Read: 2 Kings 1-3
Marked: 2 Kings 2:16, Then they said to him, “Look now, there are fifty strong men with your servants. Please let them go and search for your master, lest perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” And he said, “You shall not send anyone.”
Elijah the prophet has been taken up into heaven and Elisha, his successor, has taken up his mantle and he begins his ministry in the same spirit as Elijah. The sons of the prophets saw the power of God at work in Elisha (V15), yet insisted on searching for Elijah (V16).
It’s exciting to be part of a thriving ministry and see the Spirit of God moving. But we have a tendency to want to stay where we are once a godly leader goes to be with the Lord. We want to see the work continue in the same vein and as a result we become stagnant.
But God wants us to keep moving and not rest in our past successes. He will raise up new leaders and do new things among us.
Read: 1 Kings 21-22
Marked: 1 Kings 21:7, Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
We are each servants of God and Jesus said that His servants shouldn’t be like the rulers over the gentiles who Lord it over them and exercise authority.
Instead, if we desire to become great among others we are to become their servants and if we desire to be first we should be slave to all (Mark 10:42-44).
That’s not a popular position to take. Even the least of us who are given even a small amount of authority can let it go to our head.
Christ is Lord and He is the head over His body, yet, He said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
If we are followers of Jesus we are not “in charge” of anything in the ministry. Instead we have been charged with serving others.
Read: 1 Kings 18-20
Marked: 1 Kings 19:14, And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
As I serve the Lord in the midst of difficulty and trial, I might want to run and hide. I might even feel as if I’m the only one experiencing these things and that there are no others who will help.
But God has placed us in the body of Christ for a purpose. We are not to forsake assembly just because it’s gotten hard or we think people have forsaken God. No, we are to consider one another in order to stir up love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
God cares for us even in the difficulties and trials. He cares for Elijah and provided food and water because He knew the journey was hard (V7).
It is during difficult times we need to press in and eat the bread of life, the word of God, and drink the water of life through prayer and wait for God to show us others who will help in the work of God.
And God provided a likeminded helper in Elisha (V19). There are times we need a helper and other times we can be a helper to someone else. Trust in the Lord to provide.
Read: 1 Kings 15-17
Marked: 1 Kings 15:1, In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah.
In these chapters we see the days of the kings. There were good kings and not so good kings. But even the good kings compromised their relationship with God.
Mention is made how some walked in the sins of their fathers, or did evil in the sight of the Lord. Others did what was right, but not like David did. David is set as a standard.
No matter our position or privilege we determine what example we will follow and how we will behave. We can choose to do evil or we can choose to do right. Will I do right according to God’s word, or do my own thing according to those around me? I have a high standard in Jesus.
Read: 1 Kings 12-14
Marked: 1 Kings 12:6, Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, and he said, “How do you advise [me] to answer these people?”
It was a good thing Rehoboam did in seeking advice from the elders. These were men who had served before his father Solomon. These men had experience and knowledge about the affairs of the kingdom. They had seen both the good and the bad.
But he didn’t like their advice and instead sought advice from his friends, young men with no knowledge and little understanding who told him what he wanted to hear.
Is that what I do? Do I seek to find someone who will give me the answer I want, or will I give pause to consider the advice of those who have knowledge in areas I have no experience in?
Read: 1 Kings 10-11
Marked: 1 Kings 10:1, Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.
The Queen of Sheba came to test Solomon with hard questions and he answered all her questions; there was nothing to difficult that he could not explain to her (V3).
We all get asked questions. How we answer depends on how prepared we are. When asked questions pertaining to what we believe concerning Jesus some might stumble because they have no knowledge or understanding what they believe or why they believe it.
According to 1 Peter 3:15 we are to always be ready to give a defense, or answer, to everyone who asks us a reason for the hope we have.
We are to be ready. But if we never read the Bible for ourselves, and find answers to our own questions, we will not be prepared to answer the questions others bring.
Read: 1 Kings 8-9
Marked: 1 Kings 8:6, Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy [Place,] under the wings of the cherubim.
Hebrews 9:27 says that all die after which comes the judgment. Roman’s 14:10 confirms we shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
The ark, also called the mercy seat, contained only the tablets of stone on which God inscribed the Ten Commandments, or the law. We have all sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23) and require mercy
So it stand to reason that we will be judged according to the law. Not by what we did or didn’t do, or whether we went to church or not. It won’t be according to my standard of good or evil, but according to the law. And we will all fall short and be rightly condemned.
But God demonstrates His own love for us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) and it is through His death that He became our substitute justifying us by His own blood. So we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Romans 5:9).
Though I am guilty as charged the punishment that is due me falls on Christ’s shoulders when I believe in and receive Him as Saviour.
Read: 1 Kings 6-7
Marked: 1 Kings 6:7, And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel [or] any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built.
God says my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and God dwells in each and every believer as He builds us into a building fit for worship.
Construction sites are busy noisy places. But when the temple was built all the stone used in its construction was prepared and finished at the quarry. There was no a ound of chisels, hammers, grinders at the actual site where the temple was built.
I can let the busyness and noise of life drown out the sound of His voice so that I cannot hear Him. A daily quiet time with the Lord is essential in my construction. I must hear His voice.
Read: 1 Kings 3-5
Marked: 1 Kings 3:6, And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as [it is] this day.
Solomon had obviously seen his father walking the walk and not simple talking the talk. David, according to Solomon, walked before God in truth, in righteousness, and in upright of heart.
How is my own walk? Do I walk in truth or in any way I choose? Do I walk in righteousness? What does that look like? Do I walk in uprightness of heart? What does that mean?
Do I do these things consistently or only occasionally? What do I need to change to be consistent? Which ones am I weaker or stronger in? How do I grow as an example for others? My own children for instance.
Read: 1 Kings 1-2
Marked: 1 Kings 1:5, Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king”; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
Another one of David’s sons decided he would be a better king than the aged David. Perhaps, one reason was that David hadn’t yet made his intentions clear as to which of his sons would succeed him.
Part of the problem with ministry is that either people don’t engage, or those that do remain in leadership longer than they should. This is not to suggest that we ever retire from ministry.
However, are we actively seeking to raise up and train those who will succeed us? Many fruitful ministries die or break apart once the founder passes into glory.
It takes years to make disciples and more years to train them to continue the work that has been started. Leaders would do well to begin looking for and training others to pass the baton to once they’ve run their leg of the race.