On the day of Pentecost the 120 were all in one place (presumably praying still and waiting for the gift). A sound like a blowing violent wind came from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting. They saw tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues through the power of the Holy Spirit.
A lot of people in Jerusalem heard this sound and came together to see what was happening. They were bewildered because each was speaking in his own language. They asked, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How is it we hear them in our own language? What does this mean?”
Some made fun of them and said they were drunk.
BSF Study Questions Act 2 Lesson 2, Day 2: Acts 2:1-13:
3) The disciples heard a sound like the blowing of a violent wind come form heave and fill the house where they were sitting. The saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that spearated and came to rest on them. Then they all began to speak in tongues as the Holy Spirit filled them. Inward reality: God/Jesus was with them. Unseen reality same.
4) Personal Question. My answer: Unsure really. I don’t do a lot of church activities anymore since my kids are older so I’m rarely together with believers for such a unity to take place.
5) This emphasized the power of the Holy Spirit. It proved the power of God as well.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Act 2 Lesson 2, Day 2: Acts 2:1-13:
This is where we see the speaking of tongues in the Bible, which we think of as weird today, but was normal back then.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Act 2 Lesson 2, Day 2: Acts 2:1-13:
Pentecost was celebrated 50 days after Passover that celebrated the firstfruits of the wheat harvest. Pentecost also marked the day the Law as given to the Jews. They sometimes call Pentecost the Joy of the Law.
OT Pentecost: Jews received Law.
NT Pentecost: Church received Holy Spirit
This was the 10th day that the disciples were waiting. The Holy Spirit is promised to us and worth waiting for.
God often comes in a wind:
Genesis 1:1-2, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, blowing over the waters of the newly created earth.
Genesis 2:7, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, blowing life into newly created man.
In Ezekiel 37:9-10, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, moving over the dry bones of Israel bringing them life and strength.
Jesus would baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11).
The idea behind the picture of fire is usually purification, as a refiner uses fire to make pure gold; or fire can burn away what is temporary, leaving only what will last. The filling of the Holy Spirit is not just for abstract power, but for purity.
In certain places in the Old Testament, God showed His special pleasure with a sacrifice by lighting the fire for it Himself – that is, fire from heaven came down and consumed the sacrifice. Here, we see God sending fire from heaven to show His pleasure and power, but upon living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit rested on Israel as a nation. Here, the Holy Spirit rests on individuals.
The Speaking of Tongues
Not many homes of that day could hold 120 people. It is far more likely that this upper room was part of the temple courts, which was a huge structure, with porches and colonnades and rooms. The crowd came from people milling about the temple courts.
People from Galilee (Galileans) were known to be uncultured and poor speakers. This was all the more reason to be impressed with their ability to speak eloquently in other languages.
Why speak in tongues?
Some think that the gift of tongues was given primarily as a sign to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:21-22) and as a means to miraculously communicate the gospel in diverse languages. They believe there is no longer the need for this sign, so they regard tongues as a gift no longer present in the church today.
Others argue that the gift of tongues, while a sign to unbelievers as stated by 1 Corinthians 14:21-22, are primarily a gift of communication between the believer and God (1 Corinthians 14:2, 13-15), and is a gift still given by God today.
The idea that these disciples communicated to the diverse crowd in tongues is plainly wrong. The crowd had a common language (Greek), and Peter preached a sermon to them in that language! (Acts 2:14-40)
When tongues is practiced in the corporate life of the church, it must be carefully controlled, and never without an interpretation given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).
The ability to pray in an unknown tongue is not a gift given to every believer (1 Corinthians 12:30).
We should regard the gift of Acts 2 and the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians as the same, simply because the same term is used for both in the original language (heterais glossais). Also, the verb translated gave them utterance in Acts 2:4 is frequently used in Greek literature in connection with spiritually prompted (ecstatic) speech, not mere translation into other languages.
Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh of Egypt and married his daughter. Both himself and the Israelites were sacrificing to other gods, but Solomon was following God’s laws. He went to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord.
Summary of 2 Chronicles 1:1-6:
God was with Solomon and made him great. He spoke to all of Israel and went to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord.
Summary of Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
The Lord commanded the future kings of Israel not to return to Egypt and not to accumulate horses, not to take many wives, or accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. He must write a copy of God’s law and keep it with him and read it every day so the king can know God’s law and obey it with a humble attitude. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 24, Day 2: 1 Kings 3:1-4; 2 Chronicles 1:1-6; Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
3) Solomon disobeyed most of them. He obviously went to Egypt since he married an Egyptian princess. He took many wives. He was extremely wealthy.
4) Submissive attitudes and tolerance towards sins that show others that sin is okay and even permitted.
5) Part personal Question. My answer: Having the king write a copy of God’s law and keep it with him and read it every day so the king can know God’s law and obey it. This is important for all of us. We can’t obey God’s law if we don’t know God’s law. We shouldn’t consider ourselves better than our brothers either for we are all sinners. God’s law (the Bible) is our guidebook for living. It keeps us from sin and the devil. I’ve been protected many times every day by it and blessed in this life.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 24 Day 2: 1 Kings 3:1-4; 2 Chronicles 1:1-6; Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
Solomon is a great example of someone who loves God but chooses to disobey and justify these sins. He picks and chooses which parts of God’s law to follow. Ultimately, as good of a king as he was, it is his downfall.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 24, Day 2: 1 Kings 3:1-4; 2 Chronicles 1:1-6; Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
Commentary 1 Kings 3:1-4:
Solomon’s bad example of marrying foreign wives
Marriage to fellow royalty was a common political strategy in the ancient world, and continues to the modern age. It was not only because royalty wanted to marry other royalty, but also because conflict between nations was then avoided for the sake of family ties.
This was not Solomon’s first marriage. 1 Kings 14:21 tells us that his son Rehoboam came to the throne when he was 41 years old, and 1 Kings 11:42 tells us that Solomon reigned 40 years. This means that Rehoboam was born to his mother, a wife of Solomon named Naamah the Amonitess, before he came to the throne and before he married this daughter of Pharaoh.
Solomon’s multiple marriages and marriages to foreign women would cause great disaster in his life and went directly against God’s word. Later in the Book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah was angry and frustrated because the people of Israel married with the pagan nations around them. In rebuking the guilty, Nehemiah remembered Solomon’s bad example (Nehemiah 13:25-27).
The foreign wives made Solomon more than a bad example – they ruined his spiritual life. (1 Kings 11:1-4).
1 Kings 11:4 says this Solomon only turned away from God as he got older, but the pattern was set with this first marriage to the Egyptian princess. It perhaps made political sense, but not spiritual sense.
2 Samuel 3:3 tells us that David married the daughter of a foreign king: Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. Marrying a foreign woman was not against the Law of Moses – if she became a convert to the God of Israel. What did not ruin David did ruin Solomon.
At this time, altars were allowed in Israel at various high places, as long as those altars were unto the LORD and not corrupted by idolatry (as commanded in Deuteronomy 16:21). When the temple was built, sacrifice was then centralized at the temple.
With the sacrifices, we see Solomon’s great wealth and his heart to use it to glorify God.
As we see in 2 Chronicles 1:2-3, the entire leadership of the nation went with Solomon to Gibeon, which was the great high place. The tabernacle was a Gibeon and the ark of the covenant was in Jerusalem.
The journey of the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant in the Promised Land
Joshua brought both the ark and the tabernacle to Shiloh (Joshua 18).
Why did David not bring the tabernacle from Gibeon to Jerusalem?
He may have believed if the tabernacle were in Jerusalem, the people would be satisfied with the simple tabernacle instead of having the temple God wanted built.
It may be that the tabernacle was only moved when it was absolutely necessary – as when disaster came upon it at Shiloh or Nob.
David simply focused on building the temple, not continuing the tabernacle.
Commentary 2 Chronicles 1:1-6:
This bronze altar was the same altar made in the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land (Exodus 36:1-2). This altar was at least 500 years old and had received many sacrifices over Israel’s long history since the Exodus.
Solomon and the people of God sought the LORD at the place of atoning sacrifice. This was the Old Testament equivalent to “coming to the cross” in seeking God.
This was an important event marking the “ceremonial” beginning of Solomon’s reign. Solomon wanted to demonstrate from the beginning that he would seek God and lead the kingdom to do so.
Commentary Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
Commands to the future king of Israel
The king of Israel must not put undue trust in military might.
The future king of Israel must not put undue emphasis on physical indulgence and personal status.
The future king of Israel must not put undue emphasis on personal wealth.
Each of these issues is a matter of balance. The king had to have some military power, but not too much; one wife and certain comforts, but not too much; some personal wealth, but not too much. Such balances are often the hardest to keep.
Solomon was a notorious breaker of these commands. He had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots (1 Kings 4:26), and Solomon had horses imported from Egypt (1 Kings 10:28). He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart (1 Kings 11:3). He surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches (1 Kings 10:23).
Solomon knows the commands of Deuteronomy 17, yet deceives himself by asking the self-justifying questions, “How much is ‘multiply’?” It might seem self-evident that 700 wives and 300 concubines is multiplying wives to yourself, but one should never underestimate the ability of the human heart to deceive itself in such situations.
How modern Christians fall today
These are universal stumbling points; hence God’s commands not to do them: power, pleasure, or money. God’s commands for leaders have not changed; and neither has the need to be on guard against the self-deception in these things which felled Solomon.
The king of Israel himself was supposed to labor over parchment with a pen, making a personal copy of the law of Israel. This shows how greatly God wanted the word of God to be on the hearts of His rulers; God wanted every king to also be a scribe.
FUN FACT: “Incidentally, the phrase a copy of this law appears incorrectly in the LXX as ‘this second law’, to deuteronomion touto. It was this misunderstanding that gave rise to the English name Deuteronomy.” (Thompson)
Staying in God’s Word
The word of God was to be constant companion of the king of Israel, and something he read every day.
All need the word of God; but the greater our responsibilities, the greater our need to depend on the truth of God’s word.
Staying in the word of God was intended to build a reverence for God and a holy life in the king.
It is striking to consider that reading a book – the Great Book, the Bible – can keep a person from sin. We may not understand all the spiritual work behind the word of God, but staying in the word will keep one from sin. It has been well written in many Bibles: “This book will keep you from sin. Sin will keep you from this book.”
Luther said he would rather live in hell with the Bible than to live in Paradise without the Bible.
Staying in the word of God would keep the king properly humble and help him to not think of himself as above those he ruled over.
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 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.
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.
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.”
The heavens and skies proclaim God’s existence and His glory. God’s laws are perfect, his commands radiant, his statutes trustworthy. Keeping God’s laws is rewarding. May I follow God’s laws. May my words and heart be pleasing to you, God.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:
9) All attributes of God are revealed through Creation: his goodness, his perfectness, his omniscience, his omnipotence, his holiness, his justness, his everything.
10) Part personal Question. My answer: Perfect, radiant, right, giving joy to the heart, reviving the soul, trustworthy, making wise simple, giving light to the eyes, sure, altogether righteous, more precious than gold, sweeter than honey, great reward when kept. David said this much more eloquently than I ever could, but I love God’s rules. It gives life structure, meaning, and boundaries. God’s laws are good as He is good.
11) Part personal Question. My answer: Studying God’s Word according to David revives the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart, gives light to the eyes, sweeter than honey, warns the servant (us), and rewards us. Studying God’s Word has kept me from totally being full of sin. My knowledge has deepened, my relationship with God is closer, and I grow more and more like Jesus with each passing day. I have hope I can someday be a good person.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:
Beautiful in its simplicity, God’s law gives us a reason to live and God’s Creation affirms his glory and power.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:
The title tells us both the author and the audience of the Psalm: To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Some believe that the Chief Musician is 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).
C.S. Lewis said of Psalm 19: “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”
Aristotle said, “Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the works of such a Being as we define God to be.”
Astronomer and physicist Robert Jastrow, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
Paul later clarifies David’s sentiments in Psalm 19 in Romans 1. Paul explaines God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). Because this testimony had gone out through all creation, all men are without excuse for rejecting the God who gave us such clear (and beautiful) evidence of His power and wisdom.
God’s Glory announced in Creation
Goodness and kindness
“Pour forth speech” is stronger in the Hebrew text than it appears to be in English, for the image is literally of a gushing spring that copiously pours forth sweet, refreshing waters of revelation.
The heavens never cease declaring and proclaiming God’s majesty and glory.
Verse 7 has David shifting from praising the God who reveals Himself in creation to praising the same God for revealing Himself in His word.
Philosopher Kant’s famous quote: Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe… the starry heavens above and the moral law within.”
God’s word tells us much more tells us about God than Creation. It reveals Him as the covenant God of love, as reflected in the structure of this psalm. In Psalm 19:1-6, God is referred to as El – the most generic word for God in the Hebrew language (even more generic than the commonly used Elohim). Yet here at Psalm 119:7-9, God is referred to as Yahweh (the LORD), the God of covenant love and faithfulness to His people. This is the personal name God revealed to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:15).
In Psalm 119, David used a variety of expressions to refer to the word of God (law, testimony, statutes, commandment, fear, judgements.)
How is God’s Word perfect?
The word gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). While it does not give us all knowledge, all the knowledge it gives is true and perfect. Understood in its literary context, God’s word is never wrong in science or history or the understanding of either divine or human nature.
Part of the perfection of God’s word is that it is effective; it does the work of converting the soul. There is power in the reading, hearing, and studying the word of God that goes beyond intellectual benefit.
The Hebrew word translated here as converting is perhaps better understood as reviving; that is, bringing new life to the soul.
How is God’s Word simple?
The word of God is sure, being reliable and certain. As the Psalmist would write at Psalm 119:89, Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
Because God’s Word is so sure and certain, it does the work of making wise the simple. Many people of simple education or upbringing have tremendous wisdom unto life and godliness because they study and trust the sure word of the LORD.
How is God’s Word right?
God’s word and the commands are right. They are morally right, practically right, and universally right. They are right because it is the revelation of a God who is holy, true, and always right.
Right means to make straight, smooth, right, upright.
How is God’s Word pure?
God’s word comes from a God who is Himself pure and holy. A pure God can communicate no other way. We never have to worry about the word of God leading people into sin or impurity; if it seems to have happened, it is evidence that the scriptures have been twisted (2 Peter 3:16).
How is God’s Word clean?
The word of God is clean, and therefore is enduring forever. It will never fade or corrode, diminishing because of impurity. It is clean and it makes us clean.
Here David called the word of God the “fear of the Lord.” One who reads, hears, and studies the word of God will have an appropriate appreciation of God’s awe and majesty.
IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER ABOUT KING DAVID:
Remember King David wrote this with only a fraction of what we have today as the word of God; and by most accounts his portion was not as glorious as the complete revelation of God. David would have had the first five books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy); Joshua, Judges, a few Psalms, and perhaps Job and Ruth. We can only imagine what King David would have written about Isaiah or Hosea or the entire Psalter; much less any of the books of the New Testament. We can say with confidence that God’s word is far more glorious than King David knew!
King David was a massively wealthy man, yet he is rarely known for his riches. He is much more known for his great heart towards God. His son Solomon was even more wealthy than David, and was known for his riches – yet not nearly as much for his heart towards God and his love of God’s word.
Why is the Word of God greater than material wealth?
God’s Word gives instruction (warning) to use for sins and dangers we cannot see, but God does.
God’s word gives benefit (reward).
Obeying God’s Word brings peace of mind and an unburdened conscious.
We all make errors before God; a lot of which we cannot see ourselves.
What are willful sins?
Sins we commit when we know better.
Sins we commit when friends have warned us.
Sins we commit when God Himself has warned us.
Sins we commit when we have warned others against the same sins.
Sins we commit when we plan and relish our sin.
The Progression of Willful Sin:
Object of meditation
Opportunity to perform action
Committing of the sin
Repeated action of sin
Delight in sin
Becomes a habit
Becomes an idol
We become a slave to that sin.
During this whole time, the Holy Spirit – and hopefully our conscience – warns us to stop. We are given the way of escape by God (1 Corinthians 10:13), if we will only take it. Yet if we do not, and end up in slavery to sin, it legitimately questions the state of our soul (1 John 3:6-9).
Note the man after God’s own heart prayed this. Think of how much then we need to pray this. If we do, as Paul wrote, For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
David closed this glorious Psalm with a humble surrender of his mouth and heart to God. He knew that real godliness was not only a matter of what a man did, but also of what he said and thought in his heart.
Redeemer is that great Hebrew word goel, the kinsman-redeemer. It was the goel who bought his relative out of slavery; who rescued him in bankruptcy and total loss. It was Boaz in the book of Ruth. King David looked to God Himself as his kinsman-redeemer.
Take away from Psalm 19:
Recognizing the glory of God in creation and the glory of His written revelation, David knew himself to be small and sinful. Yet this great God was also the glorious God of personal relationship and redemption for His people. King David knew this; so should we.
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.
God left Samuel and put an evil spirit upon him. His servants thought music, a harpist, would help. They suggest David whom the Lord is with. Saul sent for David who came with a donkey loaded with bread, wine, and a goat. Saul liked David and promoted him to armor-bearer. The evil spirit did leave Saul when David played.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 10, Day 3: 1 Samuel 16:14-23:
6) The Spirit of the Lord has left Saul due to his disobedience of God’s laws and commands and an evil spirit has descended who is afflicting Saul with madness, blindness, and confusion of mind. Saul has been rejected as king of Israel by God and is being punished for his sins. Saul has never repented (meaning his repentance like in 1 Samuel 15:25 which was riddled with excuses) of his sins.
7) God has David called to minister to Saul through his music at the palace. David got promoted to armor bearer, the right-hand man of the person in battle. Hence, David is serving Saul faithfully. He’s excelling at it. The two are probably great friends. There is no jealousy in David since he’s the anointed king right now. David is being faithful to God, waiting on Him, and in the meantime, shining God’s light wherever he goes and into the lives of those around him.
8) Personal Question. My answer: He’s called me to write here at this forum and in my job. He’s called me to be a mother and pass on that learning to my children. I think He is using me to show others determination and a desire to never quit through my sports.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 10, Day 3: 1 Samuel 16:14-23:
We see immediately how God uses David to help Saul, and in the process is training David for greatness. God is good. He does not abandon Saul, and He grows David slowly without throwing him into the kinghood.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 10, Day 3: 1 Samuel 16:14-23:
As the Holy Spirit came upon David (1 Samuel 16:13), the Holy Spirit left Saul and an evil one replaced it.
Why would God send an evil spirit upon Saul?
First, God did not send. He allowed.
Actively, God never initiates or performs evil; He is the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17). Passively, God may withdraw the hand of His protection and therefore allow evil to come, without being the source of the evil itself.
Saul lost his protections when the Spirit of the Lord departed. So Satan was able to fill that void.
For us as Christians, the continual presence of the Holy Spirit is such a comfort. We don’t have to fear that God will take the Holy Spirit from us (Romans 8:9-11, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)–thanks to Christ.
This was to judge Saul’s past wickedness and rebellion against the Holy Spirit’s guidance. This may be an example of God giving Saul over to his sin.
Saul clearly had the Spirit of the LORD upon him at one time (1 Samuel 10:10). As he was proud and rebellious against God, Saul resisted the Holy Spirit. He told the Holy Spirit “No” and “Go away” so many times that God finally gave Saul what he wanted. But Saul never realized the price to pay when the Spirit of the LORD departed from him. Saul thought he would be freer to do his thing without the Spirit of the LORD “bugging” him. He didn’t realize he would be in even more bondage to a distressing spirit that troubled him.
Even in this fallen state, Saul could repent. It was up to him to receive God’s correction and respond with a tender, repentant heart before the LORD.
Today, Saul would probably be diagnosed as mentally ill. Yet his problem was spiritual in nature, not mental or psychological. So many of our problems are caused by a lack of closeness with God.
The Power of Music
Saul’s servants advise him to find what we would call a “worship leader.” They will seek out a man who can, using music, bring the love, peace, and power of God to Saul. King Saul needed to be led into worship, so it was important to seek out a man to do the job.
God created music and gave it the capability to touch people with great power. Music can be used for great good or for great evil because it so powerfully communicates to our inner being.
In the past, Saul received the Spirit of the LORD in the presence of music (1 Samuel 10:10). Perhaps this is an effort to create that experience again.
The 5 Characteristics of a Worship Leader
David needed skill
David needed bravery. Music can become more about the need for the spotlight than about God himself.
David needed to speak well — to know when to pray and when not to pray
David needed to be fine-looking. For us, this means dressing while leading worship to blend into the band. Don’t dress to stand out and draw attention to yourself and away from God.
David needed the Lord with Him. To submit to God and His will.
After the anointing, David went back to attending sheep. It was not yet his time. The Spirit of the Lord would bring Him to the palace.
Saul immediately liked David who played the harp or lyre (a precursor to the guitar). He made him his armor bearer. An armor bearer is the chief assistant in battle. A soldier’s life often depended on the courage and faithfulness of his armor bearer, and Saul knew David was worthy of this position.
This was an important time in David’s life and training for God’s destiny for him. For the first time he lived in a royal court and began to learn the customs and manners he needed to know to be a good king later in life. God uses David to minister to Saul. God is good!
God speaks to Samuel and sends him off to Bethlehem, where God has chosen one of Jesse’s sons to be king. He needs Samuel to anoint the new king. Samuel is afraid Saul will get wind of this and kill him. God tells him to take a heifer as sacrifice.
Samuel obeyed. The elders were afraid upon seeing Samuel. Samuel invited Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice and told them to consecrate themselves. Looking at the heart of man, God chooses Jesse’s youngest son, David, who was attending the sheep at the time. Samuel anoints him in front of the family and then returns to Ramah.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 10, Day 2: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 with 1 Samuel 15:34-35
3) Part personal Question. My answer: God gives Samuel encouragement by having him anoint the new king, which is always exciting news! He also tells Samuel not to worry about his life being threatened by Saul as He has a plan. When God tells you to do something, He will take care of all loose ends. All you have to do is obey. Let God do the rest and don’t worry about the logistics of it all.
4) Part personal Question. My answer: God tells Samuel “Do not consider appearance or height…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Appearances are deceiving and we have to look at the person underneath and what heart they have, not the physical appearance.
5) Personal question. My answer: God values the heart. God knows the secrets of the heart. You can’t hide from God. I value how I treat others and who I am as a person as a whole. Man’s nature is to judge by appearances. It’s really hard for first impressions, but if you consciously focus on it, you can see the heart of people. I think most of us get this beyond first impressions.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 10, Day 2: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 with 1 Samuel 15:34-35:
We see how we’re supposed to see people, and we see the comfort of God with Samuel. Great stuff!
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 10, Day 2: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 with 1 Samuel 15:34-35
1 Samuel 16:1-13:
Jesse was the grandson of Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 4:17, 22).
Samuel was committing treason by anointing another king. His first response is fear, as is most of ours. God overcomes all.
God ruled Israel whether they acknowledged Him or not. They faced a choice: submit to God and enjoy the benefits or resist God and suffer. The choice of Israel didn’t affect the outcome of God’s plans for them; it only made life easy or hard.
Today as we face uncertainty in politics, we don’t have to worry. God raises up leaders, probably in an unlikely place such as with David.
This is God’s king (“for me”). The people had had theirs (Saul).
Bethlehem was a small town not very far from Jerusalem. It was the home of Ruth and Boaz, from whom the family of Jesse descended. It was a hilly grain-growing region with many small grain fields carved into the hillsides. And, as we all know, Bethlehem hosted the birth of Jesus.
The elders had just experienced the death of the Amalekite king, Agag (1 Samuel 15:33), at the hands of Samuel. Thsi is why they are afraid.
The idea was not that Jesse and his sons were to just watch Samuel sacrifice this heifer. They would watch the sacrifice and then share in a large ceremonial meal, eating the meat that came from the sacrificed animal.
What’s the difference between a peace offering and an atonement offering?
When an animal was sacrificed to atone for sin, none of it was eaten. It was all burned before the LORD. But when an animal was sacrificed as a peace offering, a fellowship offering, or a consecration offering, then part of the animal was burnt before the LORD, and part of it was eaten in a special ceremonial meal.
God Chooses His King
Samuel made the mistake of judging Eliab based on his appearance. This was the same mistake Israel made with Saul. He looked the part but lacked God’s heart.
Why was David not invited to the feast?
Tending the sheep was not a glamorous job and was usually a servant’s job. As the youngest, it fell to David to do so. The family must have been poor since they had no servants to do this work. David must not have been favored at all in his family. The youngest son stood to inherit no land in ancient Israel, so he was unimportant.
His father didn’t even mention him by name.
He wasn’t even invited to the sacrificial feast.
He was only called to come because Samuel insisted on it.
I wonder if this was due in some part to jealousy like Joseph. David was obviously special in some way; family is usually not blind to this.
God often chooses unlikely people to do His work, so that all know the work is God’s work, not man’s work.
A shepherd’s work
As a shepherd, you had a lot of time to think and contemplate God’s greatness such as David did in (Psalm 19:1-4 and Psalm 8.
Sheep needed care and tending. God built in David the heart that would sing about the LORD as his shepherd (as in Psalm 23).
Sheep needed protecting. God protected David.
David was a great man and a great king over Israel because he never lost his shepherd’s heart. Psalm 78:70-72 speaks of the connection between David the king and David the shepherd: He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
The physical description of David tells us he had a fair complexion (ruddy), and a light complexion was considered attractive in that culture. He had bright eyes, which speak of vitality and intelligence. David was also good-looking.
We don’t know how old David was at this time, but scholars estimate anywhere between 10 and 15 years old.
What do we learn from God’s choice of David as King of Israel?
God’s choice of David shows that we don’t have to quit our jobs and enter into full-time ministry to be people after God’s own heart. We don’t need to be famous or prominent to be people after God’s own heart. We don’t need to be respected or even liked by others to be people after God’s own heart. We don’t need status, influence, power, the respect or approval of men, or great responsibilities to be people after God’s own heart.
Where did David get his heart?
Where did David get this heart? From time spent with the LORD. But someone started him on that path. David says nothing of his father, but twice in the Psalms he refers to his mother as a maid servant of the LORD (Psalm 86:16 and 116:16). Probably, it was David’s godly mother who poured her heart and love and devotion of the LORD into him and gave him a foundation to build on in his own walk with the LORD. Like Timothy, God used David’s mother to pour into him a godly faith (2 Timothy 1:5).
Probably no one thought much of this anointing. They probably didn’t think it was a royal anointing. The real anointing was the Holy Spirit upon David.
Fun Fact: 1 Samuel 16:13 is the first mention of the name “David” in the book of 1 Samuel. He has been referred to prophetically before (as in 1 Samuel 13:14 and 15:28). But this is the first mention of his name, which means “Beloved” or “Loved One.”
Fun Fact: David will become one of the greatest men of the Bible, mentioned more than 1,000 times in the pages of Scripture – more than Abraham, more than Moses, more than any man in the New Testament. It’s no accident that Jesus wasn’t known as the “Son of Abraham” or the “Follower of Moses,” but as the Son of David (Matthew 9:27 and at least a dozen other places).
Bible Scholar Meyer on David: “From whatever side we view the life of David, it is remarkable. It may be that Abraham excelled him in faith, and Moses in the power of concentrated fellowship with God, and Elijah in the fiery force of his enthusiasm. But none of these was so many-sided as the richly gifted son of Jesse.”
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.