Jesus gives the disciples a command to not leave Jerusalem until they have received the gift from His Father, which is the Holy Spirit. The disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel and Jesus says it is not for them to know the Father’s timing; it is for them to be witnesses for him in Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Then Jesus was taken up before their eyes into heaven. Two men in white suddenly appeared next to the disciples and said this same Jesus will come back again in the same way you have seen him ascend. (Basically, quit gawking and start talking! You have much work to do!).
Summary of John 14:1-3:
Jesus assures his disciples he is preparing a place in heaven for them to be with him.
Jesus will ask God to give the disciples the Holy Spirit to be with them instead of him physically to live inside of them.
The Holy Spirit will guide them in what to say and do and bring God and Jesus Glory.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15
8 ) So that the Holy Spirit could come in his place. That way all believers can be with Jesus.
9) “Jesus will come back int eh same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
10) That they would not be alone and forsaken after Jesus left them.
Conclusions to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15
I would definitely encourage you to look back at the previous Acts study and see the differences. This lesson especially has been vastly modified from when I first did this study the last go-around. Here’s my commentary from back then HERE We had to look up way more Bible verses back in the day.
End Notes to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15
Jesus was taken up from them as He blessed them (Luke 24:50). As He slowly disappeared into the sky, surrounded by a cloud they continued to gaze upward.
The cloud of glory (called the Shekinah) that is associated with the presence of God in the Old and New Testaments.
It was important for Jesus to leave His disciples in this manner. He could have simply vanished to heaven and the Father’s presence in a secret sort of way. But by ascending in this manner, Jesus wanted His followers to know that He was gone for good.
John 16:6-7 Jesus says, “You are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you.”
Morgan speculated that the two men were possibly Moses and Elijah. It seems best to say they were angels.
This same Jesus reminds us that the Jesus ascended to heaven and seated at the right hand of God the Father is the same Jesus of the Gospels. He is the same Jesus forever and always.
This entire focus is being with Jesus again, who is preparing a place out of his great love for us. Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us every day.
Samuel died, and David moved to the Desert of Maon. There, a wealthy man named Nabal and his wife, Abigail, lived. His men were shearing sheep when David asked him to give him whatever he could. Nabal refused, so David prepared to fight.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:
3) Part Personal Question. My answer: Nabal is “surly and mean in his dealings.” He is also greedy, ungenerous, and skeptical. I’m the same. I don’t believe people most of the time nor do I give out random things to people I don’t know. I bet Nabal got a lot of people begging from him, so he didn’t care who David was, the answer was no.
4) David immediately gets angry after a simple no. It seems David has gotten used to getting what he wants because of who he is since he identifies himself. He and his men put on their swords, seemingly with the intention to kill Nabal’s men and/or his livestock.
5) Personal Question. My answer: Those around me. Anger affects those closest to us. I need to be better when I don’t get my way. It all depends on what it is and how bad I want something. Still, we can’t have everything we want as David shows us here. We need to react calmly, not overreact, and move on with our lives.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:
David does act impulsively, believing he is owed something by a man he had no agreement with. Maybe he and his men are starving. Still, that’s no reason to go and fight. It also seems like Samuel died unceremoniously. I’m sure he was remembered, but the writer here doesn’t care to go into it.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:
Samuel seemed to be unappreciated by Israel during his life (1 Samuel 8:1-7) but at least he was honored in his death. 1 Chronicles 9:22 suggests he organized the Levites in the service of the sanctuary which was completed by David and Solomon. 1 Chronicles 26:27-28 says Samuel began collecting treasures for building the temple in Solomon’s day. 2 Chronicles 35:18 reports that Samuel remembered the Passover and kept Israel in remembrance of God’s great deliverance. Psalm 99:6 and Jeremiah 15:1 commemorate Samuel as a man of great intercession. Hebrews 11:33 puts Samuel among God’s “Heroes of Faith.”
What are the 4 kinds of riches?
What you have
What you do
What you know
What you are
Nabal only was wealthy in what he had.
This was the “harvest time” for a sheep rancher, which was a time of lavish hospitality towards others.
“Sheep-shearing was traditionally celebrated by feasting with enough to spare.” (Baldwin)
The name Nabal means fool. In ancient Israel, names were often connected with a person’s character. He was of the house of Caleb, which means dog. This was no compliment.
FUN FACT: Only Rachel (Genesis 29:17) and Esther (Esther 2:7) are described with the same Hebrew word as the one here that describes Abigail as beautiful.
Why was Abigail with Nabal?
We can understand it in that day of arranged marriages — a noble woman with a surly man. “It is remarkable how many Abigails get married to Nabals. God-fearing women, tender and gentle in the sensibilities, high-minded and noble in their ideals, become tied in an indissoluble union with men for whom they can have no true affinity, even if they have not an unconquerable repugnance.” (Meyer)
David believed because he protected Nabal’s sheep of his own accord that Nabal owed him compensation. How often do we do this?
Nabal had to have known who David was, because David was famous throughout all Israel (1 Samuel 18:5-7). Nabal said this as a direct insult to David – knowing who he was but refusing to recognize him. In our modern way of speaking, Nabal said, “Who does he think he is?”
Nabal looked at all of his material blessings as his instead of as God’s.
What do we learn by David’s overreaction?
This is not a high moment for David. He doesn’t respond the way God would have him respond to an insult. We are supposed to bear insults with love and kindness, returning their evil with our good. Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. (Matthew 5:38-39)
This is striking since we just saw in the previous chapter how David responds to Saul. David was able to be kind to Saul, but it seems to have been harder to do it towards someone he perceived as his equal or lower than himself. Often, this is true measure of our character – not how we treat our superiors, but how we treat our equals or those “beneath” us in some way or another.
David escaped Gath and went to a cave of Adullam. All the misfits of the world heard of his plight and how he was there, so they all gathered around him — about 400 in total.
Then David went to Mizpah in Moab and asked the king if his father and mother could come and stay with him until he know what God would do with him, which the king agreed. However, the prophet Gad told David to go to Judah, so David went to the forest of Hereth.
Saul learns of David’s whereabouts and takes officials to the tree of Gibeah. He rants about how everyone has conspired against him — even his own son (Jonathan) made a covenant with David. It’s a pity party to say the least.
Doeg the Edomite (1 Samuel 21:7) tattles that he saw David go to Ahimelech the priest at Nob who gave David provisions and Goliath’s sword. Saul sends for the priest and his family and asks him why he conspired against him. Ahimelech said he merely did what he was asked, knowing nothing of the inner workings of politics between them. David is a loyal servant to the king. Why wouldn’t he inquire of the Lord for him?
Saul orders the priests killed because, in his mind, they conspired against him as well. The officials refused, but Doeg agreed to do it. 85 priests were killed and Nob was destroyed — all who lived inside it.
One priest escaped named Abiathar. He fled to David and told him what happened. David felt responsible for the deaths and promised to protect Abiathar.
Summary Psalm 52:
Written about Doeg, David is angry, but knows God is just and will deal with Doeg. He knows Doeg is a disgrace and evil, God will bring him down, and the righteous will know God is not his stronghold. David trusts in God’s unfailing love, praising Him and hoping in Him.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 3: 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 52:
6) Part personal question. My answer: Saul is a madman. Saul is throwing a pity party and, blinded by his own pride, kills innocent people. When Saul finds out the truth about the priest, he still accuses him of wrong doing and acts on this knowledge — killing them. How often do we do this as well? Throw a pity party, twist things in our minds — what others do or say — and then don’t believe the truth and still hold grudges against others? It’s definitely a warning to us to not get so caught up in ourselves and our conceived hurts and injustices, to find out the truth, and to act on the truth — not distort the truth.
7) Part personal question. My answer: David is sympathetic to the priests and blames himself for their deaths. He knew Doeg was evil and would tell Saul about him, but he did nothing (he probably thinks he should have killed Doeg — a sin of itself — to spare the priests). He also knows he lied to the priests, which made them vulnerable when Saul shows up, and they have no idea that Saul hates David and wants him dead.
David takes responsibility for the deaths of the priests. He knows his actions indirectly resulted in their deaths. He offers to protect the one remaining priest. Taking responsibility here for your role in how life plays out is the lesson I see here. So often we dismiss how our actions influenced others or caused this or that friction between others and deny it’s our fault. We need to be more like David — compassionate and willing to admit when we caused something as well as take into account how the lies we tell affects others.
8 ) Part personal Question. My answer: David understands that God will deal with evil and those who are good, God will bless. My views are the same. God is the judge not me, and evil He allows for His own purposes, and I trust God will deal with it. I also know if you obey the Lord, He will bless you, and you will flourish.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 3: 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 52:
What a fascinating look into the mind of a madman and how people will twist whatever they hear to suit their needs. Saul is throwing a pity party and, blinded by his own pride, kills innocent people. It’s scary because we all do this on some level, especially when we read into situations or don’t have all the information. But here, when Saul finds out the truth about the priest, he still accuses him of wrong doing. How often do we do this as well? Don’t believe the truth and then still hold grudges against others?
The second lesson we see is how our lies affect others — even white lies. We never know how it plays out. It’s always best to tell the truth no matter the consequences than tell a lie and watch the consequences explode.
Great analysis of David and Saul here and great contrast. You gotta love the writer here who perfectly juxtaposes these stories for us so we can see how to act and how not to act. God is good!
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 3: 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 52:
Commentary 1 Samuel 22:
What a whirlwind of a life David has led! David rose to fame killing a Giant, married the king’s daughter, defeated the Philistines, avoided repeated attempts on his life, and said goodbye to his best friend, Jonathan, and his family and began a life as a fugitive for who knows how long. Then David had a brief, but intense period of backsliding, a dramatic turn to the Lord, and deliverance from a life-threatening situation.
What was the cave of Adullam?
Adullam means refuge
The cave became David’s physical refuge
God was David’s spiritual refuge
Most archaeologists believe that the cave of Adullam was not too far from the place where David defeated Goliath, in the hills of Judah.
Psalm 142 is David’s discouragement in the cave of Adullam. Psalm 57 describes David as the Lord strengthened him in the cave and prepared him for what was next.
Who were the people in the cave of Adullam?
First, David’s family came to him. This is a precious gift from God because previously all David had was trouble and persecution from his father and his brothers (1 Samuel 16:11 and 1 Samuel 17:28). Now they join him at the Adullam cave.
God called an unlikely and unique group to David in the Adullam cave. These were not the men David would choose for himself, but they were the ones God called to him. They were distressed, in debt, and discontented with life.
These are the people you want around you: those who come to you when you are in distress — not when life is going great. These men all came to David when he was down and out, hunted and despised. Once David came to the throne, there were a lot of people who wanted to be around him. But it’s the 400 men in the cave who are the loyal ones.
These are the people who come to Jesus — the forlorn, the distressed, the ones seeking something more from life.
This was not a mob. This was a team that needed a leader, and David became that leader. God doesn’t work through mobs. He works through called men and women.
This was a solid beginning to a rebel army if David wanted it. An unprincipled leader might make these 400 men into a gang of rebels or cutthroats, but David did not allow this to become a rebel army against King Saul.
David made them into the kind of men described in 1 Chronicles 12:8: Mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle the shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains.
What do we learn from the men called at the cave of Adullam?
David was the one anointed by God to be the next king over Israel, and he became Israel’s greatest earthly king. But just as much as God called David, God called these four hundred to come beside David.
God leads through a called and anointed man (Noah and the ark, Moses and Egypt).
God rarely calls that man to work alone. David needed these 400 men, even if he never thought so before. There are those called to lead and those called to support the leader. Each is just as important as the other.
David took his parents to Moab because his great-grandmother Ruth was a Moabite (Ruth 4:18-22, 1:4). He wanted his parents to be safe in whatever battles he may face in the future, and he feared Saul might retaliate against him and kill his parents.
David doesn’t know the whole story. He knew he was called and anointed to be the next king of Israel, but he had no idea how God would get him there. David had to trust and obey when he didn’t know what God would do.
Gad counseled David to leave his own stronghold and to go back to the very stronghold of Saul. This probably wasn’t what David really wanted to hear, but he obeyed anyway. David had to learn to trust God in the midst of danger, not on the other side of danger.
Saul enters the picture
When we see Saul with a spear, we know he’s out to kill. He calls David “the son of Jesse”, refusing to acknowledge his achievements.
In his fleshly, self-focused world, everything revolved around Saul. He became paranoid and whiny, and he led through guilt and accusation. He lied about Jonathan, and thus constructed elaborate lies and conspiracies in his own head against him.
Doeg the Edomite
Here’s an ambitious man out to take full advantage of Saul’s paranoia to advance himself. We last saw him in 1 Samuel 21:7 in Nob, at the tabernacle at the same time David came there.
Doeg implicated the priest Ahimelech as David’s accomplice. “Look at all the help Ahimelech gave David. Surely, they are working together against you Saul, and Ahimelech probably knows exactly where David is and where he is going.”
He knew how to divert Saul’s anger and suspicion from himself onto the priests.
Saul continues in his paranoia, thinking everyone is out to get him.
Why even white lies are dangerous
Here we see the effect David’s lies had on Ahimelech (that ultimately resulted in his death).
Ahimelech told the exact truth. When David came to Ahimelech, the priest questioned him carefully (Why are you alone, and no one is with you, 1 Samuel 21:1). Instead of telling Ahimelech the truth, David lied to him. This put Ahimelech in a very vulnerable position.
Ahimelech was unaware of the hatred Saul has for David, partly due to the lie David told him (1 Samuel 21:2).
Saul has turned to murdering in cold blood. Many scholars think Saul is angry at God for abandoning him and stripping him of his crown and, being unable to carry out his anger on the Lord, strikes out at the innocent such as Ahimelech and his family. This was the worst act Saul will commit.
To their credit, Saul’s servants feared God more than Saul and they refused to murder the priests. Doeg, who was not a Jew but an Edomite, didn’t hesitate to murder the priests and their families.
How did David cause the death of Ahimelech and his family?
David’s mere presence with Ahimelech that made Ahimelech guilty in Saul’s eyes, and there really wasn’t anything David or anyone could do about that.
David’s lying to Ahimelech made the priest vulnerable before Saul.i. David’s lies did not directly kill Ahimelech and the other priests. But at the very least, he kept Ahimelech from dying with greater honor. If Ahimelech knew of the conflict between David and Saul, he could have chosen to stand with David and die with greater honor.ii. We know from both 1 Samuel and the Psalms that David turned his heart back to the LORD and asked forgiveness after his lies to Ahimelech. David was restored, but there was still consequences to come of the lies, and now David sees those consequences.
David could not do anything about the priests who were already murdered. He confessed his guilt in the matter and sought forgiveness from the LORD. Now, all he can do is minister to the need in front of him – Abiathar, the surviving priest.
Commentary Psalm 52:
Though the condemnation of Doeg in this Psalm is strong, we sense it would be stronger in light of the mass-murder he committed. Yet this is David’s contemplation upon the incident, a careful examination of the root and end of Doeg’s evil.
Doeg took pride in his lies and murder.
“The thought conveyed in this Hebrew word (boast) is not necessarily that of a person strutting around making extravagant claims to others about his or her abilities. Rather it is that of a smug self-sufficiency that does not parade itself openly simply because it is so convinced of its superiority.” (Boice)
Doeg murdered 85 civilians, mostly priests who were not trained for battle – hardly the work of a true mighty man. Like several other commentators, Poole thought this was used in an ironic sense: “O mighty man! he speak ironically. O valiant captain! O glorious action! to kill a few weak and unarmed persons in the king’s presence, and under the protection of his guards! Surely thy name will be famous to all ages for such heroical courage.” (Poole)
Spurgeon puts this more succinctly: “A mighty man indeed to kill men who never touched a sword! He ought to have been ashamed of his cowardice.”
David earnestly believed that Doeg’s way would fail. God’s goodness would outlast his evil. It’s true that Doeg was a mighty man, but that was nothing compared to God and His never-ending goodness.
When David wrote the goodness of God, he used the word El to refer to deity instead of the more common Elohim. Some commentators believe the use of El emphasizes the strength and might of God.
David mentions the destruction and deaths that came from what Doeg reported (1 Samuel 22:18-19).
Some people love evil, and some people love to lie. Doeg fulfilled both aspects. He loved the destruction his devouring words brought.
Boice believes Doeg was just as calculating as evil as there is reason to believe there was a gap in time between David visiting the tabernacle at Nob and Doeg’s report to King Saul. “He knew he had a piece of valuable information and kept it to himself until it would best serve his interests to divulge it.” How many times do we do this?
Because the goodness of God endures forever (Psalm 52:1), Doeg and his kind would be destroyed forever.
When the coming judgment against Doeg happens, the people of God will notice it, and it will cause them to honor and revere God. It will also make them laugh in satisfaction at the destruction of such an evil man. This is righteous joy — something acceptable. This is not laughing at people because you are better than them.
Note it is the righteous that learn from this; not the evil who don’t care.
What can we learn from Doeg?
He fails to trust God and instead trusts riches (often what happens to people when you glean the favors of a king)
We often are drawn to evil and lying because we fail to trust God can and will work through goodness and truth. We lie to ourselves, saying that we have to lie, do evil, or deceive because it’s the only way. It’s never the way.
The significance of the olive tree
“The olive is one of the longest-living trees; here the point is doubly reinforced, for he pictures an olive ‘in full sap’ and one that grows in a sacred courtyard.” (Kidner)
Psalm 92:13 may indicate that there were trees at or near the house of God.
“Hope” is also translated “wait”. Our strength is to wait on God and His will. Therein lies our honor.
David, now on the run, goes to Nob to the priest Ahimelech, asking for bread. He lies to obtain it since all the priests had was consecrated bread, which is bread reserved for the priests. But David is desperate. He is given the sword he killed Goliath with by the priest as well. One of Saul’s servants saw David at the priest’s place (which would later cost the priest his life).
David, desperate, flees to Achish, king of Gaul, who has heard of David. David pretends to be insane in order to stay.
Summary Psalm 34:
Written when David was with Achish and pretending to be insane, David is praising God for delivering him from evil, saving him from troubles, blessing him, and keeping him from want. David advises us to do good, seek peace, and don’t tell lies. He hears our cries and delivers us. He slays the wicked. He protects us and heals us.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 2: 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34:
3) David is desperate, so he lies to the priest. God is always present, and Jesus as well.
4) The fact that they knew who he was. Word might get out to Saul where he was hiding. David pretended to be insane in order to stay. Psalm 56 tells us that the Philistines captured David and have no intentions of letting go the man who killed Goliath.
5a) David is grateful to God for taking care of him and providing all that he needs. He knows God will punish those who pursue him and do evil.
b) Personal Question. My answer: David is very positive and confident in God as he is on the run. He knows God is taking care of him and in His time, all will be as it is supposed to be. This is encouraging to stay upbeat and know God is in control and to let Him be in control.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 2: 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34:
Unimpressed with the questions. I just felt they were cursory to say the least.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 13, Day 2: 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34:
Commentary 1 Samuel 21:
David flees to the right place — a priest. The priest, however, is confused on why such a prominent person would be alone. David lies about his situation, which he will regret later (1 Samuel 22:22).
Many of us would have lied in the same circumstances; but that does not excuse it.
What is holy bread?
The tabernacle of the Lord had a table that held twelve loaves of bread, symbolizing God’s continual fellowship with Israel.
Literally, consecrated bread means showbread or “bread of faces.” It is bread associated with and to be eaten before the face of God. F.B. Meyer calls the showbread“presence-bread.” To eat the showbread was to eat God’s bread in God’s house as a friend and a guest of the Lord, enjoying His hospitality. In that culture eating together formed a bond of friendship that was permanent and sacred.
The bread was always to be fresh. David receives the leftovers.
One must be clean to eat the holy bread.
It was to be eaten by the priests: And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place (Leviticus 24:9).
Why did the priest give the bread to David?
The priest understood human need was greater than customs, as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 12:1-8
POWERFUL LESSON FOR US:
We cannot add to God’s word. God never said the bread was “only” for priests. Human traditions are never more important than God’s word itself, but we must never elevate our extension or application of God’s Word to the same level as God’s word itself.
Doeg the Edomite: The word translated chief means mighty but can also be used to mean violent or obstinate. Doeg will show himself to be a violent and obstinate man. We shall meet him again.
David continues in his lies to get his sword. It appears David is now trusting in weapons over faith in God, as shown by his continued lies. To us, God’s word should be our “give it to me” cry.
Why did David flee to Gath?
David’s next move is confounding. David is now among the Philistines. He must be discouraged or deceived to think he could find peaceful refuge among these enemies of Israel.
It didn’t make sense for the man who carried Goliath’s sword to go to Goliath’s hometown (1 Samuel 17:4). It didn’t make sense for the man who was sustained by the sacred bread of God to find refuge among the pagans. It didn’t make sense for the man after God’s own heart to lie.
The Philistines of Gath recognized David as the king of the land of Israel. These ungodly men understood David’s destiny better than King Saul. Here, we see the price of fame (1 Samuel 18:6-7).
David is captured by the Philistines as Psalm 56 tells us.David thought he could find anonymity or sympathy among the ungodly Philistines in Gath and disappear, but he was wrong. Psalm 56 describes David’s journey from fear to praising as a prisoner in Gath.
Psalm 56 shows that David turned back to the Lord here. Hence, the slide that had started since he left Jonathan to now stops. Saul never turned back on his path.
Why did David act like a madman?
Basically, David humiliated himself before the Philistines. The saliva on the beard was a sign of madness because men in that culture would consider this something only a man out of his right mind would allow.
David’s plan worked. Achish decided that this wasn’t David after all, or if it was he was such a pathetic specimen that he may as well let him go.
Was David walking in the Spirit or in the flesh when he pretended madness?
Some commentators believe that David was in the flesh and trusting in himself. But the change of Psalm 56 happened before David’s escape, and it made sense that the Lord would guide David into a path of escape that would humble him. When David tried to protect himself with lies and tried to find refuge among the ungodly, he really was acting crazy. Trusting in God was the only sane thing to do.
Commentary Psalm 34:
Psalm 34 is David’s declaration of joy when he escaped from Gath with his life. The title of Psalm 34 reads, A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed. Abimelech was probably a title given to rulers among the Philistines; the ruler’s proper name was Achish (1 Samuel 21:20).
A fugitive from Saul, David went to the Philistine city of Gath but found no refuge there and narrowly escaped (1 Samuel 21:10-22:1). Following that, David went to Adullam Cave where many desperate men joined him. This joyful and wise Psalm seems to have been written from that cave, and sung in the presence of those men.
The structure of this Psalm is acrostic, or nearly so. Each verse begins with another letter of the Hebrew alphabet, except for the letter waw. The purpose in this Psalm mainly seems to be as a device used to encourage learning and memorization.
Psalm 34 begins beautifully (Psalm 34:1-4) as David is full of gratitude to God who got him out of a mess he himself created.
Take away from 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34:
God’s amazing goodness is shown when He delivers us when we don’t really deserve it.
David was hiding in his heart from God. Paul, in his great passage on boasting, may have remembered this saying and this episode, and so recalled his own ignominious escape from another foreign king (2 Corinthians 11:30-33.
Glorify is magnify in Hebrew. David knew there was something magnetic about the true praise of God. When one genuinely praises God, he or she wants to draw others into the practice of praise.
Magnify means to make Him larger in one’s perception. Magnification does not actually make an object bigger, and we can’t make God bigger. But to magnify something or someone is to perceive it as bigger, and we must do that regarding God.
Keys to praying:
David sought the Lord
The Lord heard David
The Lord delivered David
Commentators are divided as to if David sinned when he feigned madness among the Philistines or if he was obedient and guided by God.
“The more we can think upon our Lord, and the less upon ourselves, the better. Looking to him, as he is seated upon the right hand of the throne of God, will keep our heads, and especially our hearts, steady when going through the deep waters of affliction.” (Smith, cited in Spurgeon)
The idea is that they draw something from God’s own glory and radiance. Later, the Apostle Paul would explain much the same thought: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18) This radiance is some evidence that one has truly looked to Him.
“Radiant is a word found again in Isaiah 60:5, where it describes a mother’s face lighting up at the sight of her children, long given up for lost.” (Kidner)
What is a cry to the Lord?
A cry is short and not sweet.
A cry is brief and bitter.
A cry is the language of pain.
A cry is a natural sound.
A cry has much meaning and no music.
David is at a low point. A rag-tag group of desperate losers gathered to him at Adullam. David was still filled with praise and trust, even knowing that God had an angelic camp of protection all around him.
Do guardian angels exist?
Many times in the Old Testament, the angel of the LORD is an actual material appearance of Yahweh Himself (as in Judges 13 and some other places). We don’t know if David meant that is an angelic being sent by God, or God Himself present with the believer. Both are true.
“The fugitive, in his rude shelter in the cave of Adullam, thinks of Jacob, who, in his hour of defenceless need, was heartened by the vision of the angel encampment surrounding his own little band.” (Maclaren)
David challenged the reader (or singer) of this Psalm to experience God’s goodness for himself or herself. It could only come through a personal encounter, in some ways similar to a taste or to see.
Taste and sight are physical senses, ways in which we interact with the material world. In some ways, faith is how we interact with the spiritual world. In this sense to taste and to see are trusting God, loving Him, seeking Him, looking unto Him.
“Both Hebrews 6:5 and 1 Peter 2:3 use this verse to describe the first venture into faith, and to urge that the tasting should be more than a casual sampling.” (Kidner)
Spurgeon: “There are some things, especially in the depths of the religious life, which can only be understood by being experienced, and which even then are incapable of being adequately embodied in words.”
David thought to fear the LORD was much like trusting Him and experiencing His goodness. This fear is the proper reverence and respect that man has for Deity. If you really experience God’s goodness, if you really experience the blessedness of trusting Him, you will also have an appropriate fear of the Lord.
“The word ‘lions’ may be a metaphor for those who are strong, oppressive, and evil.” (VanGemeren)
“Were there lions prowling around the camp at Adullam, and did the psalmist take their growls as typical of all vain attempts to satisfy the soul?” (Maclaren)
Many who were in distress, in debt, or in discontent gathered at Adullam cave (1 Samuel 22:1-2) with David. Here, David teaches them and offers advice.
Fear the Lord by doing right and obeying
Don’t speak evil
Don’t lie or deceit
Pursue peace with man and God
God rewards and punishes
Spurgeon on this passage: “To teach men how to live and how to die is the aim of all useful religious instruction. The rewards of virtue are the baits with which the young are to be drawn to morality.”
Meyer on this passage: “A bird with a broken wing, an animal with a broken leg, a woman with a broken heart, a man with a broken purpose in life – these seem to drop out of the main current of life into shadow. They go apart to suffer and droop. Life goes on without them. But God draws near.”
According to the Gospel of John, David spoke not only of his own experience, but also prophetically of the Messiah to come, Jesus Christ. John explained that the Roman soldiers that supervised the crucifixion of Jesus came to His body on the cross, expecting to hasten and guarantee His death in the traditional way – breaking the legs of the crucified victim. When they looked carefully, they learned that Jesus was already dead, and they pierced His side to confirm it. John wrote, these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken” (John 19:36).
The evil-doers own evil destroy himself or the evil-doer will be in misery.
There is no condemnation
Many centuries later the Apostle Paul would write, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Even under the Old Covenant, David knew something of this freedom from condemnation.
Since the plan with the Philistines didn’t work, Saul would take matters into his own hands and call for David’s death. He asked his son and attendants to kill David. Jonathan warned David his life was in danger and told him to go into hiding.
Jonathan reasons with his father, Saul, who took an oath not to put David to death. David and Saul’s relationship is mended. Once again, the Philistines attack, and David defeated them again.
Saul once again threw his spear at David. This time, David flees after his wife warns him, and she puts an idol (why does she even have one?) in the bed to be David. When Saul confronts her as to her role in David’s escape, she claims David threatened her life.
David flees to Samuel’s home of Ramah for protection. Saul sends men after David, but God protects David and makes the men prophesy. Eventually, Saul goes to Ramah himself to get David, and God makes him prophesy as well.
Summary of Psalm 59:
David prays to God to protect him from his enemies (in this case, Saul). He’s done no wrong, yet he is attacked. David knows God will go before him and take care of his enemies for His glory. David will praise God always for He is his fortress and refuge.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 3: 1 Samuel 19 with Psalm 59:
6) They risked everything, even death, to save David, since Saul has been prodded by an evil spirit who will kill at a moment’s notice.
7) Personal Question. My answer: Every day in small sacrifices that could cause me harm or risk my job or relationships, such as standing up for what I believe, calling people out when they twist God’s words or writing what I believe.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: David’s faith is unshakable. He knows God will take care of him and his enemies and do it all for His glory. He knows God will answer his prayers. He knows he is in God’s hands. David’s faith gives him the strength and courage to go on, fighting for God, when all he probably wants to do is flee and go live a cushy life somewhere.
9) Remembering God and who He is and what He is capable of strengthens us as well as we are facing our own enemies in this world. It will give us the courage to fight another day and strengthen our faith as we allow God to be in charge and lead us in His ways. We walk differently and act differently when we don’t worry, knowing God is in control.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 3: 1 Samuel 19 with Psalm 59:
I like reading David’s thoughts and prayers along with the action of the Old Testament. It’s like a movie or book, having inside knowledge of what the character is thinking. It puts a personal touch to all the battles and jealousy and hiding. David’s life shows us what a life full of hardships looks like and how it can be used by God for good. Very encouraging.
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 3: 1 Samuel 19 with Psalm 59:
1 Samuel 19:
Saul put everyone in a difficult spot, forcing them to choose obedience to a king or obedience to THE KING.
Jonathan loved David, and God made a wonderful bond of friendship between them, sealed by a covenant (1 Samuel 18:1-4). Jonathan knew David was destined to be the next king of Israel, even though Jonathan was officially the crown prince. At the same time, his father and king told him to kill David.
The servants all loved David (1 Samuel 18:5) yet they are commanded by their king to kill David.
Sin is never excused, even when ordered by a higher authority.
We are under authority and commanded to submit to God’s order of authority in many different arenas. There is a Biblical submission from children to their parents, from citizens to their government, from employees to their employers, from Christians to their church leadership, and from wives to their husbands. But in all these relationships, we are never excused from sin because we obeyed an authority that told us to sin. In this case, it would be wrong for Jonathan to obey his father and kill David.
Jonathan stood for what was right AND took action to prevent a wrong by warning David. He did not stand idly by and allow a sin to take place. Putting his own life on the line, Jonathan defended David to his father AND told his father his jealousy is a sin.
Saul’s mind had twisted all the facts from the past and had put David as being selfish about killing Goliath and doing everything for fame instead of for the Lord. Jonathan tells him how it is — something we all need in our lives.
God used Jonathan, but it wasn’t the work of Jonathan. It was the work of the LORD, and Saul recognized this by declaring this oath.
Why did Saul break his oath to not kill David?
Saul was in a spiritual battle — a battle he was unprepared for.
At the end of 1 Samuel 19:7 there was a truce in the spiritual war involving David and Saul. But whenever we are at a time of cease-fire in the spiritual war, we know the battle will begin again before long.
Saul was unprepared to handle temptation, unprepared to handle spiritual attack, and had the opportunity to sin close at hand. Most of us will trip up under those circumstances.
Fun Fact: David never returns to the palace until he is the king of Israel – some 20 years later. From now until the day Saul dies, David lives as a fugitive.
For the second time, Saul breaks his oath (1 Samuel 19:6). not to kill David and sends men after him.
David’s wife, Michal, helps him escape
Michal acts according to the principle of Genesis 2:24: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. The former family loyalties and obligations take a back seat to the loyalty and obligation to the new family.
During this night, when men watched his house and David escaped, he composed a song unto the LORD found in Psalm 59. David sings in times of trouble.
Why does Michal have an idol?
The idol was a teraphim, a figurine used as a household idol or as a fertility and good luck charm. In ancient Israel, teraphim were intended as aids in worshipping the true God. The Israelites didn’t think of the teraphim as other gods, but as representing the God of Israel — which Exodus expressly forbids.
The teraphim shows the slow deterioration of Israel even during these good times.
The idol shows that Michal didn’t have the kind of relationship with God she should have. This weak relationship with God will reveal itself in Michal as the story of David’s life unfolds (2 Samuel 6:16-23).
Saul’s hatred of David shines through
Saul wants to kill David himself
Saul calls David his enemy. These are the saddest words in this passage.
You can imagine David’s confusion. So what does he do? Flees to safety, reassurance, and support — Samuel.
The word Naioth comes from the Hebrew word for residence. This spoke of Samuel’s home (which may have had “Naioth” title itself), or it may have been some landmark or specific place in Ramah. Whenever Naioth is mentioned, it is associated with Ramah.
Why are the Israelites prophesying?
Prophesying doesn’t necessarily mean the Israelites are all seeing the future. The Hebrew word simply has the idea of speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They probably all gave spontaneous and inspired praise to God.
This was God’s way of protecting David. This was an unusual work of the Holy Spirit – to come upon men who did not seek after God, who did not long to be filled with the Spirit prophesying.
This kept happening. Saul didn’t get the message.
Why did Saul take off his robes?
Saul would not humble himself before God, and so God will find a way to humble him.
It is unlikely – though possible – that Saul stripped himself bare. The Hebrew word for naked can indicate just stripping down to the undergarments. Saul probably took off all the royal robes that said “prestige” and “royalty,” and laid himself out bare before the LORD in his plain linen undergarments, stripped of all his royalty and glory.
A person can be affected by the power of God (resulting in amazing experiences), but not surrendered to the power of God, which results in a changed life. This was Saul.
Saul is among the prophets appeared in 1 Samuel 10:10-12, and it expressed astonishment that someone became a religious enthusiast.
This Psalm is about 1 Samuel 19:11-12, which was when the murderous intent of King Saul against David was openly revealed, and David began his time living as a fugitive and in hiding.
David faced many perils and enemies and many of his Psalms begin with this thought. This is common and to be expected when you lead a Godly-life. The man after God’s heart, Israel’s greatest earthly king, had many enemies — as did the Son of David.
Through this Psalm David declared his close and personal connection with God:
Defend me is an ancient Hebrew word, meaning to lift up, as into a safe and defended place. It says, “Lift me up to Your high tower where I am even higher above those who rise up against me.” This idea is repeated three more times in the Psalm (59:9, 16, 17).
The word protect (defend 59:1) like the kindred word ‘fortress’ (defense) (59:9, 16, 17), contains the thought of what is set high up, out of reach.
Like the best movies of today, David was the target of a focused assassination plot that came from the highest levels of Israel’s government. Many felt they could advance their favor before King Saul by killing David. Knowing the danger, David looked to God for rescue and defense.
David looked to God for help. He didn’t make a claim to sinless perfection. He simply told God there was no justified reason for Saul to send bloodthirsty assassins against him.
Appealing to God
David appealed to God with a variety of His names and titles:
Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel (LORD)
Elohim Sabaoth, the commander of heavenly armies (God of hosts)
Elohi Israel, the God of His chosen people (God of Israel)
The men sent to watch David’s house and kill him were determined. They didn’t give up quickly, and they growled like dangerous dogs.
One bible commentator explains growl: “There is some uncertainty over the word growl, which is the expression used for the Israelites’ ‘murmuring’ — one might almost say ‘whining’ in the wilderness.”
The word belch: ‘Belch’ means to gush out, and is found in a good sense in Psalms 19:1. Here it may perhaps be taken as meaning ‘foam,’. The root idea is of bubbling up and bursting out; so in terms of dogs, ‘See how they slaver at the mouth’.
All who opposed God would be held in derision.
The word defense has the idea of a high tower or fortress. David believed that God was like a strong, high tower for him. It seemed impossible for David to survive against such a powerful conspiracy against him, but God would be his defense, his high tower.
This verse reminds me of the song Strong Tower by Kutless.
My God of mercy. David knew that God would be merciful to him and that God would meet him, even lead him, in his need.
“The word meet (59:10a) is based on the idea of what is ‘in front’ of someone, usually in the sense of confronting them by coming to meet them, as in the beautiful phrase of Psalm 21:13. But it can alternatively imply going in front to lead the way.”
Three titles for God:
My God of mercy
My defense (high tower)
Spurgeon on “My desire”: “Observe that the words, ‘my desire,‘ are not in the original. From the Hebrew we are taught that David expected to see his enemies without fear. God will enable his servant to gaze steadily upon the foe without trepidation; he shall be calm, and self possessed, in the hour of peril.” (Spurgeon)
Lessons from praying about defeating enemies
David didn’t only want the defeat of his enemies. He wanted them defeated in a way that would do the most good for God’s people. If those enemies were kept alive but scattered, the lesson would last longer.
Whenever David prayed for the destruction of his enemies (and sometimes he prayed quite severely), he had in mind not only his personal deliverance, but also what the display of Divine justice would teach God’s people.
David repeated the prayer consume them twice for emphasis.
Let them know that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth: These words are very similar to what David said to Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:46.
The line from Psalm 59:6 is repeated for emphasis.
Wandering the streets is like hungry dogs do, looking for food.
David’s heart was filled with songs of praise instead of dark fears. He started the Psalm asking God for His defense (Psalm 59:1); at the end of the Psalm, he was so confident in God that he could sing about it.
David’s life as a fugitive begins
For the next perhaps 10 to 15 years (and the rest of the book of 1 Samuel), David had to live as a fugitive, constantly in danger of his life. It’s interesting to note that David entered the period singing praises and was still singing praises at the end of his fugitive years (2 Samuel 1:17-27).
Samuel grew old and his sons, Joel and Abijah, did not walk in the ways of the Lord. Thus, the elders of Israel asked for a king. Samuel consulted God who said the Israelites were rejecting Him as king. God told the people what a king would do to them: take sons and make them serve in the army and go out and fight battles and die, to plow his ground, to reap his harvest, to make weapons and chariots, take daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers, take their fields and give them to his attendants, take a tenth of their grain and the best of their cattle, donkeys, and flocks, and they themselves will become slaves.
The people did not listen to these warnings. They wanted a king so God relented.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:
12) The Israelites wanted a king because all the nations had a king. The cost of a king would be: take sons and make them serve in the army and go out and fight battles and die, to plow his ground, to reap his harvest, to make weapons and chariots, take daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers, take their fields and give them to his attendants, take a tenth of their grain and the best of their cattle, donkeys, and flocks, and they themselves will become slaves.
13) God gives the people what they want for Free Will and let’s them suffer the consequences. The people are stubborn and insist on a king anyways. They still think they know better than God. They are followers.
14) They follow what society does. Let homosexuality slide, sins slide, and say sin is okay when it’s not. They don’t ask God like they should. They buy into society’s view of “doing what feels good.” This costs Christians their morals, values, self-esteem, and relationship with God. Christians have gone to the extreme of not saying anything against sin when we should speak up against sin.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:
It’s sad that the Israelites want a king for the shallow reason “cause everyone else does.” How often do we do this same thing? IPhone, technology, what everyone else has or does is what we want. But is it good for us?
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:
Samuel did the same thing as Eli: appointed his sons as judges (even though they were not from the tribe of Levi) and like Eli could not evaluate his sons fairly. He was blinded by love and emotion.
While it was wise for the elders of Israel to reject Samuel’s sons as leaders, it was wrong for them to ask for a king instead.
In itself, the desire to have a king was not bad. God knew one day Israel would have a king. 400 years before this God gave instructions to Israel about their future king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). A king was in God’s plan for Israel.
Yet, the reason Israel wanted a king was wrong. It’s flimsy at best.
What’s the difference between a judge and a king in the Bible?
A judge was a leader raised up by God, usually to meet a specific need in a time of crisis. When the crisis was over usually the judge went back to doing what he did before.
A king not only held his office as king as long as he lived, he also passed his throne down to his descendants.
Judges did not make a “government.”
Kings establish a standing government with a bureaucracy, which can be both a blessing and a curse to any people.
In Judges 8 Gideon was offered the throne over Israel. He refused it saying, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the LORD shall rule over you.” (Judges 8:23) This was the heart of all the judges, and why Israel went some 400 years in the Promised Land without a king.
What did Samuel do that we often don’t do?
Laid his heart before the Lord
Asked for guidance
Why did God give Israel a king?
God would teach Israel through this. Sometimes when we insist on having something bad God will allow us to have it and then teach through it.
In many ways this was a matter of timing. God knew Israel would have a king, but He wanted to give the king in His timing. Because Israel demanded a king out of bad and carnal reasons, God will give them a bad and carnal king. Israel will get what they want and will hurt because of it. Just like the ark. It was not time for victory; God would teach them a lesson.
If you’re faithful to king in heaven, you don’t need a king on earth.
Telling the Israelites the consequences makes them fully accountable for their choice. A king would bring problems as much as he’d solve them.
God will give Israel “their king” – Saul. Later, after “their king” fails, God will give Israel “His king” – David.
Because we suppose that God ultimately wanted Israel to be a monarchy (based on Deuteronomy 17:14-20), we might even guess that if Israel did not forsake the LORD here, God would have made David the first human king of Israel.
God wanted to make Israel a special treasure to Me above all people… a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6). God wanted to make Israel something special, and they wanted to be just like everyone else.
Themes of 1 Samuel 8:
When we resist God, we only hurt ourselves.
God gives us what we ask for sometimes even though it’s not good for us to teach us a lesson.
Christians are set apart for God and God’s purposes. Don’t be like everyone else.
The priests and the diviners of the Philistines hatch a plan to send the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites: they made gold models as a guilt offering of 5 gold tumors and 5 gold rats in a cart with cows who had never been yoked before. They put the guilt offering and the ark in a cart. If the cart went towards Beth Shemesh, then it was God against them. Otherwise, it was chance.
When the ark returned to the Israelites, they sacrificed the two cows as burnt offerings to God and the large rock they set the ark down upon remained a witness. However, 70 Israelis died because they looked into the ark.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 3: 1 Samuel 6:
6) The Philistines knew they had to send a guilt offering to God. By sending gold models, the Philistines hoped to send the originals out of the country as well. They put the objects in a cart and put stipulations on what it meant if the cows went one way or another, thinking the animals would prove it was by chance and not by God all of this happened. We put stipulations and meaning on objects or actions as well and say it means God is with us or it’s His will or not, when in reality we have no clue.
7) The people made a burnt sacrifice to God, using the cows sent over. However, 70 people looked into the ark and God killed them for it since this was against His laws. Believers blatantly disregard Him and His commands such as we see here with looking into the ark of the covenant.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: God is in control, and He rewards His people when they obey and puts consequences on them when they disobey. As long as I obey, I’m rewarded. When I disobey, I’m not.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 3: 1 Samuel 6:
This isn’t exactly an encouraging passage. However, it does make a point: obey God or suffer the consequences.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 3: 1 Samuel 6:
The Philistines kept the ark of the covenant for 7 months because they did not want to part with such a trophy. However, ultimately, they had to. It can take a long time before we realize the futility of resisting God.
The Philistine priests had enough sense to know they offended the LORD God. Therefore, they knew they should do something to express their sorrow and repentance before the LORD. We were not told in 1 Samuel 5 that the plague involved rats. Acknowledging God’s judgement is one way to give Him glory.
The Philistines admitted that the God of Israel judged their gods and had jurisdiction over their lands. They confessed that He was Almighty God, yet they did not worship Him instead of their gods. Big mistake.
The testing of God by the Philistines:
The Philistines decide to test God to make sure the plague was sent by Him. The test was stacked against God. Two milk cows which have never been yoked should not pull a cart at all; instead, they should have resisted their yokes. Additionally, the Philistines separated the babies from their mothers. The “maternal instinct” of the cows would draw them not towards the land of Israel, but back home to their own calves. The Philistines devised a test that “forced” the God of Israel to do something miraculous to demonstrate He really was the cause of the plagues.
God never wanted the ark to be transported by a cart. He wanted it to be carried by poles set in rings on the side of the ark (Numbers 4:15).
The ark didn’t have “handles” and was not to be carried by lifting it directly in one’s hands. Instead, it was to be carried by inserting gold-overlaid wood poles into gold rings at each corner of the ark. The poles were to remain inserted in the rings, and to be the source of contact with the ark. Apart from touching the poles, it was forbidden to touch the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:12-15).
Ironic how the Philistines were wise enough not to look in the ark of the covenant and instead placed the models next to it, but the Israelites weren’t.
Of course, the cows showed God’s glory. Two cows who never pulled a cart before with no driver left home and marched the ten miles or so to a city they had never been to. They left their own calves behind and went straight on a certain road, with never a wrong turn, never a stop, never turning aside into the fields to feed themselves, never turning back to feed their own calves. The cows were unhappy about doing God’s will cause they lowed.
The Israelites finally had God back (He had never left them, but in their minds He had).
What the Israelites did right upon the return of the Ark of the Covenant:
In a strict sense their offering was against the Mosaic Law. First, they offered female animals to the LORD, which was forbidden (Leviticus 1:3; 22:19). Second, they made a burnt offering to the LORD away from the tabernacle, which violated the command in Deuteronomy 12:5-6. Yet God knew both their hearts and the remarkable circumstances, and He was no doubt honored.
The Israelites were careful to let the Levites handle the ark, as was commanded by the law (Numbers 4:1-6, 15). Beth Shemesh was a priestly city (Joshua 21:16), so priests were on hand.
What the Israelites did wrong upon the return of the Ark of the Covenant:
The Ark of the Covenant was only to be touched and handled by specific Levites from the family of Kohath, and even they were commanded to not touch the ark itself (Numbers 4:15). The men of Beth Shemesh sinned by not only touching the ark, but also looking into it inappropriately.
God dealt with the Israelites more strictly than He dealt with the Philistines who just transported the ark by a cart. God did this because the Israelites, who had His law, should have and did know better. It is sad to consider that the Philistines showed more honor to the holiness of God than the Israelites.
Isaiah 55:8-9 shows this thought: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” We need to respect the fact that God is God and we are not, and there are some things we just will not, and should not, know.
What is the holiness of God?
Holiness means that God is separate, different from His creation, both in His essential nature and in the perfection of His attributes.
When Peter saw the holy power of Jesus he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8). When the disciples on another occasion saw the holy Jesus shining forth at the transfiguration, they were greatly afraid (Matthew 17:6). When we meet the Holy God, we are excited and afraid all at the same time.
Holiness is part of the new man we are in Jesus (Ephesians 4:24), and we are invited to be partakers – sharers of Jesus’ holiness (Hebrews 12:10).
Though God is holy and apart from us, instead of building a wall around His apartness, God calls us to come to Him and share His apartness. As it says in 1 Peter 1:16, God calls us to be holy, for I am holy. Holiness is not so much something we have as much as it is something that has us.
We don’t know why they picked this village. All we know is the men of Kirjath Jearim received the ark and it stayed there for many years until King David brought it to the city of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6).
Hannah praises God in her prayer as she leaves her son, Samuel. She boasts of God’s strength, His holiness, His omniscience, of how God feeds and raises up, He humbles and exalts, He silences the wicked, and God’s people prevail.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:
6) Personal Question. My answer: God is faithful. His will prevails. He is in charge of who wins and loses and who He exalts or humbles. He is our Rock. I’m encouraged to stay faithful.
7) Part personal Question. My answer: Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac. God sacrificed Jesus. I’ll sacrifice whatever He tells me.
8 ) God will defeat those who come against Him. He will silence the wicked. He will give strength to the coming Kings of Israel. He is sending Jesus (the King and the Anointed) to conquer all. This is the time before the kings, so she must be speaking of Jesus here.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:
Great prayer example for us all. Praising God. Listing His character and power. Thanking Him.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:
1 Samuel 1:28 ended, “So they worshipped the LORD there”. This song records the worship Hannah offered on the very day she left her little boy – her only child – at the tabernacle.
Hannah showed a depth of commitment and love for God that may humble us. On the day she made the biggest sacrifice of her life she rejoices in the LORD.
She could not rejoice in leaving her son. In the most desperate situations, when we have nothing else to rejoice in, we can rejoice in the LORD.
The horn is used often as a picture of strength in the Bible (Psalms 75:4-5 and 92:10). This is because the strength of an ox or a steer could be expressed in its horn. Hannah spoke of strength and power being exalted in the LORD.
What does the horn in the Bible signify?
Hannah had a strong sense of vindication over her rival, Elkanah’s other wife named Peninnah. Peninnah cruelly brought Hannah low (1 Samuel 1:6-7), but now Hannah rejoiced because the LORD lifted her up.
We see a classic form of Hebrew poetry – repetitive parallelism–saying the same thing just differently.
“There is no one holy like the Lord.”
“There is no one besides you.”
“There is no Rock like our God.”
Hebrew poetry does not rhyme words by sound as much as it rhymes ideas. The ideas of the three lines of 1 Samuel 2:2 all rhyme together, having different words yet “sounding” the same.
Hannah had her rival in mind when she said not to talk so proudly. Pride can be expressed in many ways, but it usually is expressed by our words.
God humbles the strong, which He can change very quickly.
LORD can change our place quickly and exalt the weak (Luke 14:7-11).
Hannah knew she was barren because the LORD had closed her womb (1 Samuel 1:6). She knew God first set her low, and then brought her high. She could see the hand of the LORD in it all.
God is in control of the foundations of the earth.
God uses His power to set things right. It isn’t enough for us to believe God has this power. We must know He will use it for His glory and righteousness.
Who is “the king” and “the anointed”?
Hannah speaks of Jesus as the king and anointed one.
Fun Fact: This is the first place in the Bible where Jesus is referred to as the Messiah.
It’s MESSIAH in Hebrew, CHRIST in Greek, and ANOINTED in English.
Zecharias, the father of John the Baptist, quoted Hannah in Luke 1:69 when he prophetically called Jesus a horn of salvation, quoting from 1 Samuel 2:10. Mary the mother of Jesus quoted Hannah’s song often (Luke 1:46-55).
Young as he was, Samuel had a ministry to the LORD. Our young people can praise, serve, and please God too.
The Living Bible translates it well: And the child became the Lord’s helper.
The allotment of land for the tribe of Judah is laid out, which includes Hebron, the land Joshua gave to Caleb as his reward. Caleb drove out the Anakites from Hebron. He gave his daughter in marriage to whoever captured Kiriath Sepher in Debir. This was Othniel, son of Caleb’s brother. Judah cannot drive out the people in Jerusalem.
Summary of Joshua 16:
The allotment of land for Ephraim and Manasseh is laid out. However, they could not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer who became forced labor for the Israelites instead.
Summary of Joshua 17:
A continuation of the allotment of the land for the tribe of Manasseh. The daughters of the tribe of Manasseh also received an inheritance because there were no male heirs born. Again, the Israelites were unable to drive out the Canaanites in a few pockets, but did eventually force them into labor. Here, we see the first complaint as the people of Joseph (whose sons were Ephraim and Manasseh) claimed their portion of land given was too small. Joshua said to go and clear the forests then in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites.
The people complained again about how these people were superiorly armed with iron chariots. Joshua told them to quite underestimating their power. They have a huge army and can easily drive out the Canaanites in the forested hill country.
Summary of Joshua 18:
A gathering took place at Shiloh at the Tent of Meeting to divide up the rest of the land amongst the remaining tribes. Joshua appearing a bit aghast, asks those remaining why they haven’t taken over their share yet? Joshua is dividing the land into 7 parts once surveys are taken and will cast lots before God to divide them up. The tribe of Benjamin receives their lot.
Summary of Joshua 19:
The allotment of the land for the tribes of Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, and Joshua are assigned. The Simeon’s inheritance was taken from Judah’s since Judah’s portion was huge and more than they needed. The Danites had trouble defeating the Canaanites in their territory alloted so they took Leshem instead, thus dividing themselves in the land.
Finally, Joshua himself received his inheritance–the town of Timnath Serah in Ephraim.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 4, Day 3: Skim Joshua 15-19:
6) God includes these detailed lists of land boundaries, so there would be no doubt and no disputes amongst the Israelites in the future. It shows how God keeps His promises to His people by giving them the land He promised hundreds of years before. We see God reward both Caleb and Joshua with land for being the only two men of faith.
7) Caleb gives his daughter to the strongest warrior, ensuring a strong husband and her protection in the future. His daughter, Acsah, asked Caleb for land, and he gave it to her as well. The Lord also put in provisions for when a man does not have a son (see also Numbers 27:1-11 & Numbers 36), which would ensure the father’s name would not vanish. The daughters also had to marry within the clan so the land would stay within the original tribe’s hands. This ensures that every Israelite will possess the inheritance of his fathers. The Lord provides for those who ask and seek Him (Matthew 7:7).
8 ) The Manassites’ complained that their portion of land given was too small. Joshua said to go and clear the forests then in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites. The people complained again about how these people were superiorly armed with iron chariots. Joshua told them to quite underestimating their power. They have a huge army and can easily drive out the Canaanites in the forested hill country. In essence, they did not want to fight for the land; all they wanted was a free hand out.
Caleb, on the other hand, wanted to fight for his inheritance and his land and instead of asking for an unoccupied piece of land, Caleb asked for the hill country where the feared Anakites dwelled so he could drive them out himself. He relied on the Lord to do whole-heartedly what God said He would do.
Nothing is impossible with God. Have faith. He will guide you through the impossible every step of the way like He did with Caleb. God wants us to choose the good fight for Him and use God’s strength to spread the word and give God the glory. If we do, our rewards will be riches.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 3: Joshua 15-19:
We see God keep His promises, but the people still must do their part and continue to kick out the Canaanites. We see the difference in gratitude and ingratitude to what the people have been given with Caleb’s example and the example of the tribe of Manasseh and the tribe of Dan. Great reminder for us that although God provides, He doesn’t want us to sit idly by and not do anything.
[Note on “Skim”]: I believe this is the first time ever I have seen BSF tell us to “skim” a passage of the Bible. I don’t believe God wants us to just “skim” His word ever. If it’s in the Bible, it’s important, it’s there for a reason, and it’s for us from God. Please don’t “skim” anything. You may miss that one phrase that is exactly what God wants you to hear. Save skimming for the news.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 3: Joshua 15-19:
Caleb was not only a man of great and bold deeds (the driving out of the children of Anak), but also a man who encouraged others to great and bold deeds as we saw with the giving of his daughter in marriage. Anyone bold enough to conquer a city for a woman is in love indeed. Caleb’s daughter inherited his boldness. We see her asking for blessing and choice springs. You cannot receive unless you ask. (Matthew 7:7)
We begin to see and in Judges 1 how pockets of Canaanites remain. Albeit Jerusalem is on a hill, Judah should have been able to drive them out if they had had faith in God. Instead, David must do so (2 Samuel 5:6-10). These unconquered tribes will become thorns in Israel’s side.
We see again how within the Promised Land important work remains to be done and battles still to be fought (like in our own lives) as the Canaanites live in the land of Ephraim. Perhaps the Israelites wanted forced labor (to be lazy and not do the work themselves in essence). This does not justify their disobedience to God. If you can subject people to work for you, you can certainly conquer them completely, especially since Gezer was a city that Joshua had already conquered (Joshua 10:33 and Joshua 12:12).
Compromising God’s word and picking and choosing what to obey and not to obey is a sin. It’s the beginning of so much more and worse sins such as idolatry and immoral worship. This came to the people of Israel and the Canaanites are the reason why we see so many struggles in the days of the Judges.
Why did the Israelites allow some Canaanites to stay?
They wanted peace at any cost. Remember it took 7 long years to conquer the Promised Land. I’m sure many are weary of fighting.
They wanted wealth.
What do we Learn from the Israelites’ incomplete possession of the Promised Land?
Obeying God is a marathon. It’s hard. It’s unglamourous. It’s a lot of work.
The Israelites fell short of what God had for them – Will you fall short as well?
It was highly unusual for women to receive an inheritance and why it’s mentioned here. It was more important that the land remain in the ancestral families than it was to follow this custom. Therefore, the daughters of Zelophehad could inherit their father’s land. This is a decision arrived at by Moses (Numbers 27:1-11) and expounded on by God (Numbers 36).
Manasseh failed like Ephraim to drive out the Canaanites (Joshua 16:10). The Israelites lacked determination and fortitude to do so.
Manasseh and Ephraim, large tribes, complain about the amount of land allotted to them. They have plenty of land, Joshua says. You just have to go and work to have it (clear the forests, etc). Joshua was a direct descendant of Joseph and one of them, so perhaps they thought he would show them favor.
Theme of Joshua 17: If you desire more, have faith first in where God has placed you and in what He has given you. More will surely come if you do so.
Why would the Israelites hesitate to take the Promised Land?
Note the hesitation on the Israelites part to go and take the land. Probably they are afraid; afraid of change. Maybe even a bit incredulous: really? This is all ours? Also, remember these people have been wandering the wilderness for 40 years with never a real home, living out of tents and nomadic, so the idea of living in a real “home” is a foreign (and perhaps scary) concept for them.
Joshua received his share but at the very end. He received humbly and after everyone else was taken care of–just like Christ.
WHAT’S AHEAD: This is the dividing point in the book of Joshua.
The rest of Joshua tells about what happened 5-7 years after the crossing of the Jordan River. Chapters 13-22 give a kind of land-title record for the nation. Genesis 48-49 and Deuteronomy 33 provide background material. For example, Reuben’s tribe forfeited the right to first choice because of sexual sin, and Simeon and Levi lost their rights because of their violent past.
Summary of Joshua 13:
God tells Joshua there is still much land to be taken, and that He’ll drive out the Sidonians. The land east of the Jordan River is divided up amongst all the tribes except the Levites who were set aside as priests of the nation.
Summary of Joshua 14:
Caleb approaches Joshua and demands what God had promised him for his work 40 years prior as a spy who wholeheartedly followed God’s orders. At age 85, Joshua blessed Caleb and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. The land had rest from war.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 2: Joshua 13-14:
3) All kept their word/promises. God rewarded Caleb with land for faithfulness (as most leaders do). The Israelites did not argue, but settled their portion of the land without question, nor were they greedy.
4) Personal Question. My answer: Caleb is rewarded for not following others and obeying God instead. He had faith the Israelites could take the land, and he had no fear as he encouraged the Israelites to do so. In the end, the bad report won out and God cursed His people because of it, dooming them to die in the desert–all except Joshua and Caleb. Caleb was promised land by Moses as his reward, and he asks for it. This inspires me to buck the trend and follow Jesus and be bold and ask for things from God.
5) Personal Question. My answer: He has always provided no matter what and always led us to the next step in His journey for us. My whole family is flourishing and for that I am extremely grateful.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 2: Joshua 13-14:
I love the cooperation amongst the Israelites because what could have been a very ugly situation with the allotment of land was peaceful and faithful. I love Caleb’s reward–not only with seeing the Promised Land but with gaining a portion of it for himself. The whole process is very organized–impressive for such a monumental task.
[Note on “Skim”]: I believe this is the first time ever I have seen BSF tell us to “skim” a passage of the Bible. I don’t believe God wants us to just “skim” His word ever. If it’s in the Bible, it’s important, it’s there for a reason, and it’s for us from God. Please don’t “skim” anything. You may miss that one phrase that is exactly what God wants you to hear. Save skimming for the news.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 2: Joshua 13:
Age does not define you. Even though Joshua is old, God still has work for him to do.
The Israelites were meant to possess the Promised Land. We were meant to possess Jesus. How much of him do you have? How much of his words? How much of his heart for others?
God gave all the tribes the land, yet they still had to take it. We are to walk in God’s promises, not lie down and rest.
Only two small tribes of peoples were not replaced by the Jewish tribes settling on the east side of the Jordan: the Geshurites and the Maachathites.
We see these tribes show up later in the Bible: David marries a princess from Geshur and had a son, Absalom, with her (2 Samuel 3:3). Absalom returned to Geshur and used it as a place to plot against his father, David (2 Samuel 13:37-38, 14:23, and 14:32). What a son to be proud of.
The Maachathites may have come from the Maachah mentioned in Genesis 22:24 who was a nephew of Abraham. Later, when Sheba rebelled against David and he fled, David may have taken refuge in one of the cities of the Maachathites (2 Samuel 20:14-15).
The Levites as priests would survive off of what the other tribes gave them for administering to the spiritual duties of the nation; they had no need of land to grow food. In fact, their inheritance was the greatest of them all since they were closest to God.
Be happy with where God has placed you. He is our inheritance. Your lot in life is nothing in comparison.
Math Challenge: Just How Long Did the Capture of Canaan Take?
We can deduce this from what’s recorded in the Bible. Caleb was 40 when Moses first sent him to explore the land. Israel spent 38 years in the desert (Deuteronomy 2:14), making Caleb 78 at the beginning of the invasion. Caleb tells us here he is now 85, so for the last 7 years, the Israelites were fighting. Him and Joshua were the only old people still left.
Answer: 7 years.
Caleb was one of the only two spies to come back with a good report, a report of faith, believing that God had given Israel the land and would enable them to conquer it (Numbers 13:26-14:9). The other ten spies believed that Israel would be destroyed in the attempt to take Canaan, and Israel believed the ten doubting spies.
The other faithful spy was none other than Joshua. The ten faithless spies measured the giants against their own strength, but Joshua and Caleb measured the giants against God’s strength.
This was the cause of Israel’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness; God would not allow that generation of unbelief to enter in, so He waited for them to die in the desert (Numbers 14:26-38). The only ones of age at the time of the rejection who actually entered the Promised Land were Joshua and Caleb, the two faithful spies.
Caleb asks for the land of the Anakim (the giants). He knows these enemies of God must be faced and defeated and he has the faith to do it. He did not pick the easy way out as he easily could have.The work is his, and he boldly claims it.
What if all of Israel had the heart of Caleb? What if no one in Israel had the heart of Caleb?
Theme of Joshua 14:
God rewards faith.
God rewards the wholly giving yourself over to Him.