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GRASPING & UNDERSTANDING THE TRUTH

&

RELEVANCY OF SCRIPTURE

 

A Home Study on Psalm 3 for Biblical Comprehension Relevancy

&

Overcoming Fear and Facing Adversity

 

 

TRENTON CLARK RINDOKS

RLGN 489

MAY 13, 2016

 

Grasping & Understanding the Truth & Relevancy of Scripture

A Home Study on Psalm 3 for Biblical Comprehension Relevancy

&

Overcoming Fear and Facing Adversity

I. The Proposition

” According to A Barna Research Group Poll, Only 18 percent of Christians, or than less than two of every ten read the Bible every day. Worst of all, 23 percent or almost one in four professing Christians—say they never read the Word of God (Whitney 2014).”  Paul makes it clear in Romans that while repentance, Baptism and belief in Jesus are necessary Sanctification and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit are required for salvation. For while Christ Atoning Sacrifice was offered and paid the ransom fully for all sin and death sanctification is the mean through the leading of Faith and Christian living in which one is transformed and restored into the image of  Christ ( Eikōn). Additionally, while Jesus is the door to salvation Faith or the Holy Spirit provides the keys to enter the Kingdom.  Romans 12:1-2  States, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” In this passage, Paul is stating that sin originates and centers in our thoughts and therefore we must constantly renewal of our mind with truth and the ways of God or his Holy Word if we wish to live in Godliness, develop virtues, and not be overcome by vices or ways of the flesh.

Additionally Paul states that reading and meditation on the Word leads to the development of Spiritual character and dying to the  ways of old-self or the ways of sin (Adam), thus leading to our transformation to the New Adam or Eikōn. In  Second Timothy Paul states a correlation of this, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work ( 2 Tim 3:16-18).”

Finally, In Ephesians Paul states how scripture can form one of the most potent tools in our arsenal for spiritual warfare. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should (Eph 6: 12-18).”

“Jesus often asked questions about people’s understanding of the Scriptures, sometimes beginning with the words, “Have you not read . . . ?” (Matthew 19:4; Mark 12:10). He assumed that those claiming to be the people of God would have read the Word of God. And a case can be made that this question implies a familiarity with the entire Word of God. In addition, When Jesus said, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).’  Surely He intended at the very least for us to read “every word,” for how can we “live . . . by every word that comes from the mouth of God” if we have never even read “every word that comes from the mouth of God (Whitney 2014)?” If Jesus commanded it, why are so many of us not doing it? Many of us blame it on time, but others on lack of ability comprehend or relate to the Word.

The purpose of this gathering is to illuminate minds and open hearts be better equipped to understand and relate to Word of God in a relative fashion while maintain the intent understanding the context of the occasion and audience while bridging the gap into our modern world. Additional the small group study will focus on Psalms 3 and is intended to address to areas of fear and overcoming adversity and depending on God to meet one’s needs and the necessity of prayer. Psalms 3 NIV states:

Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”[b]

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

 

The method of analysis and instruction is the Crossing the Bridge Method outline by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays (Duvall and Hays 2012). A simplified version will be first introduced as a foundation and further studies will build upon the foundation should interest develop or needs arise.

The initial analysis for this event began in 2015. The initial project was to be a home study to overcome fear in Adults that never originated do to schedule conflicts. Further requests and assessments of social and personal needs are making this hypothetical project more of a reality than possibility. The question should not be a matter of why to start but when to start, and the answer should be as soon as possible.

II. Method

Interpretation of Psalm 3 Outline

Using Psalms: three as an example text for interpreting, study and mediating on God’s Word a concise theological/biblical method will be taught on some common applications for this verse for the Christians today. The method used to interpret this verse will be the four-step method known as the Interpretative Journey. This method starts by examining the text in relevance to the time, place and context when written and bridges the gap to a relevant meaning to contemporary society (Carter, Duvall and Hays 2005). When interpreting The Books Psalms one needs to approach the verse or passage as a conversation with God as each Psalm in themselves convey one of three messages Praise, Laments or a cry for help, and Thanksgiving (Carter, Duvall and Hays 2005).

Each Psalm contained within the Book of Psalms were written as songs thus much of the context is in an allegorical or, poetic and symbolic language. Interpreting the verses. We should not take all the context as literal but consider the metaphors as would do if one was  trying to gain understanding into a contemporary songs such as Bob Dylan’s “knocking on Heaven’s Door (Dylan 1973). ”  In the song, Dylan is not literally knocking on an actual door. However, in our mind and heart Dylan paints us a vivid picture of one approaching death.

The Biblical Meaning / Historical Setting

“Each Psalm is an independent unit isolated from its literary context and thus we must consider the historical context throughout the entire book first (Carter, Duvall and Hays 2005).”

The Book of Psalms subdivision in a fivefold format parallels the first five books of the Torah or The Pentateuch. The first five books is the story of Mankind creation his Eternal blessed state or oneness with God and his separation-death as result of sin, and the process to recovery or reconciliation of his righteousness with God.

The Book of Psalms is a collection of 150 songs that are a composition for worship in The Temple of Jerusalem. The Book of Psalms is divides in a Five-book format. At the end of each Psalm in the first four books is a conclusion with a doxology or “Word of Praise” (Ps 41:13; 72:18-19; 89:52, 106:48). The fifth book closes with a praise song, Psalm 150 (Hindson and Yates 2012).

Psalm 3 is a composition of King David and is a lamentation as he fled from his son Absalom who led a rebellion against him (his father) and used subterfuge and influential power as a Judge to proclaim himself rightful  authoritive heir to the throne. David fleeing Jerusalem and was pursued by Absalom’s Army. This Psalm was composed in and under the context of the constant face of fear and facing the uncertainty of death. David’s orders Absalom to be punished with kindness when captured.  However, when Absalom’s hair becomes entangled in a tree he is executed for his crimes. In reaction to David’s grief over his son’s actions, the morale of his army was low and his soldiers defy their orders. Instead of victory, David’s forces returned to Jerusalem in sorrow.

The Story of Absalom is recorded in 2 Samuel: 13-19 the main theme to remember is God has providence over all events in History (2 Sam: 17:14 NIV ). Another contextual point illustrated is the love and forgiveness of a parent for a child despite what action they may choose to do. This Psalm forms the basis to the parable of The Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. Psalms 3 concludes with a Doxology.

The historical-contextual meaning to the Biblical audience of this passage can be summarized in the following statement.   Psalms 3 is a prayer to God to protect one from harm of an enemy. Furthermore, God will conqueror fear, provide, and sustain one’s needs and assist in the deliverance from one’s enemies. At first glance, one may view the enemy to be the literal encroaching forces of Absalom but Absalom can also apply to Sin or principalities of evil as well. David’s metaphor as  God as a shield and is also used in New Testament Paul using such a reference in Ephesians 6:16 to the Faith we have in God the obedience and trust perseverance and endurance and ultimately empowerment and at time sacrificial living . The Obedience by faith that comes through the Authority of Christ and the  leading of Holy Spirit in our becoming and imitating of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Differences and Similarities

Although the Psalms were written under the Old Covenant (Law) and us as, Christians live under the New Covenant (Guidance or Virtues of the Heart). The differences are not that great. Jesus did not come to overturn the Law but he modified it to a manner in which it is easier for one to apply in their daily life. In The Great Commandment:  Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.’ ‘This is the first and Greatest Commandment.’ And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments (Matt 22: 37-40  ).’” This Commandment if followed encompasses the Law. Thus, the Old Covenant serves as a guide for our actions and a determining factor for what is sin. Jesus also reminds us that all of us will fall short and none of us can uphold the law completely by our own accord: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:20 NIV).”  Like the Israelites in David’s time, we face the threat of war, and need protection from enemies additionally forces both physical and spiritual threaten us on a daily basis.

 

 

The Meaning (Crossing the Bridge)

The theological/Biblical Statement can thus be stated simply in the following way. By an action of Faith (The Shield) God will protect, and provide for us. God will give us strength to defeat our enemies but we must always thank him and put him above all things.

Examples of Application

The application for this passage is in times of danger whether the force of opposition is a spiritual or physical The Presence of God will provide comfort, strength, and the means to defeat our enemies. We use our Faith, The Shield, The Word of God, The Sword, The Breastplate of Righteousness, or Spiritual Living, The Belt of Truth, and The Helmet of Salvation to protect us and defeat our adversaries.  Finally, we need not forget to praise God for what he does in our life. Like David in times of strife one should turn to prayer first as God will provide and meet all needs, protect and strengthen the body, mind, and soul and give us the Gifts of Spirit to persevere all circumstances in times of suffering and in times of abundance for the glory of his kingdom.

III. Strategy Plan

  1. Target: Adult Small Group
  • Assessment Date: May, 13, 2016
  • Assessed By: Trenton Rindoks & Associates
  1. General Age Group Characteristics
  2. Age Level: ____35-65_____
  3. Gender ☐ Males Only ☐ Females Only      × Mixed Group

 

Physical:

Some have illness (physical)

 

Some mental

 

 

 

 

Cognitive:

 

2 Scientific/ rational (deductive/Objective)

 

2 Abstract

( inductive subjective

Faith is firm is some

Able to read and Understand Modern Language Translations (NIV)

 

Linear view( Black/ White thinkers)

 

Some existentialist

 

Psychosocial:

Low Esteem

 

Fear /Anxiety/ Depression

 

Secondary need displacement

 

Rejection

 

Western Prospective of Culture Religion

 

Post-Modernism

Evangelical

Modernism view

 

Some Pluralist/  Universalistic / Agnostics

 

Mix of conservative and Liberal positions on Politics and Religion ( or Lack thereof)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual:

 

Accepted Christ

Basic  Bible Knowledge

 

Blame of God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1.  
  1. Characteristics of the Ministry Setting

 

  • Kind of Group (Indicate the agency and type of ministry in which the teaching is to take place): Home Bible study

 

  • Size of Group (Indicate number of students who are anticipated or attend regularly):

4-6

 

  • Social-cultural Characteristics of Group (type of community, ethnicity, types of employment, economic level, community size, etc.): White, middle class, from small rural / suburb community 20 miles outside Memphis. Various occupations, some self-employed and disabled
  • Spiritual Maturity Level of Students: Beginner to mature, a few seekers and Agnostics

 

  1. Specific Group Characteristics

 

  • Interests:

Art, Music, Cooking, sports, movies. Music, philosophy, literature

 

  • Abilities: Construction / Handyman, Cooking, Auto repair, Pottery, Creative Writing, Care Giving,  Parents, Teaching

 

  • Limitations: basic Understanding of Bible, Some or Seeking Agnostic

 

 

  • Observed Needs: Many confusing Secondary needs as Primary and living in the flesh. Confusing the pursuit of happiness as the desired means of God instead of servitude and obedience. Many do not realize reliance on God produce Joy= Happiness and prosperity, Some are Agnostic and have a Pluralistic Understanding

 

 

  1. Points of Ministry: Examples from music, movies, art and contemporary life and other areas comparing contrasting worldly ways with Godly ways. Ask Questions How, What, Where, When, Why format to keep flow going.

 

 

 

Date:    11/20/14                    Location:    My Home  Munford, TN                                                              File Under: Psalms 3
Target Group:

A Home study group of 4-6 consisting of adults ranging in age 35-65 at various stages in their relationship with Christ. Some struggle with acceptance/ belonging issues and confuse secondary with primary needs relying on flesh nature to fill gaps of inferiority.

Passage:

Psalms 3

 

Cross-references:

2 Sam: 17:14; Matt 22: 37-40; Matt 5:20; Ephesians 6:10-20, Rom, 1-8, 12-15:3

Exegetical Idea:

By an action of Faith, or prayer, (the shield) God will protect, and provide for us.

 

 

Pedagogical Idea:

God will give us strength to defeat our enemies but we must always thank him and put him above all things

 

 

 

Lesson AIM(s)

Cognitive (Head): The student will see how reliance on prayer in a time of need will give strength and provide protection (Security Need). That reliance on God superior than instinctive action. Right thinking starts with God and fear often center in the mind.

 

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Affective (Heart): By turning to prayer, one can be a conqueror of fear as a change of thinking in a Godly direction conquers anxiety. The Holy Spirit comforts and Provides Gifts for all situations and circumstances although at times we must endure suffering for Growth as Christ himself suffered (Rom 1-8) Renewal of Mind and Transformity (Rom 12- 15:3)  Whom shall I Fear ( Rom 8)

 

 

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Behavioral (Hands): By continue reliance on prayer for one’s needs one will see that one’s needs are to be met by placing God first.  One over time will become less anxious and secondary needs (or worldly /compulsive outlets) will be replaced by spiritual right thinking and a change of heart.

 

 

 

Hook:

Take 15 Minutes alone and contemplate on the passage then answer the questions.

Break into Groups and Share and Discuss solutions.

1.      What would you do if you were threatened or your life is in danger?

2.      What is your instinctual response to fear?

3.      What world solution comes to mind to combat and adversary or fear?

4.      What would God have you do?

5.      What can you learn from David’s example on how to face fear

6.      Why should we thank God when closing a prayer?

7.      Why did Absalom die on a Tree?

8.      What can we learn from David’s Reaction to Absalom’s deviance?

9.      What Adversaries are we as society facing today?

10.  What is any Area of fear in your life?

11.  How does God provide the blessing in your life?

12.  Why is dependency on God superior to self-sufficiency or self-appointed authority?

13.   Whom do we Fear?

14.   Who is the provider of security or source of strength and comfort in your life?

15.  What is your ultimate Goal or strength and weakness and Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book:

Content Outline

1.      Historical info explained

 

 

 

 

2.      Compare of Shield and combat of adversaries

 

3.       Group Analysis Psalm 3

 

4.      Review & Discuss Possible solutions and Alternatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         

Methodology

Mini lecture from 2 Samuel:  13-19 to explain historical setting of Psalms 3. Explain difference of old and New Covenant (; Matt 22: 37-40; Matt 5:20)

 

Ephesians 6:10-20

 

 

Read and Analyze Psalm 3 Conclude with question and Answer from Hook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look:

1.      Ask each student to think of ways each could better use prayer to overcome fear, and better rely on God first.

2.      Suggest each  Student spend 10 minutes a day on awakening reviewing day ahead inviting God into their life and Thanking God at night before bed reviewing where they acted instinctual relying on self, and where prayer should have been used to overcome fear, or provide for a need.

 

 

 

 

 

Took:

Begin with Praise either singing Hymns or Listening to Praise Music and Sharing of snacks or a Meal.

Communion: Offer communion to any who wish to Partake of it in Remembrance of the Suffering of our Lord Jesus and his Atonement for the Sin of All Humanity.

Group Prayer: Conclude with prayer requests and a Lord’s Prayer Thank God for what he has done in all participants Lives. Read John 3:16-21 and offer to Pray a prayer of Salvation for those who wish to turn their life to Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rationale:

This study is designed to both provide a more concise method to comprehend the Bible while working on Issues, of Fear and increase dependency on the Holy Spirit, in Prayer and in Faith while promoting community and unity and fellowship.

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Carter, Terry G, J. Scott Duvall, and J.Daniel Hays. Preaching God’s Word. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.

 

Duvall, Scott J., and Daniel J. Hays. Grasping God’s Word. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

Dylan, Bob. “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” Pat Gareet & Billy the Kid. 1973.

Hindson, Ed, and Gary Yates. The Essence of the OLd Testament: A Survry. Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2012.

 

Whitney, Donald S. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2014.

 

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David, King Over All Israel, as in 2 Samuel 5:...

David, King Over All Israel, as in 2 Samuel 5:1-12, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

firsttempleThe First Three Kings of Israel:

 

The first three kings of Israel, Saul, David and Solomon both men of strength and weakness. In this essay I will illustrate why Israel desired a king. I will show each kings virtues and faults and ultimately why they were rejected by God and the outcome of this rejection.

 

Why did the people of Israel desire a king?

 

Previous to the time of Samuel, The nation of Israel was ruled by Judges. The Israelites fell into disfavor with God and several Judge/Prophets were called upon to redeem the people.  The book of Judges gives an account on how these heroes were called upon to save the Hebrews from her enemies. It should be noted that all the heroes of the age were flawed. Samson had a weakness for women, despite his gift of great Strength. Gideon was a coward. Barak was a reluctant leader and would not even enter battle unless Deborah accompanied him, and Ehud was left handed. It may seem strange to many but God often uses those with disadvantages to accomplish his great purpose. It is in my opinion this is to show his omnipotence, and so others are aware salvations is available to all who seek and serve his will.  However, during the time of Samuel the leadership of the judges became increasingly ineffective. Dissention spread among the population. According to Ed Hindson and Gary Yates “Because a judge could only partially and imperfectly administer Torah (legislative function), execute Justice (executive function), and condemn law-breakers (judicial function), a king was need who could more effectively fulfill all three roles. The stories in Judges also, show that that not just any king could effectively govern the nation but rather a king who honored God’s covenant”[i]  It was time for a king but who was Israel to choose?

 

SaulWhy was Saul chosen, and ultimately, why was he rejected?

 

According to Hindson and Yates “The people seemed to focus on Saul’s outward appearance rather than heart.”[ii] In 1 Samuel 9:2 It states: “Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.”[iii] The Bible also states: In 1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”[iv] The nation of Israel was eager for a change. Despite the warnings of Samuel and the predictions of previous prophets, which states the king was to come from the tribe of Judah not Benjamin, the Israelites rushed into choosing Saul as the first King. His victory over the Ammonites boosted national support but was not enough to restore covenant faithfulness to the land and to the people. Samuel continually warned Saul to obey the Mosaic Covenant and the commandments of God but Saul repeatedly ignored these requests. This as well as his blatant disregard to annihilate the Amalekites and his use of the power for his own glory caused him to fall into disfavor with God.

 

This reminds me of one of my favorite Scripture quotes “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”[v] Saul was failing the Hebrews needed a new king who was to be chosen?

 

David and GoliathWhat attribute did David display that made him a better king than Saul?

 

During the reign of Saul a new hero emerges into the nation Israel. A shepherd boy defeats the mighty Philistine champion after no Hebrew soldier will meet his challenge” Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.”[vi] David quickly rises through the ranks of Saul’s army and becomes one of the greatest military generals in the nation’s history.  Saul grows jealous of the growing support of the people behind David as his power wanes and sends him into battle and then into exile. However, Even Saul’s own Son, Jonathan and his daughter Michal support and rally behind and save David from the vengeance of Saul. Tragically Saul dies after becoming insane and his son is killed because of his father’s sins. However David falls in love and marries Michal.

 

David is the king that was prophesized to Hebrews and Israelites. In the Bible God calls him a man after his own heart. The first few books of second Samuel record the deeds of David. He consolidates the nations and establishes the Davidic Covenant. After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, He said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent. “Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you. “But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying: “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in?  I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. “The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”[vii] David also captures Jerusalem and extends the borders of Israel into the Fertile Crescent (to the banks of the Euphrates) and to Egypt bringing taxes and wealth to the land. More importantly he relocated the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. This symbolizes God’s supremacy and blessing over the land David purchases the land prophesized in preparation of building the Great Temple of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, since David is a man is war and not peace he himself can only plan and not build the temple that task will have to follow onto a future king which seems to frustrate David.

 

David also excels as a king as he seeks both his prophet Nathan and God for guidance. He continues to worship and praise God even in times of distress. (As shown by his writings in the Book of Psalms.)

 

Despite his strengths David succumbed to sin himself. He sent Uriah out in battle to die so he may sleep with his wife Bathsheba. David has a son with Bathsheba and for his sin his son dies. Also David’s own son led a rebellion against him. Despite the above mentioned sins and more outlined in 2 Samuel, God honors the Davidic Covenant and a son is born to the House of David. The Great King Solomon wisest of all kings.

 

solomonWhat sin did Solomon commit that ultimately led to the division of Israel after his death?

 

Although Solomon was granted wisdom by God, succeeded in building the first Temple of Jerusalem, achieved international recognition, abundance and prosperity flourished throughout the land and he expanded the borders to that of The Abrahamic covenant, he too fell into Covenant Disobedience by marring with foreign women and engaging in polygamy. He also relied more on his wealth and wisdom than God and like Saul allowing his pride to stunt his spiritual growth.  Unlike Saul, Solomon reconciles with God and to basically states “Wealth, Wisdom, Women and the ways of the world are nothing. Only Ones relationship with God matters” (In Ecclesiastes although I cannot remember exact verses)

 

This Covenant disobedience however leads to a long line of weak kingship in Israel and Hebrew history.  It is important to notate the difference here as the Kingdom becomes dived into a North and a South Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom (Israel, Samaria,) falls to the Assyrians in 722 B.C. The Southern Kingdom (Judah, Hebrews, Jerusalem,) fall 140 years later to Babylon. For failure to honor the Sabbath, intermarriage with foreigners, Idolatry, and overall sin God exiles Israelites into slavery for 70 years. It is should be noted however that it is through inter marriage with a foreign women that the Davidic Lineage is restored to pave away for the Messiah to come Also Ester, through marriage to King Xerxes,  a foreigner, is used to save her people from destruction during the time of exile as well.

 

In conclusion, the first three kings of the Hebrew people were desired to bring order as the reign of Judges proved to be in adequate. The books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicle teach us even the kings proved to be incapable of fulfilling and maintaining God’s Law, The Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic Covenant. The Davidic Covenant and House of David paved the way for the Messiah to come. The above books illustrate that an earthly power can never fully administer God’s Law, that all of us are victim of sin and only a Messiah can set us free. The reign of David and Solomon paved the way and fulfilled the prophecy for Christ to come. Without The Temple and the House of David we would not have had a Savior. For all their faults the first three kings were instrument in changing the world and paving the way for Christianity.

 

 

 


[i] Hindson, Ed. and Gary Yates. The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey ( Nashville: B&H,2012),148

[ii] Hindson, Ed. and Gary Yates. The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey ( Nashville: B&H,2012),164

/[iii] http://www.biblegateway.com. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[iv] http://www.biblegateway.com. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers

[v] http://www.biblegateway.com. American Standard Version, Copyright © 1901 by Public Domain

[vi] http://www.biblegateway.comHoly Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[vii] http://www.biblegateway.com. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

The First Three Kings of Israel:

The first three kings of Israel, Saul, David and Solomon both men of strength and weakness. In this essay I will illustrate why Israel desired a king. I will show each kings virtues and faults and ultimately why they were rejected by God and the outcome of this rejection.

Why did the people of Israel desire a king?

Previous to the time of Samuel, The nation of Israel was ruled by Judges. The Israelites fell into disfavor with God and several Judge/Prophets were called upon to redeem the people.  The book of Judges gives an account on how these heroes were called upon to save the Hebrews from her enemies. It should be noted that all the heroes of the age were flawed. Samson had a weakness for women, despite his gift of great Strength. Gideon was a coward. Barack was a reluctant leader and would not even enter battle unless Deborah accompanied him, and Ehud was left-handed. It may seem strange to many but God often uses those with disadvantages to accomplish his great purpose. It is in my opinion this is to show his omnipotence, and so others are aware salvation is available to all who seek and serve his will.  However, during the time of Samuel the leadership of the judges became increasingly ineffective. Dissention spread among the population. According to Ed Hindson and Gary Yates “Because a judge could only partially and imperfectly administer Torah (legislative function), execute Justice (executive function), and condemn law-breakers (judicial function), a king was need who could more effectively fulfill all three roles. The stories in Judges also, show that not just any king could effectively govern the nation but rather a king who honored God’s covenant”[i]  It was time for a king but who was Israel to choose?

Why was Saul chosen, and ultimately, why was he rejected?

According to Hindson and Yates “The people seemed to focus on Saul’s outward appearance rather than heart.”[ii] In 1 Samuel 9:2 It states: “Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.”[iii] The Bible also states: In 1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”[iv] The nation of Israel was eager for a change. Despite the warnings of Samuel and the predictions of previous prophets, which states the king was to come from the tribe of Judah not Benjamin, the Israelites rushed into choosing Saul as the first King. His victory over the Ammonites boosted national support but was not enough to restore covenant faithfulness to the land and to the people. Samuel continually warned Saul to obey the Mosaic Covenant and the commandments of God but Saul repeatedly ignored these requests. This as well as his blatant disregard to annihilate the Amalekites and his use of the power for his own glory caused him to fall into disfavor with God.

This reminds me of one of my favorite Scripture quotes “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”[v] Saul was failing the Hebrews needed a new king who was to be chosen?

What attribute did David display that made him a better king than Saul?

During the reign of Saul a new hero emerges into the nation Israel. A shepherd boy defeats the mighty Philistine champion after no Hebrew soldier will meet his challenge” Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.”[vi] David quickly rises through the ranks of Saul’s army and becomes one of the greatest military generals in the nation’s history.  Saul grows jealous of the growing support of the people behind David as his power wanes and sends him into battle and then into exile. However, Even Saul’s own Son, Jonathan and his daughter Michal support and rally behind and save David from the vengeance of Saul. Tragically Saul dies after becoming insane and his son is killed because of his father’s sins. However David falls in love and marries Michal.

David is the king that was prophesied to Hebrews and Israelites. In the Bible God calls him a man after his own heart. The first few books of second Samuel record the deeds of David. He consolidates the nations and establishes the Davidic Covenant. After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, He said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent. “Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you. “But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying: “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in?  I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. “The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”[vii] David also captures Jerusalem and extends the borders of Israel into the Fertile Crescent (to the banks of the Euphrates) and to Egypt bringing taxes and wealth to the land. More importantly he relocated the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. This symbolizes God’s supremacy and blessing over the land David purchases the land prophesied in preparation of building the Great Temple of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, since David is a man is war and not peace he himself can only plan and not build the temple that task will have to follow onto a future king which seems to frustrate David.

David also excels as a king as he seeks both his prophet Nathan and God for guidance. He continues to worship and praise God even in times of distress. (As shown by his writings in the Book of Psalms.)

Despite his strengths David succumbed to sin himself. He sent Uriah out in battle to die so he may sleep with his wife Bathsheba. David has a son with Bathsheba and for his sin his son dies. Also David’s own son led a rebellion against him. Despite the above mentioned sins and more outlined in 2 Samuel, God honors the Davidic Covenant and a son is born to the House of David. The Great King Solomon wisest of all kings.

What sin did Solomon commit that ultimately led to the division of Israel after his death?

Although Solomon was granted wisdom by God, succeeded in building the first Temple of Jerusalem, achieved international recognition, abundance and prosperity flourished throughout the land and he expanded the borders to that of The Abrahamic covenant, he too fell into Covenant Disobedience by marring with foreign women and engaging in polygamy. He also relied more on his wealth and wisdom than God and like Saul allowing his pride to stunt his spiritual growth.  Unlike Saul, Solomon reconciles with God and to basically states “Wealth, Wisdom, Women and the ways of the world are nothing. Only Ones relationship with God matters” (In Ecclesiastes although I cannot remember exact verses)

This Covenant disobedience however leads to a long line of weak kingship in Israel and Hebrew history.  It is important to notate the difference here as the Kingdom becomes dived into a North and a South Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom (Israel, Samaria,) falls to the Assyrians in 722 B.C. The Southern Kingdom (Judah, Hebrews, Jerusalem,) fall 140 years later to Babylon. For failure to honor the Sabbath, intermarriage with foreigners, Idolatry, and overall sin God exiles Israelites into slavery for 70 years. It is should be noted however that it is through inter marriage with a foreign women that the Davidic Lineage is restored to pave away for the Messiah to come Also Ester, through marriage to King Xerxes,  a foreigner, is used to save her people from destruction during the time of exile as well.

In conclusion, the first three kings of the Hebrew people were desired to bring order as the reign of Judges proved to be in adequate. The books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicle teach us even the kings proved to be incapable of fulfilling and maintaining God’s Law, The Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic Covenant. The Davidic Covenant and House of David paved the way for the Messiah to come. The above books illustrate that an earthly power can never fully administer God’s Law, that all of us are victim of sin and only a Messiah can set us free. The reign of David and Solomon paved the way and fulfilled the prophecy for Christ to come. Without The Temple and the House of David we would not have had a Savior. For all their faults the first three kings were instrument in changing the world and paving the way for Christianity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[i] Hindson, Ed. and Gary Yates. The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey ( Nashville: B&H,2012),148

[ii] Hindson, Ed. and Gary Yates. The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey ( Nashville: B&H,2012),164

 

/[iii] http://www.biblegateway.com. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[iv] http://www.biblegateway.com. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers

[v] http://www.biblegateway.com. American Standard Version, Copyright © 1901 by Public Domain

[vi] http://www.biblegateway.comHoly Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[vii] http://www.biblegateway.com. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

English: David praying the Lord. A Georgian mi...

English: David praying the Lord. A Georgian miniature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Prayer for Students

I feel called to post the Student‘s Prayer for all those engaged in academic endeavors. As the semester or year ends, one may want to also meditate on this verse from Jeremiah 29:  (Also a Good verse for those feeling lost, without purpose or trapped or in the captivity of Sin or in Bondage or some sort):

1 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. [b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Students Prayer:

God of Light and Truth,

thank you for giving me

a mind that can know

and a heart that can love.

Help me to keep learning every day of my life,

for all knowledge leads to you.

Let me be aware of your presence

in all things and at all times.

Encourage me when work is difficult

and when I am tempted to give up;

encourage me when my brain seems slow

and the way forward is difficult.

Grant me the grace to put my mind to use

exploring the world you have created,

confident that in you there a wisdom

that is real.

Amen.

Finally, I would like to post Psalm 23 (A Davidson Psalm of Hope and Praise, Direction and Protection):

Psalm 23
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

May God Bless you give you the knowledge, wisdom strength, guidance and direction in the days to come.

In Christ,

Trent

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