Bible Insights

Over the next couple months I will be reading through the Bible for a class in the School of Ministry. Like so many others, I have been overwhelmed by the depth of revelation about our God found in the Torah where we began reading. To remember some of the thoughts I have while reading, I have written them out and will continue posting them here until the outline of the Bible is complete.

Genesis

Genesis 2-4

  • Adam was cursed ‘because he had done this’ Eve was simply cursed. The curses happened in their physical bodies and in their relationship to the earth – these were the two things that had been violated.
  • Abel’s blood cried out and cain was cursed in relationship to the ground because he had spilled blood into it.
  • Cain went away from the presence of the Lord – which must have still been somewhere with Adam and Eve. As Lamech’s poem indicates, his offspring maintained a knowledge of God, but did not live in His presence.
  • Genesis 5- It was in the days of the third generation that people began to call on God. Enoch “Walked with God” God “walked in the garden.” A restoration of relationship.
  • Genesis 6:13 God was displeased with the violence on the earth. (violent – violate – abuse of purpose/relationship)
  • Genesis 8 The water came from the windows of heave, the fountains of the deep, and the rain from the heavens. These were closed and the water subsided when God caused a wind to blow. The sign that everything was new was a dove with a symbol of peace (Holy Spirit after baptism followed by worship and a promise
  • Genesis 9 God’s warning was to avoid the sin of Cain: shedding blood. The rainbow is a covenant with man and all creatures on the earth.
  • Genesis 11 One people with one language will find that nothing is impossible for them.
  • Genesis 12 “I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing.” Then Abram went to Egypt and God caused plagues to fall on Pharaogh.
  • Genesis 13 What kind of wealth in livestock is so vast that two herds cannot be supported in the same tract of land? :15, the gift of land was given forever.
  • Genesis 14 Abram ‘employed’ 318 trained soldiers. Sodom and Gomorrah were conquered ‘punished’ by other kings in the time of their wickedness. Abram saved them. Why was it OK for Abram to take wealth from Egypt, but not from Sodom?
  • Genesis 16 Hagar was Abram’s second wife. Hagar’s son will be against everyone and everyone will be against him.
  • Genesis 17 God had already promised to multiply Abram’s descendents, but here in verse 2, he warns Abram to walk before Him and be ‘blameless’ so that God could keep His word. The promise went through a transition for children to nations and kings. The everlasting covenant of verse 7 was to be the God of Abraham and his children for ever. What does the promise meant that he will be their God. What does it mean for me today having joined this promise through Jesus?
    • The promise concerning Ishmael was people – one great nation with many princes. The promise concerning Isaac was nations and kings.
    • :19 Abram had believed God’s promise earlier, now he laughed at the idea.
    • Ishmael received the sign of God’s covenant as well as all of Abram’s servants. It wasn’t just Isaac’s bloodline that became people of the covenant.
  • Genesis 18 Imagine a ninety-year-old woman denying her laughter to God’s face and getting told.
    • All the nations will be blessed in him. As his children keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. Walking in the way was essential to seeing God bring his promise to pass.
    • The Lord was going to see whether the cry against Sodom and Gomorrah was legitimate or not.
    • Abram’s last interaction with Sodom was rescuing lot, the treasures of the city and the people from captivity. God had saved the people and rewarded Abraham greatly for saving the wicked along with the righteous. Now, Abraham is wondering what God will do in this situation.

Exodus

The context of Exodus is a polytheistic culture. People may have remembered the promises of Abraham, but they did not know the God that made the promise. Thus, when God to Moses to go set his people free, Moses asked “Who shall I tell them sent me.” God only responded with “I AM.”

In the chapters following, God began to define this vague language by showing his power over all the gods of Egypt, over the nation of Egypt and then finally to His people. The reason they were to keep His commandments was because He had shown them Who He was and brought them out of slavery.

God wanted to have a relationship with His people, but they were too afraid to listen to His voice. Moses stood between God and the people multiple times to save them from God’s wrath. No one up to this point had heard the voice of God and still lived. Now, the people had heard, seen, and found themselves drawn out of Egypt and carried by a God who was fulfilling a promise he made hundreds of years before they were born.

When Moses received instructions for building the tabernacle, a man who was filled with wisdom carried them out. Wisdom is the ability to know what to do.

Numbers

  • 3 Instead of taking all the first born children, God took the tribe of Levi. The redemption was 1 for 1.
  • 12 When Aaron and Miriam recognized that Moses’ marriage should have disqualified him from leadership, God did not rationalize their challenge. He simply said “He knows me.”
  • 13 The people were supposed to find out what kind of land they would live in. They were to look at the houses, the land, and the trees. They returned with a report of the people who lived there
    • Why was the land blessed when the people in it were not?
  • 17 God was sick of hearing all the people grumbling, so He decided to make clear who he had chosen as the leader.
  • 21 :18 The people sang a song and the well of Beer gave water to the people when the princes and nobles dug with their staffs and scepters.
  • 22 Balaam had a relationship with God that demonstrated Abraham’s promise: those you bless are blessed and those you curse are cursed (verse 6).
    • :34 Balaam recognized that he had sinned because he was unable to see the angel of the Lord.
  • 31 Balaam was killed with the people of Midian. This was the people where Moses had lived for 40 years.

Deuteronomy

  • 3 Moses refused to take responsibility for his disobedience to God by hitting the rock instead of speaking to it. He blamed the people for his sin multiple times in this book.
  • 4 In the context of a polytheistic culture, God brought a people to know who He was. He chose them to be His and led them like his children. There is no other god in history that has done this. For this reason, they should keep his commandments.
    • All the peoples of the earth have been given the sun, the moon, and other gods to worship, but Israel was set apart by the work of God to be a special people.
  • 6:5 The greatest commandment is to love God.
    • The purpose of the commandments was “for our good (vs. 24)”
  • 7:3 Because you keep the covenant (because Jesus kept it), He will bless the fruit of your womb, and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your heards and the young of your flock…there shall not be barrenness among you or your livestock. And the lord will take away from you (15) ALL SICKNESS, and none of the evil deseases of Egypt which you knew, will He inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you.
  • 8 Invest in Israeli iron and copper mining companies. There is a lot there.
  • 9 Israel didn’t gain access to God’s promised land by following His laws. They gained access by reason of a promise to Abraham (perhaps the promise that God wouldn’t destroy a city so long as there were a couple of righteous people).
  • 10 The command to love God is new. Abraham feared, obeyed, and believed. Now God wanted his people to love.
  • 11:28 There were other gods – probably still are. Worshipping them is a sign of being rejected by God.
  • 13 God wants people to follow him, not the people who speak for him.
  • 14 :2 There are certain things the people of God do because they are set apart (not because it is wrong, but because they are special people).
    • :26 Tithes (Oxen, sheep, wine, strong drink “whatever your appetite craves” were used to celebrate God’s blessing in the presence of God.)
  • 15
    • :1 Seven Year Cycle of credit.
    • :4 There will be no poor among the people of God
    • :9 It is the cry from earth that brings God’s justice on the sinner.
  • 16 :21 God does not appreciate attempts to mimic pagan worship of their gods.
  • 17 “When you want a king like the nations around you…” God knew they would want a king.
    • :16,17  “…he must not…cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses.” Like Solomon did. “He shall not acquire many wives…lest his heart turn away.”
  • 18:22 True prophets always have their prophecies come true.
  • 20:18 Do not go to war with fearful people.
    • Some cities could be spared if the people would be servants. Others needed to be completely destroyed because of their corrupting influence.
  • 23:20 You may charge a foreigner interest, but not your brother. What does this mean for delayed payments from Christian customers?
  • 24:15 When someone cries against you to the Lord, you are guilty of sin. It is not the action, but the way lack of love oppresses someone that requires judgment.
  • 29 The younger generation renewed the covenant  of their parents with God in Moab before entering the promised land.
  • 30:6 The Lord makes it possible for his people to love Him by changing their hearts.
  • 31:7 Moses said to Joshua “Be strong and courageous.” The same thing the angle of the LORD greeted him with in Joshua 1
    • :16 God knew the people were going to break the covenant.
    • :27 Moses was a terrible encourager “You have been rebellious while I’m alive. After I go you will be even worse?” lol
  • 32 This song is a testament against Israel because it shows what God has done and how His people responded. It is a prophecy about their rebellion and God’s judgment. It explains why Israel’s history went the way that it did.
  • 33 Moses blessed the children of Israel house by house, just like Jacob their father.
  • 34 Joshua was filled with spirit of wisdom. Moses’ acts had terrified the people. Moses died at 120 but his body was still young.

Joshua

  • 2:11 Even the people of Canaan knew the character of God because of what He had done in Egypt.
  • 3:7 “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel…” God wanted people to know who the leader was the He had chosen.
  • 5:13 the Angel of the LORD met Joshua by the city of Jericho, not by the tent of meeting. Even during the time of the tabernacle, God did not limit himself to this place alone.
  • 6:27 The sign that God was with Joshua was his success at Jericho.
  • 7:1 The acts of one person can bring harm to the whole group.
    • 7:10 The underlying cause of defeat at Ai was sin. God did not want worship, he wanted the sin gone so that He could once again help His people.
  • 8:2 Joshua received his battle strategy for Ai from the Lord
    • 8:18 God spoke to Joshua in the middle of the battle about what to do.
    • 8:30-35 Joshua wrote a copy of the law. He acted by the law governing the kings of Israel.
  • 10:13 There is an ancient book called “Jashur”- perhaps that is the name of the “book of the wars of the lord”  referred to earlier in the Bible.
  • 14:15 “The land had rest from war.” It seems as though the land plays a significant role in the Bible. It wasn’t the people who had rest from war, but the land. Why is this phrase used multiple times?
  • 15 Caleb, the one who wholly followed the Lord, gave an inheritance to his daughter.
  • 18:1 The land lay subdued – Israel had fulfilled the commission of mankind. Was it not subdued by the people they drove out?
  • 23:6 Joshua came to understand God’s command to “be strong” as to hold fast to everything that God had said.
  • Joshua 24 – Joshua warned the people that they could not serve God, but when they chose to be the people of God by turning away form serving other gods, Joshua set up a stone to be witness of their choice. Because the stone had heard their commitment, it would judge them by their own words.

Judges

  • 2 Because Israel didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to drive out the nations while God was with them, God withdrew his hand and said the nations would become like thorns in the side of His people.
    • These nations would be the test of whether Israel would keep the covenant made and renewed with God.
  • 5 The greatest events in this period of history were led by one or two people who knew what God wanted. They made a way for everyone to take part in deliverance and turned the tides of oppression…”and the land had rest.”
  • 6 The people remembered a God who acted for them in the past, but who had now forgotten them. They didn’t think He had any power left. Sounds like the church today.
  • 7 God wanted to prove that He was still alive and powerful. He did thiss with Gideon and 300 men.
  • 8 Gideon said “the Lord will rule over you” He wanted them to serve God
  • 10 The leaders of Israel were those who delivered them from their enemies rather than those who led them into something new. This was a season of defense.
  • 11 God used an illegitimate child who led a band of “worthless men” to save Israel.
  • 12 Ephraim kept on getting mad that the other tribes didn’t ask for help fighting the enemies. Israel was not acitng like a nation, but like a scattered group of tribes.
  • 13 Samson’s parents were from a place called Zorah.
  • 15 God brought water from a rock when Samson asked for it.
  • 18 Zorah was occupied by the tribe of Dan. The sons of Moses served as priests for the people of Dan.
  • 20 Every time Israel asked who should lead the people in war, God chose the tribe of Judah.
  • 21 The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out because they refused to punish one man who had sinned. The people of Israel had mercy on the last 400 remaining men and gave them wives so that the tribe would continue. This is why King Saul claimed to be from the “least” of the tribes of Israel.

Ruth

  • 4 The elders of the land gave a blessing to Boaz that eventually became fulfilled in king David, who was the 10th Generation from Perez whose blessing was given by the elders to his great-grandfather Boaz.

1 Samuel

  • Unlike the judges, his rule was not one based on military conquest but on bringing the people to God. He was used to set up the kingdom of Israel and his life spanned the rule of Saul to the installment of King David.
  • David thought of himself as a song-writer and one who spoke for God to the people. He was a prophet and king, but not a priest.
  • 1 “There was a certain man” Thus opens the story of Israel’s kingdom. A man that no one would have suspected and whose only claim to fame is that he was himself became father the first leader of Israel to take up the role of Joshua and Moses. His faithfulness to God created the context in which his wife Hannah received a blessing from the Lord and gave birth to the boy Samuel. Was Samuel a descendent of Levi? He took over the place of Eli who was high priest.
  • 2 Hannah’s prayer was one of victory over her rival wife. To me it seems a petty thing, but her words proved to be prophetic as she declared strength to the king that God had anointed.
  • 3 The word of the Lord was rare in those days.
    • :7 Samuel didn’t know the Lord even though he served in His temple.
    • :21 in the place that Samuel began to listen, the Lord began to reveal Himself again.
  • 4:18 Eli was a judge of Israel for 40 years. Samuel was a prophet. The season of judges ended at the return of the prophet.
  • 5 The ark seemed to be able to defend itself. The glory of God cannot be handled by those that God does not choose. What brought joy to Israel brought affliction to the Philistines.
  • 6 God honored the divinations of the Philistine magicians.
  • 7 Why did Israel lament after the Lord while the ark of the Covenan was with them in Abinadab’s house? Was it because it wasn’t in the temple?
    • :17 Samuel built an altar near his house. There and in a circuit around Israel, he judged the people.
  • 8:5 the people requested a king to judge them.
    • Even though God had spoken of Israel requesting a king, their action in doing so was a rejection of God as king.
  • 9:17 The king would “restrain” the people of God.
  • 10:7 Samuel’s anointing was accompanied by prophecy. When this was fulfilled it was up to Saul to do what he would find to do.
    • :26 Some men of Valor with Saul because God had touched their hearts.
  • 11 Victory was followed by a renewal of the covenant.
  • 13 Saul lost the kingdom by offering a sacrifice to seek God’s favor. He acted out of fear.]
  • 14 Saul was ready to kill Jonathan because God wouldn’t answer him. It is not clear whether Jonathan was the reason God wouldn’t speak or whether it was because of something Saul did. Saul did not empower the people by making them fast during the battle, so the victory was not so great.
  • 16 God did not give Samuel complete instructions until he had taken the first step.
    • :13-14 There was a difference between THE spirit of the Lord and A spirit from the Lord.
  • 17:15 David commuted between his job as a shepherd and his job as Saul’s armor bearer.
  • 18 Killing the giant opened the way for David to lead other men into battle. He was successful in whatever he did. Because of David’s success, Saul became afraid of him.
  • 21:5-6 David and the men who were with him always kept themselves and their vessels holy during an expedition.
    • :11 When the sword of Goliath was bestowed by the priest to David, it was a blessing.
  • 22 When David had fled from Saul, all those enduring hardship gathered to him.
    • :3 David entrusted his parents’ safety to the king of Moab while he waited to see what God would do for him.
  • 23 When Saul was about to capture David, God turned him away by sending the Philistines into Israel.
  • 24 David’s men advised him that the opportunity to kill Saul was a fulfillment of God’s promise. In the ensuing argument, David convinced his men to honor th one the Lord had set up.
  • 25 David’s men had swords even though most of Israel did not. He was creative in warfare. Nabal’s sin was not a lack of generosity, but of returning evil for good. David’s men had taken care of Nabal’s sheep (investments) and Nabal was not willing to share the profits (food).
  • 26 When David spared Saul, he received a blessing of success from the king.
  • 27 David lied to Achish on a regular basis saying that he had attacked Israel when he was really destroying the Canaanites as God had said to do.
  • 28 The Lord would not speak to Saul by dreams, by the priests, or by the prophets
    • :15 Samuel was not happy about coming up from wherever he was after he died. The Necromancers are allowed some kind of power.
  • 29 David went to war against Israel with Achish but was sent away by the Philistine lords before battle.
  • 30 The people following David wanted to stone him because the Amalakites had burned their city and stolen all their possessions. There was no way to know that nobody had been killed. David’s response was to ask God what to do.
    • :14 David had spent time living in the land of Caleb.
    • :26 David used the spoil of war to make friends for himself of all the cities where his men had roamed.

 

2 Samuel

  • 1:18 There is a book called “Jashar”
  • 2 David was constantly asking God for advice on what he should do next. This did not lead to perfect results. Even though Judah accepted him as king, Israel followed one of Saul’s sons.
    • :13 and later in the chapter shows that Joab and Abner – the two military generals seemd to have a mutual relationship of respect. Abner didn’t want to kill Joab’s brother.
  • 3 David had at least 7 wives by this time.
    • :26 Joab did not have a right to kill Abner in vengeance of blood for the death of his brother in battle. For this reason, the murder of Abner brought a curse on the house of Zeruiah.
    • :35 David mourned Abner’s death dramatically and would not even touch food. This response showed that he had trusted Abner and won the people of Israel over to his side. David was a shrewd politician.
  • 4 Abner’s death brought an end to the courage of Israel.
  • 5 The elders of Israel remembered that David had formerly been their general. David’s treatment of Saul and Abner made it easy for them to accept him as their king.
    • :12 David knew that God had established him when the King of Tyre extended diplomatic relationships.
    • God showed David how he was to fight with the Philistines. It was different both times he asked.
  • 6:14 David wore the garments of a priest when he brought the ark to Jerusalem.
  • 7 Nathan the prophet spoke truth when he told David to build a house for God, but then God showed him that it was not to be David that built the house.
    • :18 David sat before the LORD (sitting is symbolic of David’s relationship in the same way that one would usually only kneel or stand before a King)
    • David’s response to the word of the prophet was to ask God to confirm what he had said. David had not expected to have his lineage lead Israel until God made the promise to establish his son.
  • 8:18 David’s sons were priests. What? He wasn’t of the Levitical heritage was he? Yet, various passage allude to David offering sacrifices and in chapter 6 he wore the priestly garment.
  • 10:12 Joab’s battle speech “Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.”
  • 11 It is a rare ocurrance for a woman like Bathsheba who had just ended her menstrual cycle to become pregnant like she did. It was also unlawful for David to sleep with her while she was still purifying herself.
  • 12 God was not pleased with David’s actions. It wasn’t the adultery that Nathan the prophet talked about though. It was taking the one wife from a good man when David already had many wives.
    • :25 The Lord loved David’s second child from Bathsheba and had the prophet Nathan talk with David who called Solomon Jedidiah (the Lord loved him). This is why David would declare Solomon king – because the Lord loved him. The kingship was not granted by birthright, but by status with the Lord (as was showed with Saul and David).
    • :31 David enslaved a whole people group to work in brick kilns just like Israel had been slaves in Egypt.
  • 13 Amnon’s violation of Tamar was not an issue of sex, but of marriage. They could have been married with David’s permission, and after they slept together, the law dictated that Amnono must marry her. Thus, the violation was one of context.
  • 14 David only partially restored his relationship with Absalom.
  • 15 For some reason, David didn’t ask God what to do when Absalom rebelled. He left the ark behind and seemed to think that he deserved the misery that was coming upon him.
  • 16:23 Ahithophel gave counsel that was like asking God what to do.
  • 17 Various people from the surrounding nations helped David as he ran.
  • 19 There was rivalry between Judah and Israel over who would reinstate king David.
  • 20 There is a proverb about how wisdom will save a city. It comes from the woman in this chapter who used her wisdom to persuade the city to kill the traitor Sheba.
  • 21 David’s relationship with God was not very strong at this time. It took three years of famine before he asked God what the problem was.
    • The reason for the famine was a breach of covenant with the people of Gibeon that the house of king Saul had made.
  • 22:36 “your gentleness has made me great…”
    • David in this chapter praised God for the things that God has done. We know God by the way He shapes our lives. We can learn of him through the stories of others but we know him in our own story of life.
  • 23 When a king rules justly, he incurs the favor of the lord upon all the people.
  • 24 When David decided to disobey God he brought a curse upon the people. By the end of David’s reign there were over 1 million soldiers in the army.
    • :14 David chose wisely. God in his mercy only spent one of the three appointed days destroying the people.

 

1 Kings

  • 1 Another one of David’s sons decides to set himself up as king. Adonijah did not recognize the tradition where God sets up kings. Why did Joab the protector of David, and the priest Abiathar go with him?
    • The prophet Nathan and David’s wife Bathsheba continued to honor king David even though he was old and unable to keep himself warm.
    • It was not the anointing of Solomon, but the fear that came on Adonijah’s group that stopped his quest for the throne.
  • 2 David warned Solomon to follow God with all his heart so that God could keep his promise of prosperity and longevity.
    • :9 why did David have his son kill certain people  in revenge?
    • :27 Abiathar the priest was the last of the sons of Eli to serve in the priesthood.
    • :31 Joab had to die because he killed innocent people and this brought a guilt upon the house of David who employed him.
  • 3 People sacrificed to the Lord in the high places around the country even though the tabernacle was in Jerusalem. After God appeared to Solomon, Solomon sacrified at the ark of the covenant in Jerusalem.
  • 4 Under Solomon’s rule “the people ate, drank, and were happy.”
    • :30 The people of the east (China?) the people of Egypt, and all the wise men of the day bowed to eh wisdom of Solomon. He was a song-writer like his father producing 1005 works. Some of his most famous wisdom was an understanding of nature.
  • 5 Around 200,000 Israelites were directly involved with the manufacturing of the temple.
  • 6 480 years after Israel left Egypt, Solomon began to build the house of the Lord.
  • 7 Solomon spent 13 years building the house he lived in.
    • :13 A widow’s son named Hiram was full of wisdom and understanding and skill in Bronze. He made many new things for the house of God that had not been described to Moses.
  • 8 : 28 Though God cannot be contained by the heavens, his eyes will be open to his house on earth day and night.
    • :41 Solomon expected foreigners to hear of the God of Israel and come from far away to pray toward the house of God.
    • :50 Solomon understood the heart of the Lord for forgiveness and dedicated the temple as a place of restoration when people would turn their hearts to seek God.
  • 9 The promise of David’s lineage was made in reference to Solomon – the son that the Lord loved.
    • :12 Solomon gave 12 cities from Galilee to Hiram the king of Tyre, but the king didn’t like them.
  • 10 Solomon turned Israel into a center of international trade.
  • 11 Because Solomon built temples for the gods of his wives, the Lord raised  adversaries against him and established another man as king over Israel.
    • :38 Jereboam received the same promise as God gave to David if he would walk with him. However, the love of God for David caused him to fulfill his promise about David’s son, Solomon of an everlasting line of kings.
  • 12: 24 Rehoboam was ready to fight to get the kingdom back, but the word of God came to a prophet saying that everyone needed to go home instead of war. They listened.
  • 13 Jereboam created statues that people would travel from all the country to see and he ordained priests who were not Levites. These two things: confining the worship of God to a place, and calling things holy that were not became a sin to his house.
  • 14 The generation after Solomon lost all the treasures that had marked the season of Israel’s greatness because they guild high places and began to worship other gods. Israel had served God under Samuel, David, and Solomon. Now, they began a season of turning away.
  • 15:5 David’s sin was with Uriah, not Bathsheba. God’s covenant with David protected his offspring.
    • All of Jeroboam’s line was cut off and the leadership of Israel was taken by the tribe of Issachar.
  • 16 The Prophet Jehu foretold the destruction of Baasha’s royal line.
    • :29 Ahab was worse than the kings before him in the way that he built a temple to the god Baal and fully adopted the practices of the Canaanites that God had wiped out.
  • 17 Ahab worshipped the gods of the Sidonians and God sent His prophet Elijah to live in the land of Sidon during the drought.
    • :24 It wasn’t the miracle of the flour and oil, but the raising of the widow’s son that brought belief in Elijah’s identity as a man of God.
  • 18:21 The people of Israel were not fully serving Baal, but they were not serving God either. Elijah’s test on the mountain would help them decide one way or the other.
    • :41 Elijah knew that the rain was coming, so he told Ahab to get ready. Then he went and prayed for rain to come.
  • 19 After his victory, Elijah went looking for God.
  • 20 The Lord delivered the Syrians and their alliance of 32 Kings to destruction by Ahab. Why? If God hated Ahab’s worship of idols, why did he still help him destroy the Syrian army twice? It is because the Syrians had challenged the God of Israel. If they had challenged Israel alone, they would hav probably won.
  • 21 Ahab believed God’s word and repented of his evil. Thus he delayed the promised destruction of God.
  • 22 Jehoshaphat walked in the ways of God, but his ventures were not successful.

2 Kings

  • 2 There was always some kind of interaction with God taking place at Bethel. In this chapter it is where the sons of the prophets lived.
    • :14 Elisha parted the Jordan River. This showed that he served the same God as Moses, Joshua, and Elijah.
    • :19 the land was unfruitful until Elijah added salt to the water.
  • 3:14 God would not have spoken through his prophet to the kings of Israel and Edom if the king of Judah had not been suffering their fate.
  • 4 The Spirit of Elijah was found in a double portion with Elisha. This  second prophet brought wealth to the poor widow, a son to the childless, and life to the dead child.  He also multiplied food (vs. 43).
  • 5 Naaman, the Syrian general began to worship God after he was healed of Leprosy by the prophet.
  • 6 Elisha was able to see into heaven and also to know what happened on earth for the benefit of those around him. He was so useful to the king of Israel that the Syrians went to capture him because he was like a spy. However, he captured the army, treated them well and brought an end to all raids.
  • 7 Elisha suffered under the famine during the siege of Samaria
  • 8:12 Elisha was able to see the terrible things that would come in the future when he looked into the face of the person who would do them.
  • 9 Elijah was supposed to anoint Hazel for Damascus and Jehu for Samaria, but he only anointed Elisha. Elisha anointed Hazael, but had one of his servants anoint Jehu king over Israel.
    • :21 Ahab’s grandson died on the property of Naboth.
  • 10 Jehu did part of what God wanted. He got rid of the sin of Ahab, but still kept the sin of Jeroboam. Thus, his line only survived for four generations.
  • 11 The priest reinstated a covenant with God through his support of the young king, Joash. At the same time that Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel, Jehoida destroyed Baal from Judah.
  • 14 Jonah the prophet foretold a restoration of Israel’s borders. God did this through king Jeroboam because there was no one else to help his people.
  • 15 Unlike most kings who saw destruction under their rule, King Jotham added a gate to the house of God.
  • 16 King Ahaz gave away the Bronze Oxen that held up the sea by the temple in his desperate bid to escape from the king of Assyria. He also removed the Bronze altar that Solomon had made and added a replica of something he had seen in Damascus.
  • 17 Only the tribe of Judah was left of all Israel because the people had broken their covenant with God, had become like the nations around them, and had followed the sin of Jeroboam.
    • :24 The people that the Assyrians resettled in Israel didn’t know how to please God, so they were destroyed by lions. In response the Babylonian king sent one of the Israelite priests to teach the people how to fear God. The people then followed God’s laws, but they also served their own gods as well.
  • 18 The Lord was with Hezekiah. Wherever he went, he prospered.
    • :2 For many of the kings, it was their relationship with their mother that determined the condition of their relationship with God. I think this may be why the mothers are mentioned in the case of kings who feared God.
    • :13 little by little the gold that Solomon had used to decorate the temple was stripped away and given to foreign kings to prevent war.
    • :33 the Assyrian general issued a challenge to God –oops.
  • 19 It seems like the kings were not able to hear God speak after the days of Solomon. Even Hezekiah sent for the prophet Isaiah to know what God was going to do.
  • 20 Time went backward as a sign to Hezekiah that he would recover.
    • :20 Hezekiah created a water system in Jerusalem.
  • 22 Josiah the king rebuilt the house of God even though he didn’t know the law of God. Somehow, there was a disconnect with the heritage of the nation.
    • :14 Huldah the prophetess spoke words of hope to Josiah, but prophesied the destruction of the city
    • Josiah undid the work of Solomon’s Asherah temple, and also the sin of Jeroboam’s golden calves.
    • :21 Josiah was the first king of Israel or Judah to celebrate the Passover since the days of the judges.
    • :25 There was no king before (not even David) who turned his heart to the Lord with all his heart, soul, and might to keep the Law of Moses.
    • :26 His righteousness could not turn away God’s wrath from the city.
  • 24:5 Judah was destroyed because of the sins of Mannassah who had done worse than the Canaanites before Israel.
  • 25:13 The last of the sacred things that Solomon had dedicated were carried off to Babylon along with all the people. Those who remained were challenged to serve the Babylonian king, take care of the vineyards and fields.

 

 

1 Chronicles

  • 1:15 One of David’s good friends, Hushai was an Arkite – one of Canaan’s cursed descendents.
    • :29 Ishmael had 12 sons like Jacob would.
    • :32 Sheba was one of Abraham’s grandsons. Perhaps he started the land of Sheba where the queen came from to see Solomon.
    • :43 Esau became a nation before Jacob.
  • 2:16 Joab, the general was known by the name of his mother, Zeruiah, a sister of king David.
    • :50 Bethlehem and Ephratha were sons of Caleb (maybe the famous one?)
  • 3 Unlike Israel which was ruled by multiple dynasties, Juday had one line that continued straight through from David and did not end during the captivity, but maintained leadership upon the return from Babylon.
  • 4:9 Jabez received a name “born in pain” and asked God to keep this from becoming a reality in his life.
  • 5:2 The birthright of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, went to Joseph even though Judah distinguished himself.
  • 6 The fate of the priests was recorded with that of the kings of Judah.
    • :28 Samuel’s father Elkanah was a Levite making Samuel eligible to be a priest and a prophet.
    • :32 The Levites ministered in the service of song where they had once been carriers of the tabernacle.
    • :55 Hebron, David’s first capital was a city of the levites.
  • 7 Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim. His family settled in Bethel
  • 9 Judah (David), Benjamin (Saul), Ephraim and Mannassah (Birthright) were first of the exiles to return to Jerusalem.
    • :33 The singers had no duty besides worship.
  • 10:14 Saul did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore, the Lord put him to death.
  • 11: Joab won his title as general by leading the capture of Jerusalem from the Jebusites.
  • 12 David’s mighty men joined him while he was in exile and were honored when he became king.
    • :18 the Spirit of God clothed one of the mighty men so that he answered wisely.
  • 15 the second time, David and all the people went to retrieve the ark, the followed the rules.
  • 16 This would be a really cool worship song.
  • 17 God promised to establish the throne of one of David’s offspring.
  • 19 It seems like this promise inspired David to go to war and subdue the nations around Israel.
  • 21 Satan incited David to sin and bring pestilence on all of Israel.
  • 22 David chose the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite as the building site for the temple. It was the place where he offered sacrifice and the angel of God stopped the plague. Without this event, the temple would have probably been built at the high place in Gibeon.
  • 23:27 One of David’s last word was to reassign the Levites to caring for the house of God along with the priests.
  • 24 David arranged the administrative functions of the priests
  • 25:3 The singers prophesied through music. The 14 sons and 3 daughters of Heman were taught music by their father and worshipped with him.
  • 28:9 “If you seek him, the Lord will be found by you”
    • :19 In the same way that Moses received instructions for the Tabernacle, it appears that God gave David the instructions for building the House.
  • 29:8 The people gave freely of gold and precious things for building the house of God and were glad.
    • :22 They people ate and drank before the Lord with gladness!
    • :22 Solomon was made king twice.
    • :29 Samuel, Nathan, Gad, and the Kings, all kept their Chronicles of events. We have some of them in the Bible.

 

2 Chronicles

  • 1:3 the Tabernacle from the desert was in Gibeon, but the ark was in a tent David had made in Jerusalem.
  • 2:18 solomon used all the non-Israelite people to work in the quarries and transport the building materials to the temple site. More foreigners worked on the temple than Jewish descendents.
  • 3:12 the Cherubim were huge. I don’t think we have the same concept of Cherubim as they did back then.
  • 5 the glory of the Lord followed the united singing of the people and the levites.
  • 6:41 “And now arise, O Lord God, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priest s O lord God, be lothed with salvation, and let your saints rejoice in your goodness. O Lord God, do not turn way the face fo your anointed one. Remember your steadfast love for David your servant.
  • 7 When the Glory of the Lord came and consumed the sacrifice, the people all fell to ghe ground giving thanks for the goodness of God.
    • The Lord heard the prayer of Solomon and answered with a promise to hear the people who honored his presence in the place. He also gave a warning that to walk away would bring consequences.
  • 8:11 Solomon wouldn’t let his Egyptian wife live in the city of David because the city was Holy and he knew she was not.
  • 9:14 there were explorers, merchants, builders, musicians, etc… bringing wealth and glory to Israel.
    • :29 even more books were written  by Nathan the prophtet, Ahijah, the Shilonite, and Iddo the seer.
  • 11:17 All the priests were kicked out of Israel by Jeroboam. These and lal the people that feared God came to Jerusalem in Judah and walked in the way of David and Solomon for 3 years.
  • 12:1 When Rehoboam had acted wisely to establish himself he abandoned the law of the LORD.
    • :14 he did evil because he didn’t set his heart to seek the Lord
  • 13 Abijah looked to God for victory over Israel and his army destroyed half a million of their enemies because they looked to God.
  • 14 Asa the son of Abijah eliminated idol worship on recommendation of Azariah the son of Oded (a prophet) and had rest from enemies. His army even defeated 1 million Ethiopians.
  • 15 People deserted Israel to king Asa of Judah because they saw that God was with him.
  • 16:9 The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. Asa should have prayed about the military problem like he did the first two times. Because he trusted a foreign king for help, he was going to have wars.
  • 17:9 King Jehoshaphat had his officials travel round the empire with levites teaching the people from the book of the Law
  • 18 Jehoshaphat tried to make peace with Israel through a marriage alliance.

 

 

 

Ezra

  • 1 Cyrus said he was commissioned by the Lord to build a temple.
  • The children of Asaph received an inheritance of being known as the singers. Same as the porters.
  • The ordinance of David was reinstated with the temple consecration.
  • The Samaritans wrote to the Persian king saying that he would lose revenue from the Jews. They used as their argument, the history of the Jewish people. If I as a Christian look to my past to see who I am, I will not receive an accurate picture.

 

Nehemiah

  • Why didn’t Nehemiah tell anyone why he had come? If he showed up with captains from Persia, everyone would have listened. Perhaps the mystery attracted the interest and attention of the people.
  • What the Priests built was sanctified.
  • The people had a mind to work. This was what made the progress go quickly.
  • The leaders provided protection for the people who worked and showed them how to defend themselves
  • In the days of Ezra and Nehemiah the Elders and the Priests ruled the people. Then God raised up certain people to complete special projects.
  • Nehemiah was perceptive that the prophet asking him to enter the temple was not sent from God.
  • Days that are holy to the Lord are days for feasting and drinking and giving gifts.
  • The people entered a curse and a promise that they would be the people of God.
    • This curse is the one that was taken by Jesus. He took the consequences of our breaking man’s part of the covenant and made it possible for the relationship to exist by keeping the covenant. Now we are no longer under a curse, but under grace.
  • Nehemiah ends his book with a list of things he had done that he wanted God to remember. Do I have a list like that?