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

Image result for psalm 54

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.

Image result for 1 samuel 23

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.

Image result for saul pursues david

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.
Advertisements

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 13, Day 4: John 9:8-34

Summary of passage:  People doubted the healed blind man’s testimony when he returned from the Pool of Siloam but the man said no, it is him and Jesus healed him.  The Pharisees again take issue with the fact the miracle was performed on the Sabbath, not the fact the man can see again.  Still, the man is doubted so they bring in the man’s parents to verify who, out of fear, say ask their son.  Their son lectures the Pharisees, saying Jesus has to be from God because God does not listen to sinners.  The Pharisees throw the man out, calling him a sinner.

Questions:

9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  They doubt even though this is a miracle all can see.  The parents are intimidated by the Pharisees so they don’t say anything.  Everyone is naturally skeptical of what you can’t understand so these people are skeptical.  However, they don’t believe the man nor his story.  This is today as well.  It’s hard to believe something unless you see it for yourself because you have to trust people and today that is hard to do.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He is much more confident in his testimony for Jesus as time passes and he probably realizes his sight is permanent.  As my life progresses towards God’s goals for me, I am encouraged and grow in faith for God and what He has for me.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  No one has ever confronted me about God’s work in my life.  I just don’t interact with that many people.

Conclusions:  It’s important to see how this man’s faith grows as the Pharisees try to discount the miracle.  The man moves from barely knowing what has happened to an ardent defender of Jesus, which results in his being thrown out of the church.  He stands for Jesus no matter what.  As God moves, we move.  Period.

End Notes:  Because this was a sign of the Messiah and had never happened before, the neighbors and everyone was shocked and it was hard to believe.  It appears all the man knew was Jesus’ name.  He hadn’t even seen Jesus at this point.

One of the works specifically forbidden on the Sabbath was kneading, which is technically what Jesus did with the mud.  Jesus chose this day to work the miracle to challenge all of man’s interpretations of the Sabbath.  The Sabbath was made for man not the other way around.

Jesus often divided people.  Here, the Pharisees had to chose:  either Jesus was wrong or they were wrong.  The same logic is what Nicodemus said in John 3:2.  No one can perform such miracles unless they were from God.

It’s unheard of for religious leaders to ask a layman what he thinks in terms of religion or religious people.  Obviously, the division and confusion ran deep.

The man says Jesus is a prophet.  He is now understanding more of Jesus.  Also, a prophet was allowed to break the law on the Sabbath.  This would change everything if this were true.  However, it was easier to not believe the man than believe Jesus did such a miracle.

The parents refused to speak to the how out of fear of excommunication (being thrown out of the church). This threat prevented many of standing for Jesus (John 12:42).

“Give glory to God” is a charge to tell the truth (Joshua 7:19).  Jesus is a sinner because he broke man’s laws around the Sabbath.

The man who is uneducated in the law knows one thing:  he was once blind and now he can see.  This is our testimony as well.  God’s work in our lives is merely additional support of our faith in Him.

The man born blind never wavers in his faith and in what happened to him.  He stands strong in his testimony for Jesus.  Do you?

So what do the Pharisees do?  They insult the man, who wonders why the Pharisees can’t figure out something so simple to him (miracle=God).

Isaiah 1:15 and Psalm 66:18 are passages that say God is not obligated to hear the prayer of a sinner.  God can hear the prayer of a sinner, but He doesn’t have to.  Spurgeon says of this passage:  “If Christ had been an impostor, it is not possible to conceive that God would have listened to his prayer, and given him the power to open the blind man’s eyes.”

The pride of the religious leaders about the man lecturing them led to his being excommunicated.  This is a common pattern in false religions and in political systems not steeped in freedom.  As we’ll see in the next section, this led to the man worshipping Jesus.  It turned out all for God’s good and glory.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 13, Day 4: Revelation 7:1-8

Summary of passage: John saw 4 angels holding back the 4 winds of the earth from the 4 corners of the earth. Another angel with the seal of the living God told the 4 angels to not harm the land until a seal is placed on the foreheads of God’s servants, a total of 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel (12,000 each).

Questions:

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  We see in Genesis 6 God sparing Noah who is a man of righteousness while punishing the rest of the world.  Moses asked God to spare His people repeatedly or God would have started over with Moses (Exodus 32:10; Numbers 14).  God is just.  He is holy and as holy He must punish sin.

Awesome passage in 2 Peter 2:4-10 where Peter points out God spares no one judgment.  He judges angels, Noah, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah but saves Lot.  God knows how to rescue the godly and condemn the ungodly.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It has deepened my gratitude for being among the chosen.  My understanding of why judgment occurs and suffering occurs in the world has deepened.  God’s mercy and grace are infinite; only man puts a limit on it.

Conclusions:  Thematic questions to the passage.  Helps us to understand why God does not save everyone.  Because everyone doesn’t want to be saved.

End Notes:  See Previous Lesson HERE

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 13, Day 4: Exodus 40:34-38

Summary of passage:  The cloud and glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle once it was completed and no one could enter.  Whenever the cloud lifted, the Israelites would continue their journey.  If the cloud stayed, they stayed.  The cloud was over the tabernacle by day and fire by night during all the Israelites travels.

Questions:

9a)  “The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”

b)  That He would dwell amongst His people

c)  When the Holy Spirit filled the early Christians.

d)  Acts 2:38:  “Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

10a)  Moses could no longer enter the Tent of Meeting.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Moses couldn’t enter the Tent of Meeting because God’s glory was too powerful to be near.  He did not have the Holy Spirit within.  As a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, I have the Holy Spirit within and I can be next to God.  I can use God’s power and guidance to serve Him in His ways.

Conclusions:  Short and sweet.  When we obey God, we are blessed.  He is pleased with us and He dwells with us and walks with us.  He does anyways if we are believers but when we do His will, He rewards us.

We should feel immensely blessed that we live on this side of heaven and have the Holy Spirit to help us through this rough and turbulent life we lead.  It’s something we should thank God for daily–for His Son, Jesus Christ, who saved us so we can be with God.  Amazing and wonderful and compassionate and inspiring!

End Notes:  The same thing happened to Solomon when the Temple was completed (1 Kings 8:10-11).  Without God, it was just a tent.  With God, it’s holy.

God kept His promise to stay with the Israelites and the book of Exodus ends with such hope and obedience. Awesome!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 4: Matthew 13:9-17, 34-35

Summary of passages:  Matthew 13:9-17:  Jesus tells his disciples that he uses parables to speak to the people because those who do not have him will lose everything and they have not the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven as the disciples do.  Thus, those who have him, will be given more.  Furthermore, the parables fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 6:9-10, which says those who do not hear nor see have a calloused heart and if they turned they would see and hear.  But those that do hear and see the Truth are blessed because many who long to hear and see the Truth are unable.

Matthew 13:34-35:  This quotes Psalm 78:2 how Jesus will speak in parables when he comes.

Questions:

9a)  First, Jesus tells his disciples that he uses parables to speak to the people because those who do not have him will lose everything and they have not the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven as the disciples do.  Second, Jesus speaks in parables to fulfill prophecy.

b)  Most had rejected Jesus and the parables are meant to conceal truth from those who do not see or hear.  And these people who do not have will lose what has been given to them.  They will see the parables as mere stories and will thus not turn more against God.  In this way, God is merciful.

c)   To those who are blessed with the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven more will be given to them and they will have an abundance (verse 11-12).  They will understand more through the parables and will have a deeper relationship with God.  They will be blessed (verse 16).

d)  Part-personal question.  Jesus said they are blessed by their knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven and they will be given an abundance.  I lead a pretty blessed and abundant life.  All of my needs are met (and many of my wants).  I feel utterly humbled and privileged to be a part of God’s kingdom here on earth and I try to take that responsibility seriously every day of my life as I convey God’s greatness to those around me.

10)  Both Mark and Luke say whoever has will be given more and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.  Mark says with the measure you use, more will be measured to you.  Matthew is saying whoever understands God and Jesus and His kingdom will be blessed and receive more because of it.  Whoever rejects Jesus and God and His kingdom will lose everything.

11a)  People, although physically able to see and hear, were not spiritually able to see and hear the message for their hearts were hardened towards him and his message.  Otherwise, if they heard, they would be healed.  They were against him with no hope of salvation.  So he had come for those who would hear and see him.

b)  This describes those who are going through the motions only; who attend church with no real desire to be more like Jesus; who pretend to be God-like but their actions show they are not; whose heart is not God’s.  The world and their experiences have hardened them to the word to the point they barely hear and see.  God wants all of us and He wants to be first in our lives.  Otherwise, we aren’t hearing nor seeing Him.

Conclusions:  I guess this day answers my qualm’s with Day 2 but I still would prefer chronological or at least have us read the whole passage and then focus on small bits so we’d know Jesus’ reasons while answering the rest of the questions.  I read the whole passage anyways and I prefer to have the whole picture instead of just snippets of Jesus.  There’s so much we don’t know that I need to know what we do know.

Admittedly, I had to read commentaries to understand the intricacies of these passages.  On the surface, it just appears as if Jesus tells cool stories.  But there is so much more to the parables as we learned through these questions, which show God’s extreme love for us, his people, and his love for the unbelievers as well whom he shows both mercy to and whom he warns as well.  God is such an awesome God!

Fun Fact:  Matthew uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven” 32 times in his book.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 13, Day 4: Genesis 14:17-24 & 15:1

Summary of passages:  Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him.  The king of Sodom came out to meet him.  Then Melchizedek king of Salem (or Jerusalem) and a priest of God brought out bread and wine.  He blessed Abram and Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

The king of Sodom asked Abram for his people back that had been carried away by Kedorlaomer but told Abram he could keep the goods.  Abram said he has sworn to God that he will accept nothing from him so that he could not say he had made Abram rich. He will only accept what they have eaten and what the men who accompanied him want.

Abram had a vision and received the word of the Lord:  Do not be afraid for I am your shield and your very great reward.

Questions:

8 )  Reverently.  The king of Sodom fled from the Babylonians and had their entire city plundered.  Abram, a Hebrew, regained all that was taken.  The king came to Abram after his victory and asked for his people back and told Abram he could keep the booty.  Abram said he would accept nothing belonging to them so all would know and testify that Abram’s wealth and success came from God, not from military might or pagan’s goods.

Melchizedek, king of Salem (or Jerusalem) and priest of God showed up.  Not for sure why since he and his people were not involved in the fighting.  He brought bread and wine to Abram and blessed him and in return Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Everything he took in the war or everything I wonder).

9a)  God will be his shield and his very great reward.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  So Abram could conquer and prosper by God’s hand and not by others.  So he wouldn’t have to accept charity from unbelievers.  So he could be the example of God’s greatness.  So all would know blessings and rewards come from God.

I think we all need these promises.  God is our shield and He is the best reward.  Agree?

10)  If we do God’s will and live by Him, then He will prosper us.  We don’t have to prosper on our own.  Many people today think they are successful because of their hard work but it’s really by God’s grace and will even if you are an unbeliever for God has plans for ALL and He uses all to accomplish His purposes.  Look at all the kings and rulers throughout history who were successful and not believers.  Yet God was in control.

Give God the credit and do His will.

That being said I do see a place where accepting charity from unbelievers could grow their faith as it affords opportunities to share the gospel.

Conclusions:  Focus on this lesson was on Abram’s refusing to accept booty from unbelievers for he wanted God to have all the credit for his success and not man.  I hope we explore Melchizedek tomorrow for there is a richness we are missing otherwise with regards to the Messiah.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 13, Day 4: Hebrews 12

Summary of passage:  Since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (the faithful mentioned in Chapter 11) let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who endured the cross and its shame so that we may not grow weary and lose heart.

In your struggle, you have forgotten the encouraging words that the Lord disciplines those He loves and accepts as children.  We must endure hardship since God is treating us as His children just like we were disciplined by our parents.  For God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness.  Albeit discipline is painful, it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who endure.

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy for without holiness we cannot see God.  Make sure no one misses the grace of God and no bitter root grows.  Make sure no one is sexually immoral or godless.

You have no come to the mountain that is burning with fire, darkness and gloom or heard a voice that was so great it begged no further words be spoken.  Instead, you have come to Mount Zion to the living God, the judge of all men and to Jesus whose blood provided us salvation.

Do not refuse God who is granting us a kingdom that cannot be shaken.  Instead, be grateful and worshipful of the Lord.

Questions:

9a)  Everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles

b)  With perseverance

c)  On Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who’s in the lead

10a)  God disciplines out of love for us and for our good so that we may share in his holiness. Discipline produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

b)  Strengthen your body and make level the path you transgress.  Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy.  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  See that no one is sexually immoral and godless.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My friends and family.  Strangers whom I come in contact with.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The voice would be most fearsome to me.  Being with God and Jesus would be the most glorious.

12)  Do not refuse or reject God.  Be thankful and worship God with reverence and awe.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Everything.  Everywhere you turn there is violence.  The economy is in shambles.  People are killing their kids and themselves.  Despair and the Devil are everywhere.

In my personal world it is clearing out all the negativity and those around me who only are negative so I can be whom I’m called to be.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By not ignoring God when He speaks.  My following His will for my life and not my own.  By being grateful and full of praise and worship for God.  By spreading the Good News at every opportunity.

Conclusions:  I love the reminder that God disciplines out of love (as we do our children).  Sometimes when life seems like it can’t get any worse we tend to blame God and ask, “Why?”  Here’s our answer:  “God disciplines for our good, that we may share in his holiness.”  I can’t think of a better reason, can you?

Short answers today which I think indicates straight-forwardness in God’s word.  There’s not much interpretation here.  We are given reasons and answers.  Great stuff!