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Old Testament

I Kings

Day 1 & 2

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READ: I Kings 1

THINK: If your friends from church see you at school, do they recognize you? When you're with your family at home, do they see the same person that your leaders do at church? Of course, the people who know you recognize you physically wherever you are, but do people see the same person spiritually in every context of your life? And is what they see consistent with what you see in God's Word and in the character of Christ?

RESPOND: In what way did King David show restraint and character in his conduct toward Abishag (1:1-4)? How did Adonijah display pride and rebellion? Why do you think David "never interfered" (v. 6) or corrected his son in these matters? (See 1:6 note.) How did David's leadership as king compare with his leadership as a father, and how did this affect him throughout his life? (See 1:6 note.) In what way does David's life serve as both an example and a warning to families? (See article on Parents and Children, p. 1740 in the FBSE.) Why didn't Adonijah invite Nathan, Zadok, Beneniah or Solomon to his banquet? How do people who want power or influence often behave toward those who disagree with them, and why? Why did David appoint Solomon as the next king? What were "the horns of the altar" (v. 50), and why did Adonijah take hold of them? What did King Solomon's actions toward Adonijah reveal about the king's character?

PRAY: Ask God to help you demonstrate humility and mercy to those who may oppose you or give you trouble. Pray that your devotion to Jesus will be consistently evident in every aspect of your life.

ACT: Is your devotion to Jesus and your faithfulness to His Word consistent in every aspect of life - at home, church, school, work, etc.? If there is any area in which your attitudes, conversation and actions fall short and set a poor example for others, make the proper adjustment so that your influence becomes positive and Christ-honoring. Also, if you're avoiding, alienating or rejecting someone just because they challenge you or disagree with you, rethink your reasoning and conduct yourself in a way that reflects Christ's love and a willingness to learn from others.

READ: I Kings 2-3

THINK: Think about it, if God said to you, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you" (3:5), what would you request? Be honest. Would your first thought be something that would bring security, success or status? Perhaps in this information age, in which knowledge is power, you might be inclined to ask for greater intelligence or insight. But even that doesn't equate with wisdom. When applied correctly, wisdom is worth more than anything the world can offer (cf. Proverbs 3:14-15), and it provides security and influence beyond anything you can imagine (Proverbs 2 & 3).

RESPOND: What did Solomon need to do in order to prosper as king (2:1-4)? How does this advice relate to anyone who desires to successfully serve God? Why was David concerned about how Solomon's descendants lived? (See 2:4 note.) What would happen if Solomon turned from God? In what way were some of David's final instructions to Solomon questionable by God's standards? (See 2:9 note.) In what way did Abiathar's removal from the priesthood fulfill the word of the Lord? (See 2:27 note.) What does this tell us about the reliability of God's Word? Though the initial consequences of defying God's Word - or breaking your own word - are not as severe as we often see in the Old Testament (cf. 2:31-32, 44-46), what do these tragic instances reveal about God's Word and standards? What was wrong with offering sacrifices "at the high places"? (See 3:2 note.) What opportunity did God give Solomon in 3:5, and how did Solomon respond? What did Solomon realize about his own ability to lead (3:7-8)? What was significant about Solomon's request for "a discerning heart"? (See 3:9 note.) How did God respond to this request? (See 3:10 note.) Did God's gift of wisdom guarantee that Solomon would be faithful to God? Why or why not? (See 3:9 note.) What must we do in order for godly wisdom to have its intended affect in our lives?

PRAY: Ask God to help you develop a heart that is completely devoted to serving Him and obeying His Word. Give God thanks for His mercy, forgiveness and continued faithfulness toward those who humbly submit to Him. Ask God to give you wisdom to carry out His plans for you and to help you put that wisdom into action.

ACT: Think of any aspects of life in which you're not behaving wisely or you need added wisdom. Perhaps you're not putting into practice the wisdom God has already given you. Ask the Lord to help you make a definite change, then immediately start applying His wisdom in every aspects of life. Throughout the day, continually ask yourself, "Am I making wise decisions by God's standard?". Always measure your actions by the standard of God's Word.

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