BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 13, Day 2: 1 Samuel 21 and Psalm 34

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Summary 1 Samuel 21:

David, now on the run, goes to Nob to the priest Ahimelech, asking for bread. He lies to obtain it since all the priestsImage result for 1 samuel 21 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 Image result for 1 samuel 21before 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:

  1. David sought the Lord
  2. The Lord heard David
  3. 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.

Image result for guardian angelDo 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.

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“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)

Hiding in Caves

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
  • Do good
  • Pursue peace with man and God
  • God listens
  • 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.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 4: 1 Samuel 20

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Summary 1 Samuel 20:

David leaves Samuel at Naioth and goes to Ramah to see Jonathan. David asks Jonathan why his father is trying to kill him. Jonathan didn’t know his father was trying to kill David again and offers his help. David devises a test to see if Saul still wants to kill him or not: Jonathan is to go to a dinner David is supposed to show up to during the New Moon festival. If Saul loses his temper when he finds out David has fled, then it is not safe to return. If Saul is indifferent, then it is safe to return.

David makes Jonathan re-swear his oath because he is afraid Jonathan will lead him into a trap and tell him the wrong thing. Jonathan will go to David’s hiding place and shoot 3 arrows. He will tell his boy to say different things, one meaning it is safe, one meaning David must flee.

When David doesn’t appear at the festival, Saul gets angry and accuses Jonathan of siding with David over him. Saul was so angry he hurled his spear at Jonathan to try and kill him as well. Jonathan then went to where David was hiding and gave the signal for him to flee. They wept and kissed and David fled, while Jonathan returned to the town.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 4: 1 Samuel 20:

10) Jonathan has a great heart who believes the best in people. He puts his own life at risk to save his best friend, David. He doesn’t believe his father is capable of hurting David, even though he’s seen his father throw a spear at David. He thinks he can convince his father he’s wrong. Jonathan trusts in the Lord as shown when he single-handedly took on the Philistines. I like how he does believe the best in people, even when it’s obvious they are evil inside.

11) Jonathan knows right from wrong. He knows David is innocent and had done nothing to deserve death, yet Saul is bent on it. It angers Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:34), and he’s ashamed of how his father is acting. His own father even hurled his spear at him to try to kill him (1 Samuel 20:33). Jonathan seems to understand that David is the chosen king. He sees this in all the blessings God has heaped upon him in his victories against the Philistines and protections from Saul. He also understands David is doing God’s will; whereas, his own father is not.

As we’ll see, Jonathan knows David will be king, and he’s fine with being number 2 (1 Samuel 23:17).

12) Personal Question. My answer: True friendship is sacrificial. When you’re willing to sacrifice for the other person (time, help, money, etc), then you are true friends. And you stand with the friend who does right, not wrong. They loved each other deeply and were willing to do anything for the other — even risk their own life. This is true friendship.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 4: 1 Samuel 20:

We see God at work in friendships as well and what a true friendship looks like. This is important in this day and age when people have thousands of “friends” on social media — relationships that aren’t real. Sacrificial love these days are rare and pretty much exclusive to immediate family members. This is definitely inspiring!

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 4 : 1 Samuel 20:

Here, we see a heart-to-heart with best friends. We just saw the Spirit of God protect David in Naioth. David could have simply stayed there for however long it took Saul to give up or die. However, David needed to know if there was still a chance to reconcile with Saul.

David needed to know where Jonathan stood. Jonathan reassured David of his love, telling him he had no idea of the attempted arrest. He warned him of Saul’s intentions.

David is discouraged, but Jonathan reassures him — the hallmark of a true friendship.

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David tests Saul

David comes up with a test to see where Saul’s heart lies. At a feast, David asks Jonathan to observe his father’s reaction, which will tell where Saul’s heart is. Since Jonathan is next in line for the throne and Saul’s son, David is unsure. Jonathan, however, is not.

Jonathan agrees to warn David of his father’s attitude and intentions

In those days when one royal house replaced another, it was common for the new royal house to kill all the potential rulers from the old royal house. Jonathan knew that one day David and his descendants would rule over Israel, and he wanted a promise that David and his descendants will not kill his descendants.

Jonathan and David agreed to care for one another. Jonathan agreed to care for David in the face of Saul’s threat, and David agreed to care for Jonathan and his family in the future. David fulfilled this promise to Jonathan (2 Samuel 9:1-8 and 21:7).

Jonathan would use arrows as a sign of Saul’s heart.

The test is put into play

Ceremonial uncleanliness might cause a person to miss a feast such as this, but ceremonial uncleanliness only lasted a day (Leviticus 22:3-7). So when David’s place was empty the next day, Saul demanded an explanation.

Speaking of David derisively as ‘the son of Jesse,’ accentuated his lowly birth and place in the royal family.

Jonathan covered for David, trying to give Saul a plausible (and truthful) explanation for David’s absence.

Saul’s response said it all as Saul would ignore his previous oath not to kill David  (1 Samuel 19:6)

Jonathan knew what was right before the Lord — and this wasn’t right.

Lesson from 1 Samuel 20

  • A lifetime is nothing but small moments. One small moment can change your life forever.Image result for 1 samuel 20

The weeping is because both men knew they might never see each other again. In fact, Jonathan only sees David once more shortly before he is killed. A sad part of life sometimes how we don’t see loved ones again.

Why does God put David on such a path in life?

  • David needed to depend on God and God alone. Nothing does this more than solitude and persecution — especially unwarranted
  • God wanted to grow David and often uses bleak roads to do so — think Job, Joseph, Paul, and even Jesus
  • God needed to be David’s defense and promoter
  • God must alone be the authority in David’s life

Redpath: “A throne is God’s purpose for you; a cross is God’s path for you; faith is God’s plan for you.”

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8

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Summary 1 Samuel 8:

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.
  • 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?

  • Prayed
  • Laid his heart before the Lord
  • Asked for guidance

Why did God give Israel a king?

Image result for 1 samuel 8God 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.
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BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 4: 1 Samuel 7

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Summary of 1 Samuel 7:

The ark of the covenant is now at Kiriath Jearim, guarded by Eleazar. The ark stayed here 20 years until the Israelites rid themselves of foreign gods and Ashtoreths.

All the Israelites gathered at Mizpah where Samuel interceded for them with the Lord. They fasted and confessed their sins. The Philistines, hearing of this gathering, went to Mizpah and attacked. Samuel continued to pray to God and sacrificed a burnt offering. The Lord sent loud thunder, panicking the Philistines. The Israelites routed the Philistines, slaughtering them as they fled beyond Beth Car.

Samuel set a stone to show the Lord helping them. The Philistines did not invade again. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, Israel regained the land taken from them by the Philistines and there was peace with the Amorites. Samuel served as judge all the days of his life, making his home in Ramah.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 4: 1 Samuel 7:

9) Part personal question. My answer: Samuel told the Israelites to give up their foreign gods. When they did, he interceded for them with the Lord, offering up burnt sacrifices. He prayed for the people on Israel’s behalf and he served as judge for the people and priest as well. Give up idols and reflect God wherever we are. We need to pray for others and intercede for them with God if need be.

10) They gave up their foreign gods. They confessed their sins. They relied on God when threatened by the Philistines. They had faith. God defeated the Philistines for them and gave them lasting peace. God answered their prayers.

11) In chapter 4, the Israelites demanded God to be with them. They put their faith in the ark, an object, not God. Their hearts were twisted and not fully with the Lord. They were prideful. In chapter 7, they entreated God to be with them. They put their faith in God. They confessed their sins. Their hearts were full of faith. We learn we have to have true faith if we want God to fight our battles for us. We have to ask God, not demand God to help us.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 4: 1 Samuel 7:

Once your heart is right for God, He is there. All the pieces come together. He protects and saves and prospers. It’s as simple as believing faith in Him.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 4: 1 Samuel 7:

Image result for 1 samuel 7The ark did not rest in the temple; instead, it rested in the house of Abinadab.

For 20 years, the people weren’t right with God. Their cities were in ruins, their armies were defeated, and they were under Philistine domination. They refused to turn to Him.

Where was Samuel for all this time?

God raised up Samuel as a prophet and a judge (1 Samuel 4:1). Yet Samuel was strangely absent from the whole Ark of the Covenant fiasco. 1 Samuel 4:1 is the last place Samuel was mentioned, right before Israel schemed to use the ark as a good luck charm in battle. We don’t know where Samuel was but presumably in training still.

What was important about repenting to the Lord?

Samuel called the nation to repentance.

  • The repentance had to be inward (with all your hearts) and
  • Outward (put away the foreign gods).

The inward was more important than the outward, and it had to come first. That is why Samuel first called Israel to return with all your hearts, then told them to put away the foreign gods.

However, inward repentance is a secret thing. It is hidden. No one can really “see” the heart of another. Yet the inward was proved by the outward. We can know if Israel did return with all your hearts by seeing if they really did put away the foreign gods.

The Israelites were serving two gods and thought they weren’t rejecting him because of this. They felt they only added the worship of other gods to their worship of the LORD. Samuel called on Israel to turn their backs on these other gods and serve Him only.

Baal was attractive because he was thought to be the god of weather, bringing good crops and financial success. Ashtoreth was attractive because she was thought to be the goddess of fertility, thus connected to love and sex.

Why Mizpah?

  • This is where Jacob separated from Laban (Genesis 31:49) and was the gathering place for a repentant Israel in Judges 20:1. This was a place remembered for separation and repentance.
  • This showed the spiritual need Israel felt at the time. They expressed their repentance both by putting away the bad and by pursuing the good.

A ceremonial pouring of water demonstrated the soul poured out before the LORD. It was an expression of emptiness and need. Lamentations 2:19Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.

Israel also expressed their sorrow over their sin by fasting (a message that nothing else really mattered except getting right with God) and by confession (a straightforward claim of guilt and responsibility).

1 John 1:5-10 makes it clear that confession is vital to maintain relationship with God. As God convicts us of sin or sins that hinder fellowship with Him, we must confess it and receive forgiveness and cleansing for our relationship with God to continue without hindrance.

“We have sinned against the LORD.” This is almost exactly what David said when he was confronted with his sin in 2 Samuel 12:13.

With God fighting for them, Israel was invincible. Small faith in the true and living God is more powerful than strong faith in a lie.

How 1 Samuel 4 is different from 1 Samuel 7:

Image result for 1 samuel 7The last time Israel was in this kind of situation they said, “Let’s get the Ark of the Covenant and take it into battle with us. Then we can’t lose!” Now they are much wiser before the LORD, and instead of trusting in the ark they did the right thing and asked Samuel to cry out to the LORD our God for us.

The battle was won before it began because the LORD answered Samuel.

The Bible speaks of Samuel as a mighty man of prayer: Samuel was among those who called upon His name; they called upon the LORD, and He answered them. (Psalm 99:6)

God not only sent thunder, He also sent confusion to the Philistines and confidence to Israel.

Samuel was:

  • A man of faith
  • A man of peace
  • A man of military prowess
  • A servant
  • A man of prayer
  • A man of hard work
  • A judge
  • A leader

 

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 3: 1 Samuel 6

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Summary of 1 Samuel 6:

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.

Image result for 1 samuel 6Of 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 1:322:19). 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 4:1-615). 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.

Image result for holiness of godWhen 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).

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11

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Summary of 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

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.

Another amazing video on 1 Samuel HERE

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?

  • Power
  • Might
  • Dominion

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.

Image result for 1 samuel 2We 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.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 4, Day 2: Skim Joshua 13-14

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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.Image result for joshua 13

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.

We are like the Levites as well.  We are called priests (1 Peter 2:5) and have a special inheritance in God (Ephesians 1:11Colossians 1:12, and 1 Peter 1:4).

Themes of Joshua 13:

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.

Joshua 14:

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.