Questions for August 31 & September 7 Bible Study : 1 Kings 20 – 2 Kings 2
Bible Study, August 31, 2017 & September 7, 2017
1 Kings 20-22 & 2 Kings 1-2
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Introduction – 1 Kings
20 – Ahab, who remains unfaithful to God, begins a war with Aram (Syria). Though he was present in the prior chapter and will be present again in the next one, Elijah is missing from this chapter. God, likewise appears to be missing in chapter 20. The chapter ends when Ahab defeats Aram.
21 – The last chapter was all about Ahab and his dealings with a foreign king, this chapter is about the struggle at home. It is also when Ahab’s death is foreshadowed. The first half of the chapter tells the facts of the story. The second half allows the prophet to speak to the situation.
22 – Chapter 22 is the lead up to the fulfillment of Elijah’s prophecy: The king is dead. Again we have the number three represented here. There were three years of peace, followed by turmoil.
- Chapter 20 outlines the battle and negotiations between Israel and Aram. Aram came to take what was not theirs and the situation seemed desperate. Have you ever felt like you had run out of options?
- Why would Ahab give up quickly at first and then choose to fight shortly thereafter (20:4; 20:8)? Have you ever felt like it was a good decision not to stand up for yourself?
- Ahab said something very wise to Ben-Hadad, “it’s easier to start a fight than end one” (20:11). Has this been your experience?
- Ben-Hadad assumes that his advisers are right in saying that God (Yahweh) is the God of the hills and this ends up being his downfall (20:23). When has bad information caused you to make a bad decision?
- God still tries to show Ahab his power and his presence even though he has been so unfaithful (20:28). Why do you think God gives so many chances to us and to ancient kings alike?
- Ahab sulked at being rejected by Naboth (21:3-4). How do you react when you don’t get what you want?
- Jezebel and Ahab conspired to took what wasn’t theirs (21:6-15). Is it ever tempting to maneuver around the rules to get what you want?
- When these two did what was wrong in God’s sight, God sent Elijah to tell them that they had done wrong (21:17-). How do you respond when someone confronts you?
- Because of Ahab’s repentance, he got another second chance (21:27-29). Do you remember when you repented and believed the gospel? What was it like to have to admit how wrong you had been?
- Jehoshaphat was like his father, obedient to God (22:41-44). Has that been your experience with the children of parents who are faithful to God?
Introduction – 2 Kings
1 – We ended 1 Kings with the reign of Ahaziah. In this chapter, we will continue to read his story. This chapter continues the theme that the people of the both kingdoms cannot seem to get even the 1st commandment right: Thou shalt have no other gods.
2 – This chapter is the end of Elijah’s ministry and the beginning of his successor Elisha’s. We haven’t heard from Elisha in a while, but we have already been able to see his call and his faithfulness to God as a prophet in 1 Kings 19.
- Baal-zebub is an oracle of the god Baal and this name literally means “Baal, the pest” (1:2). The city in which he resided was Ekron, a city twenty-two miles away from Jerusalem. Ahaziah is going well out of his way not to worship God. Has there ever been a time that you ran away from what God wanted in your life?
- Elijah always shows up when unfaithful kings don’t want him to (1:8). Have you ever had someone in your life who held you accountable no matter what?
- Elisha was mentored by Elijah (2:1-2). In the leadership that you have here at church, who did you take over for? What did you learn from them before they handed it over to you?
- Why do you think Elisha was so committed to seeing Elijah taken up with his own eyes (2:6-10)?
- Why do you think that God would save Elijah from death, taking him upon a chariot (2:11-14)?
- Elisha healed the water that was once poison (2:21-22). Has there ever been something in your life that used to cause you grief but that God delivered you from or healed your relationship to it?
- Was Elisha just thin-skinned when he sent the bears to kill the 42 children who made fun of him or can we learn something else from this part of the story (2:23-24)?