Study Guide

2 Kings Power

Power

In the song "Power," Kanye West poses the question "You got the power to let power go?" That question basically means the same thing as, "Do you have the power to remain humble?" The people who do have that power tend to do pretty well in 2 Kings. Elisha wields huge amounts of power—he can even resurrect the dead, but he's extraordinarily humble. His entire life revolves around God.

At the same time, there are powerful people who don't have the power to surrender in some way. Sennacherib and Manasseh are good examples of this tendency: their bread-and-butter is murder and destruction and pride. But the fate of Sennacherib demonstrates where this leads: he boasts about defeating God, and then is utterly crushed. His own sons end up murdering him.

Questions About Power

  1. How does God share power with prophets like Elisha? To what extent are the prophets in control of the power they have? Or is it all in God's hands? Why do you think so?
  2. What would you say are the main differences between the way a king like Sennacherib and a king like Josiah wield power? Are there some similarities, as well?
  3. Do you think that, given how corrupting power can be, the kings of Judah were doomed to abuse their power and eventually get thrown into exile? Was there any hope things could've gone another way?
  4. How powerful is God, exactly (if that question can be answered)? Is there anything in 2 Kings that isn't under his control?

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