1 Kings 16:29-17:24 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Elijah, A Servant of God's Word
Comments for Study 14

1 Kings 16:29-17:24
Memory Verse: 16:1

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I. Ahab, King of Israel (16:29-34)

>1. Who was King in Samaria? (16:29)

* 1 Kings 16:29 "In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years."

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>What kind of man was he? (30; and 1 Kings 12:25-33, 13:33-34)

* 1 Kings 16:30 "Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him."

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>To what extent did he extend the sins of Israel? (31-33)

* 1 Kings 16:31-33 "He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him."

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>What else happened during Elijah ministry? (34)

* 1 Kings 16:34 "In Ahab's time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun."

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II. Fed by the Ravens (17:1-6)

>2. Who is Elijah? (1-2; and 2 Kings 1:8)

* 1 Kings 17:1-2 "Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word. Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah:"

* 2 Kings 1:8 "They replied, "He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist." The king said, "That was Elijah the Tishbite."

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>When had God begun sending prophets to his people? (Num. 12:6; Deut. 13:1-5, 18:14-22; Jud. 6:7-9; and 1 Sam. 3:20, 7:15-17, 9:9, 10:10-13)

* Numbers 12:6 "he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams."

* Deuteronomy 13:1-5 "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you."

* Deuteronomy 18:14-22 "The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die." The LORD said to me: "What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."

* Judges 6:7-10 "When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian, he sent them a prophet, who said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. I said to you, 'I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.' But you have not listened to me."

* 1 Samuel 3:20-21 "And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word."

* 1 Samuel 7:15-17 "Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also judged Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD."

* 1 Samuel 9:9 "(Formerly in Israel, if a man went to inquire of God, he would say, "Come, let us go to the seer," because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)"

* 1 Samuel 10:10-13 "When they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophesying. When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, "What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?" A man who lived there answered, "And who is their father?" So it became a saying: "Is Saul also among the prophets?" After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place."

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>3. What is Elijah's position in history? (Mal. 4:5; Mark 8:28, 9:4-5)

* Malachi 4:5-6 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

* Mark 8:28 "They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."

* Mark 9:4-5 "And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."

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>What does God's call of Elijah show about God's love for the people of Israel? (Genesis 18:32; Isaiah 1:1-9)

* Genesis 18:32 "Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."

* Isaiah 1:1-9 "The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand." 4 Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 5 Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. 6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness-- only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers. 8 The Daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a field of melons, like a city under siege. 9 Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."

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>4. Why was there no rain in Israel? (James 5:17)

* James 5:17-18 "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops."

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>5. How did God feed Elijah during the famine? (3-4)

* 1 Kings 17:3-4 "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there."

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>6. What did he do? (5-6)

* 1 Kings 17:5-6 "So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook."

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>What do you think God wanted to teach Israel through this experience?

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>What do you think God wanted to teach Elijah?

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II. The Widow of Zarephath (7-24)

>7. How did God continue to help Elijah? (7-9)

* 1 Kings 17:7-9 "Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him: "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food."

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>What was the situation of the widow of Zarephath? (12)

* 1 Kings 17:12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread--only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it--and die."

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>How did the widow of Zarephath show her faith? (10-11, 13-14)

* 1 Kings 17:10-11 "So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."

* 1 Kings 17:13-14 "Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'"

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>How did God bless her faith? (15-16)

* 1 Kings 17:15-16 "She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah."

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>8. Why did the widow begin to resent Elijah? (17-18)

* 1 Kings 17:17-18 "Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, "What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?"

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>How did the child come alive again? (19-21)

* 1 Kings 17:19-21 "Give me your son," Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the LORD, "O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?" 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, "O LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!"

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>9. What can be learned from his prayer?

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>10. Did the Lord his prayer? (22-23)

* 1 Kings 17:22-23 "The LORD heard Elijah's cry, and the boy's life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, "Look, your son is alive!"

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>How could Elijah be recognized as a man of God? (24)

* 1 Kings 17:24 "Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth."

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