Welcome to the #BAM #InYoFaceDevil Bible Study!
August 7, 2018
Book of 1 Kings 17-22
Elijah declares a three year drought to Ahab. God advises Elijah to flee to Brook Cherith, drink from the brook and be fed by ravens. The brook eventually dries up, so God tells Elijah to find a widow in Zarephath, who will provide for him. Elijah does so, but the widow says she is too poor to provide for Elijah. Miraculously, the widow makes bread, and her flour and oil does not run out. The widow’s son dies, so Elijah brings him back from the dead.
The drought comes to an end in Israel, followed by a famine. Obadiah is a God-fearing man in charge of Ahab’s house. Obadiah had protected fifty prophets when Jezebel had sought to kill them. When searching for water for livestock, Obadiah meets Elijah, and Elijah then meets the king. Elijah and the prophets of Baal and Asherah sacrifice on Mount Carmel. Fire consumes Elijah’s sacrifice, despite not being lit. The sacrifice of the other prophets does not catch fire, despite their prayers, for which Elijah mocks them. Elijah executes the false prophets. Rain falls in Israel. Ahab rides to Jezreel. Elijah does not ride, but the Lord girds his loins and brings him to Jezreel first.
Elijah is threatened by Jezebel. Elijah flees into the wilderness and wants to die. He is given food by an angel, wanders for forty days, then reaches Mount Horeb. Elijah witnesses strong winds, an earthquake and a fire, but the Lord is in none of them. The Lord actually speaks to Elijah is a quiet voice, asking what he is doing there. The Lord tells him to go to Damascus and anoint Hazael as king of Syria, and Jehu as king of Israel, and Elisha as the prophet to replace him. Those who worship Baal will be killed by one of the three. Elijah finds Elisha, and throws the mantle of the prophet on him.
Ben-Hadad of Syria threatens Ahab’s Samaria. Ahab is counselled by his elders to resist. A nameless prophet promises Ahab victory, which comes to pass. Israel wins a further battle against Syria the next spring – this time not on the hills, but on the plains. Ahab makes a covenant with the humbled Ben-Hadad. A prophet needs an injury to display to Ahab. He asks his neighbour to strike, and when he refuses, he is killed by a lion. Another man does strike the prophet, whereupon the prophet goes to Ahab disguised with a bandage, and tells the king he has lost a man he was supposed to be guarding. Ahab says he must pay with his life – the prophet uses this situation as an analogy to Ahab’s, predicting his death for the mercy he showed Ben-Hadad.
Ahab asks Naboth the Jezreelite for a vineyard, and Naboth refuses, because it is his inheritance. Jezebel has Naboth stoned to death through a false accusation of blasphemy. Ahab then takes possession of Naboth’s land. Elijah tells Ahab that in the place where dogs lick Naboth’s blood, they shall lick his also. The dogs shall also eat Jezebel, and the house of Ahab will be cut off like that of Jeroboam and Baasha. Ahab humbles himself, and so God defers calamity to the days of his son.
Ahab joins forces with Jehoshapat king of Judah to win Ramoth-Gilead from the Syrians. Jehoshapat seeks the advice of God via prophets. A group of four hundred unfaithful prophets say the combined forces of the northern and southern kingdoms will be victorious. Micaiah says the combined forces will be defeated – much as Ahab expected, given Micaiah’s negative words about him in the past. Micaiah says the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of the four hundred prophets. Micaiah is imprisoned. Jehoshapat and Ahab go into battle, the latter in disguise. Jehoshapat is rescued from attack, but Ahab is killed, and dogs lick his blood. Ahaziah the son of Ahab then rules the northern kingdom. Jehoshapat becomes king in the fourth year of Ahab’s reign, and reigns twenty five years. He was a good king, but did not remove the high places. Jehoram reigns after Jehoshapat.
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