HOUSE CHURCH QUESTIONS (based on the Message for Sunday, January 21, 2018)
Elijah had brought the word of the LORD to Ahab, King of Israel, warning him that there would be a devastating drought in the land. Then the LORD sent Elijah to a brook in the Kerith Ravine. Now, even the brook has dried up, and God sends Elijah onward to meet a Phoenician widow, in a place called Zarephath.
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:7-24
1. Zarephath was in a region called Sidon, which would have been in the heart of Baal-worship territory. Baal was the god of rain, worshipped in a land suffering severe drought. What do you think God’s message was in sending Elijah there? In our world today, where do you see God’s provision where there is drought (literal and spiritual).
2. In verse 12, the widow identifies Elijah as an Israelite (“as the LORD your God lives…”), and herself as not a follower of Yahweh. How do verses 13-15 establish her as stepping out in faith?
3. When the widow’s son grows sick and dies, she identifies Elijah rightly as a “man of God” but she does not yet truly know the God of Israel (v. 18). How does her faith in god deepen into a faith in God over the next few verses?
4. Often, our ideas of who God is can be limited or influenced by the culture in which we live. Have you ever had a ‘cross-cultural’ experience of God that brought a new appreciation or revelation to your relationship with Him? Take some time to ask God to reveal Himself to you in a new way this week.
HOUSE CHURCH QUESTIONS (based on the Message for Sunday, January 14, 2018)
1. Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to say something to someone (or thought you should), but didn’t? What held you back? (e.g. didn’t want to offend or “rock the boat”; didn’t want to confront someone or didn’t think it was your place) Did your choice lead to a better or worse result?
2. Have you ever felt convicted to “pass on” a specific message you believed was from God? How did you feel about it? Was it an internal struggle or a “no-brainer?” How did God move after you delivered your message?
Last week, we heard about Ahab, the king of Israel who reigned for 22 years, and “did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him.” (1 Kings 16:30). Now here comes Elijah, speaking directly for God, to respond to Ahab’s wickedness…
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:1-6
3. In Chapter 16, we read that Ahab had invited the widespread worship of Baal, the god of rain and fertility. What do you think was Elijah’s “message within a message?” How do you imagine it would have been received by Ahab?
4. What was God’s immediate response to Elijah’s obedience? What are some ways you remind yourself of God’s faithfulness in the midst of uncertainty?
5. What does it mean to be “sustained” by the Lord, as Elijah was in the Kerith Ravine? Take some time to reflect on this word, and list some ways you recognize God’s provisions in your life.
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