BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 26, Day 4: 1 Kings 6:1-13

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Summary 1 Kings 6:1-13:

Four hundred and eighty years after God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, Solomon began the building of God’s temple. As the building of the temple was taking place, God came to Solomon and told him to keep His decrees, carry out His laws, regulations, and commands, and God would fulfill all the promises He gave to David through him.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 26, Day 4: 1 Kings 6:1-13:

9) God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. David spared Saul’s life. Solomon builds God’s temple here. Jesus is sacrificed here, just on the other side of Mount Moriah. These are all places God spared people, which is what the temple does. It spares people of their sins once the atoning sacrifice is made. The final atoning sacrifice was made with Jesus’ crucifixion.

10) God came to Solomon and told him to keep His decrees, carry out His laws, regulations, and commands, and God would fulfill all the promises He gave to David through him. God also promised to live among the Israelites and not abandon them. God is omniscient so He knows the mistakes Solomon is about to make (idol worship, marrying foreign wives, building altars to foreign gods, etc). God is trying to warn Solomon before he chooses to make those mistakes.

11) Personal Question. My answer: He reminds me of my blessings in subtle ways like the beautiful sunrise or sunset. He places people in my life I can touch in small ways, like co-workers. He keeps my in His word with BSF. He reminds me all things are from Him.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 26 Day 4:1 Kings 6:1-13:

I love how God blesses and then He reminds to follow Him always. Then it’s just a matter of if we listen or not.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 26, Day 4:1 Kings 6:1-13:

This time reference gives us dates for the Bible: The reign of Solomon began in 971 BC and ended at 913 BC (the temple was begun in 967 BC). This means that the Exodus took place in 1447 BC.

It took probably about three years to prepare timber from Lebanon for use in building. If Solomon began the construction of the temple in the fourth year of his reign, he probably started organizing the construction in the very first year of his reign.

Yet the work was carefully organized and planned even before Solomon became king. 1 Chronicles 28:11-12 tells us, Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things.

The writer of 1 Kings never tells us exactly where the temple was built, but the writer of 2 Chronicles tells us that it was built on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1), the same place where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac and Jesus would be crucified (on another part of the hill).Image result for 1 kings 6

Four Main Structures of God’s Temple

  1. The temple proper (the house which King Solomon built), divided into two rooms (the holy place and the most holy place).
  2. The vestibule or entrance hall on the east side of the temple proper (the vestibule in front of the sanctuary). It was thirty feet (10 meters) wide and fifteen feet (5 meters) deep, and the same height as the temple proper.
  3. The three-storied side chambers (chambers all around) which surrounded the temple proper on the north, south, and west sides.
  4. A large courtyard surrounding the whole structure (the inner court mentioned in 1 Kings 6:36)

The temple proper was approximately 90 feet (30 meters) long, 30 feet (10 meters) wide, and 45 feet (15 meters) high. This was not especially large as ancient temples go, but the glory of Israel’s temple was not in its size.

Allowing for the outside storage rooms, the vestibule, and the estimated thickness of the walls, the total size of the structure was perhaps 110 feet, 37 meters long and 75 feet, 25 meters wide.

The dimensions of the temple also tell us that it was built on the same basic design as the tabernacle, but twice as large. This means that Solomon meant the temple to be a continuation of the tabernacle.

How God works

The stones used to build the temple were all cut and prepared at another site. The stones were only assembled at the building site of the temple.

  • The temple had to be built with human labor. God did not and would not send a team of angels to build the temple. Yet Solomon did not want the sound of man’s work to dominate the site of the temple. He wanted to communicate, as much as possible, that the temple was of God and not of man.
  • Often the greatest work in the Kingdom of God happens quietly. Yet the building site of the temple was only quiet because there was a lot of noise and diligent work at the quarry.

Image result for 1 kings 6God’s promise to Solomon

God promised an obedient Solomon that he would reign and be blessed, fulfilling the promises God made to David about his reign (2 Samuel 7:5-16). He also promised that His special presence would remain among Israel as a nation.

There was nothing particularly new in this promise. These are essentially the same promises of the Old Covenant made to Israel at Sinai. But this was an important reminder and renewal of previous promises.

God was careful not to say that He would live in the temple the way pagans thought their gods lived in temples. He would dwell among the children of Israel. The temple was a special place for man to meet with God.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 4: 1 Samuel 26

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Summary 1 Samuel 26:

David is ratted out again by the Ziphites (1 Samuel 23:19-23) to Saul who takes 3000 men to the Desert of Ziph to find David. David goes with Abishai to Saul’s camp and finds Saul asleep. Abishai offers to kill Saul with one spear thrust. David again says no — that he cannot lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and God will deal with him in His time. He takes the spear and the water jug near Saul’s head and departs.

David tells the man guarding Saul he deserves death along with the rest of the men because they failed to protect the king. Saul wakes, and David once again asks why he is pursuing him. Again, we see almost a verbatim repetition of 1 Samuel 24. Saul says he was wrong; David doesn’t trust him; they go their separate ways.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 4: 1 Samuel 26:

9) This play out almost exactly like 1 Samuel 24. David spares Saul’s life, but he could have just as easily killed him. He probably recognized his harshness with Nabal. David could have gone the other way, but his faith was so strong he didn’t.

10) Same as in 1 Samuel 24. Abishai believes (like the mob in 1 Samuel 24) that God has handed Saul into David’s hands to end his life. David believes he is not to raise a hand against the Lord’s anointed, and thus refuses to do so. David has faith God will deal with Saul (the wicked) in His own time, and he doesn’t worry about it.

11) Part personal Question. My answer: God is faithful, and David’s faith in Saul is unshakeable. God is just as David knows God will deal with Saul. God protects as David knows he won’t be harmed by Saul. I need to remember all God’s truths better: He’s just, fair, merciful, and faithful.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 4: 1 Samuel 26:

It’s interesting how Saul never gives up when he has to know the outcome. People are stubborn despite God knocking them on the head repeatedly. I love how David won’t kill Saul, but he makes sure to let Saul know he could have. Warnings can be good teaching points (except Saul never learns).

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 4: 1 Samuel 26:

Image result for 1 samuel 26The people of the city of Ziph – had betrayed David’s whereabouts to Saul before (1 Samuel 23:19-23). Now they try to gain King Saul’s favor again, by helping Saul find David again.

Saul goes back on his previous repentance (1 Samuel 24:16-21). At that time David had the opportunity to kill Saul but did not. When David boldly demonstrated this to Saul, the king was greatly moved emotionally and publicly repented for his murderous intentions toward David. Saul’s repentance was deep, sincere, and emotional – but it didn’t last very long as the same thing happens in this chapter.

A a wise and capable commander David constantly monitored the movements of Saul. David knew where Saul was but Saul did not know where David was.

The King James Version says that Saul lay within the trench. That translation is accurate from the Hebrew but gives the wrong idea. The perimeter of the Israeli army camp was marked by the tracks of their wagons, and it was within the perimeter of the camp that Saul slept.

The last time David and Saul met David was simply hiding from Saul, and Saul happened upon the place where David hid. This time David actively sought Saul out.

Why David not kill Saul a second time?

  • Saul was still the anointed king over Israel (1 Samuel 10:1)
  • Vengeance is God’s as God could kill Saul any time and every breath he took was a gift from God (Romans 12:17-21)
  • David loved Saul and wanted him to repent
  • David shows God’s mercy (Hebrews 6:10;  Matthew 7:2)

Why partridges?Image result for partridges in mountains

“The Arabs, observing that partridges soon become weary as not to be able to fly hunt them in the mountains till at last they can knock them down with their clubs. Saul hunted David similarly, coming hastily upon him, and putting him up from time to time, in hopes that he should at length, by frequent repetitions of it, be able to destroy him.” (Clarke)

The last time Saul was in this situation (1 Samuel 24), he was overcome with emotion. His feelings seemed right but his life was not changed (1 Samuel 24:16-21). This time there is something cold and mechanical about Saul’s words.

FUN FACT: This will be the last time David sees Saul.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37

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Summary 1 Samuel 25:14-44:

Abigail got wind of David’s request and how good he had been to them, guarding the sheep. Abigail decides to give David food without telling Nabal. She rides out to greet them as David is still seething over Nabal’s denial of his food request and is preparing to slaughter Nabal’s men.

Abigail prostrates herself before David, begging him to put the blame on her instead because her husband is a fool. She reasons with him to not kill them because then he’d have innocent bloodshed on his hands. David blesses her, saying she has saved him from killing all of Nabal’s men. Nabal dies. David marries Abigail. He had married Ahinoam of Jezreel as well but Michal had been given to another man.

Summary Psalm 37:

Don’t worry over evil people. Trust in God and He will give you the desires of your heart. Wait for the Lord. Refrain from evil. The Lord laughs at the wicked. The wicked will vanish and perish. Do good and the Lord will not forsake you. He will bless you.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

6) Part Personal Question. My answer: Abigail is intelligent and beautiful. She is selfless, willing to take on Nabal’s punishment. She cares for her employees to save them. She is humble, brave, and courageous. She is sacrificial. I’d like to be more caring, humble, and more sacrificial as well.

7) Part Personal Question. My answer: God sent Abigail to prevent David from doing something he’d regret and from sinning. Every day God extends mercy to me as I fail and am flippant with others, impatient, and mean sometimes.

8 ) Part personal question. My answer: God blesses the good and condemns the evil in His time. I need to be more patient with God and allow Him to give me the desires of my heart.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

Leave it to a woman to diffuse a male ego. Abigail, knowing something bad is going to happen, goes to David and makes peace. David realizes how wrong he was and then marries Abigail, probably recognizing her intelligence, courage, and selflessness.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

Nabal’s servants read the handwriting on the wall. They knew that David would not take such an insult (theft, actually) lying down. For their own sake and for the sake of the household. they asked Abigail to do something, knowing Nabal would not (Proverbs 17:12).

The fact that Abigail was able to gather so much food so quickly shows how wealthy Nabal was. If this much food was on hand, it makes Nabal’s ungenerous reply to David all the worse.

In his angry, agitated state, something unexpected made David and his whole company come to an immediate stop: a great procession of gifts, and at the head of that procession, a beautiful woman bowing down before David. This had to make a startling impression on David.

What did Abigail do that saved her men?

  • Abigail came as a humble servant, not as a superior (as the beautiful, rich, and privileged often do).Image result for 1 samuel 25
  • Abigail acted quickly
  • Abigail took the blame on herself, knowing as a woman, David would punish her differently than Nabal
  • Abigail asked David’s permission to speak
  • Abigail told David he was about to make a mistake
  • Abigail brought gifts
  • Abigail asked for forgiveness
  • Abigail compliments David
  • Abigail told David to look at the bigger picture of what God has for him
  • Abigail tells David to act like a man close to God

What did Abigail do wrong in her interaction with David?

  • Abigail went to David without her husband’s consent
  • Abigail called her husband names and criticized him to others
  • Abigail insinuated Nabal should be killed
  • Abigail asked David to remember her
  • Abigail was not outstandingly submissive or respectful to her husband, Nabal.

Though there is no explanation in the Bible, perhaps Abigail’s behavior was justified because this was a life-or-death situation. If Abigail didn’t do what she did, then Nabal and scores of innocent men would die. But the point of the passage is how submissive and respectful Abigail is towards David, not Nabal.

The beauty of Abigail’s speech

  • Abigail focused David’s attention from Nabal back to God who could easily kill all of David’s enemies with a sling, referencing Goliath here.
  • Abigail lifted David up instead of beating him down. David was clearly in the wrong, and Abigail wanted to guide him into the right. But she didn’t do it by being negative, by emphasizing to David how wrong and angry and stupid he was – though in fact he was. Instead, Abigail emphasized David’s glorious calling and destiny, and the general integrity of his life, and simply asked him to consider if what his present course of action was consistent with that destiny and integrity.
  • Abigail is a marvelous model of “sweetly speaking submission.” Many Christian wives have the idea of “silent submission.” They say, “I know my husband is wrong, but I won’t tell him. Submission means I should shut up.” That is wrong, and they should look to Abigail as an example. Other Christian wives have the idea of “sharply speaking submission.” They say, “I know my husband is wrong, and God has appointed me to tell him. And boy, will I!” That is wrong, and they should look to Abigail as an example. Abigail gives the right example – submission that speaks, but speaks sweetly instead of sharply.
  • Abigail’s submission to Nabal was not outstanding but her submission to David was. And David’s submission to the Lord was equally outstanding; by giving up the fight, he had to trust God to take care of Nabal.

What do we learn from Abigail?

  • Our hurt feelings never justify disobedience. When others sin against us, we may feel justified in sinning against them, but we are never justified by disobeying.
  • It is a great blessing when we are kept from sin.

David knew God sent Abigail and was speaking through her. How many Abigails do we have in our lives?

Abigail reminded David of his destiny – to reign over Israel in righteousness and integrity. If David had slaughtered Nabal and his household, it would forever be a black mark against David among Israelites. They would forever wonder if they could really trust him. It might also seal his doom before Saul, because for the first time David would have given Saul a legitimate reason to hunt him down as a criminal.

Note Abigail also paid David what he was owed.

What do we learn from Nabal?

  • Nabal is a picture of the sinner who goes on rejecting God without regard to God’s coming judgment. It is certain that God will judge the sinner who continues to reject Him in His timing.
  • David did not need to avenge himself with his own hand; God was more than able to do it.

Jesus may have had Nabal in mind when He taught the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:15-21). That parable describes a man who dies with everything – and nothing.

Wasn’t David already married when he marries Abigail?

No. David was not married to Michal because Saul had taken her away and given her to another man to spite David (David will get Michal back in 2 Samuel 3:13-16).

David never followed God’s will in his marriage life, causing him some of his greatest trials. Although God did not forbid multiple wives, it is not God’s ideal for men and women and His plan for oneness. David had many passions, one of them being women. He was never blessed by God because, in this respect, he was not a man after God’s own heart.

Commentary Psalm 37:

Verse 25 tells us that the author is David in his older years, giving wisdom in the pattern of a song. This Psalm is roughly acrostic in arrangement with the lines arranged with Hebrew sentences that begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In style this is a wisdom psalm, directed not to man but to God, teaching after the manner of the Book of Proverbs.

Why do the wicked prosper?

Many people “fret” or are jealous of the wicked who proper despite their evil. Asaph was bothered by this problem in Psalm 73. Here’s what Bible commentators have to say about the matter:

  • “The words ‘do not fret’ literally mean ‘do not get heated,’ which is also how we might express it. Or we might Image result for psalm 37say, ‘Don’t get all worked up.’ Or even, ‘Be cool.’” (Boice)
  • “To fret is to worry, to have the heart–burn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law–breakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire.” (Spurgeon)
  • Morgan wrote of this worry, this fret: “It is wrong; it is harmful; it is needless. Let the trusting wait. Events will justify the action.”
  • “It is as foolish as it is wicked to repine or be envious at the prosperity of others. Whether they are godly or ungodly, it is God who is the dispenser of the bounty they enjoy; and, most assuredly, he has a right to do what he will with his own. To be envious in such a case, is to arraign the providence of God.” (Clarke)

David gives the same answer Asaph came to in Psalm 73: any prosperity experienced by the workers of iniquity was only temporary.

“In the Middle East the lush spring vegetation may lose its beauty in a few days after a hot, dry desert wind (hamsin) has parched the land.” (VanGemeren)

We think of a wicked man eating a magnificent dinner while a godly man goes hungry. The wicked man eats anything and everything he wants, and his table is loaded as he enjoys his meal. Then we see the bigger picture: he eats his last meal on death row and in a moment will face terrible judgment.

How do we not worry about what evildoers are doing?

  • Trust God and do good for His glory. We can get distracted by looking at the prosperity of the wicked.
  • Enjoy the blessings God has given you.
  • Delight in the Lord, and God will give you the desires of your heart
  • Wait on the Lord
  • Do not be angry
  • Our reward is eternal; the wicked’s reward is temporary

“The Hebrew for commit is literally ‘roll’, as though getting rid of a burden ( Joshua 5:9). But it comes to be used simply as a synonym for ‘entrust’ (Proverbs 16:3) or ‘trust’; cfPsalm 22:8.” (Kidner)

All evildoers shall be cut off, and the blessed shall inherit the world.

Jesus quoted verse 11 in the Sermon on the Mount, in the third beatitude (Matthew 5:5). “It is right to say that Psalm 37 is an exposition of the third beatitude, even though it was written a thousand years before Jesus began his public ministry. It unfolds the character of the meek or trusting person in the face of the apparent prosperity of the wicked.” (Boice)

Why do the wicked plot against the just?

The wicked gnash their teeth, which shows the depth of their anger and hatred.

“If God can laugh at the wicked, shouldn’t we be able at least to refrain from being agitated by them?” (Boice)

The wicked will be broken; the righteous will be held by God.

Adam Clarke noted that some ancient manuscripts render verse 20 differently. “If we follow the Hebrew, it intimates that they shall consume as the fat of lambs. That is, as the fat is wholly consumed in sacrifices by the fire on the altar, so shall they consume away in the fire of God’s wrath.”

The wicked take; the righteous give.

The promise of earth-inheritance is repeated a three times.

How are the righteous rewarded?

  • God guides our steps
  • God delights in us (Romans 5:1-2).
  • God holds us up so we don’t fall

As we seek the Lord and delight in Him, we find our lives are the perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

Geber is the original word for good, and it properly signifies a strong man, a conqueror or hero; and it appears to be used here to show that even the most powerful must be supported by the Lord.

God provides for His people

This was David’s testimony after many years. He saw God’s faithfulness to His people and wanted a younger generation to also trust in Him, learning from David’s wisdom.

David knew that among his ancestors were some who left Israel, fearful in a time of famine (Ruth 1). When they returned after several disastrous years in Moab, they found the people of Bethlehem in Israel provided for. God knew how to take care of those who trusted in Him in times of famine, and has done so since then.

One way that God provides for the righteous and their descendants is through the ethic of hard work that belongs to the redeemed, who know that all things should be done heartily, as unto the LORD – including working for a living.

Image result for psalm 37Do Godly men and women have to beg?

This Psalm is a wisdom psalm very much like Proverbs. In the Bible’s wisdom literature often times general principles are presented in the absolute.

We also note that David simply wrote of his experience. That being said, God provides no matter what and one must ask if you are begging, are your exercising every option available to you.

God’s judgments descend to posterity, not just His mercies.

We see the repetition of the same promise in the same terms throughout verses 9, 11, 22, 29, 34. This is a reference to the new heavens and the new earth of Isaiah 66:172 Peter 3:13.

What character traits do the righteous possess?

  • Wisdom and just words
  • Knowledge and love of God’s word  (Jeremiah 31:33)

FUN FACT: For the fifth time in this Psalm, David promised the people of God that they would inherit the land. For the sixth time in this Psalm, David promised that the wicked would be cut off or cut down in some sense. Their coming doom was just as certain as the coming blessing and security of the righteous.

David used a green tree as a picture of the wicked in their prosperity. Psalm 1 uses a flourishing tree as a picture of the righteous. “Here it is used in reverse, the wicked being compared to a green tree which flourishes for a time but soon passes away and is seen no more.” (Boice)

Final thought from David: Trust in God.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 4: 1 Samuel 23 and Psalm 54

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Summary 1 Samuel 23:

Despite the men’s fears, David, after inquiring of the Lord and gaining God’s assurance that he would deliver the Philistines into his hands, goes to Keilah and saves it. Saul interprets this as God handing David over to him, so Saul goes to Keilah to besiege David. David asks God if he will be surrendered to Saul and God answers that he would be handed over by the people.

David and 600 men flee Keilah and are on the move in the Desert of Ziph. God protects David from Saul who is looking for David. David rendezvous with Jonathan at Horesh who encourages David in his plight. This will be the last time they see each other.

The Ziphites, a tribe near Horesh, offers to capture David for Saul. Saul tells them to track David and then he’ll go with them to find David. David continues to run and as Saul is closing in, God sends the Philistines to distract Saul who must abandon the search for David and go and fight instead.

Summary Psalm 54:

Simultaneously, David prays for God to save him, for God to vindicate him and destroy his enemies, and he sings God’s praises and expresses his faith in God to do all that he asks.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 4: 1 Samuel 23 and Psalm 54:

9) Part Personal Question. My answer: David always consulted God first. I’m not very good at asking God first. I usually make the decision and then ask God to bless it. This is definitely my prayer this week!

10) Personal Question. My answer: God provides and protects. He sends Jonathan to encourage, probably when David needed it most. I loved how God keeps Saul at bay and the best part is how he sends the Philistines to attack Israel to protect David! God uses Israel’s enemies in ways to save Israel! How cool is that! God also warns and counsels. He is so good if we would only just listen! We also see an example of how people interpret God’s actions wrongly as Saul thinks God is giving David to him when God is really saving Keilah. This is a warning to us both to be wary of people who say “God told me to” and for ourselves when we tell ourselves “God told me to”. Did He REALLY???

11) Personal Question. My answer. Similar to #10 we just answered. I loved how God keeps Saul at bay and the best part is how he sends the Philistines to attack Israel to protect David! God uses Israel’s enemies in ways to save Israel! How cool is that! God encourages David through Jonathan, and, knowing Jonathan will die, allows David to see him one more time. This is a blessing to both men! David always stays one step ahead of Saul thanks to God.

God’s hand touches all we do, all we say, all that happens to us and around us. I need to have faith more in Him, and let Him handle things His way, not mine.

12) Part personal Question. My answer: God is faithful; God is his help; God sustains him; God destroys his enemies; God has delivered David from all his troubles. All of these are comforting. God is the giver of life and is responsible for all my blessings. He is faithful. He sustains me in all aspects: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. He delivers me from my troubles and takes care of my enemies. God is good!

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 4: 1 Samuel 23 and Psalm 54:

God is in control. Period. He works his magic behind the scenes to care for us, to protect us, to encourage us, to rid us of our troubles and our enemies, and to sustain us — all because He loves us. Undeserved love. If we would have faith like David, I think our lives would be much more content, calm, and peaceful as we trusted God in all that we do.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 4: 1 Samuel 23 and Psalm 54:

Commentary 1 Samuel 23:

The Israelites brought this plea for help to David and not to King Saul because Saul was not fulfilling his role as king over Israel. It was Saul’s job to protect Keliah and it was Saul’s job to fight the Philistines, but Saul wasn’t doing his job, so the Lord called David to do it.

David consulted God first (did not pawn off the job on Saul, saying this isn’t my job).

Saving Keilah was not in David’s best interest:

  • David had 400 men who were not trained and bad credit reports (1 Samuel 22:2).
  • David had enough trouble with Saul and he didn’t need to add trouble from the Philistines – one enemy is usually enough.
  • Saving Keilah would expose David to Saul. This was a dangerous course of action.

Why did David save Keilah?

  1. God commanded him to do so
  2. The Israelites needed him

God confirms His word (He does this frequently for us and for those in the Bible) AND adds a promise — something He does for us as well.

The results of obedience

  • David obeyed; God blessed

Saul assumed because David was his enemy that David is God’s enemy. The opposite is true. God’s enemies are ours.

David seeks God again, this time through the priest using the Urim and Thummim. Notice how the questions are presented in a “Yes or No” format, because that is how the Urim and Thummim were used.

David could have stayed and fought, and maybe there was something in him that wanted to. But David knew it was not the Lord’s will, and maybe a lot of innocent people would get hurt. So, David, who was a great warrior, humbled himself and escaped. David was not the kind of man to sneak away from a battle, but he didn’t let his pride get the best of him in this matter.

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The Desert of Ziph

Ziph was a town below the southern tip of the Dead Sea with a dramatically varied landscape. It was not a comfortable or easy place to be — it was a desert. God guided and protected David, but it wasn’t comfortable or easy. This was an essential time for God’s work in David’s life. He became a man after God’s heart in the shepherd’s field, but he became a king in the wilderness.

Many of us walk through our own deserts, and God is there, at work in our lives, too.

Saul was a determined enemy, unrelenting in his pursuit of David. Saul was so obsessed with killing David that he didn’t give attention to the work God called him to do.

Man can intend, attempt, and work all kinds of evil but God is still in charge.

Led by God, Jonathan encouraged David. Jonathan’s encouragement was a mix of divine promises and an expression of hope, desire, and love.

Saul was so spiritually warped that he said the betrayers of an innocent man were blessed. He believed it was David who was crafty when it was God protecting David the entire time.

Commentary Psalm 54:

There were actually two times the Ziphites betrayed David to King Saul: 1) in 1 Samuel 23 and 2) in 1 Samuel 26. David escaped both times, but the circumstances of this Psalm seem to best fit the circumstances of 1 Samuel 23, when David learned of the Ziphite betrayal but before God delivered (1 Samuel 23:26-29).

This is one of the few Psalms with a specific musical direction: with stringed instruments. It is also called A Contemplation. The Hebrew word for Contemplation (maskil) might be better understood as instruction.

David’s Feelings

David relied on both the name and the strength of God. God’s name speaks of the nature and character of God; strength (or might) of His great power. David’s rescue would be his vindication. His enemies would have greater evidence that David was in the right and they were in the wrong when God saved him.

Shortly after both times the Ziphites betrayed David, David had the opportunity to kill King Saul. Both times he spared Saul’s life (1 Samuel 24 and 26), and both times Saul admitted he was wrong.

It was common for David and others in their prayers to merely ask for God to hear or give ear to their cry. It was assumed that if God heard, He would act.

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Who were the Ziphites?

  • The Ziphites were Israelis; they were even of the same tribe as David (Judah). Yet their betrayal of David was so contrary to both David and God’s cause that David could rightly refer to them as strangers who sought David’s life. Who do you know today who does this same thing?
  • The Ziphites rejected God as well as David.

David’s troubles did not lead him to question the goodness of God, but, instead, to appeal to it.

God’s truth (or faithfulness) was under attack as well.

Destroy does mean death–dealing blow.

Should you pray for your enemies to be destroyed?

  • Some are uncomfortable with prayers that ask for the doom of enemies. It’s true that Jesus told us to pray in a more generous way for our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44). Yet there is nothing wrong with the basic principle of wanting to see good triumph and for God to do His work against those who do evil — to render the judgment and consequences that comes with evil and disobeying God.

Should you destroy your enemies?

  • David refused to take vengeance in his own hands. Immediately after the second betrayal of the Ziphites (1 Samuel 26:1) David had the opportunity to kill King Saul in his sleep, and he refused. David waited on God to do it.

What’s a freewill offering?

  • A freewill offering is one that is given to God without a specific reference to a previously made vow. There was no requirement to do so.

Note David praised God during his troubles and before his prayer was answered. So should we. How often do you thank God ahead of time?

God’s past faithfulness became the ground for future faith. David knew what it was like to defeat his enemies (Goliath is an example); he trusted that he would know it again.

Is Psalm 54 a Messianic Psalm?

We definitely see David as Jesus here:

  • Jesus was the anointed King yet to come into the fullness of His kingdom.
  • Jesus came to rescue and lead God’s people, and when He did, some among God’s people betrayed Him.
  • Some of these lines from the Psalm could have been spoken by Jesus to His Father.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 5: Psalm 23 & Psalm 36

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Summary Psalm 23:

David praises the Lord for his faithfulness. David wants nothing. God restores his soul; God guides him; God takes away his fear; God comforts him; God gives him an abundant life. Goodness and love will follow him, and he will dwell with God forever.

Summary Psalm 36:

The wicked do not fear God. They do not know they sin. The plot evil, do wrong, and follow a sinful course. God’s love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice is unfailing. Men find refuge in God’s wings. In God’s light we see His love. God overcomes all evildoers.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 5: Psalm 23 and 36:

13) “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me…surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” All of these. Guiding my life. Restoring me when I’m empty inside. Granting me rest when I am weary. Leading me on the path of righteousness. Dwelling with him forever. Love is with me every day.

14) Personal Question. My answer: David about sums it up perfectly. Most unbelievers don’t know they sin and don’t care. They plot evil, have no moral compass, and don’t fear God. But God will overcome. Sin does breed sin and perpetuates and is ignored.

15) Personal Question. My answer: David knows God overcomes all and is in control. His love is bountiful, and He grants us abundance. We will have hardships, but He is our shepherd, guiding us to Him. It’s good to know God is in charge and to rely on Him completely when the hardships come.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 5: Psalm 23 and Psalm 36:

With arguably the most famous Psalm in the Bible as out study, BSF doesn’t dive into it enough. So much comfort, goodness, and wonder woven in Psalm 23. Please see End Notes for complete discussion of David’s heart and beauty in this amazing Psalm.

See this great summary video of the book of 1 Samuel HERE

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 5 : Psalm 23 & 36:

Commentary Psalm 23:

This beloved Psalm bears the simple title, A Psalm of David. Scholars believe this psalm is a remembrance of David’s youth when he was a shepherd. Spurgeon wrote, “I like to recall the fact that this Psalm was written by David, probably when he was a king. He had been a shepherd, and he was not ashamed of his former occupation.”

This famous psalm has been the last words of thousands before they left this side of heaven.

Where is the Lord a shepherd in the Bible?

  • A shepherd to Moses, the Stone of Israel (Genesis 49:24).
  • In Psalm 28:9 David invited the LORD to shepherd the people of Israel, and to bear them up forever.
  • Psalm 80:1 the LORD as the Shepherd of Israel, who would lead Joseph like a flock.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:11 speaks of the words of the wise, which are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
  • Isaiah 40:11 tells us that the LORD will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm.
  • Micah 7:14 invites the LORD to Shepherd Your people with Your staff… As in days of old.
  •  Zechariah 13:7 speaks of the Messiah as the Shepherd who will be struck, and the sheep scattered (quoted in Matthew 26:31).
  • John 10:11 and 10:14 Jesus clearly spoke of Himself as the good shepherd, who gives His life for the sheep and who can say, “I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
  • Hebrews 13:20 speaks of Jesus as that great Shepherd of the sheep
  • 1 Peter 2:25 calls Jesus the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls
  • 1 Peter 5:4 calls Jesus the Chief Shepherd

Ancient Middle Eastern cultures thought of their kings as shepherds as well.

The idea of Jesus as the Good Shepherd was precious to early Christians. One of the more common motifs in catacomb paintings is Jesus as a shepherd with a lamb carried across His shoulders.

It’s remarkable that the LORD would call Himself our shepherd. “In Israel, as in other ancient societies, a shepherd’s work was considered the lowest of all works. If a family needed a shepherd, it was always the youngest son, like David, who got this unpleasant assignment.” (Boice)

“David uses the most comprehensive and intimate metaphor yet encountered in the Psalms, preferring usually the more distant ‘king’ or ‘deliverer’, or the impersonal ‘rock’, ‘shield’, etc.; whereas the shepherd lives with his flock and is everything to it: guide, physician and protector.” (Kidner)

“A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with a great price. It is well to know, as certainly as David did, that we belong to the Lord. There is a noble tone of confidence about this sentence. There is no ‘if’ nor ‘but,‘ nor even ‘I hope so;’ but he says, ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’” (Spurgeon)

“The sweetest word of the whole is that monosyllable, ‘My.‘ He does not say, ‘The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as his flock,’ but ‘The Lord is my shepherd;’ if he be a Shepherd to no one else, he is a Shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me.” (Spurgeon)

The idea behind God’s role as shepherd is a loving care and concern. David found comfort and security in the thought that God cared for him like a shepherd cares for his sheep.Image result for psalm 23

David felt that he needed a shepherd. The heart of this Psalm doesn’t connect with the self-sufficient. But those who acutely sense their need – the poor in spirit Jesus described in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3) – find great comfort in the idea that God can be a shepherd to them in a personal sense.

“A sheep, saith Aristotle, is a foolish and sluggish creature… aptest of anything to wander, though it feel no want, and unablest to return… a sheep can make no shift to save itself from tempests or inundation; there it stands and will perish, if not driven away by the shepherd.” (Trapp)

“I shall not want”

  • “All my needs are supplied by the LORD, my shepherd.”
  • “I decide to not desire more than what the LORD, my shepherd, gives.

Sheep don’t always know what it needs and what is best for itself, and so needs the help from the shepherd.

Sheep lie down (rest) only when it is without fear, friction, flies, and famine.

Restores may picture the rescue of a lost one. “It may picture the straying sheep brought back, as in Isaiah 49:5, or perhaps Psalm 60:1 (Hebrew 60:3), which use the same verb, whose intransitive sense is often ‘repent’ or ‘be converted’ (egHosea 14:1f.; Joel 2:12).” (Kidner)

“In Hebrew the words ‘restores my soul’ can mean ‘brings me to repentance’ (or conversion).” (Boice)

The shepherd would guide the sheep to what he needed.

The valley of the shadow of death

  • A valley is a low point — not the exhilaration of a mountaintop
  • Death — the ultimate end
  • Shadow — not death itself but the lurking evil in his path

David walks through the shadow of death; it is not his destination or dwelling place. In fact, it is only the Lord’s presence that makes this bearable.

We face only the shadow of death because Jesus took death itself for us.

Those facing death have been comforted, strengthened, and warmed by the thought that the LORD will shepherd them through the valley of the shadow of death.

Light must exist in order to cast a shadow. God as light is casting the shadow; all we do is walk through it to Him

Evil still lurks, but we do not fear it for the shepherd is with us. It is at this moment that the “He” of Psalm 23:1-3 changes to “You.” The LORD as Shepherd is now in the first person.

The rod and staff

The rod and the staff were instruments used by a shepherd. The idea is a sturdy walking stick, which was used to gently guide the sheep and to protect them from potential predators.

There is some debate among commentators as to if David had the idea of two separate instruments (the rod and the staff), or one instrument used two ways. The Hebrew word for rod (shaybet) here seems to simply mean “a stick” with a variety of applications. The Hebrew word for staff (mishaynaw) seems to speak of “a support” in the sense of a walking stick.

Kidner notes: “The rod (a cudgel worn at the belt) and staff (to walk with, and to round up the flock) were the shepherd’s weapon and implement: the former for defence (cf1 Samuel 17:35), and the latter for control – since discipline is security.”

Maclaren writes: “The rod and the staff seem to be two names for one instrument, which was used both to beat off predatory animals and to direct the sheep.”

Either way you look at it, the rod and staff was a comfort to David, knowing God guided him and corrected him.

The significance of the table

  • Table is bounty
  • Prepare is foresight and care
  • Before me is personal attention
  • Presence of enemies is always overcoming obstacles

Image result for psalm 23“Here the second allegory begins. A magnificent banquet is provided by a most liberal and benevolent host; who has not only the bounty to feed me, but power to protect me; and, though surrounded by enemies, I sit down to this table with confidence, knowing that I shall feast in perfect security.” (Clarke)

In the Old Testament world, to eat and drink at someone’s table created a bond of mutual loyalty, and could be the culminated token of a covenant.

Mercy is the covenant-word rendered ‘steadfast love’ elsewhere. Together with goodness it suggests the steady kindness and support that one can count on in the family or between firm friends.” (Kidner)

Commentary Psalm 36:

This Psalm is titled, To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD. Psalm 18 is the only other Psalm that uses the phrase “the servant of the LORD” in the title. Bible scholar Trapp observed that Psalm 18 comes from David’s old age and Psalm 36 from a younger David. From youth to old age, David was the servant of the LORD and “He took more pleasure in the names of duty than of dignity.” (Trapp)

An oracle of transgression could mean David were divinely taught by the sins of others or it’s the voice within a sinner.

We see “oracle of the Lord” in Genesis 22:16 and “oracle of David” in 2 Samuel 23:11.

It is likely that Paul had this Psalm in mind as he composed the opening chapters of his great letter since he quotes verse 1 in Romans 3:18.

The wicked thinks of himself much more highly than he should both in regard to his sins (his iniquity) and his prejudices (hates). Flattery can be us thinking we are more than we actually are; it doesn’t have to come from others.

How does one flatter himself with regards to sin?

Matthew Poole elaborates:

  • Sins “are not sins, which a mind bribed by passion and interest can easily believe.”
  • Sins “are but small and venial sins.”
  • Sins “will be excused, if not justified by honest intentions, or by outward professions and exercise of religion, or by some good actions, wherewith he thinks to make some compensation for them or some other way.”

“The phrase ‘on his bed’ is parallel with ‘on the way’. The ungodly considers evil both in his lying down and in his walking.” (VanGemeren)

Sin is found in what we don’t do as well as in what we do.

The translation of mercy here is inconsistent for the same Hebrew word hesed is translated as loving kindness is both Psalm 36:7 and 36:10. This wonderful word speaks of God’s love and mercy, but especially to His covenant people.

David can only describe these attributes of God with the biggest things he can think of – the heavens, the clouds that fill the sky, the great mountains, and the great deep of the sea.

“The word precious establishes the change from the immense to the intimate and personal.” (Kidner)

Loving kindness in verse 5 1s too great to grasp and in verse 7 is too good to let slip. (Kidner)

What does shadow of Your wings mean?

Bible commentators see the shadow of Your wings 2 ways:

  1. The wings of the cherubim that are over the throne of God and represented in His tabernacle and temple, including the ark of the covenant, the very representation of His throne.
  2. Like a mother hen covering her young chicks under her wings to protect, hide, and shelter them.

We saw this in Ruth with Boaz (Ruth 2:12), and when Jesus was speaking of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37).

I’m inclined to think both.

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The word fullness here is literally fatness. “The fattest is esteemed the fairest and the most excellent food; therefore the saint was enjoined to offer the fat in sacrifice under the law. As God expects the best from us, so he gives the best to us.” (Swinnock, cited in Spurgeon)

The fullness (abundance) of your house is will one of our great joys in heaven when we come to our Father’s house. With unmeasured satisfaction we will have the right to roam heaven and say, “Is this ours? And is this ours?” and say it unto eternity.

River of delight/pleasures: “Possibly a reference to Eden may be intended in the selection of the word for ‘pleasures,’ which is a cognate with that name.” (Maclaren)

What does “in your light we see light” mean?

We see light twice: light discovering and light being discovered and enjoyed.

Light is invisible by itself. Everything is invisible until light strikes it. So it is with God: we can’t see Him, but “in his light” (under his loving influence), we see and understand His love in all that surrounds us. God’s overwhelming generosity stands in complete contrast to the self-important plotting of wicked humans.

John wrote in the opening words of his Gospel: He was the true Light which gives light to every man (John 1:9). “It is hard to doubt that John was thinking of Psalm 36:9 as he composed the prelude.” (Boice)

“The Hebrew is, draw forth, or draw out thy lovingkindness: a metaphor either taken from vessels of wine, which being set abroach once, yield not only one cup, but many cups; so when God setteth abroach the wine of his mercy, he will not fill your cup once, but twice and seven times” (Greenhill, cited in Spurgeon).

Unlike the righteous who may fall seven times yet rise up again (Proverbs 24:16), the workers of iniquity remain in the dust as God protects His servants.

‘They are struck down,’ (thrown down) is the same word as in the picture of the pursuing angel of the Lord in Psalm 35.” (Maclaren)

THERE: Some scholars think it refers to the pride mentioned in the previous verse, others to the place where the workers of iniquity practiced their sin.

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