Christ is the power and wisdom of God. Man is foolish for man did not know God (which God allowed). The foolishness of God (which is non-existent) is wider than man’s wisdom. The weakness of God (which is non-existent) is stronger than man’s strength. God is that much higher than man.
God chose those deemed foolish by human standards (we’re all foolish in comparison to God) to shame the wise and the weak to shame the strong. chose the lowly so that no one will boast before him. It is because of God that we are in Jesus who had become for us wisdom from God. So if you boast boast in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 2: Paul says he came to the people in weakness and fear. Paul’s message of wise and persuasive words were from the Spirit’s power so your faith could rest on God’s power.
Now, they speak of God’s secret wisdom (Jesus). One that has been destined since before time began. God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God so we have received the Spirit of God so that we man understand God’s gift (Jesus and grace). This is the message Paul speaks.
The man without the Spirit does not understand things that come from the Spirit of God. The spiritual man is not subject to man’s judgments. But we have the mind of Christ.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 21, Day 3: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16
6) It seems foolish to those who are perishing (unbelievers). God has purposely destroyed the wisdom of the wise and frustrated them. God has made the wisdom of the world foolish.
7a) The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom. The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom. God has made foolish man’s wisdom when man did not know Him. God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise–to prove they were foolish. The Spirit–or God–that indwells in man is what makes him wise. Otherwise, he’s a fool.
b) To shame the world and the strong. In this way, no one can boast before Him.
8a) Personal Question. My answer: The Spirit allows us to understand what God has given us — eternal life, wisdom, grace, and mercy. We have the mind of Christ.
b) Personal Question. My answer: In all things, specifically in the balance in my life.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 21, Day 3: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16
We often think we are wise when so often we are foolish because we are not acting out of the Spirit. We are blind to the Spirit within due to pride and every other fault/sin of mankind. We only have a glimpse of wisdom, which God has given us through His grace.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 21, Day 3: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16
In 1 Corinthians 1:17, Paul declared the idea that the cross could be made of no effect if it were presented with the wisdom of words. Paul now will show why this is true of the cross and the message of the gospel.
To those who reject the salvation of the cross, the idea of being saved through the work of a crucified man is foolish.
The hearing and trusting of the true gospel will bring the power of God into your life.
In this quotation from Isaiah 29:14, Paul shows that in spiritual matters, God opposes the wisdom of man.
Human “wisdom” is constantly rejecting God and opposing Him, and ultimately showing itself foolish and perishing in doing so.
In Paul’s day, the Jewish world was looking for a sign. Specifically, they wanted the sign of a miraculous Messianic deliverance. They were not looking for the message of the cross.
Instead of giving the Jews and Greeks what they demanded in deliverance and wisdom, God gave them something unexpected: a crucified Messiah.
Christ (Messiah) meant power, splendor, and triumph. Crucified meant weakness, defeat, and humiliation. Christ crucified was the ultimate oxymoron, and this was what Paul preached!
ii. If the cross doesn’t seem strange to you, then you either don’t understand how the cross was seen in Jesus’ day, or you don’t understand who Jesus is. You don’t understand the tension between Christ and crucified.
But our expectations of what God should do keep us from receiving that power and wisdom.
many of the Corinthian Christians were beginning to think of themselves in high terms because of God’s work in them. Paul will not allow this. They have not been chosen because they are so great, but because God is so great.
God has called the weak and ignorant first, but not exclusively; shepherds first, then wise men; fishermen first, then the educated (like Paul, who was himself an educated man).
iii. “The ancient Christians were for the most part slaves and men of low station; the whole history of the expansion of the church is in reality a progressive victory of the ignorant over the learned, the lowly over the lofty,
Jesus is our wisdom.
Paul uses this reference to Jeremiah 9:23-24 to show that God did it all this way so that God would get the glory. The path for God’s glory is Christ crucified; the evidence of God’s glory is His choice of the lowly.
1 Corinthians 2:
Paul came as a witness. If a preacher is not careful, he will get in the way of the gospel instead of being a servant of the gospel. They can obscure Jesus by their preaching, either in the presentation or the message
Paul is rejecting any reliance on the preacher’s ability to persuade with human wisdom.
there is a vast wealth of wisdom sealed off to everyone except the Christian.
1 Corinthians 2:10 tells us God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. This glorious thing has been revealed by the gospel.
Paul is communicating much the same message as Ephesians 3:1-7, where he writes about the mystery of the church, and how the church in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets. (Ephesians 3:5)
Only the Holy Spirit can tell us about God and His wisdom. This knowledge is unattainable by human wisdom or investigation.
Every believer can understand the basics of the Christian message, which is unattainable (and undesirable) by human wisdom.
The natural man doesn’t want the things of God because he regards them as foolishness. What is more, he can’t understand the things of God (even if he wanted to) because they are spiritually discerned. It would be wrong to expect the natural man to see and value spiritual things, just as it would be wrong to expect a corpse to see the material world.
Isaiah 40:13 refers to the mind of Yahweh (translated here as LORD); but Paul has no trouble inserting mind of Christ for mind of the LORD, because Jesus is Yahweh!
Peter tells his listeners/readers to live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, compassionate, and humble, and love each other as brothers. Do not repay an insult with an insult but with blessing for that is what we are called to do. For Psalms says if you want good days and the eyes and ears (attention) of the Lord you must keep your tongue and yourself from evil and live righteously.
You are blessed if you suffer for good. Set Christ apart in your heart. Always be prepared to credit Christ for the hope you have in gentleness and respect (basically give no reason to support slander against you). Better to suffer for doing good than evil.
Christ died to bring you to God. He preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed God in the days of Noah and saved eight through water, the same water that now saves you through Christ’s resurrection.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 3: 1 Peter 3:8-22
6) Part personal Question. My answer: to live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, compassionate, and humble, and love each other as brothers. Do not repay an insult with an insult but with blessing for that is what we are called to do. For Psalms says if you want good days and the eyes and ears (attention) of the Lord you must keep your tongue and yourself from evil and live righteously. All of them are hard to be honest.
7) Do not repay an insult with an insult but with blessing for that is what we are called to do. For Psalms says if you want good days and the eyes and ears (attention) of the Lord you must keep your tongue and yourself from evil and live righteously.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: If Jesus, who was perfect, suffered, then it makes sense that I should suffer who is a sinner. It’s easier to accept suffering in my life.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 3: 1 Peter 3:8-22
The spirits were not asked about in this lesson, which they were in 2012.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 3: 1 Peter 3:8-22
Other translations have “be of one mind,” which is omitted here in verse 8. We need to be of the mind of Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:16). Be of unity, but be diverse in opinions.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Jesus did not command us to like our brothers and sisters in Christ. But we are commanded to love them; and once we start loving them we will start liking them.
The greatest challenge to our love for others comes when we are wronged. At those times we are called to not return evil for evil, but to give a blessing instead. The real test of love is to demonstrate compassion to our enemies (Matthew 5:44-47).
Evil is rewarded immediately and the reward of doing good is often delayed. But the rewards of good are better and far more secure than the rewards of doing evil. God promises this in the passage quoted by Peter.
Though Peter says that Christians should always answer evil with good, he also lived in the real world and he knew that people often repaid good with a response of evil.
God will care for us, especially when we suffer unjustly.
Jesus spoke of the same attitude: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Peter knew how important it was to give a defense to everyone who asks you. He had to do this in the situations described in Acts 2:14-39, Acts 3:11-26, Acts 4:8-12, and Acts 5:29-32. In each point of testing Peter relied on the power of the Holy Spirit and was able to give a defense.
Jesus is a perfect example of suffering for doing good. He, the just, suffered for all of us who are the unjust – and the purpose of it all was to bring us to God, to restore our broken and dead relationship with Him.
Verse 19 has at least 18 major theories to explain Peter’s meaning in verses 18-22. It mostly has to do with what “spirits in prison” refers to. Were the spirits people in some intermediate state of death, or giants or fallen angels in Genesis 6:1-4. No one knows for sure. Peter uses this obscure reference to make a point about the ultimate good that comes from the suffering Jesus endured.
Apparently this work was done in the period after Jesus’ death but before His first resurrection appearance to the disciples. Jesus went to Hades – the abode of the dead – and preached to the spirits there.
Though some have regarded these spirits as human spirits, it is more likely that they were demonic spirits. We know that their disobedience was in the days of Noah (1 Peter 3:20). We have evidence that this was a time of gross sin for both demons and humans, when there was an ungodly mingling of humans and demons (Genesis 6:1-2).
“Apparently, the oldest identification of those imprisoned spirits understood them as the fallen angels of Genesis 6. That view was widely known and generally taken for granted in the apostolic era.” (Hiebert)
We also don’t know exactly why Jesus preached to these imprisoned spirits. In all probability this was preaching (the proclamation of God’s message), but it was not evangelism (the proclamation of good news). Jesus preached a message of judgment and final condemnation in light of His finished work on the cross to these disobedient spirits.
The water of the flood washed away sin and wickedness and brought a new world with a fresh start before God. The water of baptism does the same thing, providing a passage from the old to the new.
What really saves us is the answer of a good conscience toward God, a conscience made good through the completed work of Jesus.
The example of Jesus proves Peter’s point in 1 Peter 3:9: when we suffer for doing good, we will inherit a blessing.
Jesus has gone into heaven, and it is better for us that He is there.
We can’t see Jesus enthroned in heaven, but we can certainly feel Him pull us toward Himself.
After 20 years of building, Solomon gave 20 towns in Galilee to Hiram, king of Tyre, for all the lumber he had used. The king did not like the towns given him and called them the Land of Cabul (good-for-nothing). As Solomon’s labor force, he used the people who were not Israelites who had remained in the Promised Land whom Solomon could not exterminate. No Israelites were slaves as they were reserved for the army and the building projects. Solomon sacrificed to the Lord burnt offerings and fellowship offerings three times a year. He built ships, using sailors from Tyre and King Hiram again.
Summary 2 Chronicles 8:
Solomon rebuilt villages that Hiram had given him and settled Israelites in them. He captured cities and built up more cities. All the non-Israelites left from the conquering period (Hittities, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites) were made slaves labor for Solomon’s purposes. The Israelites were not slave labor; they were his fighting men and officials. He would not allow his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, in the palace because she was unclean. Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and appointed gatekeepers and the Levites to care for the temple. Solomon had ships bring him back gold.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 28, Day 3: 1 Kings 9:10-28; 2 Chronicles 8:
6) Building his kingdom and procuring gold. He partnered with Hiram who had well-versed sailors bring him gold. He rebuilt villages and captured more. He formed a calvary with chariots as his will. He forced people to be slaves to do his bidding.
7) I’m unsure why he is partnering with King Hiram again, especially after he scoffed at the towns Solomon had given him. He did wisely follow his father David’s lead by appointing divisions of priests for their duties and the Levites to lead the praise and assist the priest’s in their duties, and he appointed gatekeepers as his father had done. He rebuilt cities and gave them the Israelites wisely. He turned foreigners into slaves (unwisely). He kept Pharaoh’s daughter out of the palace wisely. He wisely sacrificed to God daily and at festivals. The kingdom was well-ordered (2 Chronicles 8:16), which was wise.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: I try to spend my time wisely and not waste it. I spend a lot of time working, maybe too much. I do my hobbies. Measuring success of a pursuit depends on the pursuit. If you set out to run a 10k and you do, that’s success. If you work hard at your job every day, that’s success. If you’re kids are happy, that’s success. I hope I am deemed wise for how I spend my time and energy, but who knows. I’m a hard worker, but maybe too much. Success is measured by the feeling others have around you and you have about yourself I think.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 28 Day 3: 1 Kings 9:10-28; 2 Chronicles 8:
There is nothing remarkable about Solomon’s middle years; he’s doing what every king does: building his empire and wealth, while being good to his people. It’s hard to fault him. Sure, there are signs of him pulling from the Lord, but no concrete actions yet. We can this of a lot of us.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 28, Day 3: 1 Kings 9:10-28; 2 Chronicles 8:
Commentary 1 Kings 9:10-28:
Tyre – the prominent city in the land just north of Israel (modern Lebanon) – was noted for its fine wood.
Trading Israel’s land for a glorious temple and palace was not in God’s plan. Hiram was a friend to both David and Solomon, but the land of Israel was given to Israel by divine decree and was therefore not Solomon’s right to give away.
However, this transaction shows that Solomon was a shrewd dealer and got the better of Hiram in these arrangements, arguably not exactly scrupulously. It seems that Solomon gave Hiram some fairly insignificant settlements (we’re not told the exact reason Hiram is displeased) and received a large amount of gold in return — estimated at $50 million in today’s money.
Solomon raised this massive labor force to complete massive building projects.
Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer: These were three prominently fortified cities in the days of Solomon.
“Hazor was strategically placed in the north (c. three miles north of the Sea of Galilee), being situated at the juncture of the two major highways approaching from the north. It became Israel’s chief bulwark against northern invaders until it was destroyed in the eighth century by Tiglath-pileser III.” (Patterson and Austel)
“Megiddo was the great fortress that controlled the major passes from the Plain of Sharon on the coast into the Valley of Jezreel through the Carmel range. It figures in prophecy as the staging area for the last great battle (Armageddon) in which Christ will defeat the forces of the Antichrist.” (Patterson and Austel)
“Gezer, on the road from Joppa to Jerusalem, had been a powerful Canaanite city. Though it was included in the tribal territory of Ephraim, it was not occupied by the Israelites until the time of Solomon. Then it was given to Solomon as a wedding gift by Pharaoh to his daughter.” (Patterson and Austel)
God strictly commanded that the remnants of these tribes be driven out of the land, not used as slave laborers in Israel. Solomon didn’t make the Israelites forced laborers, but used them to oversee the remnants of the Canaanite tribes.
The Bible tells us Solomon offered up burnt sacrifices and fellowship offerings. It is possible that this was another transgression by Solomon since this would be only a job for the priests. However, as is the case in some other passages, this may refer to Solomon initiating such sacrifice and ceremony properly through a priest.
Where is Ophir?
The location of Ophir is unknown.
“No man knows certainly, to this day, where this Ophir was situated. There were two places of this name: one somewhere in India, beyond the Ganges, and another in Arabia, near the country of the Sabaeans, mentioned by Job 22:24.” (Clarke)
Either way, Ophir is far away, which would have been a great undertaking in ancient times.
Commentary 2 Chronicles 8:
This passage reflects Solomon’s great heart and ambition as a builder. He energetically settled new cities and built storage cities, fortifications, chariot cities, and cities of the cavalry.
We find a problem in reconciling the mention of the cities that Hiram gave to Solomon because 1 Kings 9:11-14 indicates that they were given by Solomon to Hiram. “While textual disturbance is possible, it seems more probable that they had been returned to Solomon, either because they were unacceptable (1 Kings 9:12-13) or because they had been collateral for a loan (1 Kings 9:14).” (Selman)
Sadly, this new emphasis on chariots and cavalry shows that Solomon did not take God’s word as seriously as he should. In Deuteronomy 17:16, God spoke specifically to the future kings of Israel: But he shall not multiply horses for himself. It would be much better if Solomon had the heart reflected in Psalm 20:7: Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
Pharaoh’s wife will led Solomon along a remarkably wicked path (1 Kings 11:4-8). This shows what happens when you put political alliances (marry and unbeliever) above God.
In accordance with the commanded morning and evening sacrifices (Numbers 28:1-8) Solomon administrated the burnt offering for Israel. He also observed the other sacrifices commanded by the Law of Moses.
Solomon carried forth the administration for the temple service as it was originally organized by King David (1 Chronicles 24).
Solomon definitely used his ties with Tyre to explore and trade. Solomon boldly led the people of Israel into new ventures.
“‘Ezion Geber and Elath’ were ports at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba that provided a strategic commercial access southward into the Red Sea and beyond.” (Payne)
“Solomon probably bore the expenses, and his friend, the Tyrian king, furnished him with expert sailors; for the Jews, at no period of their history, had any skill in maritime affairs, their navigation being confined to the lakes of their own country, from which they could never acquire any nautical skill.” (Clarke)
David takes a census of Israel and Judah moved by Satan. After 9 months and 20 days, the number of men numbered 800,000 in Israel and 500,000 in Judah. David confesses his sin (for not having faith in the Lord for fighting purposes), and Gad the prophet gives him 3 choices for consequences:
3 years of famine
3 months of fleeing from your enemies
3 days of plague
The plague was chosen, and 70,000 people died. David sacrificed to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite to stop the plague.
Summary 1 Chronicles 21:
Satan incited David to take the census. In all, there were 1,100,000 men, including 470,000 in Judah, but excluding the Levites and the Benjaminites. The passage from here is almost identical to 2 Samuel 24.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 22, Day 5: 2 Samuel 24 with 1 Chronicles 21:
12) David wanted to survey his kingdom in order to glory it its size and its potential military strength. God wanted David to continue to rely on divine help and guidance, not national pride. Exodus says, “When you take a census of the Israelites, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life.” Also, the David tempted David it says in 1 Chronicles 21
13) Part personal Question. My answer: God gives David a choice of punishments (which He does us as well). He forgives David and ends the plague early out of mercy. The personal side of this questions would take hours to recount. God is merciful by forgiving my sins, providing a Savior, and giving me so much in this world I don’t deserve.
14) David asks for forgiveness and mercy. He sacrifices costly sacrifices. Self-sacrificing is what I see in my culture. Helping others. Obeying God. Doing the right thing.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 22 Day 5: 2 Samuel 24 with 1 Chronicles 21:
This is a great chapter. It shows how David’s whole life was about God, and how God did it all for David, including providing the support David needed to rule effectively and successfully. Great lesson.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 22, Day 5: 2 Samuel 24 with 1 Chronicles 21:
Commentary 2 Samuel 24:
The translators of the New King James Version believe that “He” in this sentence applies to God because they capitalize it. Yet 1 Chronicles 21:1 tells us, Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. The best explanation is that Satan prompted King David and is the “he” of 2 Samuel 24:1. Yet the Lord expressly allowed it as a chastisement against David (Nothing happens without God knowing or allowing).
In ancient cultures, a man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him. Israel didn’t belong to David; Israel belonged to God. It was up to the Lord to command a counting, and if David counted, he should only do it at God’s command and receiving ransom money to “atone” for the counting.
Once again, we see Joab as the voice of reason. He told David to quit mourning Absalom’s death in 2 Samuel 19, and now he asks David to reconsider his pride and his sin. The captains tried to tell David as well.
The total population would be 6 million in Israel based off the number of men at this time..
David’s three choices:
Famine put the poor at risk who would not be able to afford the food
War put all the soldiers at risk
Plague was the equalizer — all were at risk
David chose plague because it was the only one he could suffer from.
The threshing floor of Araunah
2 Chronicles 3:1 tells us that the threshing floor of Araunah was on Mount Moriah; the same hill where Abraham offered Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and the same set of hills where Jesus died on the cross (Genesis 22:14).
FUN FACT: “David’s altar was the only one in pre-exilic times which God explicitly commanded to be built.” (Selman)
“The decision of God to establish his altar and temple at Moriah in Jerusalem has affected all history (cf. Revelation 11:1); for this mountain became the focus of the Holy City, where His Son was crucified. And it will continue to affect history; for from this ‘city he loves’, he will some day rule the nations of the earth (Isaiah 2:2-4).” (Payne)
David knew that it would not be a gift nor a sacrifice unto the LORD if it did not cost him something. He didn’t look for the cheapest way possible to please God.
David knew that the death of the 70,000 in Israel of the plague did not atone for his and Israel’s sin. Atonement could only be made through the blood of an approved substitute.
Burnt offerings were to atone for sin; peace offerings were to enjoy fellowship with God.
1 Chronicles 21:26 tells us that God showed His acceptance of David’s sacrifice by consuming it with fire from heaven. God honored David’s desire to be right and to fellowship with God by answering with Divine blessing from heaven. So it always is when God’s children draw near to their God and Father for cleansing and fellowship.
Commentary 1 Chronicles 21:
FUN FACT: “For the first time in Scripture, the word ‘Satan’ appears without the definite article as a proper noun.” (Payne)
Why were the Levites and Benjaminites not counted?
“Joab, seeing that this would bring down destruction upon the people, purposed to save two tribes. Should David ask, Why have you not numbered the Levites? Joab purposed to say, Because the Levites are not reckoned among the children of Israel. Should he ask, Why have you not numbered Benjamin? he would answer, Benjamin has been already sufficiently punished, on account of the treatment of the woman at Gibeah: if, therefore, this tribe were to be again punished, who would remain?” (Clarke)
240 ounces of gold was worth about one hundred thousand dollars. Second Samuel 24:24 notes a much smaller amount, 20 ounces of silver, for the threshing floor itself.
God simply uses Satan’s provocation at the opening of this chapter to answer of the question for David and for the nation of Israel: where to build his temple. There were other purposes of God at work here as well.
What does Ornan’s Threshing Floor Teach us?
Ornan’s threshing floor shows us where and how God wants to meet with men.
A simple, unadorned place – not like a fancy church at all.
David showed kindness to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, by restoring all the land that belonged to Saul and giving him a place at his table — a considerable honor. David provided for Mephibosheth all the days of his life and for Ziba, a servant of Saul’s household as well.
Summary of Ephesians 2:1-10:
We are alive in Christ; whereas, before we were dead in our transgressions as we followed the ways of the world and our sins. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus as our Savior, which leads to good works.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 19, Day 4: 2 Samuel 9; Ephesians 2:1-10:
10) Because of God’s great love and mercy for us, He sent Chris to die for our sins, making us alive in Christ and dead in our sins — all through the grace of God. We spend eternity with God because of His grace.
11) David treats Mephibosheth as an heir, extending to him the rights of the son of a king. We are heirs to God’s kingdom through His son, Jesus. A full list is listed in the end notes. Here are some ways:
The King’s kindness is extended to us for the sake of another.
The King’s kindness is based on covenant.
We have the privilege of provision at the King’s table.
We are received as sons at the King’s table, with access to the King and fellowship with Him.
12) Personal Question. My answer: I experience God’s mercy every day as He constantly forgives my sins. I pray prayers of thanks for His mercy, compassion, and grace upon me and for His Son, Jesus.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 19 Day 4: 2 Samuel 9; Ephesians 2:1-10:
Same lesson as yesterday, just with the added emphasis of how David is a man after God’s own heart as we see David extending the same grace to Mephibosheth as God extends to us through Jesus Christ.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 19, Day 4: 2 Samuel 9; Ephesians 2:1-10:
Commentary 2 Samuel 9 (same as yesterday’s):
In 1 Samuel 7 David asked, “What can I do for God?” and he proposed to build a temple for the Lord. Now David asked another question we should all ask: “What can I do for others?”
David’s question showed his huge heart as Saul was his enemy. Usually, the king of a new dynasty massacred anyone connected with the prior dynasty. David went against the principle of revenge and against the principle of self-preservation and asked what he could do for the family of his enemy.
Why did David want to help Mephibosheth?
David did this because he remembered his relationship and covenant with Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:14-15).
David wanted to show someone else the same kindness God showed to him.
We first learned of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 4:4, which says that this son of Jonathan was made lame in his feet from an accident. He fled from fear of being killed since Mephibosheth had the right to the throne. He was a son of the first-born son of the king, and other potential heirs were dead.
Later in 2 Samuel 16:5-8 we see a man named Shimei who was a partisan for the house of Saul against David. There were at least a few in Israel who felt that the house of Saul should still reign over the nation, and that David shouldn’t be king. Mephibosheth might draw upon these partisans and develop a rival following.
Ishbosheth was Mephibosheth’s uncle, and he waged a bloody war against David for the throne of Israel. There was at least an outside chance that Mephibosheth might do the same.
Mephibosheth, probably due to his disability, held a low station in life. He didn’t even have his own house. Instead, he lived in the house of another man.
Machir the son of Ammiel later showed his loyalty to David when David’s son, Absalom, led a rebellion against David. Machir supported and helped David at great danger to himself (2 Samuel 17:27-29).
What did David do differently with regards to Mephibosheth?
David went against all custom in showing such kindness to an heir of the former dynasty.
David gave Mephibosheth the honor of a close relationship with the king, which is what Jesus offers. Jesus told the disciples that they would eat and drink at His table in heaven (Luke 22:30).
David gave Mephibosheth servants to work the land.
How is David’s grace to Mephibosheth like God’s grace to us?
We are hiding, poor, weak, lame, and fearful before our King comes to us.
We are separated from our King because of our wicked ancestors.
We are separated from our King because of our deliberate actions.
We separated ourselves from the King because we didn’t know him or His love for us.
Our King sought us out before we sought Him.
The King’s kindness is extended to us for the sake of another.
The King’s kindness is based on covenant.
We must receive the King’s kindness in humility.
The King returns to us what we lost in hiding from Him.
The King returns to us more than what we lost in hiding from Him.
We have the privilege of provision at the King’s table.
We are received as sons at the King’s table, with access to the King and fellowship with Him.
We receive servants from the King. (credit David Guzik)
What does David’s treatment of Mephibosheth teach us about serving others?
We should seek out our enemies and seek to bless them.
We should look for the poor, weak, lame, and hidden to bless them.
We should bless others when they don’t deserve it, and bless them more than they deserve.
We should bless others for the sake of someone else.
We must show the kindness of God to others. (credit David Guzik)
Commentary Ephesians 2:1-10:
A being might be alive in one sense but dead in another. To be spiritually dead does not mean that we are physically dead, socially dead, or psychologically dead.
The Bible uses different pictures to describe the state of the unsaved (dead in transgressions) man:
Trespasses connotes we’ve crossed a line, challenging God’s boundaries. Sins connotes we’ve missed a mark, the perfect standards of God.
Satan orchestrates sin. He is active everywhere and at all times. We once walked in sin as an old man, but Jesus crucified that person at the time of conversion. The sin nature inherited from Adam influenced the old man, but the world system and Satan do also. We still see the old man in the flesh.
Those who walk now in Christ should feel uncomfortable in the presence of sin.
The unique title for Satan speaks of his authority (prince) and his realm (the air, a way of referring to Satan’s “environment”).
Bible Scholar Bruce explains: “The domain of the air, in fact, is another way of indicating the heavenly realm, which, according to Ephesians 6:12, is the abode of those principalities and powers, world-rulers of this darkness andspiritual forces of wickedness against which the people of Christ wage war.”
We once were among the sons of disobedience from our conduct. Lusts of the flesh are basically perversions of the legitimate desires of human nature.
We rightfully deserve God’s wrath. However, out of God’s great mercy and love for us, we are reconciled to Him.
What is grace?
Every reason for God’s mercy and love is found in Him. We give Him no reason to love us, yet in the greatness of His love, He loves us with that great love anyway.
We must stop trying to make ourselves lovable to God, and instead receive His great love while recognizing that we are unworthy of it. This is grace.
What are the requirements of salvation?
You must be dead to every attempt to justify yourself before God.
God made us alive through the crucifixion of Christ on the cross.
Through faith, we believe this is true.
Through God’s grace, we are accepted.
What are the results of salvation?
We have a new place for living, a new arena of existence – we are not those who dwell on the earth (as Revelation often calls them), but our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
We sit in Jesus. Since he sits in heavenly places, so do we.
Nothing ever changes. God will continue to show us grace in the future (coming ages) and continue to bless us through eternity.
Paul knew the Gospel would be preached forever.
BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH WE ARE SAVED
Salvation is a gift from God
Faith is a gift from God. We cannot believe in Jesus unless God does a prior work in us, for we are blinded by our own deadness and by the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Bible Scholar Clarke explains: “Without the grace or power to believe no man ever did or can believe; but with that power the act of faith is a man’s own. God never believes for any man, no more than he repents for him; the penitent, through this grace enabling him, believes for himself.”
What do we learn about praying for others?
Since God initiates salvation, we should begin our evangelism with asking God to do the initiating and granting the unsaved the ability to believe.
We are God’s poem
God saves us not merely to save us from the wrath we rightly deserve, but also to make something beautiful of us. We are His workmanship, which translates the ancient Greek word poiema. The idea is that we are His beautiful poem. The Jerusalem Bible translates workmanship as “work of art.”
God’s love is a transforming love. It meets us right where we are at, but when we receive this love it always takes us where we should be going. The love of God that saves my soul will also change my life.
We are His workmanship, His creation – something new He has made of us in Jesus Christ.
How do you know you are saved?
Through good works. Good works are the evidence we are walking in Christ Jesus. Good works are just as much a part of God’s predestined plan as anything else is.
Works play no part at all in securing salvation. But afterwards, Christians will prove their faith by their works.
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 prays/sings to God, saying how God knows everything about him and where he’ll go and what he’ll say. God is everywhere, guiding him. God made David in the womb and knew what he’d do on earth. David prays for God to slay his enemies who speak evil of God’s name. He hates them for it. He prays to be tested for evil and to be lead in everything.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 2: Psalm 139:
3) God is omniscient. He has everything planned ahead of time and everyone’s life planned ahead of time. Darkness is as light to God. He is omnipotent.
4) David hates those who hate God. He cannot stand those who speak evil of God. He calls those who hate God his enemies. He requests for God to be in control of his destiny and all that he does. Most people today do not actively oppose God; they just dislike him. We are to love on those who don’t like God but not tolerate perpetual sin around us. We don’t have to be with unrepentant sinners; we can just pray for them. The balance comes in condoning or not condoning sin.
5) Personal Question. My answer: This Psalm reminds me how God does have my life planned out, and I merely have to be close to Him to follow it. It reminds me He knows everything and cares about knowing everything in my life. If I pray for God to lead me, He will. His will will be done in my life if I allow Him to do it.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 2: Psalm 139:
Reading the Psalms gives us an insight into David’s mind during this trying time in his life. We see his highs, his lows, and all his questions, doubts, and waverings as to what God is doing in his life. This gives us hope when we do the same thing. The power of prayer cannot be stated enough.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 2: Psalm 139:
This magnificent Psalm is titled, For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. It does not surprise us that such a significant Psalm came from David’s pen, who was “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1). The Chief Musician is thought by some to be the LORD God Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in David’s time, such as Heman the Singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:33, 16:17, and 25:6).
David prayed to Yahweh, understanding that He had personal knowledge of him. Pagans often thought that their gods were hostile or indifferent to men and women; David knew the true God cared to search and know all of us.
What does God know about me?
God knows me.
He is everywhere with me.
He created me.
God knows all my thoughts.
God knows all my words.
God knows me better than I know myself.
God is everywhere.
God knows me in the womb.
God sees me at all times.
As Jesus would later say, God knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30).
In the Hebrew grammar, You know (139:2) and You covered (139:13) the emphasis is on You. God is involved in everything we do.
The normal sense of a hedge in the Bible is of a protective barrier. God hedged David on every side, so that nothing could come to David unless it first passed through God’s permission. What was true for David is true for all who trust in the LORD.
The Psalmist speaks of God as a Person everywhere present in creation, yet distinct from creation. God is everywhere, but he is not everything.
God is present in Hell
David did not describe what we normally think of as hell – Gehenna (Matthew 10:28, 18:9), the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15). The Hebrew word here is sheol, which has the sense of the grave or by implication the afterlife.
Even in hell, God will be present because there is no place where God cannot be. Yet God’s presence in hell will radiate none of His love and grace; only His righteous judgment.
“Wings of the dawn” may well refer to the spread and speed of light as it fills the morning sky from the east to the west. Light itself can not outrun God’s presence and knowledge.
Death and the grave cannot separate David from God’s love – as Paul would later write in Romans 8:38-39. In fact, God’s right hand – His hand of skill and strength – would hold David no matter what would come.
God’s constant presence with David was like a constant light in the darkness. As the pillar of cloud illuminated Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21), so with God’s presence the night shines as the day.
Skillfully wrought: “Hebrew embroidered; exquisitely composed of bones, and muscles, and sinews, and veins, and arteries, and other parts, all framed with such wonderful skill, that even heathens, upon the contemplation of all the parts of man’s body, and how excellently they were framed, both for beauty and use, have broken forth into pangs of admiration and adoration of the Creator of man, as Galen particularly did.” (Poole)
If God made us, why did He make birth defects?
The “The root meaning of the word rendered ‘precious’ is weighty. The singer would weigh God’s thoughts towards him, and finds that they weigh down his scales.” (Maclaren)work of God in fashioning the body of the individual has made some wonder about the presence of birth defects, and what that may mean regarding God’s work. We should regard such birth defects as injuries to God’s original design, and even as a person may be injured out of the womb, so they can be injured while still in the womb and in the process of formation. Such injuries are the result of the fall and the corruption it introduced into the world, yet still the eye of faith can see the hand of God at work in what defects or injuries He would allow in His providence.
“That God should think upon us is the believer’s treasure and pleasure.” (Spurgeon)
Discovering our own sin
We do not hate the person; we hate the sin.
“It is easier to glow with indignation against evildoers than to keep oneself from doing evil. Many secret sins may hide under a cloak of zeal for the Lord.” (Maclaren)
We often don’t know our own evil ways. Praying for God to flush them out is powerful.
David ended this majestic psalm by declaring his destination – the way everlasting. Trusting the God of complete knowledge and constant presence would bring David to everlasting life.
“The final words could be translated ‘the ancient way’ as in Jeremiah 6:16; but the majority of translators would appear to be right in rendering them the way everlasting, in contrast to the way of the wicked, which will perish.” (Kidner)
The war between the Israelites and the Philistines continues as both sides prepare for battle at Socoh in Judah. A valley separates the two armies.
The Philistines send out a champion, Goliath from Gath, who was over 9 feet tall, wore armor weighing 125 pounds, and carried a spear. Goliath challenges the Israelites to send out a champion to overcome him. Whoever loses becomes the subjects of the other.
The Israelites were terrified of Goliath. Jesse’s 3 oldest sons served in Saul’s army, but David still had to tend sheep at home, so he split his time at the army.
Goliath challenged the Israelites every day for 40 days. Jesse sends David who had been at home to his brothers in Saul’s camp with food for them and their commander and to check on them and bring back a token, so he knows his sons are ok.
David reached camp just as the army was going out to meet the Philistines. David heard Goliath’s challenge and found out that whoever kills Goliath will gain the king’s daughter in marriage and exemption from taxes for his family.
David’s oldest brother, Eliab, yells at David and accuses him of abandoning his duties and his sheep and only coming to visit to see the battle. David walks away. Saul, hearing of David’s return, sends for him. David says he will face Goliath, so no Israelite will lose heart.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 10, Day 4: 1 Samuel 17:14-23:
9) They faced the Philistines but, in particular, Goliath of Gath, a Philistine who challenged a champion of Israel to a battle to determine who would become subjects of whom. Israel responded by running in fear.
10) Goliath taunted the Israelites by challenging them every day to overcome him. His idea was whoever won the face-off would the other would become the subjects of the winner.
11) David is seeing Goliath as defying God and the armies of God. He also saw the fear Goliath was bringing to the men and the effect this was having on morale. The men ran in fear, having no faith in God to overcome. David instead says he will go and fight Goliath, having faith God will overcome.
12) Personal Question. My answer: I hope I reveal my faith in my words and actions. I trust Him to put me where He wants me. I try to do His work and have faith in His way.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 10, Day 4: 1 Samuel 17:1-32:
One of the most famous stories of the Bible is David and Goliath. It’s interesting how David’s older brother accused him of wrong motivation, probably because he is jealous of David as the anointed one. I love how David says he’ll face Goliath for others. I always picture David as small (probably in relation to Goliath), so for a small man, he has a huge heart for God. Great lesson!
For a cute, short kids video on David and Goliath, click below
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 10, Day 4: 1 Samuel 17:1-32:
This Valley of Elah of green rolling hills still stand today and is where one of the most remarkable battles in all the Bible and history took place. The Philistines, constant enemies of Israel during this period, assembled their army on a mountain and across from them on another mountain was the army of Israel.
Goliath was tall and probably suffered from Gigantism, a disorder of the pituitary gland that overproduces growth hormones. Men of unusual height have been recorded in ancient times. According to Joshua 11:22 Gath was the home of the Anakim, a race of people known for their height — which supports the belief that gigantism was present in the gene pool as a genetic disorder. Goliath’s weapons (probably weighing between 150 and 200 pounds) matched a man of his size.
Bible scholar Adam Clarke says that the word champion really comes from the Hebrew word, “a middle man, the man between two.” The idea is this was a man who stood between the two armies and fought as a representative of his army.
Why did Goliath challenge the Israelites?
To strike fear in the Israelites. This worked. The Israelites were terrified of Goliath and the odds of them fighting were extremely low.
Military strategy. If they did fight, the Israelites would be demoralized and probably not have the heart to fight and thus would be easily defeated.
Saul, who stood a head taller than most Israelites, was the likely choice to face off against Goliath. Instead, he fled too. Huge change in heart and spirit from (1 Samuel 14:52) and when the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul (1 Samuel 16:14).
David was balancing his duties at home with his duties to Saul, traveling back and forth as needed.
David is said to be the youngest of eight sons of Jesse. Yet Psalm 89:27 calls David God’s firstborn, demonstrating that “firstborn” is as much a title and a concept as a description of birth order. Therefore, when Paul calls Jesus firstborn over all creation in Colossians 1:15, he isn’t trying to say that Jesus is a created being who had a beginning. He is simply pointing to the prominence and preeminence of Jesus.
We can picture both armies lining up every day, Goliath taunting the Israelites, and then the Israelites retreating in shame. The situation had become so desperate that Saul needed to offer a three-part bribe including a cash award, a princess, and a tax exemption – to induce someone, anyone to fight and win against Goliath.
How David saw Goliath
David saw Goliath as threatening Israel and God’s honor
David saw Goliath in spiritual terms (uncircumcised Philistine, defy armies of living God, take away reproach of Israel)
David saw Goliath from God’s perspective
David was a man after God’s own heart
Why was Eliab angry?
Eliab was angry because he felt David was an insignificant, worthless person who had no right to speak up, especially with such bold words
Eliab was angry because he felt he knew David’s motivation, but he didn’t really know David’s heart.
Eliab was angry because he thought David tried to provoke someone else into fighting Goliath just so he could see a battle. Eliab himself was a tall man of good appearance (1 Samuel 16:7), and he may have felt David was trying to push him into battle.
Eliab was angry because David was right! When you are dismayed and greatly afraid or dreadfully afraid, the last thing in the world you want is someone telling you to be courageous.
How our Friends and Family can Hinder Us
David is not deterred by his brother’s hurtful words, which probably were spoken amidst laugh and jeers at David’s expense. Instead, David is focused on God’s work above all else, his own personal safety, his own personal glory, and his own personal honor. David replied rightfully and answered softly.
Bible scholar Spurgeon on this scene: “Immediately before the encounter with the Philistine he fought a battle which cost him far more thought, prudence, and patience. The word-battle in which he had to engage with his brothers and with king Saul, was a more trying ordeal to him than going forth in the strength of the Lord to smite the uncircumcised boaster. Many a man meets with more trouble from his friends than from his enemies; and when he has learned to overcome the depressing influence of prudent friends, he makes short work of the opposition of avowed adversaries.”
Finally, Saul gets someone to volunteer. However, the volunteer is a youthful boy. We’ll see on Day 5 what this youthful boy knew more than others.
Jonathan decides to attack the Philistines single-handedly with just his armor-bearer by his side. They both climbed up a cliff to where the Philistines were who told Jonathan to come to them. They took Jonathan’s approach as all of the Israelites were crawling out of their holes. They killed 20 Philistines.
The Lord struck confusion on the Philistines in their camp. Saul saw this and rallied his men to join in the attack. All the Israelites who had hidden came out to help in the battle when they heard what was happening. The Lord rescued the Israelites.
Saul had cursed his army not to eat, all of whom were ravished and hungry. Jonathan eats honey he finds, not knowing about his father’s curse. When he is told of his father’s curse, he ignores it. The men slaughtered the animals of the Philistines and ate all of it, including the blood, because they were so hungry. Saul sacrificed to the Lord and then wanted to kill his own son for eating honey, but the men saved Jonathan, saying he was the one who defeated the Philistines.
Saul continues conquests against the surrounding peoples and enemies of Israel.
Summary 1 Saul 15:
God orders Saul to punish the Amalekites for unprovoked attacks when the Israelites were leaving Egypt (Exodus 17:8-16; Deuteronomy 25:17-19) and totally destroy them. Saul did not obey the Lord. He did not destroy everything, keeping the best of the plunder.
God is grieved by Saul’s misbehavior who has since set up a monument to himself. Saul claims the good plunder is to be sacrificed to the Lord. Samuel says obedience is better than sacrifices. He informs Saul God has rejected him as king. Only then does Saul admit he sinned, and Saul begs to be forgiven.
Saul says God does not change His mind. Samuel is the one to put the king of the Amalekites to death. Samuel returns home to Ramah, grieved over Saul.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 9, Day 5: 1 Samuel 14-15:
13) Personal Question. My answer: It encourages and inspires me that I can make a difference at just one person in this world. We all make a difference every day — I just think we don’t acknowledge it. I like how Jonathan is the wisdom here, eating honey and saying how his father is an idiot for that curse. Jonathan also is inspiring to see how he relies on God and bucks the trends when God says to do so.
14) Saul basically lets others do the hard work, and then he swoops in to claim all the credit. He waits until things are going his way to act. To me, he’s weak-willed and only a leader in good times, not bad.
15) Part personal Question. My answer: Saul claims he was saving the best of the best to sacrifice to God, and he says how he was afraid of the people so he gave in (he blamed others essentially). We do the same thing: blame others for our actions. We procrastinate, saying now is not the right time. Or we say let someone else do it.
16) Personal Question. My answer: God wants total obedience. Even if we think we’re doing something for good and God says otherwise, follow God. He has his reasons for asking us to do things and we, not being omniscient, just need to obey. We can’t assume we know better than God. It’s easier just to follow God anyways. It takes all the decision making out of the equation.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 9, Day 5: 1 Samuel 14-15:
Following God is easier than you think: you just do it. I love these chapters. You see Jonathan taking matters into his own hands with God and you see Saul taking matters into his own hands against God. The results? Saul is rejected. Jonathan is saved. Nothing says it better.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 9, Day 5: 1 Samuel 14-15:
1 Samuel 14:
The armor bearer was just that — bearing the armor of the officer he served. He as like the squires of the Middle Ages–the person assigned to help the officer do his duty.
There are many stories in the bible where God multiplies forces (Judges 3:31 described Shamgar’s victory over 600 Philistines with a sharp stick and Leviticus 26:8 saysFive of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.
This is where Jonathan is coming from. He’s going to rely on God and see what he’ll do. He does not tell his father who was lazily sitting under a tree.
Jonathan did not do this for glory because he did not tell anyone of his plans. God guided Jonathan to a narrow path through a pass with large, sharp rocks on either side — the perfect place to fight a few men at at time.
Why did Jonathan step out in faith and risk his own life?
Someone had to have faith. The situation for the Israelites was dismal: greatly outnumbered.
Someone had to allow God to use them.
Someone had to allow God to prove His word and that He was still with the Israelites.
What do we learn from Jonathan’s example?
Only unbelief restrains God (Matthew 13:58). God’s power is never restrained.
Jonathan’s armor-bearer encourages and supports Jonathan. When something is done in God’s name, support always follows.
Jonathan tests God, but he tests God out of faith. Gideon doubted God’s word (Judges 6:36-40); Jonathan doubted himself. The battle was God’s, but Jonathan still had a role to play by fighting.
God uses the swords of the Philistines against themselves since the Israelites had no swords.
Saul procrastinates. He wants to see who is doing his job (and who’ll get the credit for it), and he wants to pray. The time to fight is now, which he eventually does.
Why the curse of Saul on his own men?
Saul’s curse was personal — so he could take vengeance on the Philistines. It was God’s honor and the security of his people he should have been fighting for.
Saul did not have the authority to order a fast — only Samuel, a priest, did.
Pursuing an army takes energy. God provided the honey for the men to replenish themselves. Jonathan understood this and said as much.
God commanded Israel to drain the blood from an animal before butchering it (Deuteronomy 12:23-25). The disobedience here stemmed from the people obeying Saul’s foolish command and them being so hungry they ate with the blood still in the animals, which resulted in disobeying God’s.
Legalistic rules lead us into sin because they either provoke our rebellion or they lead us into legalistic pride. Saul being Saul, blamed the people for their disobedience when it was his fault.
Urim and Thummim mean “Lights and Perfections.” We aren’t sure what they were or how they were used. Most bible scholars think they were a pair of stones, one light and another dark, and each stone indicated a “yes” or “no” from God. The High Priest would ask God a question, reach into the breastplate, and pull our either a “yes” or a “no.”
Saul wants to spare Agag (Chapter 15), but kill his own son.
Saul wanted to find the wrong doer by the casting of lots. They separated the people into two groups, and then selected one group by a “low” or “high” roll of something like dice. The group was narrowed until they found the one. This was meant to show he was innocent.
“Perfect lot” in the Hebrew is very close to the word for Thummim. They probably used the Urim and Thummim as the way to cast the lot.
Saul was willing to kill his son rather than to humbly admit that he was really at fault. All humility Saul had (1 Samuel 10:21), is now gone replaced by pride.
Why spare Jonathan?
The oath itself to put Jonathan to death was foolish and should not have been enforced.
Jonathan broke the oath in ignorance.
Jonathan’s bold faith in God had much more to do with the victory on that day than Saul’s foolish oath. In fact, the victory would have been greater otherwise.
1 Samuel 15:
Totally destroy: This Hebrew verb (heherim) is used seven times in this account. The idea of total, complete judgment is certainly stressed. This verb refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
Even though God doesn’t have to, He explains to us why. Centuries before this the Amalekites were the first people to attack Israel after their escape from Egypt:
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner; for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:14-16) Deuteronomy 25:17-19 repeats this idea.
The Amalekites committed a terrible sin against Israel. When the nation was weak and vulnerable, the Amalekites attacked the weakest and most vulnerable of the nation (Deuteronomy 25:18). They did this for no reasons except violence and greed. God hates it when the strong take cruel advantage over the weak, especially when the weak are His people.
Why did God wait to punish the Amalekites?
God through his mercy gave the Amalekites 400 years to repent. They did not. Time does not erase sin before God. Men should be forgiving of one another because we are not the judgers. Only Jesus can erase sin.
God used the Amalekites as a test of obedience for Saul.
God wanted to make the judgment fit the sin.
Would God call His people today to fight a war of judgment?
Under the New Covenant, we are called for (John 18:36).
Saul is merciful in letting the Kenites go.
Most armies worked for the plunder of the people they were conquering in ancient times. But with the Israelites, when the battle was for judgment, they were not to benefit in any way.
What lesson do we learn from Saul?
Partial obedience is complete disobedience. There is nothing happy about plundering towns and killing people. God judges reluctantly.
When God explains Himself to man in human terms it’s called anthropomorphism. God does this out of grace so man can have some understanding of God’s heart. God knew from the beginning Saul’s heart, ways, and destiny. God already sought for Himself a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Yet as all this unfolded, God’s heart was not emotionless. Saul’s disobedience hurt God, and since we can’t grasp all what happens in God’s heart, the closest that we can come is for God to express it in the human terms of saying, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king.”
Samuel had God’s heart. It hurt God to reject Saul, and it hurt God’s prophet to see him rejected.
Lesson learned from God’s grieving heart:
We are close to God’s heart when the things that grieve Him grieve us, and the things that please God please us.
Saul wasn’t grieved over his sin. Saul was quite pleased with himself! There is not the slightest bit of shame or guilt in Saul, even though he directly disobeyed the LORD.
David, in contrast to Saul, was known as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Even though David would also disobeyed God, David felt the guilt and shame one should feel when they sin. Saul didn’t feel it. His conscience was dead to shame, and his heart was dead to God. Saul’s heart was so dead he could directly disobey God and still set up a monument for himself on the occasion.
Saul had such potential as we saw in (1 Samuel 9:21) and (1 Samuel 10:22). Humans are the same no matter what–evil. Saul let the evil prevail instead of letting God have his heart.
What lesson do we learn from Saul’s pride and monument to himself?
Pride and disobedience make us blind – or deaf – to our own sin. We need to constantly ask God to show us our sins: Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
“The people did it.”
“I destroyed the rest.”
“I kept the only the best.”
“This is all for God.”
This says it all (verse 15): “the Lord YOUR God.” Saul did not consider God his anymore. Tragic.
Saul did not even destroy the rest; there were still Amalekites left alive. David later had to deal with the Amalekites (1 Samuel 27:8, 30:1, 2 Samuel 8:12). Haman, the evil man who tried to wipe out all the Jewish people in the days of Esther, was a descendant of Agag (Esther 3:1). When Saul was killed on the field of battle, an Amalekite claimed to deliver the final thrust of the sword (2 Samuel 1:8-10).
Lesson learned when we don’t obey God fully:
When we don’t obey God completely, the “leftover” portion will surely come back and trouble us, if not kill us.
Saul again throws his own people under the bus even though they were only following orders.
Eli the priest’s sons were wicked. They were taking more than their share of the food offered to God, which angered God. Every year, Hannah would bring her son, Samuel, a new robe. She had more children. Eli chastised his sons who were also sleeping with the serving women to the Tent of Meeting. God wanted to put Eli’s sons to death because of their sins. God was in control, but the sons still chose to sin.
Samuel flourished, but Eli paid the ultimate price for his sons’ sins, cursing all his descendents to die young. God will kill both of Eli’s sons on the same day and raise up a new faithful priest who will follow His commands.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 4: 1 Samuel 2:12-36:
9) Eli’s sons start taking the choicest pieces of the sacrifices for God for themselves, and they were sleeping with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Eli chastised them but didn’t do anything about it.
10) None of Eli’s descendants would live to be old men. His two sons will die on the same day. He is being replaced permanently as the priest to the people with someone else who has more faith.
11) Personal Question. My answer: I do let my kids get away with things such as doing chores or helping me out because it’s easier than fighting them on it. Be a better parent.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 4: 1 Samuel 2:12-36:
This is the first time I’ve really noticed that Eli turns a blind eye to his sons’ sins despite the seriousness of the sins. As the parent, it’s Eli who suffers the consequences as well as the sons. It shows the importance of dealing with sin.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 4: 1 Samuel 2:12-36:
The ancient Hebrew calls them sons of Belial. Belial was a pagan god and the phrase sons of Belial refers to worthless and wicked men. This was a significant problem, because the sons of Eli were in line to succeed him as high priest and they already functioned in the priesthood.
What was the first sin of the sons of Eli the High Priest?
With many of the sacrifices brought to the tabernacle, a portion was given to God, a portion was given to the priest, and a portion was kept by the one who brought the offering. According to other passages in the Old Testament, the priest received a portion of the breast and the shoulder. But now some 400 years after the Law of Moses came, the priestly custom changed – they did not take the prescribed portion of the breast and shoulder but took whatever the fork (fleshhook) brought up out of the pot.
God’s portion was always given first, so it was wrong to take the priest’s portion before they burned the fat.
The fat was thought to be the most luxurious, best part of the animal, so they gave it to God. The idea was that God should always get the best, and God should get His portion first. But in their pride the sons of Eli took their portion before they burned the fat.
Why did the sons of Eli want raw meat?
Perhaps it was so they could prepare it anyway they pleased; or more likely, it was because raw meat was easier to sell and they sold the meat and pocketed the money.
The greed of Eli’s sons was immense; they did not hesitate to use violence and the threat of violence to get what they wanted.
How was Eli’s sons’ sin so great?
Greedy for the best meat
Violent to get what they wanted
Intimidated others to the point they were scared to sacrifice to the Lord–this hurt others.
What is Samuel’s role?
God raised up Samuel because of the corruption of Eli’s sons. God knew how bad Eli’s sons were, so He guided the whole series of events that resulted in Samuel’s service at the tabernacle.
Corrupt ministers do not stop – or even hinder – the work of God. It may look like it; but every time there are men like Eli’s sons, God raises up someone like Samuel.
What’s a linen ephod?
A priestly garment, signifying Samuel as distinguished already (Exodus 39:27-29).
As a child, Samuel served the Lord. Often children are discounted. They can do great things for His kingdom.
What was the second sin of the sons of Eli the High Priest?
Eli is too old to deal with his sons, and thus only rebuked them. However, his sons were committing sexual sins at the tabernacle. This was an ancient version of the modern sex scandals among pastors or preachers. Exodus 38:8 refers to the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting
Even worse, the sons made people hate to worship God with their offerings at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:17).
Jesus intercedes for us. Unfortunately, the sons chose sin and thus the consequences were death.
We don’t know who this man of God was. He’s one of the wonderful anonymous characters of the Bible.
The father referred to is Aaron, who was the first High Priest. Since the High Priesthood was a hereditary office, Eli was a descendant of Aaron, whom God had revealed Himself to.
What are the duties of the priesthood of Ancient Israel?
The priest was first a minister of the LORD. Before he served the people, he was a servant of God.
The priest brought sacrifices for atonement and worship.
The priest was to lead the nation in prayer, and to pray for the nation.
The priest was clothed in specific garments, for glory and for beauty (Exodus 28:2). He was to represent the majesty, dignity, glory, and beauty of God to the people.
The priest was also charged with the responsibility to receive the offerings of God’s people and to make good use of them.
What was Eli’s greatest sin?
Eli put his sons before the Lord. By not correcting his sons the way he should, Eli showed he loved them more.
The arm was a picture of strength and might in Hebrew thinking (Psalms 10:15, 77:15, and 89:10). Thus, cutting off the arm said the house of Eli would be left powerless and without strength.
God promised that the priestly line would not stay with Eli and his descendants but would pass to another line of descendants from Aaron. This was fulfilled many years later, in Solomon’s day. Abiathar (from Eli’s family) was deposed as high priest and replaced with Zadok (who was from another family).
1 Kings 2:27 reads, So Solomon removed Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, that he might fulfill the word of the LORD which He spoke concerning the house of Eli at Shiloh.
This was a promise to Aaron in passages like Exodus 29:9. God did not remove the priesthood from the line of Aaron, but He did remove it from the line of Eli.
Who is the “faithful priest?”
This promise was partially fulfilled in Samuel because he functioned as a godly priest, effectively replacing the ungodly sons of Eli
The promise was partially fulfilled in Zadok in the days of Solomon because he replaced Eli’s family line in the priesthood.
The promise was fulfilled completely in Jesus Christ because He is a priest forever in the order of Melchezedek (Hebrews 7:12-17).
What’s the ultimate punishment for Eli?
Everyone in his family would be beggars.
What lessons do we learn from Eli?
Consequences are grave for greedy, lackadaisical behavior. Angry God enough and this is what happens.
We are all responsible for the consequences our behavior brings.