- How did God open David's eyes to his sin through Nathan's word's? Are you prepared for Him similarly to open your eyes?
- What may we learn from chapter 12 about (a) repentance, (b) forgiveness, and (c) discipline? Cf. Ps. 32:3-5; Heb. 12:6, 11.
- 13:1-37. What lessons emerge from a comparison of Amnon's sin with David's? (What was wrong with the way in which Amnon was treated by () David, and (b) Absalom?
31 August, 2016
Study 8 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 12:1 – 13:37
30 August, 2016
Study 7 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 10 and 11
- Why is Hanun's treatment of David's envoys inexcusable?
- Joab shows up in a better light here. What does this add to what we already know of his character?
- At what stage in his career did David fall? Where should he have been at the time? How did the temptation grow? Was he able to keep his sin secret? Do your answers to these questions, and your reading of the passage, suggest any general lessons about sin?
29 August, 2016
Study 6 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 8 and 9
- Use a map to follow the path of David's victories. Whatreasons does the writer emphasize for David's success?
- How does David's treatment of the spoils of war differ from the way in which the dealt with the gods of the Philistines captured in battle ( 1 Ch. 14: 8-12)? Is there a reason for this? Cf. Dt. 7:5.
- Do you see any parallel between David's treatment of Mepibosheth and God's acceptance of us?
28 August, 2016
Study 5 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 7
- David is eager to build a house for God—God's reply is to make a 'house' for David. List what He has already done, and what He promises for the future.
- It has been said that what a man is on his knees before God, that he really is. What does David's prayer reveal (a) about himself, (b) about his relation to God?
27 August, 2016
Study 4 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 5:17 – 6:23
- Why was it David won these two battles with the Philistines?
- Why did Uzzah die? Cf. 1 Sa. 6:19; Nu. 4:15; 1 Ch. 15:15. What was God teaching through this incident?
- What was the real reason for Michal's contempt for David, and what her pretended reason? Why was it David's behaved as he did on this occasion? Can I learn anything from his exuberance 'before the Lord'?
26 August, 2016
Study 3 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 4:1-5:16
- In what respects was the crime of Rechab and Baanah worse than that of the Amalekite?
- David waited for seven years for the decision at the beginning of chapter 5. Why did the Israelites now choose him as king? Cf. Dt. 17:15
- How did David succeed in taking the stronghold of Zion, and why?
25 August, 2016
Study 2 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 2 and 3
- Compare David's actions as a public figure (2:4-7; 3:20, 21, 28-39) with the trouble he was building up in his family life (3:2-5, 13, 14). Am I in any respect guilty of double standards in my own life?
- Make a character study of the figures of Abner and Joab from these chapters. Note the relationship of Joab and his brothers to David (Zeruiah was the daughter of David's mother by her first marriage), and David's words in 3:39.
24 August, 2016
Study 1 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 1
The introduction of the book of Samuel was already given to you few weeks back when we started with 1 Samuel. - If you are interested in reading the introduction of the books of Samuel 1 and 2, please clickhere.
- The Amalekite thought he was bringing David good news (cf. 2 Sa. 4:10), but he had mistaken his man. Why did David have him killed?
- What light does this episode, and the lament for Saul and Jonathan (verses 19-27), throw on David's character? Bearing in mind the faults of the king to whom David was loyal, are there any lessons here for me?
23 August, 2016
Study 42 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 51
This was meant to be a short stop in the book of Psalms. So, we will stop here today and delve into the book of 2 Samuel tomorrow, then we will again make a short stop in the book of Psalms, starting with Psalm 52.
Note the occasion of the psalm, as given in the title,
- What may we learn about confession and the grounds of forgiveness from verses 1-5? Note (a) the terms which David uses to describe himself and his wrongdoing, and (b) where his hope lies.
- David realizes that his whole nature is sinful, and that God requires sincerity and integrity in the innermost part of his being (verse 6; cf. 1 Sa. 16:7). What, therefore, (in verses 7-12) does he ask for in addition to forgiveness? Also what does he promise shall be the outcome of God's answer to his prayer? See verses 13-17
Note. Verse 4. This does not mean that David had not also done wrong against man (note in verse 14 his confession of 'bloodguiltiness'), but that he now saw his wrongdoing in this one outstanding aspect of it, as being sin against God. Cf. Gn. 39: 9; 2 Sa. 12:13.
22 August, 2016
Study 41 From the Book of Psalm is: Psalm 50
A picture of God's judgment of His people. There are four sections: (a) Introduction (verses 1-6); (b) God speaks to His people (verses 7-15); (c) God speaks to the wicked (verses 16-21); (d) Epilogue (verses 22, 23).
1. What can you discover of God's character in His capacity as Judge in verses 1-6? What further truth about Him is emphasized in verses 7-13?
2. What does God require of His people if they are to please Him, and what benefits does He promise to them? See verses 14, 15, 23. In what ways do the wicked displease God, and what is their end compared to those who fulfill His requirements?
21 August, 2016
Study 40 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 49
An inspired meditation, addressed to all men, on the vanity of riches. It anticipates our Lord's teaching in Lk. 12:13 – 21.
- How do men in general regard wealth? See verses 6, 13, 18. But what are the facts? What can wealth not do (verses 7-9)? And what is the end of the rich man (verses 10-14, 17-20)?
- Why is it better to trust in God than in riches? See verses 14, 15. And what is the psalmist's counsel to himself and to us? See verses 5 and 16.
Note. Verses 7 and 9 should be read together, verse 8 being parenthetical. With verse 7 cf. Ex. 21:30. There were cases where, in human relationships, life could be redeemed with money; but it is not so when God summons, the soul.
20 August, 2016
Study 39 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 46-48
These psalms are a trilogy of praise in memory of a great deliverance, most probably that of Jerusalem from the king of Assyria. They should be read in the light of 2 Ki. 18 and 19.
- Gather out what is said about God in these psalms: His power, His character, His relation to the world, and His relation to His own people.
- What is the leading thought of each of the three psalms? What should be the response of God's people to such a manifestation of His power and love?
- 46:5. 'Right early':better, 'When the morning dawns', i.e., the morning of deliverance. Cf. Mk. 6:48, 51.
- 47:2 and 48:2. 'The great King': i.e., the true great king in contrast to the Assyrian monarch, who bore this title. Cf. Is. 36:4.
- 47:9. 'Shields': meaning 'rulers'. Cf. Ps. 89; 18. The verse is prophetic of Christ's final victory. Cf. 1 Cor. 15:24, 25; Rev. 15:3,4.
19 August, 2016
Study 38 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 45
A marriage song of a king. If the king be a type of Christ (see Heb. 1:8, 9), the bribe may symbolize the church.
- What features in Christ's character are here portrayed?
- How can we apply to ourselves the counsel given to the bride concerning the winning of the King's favour?
18 August, 2016
Study 37 From the Book of Psalms : Psalm 44
A national appeal to God in a time of great suffering.
- What does the psalmist say about (a) God's dealings in the past on behalf of His people, and (b) His relationship with them? See verses 1-8. In spite of past happenings, what seems to be the situation at the present time? See verses 9:22.
- What can we learn form this psalm as to what we should do when it seems as if God has deserted us? Cf. Is. 50:10;Lk. 18:1.
17 August, 2016
Study 36 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 42 and 43
These two psalms were probably originally one. Notice the trice-repeated refrain (42:5, 11; 43:5).
- What phrase does the psalmist repeat four times in these two psalms to describe his spiritual conditions? What were the chief causes of his sorrow, and what his chief desire?
- What can we learn from the psalmist's example as to how to deal with depression in our lives?
16 August, 2016
Study 21 From the Book of Job is: Revision of the book of Job: Job 1-42
With this lesson, we end the book of Job. Tomorrow we will go back to the book of Psalms and will be studying Psalms 42 to 51.
Re-read your notes on the main teaching of the book of Job. What have you learnt about (a) the origin and purpose of suffering, or so-called 'evil' (42:11); (b) the way to bear it; and (c) the way to help others to bear it?.
15 August, 2016
Study 20 From the Book of Job is: Job 42:7-17. The Epilogue
- Job's friends would certainly have agreed with all that God said to Job. Yet God is angry with them. “You have not”, He says 'spoken of me what is right'(verse 7). Why was this so? Was it their haste in condemning Job, their doctrinal prejudice, their lack of sympathy, or what was it?
- Job had quarreled with God, doubted His justice, insisted on his own innocence, wanted to end his life. Yet God said he had spoken 'what is right''. Why?
14 August, 2016
Study 19 From the Book of Job is: Job 40:6 – 42:6. The Lord's second speech andJob's reply
- God brings before Job two powerful wild creatures—the hippopotamus (40:15-24) and the crocodile (41:1-34). What does God intend that Job should learn from these animals? What questions does He ask Job?
- Job has been given no explanation of his sufferings. What brought him to the deep humbling and self-abasement described in 42:1-6?
Note. 'The point in these descriptions is the prodigality of Created Might' (H.R. Minn).
13 August, 2016
Study 18 From the Book of Job is: Job 38:1 – 40:5. The first speech of the Lord andJob's reply
The speeches of the Lord and Job's Replies (38:1 – 42:6)
- Consider the examples of God's handiwork here depicted. What relation had this to Job's condition and perplexity? What response ought this to produce in us? Cf. Pss. 97:1-6, 12: 104: 1, 24.
- Job had pleaded for an interview with God in which his innocence could be established. See 13:3; 23:3, 4; 31:37. God proves his littleness. Why do you think Job is answered like this? What does Job confess in his reply?
- 38:2. This means: 'You are obscuring the truth by speaking without thinking.'
- 38:4ff. The reader should take good note of the bold, magnificent images employed here. The world is like a building erected by one man (verse 4). The sea's birth was like a child's issuing from the womb (verse 8). Dawn shakes the earth like an open-air sleeper rising and shaking out of his blanket the creatures which came in for warmth (verses 12, 13). 'God is now speaking to deeper need, to the hidden fear, hardly realized by Job and certainly unconfessed, that there might be somewhere where the writ of God did not run, where god was not all-sovereign' (H.L. Ellison).
- 40:2. This means: Can you prove yourself right only by proving me wrong?
12 August, 2016
Study 17 From the Book of Job is: Job 36 and 37. Elihu's last speech
- What does Elihu here assert concerning (a) the character of God's rule, and (b) the evidences of His greatness? To what conclusion about his trouble does he seek to lead Job?
- Of what is Elihu profoundly aware concerning (a) the character and the ways of God, and (b) his own attempts to describe them? Cf. Rom 11:33-36.
Note 37:20. Elihu expresses dread at the thought of contending with God.
11 August, 2016
Study 16 From the Book of Job is: Job 34 and 35. Elihu's second speech
- According to Elihu Job says (a) that God is wronging him (34:5, 6) and (b) that there is no profit to be gained from delighting in God and doing His will (34:9; 35:3). How does Elihu answer these contentions? What precious truths about God does he declare?
- 'In the setting of the book of Job it is not a question whether Elihu is right or not—obviously he is right, at least in large measure—but whether he contributes anything to the solution of Job's “Why” Obviously he does not' (H. L. Ellison). Do you agree with this judgment? Why did a man who knew so much fail to be helpful? Of what danger should this make us aware?
- 34:13-15. The thought here seems to be that God as Creator has no motive for injustice; and that the existence and preservation of the universe in an evidence of God's interest in His creatures.
- 34:23-30. There is no need for God to act as men do by process of trial and judgment. God knows all and acts at once.
- 35:10. God is the only source of all true comfort. Cf. Ps. 42:8; 2 Cor. 1:3-4.
10 August, 2016
Study 15 From the Book of Job is: Job 32 and 33. The introduction and first speech ofElihu
The Speeches of Elihu (32-37)
Elihu is a young man who has overheard the friends and Job speaking. Both sides anger him, and he wants to put things right. His main beliefs are these:God is incapable of making a mistake; pain is a divine deterrent aimed at keeping men from sin.
- What made Elihu angry? On what grounds does he claim a right to speak? What do you think of the way he begins his speech?
- Job had said that God treated him unjustly (33:8-11), and that He made matters worse by refusing to talk to him (33:13). What replies does Elihu give to Job about this? See verses 12, 14-33. In what ways does he say God speaks? And for what purpose?
09 August, 2016
Study 14 From the Book of Job is: Job 30 and 31. Job's final speech (c0ntinued)
- Chapter 30. Contrast Job's present condition with his previous prosperity surveyed in chapter 29. In what different ways in Job now beset by misery and distress? What is his chief reason for perplexity and complaint?
- Chapter 31. Of what sins, secret and public, does Job here declare himself innocent? Make a list and use it for self-examination. In contrast to the judgment of his friends, what is Job here seeking to prove about his present condition?
08 August, 2016
Study 13 From the Book of Job is: Job 28 and 29. The search for wisdom: Job's finalspeech
- Chapter 28. What is here expressed concerning (a) human skill, and (b) human inability? What are (a) the source, and (b) the essence of true wisdom? Cf. 1:1; 2:3; Ps. 34:11-14.
- Chapter 29. What may we learn from Job's description of his manner of life before tragedy overwhelmed him? What most stands out in his memory? What then grave enrichment and direction to his daily living?
- Chapter 28 reads like an independent insertion—a poem in praise of wisdom. The 'wisdom' meant is not simply mental ability, but understanding of the right way to act in the face of life's mystery. Supremely, as known only to God, it means the master plan behind the created order. The New Testament declares that this wisdom is found and expressed in Christ. Cf. 1 Cor.1:30; Col. 2:23.
- Job's speech in chapter 29-31 is best understood as a concluding monologue, summing up the whole situation.
07 August, 2016
Study 12 From the Book of Job is: Job 25-27. Bildad's third speech and Job's reply
1. How do Bildad and Job speak of (a) God's holiness, and (b) His omnipotence?
- The knowledge of God's power does not help Job now. To what does he cling (27:1-6)? Was he right in this?
- Does 27:7-22 add any fresh ideas about the wicked?
Note. 27:7-22. Some part of the otherwise lost third speech of Zophar is possibly here. The thought echoes 20: 12ff.
06 August, 2016
Study 11 From the Book of Job is: Job 22-24. Eliphaz' third speech and Job's reply
THE THIRD CYCLE OF SPEECHES (22-31)
Only Eliphaz speaks at length to Job in this third cycle. Zophat says nothing (see, however, the Note on 27:7-22). The friends' case against Job is already leaking badly. Eliphaz sinks it by shouting false charges at Job, which Job later (31) refutes. Job ends by repeating his innocence, and his perplexity.
- Chapter 22. Of what does Eliphaz accuse Job (verse 6-9)? List God's blessings on the humble (verses 21-30). Why does Eliphaz' list of blessing (verse 3) make so little impression on Job?
- Chapter 23. Job earnestly desires to find God (verse 3). How is he now thinking of God? See verses 5, 6, 10, 13, 16. Is it a Friend or a Foe?
- Chapter 24. What anomalies does Job see in society around him? Compare what 'you' say (verses 18-20) with what Job says. Does this chapter teach us anything about how to make observation on life?
Note. 22:2-4. Eliphaz' argument is that God's treatment of man is not with a view to any gain or advantage to Himself but for man's sake. Since we cannot suppose that He punishes them for their piety (verse 4), it must be because of their sin.
05 August, 2016
Study 10 From the Book of Job is: Job 20 and 21. Zophar's second speech and Job'sreply
- Place Zophar's views of the state of the wicked in this world alongside Job's. Cf. 20:6-28 with 21:6-26. At what points do they (a) agree, and (b) disagree?
- In this second cycle Job's friends, gaining no victory, utter threats. Is defeated conservatism bound to take refuge in acid prediction of gloom? Had Job something to teach them if only they were willing to learn?
- 20:5. Cf. Pss. 37 and 73 on the sudden end of bad men.
- 20:7. 'Dead men are dead'. Job's hopes about another life receive short measure from Zophar.
- 20:17. 'The rivers': i.e., of paradise.
- 21:34. Job means that they have not troubled to check their thesis against life itself. So they are dealing in lies.
Concluding note to the section chapter 15:21. Job's friends have nothing new to say: but Job has. He is stumbling towards the truth that death itself will provide a way out of his impasse, when a shadowy but friendly Redeemer will acquit him.
04 August, 2016
Study 9 From the Book of Job is: Job 18 and 19. Bildad's second speech and Job'sreply
- In 18 the sequence of events which happen to the wicked and the ungodly.
- In 19 Job says he feels imprisoned and alone. List the metaphors under which he pictures his solitary confinement. How does he picture his release? To what grand assurance does his faith triumphantly rise?
- 18:2. 'How long before you make a capture of mere words'? i.e, before you stop mouthing empty ideas. 'Consider' i.e., say something worth saying, and our answer will be weighty.
- 18:4. The world's natural laws will not be altered to suit Job.
- 19:25-27. Even if Job had no hope of vindication in this life he believed that God must vindicate him and that, after death, he would see God and find God on his side. Cf. Rom. 8:33-39.
- 19:28b. 'The real cause of the trouble is himself' possibly expresses the sense intended.
- 19:29. 'Trouble will come to them if they go on rejecting his cries for pity' is what Job here means.
03 August, 2016
Study 8 From the Book of Job is: Job 15-17. Eliphaz' second speech and Job's reply
- Read chapter 15 and compare its tone and approach with Eliphaz' first speech in chapters 4 and 5. Note the emphasis on human depravity. How should Eliphaz have dealt with a younger man who would not agree with him? Why was he so sure he was right? To whose shortcomings was he blind?
- 16 and 17. Even in the depths, Job finds some particles of hope. What form do these take?
- 15:4. Eliphaz accuses Job of being an enemy of true religion and godliness because he denies the traditional orthodoxy.
- 17:11b. A reference to the earlier speeches of Job's friends.
- 15:18-19. Eliphaz claims that his doctrine is ancient and pure, untainted by foreign heresies.
- 16:2. Ronald Knox renders this: 'Old tales and cold comfort; you are all alike.'
- 16:19, 21. A further reference to the mediator.
- 17:16b. Taken as a statement, not a question, this indicates a sudden further advance in Job's hopes.
02 August, 2016
Study 7 From the Book of Job is: Job 13 and 14. Job speaks again
For convenience the first cycle has been considered as ending at 14. It could equally finish at 12, with 13 and 14 beginning the fresh round of opposing speeches.
- What is Job's chief accusation against his friends? What two demands does he now make to God?
- In the long dirge on man's uncertainties in chapter 14 there is one small but significant gleam of hope. What is it? Compare and contrast the Christian's view of this hope with Job's. (Note, however, that in chapter 18 Job relapses into a deeper pessimism still.)
THE SECOND SPEECH CYCLE OF SPEECHES (15-21)
Unable to persuade Job that he is wrong, his friends now use blunter accusation and scarcely-veiled threats. They dwell on the fate of the wicked. Job, by this time very upset, sinks into repeated moanings about his troubles. Then, quite suddenly, at the deepest point of misery he revives a little (16:19; 19:25 and in 21 attacks this antique idea of his friends that 'It's always the bad who get the pain' and accuses them of preaching a dogma denied by life. Their observations are inaccurate.
01 August, 2016
Study 6 From the Book of Job is: Job 11 and 12. Zophar's first speech and Job's reply
1. Observe (a) the sharp rebuke in 11:6; (b) the steps to repentance in 11:13, 14; (c) the picture of blessing in 11:15-19. Why do you think Zophar failed to help Job?
2. Eliphaz spoke of visions, and research, Bildad of the wisdom of the ancients. To what authority does Zophar appeal to support his conviction that sin and suffering are inevitably linked?
- Zophar and Job each speak of divine wisdom. Compare the various examples of it which they cite.
Note. 12:5-12. Perhaps Job is ironically quoting Zophar's view back at him. Job's point is that these platitudes are irrelevant to his situation. He does not deny them.