Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. Were you ever a petty thief? Small-time crook? Minor league bandit? Friend of bandits? Ever taken in police custody? Ever give police a hard time?
2. What status symbol are you most tempted to pursue? Why is it appealing?
3. How does Solomon fill the newly created vacancies in his administration (verse 35)? Does this surprise you?
4. Why does Shimei respond to Solomon so warmly (verses 36 – 38)? Why does Solomon sentence him to house arrest?
5. Why do you think Shimei personally pursues the slaves?
- he had no one else to do it
- he forgotten the ban
- he was testing the new king’s mettle
- he thinks he is immune from further punishment
6. How does Solomon justify Shimei’s execution? Compared to when this chapter started, do you think Solomon’s kingdom now more secure? Less naive? More gutsy?
7. Solomon acts with traditional wisdom in the affairs of state: “Do unto others before they do unto you.” Do you like this unflattering but popular motto? Is it unreasonable to protect yourself? What should the Christian motto be?
8. In your requests of God, can you ever ask too much of him? What guidelines can keep your ambitions in check?
9. Many modern governments still use the tactics of assassination, cruel and inhumane punishment and sentencing without trial. This does not support the notion that modern society has improved in the past few centuries. In what sense can it be said humankind is making progress in human rights? In what sense are we no further advanced than the ancient Israelites?
10. In what instances are you too soft on “enemies”? Too evasive on important decisions? Too hopeful of pleasing everyone and offending no one?