We are introduced in BSF’s People of the Promised Land’s study to Gad the prophet in 1 Samuel 22:5 when he appears out of nowhere to advise David to flee from Saul into Judah. We meet him again in 2 Samuel 24 where the Lord gives Gad messages to speak to David in David’s last years. He is mentioned only twice more in the Bible: 2 Chronicles 29:25 where he assists in arranging the musical services of the Temple and how he wrote parts of 1 Chronicles (1 Chronicles 29:29).
Gad is a mysterious prophet whom God uses occasionally — much like many of us today.
In ancient times, it was hard for rulers to find advisors who would tell them the truth as most feared for their lives if they said something to anger the king. Hence, most advisors told the king what they wanted to hear.
Not Nathan. Short for Elnathan (God has given), the prophet Nathan told the king the truth. He told David God did not want him to build the temple (2 Samuel 7:5-16). He reminded David he hadn’t yet kept his promise to crown Solomon as his successor (1 Kings 1:24-30). And it was Nathan who accused David of sinning against God when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and callously had one of his best generals — her husband — murdered, so he could be with her. (2 Samuel 12)
David could have killed Nathan for telling him so. Instead, David repented, and Nathan assured his king of God’s forgiveness.
Telling the truth — even when hard to hear — was a hallmark of a prophet in Biblical times. Today, it’s just as hard to find someone to tell you the truth even when it’s hard to hear — a hallmark of true friendship today.
Abner was a great general who fought most of his life for a bad king. Though he introduced David to King Saul (1 Samuel 17:55-58) and commanded David during his early campaigns, Abner ultimately followed Saul’s orders and fought against David. During the years when David’s band of outlaws was roaming the hills, Abner led the hunt to track them down. Along the way he and David won mutual respect as honorable enemies.
Even after Saul died, Abner remained loyal to the forces arrayed against David. He installed Saul’s son as king (2 Samuel 2:8) and fought a long civil war against David, knowing David was the anointed king of Israel.
Abner was loyal to Saul’s son until accused of disloyalty. Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, saw Abner as a threat to the throne and finally said something about it — albeit in a round-about way. He switched sides and died by treachery. Shortly after Abner’s death, Ish-bosheth was assassinated as he slept (2 Samuel 4), and David became king of the reunited kingdoms (2 Samuel 5).
Abner was a great soldier with undying loyalty to his king. He had his faults like we all do (like taking loyalty to the extreme), but Israel needed more men like Abner.
Are you excited as I am about the beginning of BSF this year?
We get to study a “new” study, which is the previous study by BSF of the Minor Prophets, but this has been broken into two parts. I am super excited to be able to study Joshua, Ruth, David, Saul, and Solomon in depth this year!
Start Dates for BSF’s Study People of the Promised Land Part 1
Just like every year, I’m taking a survey of when you all start so I’ll know when to post.
Here in the United States, we traditionally start the week after Labor Day which is September 3rd this year.
However, those of you abroad who do not celebrate Labor Day traditionally start earlier.
Thus, if you could post the following in the comments section, it will help out a ton of BSF’ers:
- Location of your study
- Time (day or night)
- Start date