4.9 2 Kings 1-3

Ariel Buckhannon

4.9.2020

2 Kings 1-3

Summary:

King Ahaziah sent officials to ask of Baal-zebub the false god of Ekron if he’d recover from his illness. God quickly intervened with Elijah the prophet. He gave him the blunt news that Ahaziah would not recover but would indeed die. Ahaziah the king died, and his brother Jehoram ruled in his place. After this, Elijah is preparing to leave earth and asks Elisha if he’d like anything done before he leaves. Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit to be on him, which was a hard thing to ask according to Elijah. Elijah says to Elisha, if he saw him when he is taken from Elisha, his desire would be granted.Then the prophets saw a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which separated them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha was able to see it. Elisha is called to help three kings who go to battle against Moab; Judah(king Jehoshaphat), Samaria(king Jehoram), and Edom. He agrees to talk with them because of king Jehoshaphat.They played music for Elisha and he prophesied that they would have enough water to feed their animals. In addition, God would deliver the Moabites into the hands of the three kings.They did just as Elisha spoke; God set it up for them to destroy Moab and they did.

2 Kings 2:9 – “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” And Elisha said, “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

I thought this verse was important because it shows where Elisha’s heart was, and what he truly desired. He could have asked for wealth, power, or a certain position in life, but he desired to follow in his teachers footsteps and continue God’s work.

How does what you read change your vision of God?

My vision of God was changed by seeing how the events in chapter 1 turned out. King Ahaziah sought out the help of a false God (Baal-zebub) to the result of no help. When the real God decided to give him an answer through Elijah. The answer was not what the King may have wanted to hear but God made it clear who we should seek when we need help.

How does what you read Change your vision of yourself or others?

I believe it reinforced the idea about the strength of relationships within the kingdom of God, and their impact on us as individuals. We need people to help us stay strong, keep us faithful when we lack the strength, and to teach us like Elijah taught Elisha. I think a great example of this is in 2 Kings 2:6. Elijah keeps offering Elisha a way out; but Elisha says “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” 

How will you go with God because of this reading?

These few chapters feel so important during this time of quarantine especially because of how God is working through my relationships with those in the kingdom (through phone calls or online) and those who I’m reaching out to. These chapters call me higher to check what my heart’s desires are, build up the relationships around me, and not let other things become Gods. 

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters?

I saw Jesus in the Elijah and  Elisha relationship. Jesus had called all his disciples in a similar way to how Elisha was called in 1 Kings 19. Then the same dynamic is seen when Elisha carried on the mission of God, after Elijah ascended to heaven. This also occurred with the disciples when Jesus died and went to heaven. They continued sharing their faith and building up the kingdom.

4.8 1 Kings 20-22

Robert Buckhannon

4.8.2020

1 Kings 20-22

Summary: You can think of these three chapters as the season finale of King Ahab’s 22 year reign. The episode opens with the King of Syria declaring war on Israel. King Ahab comes back some choice words “Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off” [mic drop] and by God’s hand Syria is beaten back. Syria comes back the next spring and is defeated again; but like most kings, ya done messed up A-Ahab by not totally destroying them. Then Ahab spirals out of control with the help of his wife Jezebel and has a man murdered so he can build a garden. Despite his bad attitude, when confronted by the prophet Elijah about the incident he humbles himself in honest repentance only to return to his wicked ways going down in history as one of the worst kings. After a few more encounters with some interesting prophets, Ahab dies on the battle field fighting with Syria.

Key Verse: 1 Kings 22:7But Jehoshaphat said “Is there not another prophet of the lord of whom we can inquire?” 

How does what your read change your vision of God? God is not in the business of hardening hearts to dole out punishment. Ahab repented (momentarily) at the words of a honest prophet and God relented. God initiated with Ahab by sending multiple prophets and messengers so why would I doubt he would initiate with the hard hearted people around me? Maybe he wants me to be the prophet too.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? I’m not excited to be the prophet who gets punched in the face for speaking God’s word into people’s lives. I need to be willing to get hurt for God and his will. I need to trust him with my life.

How will you go with God because of this reading? I will pray for a soft and humble heart for myself and those around me so we listen to God’s word instead of brushing it off.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? Two spots! Jehoshaphat is always trying to inquire of the Lord. Jesus always did what the Father wanted him to say or do. Also, many good prophets were hurt by who they were sent to. Jesus received the same treatment.

4.7 1 Kings 17-19

Michelle Horn

4.7.2020

1 Kings 17-19

These chapters focus on Elijah and some of the things he did as the last prophet of God at the time. This section starts with Elijah thrusting God and going to Kerith Brook where he is instructed to eat only what the ravens bring him. God then tells Elijah to go live in the village of Zarephath and there he prays to God on behalf of a widow to bring her son back to life. After this Elijah  has his showdown with the prophets of Baal and Asherah to show who the true God was and still is. Elijah then goes to Mount Sinai to escape Jezebel’s anger and there has a conversation with God. This section ends with Elisha being called to replace Elijah as God’s prophet.

1 Kings 19: 11-12

“ Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.

So much of the old testament is full of examples of God’s anger and discipline but God was not found in any of the events that would have gone along with that persona. God came to Elijah in the form of a gentle whisper. He created a safe space for His prophet to be open and honest with Him. This teaches me that I need to approach future conversations with other with love and humility. To create a safe space that allows each party to be heard. One of the biggest areas in which I need to work on this is with my kids. 

This example is about God the father but Jesus also lived his life by this same concept.  He humbled himself completely by living among the world fully human for us. He created a safe space for all who came to him for help and that is something I will strive to do as well.

4.6 1 Kings 12-16

Bradley Horn 

4.6.2020

1 Kings 12-16

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. – Sigmund Freud 

1 kings 12:4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.” 

Why?   The Israelites were seeking for a way out by looking for a king that would tell them what they want to hear. In the past readings the Israelites complained a lot about how they were ruled like in 1 sam 8:6 when they said to Samual, “Give us a king to lead us.”  Also another example is in Exodus 17:2 we remember from our reading that they quarreled w/ Moses about giving them water when they were stranded in the desert. The last example would be in Exod. 14:12 they would rather be held captive and enslaved with food and shelter rather than being free from the Egyptians. 

My vision changed after this read while I noticed that the other kings did not seek advise and counsel like Rehoboam did. After the Israelites asked for lighter work from Rehoboam. he told them to go away for three days. Then Rehoboam CONSULTED with the elders about what his response should be. Then after advice was given Rehoboam took the advice from younger individuals that grew up with him. Then after reading throughout the rest of the chapters, it was sad to see how sin can just wreck so much with so much responsibility given at hand and not being led by God himself. 

For this part of our reading it was really easy to dismiss how can this apply to myself. After reading through it, it wasn’t so hard and God made it clear how to make it applicable to my everyday life.   “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You cant blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Theodore M. Hesburgh 

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisors. Proverbs 11:14  Seeing that Jeroboam and the other kings that followed did what was right in their eyes, but never sought counsel. They set up Asherah poles and shrines that took the place of God. 

I think to myself do I seek advice like I should or do I seek advice from those that my itching ear wants to hear. (2 Tim 4:3) Do I have shrines and Asherah poles in my life that can pull me away and my focus from God. things that I worship instead of the creator?

The next action step would be seeking more advice and getting more counsel on what’s going on in my life and big life altering decisions. 

I saw Jesus in the situation between the man of God being killed by the Lion. In a sense that it was trying to convey a strong message to Jeroboam to change his ways and to stop steering God people in the wrong direction. It was very strong point and notion.   

3.4 1 Kings 9-11

Eddy Gonzalez

4.3.2020

1 King 9-11

King Solomon in all his wisdom builds the temple with slaves but not any Jewish slaves. Builds a Navy, and continues to increase in wealth and wisdom. Is visited by the Queen of Sheba, having to answer tough questions about his relationship with the Lord. Solomon then disobeys God by taking on wives from other lands, he starts worshiping and building temples to other gods. God threatens to punish him through his son.

1 kings 10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions.

How does what you read change your vision of God? It taught me that obedience and humility go hand in hand.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? Showed me in order to gain humility I have to trust God through my obedience. 

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?) Let go of some of the sin in my life in obedience to God.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?) In the same way Solomon chose the Jewish nation to partner with him instead of making them slaves. Jesus has chosen us to partner with Him.

4.3 1 Kings 5-8

Sophia Schmidt

4.3.2020

1 Kings 5-8

Summary: In chapters 5-7, Solomon is building a temple for the Lord because He has blessed the land with rest.  What follows in an incredibly in depth description of the magnificent temple Solomon is designing and building to glorify God.  Chapter 8 begins with Solomon gathering the elders and blessing the temple and making sacrifices in the temple for the Lord. What follows is a prayer in which Solomon asks that God forgive his people when they sin, if they repent and pray for forgiveness.

Key verse: 1 Kings 8:30

“And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.”

How does what you read change your vision of God?

Following this verse, Solomon describes different scenarios in which people can sin against God and then ask for forgiveness.  In every scenario, God is asked to forgive his people because He can truly see their hearts. God gives us so much hope and mercy because He always forgives us for our sins and transgressions, even when we don’t think we deserve it.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

My vision of myself and others is changed simply by reminding myself that it is not my job to judge others based on past OR current sin.  Knowing in my heart that God will forgive me for my sins means that He will forgive others for their sins because only God knows our hearts so deeply.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

Acknowledge my own sin, pray for indefinite change, and repent.  Repenting is a big and important step but the ultimate goal is to change our behavior and have less of a need for repentance.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

Jesus died for us.  Boom. Ultimate forgiveness of sin.  Without His death, we would not have the unending grace we have now.

4.2 1 Kings 1-4

Kyle Mathas

4.2.2020

1 Kings 1-4

Summary:

To begin the reading, Adonijah, one of David’s sons, sets himself up as king and receives the support of Joab and Abiathar, the priest. Bathsheba remembers the promise that David gave her about making Solomon king so Bathsheba and Nathaniel the prophet go up to David and David, being very old and weak, makes Solomon king.

After that, David dies after reigning over Israel for forty years. Solomon then goes on to establish the kingdom by striking down and killing Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei, the man who cursed David when he was in Mahanaim. Solomon also establishes the kingdom by removing Abiathar from the priesthood of the Lord. 

Later, Solomon speaks to God in a dream and asks for wisdom, which God is very pleased of. He gets tested in the story of the two prostitutes where he rules which one is the mother of the baby who is still alive. He threatens to cut the live baby in half to give to both women but the real mother tells him not to. He then gives the baby to her because she was the real mother. 

To end the reading, it lists the officials and governors of Solomon and talks about his great wisdom. 

1 Kings 3:9-13

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.

How does what you read change your vision of God?

This passage helps me realize that God will give us wisdom if we ask for it. We can pray for wealth but Solomon prayed for wisdom and God was pleased with Solomon. God values the character of a wise man more than a man of great wealth which is almost non existent in our society today which shows why he is such a great God. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself and others?

Sometimes we can be so anxious in what we pray about but we don’t sit back enough and pray for God to give us wisdom in an area of our life that we could be struggling with and need help with. 

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I want to be able to ask God to provide me with wisdom in the areas of my life where I struggle the most so that I can be helped and so that I can help and give advice to people who are struggling in that area as well.  

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think of Jesus?)

These chapters reminded me of how wise Jesus was in his teachings. In these readings, it talks about how people from all nations came to listen to Solomon’s teachings and that reminded me of how people came from far and wide to hear Jesus’ teachings as well.