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I hope you all are enjoying digging into BSF’s People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided as much as I am! It’s a great study so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come!

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 5, Day 4: 1 Kings 20

SUMMARY OF 1 KINGS 20

Ben-Hadad king of Aram attacked Samaria, demanding all the silver, gold, wives, and children. At first, Ahab did not refuse. Then he did when more demands were made, so Ben-Hadad prepared to attack.

A prophet comes to Ahab to tell him that the Lord will deliver the enemy into his hands so that he will know the Lord did it. Ahab must start the battle and the young officers of the provincial commanders will defeat the army. The 7,000 remaining Israelites of faith went out while the enemy was in their tent getting drunk. The Israelites defeated the king of Aram, but the king escaped.

The prophet told Ahab that the king of Aram would attack next year. So, Ahab prepared for the attack. When it came, the prophet told Ahab that God would once again deliver the enemy into his hands so that he will know He is God. Ahab won the battle, but he ended up making a deal with the king of Aram and let him go free.  A prophet tells Ahab that because he let a man go free whom he should have (the king of Aram), he would give his life for him.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 5, Day 4: 1 Kings 20

10) God ensured that if an enemy attacked Israel that Israel would win. He used prophets to tell Ahab these things.

11a) Verse 13 & 28

b) Too many. Honestly, every day in some small way when He rescues me from sin.

12) He bargained with the king of Aram and let him go free.

13a) He was “sullen and angry” and retreated to his palace in Samaria. Note he was not repentant.

b) Every time He lets me know He’s in charge and not me.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 5, Day 4: 1 Kings 20

I love how God never gives up on us like we give up on Him.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 5, Day 4: 1 Kings 20

At first, Ahab willingly surrenders. Then, he changes his mind with advice.

A prophet appears and tells Ahab the Lord will deliver them out of His infinite mercy and love. Ahab wonders how, which is something most of us wonder when God promises to do something in our lives. God delivers Israel, but the Syrians would try again in the spring.

Saying that God was a god of the hills and valleys meant God was only a god over certain areas instead of the Lord of the earth.

The Lord delivers Israel another miraculous victory over a vastly superior army. Yet, Ahab makes a treaty with the defeated pagan king instead of completely destroying him.

The Mysterious Prophets

These prophets mentioned here are nameless and are believed to not be Elijah or Elisha. They are presumed to be among the 7,000 faithful.

The reason for the harsh judgement of against the man who refused to strike the prophet was because that man was a fellow man of God or a son of the prophet. Thus, he should have known to follow the command of the prophet.

The prophet tells Ahab a story that is really a story of the mistake he just made — failing to guard the life of someone. Since King Ahab failed to guard what was entrusted to him, he would pay the ultimate price. God wanted the death of the king of Aram to be by the army that He had empowered.

God reached out in so many ways to Ahab. As He does to us.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 5, Day 2: 1 Kings 19:1-10

SUMMARY OF 1 KINGS 19:1-10

When Jezebel found out from Ahab that Elijah had killed all of the prophets with the sword, she threatened to kill him. Afraid, Elijah fled. He left his servant at Beersheba while he went into the wilderness. He prayed to die. He woke to an angel who fed him and gave him water. The angel appeared again telling him to eat and drink for strength.

Elijah then traveled 40 days and nights till he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. While in a cave, the word of the Lord came to him and asked him what he was doing there. Elijah said how he is afraid for his life.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 5, Day 2: 1 Kings 19:1-10

3) First, he was elated and boastful. Then he was afraid for his life. He also experienced remorse and sadness over the Israelites and their worship of other gods. Frankly, he was depressed. He was physically exhausted, too.

4a) God sent an angel who fed him and gave him water. The angel appeared again telling him to eat and drink for strength.

b) Similarly, God has provided when I’ve been exhausted from the trials of life with food, clothing, shelter, friendships, and more.

5) God asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah replied, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

6) Elijah prays for God’s help. He listens to and for God. He obeys God and trusts God for provision.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 5, Day 2: 1 Kings 19:1-10

I think many of us have reached breaking points like Elijah to the point where we wish we were dead. Note here how God is there at our weakest moments, waiting to pick us up and strengthen us in the days ahead.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 5, Day 2: 1 Kings 19:1-10

Jezebel was not impressed with God’s show at Mount Carmel. Instead, she went after the instigator.

Beersheba is about 80 miles south of Mount Carmel. We are not told if God told Elijah to go there or not. All we know is God wanted to protect Elijah.

It’s ironic that Elijah prayed to die, but he’s one of the few humans that ever lived that never experienced death. Sometimes a no from God is a good thing.

Elijah was wore out, plain and simple.

We see this many times in the Bible where God provides for our physical needs before our spiritual needs.

On Elijah’s 40-day, 200-mile journey to Mount Horeb (or Mount Sinai), it is likely he gained strength physically.

Obviously, God knew the answer to why Elijah was there, but God graciously allows Elijah to explain his feelings and relieve the burdens on his heart.

Basically, Elijah is saying life is unfair here. He shouldn’t have his life threatened if he is doing God’s work (but this is usually the case). He wants an easy life like we all do. But, as God’s servant, he would not have that.

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Friday Digest BSF People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN BSF PEOPLE OF THE PROMISE: KINGDOM DIVIDED LESSON 4

  • God provides for all of our needs often in ways not expected
  • God calls us to trust Him more
  • God builds our faith when He meets our needs
  • God invites us to Him in powerful ways
  • Follow God wholeheartedly and He will lead you to where He wants you

TAKE AWAY: God always wins.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 5: 1 Kings 18:40-46

SUMMARY OF 1 KINGS 18:40-46

Elijah then ordered the prophets of Baal killed. He told Ahab to eat and drink as the sound of rain was approaching. He goes to Mt. Carmel and prayed. His servant looked towards the sea seven times before he saw a cloud rising from the sea. He told his servant to tell Ahab to go down before the rain starts. Ahab journeys to Jezreel while clouds form. Elijah ran ahead of Ahab by the power of the Lord.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 5: 1 Kings 18:40-46

13) Because they opposed God and had led His people astray.

14a) He goes to Mt. Carmel and prayed. His servant looked towards the sea seven times before he saw a cloud rising from the sea.

b) His persistent faith.

15) Where to move. I just keep on chugging along where I’m at until He moves me.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 5: 1 Kings 18:40-46

The most interesting thing here is the judgment of the prophets. It’s no laughing matter to outright oppose God.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 5: 1 Kings 18:40-46

Rain could now fall since the purpose of the drought was to prove the false gods of Baal false was now defeated.

Elijah waited on God to answer him. So must we all. We must have stubborn faith, too.

Elijah ran 14 miles to Jezreel with God’s help. He wanted to beat Ahab, but we are unsure why.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 4: 1 Kings 18:1-39

SUMMARY OF 1 KINGS 18:1-39

After 3 years, the Lord told Elijah to got to Ahab and present himself. He would end the drought. Obadiah was a devote believer in the Lord, and he was Ahab’s palace administrator. He hid 100 prophets from the evil Jezebel and kept them alive. Obadiah was sent by Ahab to try to find food and water for the horses and mules to keep them alive.

Obadiah met Elijah and bowed to him. Elijah tells him to go to Ahab to tell him he is here. Obadiah, however, balks because he believes Ahab will kill him if Elijah goes missing in the meantime because Ahab has been trying to find him for 3 years. Elijah reassures him, so Obadiah does as bidden.

Ahab blames Elijah for the drought. Elijah tells Ahab the drought is punishment from God for abandoning him. He commands Ahab to assemble the people to meet on Mount Carmel, as well as the prophets of Baal and Asherah.

Elijah says to brings two bulls. He will prepare one for sacrifice and the prophets of Baal will prepare the other. He will call upon the Lord to consume the bull with fire, and the prophets of Baal will call upon their god to do so. Whoever answers is God.

The prophets of Baal called upon their god with no response. Elijah begins to taunt them.

Elijah built an altar to the Lord with 12 stones to represent the 12 tribes. He cut his bull and laid it on the wood. He poured 12 jars of water on the wood. He then prayed to God to answer Him to let His people know He is the God of Israel. God sent fire down, which consumed everything, including the water. The people fell down and proclaimed the Lord is God.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 4: 1 Kings 18:1-39

9) It got Elijah in front of the king so Elijah could show all that the gods of Baal were false.

10) He never wavers in his faith that God will consume his offering. He is 100% confident, even taunting the prophets of Baal. You just don’t do that unless you are sure you are going to “win.”

11a) “Let it be known today that you are the God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” “Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the soil, and also licked  up the water in the trench.” In short, He answered in an undeniable show of power.

b) “They fell prostrate and cried, ‘The Lord – he is God! The Lord –  he is God!'”

c) James 5:16-18 tells us that Elijah prayed earnestly. “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” The key was Elijah had a heart for God.

12) Unsure on this one. Maybe just staying the course for all He has asked me to do. Asking God to be with me each and every day, to bless me, to keep me, and more.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 4: 1 Kings 18:1-39

I love this story! It shows the best in those who have a heart for God in such a human way (with the taunting and all!).

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 4: 1 Kings 18:1-39

Bible scholars are unsure if this is the same Obadiah whose prophesized against Edom. There are 13 Obadiahs in the Old Testament, which is why we can’t be sure. (2 Chronicles 17:7) (2 Chronicles 34:12) (Nehemiah 10:5)

The meeting between Obadiah and Elijah was no coincidence — it was God’s doing.

Ahab wanted to punish Elijah for the drought, which is why Obadiah was afraid. Ahab should have believed the word of God Deuteronomy 28:23-24 if Israel disobeyed instead of blaming Elijah.

Before God sent rain, he had to discredit Baal’s gods. This showdown was God’s doing.

The water Elijah used was precious, indeed, after the years of drought. It was a fitting sacrifice to God and it made the wood even harder to catch on fire.

The people were persuaded, but as in all of this history of God’s people, this faith would not last for long.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 3: 1 Kings 17:7-24

SUMMARY OF 1 KINGS 17:7-24

When the brook dried up, God spoke to Elijah. God told him to go to Zarephath of Sidon where a widow will give him food. When he arrived, he spoke to a woman at the town gate gathering sticks. He asked her for food and water. She told him she hardly had any food for her and her son. Elijah told her to go home and make him a small cake of bread and then make something for her and her son. Her jar of flour will never be used up and her jug of oil will not run dry until it rains.

She did as commanded and it was so. She had flour and oil every day, as well as food.

The son of the woman grew ill and died. Elijah took him into a room and cried out to the Lord to give him his life back. The Lord heard Elijah’s cry and revived the boy. The woman believed in the Lord.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 3: 1 Kings 17:7-24

6a) She did as Elijah had commanded and made him a cake of bread despite she and her son were starving. He asked her to have faith in God and she did.

b) They both received food and water while there was drought and famine in the land.

7a) The woman responded in anger, mad that God had punished her for her sin by taking her son. Elijah responded by turning to the Lord for help.

b) Probably some of both. I get angry and then I pray.

8 ) I know that there is a life outside of this earthly life that is infinitely better. This gives me hope in my troubles.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 3: 1 Kings 17:7-24

I had forgotten this story! It’s been a while since I’ve studied Elijah, so this is great! I love: 1) When God conquers death 2) He answers our prayers. Great stuff!

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 3: 1 Kings 17:7-24

Elijah moved around a lot, and here he’s ordered to go to the home of a povery-stricken widow in the territory of the evil Queen Jezebel, which is not a welcoming place for a prophet.

The woman had no idea she had been chosen by God based on her responses to Elijah.

She says “the Lord your God,” which shows she is a Gentile. Elijah makes a bold response to feed him first when they have only a small amount of food. The widow willingly obeys, and she is blessed by God for it.

The widow is angry when her son dies. Now, she has no one to provide for her in her old age as was the custom. She blames Elijah and her sin.

Elijah asked God to fix this tragedy. Out of faith, God answered. All of the widow’s needs were met.

Fun Fact: This is the first recording in the Bible of God raising the dead.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 2: 1 Kings 15:25-17:6

SUMMARY OF 1 KINGS 15:25-17:6

Nadab became king of Israel and he reigned over Israel 2 years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Baasha killed Nadab and succeeded him as king. He killed Jeroboam’s whole family. Baasha became king of Israel and he reigned 24 years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. The prophet Jehu told Baasha that God was angry with him for his actions and God will destroy him.

Elah succeeded Baasha as king. He ruled 2 years before he was struck down by Zimri, who succeeded him. He killed Baasha’s whole family. He ruled 7 days before Omri was proclaimed king. Omri became king of Israel and he reigned 12 years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him. Ahab, Omri’s son, succeeded him as king of Israel. He reigned 22 years and did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any before him. He married Jezebel, daughter of the king of the Sidonians and began to serve Baal.

By rebuilding Jericho, Hiel endured the curse of the Lord as spoken by Joshua in Joshua 6:26.

Elijah the prophet proclaims to Ahab that a famine is coming for a few years. The Lord sent Elijah to live in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. The river and ravens will feed and water him.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 2: 1 Kings 15:25-17:6

3)

  1. Nadab. He caused Israel to commit sins.
  2. Baasha. Baasha killed Nadab and succeeded him as king. He killed Jeroboam’s whole family
  3. Elah. He got drunk and was struck down.
  4. Zimri. He killed Elah and Baasha’s whole family. He set the royal palace on fire and he died as a result of the fire and of his sins.
  5. Omri. He caused Israel to commit sins and brought worthless idols to the nation.
  6. Ahab. He began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal and made an Asherah pole.

4a) Elijah the prophet proclaims to Ahab that a famine is coming for a few years

b) The Lord sent Elijah to live in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. The river and ravens fed and watered him during this time.

c) God cares for his people. All it takes is simple faith and obedience and God will provide.

5) My whole life really. He always provides everything I need and blesses me everyday with a wonderful life.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 2: 1 Kings 15:25-17:6

Lots of “doing evil in the eyes of the Lord.” Truly disheartening.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 4, Day 2: 1 Kings 15:25-17:6

You must remember that the books of Kings are more concerned with the ruler’s spiritual health than anything else, which is why the books are written like they are, pointing out who did good in the eyes of the Lord and who did bad.

Baasha conspired to murder Nadab. Little did Baasha know, he was the instrument of God’s judgment against the house of Jeroboam. Baasha faces the same judgment in his death, too.

Assassination to get the throne was common in ancient times, as was the assassination of the entire family so that no claims to the throne could be made.

God exterminated every member of the first two dynasties of Israel.

Fun Fact: Zimri is one of only a handful of suicides mentioned in the Bible. Some of the others are: Samson (Judges 16:28-30), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4) and Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23). This is because God does not approve of suicide and therefore does not want to approve of it in any way.

Omri defeated Tibni in a civil war, presumably killing him. He built what would become the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, Samaria. He is regarded by historians as one of the strongest kings of Israel. The location he chose for the capital guarded all routes north and south into the city, a perfect defensive position. He was the 6th king of Israel since the split into two kingdoms.

In 41 years, Israel had 7 different kings.

Ahab was worse than all of the other previous kings. This is because he introduced the worship of new, pagan gods and made people worship them. This is why God was so angry. Both Omri and Ahab did this; whereas, Solomon only worshipped pagan gods himself. Marrying Jezebel only took the country further into idolatry.

Who is Elijah?

God brings Elijah up in order to try to bring light into this dark time of Israel’s history. Elijah means “Yahweh is my God.” The nation was headed deeper into idolatry. Israel needed a prophet to bring them back to God. Elijah came from nowhere to appear on the scene.

Elijah prayed for a drought and God answered his prayer. God has granted Elijah great power in order to bring Israel back to Him.

God protects and preserves Elijah during the drought by taking him some place to be alone so He could provide for him. Here, Elijah would learn total dependence on God as God fed and watered him every day like God did the Israelites in the desert.

So must we trust God to provide for us.

God told him the specific place. So must we listen to where God wants us, too.

Fun Fact: Elijah is the most mentioned Old Testament prophet in the New Testament.

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Who is Elijah?

If someone were invited to one of the most important gatherings ever, you would think they were important, correct?

Considering Elijah was invited to see Jesus’ transfiguration, this would be a clue of his importance in Biblical history. So who is Elijah?

Who is Elijah?

Elijah was a prophet when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had first separated. He had a powerful faith that God rewarded by answering his prayers. Eight miracles are recorded in the Bible that God worked through Elijah in an effort to win his people back to him. From the first miracle of having the rain stop and bringing a drought upon the land to seeing him defeat almost 1,000 prophets, God used Elijah in great ways for his glory.

Yet, Elijah was human. We see Elijah as depressed and afraid, yet God speaks to him in a whisper, gently reassuring him of his path.

He was unassuming, dressing like a bum in black camel hair. He sleeps in the wilderness and prays for food and water.

Before Elijah shows up to confront the 850 prophets of Baal, he has become the most wanted man in Israel. He alone commanded the rain to stop and he has foretold that he alone has the power to make it rain again. Of course, Ahab wants to find him to try to make him make it rain. Now, Elijah shows up, telling and showing the people who the One True God is.

Elijah lived in a time when God was performing miracles left and right in order to try to win back his people. Sadly, nothing worked, and his people will be scattered and imprisoned. Yet, prophets like Elijah who lived only for God give us hope and encouragement in what a life can look like when lived for God.

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