5: Elijah (Ahab/Jezebel)

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Lesson 05 — October 8, 2000


1 Kings 16-22; 2 Kings 1-2; 2 Chronicles 21

Preliminary Facts:

  • Apart from Moses, Elijah and Elisha are the only individuals to whom God gave miraculous powers and through whom God manifested Himself in such dramatic fashion in Old Testament times.
  • Their ministries were almost exclusively dedicated to the proclamation of God’s Word to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
  • Their ministries came during the darkest days of Israel’s apostasy from the Lord: 1) The worship of Baal had become a state religion. 2) True believers were persecuted and had gone into hiding.
  • Both nationally and individually they demonstrated God’s powerful presence either for judgment or for blessing.
  • They dominate the history of the Divided Kingdoms and in particular the historical accounts of the kingdom of Israel: 1) Their ministries occupy approximately 50-60 years in the middle of Israel’s 210 year history (931-722 B.C.). 2) Approximately 70% of the biblical record of Israel’s history deal with their ministries.
  • Elijah is identified as a type of John the Baptizer (cf. Luke 1:17) and appeared with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration (cf. Matthew 17:3-4).

Elijah’s Ministry:

  • Read 1 Kings 16:30-33 → Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, did more evil in God’s eyes than any other king and queen of Israel. Why is idolatry so offensive to God and destructive to people?
  • Read 1 Kings 17:1-4,10,16,22 → Note Elijah’s origins; God’s instructions and provisions; God’s choice of instruments and distinct blessings. What can we learn concerning God’s providential care of believers from these accounts (cf. Luke 4:16-30).
  • Read 1 Kings 18:3-4,17-19,21-24,36-38 → Notice Obadiah and his secret ministry. Where might you find "Obadiah’s" today? Note Ahab’s accusation and Elijah’s response. Can we think of any modern parallels? Note as well Elijah’s challenge and the LORD’s supportive response. Why doesn’t God provide such visible demonstrations of His existence and presence today?
  • Read 1 Kings 19:2-4,8,11-12,18 → Note Jezebel’s threatening intention, Elijah’s disappointed reaction, the LORD’s visual instruction, and His final revelation. Why should the lesson taught Elijah at Mount Horeb serve to encourage believers of all ages and all locations?
  • Read 1 Kings 20:10-13,28-30,34,42 → Note the patience and longsuffering of the LORD as He deals with Ahab. What lessons can we learn from this incident in Ahab’s life? What warnings can we offer today’s "Ahabs" on the basis of God’s dealings with Ahab?
  • Read 1 Kings 21:1-3,15-16,20-21,28-29 → Notice the way sins of the heart often reveal themselves in sins of word and deed. Notice as well God’s patient response to a repentant Ahab. What motivates God’s reactions to people like Ahab when they repent? (cf. 1 Timothy 2:3-4).
  • Read 1 Kings 22:7-8,15-16,28;34-35,51 → Notice the reasons for Ahab’s dislike of Micaiah and then his strange reaction to Micaiah’s initial prophecy. Note as well Ahab’s response as revealed in his battle preparations and his end. What warnings can we take away from the example of Ahab?
  • Read 2 Kings 1:3-4,9-13,17 → Note how Ahaziah failed to learn anything from his father’s example and paid an awful price after attempting to intimidate God’s prophet. How is this situation a commentary on Micah 6:8?
  • Read 2 Kings 2:1,8-11 → Note the unusual way Elijah’s ministry and life on this earth ended. What might God’s reasons have been for taking Elijah directly to heaven? What comfort can we take in Elijah’s ascent into heaven?
  • Read 2 Chronicles 21:1,4,12-15,18,20 → Note this single incident of contact between Elijah and a king of Judah. Jehoshaphat attempted an alliance with Israel through intermarriage of the royal families—his son Jehoram and Ahab’s daughter Athaliah, proved disastrous in a number of ways. Identify those ways and discuss why believers have to be so careful about using the "ways of the world" to accomplish the goals of their respective callings.


Coming Next Week…
History of the CLC upon its 40th Anniversary – Part I