Week 5: Elijah – 1 Kings 19
Start Talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
- Have you ever had a “mid-life crisis” or seen a family member fo through it? What was it like?
Start Digging. Open up the Bible and start getting into the passage.
Read 1 Kings 19
- Had Jezebel been on Caramel, would she be invoking her gods in this way (vv. 1-2)? Why? (See Chapter 18)
- Why is Elijah suddenly afraid (v. 3)? Is he despondent, fearful or just in a post-adrenaline slump?
- Why go to Judah? The desert? Why doesn’t God take Elijah’s life (v. 4)?
- What is significant about the 40 days and nights? About Mount Horeb? For what does he hope (see Ex 3:1-2; Dt 4:10-14)?
- With what tone does he answer God in verse 10? Whom is Elijah blaming for all the trouble?
- What’s the point of God’s three “false starts” (w. 11-12; see Ex 19:9,16-19)? How does Elijah’s close encounter differ from Moses’? What is God’s message when he finally does speak?
- Compare verses 13-14 and 9-10 in context: What does Elijah’s unchanged answer imply?
- In verses 15-18, what is the bad news? The good news? What do the two ancient signs of homage symbolize?
- What’s the point of the cloak-throw (v. 19)? Of slaughtering oxen and burning the plow (v. 21)?
Start Applying. Reflect on the passage and look for ways to apply it to your life.
- Has your life taken a discouraging turn lately? Does God seem to care at all in your struggle? How can you be helped?
- Has God ever asked you “What are you doing here”? What was your answer?
- What might tempt you to give up in your service of God? What might prompt you to abandon your chosen profession? Have you “burned the plow” in some other way?
- Has God ever appeared in some spectacular way to you? In some “small” way? How so?
- Have you admired someone else’s spiritual experiences but found they do not happen to you? Do you feel like a failure? Inadequate? Mad at God?
- In the midst of all your hard work, are you developing the leadership who will eventually replace you? How so?
Start Praying. Be bold and pray with power.
God, the circumstances of our lives can make us feel depressed or discouraged at times. When we focus on those circumstances and forget the bigger picture, speak to us with your still, small voice in the quietness of our hearts to call us back to the hope and comfort we have in you. Amen.