- Try to form a mental picture of 'the house of the Lord'. What was its length, its breadth, its height? What the size of the porch, and what of the most holy place, here called 'the inner sanctuary or the 'oracle'? Notice, too, the side room, arranged in three storeys round the sides and back of the house. These would take away from the narrow appearance of the building, and provide space for storage, etc. It may help you to draw a sketch, keeping to scale (a cubit was about eighteen inches). Draw in also the five buildings in the outer court (7:1-12).
- Of what material were the walls made, with what were they lined on the inner side, and how adorned? Observe also the care expended upon the design and workmanship of the two sets of doors. What may we learn from these things? Cf. 1 Ch. 22:5, 14-16; 1 Cor. 3:12-15Note. 7:2. 'The House of the Forest of Lebanon': so called because of the number of pillars made from the cedars of Lebanon. It was a Hall of Assembly.
30 September, 2016
Study 5 From the Book of 1 Kings is: 1 Kings 6:1 – 7:12
29 September, 2016
Study 4 From the Book of 1 Kings is: 1 Kings 5
- To what great task did Solomon first set his hand, and what motives moved him to undertake it? Are we as ready to speak to a non-Christian friend of the goodness of God and of our desire to serve Him, as Solomon was to speak to Hiram?
- What may we learn from the fact that even in the arrangements which Solomon made with Hiram for materials and skilled labour, he acted according to the wisdom given him by God? Cf. Eph. 5:15-17; Jas. 1:5; 3:17.
28 September, 2016
Study 3 From the Book of 1 Kings: 1 Kings 3 and 4
- Solomon's request was pleasing to God (3:10), but was it the highest gift he could have asked? Cf. Ex. 33:13; Phil. 3:8, 10. What do you put first in prayer? What do we learn of God's dealings with man from the way in which He answered Solomon's request?
- What good things are said about Solomon in these two chapters, and what benefits did his rule bring to his people? What, according to the writer, was the deepest ground of his prosperity?
Note. 4: 4b. This was true only at the very beginning of Solomon's reign See 2:35
27 September, 2016
Study 2 From the Book of 1 Kings is: 1 Kings 2
- Enumerate the points David made in his final advice to his son Solomon.
- How and why were Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei put to death? Solomon's own reaction was to let bygones be bygones, but David counseled against this, and Solomon acted accordingly. What do you think was David's motive in giving the counsel he did? What lessons may we learn from Adonijah's life story?
26 September, 2016
Study 1 From the Book of 1 Kings: 1 Kings 1
- Get hold of the story. Who supported Adonijah, and who supported Solomon, and by what means was Adonijah's attempt to seize the throne frustrated? What may we learn about the character of each men?
- This is the last mention of Nathan in Scripture. In his actions here and also in 2 Sa. 7 and 12 how does he exemplify by his faithful and disinterested conduct our duty as servants of God?
- Verse 5. Adonijah, as David's eldest surviving son (see 2 Sa. 3:4), had a claim to recognition (1 Ki. 2:15). At the same time this might be overruled by the king (verses 20 and 27).
- Verses 52, 53. Solomon spares Adonijah on certain conditions, but commands him to withdraw from public affairs.
25 September, 2016
Study 0 From the Book of 1 Kings: Is the Introduction of the book
1 and 2 Kings form a single unit, the present somewhat arbitrary division having originated in the Vulgate. They give an account and complete history of the kings and the kingdoms ('of the kingdoms' is the probable literal rendering of the titles). The account bears marks of being the work of a single author using as his sources various documents (see 1 Ki. 11: 41; 14:19, 29; 15:7, etc.) including prophetic memoirs. It is important to remember that the whole is written from the religious and prophetic point of view, not from that of the secular historian. As the New Bible Commentary remarks: 'This is the explanation why certain of the kings who were most important for their contemporaries, e.g., Omri (1 Ki. xvi. 23-28), Azariah or Uzziah (2 Ki. xv. 1-7). Jeroboam II (2 Ki. Xiv 23-29), are passed over in virtual silence. It is spiritual, not political lessons, that we are to learn. That is why the two periods of crisis, the reigns of Ahab for the North and of Hezekiah for the south, are given at special length.'
Expressed concisely, the theme of the book is that of Israel as the redeemed people of Jehovah, bearing His Name, and the kings as His representatives. Thus a wicked king is a paradox, as well as historically evil, and a good king by righteous acts is setting forth the rule of God. The sin of the people inevitably leads to the captivities, and throughout, political incidents are shown to be the effect of the fidelity or or idolatry of the people. One proof of this is that prophetic activity is prominent in the reigns of wicked kings.
24 September, 2016
Study 56 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 72
With this lesson we will take a break for a little while from the book of Psalms. Tomorrow we will start with the book 1 Kings
This is a prophetic psalm, in which Christ is typified by Solomon, whose name means 'peace'.
- What are the two outstanding personal characteristics of Christ as King, as seen in this psalm? See verses, 1, 2 and 12-14; and cf. Ps. 116:5. What does the psalm say will be (a) the results of His rule (verses 3-7, 12-14, 16, 17), (b) the existent of His rule (verses 8-11)?
- Does not this psalm give a perfect picture of that happy earth which men are vainly trying to bring into being by their own wisdom and work? But, according to Scripture, who alone can bring it to pass, and to whom therefore should men look for its accomplishment? See verses 1, 17-19; and cf. Acts 4:12; Eph. 1:3.Notes1. Verse 8. 'The river' is the Euphrates2. Verses 18, 19. This doxology is not part of the original psalm, but is added as he close of Book 2
23 September, 2016
Study 55 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 70 and 71
The psalms are both reminiscent of other psalms. Ps. 70 is taken bodily from Ps. 40. Ps. 71:1-3 is taken from Ps. 31: 1-3; and the rest of Ps. 71 is largely made up of fragments also found in other psalms.
- What does the psalmist expect God to be to him, and to do for him, and what will such things make him do? Do you make similar confessions to God when you pray?
- Observe the triple movement in Ps. 71: (a), Faith, praying, rises to hope and praise (verse 1-8); (b) faith, under a renewed sense of urgent need, falls back into prayer, and again rises to hope and praise (verse 9-16); (c) faith, for the third time driven to prayer, rises quickly to assurance, praise and witness, and there abides (verses 20-22, 24). What does this teach us concerning continuance in prayer?
22 September, 2016
Study 54 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 69
This psalm is notable, first because the New Testament quotes from it several times, and second, because amidst prayers of humble supplication, the psalmist suddenly breaks into cries of passionate imprecation (verses 22 – 28)
- What is the cause of the psalmist's troubles? What is the chief concern of his prayer, and what does he expect will happen in the end?
- What features in the psalmist's sufferings most closely prefigure those of our Lord, helping us to understand how deeply He tasted of human woe? Cf. Heb. 4:15. Verses 20, 21 take us specially to Gethsemane and the cross; but at the point of deepest suffering where the psalmist breaks out in imprecatory prayer, what did our Lord pray? See Lk. 23:34.
- In what respects do verses 22-28 foreshadow the judgment that has fallen upon the Jewish people? Cf. Verses 22, 23 with Mt. 13: 14; Rom. 11:9, 10 and verse 25 with Mt. 23:38.
21 September, 2016
Study 53 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 68:19-35
1. Verses 19-27. How is the blessedness of God's people described? In your own experience do you know God as He is here set forth? What may we also learn from these verses concerning the character and place of public worship?
2. Verses 28-35. What God has done (verses 7:18) and is doing (verse 19-27) is but the prelude to greater triumphs. What vision does the psalmist see of a world-wide homage paid to God, and how is this confirmed by other scriptures?
Note. Verse 30. “the beasts that dwell among the reeds' represent Egypt; and the 'bulls' followed by their 'calves, other kings and their peoples.
20 September, 2016
Study 52 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 68:1-18
This Psalm describes the onward march of God through history to His final triumph. The threefold reference to the sanctuary in verses 17:24, 35 suggests that, like Ps. 24, it was written to celebrate the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem. See 2 Sa. 6:15, 17, 18.
- What effect does the appearing of God have on (a) His enemies (verses 1, 2), (b) the righteous (verses 3, 4), and (c) those in need (verses 5, 6)?
- In the historical retrospect of verses 7:18, what aspects of God's character are revealed?
- Verse 7. Cf. Jdg. 5:4, 5
- Verses 13b, 14. The meaning is uncertain. Verse 13b may mention an item of spoil: see verse 12 and cf. Jdg. 5:30. Or it may describe a symbol like the golden wings of the cherubim (see Ex 20-22)--of a theophany. Verse 14 may be a picture of the kings and their armies fleeing as snow-flakes driven before a storm.
- Verses 17, 18. God enters Zion with His heavenly hosts. Cf. Eph. 4:8; Ps. 24:7-10
19 September, 2016
Study 51 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 66 and 67
Ps. 66 is a summons to the nations to join in praise to God for a great deliverance which He has wrought for His people, such as the deliverance of Jerusalem from Sennacherib. If this was the occasion, the speaker in verses 13:20 may well be King Hezekiah himself, speaking as the representative of the nation. Ps. 67 may belong to the same time. See Is. 37
- Ps. 66. Note in detail what God is here said to do with an for His people. What response ought this to move me to make? What is the condition of sharing in such an experience?
- Ps. 67. Do we share the longing of the psalmist that all nations might knows God and His salvation? By what means did he think it would be achieved? Cf. Mt.5:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:9, 10.
18 September, 2016
Study 50 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 64 and 65
Ps. 64, like 58 and 59, has for its theme the certainty of God's judgment upon the wicked. Ps. 65 on the other hand, is a psalm of praise to God, as the God of the whole earth, the only Saviour from sin, and the Giver of fruitful harvest.
1. Ps. How are the psalmist's enemies described (verse 1-6? What are the purpose and result of God's judgment? What truths should we take to heart, and act on when in similar circumstances?
2. Ps. 65. In verse 1, the psalmist says that praise is due to God. In the remaining verse, what can you find which moves you to praise God for all He is, and has done? Are the experiences mentioned in verse 3 and 4 known to you?
17 September, 2016
Study 49 From the Book of Psalm is: Psalm 63
The title of the psalm assigns it to the time when David was crossing the wilderness of Judah, i.e., from Jerusalem to Jordan, in his flight from Absalom, as described in 2 Sa. 16. The psalm begins in a mournful way, but suddenly, at verse 2, the note changes, and the psalm becomes one of the joyous praise. The most satisfactory explanation of the change, and of David's words 'So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary', is that there, in the wilderness, David was given a vision of Jehovah as vivid and glorious as ever he had seen Him in the sanctuary, and it transformed for him the whole outlook.
- Consider how full of sorrow David's heart, must have been at leaving Jerusalem, and especially the sanctuary of God. See verse 1, and cf. 2 Sa. 15:24-30. Though he seemed outwardly to have lost everything, in what was he still able to rejoice?
- In what assurance about the future was David able to rest? Have you any similar confidence?
16 September, 2016
Study 48 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 61 and 62
Ps. 61-63 form another trilogy, like 46-48. They were all most probably written shortly after David's flight from Absalom (see 63 title) and should be read against the background of the story of 2 Sa. 15-17.
- Ps. 61. Consider David's circumstances –a fugitive, his throne occupied by another, his life sought. What were his hearts' chief desires as expressed in his prayers(verses 1-4)? Observe also his confident hope, and his whole-hearted devotion (verses 5-8). Is he not in this a 'type of our Lord?
- Ps. 62. How did David's situation appear in the eyes of his enemies (verse 3), and how to the eyes of faith (verses 6, 7)? Out of the fullness of his own joyous confidence in God, what message was David able to give his followers (verses 8-12)? Have you also found that faith leads to testimony?Note. 62:11, 12. 'Once .... Twice': a Hebrew idiom for 'repeatedly', here signifying that the truth David sets forth in these verses had sunk deep into his heart.
15 September, 2016
Study 47 From the Book of Psalm is: Psalm 60
For the occasion of this psalm see the title and 2 Sa. 8:13, 14. The circumstances are not wholly clear. It would seem that while David was engaged in a campaign against Syria (Aaram), the Edomites invaded Judah from the south, creating a situation of grave danger. The psalm was written when David firs heard the news.
1. Note the content of David's prayer. What does he do first (verses 1-5), second (verses 6-8), third (verses 9-12)?
2. What may we learn from David's example concerning the way (a) to meet bad tidings and (b) to find help in God?
1. Verse 6. Shechem west of the Jordan, Succoth east of it, thus representing the whole land.
2. Verse 8. ' Upon Edom': better, 'to Edom'. Moab and Edom were to have a menial place in God's household, as compared with Israel.
14 September, 2016
Study 46 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 58 and 59
- Ps. 58. When earthly rulers pervert justice and 'deal out violence', what can the righteous do? What will prove to them that “there is a God who judges on earth'? Notice the vivid imagery in verses 6-9.
- Ps. 59. Make a list of the different ways in which David here addresses God. How are the truths of the previous psalm here applied more personally to the psalmist's own circumstances? Can you make some similar personal application?
13 September, 2016
Study 45 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 56-57
These two psalms are closely connected and, according to their titles, should be read against the background of 1 Sa. 21:10-22:1.
- In these two psalms how does David (a) describe the trials by which he is surrounded, and (b) express his confidence in God?
- What does David confess that God has done, and can do, for him and in what ways does he say that he will show his gratitude? How far can you make some of the words of these psalms your own?Note. Ps. 56:8. Cf. Mt. 10:30.
12 September, 2016
Study 44 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 55
- Of the two ways of meeting trouble mentioned in verses 6, 7 and 22 respectively, which is the better? What other verses show that the psalmist is turning to God for help, rather than seeking to escape from the scene of his distress?
- What was the bitterest element in the psalmist's grief? See verses 12-14, 21 and cf. 2 Sa. 15:31; Jn. 13:21. Observe, however the difference between David's cry in verse 15, and our Lord's word concerning Judas (Mk. 14:21).Notes1. Verses 9-11. Violence, strife, iniquity, mischief, wickedness, oppression, fraud, seem to be personified as walking on the walls and in the streets of the city.2. Verse 22. 'Your burden': the Hebrew word translated 'burden' means literally 'what he has given you'. The thought seems to be, 'Take back to God, and cast upon Him the burden He has laid upon you, and He will sustain you under it. For He has given it to you to bring you to Himself. 'Cf. Ps. 107:23-30
11 September, 2016
Study 43 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 52-54
Of these three psalms the second (Ps. 53) is a duplicate (with slight variations of Ps. 14. For the occasion of Pss. 52 and 54 see their titles and cf. 1 Sa. 22:9; 23:19.
- 52:1-7; 53:1-5. How is the godless man described? In what does he put his trust, and what is his end? In what does the godly man put his trust, and what is the result for him? See 52:8, 9; 53:6.
- What may we learn from Ps. 54 of (a) the severity of faith's trial; (b) the ground of faith's confidence; (c) faith's assurance of triumph?
10 September, 2016
Study 18 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 24
This lesson brings us to the end of the book of 2 Samuel. Tomorrow, we will dive into a brief excursion in the book of Psalms once again.
1. (a) Compare the length of time taken by Joab to count, and by the angel to slay the Israelites. (b) Compare the atonement required by God for David's adultery ( 2 Sa. 12:15, 18) with that exacted here. What sin on David's part is being dealt with? What two lessons are taught about it? Cf. Pr. 16:5.
2. Where was Araunah's threshing-floor? See Note on verse 16. What outstanding event had happened there previously? See Gn. 22:2. What was the site eventually used for?
3. Is there a lesson for us in David's declaration of verse 24?
Note. Verse 16. We learn from 2 Ch. 3:1 that Araunah's threshing-floor was on Mount Moriah which became the site of the Temple.
09 September, 2016
Study 17 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 23
- Compare verses 3 and 4 with verse 5. What apparent conflict is there between the two reasons given by David for his happiness and prosperity? Is this conflict real? Cf. Phil. 2:12, 13.
- What light is cast on verses 6 and 7 by David's advice to Solomon in 1 Ki. 2:5, 6? Cf. 1 Ki. 2:31-33.
- Consider what David's followers were willing to do for their king; and at what stage in his career (verse 13.) What lessons are there here for a Christian?
08 September, 2016
Study 16 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 22
See Psalm 18 for questions already set on this Psalm.
- Are there any passages in this psalm which we could not echo as Christians?
- Does the Psalm bring to mind any particular incidents recorded in 2 Samuel?
07 September, 2016
Study 15 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 21
Why was Saul's attempt to exterminate the Gibeonites wrong? How was David careful not to make the same mistake? Do we stand by our word? Cf. Ps. 15:4c.
- There was a law that those who were hanged were to be buried the same day. What was the reason for this law? Cf. Dt. 21:23. How does it explain the exception that is made here?
- What significance is there in the fact that giants troubled David right to the end of his life?
Note. Verse 19. Cf. 1 Ch. 20:5 which seems to have preserved more accurately the original text.
06 September, 2016
Study 14 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 19:40 – 20:26
1. Analyze the quarrel between Israel and Judah: (a) its cause; (b) the arguments used; (c) the spirit in which it was conducted; (d) its tragic outcome.
- How was the threatened disaster averted? What part was played respectively by David, by Joab, and by the wise woman in the town of Abel?
- What considerations aggravate Joab's sin in murdering Amasa? Cf. 2 Sa. 17:25; 19:13. Cf. 2 Sa. 17:25; 19:13.
05 September, 2016
Study 13 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 19:9-39
- Why did David not make an immediate re-entry into the capital? How does his attitude contrast with that of Saul and other leaders in the same mould? See 1 Sam. 8:10-18.
- What qualities in David stand out in his treatment of (a) Shimei, (b) Mephbosheth, and (c) Barzillai? What can be learnt from the attitude of each of these men to David'?
Note. Verse 11. The fact that Absalom's rebellion centered in Hebron (15:7-12) shows how deeply the tribe of Judah was implicated in it.
04 September, 2016
Study 12 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 18: 1-19:8
1. What is good and what is bad about David's concern for Absalom?
2. Consider Joab's conduct throughout this passage, separating the good and the bad points.
03 September, 2016
Study 11 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 16:15 – 17:29
- What are the reasons for Ahitophel's first piece of advice to Absalom? What do you think would have been David's first thought (cf. 12:11, 12)? Is this the key to David's rather defeatist attitude?
- 17:1-14. Was Ahitophel's counsel good? If so, why was it that Husbai's advice won the day?
- How was David rewarded for his previous generosity? Notice who Shobi was (See 2 Sa. 10:2).
02 September, 2016
Study 10 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 15:1 – 16:14
1. How was it that Absalom's 'stole the hearts of the men of Israel'? What do you make of David's reactions here?
- Contrast the behaviour of Absalom with that of Ittai and Hushai.
- Consider how the rebellion shows certain men in their true colour (16-1-14). Again note David's reactions.
01 September, 2016
Study 9 From the Book of 2 Samuel is: 2 Samuel 13:38 – 14:33
- What is laudable in the actions here recorded of (a) Joab and (b) David, and what gives rise to misgivings?
- How does David's predicament illustrate the situation confronting God with the human race How is the gospel 'solution' at once more far-reaching and more satisfactory than the expedient adopted by David?
- Study Absalom's character and list his faults.
Note. 14:7. Those who demanded the murderer's death had justification according to the law (see Dt. 19:11-13). The woman based her plea on her own great need.