828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Christian Formation for Sunday August 19; 1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:2-14; David's Death and Solomon's prayer

1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:2-14
“Death of David”
“Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom”

Background: The book of 1st Kings is a complex literary history of the transition of kingship in Israel from David to Solomon. It relates the history of Israel from David, to Solomon, to Ahab, and finally to Ahaziah. The first portion of the book describes the death of David and the accession of Solomon to the throne.

Theme: This passage depicts the orderly transition from David’s reign to Solomon’s reign and his first official interaction with God. This story depicts God’s divine action in Solomon’s life in the bestowal of wisdom and assurance of presence with Solomon… as long as Solomon is faithful to the laws handed down from Moses through David to Solomon.

Questions to Ponder
* Establish a brief setting for this passage; the political, social, and religious structure in Judah and Israel.
* What steps has Solomon taken to solidify his rule in Israel prior to this passage? How might these steps be helpful or detrimental to his peaceful reign as king over all Israel?
* Why might David’s death be depicted in the manner it was described in this passage? What significance might the transition have for Solomon’s later rule?
* Why might it be significant that “the people were sacrificing in the high places”? Why might the author have tried to mitigate with the phrase “because no house had been built for the name of the Lord”?
* Why might the author praise Solomon on the one hand by saying “[He] loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David” yet following immediately with “he sacrificed and offered incense at the high places”? Do you think this statement is, in some manner, an impeachment of Solomon’s rule of life?
* What might the significance of Solomon’s dream be? What could this motif have to do with Solomon’s accession to the throne as one who was supported by God?
* Why do you think Solomon referred to himself as “a little child” when it is very likely that he was and established adult?
* What is ironic about Solomon’s request from God?
* For what reason do you think that God responded in the manner he did to Solomon?
* What might be the significance of God’s gift “no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you”?
* Why do you think God chose to bless Solomon with things that he didn’t ask for (riches and honor all his life)?
* What are some of the differences between God’s promise to Solomon and to David?
* What conditions did God place on Solomon that would potentially lead to Solomon’s demise?
* How might this passage be important to a small church in rural Suffolk in the 21st century?
* How does this passage challenge us in our profession of faith and ministry of God’s word?

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