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The text for this lesson is Luke 1:26–56.
- God remembered Mary, filling her womb with the world’s Savior. God remembers us and, through His Word and Sacraments, fills us with Christ Jesus, granting us full salvation. Like Mary, we offer our humble praise.
- Law: No one is righteous before God.
- Gospel: God sent His Son, Jesus, the Righteous One, to be born of Mary, so He could give me His righteousness, granting me full salvation.
- How would you react if the President of the United States wanted to come and stay in your home for a time? Would you refuse the offer and say, “Absolutely not,” or would you be humbled and honored and thus open your home to him?
- Look again at Luke 1:26–38. This event is called the annunciation and is celebrated by the Church on March 25, nine months before the celebration of Christ’s birth. In verse 28, how does the angel greet Mary and what does it mean? Why is it important that Mary was a virgin? See Isaiah 7:14 and Genesis 3:1–7.
- In this section of Scripture (Luke 1:26–38), look for the many descriptions and titles of Jesus, the coming Savior. How do these descriptions and titles attest to both His divine nature and His human nature? Which descriptions and titles tell us what the Christ will do?
- In Luke 1:38, how does Mary respond to the angel’s proclamation that she would give birth to the Son of God Most High? How is this different from Zechariah’s response in Luke 1:18? How does Mary’s response serve as a pattern for the Church and each individual Christian?
- Look again at Luke 1:39–45. This event is called the visitation and is celebrated by the Church on May 31. Why does Elizabeth greet Mary with such joy and lavish her with such high praise?
- Read 2 Samuel 6:10–11. How does this story give us a foretaste of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and the blessing that Mary, the “ark of God,” brought to Elizabeth’s household?
- Look again at Luke 1:46–55. This song is called the Magnificat, after its first word in Latin, and finds a prominent place in the Church’s worship. Western Christians sing it at every Vespers (Evening Prayer) service, and Eastern Christians sing it at every Matins (Morning Prayer) service. In this song (canticle), how does Mary sing of her humility and of God’s greatness? What words teach us to rejoice in God’s “great reversal” of salvation in His incarnate Son?
- Mary’s song, the Magnificat, sounds very much like the Old Testament song of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Read 1 Samuel 2:1–11 and compare how Hannah sang many of the same things that Mary did in the Magnificat.
- The Virgin Mary was truly favored by God in His grace to bear our Savior in the flesh. How well do we modern Christians honor the Virgin Mary? How does the following hymn stanza, from the hymn “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones” (LSB 670), teach us to honor Mary without idolizing her? “O higher than the cherubim, More glorious than the seraphim, Lead their praises: ‘Alleluia!’ Thou bearer of the eternal Word, Most gracious, magnify the Lord: ‘Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!’”
- Can this story of Christ being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary teach us anything about our Baptism? See Titus 3:4–7 and John 1:13.
- How does God your Savior fill you who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6) with the good things of His mercy at His Holy Supper?
- In Luke 1:41, 44, how does Elizabeth’s unborn baby testify to the sanctity of human life?
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The text for this lesson is Luke 1:5–25.
- God sent John the Baptist to proclaim that the promised Savior had come. God gives us pastors to proclaim that Jesus is our Savior from sin and death.
- Law: Because I am sinful, I cannot see God’s plan of salvation, and like Zechariah, I may doubt God.
- Gospel: God sent His Son to forgive all my sins and works through His Word and Sacraments to call me to faith and strengthen my trust in Him.
- If you had an incurable disease and doctors kept promising that a cure was soon to come, how long would you wait for that promised cure? How would you react when that cure was finally made available?
- How can you receive your pastor as if he were John the Baptist?
- Read Malachi 3:1–4. How does this Old Testament prophecy prepare for the coming of John the Baptist? How does it prepare for the coming of the Savior?
- Read Malachi 4:5–6. How does John both follow in the office of Elijah and fulfill that prophet’s work?
- Look at Luke 1:5–7. Why does Luke mention the priestly lineage of Zechariah and Elizabeth (and hence John)? What does it mean that Zechariah and Elizabeth “were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord”? How would other people have viewed Elizabeth in her barrenness?
- Look again at Luke 1:8–17. When the angel Gabriel announces the birth of John the Baptist, he tells Zechariah who John is and what he will do. How will John give joy to more than just his own parents? Why is it important that John “must not drink wine or strong drink”? What will be the hallmark of John’s prophetic work?
- Look again at Luke 1:18–25. Why did the angel Gabriel make Zechariah “silent and unable to speak” until after John’s birth? How do you think the people would have reacted to Zechariah’s delay in coming out of the temple and to his silence? Why did Elizabeth seclude herself for five months after she became pregnant with John?
- In Old Testament worship, only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place, whereas all priests served in the Holy Place, where Zechariah offered incense, that is, conducted morning and evening prayers. According to Hebrews 4:14–16 and 9:24–26, who is the High Priest for Christians? Who, then, serves as priest in the Christian “holy place”? See 1 Peter 2:9; Romans 12:1–2; and Colossians 3:12–17.
- When the angel Gabriel foretold the birth of John, God answered Zechariah’s prayer. However, as Luther points out in the Small Catechism, we also know that “the kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer.” God sent John, and later Jesus, not because of Zechariah’s prayer, but by His grace and mercy. When we pray “Thy kingdom come,” how does God’s kingdom come to us?
- The angel Gabriel said that John the Baptist would “turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God” (Luke 1:16). This is Old Testament language for “repentance.” During this time of Advent, how can you turn to the Lord your God in repentance so that you can rejoice in the birth of Christ and His salvation?
- After the angel Gabriel silenced Zechariah, he said that the good tidings he brought from God would “be fulfilled in their [proper] time” (Luke 1:20). How can you learn to wait quietly for God’s “good tidings” to be fulfilled at the proper times in the circumstances of your life? Perhaps meditating on these verses will help: Lamentations 3:25–26; Hosea 12:6; Micah 7:7; Romans 8:23–25; Psalm 37:7; and Psalm 46:10.
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The text for this lesson is Book of Esther.
- In the actions of Esther, we see the pattern of deliverance that God sketches throughout the story of Israel, a pattern that finds its fulfillment in Jesus, our Savior.
- Law: In my sin, I am apathetic and anxious, and I despair in this life.
- Gospel: No matter how desperate the times or how hidden God and His ways seem to be, the Lord has a plan to save me in Jesus, His Son.
- Have you ever been in a situation that seemed hopeless, like no matter what you did, the results would hurt somebody, maybe yourself? How did you deal with this situation? How did God work things out?
- The story begins with Vashti, the queen, being banished and divorced for her refusal to obey the king’s command. But who is really in the wrong? What are the various ways King Ahasuerus has sinned?
- What instigates Haman’s displeasure with Mordecai? Why did Mordecai make such a big deal about this? Wouldn’t it have been easier and safer just to pay him the respect he was due as the king’s prime minister? What is Haman called in Esther 3:10? What is the significance of this appellation?
- What is Esther’s dilemma as described in Esther 4? What is the counsel given her by Mordecai? What is Mordecai confident of, and how does this strengthen and encourage Esther?
- Compare Haman’s actions and comments in Esther 5 with Psalm 49:12–20. In what has Haman placed his confidence? In whom have Esther and Mordecai placed their confidence? How are their attitudes contrasted? What happens in chapter 6, and how does this foreshadow Haman’s fate?
- The Lord turns the hearts of the various decision makers to accomplish His will: Mordecai is moved to enter Esther in the “competition” to become queen; Hegai, the eunuch, favors Esther and gives her helpful advice (Esther 2:9, 15); Ahasuerus chooses her to be queen. What other event of Esther 2 works specifically into God’s plan in chapter 6? How does God use all this to foreshadow the downfall of Haman?
- In the midst of the celebration and triumph of the Jews, did you catch what else happens? Check Esther 8:17–9:19.
- In Esther 4:16, Esther commands a fast for all the Jews in the capital city in preparation for her approach to the king. What is the purpose of fasting? How may we use fasting as a discipline in our own lives?
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The text for this lesson is Daniel 6.
- He, Jesus, who saved Daniel, would Himself be given over to the satanic lion to save the world.
- Law: In the world, evil is called good, and those who seek to do good suffer and are brought down by sinners who hate anything good.
- Gospel: In Christ, I am blessed when I suffer for His name. He is with me, granting me His comfort and strength and preserving my life eternally by giving me salvation in Him.
- What do you think of politics? What kinds of things do you hope government can accomplish? What kinds of things should it not get involved in? What are some of the difficulties and evils of politics?
- Who is the king now? Do you remember who was king when Daniel first went into exile to Babylon? Who succeeded him? What happens to Daniel with each of these kings? Why?
- Even though Daniel did nothing as a basis for a complaint against him, his enemies still built a false case against him. Trace the development of their conspiracy and sin!
- What does Daniel do in Daniel 6:10? Is he trying to flaunt his behavior and incense the king?
- After Daniel is accused, the story’s parallels to the trial, burial, and resurrection of Jesus become more prominent. What details of the account of Daniel’s accusation, confinement, and release can be compared to Jesus’ trial, burial, and resurrection?
- What happens to the conspirators after Daniel is brought out of the pit unharmed? What decree does Darius make? How does it compare and contrast with Nebuchadnezzar’s decree following the miracle of the three young men in the fiery furnace?
- We referred to the practice of daily prayer in ancient Israel and as conducted by Daniel while in exile. What about daily prayer today? What is the custom of the Church? What do you do for daily prayer?
- In many ways, the practical lesson of the story of Daniel is just like that of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. God’s rescue of the faithful people is an example of God’s never-ending faithfulness toward His own. Review some of these points again. What is your fate if you do not remain faithful?
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The text for this lesson is Daniel 3.
- Just as Jesus was with and saved the three men in the fiery furnace, so our Savior is with us and saves us in His Word and Sacraments, sustaining us when we suffer for His name.
- Law: In sin, I choose what makes the world, my flesh, and the devil happy and try to avoid the suffering or trouble that sometimes comes my way because of my faith in God.
- Gospel: He who once walked unharmed with the three faithful men in the fiery furnace also suffered the fiery wrath of God as He died for my sins to make me a citizen of heaven.
- Does your identity as a Christian ever seem to be a burden or a threat? Is there anything about being a Christian that you would be afraid to tell others? Is there any kind of ridicule, temptation, or persecution that you are afraid you will have to face someday as a Christian? How would you respond in facing this?
- Our pressures and temptations are surely real. Yet think about who Nebuchadnezzar was, the influence and authority he exercised, and the pressure that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would feel in this particular situation. Look particularly at Daniel 3:1–7. Work together to describe what this was like, and discuss what temptations were facing the three young men. Oh—and anybody know what a trigon is?
- Notice how Nebuchadnezzar, even though he is demanding worship of this idol, has really presumed himself to be a god. He is not satisfied with his earthly authority. What are some phrases in Daniel 3:8–15 that indicate Nebuchadnezzar’s delusions of deity? What does this suggest about the temptation of political and worldly authority?
- How do Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego respond to Nebuchadnezzar? What is at stake? From a secular perspective, how likely is it that Nebuchadnezzar will listen to what they say?
- How does Nebuchadnezzar react to the men’s confession? What does he command regarding them and the furnace? Who become the casualties of his wrath?
- How does God bring about His good and gracious will, stopping the violence and affirming life? What is the condition of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego after being cast into the furnace?
- Who is this fourth man whom Nebuchadnezzar sees in the furnace? What does this man’s presence teach us about our own situations of temptation and peril?
- What does this account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tell us about God’s work in situations of our own temptations and persecutions? What is our fundamental and ultimate hope?
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The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 18–19.
- Just as Hezekiah prayed in faith to God and was delivered, so Jesus, our mediator and advocate with the Father, intercedes for and with us, granting us deliverance from sin, death, and the devil.
- Law: My sin makes me proud; thinking I can be self-sufficient and don’t need God, I avoid Him.
- Gospel: My heavenly Father is always ready to hear me and my cries for help, giving me His Son for my salvation.
- This lesson focuses on the faith and prayer of Hezekiah. If you overheard someone say, “I have strong faith and my prayers are powerful,” how would you gently critique that statement?
- This lesson focuses on Judah, the Southern Kingdom. However, 2 Kings 18:9–12 mentions what happened to Israel, the Northern Kingdom. What became of Israel, and why? What was Judah to learn from all this?
- Isaiah plays an important role in this narrative. In fact, Isaiah 36–37 tells the same story as 2 Kings 18–19, and it is necessary to keep many of Isaiah’s prophecies in chapters 1–35 in view while studying what happened to Judah in 2 Kings. What did Isaiah say was wrong with Judah? See Isaiah 1:2–4. According to 1:7–9 and 10:5–6, what would eventually happen to Judah?
- Hezekiah was praised for his faith and many good deeds. What were these? See 2 Kings 18:1–8.
- Hezekiah was a great king, but we should not get the impression that he was perfect, as if he were so faithful to the Lord that he never sinned. In what ways had he displeased the Lord, failing to heed His prophet’s advice? See Isaiah 30:1–3.
- What tactics and threats did the Assyrian delegates use to attempt to get Jerusalem not to follow Hezekiah but to surrender? See 2 Kings 18:19–35.
- Why would Hezekiah respond to Assyria’s threats by tearing his clothes, covering himself with sackcloth, going to the house of the Lord, and sending for Isaiah (2 Kings 19:1–4)? See 2 Chronicles 7:11–15. What appeal does Hezekiah make to the Lord? See 2 Kings 19:14–19.
- What moved the Lord to answer Hezekiah’s prayer with a yes and save Jerusalem? See 2 Kings 19:20–34.
- The angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 Assyrians in one night to save Jerusalem. What act of salvation had the Lord accomplished in a similar fashion centuries before? See Exodus 12:12–13. When the Lord went about saving the whole world, what different approach did He take? See Matthew 26:52–54 and Philippians 2:5–11.
- What do Hezekiah’s actions in 2 Kings 19:1–4 suggest to us about our Christian prayer life?
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The text for this lesson is Book of Jonah.
- Just as Jonah was swallowed up in the belly of the fish for three days, so Jesus, in His crucifixion, was baptized into the sea of death, drowned in our depravities, devoured by the grave, and spewed forth alive again after three days that He might save us, the Assyrians, the Ninevites, and Jonah.
- Law: In my sin, I judge and condemn others. I am unforgiving because I am blind to my own sin and guilt.
- Gospel: God, who sees my sin, is rich in mercy and forgives me for Jesus’ sake.
- Why did the interpretation of Jonah and the account of the creation of the world (Genesis 1–2) become controversial in twentieth-century Christian history? What does Jesus say about Jonah and the creation in Matthew 12:39–41 and 19:3–6?
- Why would Jonah have been reluctant to go to the Assyrians with a message of repentance? See God’s description of Assyria in Isaiah 10:5 and Assyria’s threats in 36:12, 18.
- Why should Jonah have known better than to try to flee God’s presence (Jonah 1:2–3)? See Genesis 3:7–10 and Psalm 139:7–12.
- What is ironic about Jonah’s sleeping while each mariner “cried out to his god” (Jonah 1:5)? What other ironies appear in verses 9–17? How did Jesus’ actions in Luke 8:22–25 prove that “something greater than Jonah is here” (Matthew 12:41)?
- What part of the Bible does Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2 sound like? Where would he have learned to pray in this way? What is the overall theme of his prayer? What signals the Lord’s answer to his prayer (v. 9)?
- What does Jonah 3 teach about the power of God’s Word? Compare with Isaiah 55:10–11. What evidence do we have that it had done its work in Nineveh? How does His Word impact us?
- Jonah should have been overjoyed at the outcome of his preaching, but he lamented God’s kindness toward the city because he would have preferred disaster to strike Israel’s enemy (Jonah 4:1–4). He wanted the Gospel only to apply to Israel, not any Gentiles, especially Assyria. What did Jonah have in common with the Pharisees? See Luke 15:1–2. What does Jesus say about attitudes like Jonah’s in Luke 6:35–36?
- What is the point of the story about Jonah’s plant (Jonah 4:5–11)? Compare with Matthew 20:1–16.
- Why might Jonah have ended his story so abruptly?
- Though the Lord has drawn us in with the question “And should I not pity Nineveh?” (Jonah 4:11), we find that we have not reached out to others with the Gospel as well as we should have. How does the One “greater than Jonah” (Matthew 12:41) answer the question perfectly in our place? See John 12:23–24, 31–33.
- What would happen if Christian pastors had Jonah’s attitude and weaknesses?
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The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 2:1–15.
- The Word of God spoken by the prophet was in and with the water of the Jordan to restore the flesh of Naaman; the Word of God spoken by the pastor is in and with the water of the baptismal font to cleanse us of our sin and restore us as children of the heavenly Father.
- Law: Sin and its effects slowly kill me, both in body and soul.
- Gospel: Jesus saves me, both in body and in soul. He cleanses me from sin and at the resurrection will heal my body and make it perfect, so it will be like His.
- The Lord made Naaman a powerful man (2 Kings 5:1) but not powerful enough to cure his own leprosy. In Syria, this skin disease had not kept him from reaching high office, but would this have been possible in Israel? What had the Lord said about leprosy? See Leviticus 13:45–46 and Numbers 5:1–4. What could account for such a strict policy?
- The little girl who had been taken by the Syrians in a raid told Naaman, the Syrian military commander, about Elisha (2 Kings 5:2–4). How is this similar to the Joseph narrative in Genesis, particularly 50:15–21?
- When the king of Syria heard about Elisha, Naaman was sent on his way with a great deal of wealth (2 Kings 5:4–5). Why did the king send such an enormous amount? How is the king’s approach consistent with pagan religion? See Ephesians 2:8–9.
- Why did the king of Israel despair when he received the message from the king of Syria (2 Kings 5:6–7)? Consult 1 Samuel 2:6 and Deuteronomy 32:39. Why should the king not have lost hope (2 Kings 5:8)?
- What message would Naaman’s horses, chariots, and gifts have sent to Elisha (2 Kings 5:9)? What two things caused Naaman to take offense at Elisha’s treatment (vv. 10–12)?
- Cooler heads prevailed when Naaman’s servants convinced him to wash seven times in the Jordan “according to the word of the man of God” (2 Kings 5:13–14). What is significant about the number of times he was to wash? See Genesis 1:31–2:3. What sevenfold cleansing are we to perform? See Matthew 18:21–22.
- What aspects of Jesus’ ministry did Elisha’s healing of Naaman point forward to? See Matthew 8:2–4, 14–17; Isaiah 53:4–6; and Luke 17:11–19.
- In Israel, people often considered lepers cursed by God for some particular sin. What similar situation did Jesus deal with in John 9:1–7? What insight can we draw from this story? Compare with 2 Corinthians 12:7–10.
- Naaman’s washing in the Jordan was not Christian Baptism, for Christ had not yet come. Nonetheless, what aspects of the story are similar to the Lord’s revelation of what Baptism, Absolution, and the Lord’s Supper mean for us? Include references to the Small Catechism.
- What can we learn from the example of the enslaved Israelite girl who told Naaman’s wife about Elisha? What similar conclusion is drawn from Mark 2:1–12?
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The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 2:1–15.
- Enoch and Elijah were taken into heaven alive. Jesus, who is our Enoch and our great Elijah, ascended alive into heaven for us and our salvation.
- Law: Death overtakes me because I am permeated by sin and am subject to its penalty.
- Gospel: In the death of Jesus is the death of death itself, and I will be raised up with Christ and seated with Him in heaven.
- Elisha insistently told Elijah many times, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you” (2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6). What other Old Testament biblical pair does this recall? See Ruth 1:16–18. Who is our faithful companion? See Matthew 28:19–20.
- What does the title prophet bring to mind? How does the Bible define prophet? See Exodus 7:1–2; Jeremiah 1:9; and 2 Peter 1:20–21. What is the relationship between the prophets and the Holy Scriptures?
- This lesson refers to the “sons of the prophets,” young men who were taught by the prophets how to proclaim God’s Word. Why might Elijah have gone to visit them before he went to heaven? What was the central message of all the prophets, as Peter told a different group of “sons of the prophets” in Acts 3:18–26?
- Elijah struck the Jordan River with his prophet’s cloak, and the water parted so that he and Elisha could cross on dry ground (2 Kings 2:8). What other two Old Testament scenes does this recall? See Exodus 14:21 and Joshua 3:15–16. What two spiritual themes might Elijah’s crossing of the river allude to?
- Elisha asked his spiritual father, Elijah, for “a double portion” of his spirit (2 Kings 2:9). What does Deuteronomy 21:17 say is the right of the firstborn son? Why does Elijah say that Elisha has “asked a hard thing” (2 Kings 2:10)? Upon whom does the fulfillment of this request depend?
- Elijah was taken “by a whirlwind into heaven” after “chariots of fire and horses of fire” put space between him and Elisha (2 Kings 2:11–12). What is the significance of the whirlwind? See Job 38:1 and Zechariah 9:14.
- What are the similarities and differences between the fates of Enoch, Moses, and Elijah? See Genesis 5:24 and Deuteronomy 34:4–6. What comfort is given to us in Matthew 17:1–3? in Acts 1:9–11?
- What did Elisha’s retention of Elijah’s cloak in 2 Kings 2:13–15 indicate to Elisha and the sons of the prophets? Compare with 1 Kings 19:19–21.
- The Jordan River area hosted three transitions of leadership for God’s people: Moses to Joshua, Elijah to Elisha, and John to Jesus. Yet in what way is the third transition dramatically different from the other two? See John 1:29–30 and 3:25–30.
- Elisha received a double portion of the spirit of his spiritual father, Elijah, but we have received something even greater from our heavenly Father. What is this gift? See John 3:34–36; Acts 2:38; and Titus 3:4–7.
- In Colossians 3:1–11, what connections are made between Christ’s ascension, our resurrection with Him, and the conduct of our lives here on earth?
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The text for this lesson is 1 Kings 18:20–46.
- Just as the true God revealed Himself on Mount Carmel’s altar, so on the cross-shaped altar of Mount Calvary, Jesus revealed once and for all that He alone is the real God who loves us enough to die for us.
- Law: God demands that I fear, love, and trust in Him alone, yet I sinfully place my trust elsewhere.
- Gospel: Jesus proved that He is the true Lord by offering Himself as the sacrifice that calls me back from my sin to His forgiving embrace.
- What promises and threats did the Lord give to Israel (particularly the tribe of Judah) in 1 Kings 9:1–9? Which of the Ten Command-ments does this passage deal with? What can we learn from this passage even today?
- In spite of the Lord’s promises and threats in 1 Kings 9:1–9, Israel (the Northern Kingdom) strayed after the false gods Baal and Asherah. The Lord sent a severe drought, only to be lifted at Elijah’s word (18:1). Yet instead of repenting, the people’s worship of false gods intensified during the drought. What role did Israel’s leaders play regarding this unbelief and idolatry? See 1 Kings 16:30–33 and 18:17–19.
- Syncretism is the combination of different religions into one form of worship and prayer. Is this ever a defensible position? See 1 Kings 18:21; Joshua 24:15; and Matthew 6:24. What forms of syncretism are common today?
- While democracy may be a fine tool for public governance, what does 1 Kings 18:22 suggest about the validity of democracy when it comes to theology? What lesson can we draw from this for the Christian Church?
- Contrast the behavior of Elijah with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:23–37), incorporating insights from Deuteronomy 14:1 and 1 Corinthians 14:33. What is the biggest difference between Elijah’s prayer and that of the prophets of Baal? See Romans 10:13.
- What parts of 1 Kings 18:30–39 highlight God’s covenant relationship with Israel? How does the outcome of this event agree with Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 8:4–6?
- Describe the change in attitude of the Israelites from 1 Kings 18:21 to verse 39. Was their worship out of fear, love, or trust in the Lord? According to Philippians 2:5–11, how will believers and unbelievers alike react to Jesus’ name on the Last Day?
- It seems extraordinarily harsh in 1 Kings 18:40 that Elijah would slaughter the prophets of Baal, but according to Deuteronomy 17:2–5, who sanctioned such a penalty? What does this event preview? See Matthew 13:47–50.
- In 1 Kings 18:21, Elijah sets up a very strict either/or: Yahweh or Baal. How is this similar to the Christian life? See Matthew 10:37–39 and 16:24–26. In what way are we at times still like the Israelites of Elijah’s time?
- Read Matthew 4:1–11. What does this scene have in common with the theomachy (God-fight) in today’s lesson? What is different? What do we learn from Luke 11:21–22 and Hebrews 2:14–15?
- What moved Elijah to pray for rain (1 Kings 18:41–46)? See 1 Kings 8:35–36 and 18:1. Where did the power in his prayer come from? What about our prayers? See James 5:16–20.