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31 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — Job 9:25 – 10:22. Job's reply to Bibldad (continued)

Study 5 From the Book of Job is: Job 9:25 – 10:22. Job's reply to Bibldad (continued)

  1. 9:33. The 'umpire' is mentioned for the first time in the book. Keep a list of the occurrences, noticing what new features each fresh mention brings. Suggest ways in which Jesus Christ has made Job's great wish a reality for us.
  2. What is Job's main desire in chapter 10? Do you think God is angered by such plain speaking? Cf. Pss. 55:1-8, 22; 62:8.
Notes
  1. 9:35. 'Deep in my heart I have no guilty fears.'
  2. 10:12. An extraordinary verse to find in a long complaint. Either it means 'Even in deep misery I am aware of an overriding loving purpose'; or 'Even my past happiness was designed as a prelude to my present misery'.

30 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 4 — Job 8:1 – 9:24. Bildad's first speech and Job's reply

Study 4 From the Book of Job is: Job 8:1 – 9:24. Bildad's first speech and Job's reply

  1. To what authority does Bildad appeal for what he says? How trustworthy do you think that authority is? What are Bildad's views (a) about God, and (b) about wicked men?
  2. What difficulties does Job find in this way as he tries to make God explain Himself?
Notes
  1. 8:4. A cruel remark. Job's children died because they sinned, according to Bildad.
  2. 8:11. Reeds wither without water. So wicked men fade away.
  3. 9:2. The meaning is, 'How can a man establish his righteousness before God?
  4. 9:13b. Rahab is probably another name for the dragon. . See RSV mg. Note to 9:8b.

29 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 3 - Job 6 and 7. Job's reply to Eliphaz

Study 3 From the Book of Ephesians is: Job 6 and 7. Job's reply to Eliphaz


Job is hurt by Eliphaz's attitude. He had hoped for help, not criticism(6:14). He flings questions at God.
  1. 6:1-30. What does Job's condition make him long for (a) from God, and (b) from men? What may we learn from his double disappointment?
  2. 7:1-10. By what metaphors does Job describe his present life? 7:11-21. What is the substance of his complaints against God?
Notes
  1. 6:5, 6. Even animals cry out in misery: and human beings exclaim at distasteful food. Why shouldn't Job complaints?
  2. 6:20. Thirsty caravans perish in the desert pursuing a mirage. Job is similarly cheated by his friends.
  3. 6:30. 'Cannot my taste...' means 'Am I quite without good reason for my complaints?

LINK TO THE VERSES LISTED

28 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 2 — Job 4 and 5. Eliphaz's first speech

Study 2 From the Book of Job is: Job 4 and 5. Eliphaz's first speech


The First Cycle of Speeches 4 – 14)
The three friends, seeing Job's suffering, assume his guilt, and with mounting zeal urge him to repent. At first, Job is only grieve and hurt by this lack of understanding, but soon becomes irritated and angry. He wants God to explain Himself, and is acutely miserable.
  1. 4: 1-11. According to Eliphaz, what was Job forgetting?
  2. 4:12 – 5: 7. What did Eliphaz learn from his vision?
  3. 5:8-27. What is his view of Job, or God, and of divine chastening?
Notes
  1. 5:2. 'Vexation: an impatient querulous or presumptuous attitude.
  2. 5:6-7. Troubles in life come as sparks come, from somebody's actions. There must be a human cause. Cf. 4:8.
  3. 5:27. An appeal to scholarly research to buttress his orthodoxy.

LINK TO THE VERSES LISTED

27 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 1 — Job 1-3

Study 1 From the Book of Job is: Job 1-3

  1. 1:1 -2:6. What is said here about Job's character, (b) position in life, and (c) sufferings?
  2. 2: 7 -3:26. In 2: 10 Job expresses his faith in God. In 3: 11 he wants to die; and in 3: 23 blames God for his troubles. How are we to account for this change?
Notes

  1. 2:13. The seven – day silence of Job's friends is a rite of mourning for a man they consider as good as dead, struck down because of his sins.
  2. Compare 3:1-26 with Je. 20: 14-18.                                                                                   LINKTO THE VERSES LISTED

26 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — The introduction of Job

Study 0 From the Book of Job is: The introduction of the book of Job
Introduction
Outside the book itself, the chief character, is mentioned only in Ezk. 14:14, 20 and Jas. 5:11. We know very little about him therefore, and the date and the placing of the story are matters of surmise. All absence of clear links with the patriarchal or post-conquest. Israel point to an early date, and it is reasonable to take the descriptions of scenery and climate as referring to a country on the western edge of the desert. The book is written in Hebrew by a Hebrew.
We are given a portrait of a good man suddenly overtaken by extraordinary disasters. The main action of the book lies in a series of speeches between Job, his three friends, the young man Elihu, and, in the end, God Himself. In these speeches interest is sustained throughout by the presentation of opposing ideas about Job's misfortunes. Sharp divergences temperament and belief reveal themselves. The friends insist that suffering comes only when a man has sinned. So let Job knows that he has not sinned, at least not so greatly as to deserve so devastating a punishment. The principal agony lies, not in his diseased body, but in his bewildered mind. His cry to God to explain Himself is maintained with growing impatience. Job's real trial is theological. For he, like his friends, had once believed that men suffer here for their sins.
At last his desire is granted. God speaks to him, but very differently from his expectation. The sole divine answer consists of a vision of God's great power. Job, seeing his small concerns against this vast back-cloth, is humbled and silenced. Then God commends him, and he is restored.
The book is usually considered to be an enquiry into the reasons for innocent sufferings, with Elihu seeing furthest into its meaning, and purpose. Suffering is a merciful deterrent, aimed at reforming. Yet, from the standpoint of the Prologue, it is disinterested goodness which is under discussion. Satan asks, 'Does Job fear God for nought?' Implying that he fears God because he has been weighed down with wealth and possessions. Job then, by divine permission, becomes a test case, to see whether he does fear God for the inducements to do so which he gets from it. Stripped of family, wealth, health, reputation and friends, he emerges at last from the experiment unscathed and believing God when all comforting proofs of His presence has been withdrawn.
Perhaps this book also teaches in a limited way how God justifies a man who hash faith. He does it, not by explaining to him why life is as it is, still less by vindicating his alleged sinlessness. He does it by a personal showing of Himself to the man who cries for Him to hear, and clings to the hope of a revelation. And in that marvelous vision of power with which the book ends, totally unexpected, yet coherent and convincing as it is, Job like Thomas before the risen Christ, is delivered from his doubt, and bows in worship. God, in showing Himself to a faithful man, in the very act justifies him. Revelation in response to faith is justification. Job was 'right', but not for the reasons he supposed.
The study of the subordinate themes in the book is well worth the time. Job's preoccupation with death, for example, and his hopes of an after-life; his certainty that somewhere a mediator will be found; his irony, his reactions to his suffering, and his character; the characters, too, of his friends, so full of truths, so far from the truth. To these, and other matters, attention is drawn in the Notes and the Questions.



25 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 7 — Ephesians 6:10-24

Study 7 From the Book of Ephesians is: Ephesians 6:10-24


With this study, we end the book of Ephesians and tomorrow, we will delve into the book of Job
The same apostle and Epistle that show us how heavenly, complete and free is redemption in Christ, now indicate how certain, fierce and protracted is the conflict to be faced by those who belong to Christ.
  1. Why is conflict inevitable for all who belong to Christ? What is its character? What dangers which beset us are here particularly in mind? Cf. 2Cor. 10:3-5; 11:3. By what achievement is victory here repeatedly described? How alone may it be achieved?
  2. Some interpreters take 'truth' to mean inward sincerity and 'righteousness' to mean integrity and fidelity. Others think 'truth' here means the truth of the gospel, as in 4:21, and take ' righteousness' to mean 'the righteousness of God' given to us in Christ (see Rom 3: 22). Can you find a decisive answer? How alone can we make our standing sure before God, men and the devil? Cf. Rom. 5:1, 2; 8:33, 34; Pss. 15; 24:3-6; 51:6.
  3. Verses 18-20. Consider what is there implied about Christian praying—concerning its place, its character, its demands, its scope, and its particular interests and requests. Measure your praying by these standards.
Notes
  1. Verse 10. 'Be strong': literally 'be strengthened'. 'A person cannot strengthen himself; he must be empowered'. Our strength is to be continually maintained (present tense) by the outworked vigour of God's inherent power.
  2. Verses 11, 13. 'The whole armour of God': the complete outfit is thought of as one whole. What is most emphasized is its divine source.
  3. Verse 12. The word for 'contending', literally 'to wrestle' implies personal hand-to-hand conflict.
  4. Verse 15. For such fighting one needs to have a sure foothold.
  5. Verse 16. 'Flaming darts': devil inspired thoughts or desires, evil in their nature and tending to inflame the passions.



24 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 6 — Ephesians 5: 3-6: 9

Study 6 From the Book of Ephesians is: Ephesians 5: 3-6: 9
  1. 5:3-20. What are the positive motives and guiding princi
    ples of worthy Christian action, which the apostle here emphasizes? Add further items to your list (from Study 5) of actions, words and thoughts which ought (a) to be abandoned, and (b) to be expressed. Test your own life in this light. Why is constant watchfulness so necessary? What helps does God give to make such living possible?
  2. 5:21-6:9. The opening verse states a governing, principle. Consider how it is here applied to the common personal relations of everyday life---particularly those of wives, children and servants. What are the distinctive complementary responsibilities of husbands, parents and masters? Particularly notice in each case how the person concerned is in his (or her ) action to relate himself (or herself) to Christ.
  3. 5: 23-32. Study in detail what we are here told concerning the relation between Christ and His Church. What is the goal in view? How is it reached and realized?
Notes
  1. 5:14. Paul is here possibly quoting from a Christian hymn, addressed to those who have not yet believe in Christ. Cf. Is. 60:1.
  2. 5:26. 'The washing of water with the word': here some simply compare Jn. 15:3; 17:17, but the majority recognize a reference to baptism. 'The word' may then refer to (a) the gospel preached, cf. Lk. 24:27; (b) the formula used in Christian baptism, cf. Mt. 28:19, or (c) the answering confession of the person being baptized, cf. 1 Pet. 3:21, AV; Rom. 10:9.
  3. 5:32. 'A great mystery': the word 'great' here does not indicate that this truth is something 'very mysterious', but that this 'mystery' or 'divinely-revealed truth' is one 'of great importance'.



23 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — Ephesians 4:1-5:2

Study 5 From the Book of Ephesians is: Ephesians 4:1-5:2

  1. Express in your own words the difference between the unity described in 4:3-7, as already existing among Christians, and that mentioned in 4:13-16,which Christians are to seek. How is the first to be preserved and how is the second to be attained?
  2. From 4:25-5:2 list the things which must be put away, and those which ought to take their place. Notice also in each case the reason given by the apostle why we must live thus.
  3. In what ways does Paul's fourfold description of the life of the Gentile world (4:17-19) apply to the life of the non-Christian today? In contrast, what three principles are to govern the behaviour of Christians (4:20-24)?
Notes
  1. Verse 7. 'Grace': under here, as also in 3: 2, 8, of God's gifts to His people in Christ in appointing them to His special work. Cf. Mk. 13:34; Mt. 25:14, 15.
  2. Verse 12 should be read with the first comma omitted, 'for the equipment of the saints for the work of ministry'.
  3. Verses 22-24. The tenses in the Greek show that the 'putting off' of the old man and 'putting on' of the new are definite acts whereas the 'being renewed' is a process. The living of this new Christian life is made possible for us through the continual renewing of the Spirit, enabling our minds to lay hold of the truth in Christ.
  4. Verse 26, 27. While there may be anger which is not sin, anger is dangerous. It may lead to some action which gives the devil scope to scribe a blow at the body of Christ.



22 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 4 — Ephesians 3

Study 4 From the Book of Ephesians is: Ephesians 3


The apostle shows that the union of Jews and Gentiles in one body in Christ was in God's purpose from the beginning, though only now fully revealed to men.
  1. Verses 1 – 13. What were Paul's personal calling and commission in relation to (a) the gospel, and (b) the Gentiles? Why was he chosen, and how was he qualified, for such service? Do you share his conviction that to suffer in such a cause is something to glory in rather than to be depressed about?
  2. Verses 14:21. Trace the progressive stages in Paul's prayer for his readers. What blessings would its full answer bring into our lives? What guarantees that such an answer is more than possible? What ought we also to learn concerning the way to pray for our fellow-Christians?
  3. What are the things included in the eternal purpose of God in Christ, in which Paul and all members of Christ's church are called to share? How may we more fully enter into our calling?
Notes
  1. Verse 1. Cf. 6:19, 20. Paul knew that his imprisonment was in the will of God, and in the interests of the truth and the spread of the gospel.
  2. Verses 2 and 9. 'Stewardship', 'plan': Greek oikonomia. The word refers originally to household management. In verse 9 (cf. 1:10), the reference is to God's administration, to His working out of His purpose in Christ. In verse 2, it is used of Paul's part in this---i.e., of the special commission assigned to Paul. Cf. 1 Cor. 9:16, 17.
  3. Verses 3, 4, 9. 'The mystery': i.e., divine truth hidden from natural discovery by men, but now specially revealed by the Spirit---particularly here the full content of God's plan for men's salvation.



21 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 3 — Ephesians 2

Study 3 From the Book of Ephesians is: Ephesians 2

  1. Verses 1-10. Work out the contrast between man's condition by nature and his position in Christ. What are we here said to be saved (a) from, and (b) for, or to enjoy? How has this amazing change been effected, and how does its enjoyment become ours?
  2. Verses 11-22. Before Christ came, Jew and Gentile remained separated-kept apart in the Temple courts by a 'dividing wall' (verse 14). How did God deal with this situation through Christ's coming? What is now the position of believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, in relation to (a) God, and (b) one another? What three metaphors are used in verses 19-22 to show the complete equality of privilege which Gentile believers enjoy in Christ with those of Jewish birth?
Note. Verse 2, 3. 'Son of disobedience', 'children of wrath': these phrases follow in their form Hebrew idioms. They describe those who are deliberately giving themselves to active rebellion against the will of God, and consequently are exposed to His active displeasure.



20 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 2 — Ephesians 1:15-23

Study 2 From the Book of Ephesians is: Ephesians 1:15-23


  1. What may we learn from this example concerning the way to pray for our fellow-Christians? When we do so, what ought to be our chief interest and concern? What are the three great spiritual truths which the apostle here prays that his readers may grasp?
  2. Consider Christ's present position as set forth in verses 20-23 in relation to (a) God, (b) other powers and authorities, (c) the universe, and (d) the church. In the light of these verses has our conception of Christ been big enough?
Notes
  1. Verse 18. 'His glorious inheritance in the saints': be careful to note that this is a reference not to our inheritance in Him but to His inheritance in us. Cf. Ex. 19:5-6; Tit. 2:14.
  2. Verses 22, 23. 'The church... his body, the fullness of him': the God of old dwelt in the Temple and filled it with His glory, or as the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus.(Col. 1:19; 2:9, 10). Christ now dwells in His church in His fullness. He fills it with His presence.

19 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 1 — Ephesians 1 :1-14

Study 1 From the Book of Ephesians is: Ephesians 1:1-14


These verses deal with God's purpose to form a people for Himself and to sum up all things in Christ. Note the reiteration of 'in Christ' or 'in Him'.
  1. In verses 3:6 we are shown this people as conceived in the mind of God. What do we here learn concerning God's choice of us, His gifts to us, and His purpose for us? Do such thoughts immediately move us, as they moved Paul, to say 'Blessed be... God' See note 2 Below.
  2. In verses 7-14 we are shown this same people in process of redemption from sin. What parts are played in this work by (a) God the Father, (b) God the son, and (c) God the Holy Spirit? Of what benefits are we here assured? What response is necessary on our part for their enjoyment?
Notes
  1. Verse 3. 'In Heavenly places': a phrase emphasizing that the believer's blessings are spiritual, in contrast to the earthly and material blessings promised to Israel under the first covenant. Cf. Dt. 28:8. The phrase occurs five times in this Epistle. See 1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12. It refers to what today we might term 'the spirit realm', or 'the heavenly sphere'.
  2. Verses 6, 12, 14. Note the recurring reference to 'the praise of his glory'. The design of redemption is to exhibit the grace of God in such a conspicuous manner as to fill all hearts with wonder and all lips with praise' (Charles Hodge).
  3. Verse 13. 'Sealed': a mark of God's ownership.
  4. Verse 14. 'Guarantee' or 'earnest': a first installment given as a pledge that all promised will be paid in full.

18 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — Introduction of the book of Ephesians


Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — Introduction of the book of Ephesians

Study 0 From the Book of 1 Ephesians is: The Introduction of the book of Ephesians.

INTRODUCTION

This epistle, together with Philippians, Colossians and Philemon' form a group known as the 'Prison' Epistles, because all four were' as is generally believed, written from Rome when Paul was a prisoner there, as described in Acts 28:16, 30, 31. The words 'at Ephesus' (1:1) are omitted in a number of important manuscripts, and this has led many to suppose that the Epistle was not intended for Ephesus alone, but for all the churches of the Lycus valley, of which the church at Ephesus was the chief.
It was God's purpose from before the foundation of the world to form a people for Himself. But, mankind fell into sin and death, and only when Christ came was it revealed that God's purpose was to find accomplishment through the creation of a new humanity in Christ, made up of both Jew and Gentile, reconciled to God and to one another through the blood of the cross, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This 'new man' consists of the whole redeemed community of which Christ is the Head, and stands in contrast to the 'old man' whose head is Adam, and which is under the dominion of the world, the devil and the flesh, and its subject to divine condemnation.

The new humanity in Christ is the theme of the Epistle. The doctrine of individual salvation by faith, as expounded in Romans and Galatians, is here less prominent, and the apostle dwells rather upon the corporate aspects of salvation under the image of the church as the body of Christ, together with the vision of a final oneness of all things in Him.

17 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 23 — 1 Samuel 31 and Revision


Study 23 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 31 and Revision


With this lesson, we end the book of 1 Samuel. Tomorrow lesson starts with the book of Ephesians.
1. Compare the defeat of chapter 31 with that of chapter 4. What were the reasons for these defeats? Cf. 1 Ch. 10:13, 14. What challenge does this bring to your own life?
2. How did David's experiences as recorded in chapters 16-31, all serve to prepare him for his future work as King?



16 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 22 — 1 Samuel 29 and 30

Study 22 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 29 and 30

  1. Chapter 29. Into what great difficulty had David brought himself, and how was he delivered? Do I ever give the world cause to say, 'What is that Christian doing here?' Cf. 2 Cor. 6:14.
  2. Chapter 30. Strength in defeat and generosity in victory. How does this chapter illustrate these characteristics? Have you learnt Davids' secret of inner strength? Cf. 23:16; Ps. 18:2.



15 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 21 — 1 Samuel 27 and 28


Study 21 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 27 and 28

  1. Contrast David's words in 27:1 with 17:37. Into what actions did depression drive him, and what price had he to pay for it? Are you ever overcome by circumstances in this way? Cf. 2 Ch. 19:2; Jas.4:4.
  2. Looking back over the story of Saul, how did he come to his final sorry state? What warning ought we to take from his confession in 28:15? Cf. 1 Tim. 1:19.
Note. 28:7. Consulting a medium was expressly forbidden in the law of God. See Lv. 19:31, too, was resorting to something he himself had disowned. See 28:9.



14 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 20 — 1 Samuel 25 and 26

Study 20 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 25 and 26


1. Nabal was rich and satisfied; but what did he lack? What, in contrast, were the outstanding features of Abigail's character? Can you think of situations where you could act as she did?

2. Chapter 26. What basic convictions motivated David's actions? How does his faith in God's purpose for him stand out? In particular, what principle emerges from 25:39 and 26:10, 23?

Note. 26:19, 20. To be driven out of the promised land (cf. 27:1) is to be driven out not from the dominion of the Lord (see many psalms), but certainly from His special covenanted presence to lands where other gods are worshiped.




13 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 19 — 1 Samuel 23 and 24

Study 19 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 23 and 24


1. In what ways did God's protecting hand cover David, and what special encouragements did he receive? Cf. Ps. 37:23, 24.
2. What held David back from killing Saul when it was in his power to do it, and when his followers were urging him on? What virtues shine out in his self-restraint, and what lessons do you learn from this? Cf. Rom. 12:19, 20.
3. Were Saul's words and weeping accompanied by a real change of heart? Cf. Ho. 6:4; Is. 29:13. What does real repentance involve?

Notes
1. 24:13, 14. David uses the proverb to demonstrate his innocence. The wicked action one would expect from a wicked man has not been forthcoming in his case. 'A dead dog...a flea': something harmless, elusive, unimportant.
2. 24:20, 21. Saul apparently knew God's purpose, though he strove to avert some of its consequences

12 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 18 — 1 Samuel 22-23

Study 18 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 22-23


1. Do you gather from 21:10-15 and 22:3-5, that David's flights out of the holy land were done without God's guidance? What seems to have determined David's actions? Contrast 22:23. Are you free from the fear of men? Cf. Pr. 29:25.
  1. Consider the character of the motley crew of which David now transform any group under Christian leadership? Cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-11; note especially the phrase 'such were some of you'.
  2. Read the story of 22:7-19 in the light of Pr. 6:34; 14:30; 27:4. How can the Christian be zealous without being jealous? Cf. 1 Ki. 19:10, 14; Jn. 2:17.

11 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 17 — 1 Samuel 20:1-21:9

Study 17 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 20:1-21:9

  1. What was David's purpose in seeking Jonathan? What request did Jonathan in turn make of David? What components of true friendship does the relationship of these two men illustrate?
  2. What Characteristic of true 'loyal love' (20:14) does this passage reveal? Compare it with (a) 1 Cor. 13:4-7, and (b) your own life.
  3. When human need and ceremonial obligations conflict as in 21:6, what guidance do we find here as to the right course to take? Cf. Mt. 12:3-8.
Notes
  1. 20:6. Such were the standards of morality that even the best of the people seemed to have no scruples in using lies and deception to save life. See 19:17; 20:28, 29; 21:2. But note how deceit brought down Saul's wrath upon Jonathan (20:30), just as it brought disaster upon Ahimelech and his associates (22:18, 19).
  2. 20:14. Cf. 2 Sa. 9:3.
  3. 20:23, 42. The idea of God being between two covenant partners to watch and to judge is illustrated by Gn. 31:49, 53.
  4. 20:26. Saul thought that ceremonial uncleanness accounted for David's absence from the feast. See Lv. 7:19, 20.
  5. 21:7. 'Detained before the Lord': perhaps because of a vow.



10 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 16 — 1 Samuel 17:55 – 19:24

Study 16 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 17:55 – 19:24


1. How were fear and jealousy like a cancer in Saul's spirit? How did they show themselves? How do you explain God's action in this matter? By what means were Saul's attempts to destroy David foiled?
2. How did Jonathan and Michal show their love for David? Do we ever risk anything for our friends? See 1 Jn. 3: 16, 18.

Notes
1. 18:5 'Was successful': a pregnant Hebrew word is used meaning 'deal wisely' with the implied consequence of success. Cf. Is. 52: 13a.
  1. 18:10. Cf. 1 Ki. 22:22
  2. 19:13. 'An image': Hebrew 'teraphim', i.e., household gods; cf. Gn. 31:19. This deceived Saul's messengers into thinking that David was ill in bed.
  3. 19:23, 24. ' Naked': i.e., with his outer garment laid aside; cf. Is. 20:2; Mi. 1:8. Saul lay in a trance for a day and a night. The origin of the proverb about Saul is recorded in 10:12. His behaviour here evidently caused men to recollect it.

09 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 15 — 1 Samuel 17: 1-54

Study 15 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 17: 1-54

  1. What was it that made David view the situation differently, and gave him courage, when all the men of Israel were much afraid? Cf. Ps. 42:5, 11; Is. 51:12, 13.
  2. How did David's past experiences of the Lord's deliverance give him confidence to face the present challenge? What practical lessons does this teach about (a) the value of remembering, and (b) the importance of proving God's presence and power in ordinary daily living?
  3. What do you think of Saul's reasoning (verse 33), and of his provision for David (verse 38, 39)? Did he understand what he was saying, in his words to David: 'The Lord be with you!'? What was lacking? See verse 47.
Notes
  1. Verses 4ff. The giant was over nine feet tall, and carried 125 lbs. of armour.
  2. Verse 18. 'Some token': i.e., that they are well, etc.

08 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 14 — 1 Samuel 16

Study 14 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 16


1. How is true obedience illustrated in Samuel's behavior? What can you learn from his example?
2. What great truth was brought home to Samuel at Bethlehem? Consider how this truth is emphasized in Jesus's teaching. See Mt. 6:1; 7:15, etc. Cf. Rom. 2:28, 29.
3. Here men twice sent to fetch David; why? When he comes into sight, what do we learn about him? Make a list of his characteristics. What was the chief evidence that God had chosen him and rejected Saul? Cf. 2 Cor. 1:22.
Note. Verses 21, 22. David became an 'Armour-bearer---possibly a military title. The phrase 'remain in my service' does not imply continued physical presence. If it did, 17:55, 56 would be unintelligible.


07 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 13 — 1 Samuel 15

Study 13 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 15

  1. Trace the course of Saul's disobedience-his excuses (verse 20, 21, 24) and his self-interest (verse 30). Trace also the course of Samuel's warning (verse 1), denunciation (verse 14, 18, 19) and declaration of divine judgment (verse 22, 23, 26, 28, 29). What may we here learn concerning God's ways and the demands of His service?
  2. From verse 11, and from Samuel's reply to Saul in verses 22, 23, what do we learn concerning the divine reaction against ritual without obedience, against outward religious observance which masks an inner disobedience? Have God's requirements or His attitude changed.
Notes
  1. Verse 15. The whole point about the sacred ban was that everything must be destroyed; not one thing must be spared or looted. Cf. Jos. 7:1.
  2. Verse 35. 'Samuel did not see Saul again. 'See' here means 'visit' or 'go to see'. So, 19:24 involves no contradiction with this passage.

06 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 12 — 1 Samuel 14

Study 12 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 14

  1. How was it that Jonathan was so courageous? Cf. Verse 6 with 2 Ch. 14:11; 1 Sa. 2:9, 10
  2. What indications do you find of Saul's impatience, and how did it lead him to hasty and wrong decisions? Yet what evidence is there that with all his self-will Saul was anxious not to offend the Lord? How do you account for this?
Notes
  1. Verse 6. 'The Lord will work for us': the Old Testament is full of the God who acts in different ways. Cf. 1 Ki. 8:32; Je. 14:7; Ps. 22: 30, 31.
  2. Verse 24. Saul's purpose was probably religious, viz, by fasting to obtain God's favor.

05 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 11 — 1 Samuel 13

Study 11 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 13

  1. Consider the Israelites's great danger. See verses 5, 6, 19-22. In such a situation what ought they to have known to be the one indispensable and sure secret of survival and victory? See 12: 14, 15.
  2. What was wrong with Saul's professed desire to entreat the favour of the Lord, and with the action he took to further it? What warning do you take from the irreparable consequences following on one specific sinful act? Why does God expose men to such searching tests? See Dt. 8:2.
Notes
  1. Verse 1. Some numbers are lacking here. Thirty would in each case suitably fill the gap
  2. Verse 2. Many years must have elapsed. In 9:2 Saul is described as a 'young man'. Here his son Jonathan is old enough to command a fighting force.

04 July, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 10 — 1 Samuel 12

Study 10 From the Book of 1 Samuel is: 1 Samuel 12

  1. What was the point of Samuel's historical recital? Unlike the Israelites, do we (a) remind ourselves constantly of the great things God has done for us, and (b) allow this reminder to have a full effect upon our behaviour?
  2. What were the outstanding features in Samuel's character as seen in this chapter?
  3. Summarize the counsels and warnings of verses 20-25. Note especially what Samuel says about prayer. Yet, if the people will not turn from their wicked ways, will prayer avail? See verse 25; cf. Je. 15:1; Ps. 99:6, 8.