Questions for July 27 Bible Study : 1 Kings 9-11
It is tempting to read what we already believe back into the scripture. We call this eisegesis (ἐξηγεῖσθαι; into) as opposed to exegesis (ἐξήγησις; lead out). This distinction is important because we want the scripture to “lead out” into our lives and for us not to read “into” the scripture our own thoughts. That said, Jesus is the lens through which we read the Bible. Let 1 Kings live as scripture, but listen to how what we have read in the Gospels challenges the writers of Samuel/Kings understanding of God.
- God promised to always remain in the Temple (9:3). Where is God now? With the Temple gone, does that change God’s promise? What does it mean for our lives and the place we live?
- Solomon seems not to treat his agreement with Hiram as being very important (9:13). Do wise and faithful people live up to their obligations?
- 1 Kings calls the twenty cities of Galilee “good for nothing” (9:13). Nathanael, in the Gospel of John, asks whether anything good can come from Nazareth (1:46), one of these cities. What does this say about Jesus? What do we think it his first followers would have thought about Jesus being from Nazareth? What does it say about us and who we believe God can bless?
- Knowing that Solomon enslaved many people (9:21), how are he and the Israelites any better than Pharaoh and the Egyptians who kept them in slavery?
- Reading 10:3, the sign of wisdom for Solomon is the ability to answer any question. Do we still believe that is true? What does that say about the mystery of God? Where does faith fit in?
- As Solomon received gifts (10:11-12), he gave a portion of the bounty to the Temple. What can we learn for our own spirit of generosity?
- Solomon was unfaithful to God with his love life (11:4). What are ways that we are unfaithful to God? How does that unfaithfulness lead us astray?
- We learn from the stories of Samuel that David was not completely faithful to God. Why would those writing Kings say that he was completely faithful (11:6)?
- What are some false gods (11:13) that are currently dividing the Church (both local and global)?
- What does Jesus’ life teach us about God that challenges the idea that God would “raise up an adversary” against us (11:23)?