First Kings

1:1-4 – even a cute girl didn't get a rise out of him – he was over the hill and they thought that the welfare of the country depended on the King’s vitality – therefore a bad scene. Like these last few months of Ronald Reagan in the United States – he can't hold two thoughts together.

1:5 – Adonijah takes decisive action on his own part – with support – he "exalted himself". A common move. (Later submits and withdraws to private life).

2:46 – so the kingdom was established for Solomon – Beniah, the "hit-man" was over the army and Zadok, a former priest-King of Jerusalem before David's capture of the city, was now over the priesthood – all was secure. The troublemakers were banished or killed off. A tough time for everybody.

3:1f – an antiseptic version of Solomon – editor leaves the nasty stuff to the end so that his philosophy of "the faithful prosper and those who prosper are the faithful ones" fits the mould.

3:9 – the prayer of so many Poli-Sci students! Practical affairs – as in the two women... and David's advice on how to consolidate power!

8:12 Solomon's prayer of dedication. God dwells with man in the darkness of the impenetrable mystery, so a dark room is a fit symbol (abode). (Christ tore down the curtain).

8:27 God is bigger than any house! Yet with us.

8:31f – types of problems to take to church – now to Christ – sins, defeat, drought, famine, etc. – and also for the foreigners who come.

– 8:44f – preventive medicine too! (Post-exilic – they should know better!)

8: – nice party!

9:6f – an interesting late addition qualifying God's promise of absolute continuity... after it was broken up – an interesting interpretation in the light of reality!

12:7 – "if you will be a servant to this people today..." a pretty good approach to leadership style! (Which he rejected!)

12:25 – Jeroboam revived old practices (he was not into making new ones as the later editors suggests) – this is a... (?)

13:1 and 11 – just like what _______ (withheld) would do, or the lying spirit behind him – or just like so many of his ilk in our church institutional. Just condemn "the shrine" and see what happens – is that why God told the victim to get the heck out of there? To protect him? How slow we are to pay attention to God the protective warnings.

13:20f – when this happened, the bad guy saw who was correct... not him! Therefore the funeral etc.

13:1f – the Interpreter's Bible [commentary I was using] suggests this fellow was sucked in by his own professional peers after a courageous stand against the King (but God worked through the event despite his failing). Men of God must be ever on the alert (?) What's this story about really? It strikes me that there is some fruitful checking in various examples of people, retracing their steps, as in Moses and this fellow – the pros and cons of a change of direction, going back etc. I guess I feel that because of my own particular point in the journey of life (1988, January).

14:13-16 – i.e. the Deuteronomic editor says in effect, the dead son is the only one in Jeroboam's household worth morning! Some commentary!

[Insert: Note within the notes at this point: "constrained to leave this for now – and go back and encounter and be touched by Him in the Pentateuch" – where I later ran into a wall, asked Wayne Boldt about it, and he preached his breathtaking “Jubilee” sermon in response, three months after that].

14:25f – Egypt may have been called in to help Jeroboam and take advantage of the situation to boot! It seems to have been a one-shot deal (if so), as there is no later indication of Egyptian control. Egyptian alliances ("arm of the flush") seem to be a perennial problem – or rather "solution" to an earlier problem, that just gets worse and worse.

15:25f – Basha got to the kingdom by killing Nadab while he was out fighting the Philistines – caught him between "a rock and a hard place" – nice bunch of folks! Then he bopped off the family to secure his dynasty. Sounds like some political parties today!

16:15 – "and Zimri reigned seven days at Tizra!" Now that's chaos! Each wiping out the other's house to secure their dynasty – you die by the sword you live by! This one ends in suicide.

16:23 – "and Omri became king" – not much detail for a guy who was a political power to behold in the area – cf. ANET and Assyrian records call Israel "land of Omri" for the next 150 years! And this editor was not into history in our sense of the term. He had other priorities. Note how many chapters Elijah gets! Ahab was Omri's son – quite a dynasty for Elijah to be up against, but it is not presented that way!

16:34 – a city built and two lives lost – were these industrial accidents which people regarded as fulfillment of a curse on the city, or were they "foundation sacrifices" which were common in those days? We still have both – in the latter day how many "executives" "sacrifice" their family life for civic/corporate edifices? See the curse of Joshua 6:26.

– 17:1 – is it cultural genocide which is being challenged here not local festivities/ethical conflict (there never was a conflict at that level). Phoenician culture was a threat to Israelite culture and Elijah took it on!

17:1 – "as the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand" – standing before God not the King/culture gives the freedom and power to stand before the king and culture.

17:2, 3 – even so, his orders were to hit-and-run!

17:1 – no rain/dew – we'll see whose God is the real God! "No rain says God – you figure it out for yourself!" Let God come out in power to defend his own name – we don't have to do it. Just say the word as directed and let Him do His thing.

17:6 and 9 – a predatory bird and a Phoenician woman will feed you! Both are miraculous.

17: 14 – at a local level he says also that it is Yahweh that reigns in power and he will look after things – not just at the royalty level.

17:18 – a remembered sin due to his presence in her house – some people have that affect on others due to presence of God in them – cf. Zacchaeus and Jesus – implication – if you hadn't come, my son would not have been "punished". Cf. Paul and law results in awareness of sin which results in condemnation (and not condemned if not aware).

17:22 – a question to God and God's response. Power of God in prophet – energy to spare with God as source.

17:24 – "now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth". It was in action of giving life that God was seen as operational as well as powerful in the word.

18: 17f – who is the real troublemaker of Israel? "Is it you, you trouble maker of Israel?" Such are the words of my society and of the institutional church to me – and Elijah's response is mine!

18: 19 – talk about tourists and outsiders bringing cultural baggage!

18:22-46 – a time of choosing had come. "How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord his God, follow him, if it is Baal, then follow him". My question now I fear – and my response is similar "and the people did not answer him a word"

– so he puts the fireworks on – a display of God's power – proclaimed first and then witnessed. What an excellent story! (But the people were not changed).

18:30 – civil disobedience – he repaired an alter the government had thrown down.

18:34f and 42 – and acted out prayer for rain – if a lightning strike, water would help!

18:37 – "answer, God, that they...." absolutely no self aggrandizement.

19:3 – "then he was afraid" – not for the King, not 800 priests, not to the waffling people... "just" a woman! Hell hath no might like the fury of a woman!

19:6 and 17:9 – cake and water – God's providence in bad times through people – cf. Hoppy bringing a box of oranges again this year – and a reminder of "bread in the wilderness".

19:7 – "arise and eat else the journey be too great for you" – a lunch that lasted him 40 days! Courage and will to endure returned.

19:3 – back to Judah for a faith boost! He may have been heading for Horeb (Sinai) where Moses met God right from the start.

19:3 – and he left his servant there – why? Was he a foot dragger, or was Elijah letting him go so as not to involve him. An interesting speculative area! A bit part!

19:13-14 – not in the wonders of nature is the voice of the Lord heard (for him) but in that nagging voice "what are you doing here, Elijah?" In parenthesis in this case) (Hebrew literally, "a sound of gentle stillness"

19:14f – "I have been jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts... and they seek my life, to take it away" go – there's 7000 who haven't been sucked in!

19:19f – the call and the release – no pressure. He burned his bridges literally and goes as his new servant and successor. An incredible story.

20:34 – not the first or last time people have been sucked in by the prospect of good trade terms (cf. "free trade in 1988 here). Now the problem was Syria versus Phoenicia in cultural genocide.

20:43; 21:4 – "resentful and sullen" when confronted with a confrontation – versus repentance – not even remorse – as when he didn't get his own way in 21:4.

21:7 – "insubordination" – some things don't change.

21:13 – rights of a free citizen overridden and innocent blood is spilt.

21:20 – enemy of me, or enemy of my actions? What we hear is attack on us – we refuse to see that it is our actions which are abominable and write off a challenge as merely a personal attack.

22:4 and 5 – yes, but let's ask God if we'll win!

22:8f – "but I hate him because he never prophesies good concerning me but evil" – "tickle my ears" if I ever saw it! – and a tipoff by the messenger to go along with it – "what the Lord says to me, that I will speak"

22:16 – "a "sweet" answer dripping in the real answer! – then he gives it straight!

22:24-28 – how do we know we speak God's word? We don't, we just let go of it and let the chips fall – time will tell (here/hereafter).

22:47 – ships are wrecked in port?