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The Scriptorium


Elijah set the tone and pace for all the prophets of Israel.

The Heart of God: The Decline and Fall of Israel (1)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on 1 Kings 12, 16-19.
Jeroboam had the opportunity to make a great nation of Israel. He had the opportunity, he just didn’t have the heart. Like all the kings who would follow him in Israel, Jeroboam was all about one thing – himself. His name would become a permanent byword in Israel, and the nation would follow him into rebellion, dissipation, and destruction. But not without continuous efforts on God’s part to spare His wandering flock.

For reflection
1.  Jeroboam smeared over his rebellion with a veneer of religion. He called the people to worship God in ways more convenient and democratic, but still enough like what they were familiar with that not many people would have been troubled by the changes. But why could Jeroboam not expect his substitute religion to be pleasing to God? Are we today in danger of substituting our view of what it means to follow God for what God has clearly revealed? Explain.

2.  All the kings of Israel would follow suit with Jeroboam, to a greater or lesser extent. How would you describe the state of things in Israel by the time Ahab had assumed the throne? What does this suggest about the power of sin, especially as it hardens in social and cultural practices and institutions?

3.  What appears to have been the work of the prophets in Israel during this time, as we see that work embodied in Elijah? What does it say about God and His heart for His people, that He continued sending these messengers to a rebellious nation?

4.  Elijah’s name means “My God is Jah(veh)!” In what ways did his ministry demonstrate God’s faithfulness to His covenant, both to individual people and to the nation as a whole? Can you see any ways that Elijah’s work foreshadows the work of Christ?

5.  From what we see in these readings, how would you describe God’s attitude toward compromises with pagan religion and any other forms of religion based on mere convenience? What warning is there in this for God’s people today?

Jeroboam led Israel into rebellion, disobedience, and sin. The people of Israel gave up on God and His covenant, but God did not give up on them. He sent His prophets to demonstrate His grace, remind Israel of her calling, demonstrate His hatred of sin, and hold out the promise of restoration. But the people of Israel would not be renewed. What happens in the souls of people – heart, mind, and conscience – who think they know better than God how to manage their lives?

Closing Prayer
O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance;
Your holy temple they have defiled;
They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.
The dead bodies of Your servants
They have given as food for the birds of the heavens,
The flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth.
Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem,
And there was no one to bury them.
We have become a reproach to our neighbors,
A scorn and derision to those who are around us.
How long, LORD?
Will You be angry forever?

Psalm 79.1-5

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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