Reflections on I Kings 19-22

Elijah flees to the desert, and God shows his power.

  • Depression – Elijah is depressed. He has fought hard, and won the battle, but one opponent knocks him down.  Now he is weary and ready to give up.  How does God restore him?  With rest, food, exercise, the presence of God, a renewed purpose, and companionship.  How might these things help you when you are depressed?
  • God over all – The Syrian king thinks God is a God of the hills, but not of the valleys and plains. God shows himself God over all places.  He cannot be contained or limited to one place.  You can never go outside of his sphere of activity.  What struggles are you facing?  God is still God even in your place of struggle.  Trust in him and wait for him to act.
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Here are some good posts in response to the flood of recent scandals in Hollywood and beyond:

Hollywood, Capitol Hill and the Human Heart – Nick Batzig (reformation 21)

It’s Past Time to Rethink Modern Sexual Morality – David French (National Review)

Sexual Consent in a Confused, Confusing World – Tim Challies

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Q&A#3 Reflections: God is Spirit and Present Everywhere

Q: What more can we know about God?
A: God is a spirit, present everywhere, and reigning with perfect power, knowledge, wisdom, and goodness.

O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.  – II Chronicles 20:6

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!  – Psalm 31:19

Verses for Further Reflection
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
– John 4:24

Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away?  Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 23:23-24

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
– Psalm 139:7-10

Discussion Questions Related to the Verses
How must we worship, and why?
What does it look like to worship in this way?
What practical benefit do we find in God’s omnipresence?
How might God’s presence help us find peace in our trials?

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Reflections on I Kings 17-18

God raises up Elijah.  Observe:

  • Provision – God provides for Elijah during the drought through a brook and ravens. But then the brook dried up.  Are you trusting in God or the brooks that he gives you?  God then provided for Elijah through a widow in Sidon, the center of Ball worship.  How has God provided for you in unlikely ways?
  • Battle of the Gods – Baal is the god of rain, but God’s prophet Elijah says it won’t rain, and it doesn’t. Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a contest, and Baal again loses.  There is only one true all-powerful God.  Are you trusting in him or limping between God and something else?
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I Kings 17-22: The Days of Elijah

(17) Elijah announces a drought because of Israel’s wickedness.  How does God provide for Elijah in v2-7?  In v8-16?

What are the miraculous results for the widow and her son (v8-23)?

To what conclusion does the widow come in v24?

How might people see and come to know God through us?

(18) What question does Elijah ask the people in v21?

When are we tempted to limp (falter, waver, hesitate) in this way?

The prophets of Baal literally “limp” around their altar (v26).  Why is trusting in something other than the Lord like limping? How have you seen this in your life or in other people?

Why does Elijah want God to send fire from heaven (v37)?  What happens when the fire falls?

(19) Elijah plunges from the mountain top of success to the valley of depression.  What outward event triggers his depression (v1-2)?

From the text, what do you think is going on inside Elijah that allows this outward event to trigger his despair?

What does God do so that Elijah will know the Lord (v11-12)?

What does God do to shake Elijah out of his depression?

(20) Back in Israel, Syria invades the country twice.  Both times, God defeats the enemy.  Why (v13, 28)?

(20-22) Despite all the evidence and all the opportunities for Ahab to know and follow the Lord, he continues to go his own way.  What are the results for those around him?  For him?

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Thirsty Again

YouCanChangeIf you look for satisfaction or fulfillment, meaning or identity, anywhere other than Jesus, you’ll be left empty.  There may be a moment of refreshment or pleasure, but you’ll soon be thirsty again.

– Tim Chester in You Can Change

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Reflections on II Chronicles 13-16

Two good kings, Abijah and Asa, reign in Judah.

  • Rely on God – Abijah’s army won the battle because they relied on God (13:18). When another army came against Asa, he relied on the Lord and was victorious (14:11-12).  Yet in Asa’s later years, he failed to rely on God (16:7-8).  Who are you relying on?  Who do you look to?
  • Revival – Asa rid Judah of idols. He repaired the altar of the Lord and the people made sacrifices to the Lord.  They made a covenant to seek God with all their hearts.  Are you seeking God this way?  What sacrifices do you make for God?  What idols do you need to get rid of?
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God Is Better

YouCanChangeThe invitation of the Bible is not to dreary abstinence.  It’s a call to find in God that which truly satisfies.  It’s believing that we find lasting fulfillment, satisfaction, joy, and identity in knowing God, and nowhere else.  Whatever sin offers, God offers more, for God offers us himself.  God isn’t just good, he’s better – better than everything else – and the true source of all joy.

– Tim Chester in You Can Change

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Reflections on I Kings 15-16

We see here a contrast between several kings in Judah and Israel.  Consider:

  • Heart – Abijam’s heart was not wholly true to the Lord (15:3), but Asa’s heart was (15:14). How would you describe your heart?  What other things compete for your heart?  What would it look like to have a heart wholly true to God?
  • Right and Wrong – Asa did what was right in God’s sight (15:11), but Israel’s kings did what was evil in God’s sight (15:26, 34; 16:25, 30). Where do you see this contrast in our world today?  In your own life?
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Classic Quote

OldBooksAll creatures continually live upon the generosity of God; He maintains the whole creation through His mere goodness.  And every good thing that is enjoyed is a part of his generosity.

– Jonathan Edwards

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