Ahab: Day 5

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DAY 5: Weekly Reflection

JOURNALING:

What’s getting in the way of you growing in your relationship with God? (e.g., your view of God, your view of yourself, self-centeredness, entertainment, lustful pleasures, jealousy, envy, etc.).

Write down at least 2-3 steps you’ll take over the next week to remove these obstacles and grow in your relationship with God.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 16 & 17

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Ahab: Day 4

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DAY 4: Ahab Refuses to Listen to Wisdom

Think about a time when you asked somebody’s advice, but didn’t like the advice they offered. Did you follow their advice anyway? Or did you just go and find somebody else who would tell you what you wanted to hear? 

During king Ahab’s reign, he asks the king of the Southern Kingdom, Jehoshaphat, to join him in battle to take back a city that belongs to Israel. Jehoshaphat is excited for the opportunity, but requests that a prophet of God be consulted. He’s hesitant to go to war without God indicating that His favor is with them. Ahab responds to Jehoshaphat’s request saying, “There is one more man who could consult the LORD for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me!”

Sure enough the prophet Micaiah says exactly what Ahab doesn’t want to hear. Does Ahab listen? Nope. He has Micaiah thrown in prison and decides to go to war anyway. The result: Ahab is killed in battle. 

As you read today, consider this: Do you struggle to follow the advice of others when it goes against your own desires?

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 Kings 22:1-40

Do you struggle to follow the advice of others when it goes against your own desires?

Are you currently experiencing a difficult situation and you aren’t sure what to do? Who are 1-2 people who you know have your best interest at heart? Today, invite at least one of them to offer some advice. 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 13:17 – 14:31

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, there are certainly times in my life when I ask somebody’s opinion, and don’t like what they have to say. Today I pray that You will help me to see and understand the different perspectives of others, and that You would help me to receive advice from others even if it goes against my own desires. In other words, I pray that You would help me see my need to trust others who have my best interests at heart. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Ahab: Day 3

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DAY 3: Elijah Experiences Despair

You know that feeling of having no hope? Perhaps something really tragic and terrible happens and you question whether you’ll ever experience any joy again in life? You’re not alone. Everybody experiences this at some point in time.

Elijah, a dedicated prophet of God, had seen and experienced God accomplish amazing things. Elijah and God had battled against the prophets of Baal, and came out victorious. Later, Elijah prays for rain, and God answers his prayer in a mighty way. But when Ahab’s wife Jezebel hears about Elijah’s defeat of the prophets of Baal, she threatens to take his life. How does Elijah respond? He not only flees; he prays for God to take his life (1 Kings 19:2-3). 

This level of despair happens to all of us. It may even occur after a tremendous spiritual victory, as it did for Elijah. But it’s important to remember that God gently restores Elijah, because there was more God needed Elijah to accomplish. 

As you read today, consider this: When you’re experiencing a lack of hope or deep depression, do you allow God to gently restore you?

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 Kings 18:41 – 19:18

Do you take time to allow God to gently restore you? 

How much time do you think you need every day for God to restore you? What can you do to ensure you take that time each day over the next week? 

How regularly do you consider that God still has a purpose for you to fulfill?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 12

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, there are a lot of things I go to experience what I may think is restoration. Whether it’s watching a movie, taking a nap, reading a book, or something else. While these things may provide some physical rest or entertainment, I know that the kind of restoration You provide is different. The restoration You provide is more fulfilling. May I continue to grow in coming to You to be restored and renewed each morning. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

Ahab: Day 2

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DAY 2: Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal

What is the most spectacular thing you’ve ever seen God do in your own life, or in the life of somebody else you know? It was a truly awesome experience, right?

Well, while king Ahab is running the nation of Israel into the ground, there’s one man of God who remains faithful to Him. This man of God, Elijah, is about to draw a line in the sand. He offers a contest of sorts, him and his God vs. 850 other prophets and their little-g gods. With the odds so heavily in their favor, king Ahab and prophets of Baal agree to the terms of the contest. 

And for the spectators who show up — which likely includes thousands and thousands of people — this contest doesn’t disappoint. It goes on for hours and hours. As the prophets of Baal continue to be unsuccessful, Elijah loudly mocks them. He goes so far as to ask if their little-g god is relieving himself in the bathroom. When it’s all said and done, God shows up and clearly wins the contest. King Ahab may have been humiliated, but he still doesn’t choose to trust God. 

As you read today, consider this: What do you find most interesting about this story? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 Kings 18:1-46

What do you find most interesting about the story of Elijah vs. the prophets of Baal?  

Why do you think king Ahab continued to show a lack of trust in God after witnessing this event?  

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 10 & 11

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, there is a lot about this story of Elijah vs. the prophets of Baal that are interesting. It’s an excellent reminder that even though there may be dozens, or hundreds of others around me who are not following You, You continue to hold onto me, and You provide me the strength to continue to hold onto You. I’m so grateful for that! 

Today, in the same way Elijah showed his sincere devotion to You, I commit to living out my sincere devotion to You. May others see me as fully, wholeheartedly committed to You in all things. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

Ahab: Day 1

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DAY 1: King Ahab Invites Evil Into Israel

Have you ever traveled to another city or town and thought about just how different it was compared to your own? Maybe the people showed a lot more hospitality and manners, or maybe they showed a lot less. Maybe the town was clean and the people seemed more content, or maybe they seemed depressed or miserable. 

For ancient Israel, there was a significant cultural difference between the Northern Kingdom: Israel, and the Southern Kingdom: Judah. 

Last week, you read about king Asa and how he brought peace to Judah. Late in Asa’s reign, king Ahab takes control of the Northern Kingdom. And to say that Ahab was different than Asa would be an understatement. 

Instead of destroying the things that were offensive to God, Ahab invites evil into Israel. Ahab worshiped the god Baal, which represented a desire for power and sexual pleasure. His decision to lead the people of Israel astray would have long-lasting consequences.  

As you read today, consider this: Are you currently inviting (welcoming) anything ungodly into your life?

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 Kings 16:29-35

Ahab invited (welcomed) evil into his own life, his family, and the entire nation of Israel. Are you currently inviting (welcoming) anything ungodly into your life? Your family’s lives? The lives of others? 

What would be some good checks and balances to have in place to ensure you’re not inviting evil into your life? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 8 & 9

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, admittedly, I don’t like to think that I may be inviting or welcoming evil into my life. Yet I know there are likely people, books, movies, music, or other things that may seem innocent, but which can lead away from You and Your Word. Continue to provide me the wisdom to see the things that get in the way of knowing you better, and the courage to eliminate them from my life. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Asa: Day 5

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DAY 5: Weekly Reflection

JOURNALING:

What’s getting in the way of you growing in your relationship with God? (e.g., your view of God, your view of yourself, self-centeredness, entertainment, lustful pleasures, jealousy, envy, etc.).

Write down at least 2-3 steps you’ll take over the next week to remove these obstacles and grow in your relationship with God.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 6 & 7

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Asa: Day 4

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DAY 4: A Life Summary

Reading through the lives of Old Testament kings can be challenging. As you read through 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings, you then come to 1 & 2 Chronicles and start to wonder, Haven’t I already read through this story?

The simple answer is yes, you probably have. The longer answer is that these books were all written and compiled by different people. So the life story of king Asa is much more detailed in 2 Chronicles than it is in 1 Kings. The brief section about his life in 1 Kings is nothing more than a brief summary of his life and accomplishments.  

But here’s the thing, your life story isn’t much different. Somebody could write out your life story and provide a lot of details. These details could be passed on from your children to your grand children and continue to be passed on for dozens of generations. But somebody else may write out your life story and simply write a brief summary of who you were and your greatest accomplishments. 

As you read today, consider this: If you were to write a brief summary of your life and your greatest accomplishments, what would you write? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 KINGS 15:8-24

If you were to write a brief summary of your life and your greatest accomplishments, what would you write?

Despite some of Asa’s mistakes, he was still a great king for the people of Judah. Despite some of your mistakes, you too can live a great life. Review this week’s readings. What led Asa to be such a great king? What steps can you take to emulate him in your own life? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 4 & 5

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that it’s a big challenge for me to think about my greatest accomplishments. Nevertheless, I do have a desire to leave something meaningful behind for my children, grandchildren, or other loved ones. Continue to help me know the purpose You have for my life, and help me to live out that purpose each and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Asa: Day 3

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DAY 3: Asa’s Commitment Wanes

Think about a time when you had to make a really big decision. Did you take the opportunity to get advice from others? Were you willing to ask others for help?

As king Asa ages, we see that his overall commitment to God begins to wane. He’s experiencing a national challenge, and he calls on another king to help. From an outside perspective, it would appear that the plan works and everything should be OK. But a man of God comes to tell Asa that due to his neglect in seeking God to help him, the nation would no longer be in peace, but would be forced into war. 

Proverbs 15:22 reads, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” It was good for Asa to seek the counsel of others. However, it was unwise for him to not seek out the counsel of God. 

Later in life, Asa continues this trend. As he’s struggling with a disease, he relies solely on his physicians, and does not seek the LORD’s help. 

As you read today, consider this: Why do you think Asa’s commitment to God waned?

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 CHRONICLES 16

Why do you think Asa’s commitment to God waned?   

What are some things that you do to ensure your commitment to God stays strong? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 2 & 3

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I admit that it’s hard to know for certain why king Asa’s commitment to You waned as he got older, but I recognize that as I grow older there are more and more things that can distract me from You. Help me to see the things that are causing too much of a distraction in my life. Provide me the wisdom and the courage to lessen – or completely eliminate – these distractions from my life so that I better walk in step with You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Asa: Day 2

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DAY 2: A Sincere Commitment

Think about it: How many things are you truly committed to? For example, you may be committed to your marriage or children, but when it comes to most other things in life —whether it’s a home, car, gym membership, or some other commitment—there’s generally a lack of ongoing commitment. These commitments are short-term, and even then there’s almost always a way out.

But when king Asa asked the people of Judah to make a sincere commitment to God, they went all out. The Life Application Study Bible notes that their oath of allegiance was punctuated with shouts and trumpet blasts. Seemingly, the people wanted their commitment towards God to be known loud and clear, and they were giving everybody else permission to hold them accountable to following through. 

This doesn’t mean the decision was easy. Even king Asa’s grandmother had taken opportunity to worship another god. The king had the idol removed and his grandmother was deposed from her position. His commitment to God was evident to everybody. As you read today, consider this: What are some things you are truly committed to? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 CHRONICLES 15

What are some things you are truly committed to? 

Which of your commitments are life-giving for you? Which of these commitments are life-draining?  

Are there any life-draining commitments you could remove from your life and/or family calendar? 

Have you considered giving up what may be a good commitment for an even better one? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 50 & Exodus 1

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I realize today that there are some things I’m committed to that are life-giving, and others that are life-draining. Those that are life-draining are not leading me closer to you, or may not be helping me better love people well. Help me to only make commitments that help me to know and love You and others well. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Asa: Day 1

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DAY 1: King Asa Brings Peace to Judah

Think about a time in which you were completely at peace. You were experiencing peace with God, peace with others, and peace within yourself. What was that experience like? What were the circumstances that led to that level of peace?

For king Asa, we learn in 2 Chronicles 14:3 that, “Asa did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the LORD his God.” This led to peace for him, and for the kingdom of Judah. But what exactly did he do that was pleasing and good?

Well, he didn’t simply show up to worship services, nor did he simply focus on doing good deeds for others. Instead, he intentionally sought out to remove everything in the nation that was offensive to God. 

We may think that attending worship services or focusing on good deeds may help us to experience peace. And yes, these may be good things to do. But we, too, must be intentional when it comes to removing the things in our lives that are offensive to God. Only then will we experience true peace with God, with others, and with ourselves. 

As you read today, consider this: What is something that may be preventing you from experiencing real peace?

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 CHRONICLES 14:1-15

What is something that may be preventing you from experiencing real peace with God? With others? With yourself? 

According to 2 Chronicles 14, king Asa “removed” and “smashed” the things that were offensive to God. What steps can you take to completely smash/remove the things in your life that are offensive to God?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 48 & 49

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I am confronted with the hard truth that there are many things that are getting in the way of me experiencing peace with You, with others, and with myself. I’m also confronted with the hard truth that I’ve allowed most of these barriers to continue in my life. As this week begins, I pray for Your wisdom to help me see these barriers clearly, and begin to take the necessary steps to remove them so that I may experience true peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.