BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 17, Day 5: 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43

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Summary 2 Samuel 6:12-23:

David eventually brought the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David. He danced before the Lord while all celebrated. Michal did not like her husband. David put the Ark in the tent and offered sacrifices to God. David blessed the people and fed them. When David returned home after bringing the Ark up to bless his household, he was condemned by Michal for his behavior. David reminded Michal God chose him to rule Israel, and he will celebrate the Lord and be even more humbled before God. As punishment, Michal had no children.

Summary 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43:Image result for 2 samuel 6

David prepares a place for the Ark of the Covenant before moving it this time. He forbade anyone but the Levites to carry it this time. The Levites consecrated themselves and brought up the Ark of God has He had commanded using poles. There was much singing and celebrating and sacrificing as the Ark was transported and upon its arrival in Jerusalem. David joined in the celebrations. Michal despised him in her heart because of this.

David put the Ark of God in the prepared tent and sacrifices were offered. David blessed the people and fed them. He appointed Levites to minister before the Ark, to praise God, and give Him thanks. David sings a psalm of thanks to God. David left many Levites to minister before the Ark and in the tabernacle of the Lord in Gibeon (the old tent that housed the Ark).

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 17, Day 5: 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43:

12) Part personal Question. My answer: David prepares a place for the Ark of the Covenant before moving it this time. He forbade anyone but the Levites to carry it this time. The Levites consecrated themselves and brought up the Ark of God has He had commanded using poles. There was much singing and celebrating and sacrificing as the Ark was transported and upon its arrival in Jerusalem. David joined in the celebrations and danced before God. Michal despised him in her heart because of this.

David put the Ark of God in the prepared tent and sacrifices were offered. David blessed the people and fed them. He appointed Levites to minister before the Ark, to praise God, and give Him thanks. David sings a psalm of thanks to God. David left many Levites to minister before the Ark and in the tabernacle of the Lord in Gibeon (the old tent that housed the Ark).

This was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. This time around David prepares ahead of time for the Ark, follows all of God’s rules for moving the Ark and having the Levites do it all, praises God for his goodness and faithfulness, and attends to the Ark after it has been moved. I learn God desires us to follow His rules just as much as He desires the act be done. God does not reward shortcuts in worshipping and obeying Him.

13) Part personal Question. My answer: David joined in the celebrations and danced before God. He sang God a psalm of praise, thanking Him for all He has done and all He will do. Everything in my life. I celebrate Him, give Him praise for all I do, and thank Him.

14) Part personal Question. My answer: Michael despised David in her heart for his celebrations before the Lord, deeming them inappropriate. David responds by saying He celebrated before the Lord who chose him to lead all of Israel. He will become even more undignified and more humiliating to celebrate God. I love David’s response how he’ll do what he wants to celebrate God without worrying what others think of him. This is a lesson we all can apply in our lives.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 17, Day 4: 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43:

My favorite part was David dancing before the Lord, David telling Michal he didn’t care what she thought about his praising of God, and Michal being duly punished.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 17, Day 4: 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43:

Commentary 2 Samuel 6:12-23:

In the second attempt to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, we see that when worship is according to God, it’s filled with gladness and joy. “Real” worship does not have to be subdued, solemn, or only in a minor key.

Why all the sacrifices for the Ark of the Covenant?

  • This was elaborate, excessive, over-the-top sacrifice to show
  • Atonement
  • Consecration
  • Longing for fellowship.

David didn’t hold back anything in his own expression of worship. He didn’t dance out of obligation but out of heartfelt worship. Emotions need not be repressed when celebrating and worshipping God.

Image result for david wearing ephod dancing

Why was David wearing an Ephod?

It is a mistake to think that David was immodest. 1 Chronicles 15:27 indicates that David was dressed just like all the other priests and Levites in this procession.

From our knowledge of ancient and modern culture, David’s dance wasn’t a solo performance. He probably danced with simple rhythmic steps together with other men in the way one might see Orthodox Jewish men today dance. In this context, David’s linen ephod means he set aside his royal robes and dressed just like everyone else in the procession.

What was Michal’s problem with David’s celebrations?

  • Michal felt it wasn’t dignified for the King of Israel to express his emotions before God in such a way.
  • Michal felt David shouldn’t have worn an ephod like everyone else. After all, he’s the king. Shouldn’t he dress like one?

David’s dancing was for God, not Michal, and he told her so.

Lesson we learn from Michal’s barrenness:

There is often barrenness in the life and ministry of the overly critical.

Commentary 1 Chronicles 15:

1 Chronicles 15:11-15 shows us that David specifically commanded the priests to carry the ark the right way – on their shoulders. We often think that a “new cart” or “strength” or a “friendly” manner is the way to bring the presence and glory of God. But God always wants His presence and glory to come on the shoulders of consecrated, obedient, praising men and women.

Commentary 1 Chronicles 16:

The emblem of God’s presence and glory was set at its proper place in Israel.

These sacrifices were an important part of the ceremony, neglected in the first attempt to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.

“David’s appointment then of Levites to minister in music and praise to God marks a significant advance in the history of Israel’s worship. His previous arrangements for music had been devised for just one occasion; but now a continuing service is envisioned.” (Payne)

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How can we remember what God does for us?

Simply remembering God’s great works is an important and often neglected part of the Christian life. Spurgeon (in his sermon The Recorders) noted several ways that we can help ourselves remember the great things of God:

  • Make an actual record of what God has done, keeping a written journal.
  • Be sure to praise God thoroughly at the time you receive His goodness.
  • Set apart time for meditation on the good things God has done.
  • Talk about His mercy often to other people.
  • Use everything around you as reminders to the goodness of God.
  • Remember your blessings and who gave them to you.

David though the Levites had appointed Heman as the leader of worship (1 Chronicles 15:17), at this time David elevated Asaph to this position.

“No reason is given, though Asaph did represent the senior Levitical clan of Gershon (1 Chronicles 6:39-43). Personal ability may also have been a contributing factor, for Asaph and his descendants are listed as composers for twelve of the inspired Old Testament psalms.” (Payne)

David was known as sweet psalmist of Israel (2 Samuel 23:1), and he specially wrote the following psalm to thank the LORD on the day the ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem.

“The Psalm is found in the Book of Psalms; its first movement (8-22) in Psalm 105:1-15; its second movement (23-33) in Psalm 96:1b-13a; its third movement (34-36) consisting of a quotation of the opening and closing sentences of Psalm 106:1-47 and 48.” (Morgan)

“All three of the canonical psalms that he quoted are anonymous, ‘orphan psalms’ (without title) in the Old Testament Psalter; but on the basis of the king’s use of them here, they should indeed be classed as his.” (Payne)

Image result for 1 chronicles 16The three movements of this psalm

  1. Like many psalms, this one begins with a call to praise, virtually in the form of a commandment. David lists a remarkable number of ways (at least eight) one can praise and glorify God. As will be noted later in the psalm, all creation has a responsibility to praise its Creator; but this is the special responsibility of God’s people.
  2. David will soon begin to sing about the special relationship between the LORD and His covenant people. In this we see that this portion of the psalm is largely meant for teaching.
  3. God protects His people when they were out of the Promised Land.

What covenants did God make with man?

  1. God made a covenant with Abraham regarding a land, a nation, and a particular messianic blessing (Genesis 12:1-3).
  2. God made a covenant with Israel as a nation, regarding a law, sacrifice, and choice of blessing or cursing (Exodus 19:5-8).
  3. God made a covenant with David regarding the specific lineage of the Messiah (2 Samuel 7).
  4. God made a covenant with all who would believe on His Son, the New Covenant through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).

God’s covenant people have a special responsibility to praise Him, but all the earth should also proclaim the good news of His salvation day to day.

David is back to imploring the Israelites to tell everyone of the greatness of God, and His superiority above all gods.

Possibly the first reference to the Second Coming of Christ in the Bible:

Payne on for He is coming to judge the earth: “While earlier messianic prophecies had foretold our Lord’s universal, millennial reign (Genesis 49:10Numbers 24:171 Samuel 2:10), these words – ‘he comes’ – may be the first in all of written Scripture (Job 19:25 may well have been spoken earlier) to set forth the doctrine of the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ.”

This reminds us that the center of sacrifice was still at the tabernacle’s altar at Gibeon. Worship would be divided between the ark at Jerusalem and the altar at Gibeon.

“How long the service at Gibeon was continued we cannot tell; the principle functions were no doubt performed at Jerusalem.” (Clarke)

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 17, Day 4: John 13:18-30; Psalm 41:9

Summary of passages:  John 13:18-30:  Jesus says he knows the hearts of all he has chosen and whoever whoever accepts those in his name (such as the disciples) accepts Jesus and thus accepts God.  Jesus knows Judas will betray him and he indicates this by giving him bread.  Judas takes it and Jesus tells him to betray him quickly and Judas leaves.  The disciples (clueless as ever) don’t understand.

Psalm 41:9:  Even friends betray one another.

Questions:

7)  We know that what the Bible says and what God says and what Jesus says is true.  We know we are to suffer to grow closer to Him.  We know we suffer because we are sinners.  But we also know we are forgiven in Christ, which gives us hope to grow through the painful circumstances and endure to the end.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Satan can infect anyone.

9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  In one word:  dark.  He does not believe in Jesus or Jesus’ message.  He has believed the lies of Satan and let personal gain take over.  He has been blinded to the light and darkness reigns.

Conclusions:  Unsure here.  Something is missing here that I’m not unpacking and the questions aren’t jogging anything.  As always, read the end notes, which did unlock this passage for me.

End Notes:  John 13:18-30:  Jesus is predicting his betrayal for the other disciples’ sake.  He doesn’t want their faith to waver in him.  Hence, he’s telling him he knew all along Judas would betray him.  And Jesus is pointing out rejecting him as the one God sent is rejecting God.

Jesus loves Judas and thus is moved (and probably hurt) by the impending betrayal.  By telling all he knows about the betrayal, this shows Jesus is the one in control, not Satan or Judas.

The other disciples are confused because up to this point Judas has been one of them, doing everything and going through the motions of faith like so many do today.  They may have even thought Jesus was speaking of an unintended betrayal.

Peter, curious as always, asks John to ask Jesus whom he is speaking to.  One can imagine that in Peter’s mind, he’s gonna be the superhero here and stop the betrayal before it happens.  This also indicates to scholars that Peter is not sitting next to Jesus or he would have asked him himself.

FUN FACT:  This is the first of 4 times John refers to himself as “the one Jesus loved”.  The 4 are:

· Here in the upper room (John 13:23)

· At the cross of Jesus (John 19:26)

· At the empty tomb (John 20:2)

· With the risen Jesus at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:20)

All of these are connected with the cross and all indicate that John did not boast of this egotistically but out of the love of Jesus.

SPOILER ALERT FOR ART FANS:  The famous paintings you see of the Last Supper are all false (like this one HERE and HERE).  At a special or ceremonial meal like this they would lay on their stomachs around a U-shaped table, leaning on their left elbow and eating with their right hand their head towards the table, much like the Romans did at the time.  It seems that from John’s position next to Jesus, he could lean back and be close enough to speak quietly to Jesus and still be heard.  Bear in mind most of the artwork we associate with the Last Supper was painted 1000 years after the fact.  Times change and man for the most part had transitioned to eating sitting up at tables.  Hence, the depiction.

Picture this:  On each side of Jesus sat a disciple.  Spurgeon says it best:  “One of them was John the divine, and the other was Judas the devil. One of them was the seer of the Apocalypse, the other was the son of perdition.”

Another scholar, Morris, says this:  “The place of honor was to the left of, and thus slightly behind the principal person. The second place was to his right, and the guest there would have his head on the breast of the host. Plainly this was the position occupied by the beloved disciple.

The normal posture at a table was sitting, as rabbinical sources indicate; reclining was the posture reserved for special meals, such as parties, wedding feasts, etc.

Giving of dipped bread is like a toast today.  It was a special honor.  Jesus is still showing love to Judas even at the last hour.  Like he will to many of us at the Second Coming.  Jesus is showing how to love your enemies to the last and even offering Judas one last chance to repent.

Judas is in the place of honor and Jesus could speak to him without being overheard.  Also, scholars speculate that only John heard Jesus indicate Judas as the betrayer, being on Jesus’ other side.  Peter is the man of action, the superhero, and the one to defend Jesus with gusto and bravado and sometimes without thinking (like we’ll see in the Garden).  John did nothing to stop Judas from leaving and we are not told why.  He could have been shocked or he could have trusted Jesus to have it all under control.  We don’t know.  All we are told is “no one understood Jesus”.

FUN FACT:  This is the only time John uses the name Satan in his Gospel.

Judas rejects Jesus’ final act of love and Satan then completely takes over.  It’s a choice of Free Will.  And Judas will pay the ultimate price.

With the words “do quickly” Jesus is indicating he’s the one in control.  He would die as he directed, not as his opponents determined.

The disciples just thought Judas, as the one in charge of the money, had left to pay the bill or give alms to the poor.  Note how even though Jesus and them had little money they still gave what they could.  It’s not the amount you give but the heart that matters.

No one is immune from the devil.  Judas was one of the 12.  He lived with Jesus.  He listened to Jesus.  He watched Jesus perform miracle after miracle.  He was one of the best and still he was lost.  Man needs more than an example and good teaching.  It’s a turn of the heart.  If that doesn’t happen, there is no hope.

Psalm 41:9:  This is David lamenting how he was betrayed by good friends.  Two of which we know are his own son Absalom (2 Samuel 15) and by a trusted adviser named Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15:12 and 15:31).

This has the sense of an unexpected attack or someone taking advantage of someone.  In ancient times, if you take bread with someone you should be forever grateful.  If you then lift your heal agains them, it’s great betrayal.  It’s like the saying “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

Jesus left off the words “whom I trusted” because Jesus did not trust Judas.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 17, Day 2: John 13:1-17

Summary of passage:  It’s just before Passover and Jesus’ time is limited.  Judas has already betrayed him and now Jesus is sitting down for the Last Supper with his disciples.  He dresses himself as a slave and washed his disciples’ feet.  Peter protests and Jesus tells him to let him.  When he is finished, he dresses and sits with them.  He explains that they need to serve others and no one is greater than they.

Questions:

3)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus humbles himself and does the work of a slave, the lowest of the low in society.  His love is absolute and he cares not what others think of him.  He leads by example.  His actions speak louder than words.  He doesn’t just talk about it; he does it!  He loves his own and as we love him back we experience his love to the fullest.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Once we are bathed in Jesus, we still need to seek him and wash in him.  We are wholly clean by God’s love, mercy, and righteousness.  But we still need him and to experience him in smaller ways.  All were “clean” or believers except Judas because Judas did not accept Jesus as His Savior and he had hardness in his heart against him.  I am clean because I have accepted Jesus’ blood on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.

Conclusions:  Such a great passage.  Again, not impressed with the questions.  See End Notes for more.

End Notes:  Alexander Maclaren wrote of this remarkable section, John 13:1-17: “Nowhere else is His speech at once so simple and so deep. Nowhere else have we the heart of God so unveiled to us…The immortal words which Christ spoke in that upper chamber are His highest self-revelation in speech, even as the Cross to which they led up is His most perfect self-revelation in act.”

John has by far the longest account of the upper room, but he says nothing of the Lord’s Supper.  We get most of what Jesus said that night from John.

The Greek noun agape (love) and the verb agapao (love) appear only 8 times in John Chapters 1-12 but 31 times in Chapters 13-17.  Chapters 13-14 take place at the Last Supper.  The discourses in Chapters 15-16 are probably spoken on the way to Gethsemane.

We have a time reference but still scholars disagree if this was on Passover or celebrated the day before when the traditional Passover meal was taken.  This affects whether Jesus was crucified on the day of Passover or the day after.

Jesus had less than 24 hours to live.  He is preparing his disciples for their work after he is gone.

The cross is not specifically mentioned in this passage, but it hangs in the actions and the words.

Jesus’ love for his own is greater because we have a response back.  I picture Jesus holding us close to him.

In this scene we have the thinking of Jesus as well (either he told John or John was more observant than the other writers).  Instead of it being all about that person (at the end of your life it can be), Jesus focuses on others and shows his love even though he knows he will be abandoned by them.  Jesus never abandons us.  Jesus did every part of this act himself–an act in Jewish custom that no one else would ever do.

Luke tells us that the disciples were debating who was the greatest when they entered the room.  Jesus showed what true greatness was.

It was customary to wash feet before the meal started.  However, this didn’t happen.  At that time, the meal was eaten at a low table called a triclinium. It was U-shaped.  The higher status guests sat the closest to the host. They leaned on pillows with their feet behind them. The disciples were willing to wash Jesus’ feet but not the others’ because it would put him below them.  Hence, no one’s feet got washed–until Jesus did it.

Jesus showed the disciples humility.  Scholars see this act as a comparison the cross.  Jesus rose from supper (from his throne in heaven).  He took off his clothes (he took off his glory).  He poured water to clean (he poured out his blood to cleanse us).

This act revealed the true character of God himself.  In it we see it’s the acceptance of what Jesus did for us and does for us that matters.  We have to accept his cleansing or it’s meaningless.  Peter protested out of a misplaced humility and pride.  Peter again didn’t get it:  it’s receiving Jesus into our lives that matter.  It was a spiritual cleaning, not a physical, that Peter needed.

First, Peter says don’t do it.  Then he says do more!  He’s telling Jesus what to do here.

Once we are bathed in Jesus, we still need to seek him and wash in him.

Jesus explained his actions so he was sure they got it.  They needed to have the same attitude and service as him.  We must wash one another’s feet–do for others.  Following Jesus’ example, doing the acts of service leads to blessings.

Some believe this act was meant to be performed by Christians today.  Most scholars agree it’s the message beneath that is important.

Christ washing the disciples’ feet was a favorite amongst painters.  My favorite HERE

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 5: Revelation 13:1-18

Summary of passage:  A beast emerges from the sea with 10 horns, 7 heads and 10 crowns on his horns. On each head was a blasphemous name. The beast looked like a leopard, had feet like a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave this beast his power, throne, and great authority. One head had a fatal wound but had been healed. The whole world followed this beast and men worshiped the dragon who had given the beast power. The beast exercised his authority for 42 months (3 1/2 years, the time of the Great Tribulation). He blasphemed God, his name, his dwelling place, and those in heaven.

The beast was given power and authority over the saints and every tribe, people, language, and nation. All non-believers will worship the beast.

Beast #2 comes out of the earth. He has 2 horns but spoke like a dragon. He was under the authority of the first beast (Rev 13:1-10) and made earth’s inhabitants worship Beast #1. He performed miraculous signs and created a false idol in the shape of Beast #1 that earth’s inhabitants worshipped. This idol was given the power to breath and speak and killed those who refused to worship the image. Everyone was forced to receive a mark (the number 666) either on his forehead or right hand.

Questions:

12a)  The dragon is the anti-Father, the beast rising from the sea is the anti-Christ, and the beast rising from the land is the anti-Holy Spirit.

b)  Because Jesus is the Lamb.  This one is imitating Christ as the false prophet in order to deceive Christ-followers into following him.

c)  The Holy Trinity is defined by peace, thankfulness, spiritual growth in love and honor, songs, and wisdom.  The deceptive trinity is characterized by war, death, servitude, fear, threats, and destruction.  The antithesis of God.

13a)  Very similar to question 5a.  Deuteronomy says not to follow false prophets or gods even those who perform miracles.  God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and all  your soul.  Follow and serve God only.  Jesus says in Matthew you will recognize false prophets by the fruit they bear:  bad fruit meaning they will reap evil consequences, not for the good and not godly.  Mark says to be on your guard for false prophets.  John says in 1 John to not believe every spirit but to test the false prophets or spirits to see whether they are from God.  If they do not acknowledge Jesus is not God, then it’s the antichrist.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Very similar to questions 8b & 11c.  I know I am safe and God protects me.  I am marked with the Holy Spirit that guides me when these situations arise.  Identifying falsehoods and telling others is the best way I can share God’s truths.

Conclusions:  Good lesson.  Loved the comparison of the unholy trinity with the holy trinity.  An easy way to identify something is to ask what it’s purpose is:  is it for love, compassion, peace, and helpfulness?  Or is it for deceit, personal gain, malicious intentions, or strife?

End Notes:  See Previous Days:  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4

Lessons from Revelation 13:  Here we see important messages for Christians in today’s world.  First, we must endure our suffering and be faithful for Christ is coming.  Second, we must stand for our beliefs even when the rest of the world is worshiping something other than God.  Third, we see the proliferation of worshiping of false gods.  It’s a danger we all must be careful of.  An idol is anything you put before god.  Purge any in your life.

Conclusions to Lesson 17:  Good analysis of passage.  We’ve studied false prophets & teachings in Lesson 4 Day 2 & Lesson 5 Day 2.  A little repetition in the questions but it’s important to know there are/will be false prophets but God has given us ways to differentiate them.  False idols are everywhere and we must be aware and not check out.

Lesson 18 Preview:  Coming up, we will explore suffering, another interlude in Revelation I am not looking forward to.  We’ve already extensively covered suffering this year (See Lesson 3 Day 4, Lesson 4 Day 2, Lesson 4 Day 5, Lesson 11 Day 2 & Lesson 12 Day 4) and I’m about burnt out on how we all must suffer and will continue to suffer until the Day of the Lord.  I GET IT!  CAN WE MOVE ON?  Dwelling on my suffering is not something I like to do.  I prefer to live in the present and not the past and dwell on the positive aspects of my current situation and circumstances and not the negative.

General observations of the study of Revelation:  Due to the number of repetitious subjects, the number of lessons we have spent outside of Revelation, and the sheer volume of personal questions this year, I’m beginning to think the study of Revelation could have been compacted into half a year and then combine this with something else–another smaller book perhaps or similarly related.  I’m pretty crestfallen about the whole thing and my bubble has definitely burst over this study.  Would love to have your opinions on the matter.

One more side note that may just be me:  I’m not getting a whole lot out of the lectures.  I’ve done so much study on the passages myself that what our Teaching Leader says is nothing new to me.  Oftentimes, the message is not even on the passage but one general theme such as how Christ is our Savior or how we need to “talk” about God to others that I struggle to stay awake because the message is so watered-down.  Other insights on your lectures?