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July 2017 // First Steps Together: Session 1 - Elijah
Meeting aim: To see how far God’s people had moved from him and to see how the consequences of that began to play out.
Bible passage: 1 Kings 17:7-24
Background: At the end of the reign of King Solomon, God had taken the ten northern tribes from under his family’s rule and given them to one of his officials to rule over. Solomon’s son Rehoboam was left with two tribes. So now, instead of one unified nation, God’s people are split into two: Israel (in the north) and Judah. Each of these nations now has its own line of royalty - kings who could choose to follow God or not. In the northern kingdom of Israel, there are no kings who choose to follow God. The southern kingdom of Judah fares slightly better but still significantly less than half of the kings are obedient to God. Into the midst of the reign of King Ahab of Israel (noted as the king who did more evil than any before him) comes a prophet by the name of Elijah. One of Elijah’s first declarations is that God will stop the rain as a sign of his judgment on the people. This is when today’s story happens.