Thursday, January 23, 2014

Confirmation: A Split Kingdom

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Work through the confirmation Lesson below.  Do the best you can on your own.  If you need help, or if you get stuck send me an email, (, text or call me (610-401-5602).  When you're done, post your answers at the bottom.  When we meet next I will go over this and we'll do an exercise to have some fun with it.  

A Split Kingdom

My Faith Story
Why does God let us all fight so much?

Think of a time when you found yourself in disagreement with someone you cared about. Maybe it was a family member or a friend or a member of your church. What issue or topic did you disagree about? What was at stake for you in the conflict? How long did you and this other person disagree? Was it painful for you to be at odds with someone you cared about? Were you able to resolve the conflict? If so, how did the resolution come about? Did you find an agreeable compromise?

Open the Bible
Open your Bible to 1 Kings 11. Read verses 1–4 to set the scene for what was about to happen then read verses 9–10. Finally, read verses 11–13 to discover God's response to Solomon. Because of Solomon's unfaithfulness to God and the unfaithfulness of the people, God warned that the once-united kingdom of Israel would split apart and come to an end. When Solomon died, most of his kingdom was ruled by someone other than his son, as God had said would happen if Solomon did not stop worshipping idols.

Question 1: What did Solomon do to upset God, and what was God's response to Solomon?
Question 2: Why do you think God chose to remove the kingdom not from Solomon, but from his son Rehoboam?
Question 3: Why do you think Rehoboam was punished for the sin of his father?
Question 4: Even though God punished Solomon and Rehoboam, what was the promise God made to them? Why did God offer this silver lining?
Question 5: Would you say that Solomon was a good king or a bad king?

Lutheran Study Bible pages 2102, 2105. The map "The Twelve Tribes of Israel" shows where the original tribes (sons of Jacob) settled, and the map "The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah" shows the split kingdom. You will note that the Northern Kingdom, Israel, had a lot more territory than the Southern Kingdom, Judah.
Question 6: In which kingdom is Jerusalem, the religious center?
The thing that unified the 12 tribes was the common worship of the one God, and that worship was centered in Jerusalem. Without that religious tie, the kings and the kingdom could not last. As the people strayed from faithfulness to God, things went from bad to worse. The nation split and became prey to stronger nations nearby.

Read 1 Kings 12:1–14. Solomon had imposed high taxes and slave labor on the people of Israel. After Solomon died, Jeroboam asked King Rehoboam to "lighten the yoke" placed on his people. Rehoboam refused. This strategy was perhaps the last straw. The ten northern tribes split off and formed their own kingdom. They chose Jeroboam as king of the Northern Kingdom, Israel. Rehoboam was left with the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Once Israel had established a worship center in the Northern Kingdom, there was no longer a need for the people to travel to Judah for worship in Jerusalem.

The kings who followed often refused to obey God's law and were unfaithful to God. We have an example of two kings of Judah in 2 Chronicles 33. For almost all of his reign, Manasseh was one of the least God-fearing kings. Read 2 Chronicles 33:1–20. Manasseh desecrated the temple and practiced human sacrifice. The people he ruled were more evil than ever before. But at one point, the king had a change of heart; perhaps he was sincere or perhaps he feared for his life. Despite what he had done before, God was willing to forgive him and restore him to the throne in Jerusalem.
Question 7: What does this tell you about God and God's grace?
While God punishes evil and unfaithfulness, God also forgives and restores. The prophets of the Old Testament warned the people that their punishment for unfaithfulness would be to be captured and exiled by their enemies. But God would forgive them and lead them back to Jerusalem where they could once again be a shining light to other nations.

Open the Catechism
Reflecting on today's Bible story, what were the Israelites and their kings, the people of God, tempted to do? What evil resulted? Make a list. What tempts you? Why doesn't God just take away all temptation from us?

Here We Stand Student Book page 304: Read the seventh petition of the Lord's Prayer.
Question 8: In your words, what are we asking for in this petition?
We are asking God to watch over us so that we don't get lured into temptations that can result in our being unfaithful to God. God doesn't remove temptations from our lives, but God gives us what we need when we are tempted—grace. God takes us as we are, sinners who don't always resist temptation, and forgives us, time and time again. That grace of God we receive in God's word and the sacraments. When we are weak, God's word makes us strong and able to overcome all the temptations we face. 
Cartoon Connection

Question 9: Do you think both the northern tribes and the southern tribes

thought they had God on their side?
Question 10: Do you ever think you have a better idea than God’s plan?
Question 11: Is it ever good to question authority?
Life Connection
Solomon asked God for wisdom and was granted a wise and discerning mind. For what will you ask God? Make a short list on a piece of paper and tape it to your mirror, dresser, or some other place where you will see it every day. Include asking for those things in your ongoing conversations with God. We live in a conflicted world. At times it can seem that unless you agree with someone about everything, you can’t be his or her friend. Are you currently having a hard time relating to another person—parent, sibling, friend, teacher, enemy?
How can you embrace the differences you might have with this person and still get along? Is there any hope for resolving this conflict?

Word Scramble
1. SLMNOOO             __ __ __ __ __ __ __

2. MOORABEH          __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

3. MOORABEJ           __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

4. AILJEH                   __ __ __ __ __ __

5. SAMCSDAU           __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

6. EOSHHHAAPTJ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

7. ZIHHAAA                __ __ __ __ __ __ __

1. 1 Kings 11:9 Man who made God angry.
2. 1 Kings 12:6 Became king after his dad died.
3. 1 Kings 12:20 Leader of Israel.
4. 1 Kings 17:1 Predicted a drought.
5. 1 Kings 19:15 Where God sent Elijah.
6. 1 Kings 22:41 Leader of Judah when 1 Kings ends.
7. 1 Kings 22:51 Leader of Israel when 1 Kings ends.

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