1 Kings 20:1-12

Talks for Growing Christians

The Northern Kingdom of Israel is Attacked

1 Kings 20:1-12

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Lesson Number 41

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The enemy always looks for vulnerable areas.
  2. The enemy always demands more.
  3. The enemy always attacks the family.

Practical Application

  1. Godly counsel can help you make the right decision.


  1. Discuss Ben-Hadad’s attack on the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
  2. The only reason that God included this section in the Bible was
  3. so we could have an accurate historical record of the wars between the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the nation of Syria. True or False?
  4. List the three tactics of the enemy of God’s people shown in this passage.
  5. How did Ben-Hadad use these tactics against Israel? How does Satan use these tactics against Christians today?
  6. Should Christians seek counsel in decision-making?


  1. Ben-Hadad, King of Syria, gathered all his forces together and went up to make war against Samaria. The time was circa 850 B.C. Ben-Hadad and the Syrians were able to put together a coalition of thirty-two kings. From this superior position, Ben-Hadad continued to threaten King Ahab of Israel to the point where he boasted that he would annihilate Samaria.
  2. False. There are lessons here to be learned about spiritual warfare, too. Ben-Hadad was an enemy of God’s people, Israel, and as such pictures Satan, the enemy of our souls. Here we see Ben-Hadad’s tactics in warfare, which are typical of Satan’s strategy in spiritual warfare.
  3. The enemy always looks for vulnerable areas, demands more, and always attacks the family.
  4. Ben-Hadad saw the vulnerability of Israel in its weakened condition after it had suffered drought and famine. Ben-Hadad made increasing demands on Israel, first demanding that Ahab and Israel be a vassal state, paying annual tribute. Then the demands increased, making the people subject to Ben-Hadad and his people. Finally, Ben-Hadad demanded the wives and children of Israel. Satan uses these tactics today. He looks for vulnerable areas in our churches and in our ministries, in our families, and in our personal lives. Satan always demands more from us. We cannot compromise with Satan in any area of our lives, for he will exact more and more of our time and energies. Satan attacks the family because the family is God’s basic social unit. God ordained the family, so Satan tries to destroy it in any way that he can. Look at the inroads he has made by undermining the biblical concept of the family. Where is the authority structure in the home today? Look at the way Hollywood and TV fit into this picture.
  5. Yes. Godly counsel can help in making right decisions. But always seek God primarily.


  1. Have you compromised your stand for Christ, only to find that the enemy demands more and more? If so, go back to the point of compromise and seek wise counsel, both from God and Christian elders or friends.
  2. Are you prone to read the Bible mainly for its historical authenticity? When you focus on this, also focus on what the lessons have for you doctrinally and practically.
  3. How could you counter the three attacks of Satan? Consider them one at a time.


  1. As you seek to live for Christ, are there things that you cannot do?

Key Verses

  • “...this thing I cannot do.” 1 Kings 20:9

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