Ahab Defeats Ben-Hadad (1 Kings 20:13 – 34)

Scripture Text:

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1 Kings 20:13 – 34

1. Did you ever move in search of a better-paying job or to pursue a romantic interest? Did the strategy work?

2. What change of heart has come over you in recent years, a change which forced you to eat your earlier words or change your opinion?

3. How vast is “vast” (verse 13; see chapter 20:1)? How could Ahab help but see it?

4. Why do kings want to hear from God about wars but not about righteousness (verses 14, 15)? What make Ahab nervous about the prophet’s advice?

5. If you were a young commander, what would you suspect Ahab was up to? Would you volunteer?

6. What’s the sense in Ben-Hadad’s instructions (verse 18)? What would have been a better plan? What does this battle tell you about the Aramean army?

7. The second time around, why does Ben-Hadad go to fight Israel at Aphek rather than Samaria (verses 23 – 26)? What are the odds in the second battle (verse 27)?

8. What do you suppose happens for six days at the camp at Aphek? What would you do during that time?

9. Why does God favor Ahab in this (verse 28)? How accurate was Ben-Hadad’s theology?

10. What message doe the sackcloth and ropes convey (verses 31 and 32)?

11. What does Ahab let Ben-Hadad live (verses 33 and 34)? Is this. . .

  • a great military idea?
  • a genius-level political idea?
  • a dumb mistake?

12. Are you facing any situation now where the odds are heavily stacked against you? Where does the “opposing army” look strongest to you? Does your faith shape your approach to the problem? How?

13. Why do people limit God to “the hills” today, unable to see Him as sovereign? Do you have a stunted view of God? How did you get it? What’s to be done?

14. If a drunken bully like Ben-Hadad is given a break, what hope does that give you? What Ben-Hadad character do you know whom you could give a break to, even if, or especially if he doesn’t deserve one?

15. If you’ve recently won a victory, should you be getting ready for round two, as did King Ahab? What battles do you anticipate having to win more than once?

16. Have you ever felt close to God but in a heap of trouble? Ever felt far from God and things were going great? What’s the relationship between feeling close to God and having favorable conditions?

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