of joy or in the depths of despair - He is still God.