1 Kings – Chapter 19

1kings chapter 19

Verse 2 – Jezebel was furious about what Elijah had done. These prophets always told her what she wanted to hear. On the other side, Elijah always prophesied doom and gloom to Ahab and Jezebel. Elijah who had caused the death of these prophets had become a thorn in Jezebel’s side. As long as God’s prophet was around, she couldn’t carry out all the evil she wanted.
Verse 3 – Elijah had two great victories; the defeat of the prophets of Baal and the answered prayer for rain, yet felt discouraged and feared for his life. However, God led Elijah out of his depression by letting him eat and rest first. Then God confronted him with the need to return to his mission—to speak God’s words in Israel. I don’t believe we are ever finished with the mission God has given His people until God says it is finished.
Verses 5-8 – After Elijah ate and rested, he returned to the place where the covenant had been given, Mount Horeb, or Sinai. There, Elijah would have his personal faith renewed by God’s presence. Obviously, God gave Elijah special strength to travel over 200 miles—without additional food.
Self Pity
Verses 9, 10 – Sometimes it may look like, “Lord am I the only one trying to do what’s right?” Be assured that even if you don’t know another person who is being faithful and obedient to God, there are. Self-pity will start to dilute the good we are doing.
Verses 11-13 – To look for God only in something big (rallies, churches, conferences, and highly visible leaders) may be to miss Him because He is often found gently whispering quietly in a humbled heart.
Verses 15, 16 – God’s command first pointed to judgment. Elijah was to anoint Hazael as king over Aram. God was going to use an enemy king to punish Israel for its sin. Jehu was to be anointed king over Israel. Jehu would destroy those who worshiped the false god Baal (2 Kings 9; 10). The third person Elijah was to anoint was Elisha. Elisha’s job was to point the people of Israel (the northern kingdom) back towards God. During this time Jehoshaphat, a king devoted to God, ruled the southern kingdom.
Verses 19-21 – The cloak or mantle was the most important article of clothing a person could own. A cloak was used for, protection against weather, as bedding, as a place to sit, or as luggage. It could also be given for a debt or torn into pieces to show grief. Elijah put his cloak on Elisha’s shoulders to show that he would become Elijah’s successor. Elisha’s capability to celebrate his new calling with sacrifices and feasting for the whole community indicated his family was very prosperous. This meal was more than a feast among farmers; it was an offering of thanks to the Lord who chose Elisha to be His prophet.

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1 Kings – Chapter 18

1kings chapter 18

Verses 3, 4 – Although Elijah was alone in his confrontation with Ahab and Jezebel, he was not the only one in Israel who believed God. Obadiah had been faithful in hiding 100 prophets that were still true to the Lord.
Verse 6 – Both Ahab and Obadiah were accompanied by soldiers and officials who purchased or confiscated the resources as needed.
Verse 17 – Despite Ahab’s bravery and abilities in many areas, his accusation against Elijah showed that willful sin could blind a person to reality.
Verse 18 – Instead of worshiping the true God, Ahab and his wife Jezebel worshiped Baal the popular Canaanite god.
Verse 19 – Ahab brought 850 pagan-prophets to Mount Carmel to match wits and power with Elijah. Evil kings hated God’s prophets because they spoke against sin. However, Elijah showed the people those who speak prophecy wasn’t enough. One needed the power of the living God to fulfill it.
Verse 21 – Elijah challenged the people to take a stand! Why did so many people waver between the two choices? Many knew that the Lord was God, but they enjoyed the sinful pleasures and others benefits that came with following Ahab in his idolatrous worship.
Verse 29 – The prophets raved all afternoon but no one answered them. Their god was silent because it was not real. Power, status, appearance, or material possessions can become our gods if we devote our lives to them. These things can never offer comfort, wisdom, or guidance in true answers.
Verses 36-38 – God will make resources available to us in creative ways to accomplish His purposes.
Verse 46 – Elijah ran the six miles back to the city in order to give Ahab a last chance to turn from his sin before joining Jezebel in Jezreel. His run also ensured that the correct story of what happened would reach Jezreel first.

1 Kings – Chapter 17

1kings chapter 17

Elijah Steps on the Scene
Verse 1 – Israel, the northern kingdom, had no faithful kings throughout its history. Each king was wicked, actually leading the people in worshiping pagan gods. Few priests were left from the tribe of Levi because they had gone to Judah. The priests appointed by Israel’s kings were corrupt and ineffective. Elijah was the first in a long line of important prophets God sent to Israel and Judah.
Those who worshiped Baal believed he was the god who brought the rains and a bountiful harvest. Therefore, when Elijah walked into the presence of this Baal-worshiping king and told him there would be no rain for several years, Ahab was shocked. Elijah confronted the man who led his people into evil, and told of a power far greater than any pagan god-the Lord God of Israel.
Verses 4-6 – God’s miraculous provision of food for Elijah, at a time when God had cut off food for the nation, reminds any hearer/reader that God is the true provider of human needs.
Verse 7 – The brook dried up after a while. If you have read this before, you will realize this is but a small process that only last for a time before God moves Elijah to a bigger purpose. Through our hardships, God provides provisions along the way until you reach the main purpose He is calling you into.
Verses 8, 9 – Luke 4:26, 27 says that God sent His messenger with beneficial signs and wonders to a Gentile.
Verse 10 – In a nation that was required by law to care for its prophets, it is ironic that God turned to ravens (unclean birds) and a widow (a foreigner from Jezebel’s home territory) to care for Elijah. God provides for us in ways that go beyond our narrow definitions or expectations. Sometimes, we may find provisions in some strange places.
Verses 13-16 – We may not see the solution until we take the first step of faith. When the widow of Zarephath met Elijah, she thought she was preparing her last meal. But a simple act of faith produced a miracle. Faith is the step between promise and assurance.
Verse 17 – Even when God has done a miracle in our lives, our troubles might not be over. God’s provision is never given for us to rest upon that one miracle-get stuck. We depend on Him as each new trial faces us.

1 Kings – Chapter 16

1KingsChapter16

Verses 1-7 – God destroyed Jeroboam’s descendants for their flagrant sins and yet Baasha repeated the same mistakes. Jehu was a prophet sent by God to condemn and send judgment upon Baasha.
Verses 21, 22 – When you read these verses up to this point, you can plainly see the nation of Israel running amuck. Killing each other to gain the throne was the norm. Omri began his reign as political dissension brewed in Israel after Zimri killed himself, the Israelite army chose Omri, their commander, as the next ruler. Tibni, Omri’s chief rival to the throne, died, and Omri then began his evil reign. (Asa is still king over Judah).
Verse 24 – Omri made Samaria his new capital. This city was his personal property, so he had total control over it. Omri died before completing the city, so his son Ahab, completed it. He also built a temple to the god Baal. Samaria served as the capital city for the rest of Israel’s dynasties until it fell to the Assyrians in 722B.C. (2 Kings 17:5).
Verses 29-34 – Omri is dead and Ahab becomes king and reigns over Israel 22 years. The Bible records that Ahab did more evil than all the kings before him. Ahab marries Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal of the Sidonians. Ahab built her a temple to worship the pagan god Baal, which he ended up worshiping also. Ahab promoted idolatry and led the entire nation into sin.

1 Kings – Chapter 15

1Kings chapter 15

Verses 1, 2 – The only revealing detail in the formal opening for Abijam’s (Abijah in Chronicles) record was that his mother Maacah was from the line of Absalom.
Verses 3-5 – Abijam was bad, like his father, with negative comparison with David. However, God spared Jerusalem and a wicked king because of the good king David.
Verses 9-24 – Religious revival began under Asa so that God had a reason to restore blessings to the good kings of the south. This revival, led by two good kings, Asa and Jehoshaphat, lasted about 60 years. Then, early in the reign of Asa, the rule of Nadab began a bloody process of civil war and violence, which actually ended with the restoration of Hebrew economic and political power under Omri and Ahab. God used the renewed power of the wicked kings of the north to bring renewed blessing, power, and wealth to the good kings of the south.
Verse 11, 12 – Asa was the first king since the division of the kingdom to do “what was right in Lord’s eyes.” What influenced Asa to be obedient to God? Perhaps it was the godly presence of the Levites living in the south.
Verse 13 – Maacah was the name of David’s wife who was mother to Absalom also and one of Absalom’s daughters who became one of Rehoboam’s favorite wives. As queen mother, Asa’s grandmother, Maacah, was a stumbling block to faith in Yahweh. Part of cleansing the kingdom was removing her bad influence.
Verse 14 – The high places that were not taken away were probably illegal shrines for worshiping the Lord away from the temple, not for worshiping pagan gods. Tolerating the pagan high places would have been out of character for a good king and contrary to his general behavior as recorded.
Verse 15 – These gifts for the temple were articles devoted to God as sacred offerings that Abijah had taken in his war with Jeroboam and Asa had taken when he defeated the Cushites (2 Chronicles 14:12, 13).
Verse 16 – Baash (king of Israel) seized the throne from Nadab (15:27, 28), who had replaced his father, Jeroboam, as king. Apparently, Baasha penetrated Benjamite territory and began building a fortress at Ramah about six miles north of Jerusalem.
Verses 25, 26 – These two verses follow the typical formula. They tell of the beginning of the rule of Nadab over Israel and pass the usual negative moral judgment. Jeroboam’s example was not only the measure of evil for Nadab, but for almost every other king of Israel.
Verse 30 – All of the descendants of Jeroboam were killed because Jeroboam had led Israel into sin.