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Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:12
Themes of Old Testament Books—Law or Torah
- Genesis: Beginnings
- Exodus: Redemption
- Leviticus: Reconciliation
- Numbers: Divine Discipline
- Deuteronomy: Choose Life
Themes of Old Testament Books—History
- Joshua: Holy War
- Judges: Syncretism, Oppression, and Grace
- Ruth: Grace Kinsman-Redeemer
- 1 Samuel: God’s King
- 2 Samuel: Kingdom of Israel
- 1 Kings: Civil War
- 2 Kings: Apostasy and Exile
- 1 Chronicles: Religious Continuity
- 2 Chronicles: Religious Continuity and the Temple
Joshua Bible Briefing
Sunday, August 3, October 12, and 19, 2003
Joshua Theme: Holy War
- The Lord, using Joshua as his leader, is fulfilling his land promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by settling Israel in her promised land through Holy War. But, Israel would only gain complete possession, blessing, and rest in the land through believing God and obeying God (Joshua 1.1-4, 13; 2.9; 7.1-12; 23.1; 21.44; 24.11-14; Hebrews 4.8).
Joshua Key Verses
- Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
- Joshua 24:15 “And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
- Israel Crosses into Canaan, 1-5
- Military Conquest in the Central, South, and North, 6-12
- Joshua distributes the land, 12-22
- Joshua challenges Israel, 23-24
Lessons For Us Today
- Faith in God and his Word produces spiritual rest (Hebrews 4.1-11; Philippians 4.6-7).
- Spiritual courage is thinking and acting God’s way because of what we believe—faith in action (John 16.33; Acts 23.11; 2 Corinthians 5.8).
- Leadership requires authority orientation, humility, knowledge, faith, moral courage, spiritual courage, organization, sacrifice, and loyalty to God (Joshua 1, Philippians 2.17-30; 2 Timothy 2.1-10).
- Military service is honorable, and Holy War (War and God) is sometimes needed to gain or protect what is right (Acts 23.11-35; Romans 13.3-4; 1 Corinthians 9.7 2 Timothy 2.4).
- Mankind and especially believers are privileged and responsible to make right freewill choices (Genesis 2.16-17; Joshua 24.15; Isaiah 1.16-20; Acts 17.30; Romans 14.5-6).
- Jesus Christ ought, in practice, to be each believer’s Lord or captain—Lordship Christian Life (1 Peter 3.15).
Sunday, October 26, and November 2, 2003
Theme: Syncretism, Oppression, and Grace
- Disobedience to God’s word brings chaos. This chaos begins with spiritual syncretism (combine teachings, beliefs, and practices) and then outright idolatry which results in personal and national testing, failure, disaster, and oppression. Even under such conditions, if God’s people ask for him to deliver them, he will graciously do so through Spirit-guided and Spirit-empowered leaders.
Judges Key Verses
- Judges 2:20 So the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and has not listened to My voice, 21 I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,
- Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges: Overview Outline
- Canaanites are left in the land, 1-2
- Cycles (pagan influenceà religious syncretismà oppressionà God delivers) and Judges, 3-16
- Flashback: Apostasy and fratricide, 17-21
Lessons For Us Today
- Learn the word of God, and become convinced of the word of God, and obey or apply the word of God (Romans 6.6, 11, 13; James 1.21-27).
- Spiritual syncretism will damage one’s faith and life (Hebrews 6; Ephesians 4.17-20; Galatians 4.9-31; 1 Corinthians 10.14-22).
- It begins with a naïve acceptance that maybe a non-biblical belief system may be good.
- Or, it begins by outright rejection of God’s word.
- Good spiritual leadership is necessary for spiritual health, growth, and service (Acts 20.28-32; 1 Thessalonians 2.1-12; 2 Timothy 2).
- Restoration to fellowship with God begins with confession of know sin (1 John 1.9).
Sunday, November 9 and 16, 2002
Theme: Grace Kinsman-Redeemer
- Ruth trusted God during undeserved suffering to provide His best for her. God blessed Ruth’s faithfulness to Him and to Naomi by guiding her to Boaz’ field where she gathered grain and met Boaz’, who soon redeemed her by marriage. God further blessed Ruth by placing her in the lineage of the Messiah.
Ruth Key Verses
- Ruth 2:12 “May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”
- Ruth 3:11 “Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.”
- Bethlehem to Moab and Back, 1
- Boaz and Ruth, 2-4
Lessons For Us Today
- God’s grace overcomes our past and our heritage to bless faithful believers (Philippians 3).
- Christ’s redemption of mankind is illustrated by Boaz redemption of Ruth (Galatians 3.13; Ephesians 1.7; 1 Timothy 2.4-6; Titus 2.14; 1 Peter 1.18).
- God will provide His best for the believer trusting Him when facing undeserved suffering (Romans 8.28-32; 1 Peter 5.6-11; Philippians 4.19). How do we face undeserved suffering?
- Elimelech: by escaping or running to details of life?
- Naomi: by existing or resentfully putting up with it?
- Ruth: by enlisting the suffering for blessing and applying our spiritual resources to gain God’s good?
Lessons for Us Today, 1 Peter 5:6-11
- Mental attitude humility (Humble yourselves, authority and grace orientation).
- Faith in the Father’s person and work (casting).
- Faith application of word of God (sober and alert) Undeserved suffering and testing (adversary’s attacks (resist him).
- The Father builds us into mature believers able to enjoy His blessings (perfect, confirm, strengthen, establish).
1 Samuel Briefing
Sunday, November 30, December 7, and December 14, 2003
1 Samuel Theme: God’s King
- Despite the fact that God allows Israel, by her free will and rejection of Him and his prophets, to prematurely choose a king, He, in His grace, accomplishes his plan to seat His chosen king over Israel.
Key Verse, 1 Samuel 13:14
- 1 Samuel 13:14 “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
1 Samuel Overview Outline
- Samuel’s ministry, 1-8
- Saul, Israel’s first king, 9-15
- David, God’s king in waiting, 16-20
- Saul pursues David, 21-31
Lessons For Us Today
- God’s plan for Israel will be accomplished. Israel has a promised wonderful future.
- The church does not replace Israel. The church has its own unique position and purpose in God’s plan. We in the church are part of God’s universal kingdom. He is our king by right of creation and union with Christ.
- The day to day Christian life battle is the Lord’s battle. He works in us and through us.
- In distinction from OT Israel, the Holy Spirit lives in every church age believer. Furthermore, God commands us to be filled with and to walk by means of the Holy Spirit.
- God wants consistent Christian living based upon His word, His Spirit, and faith, not emotional highs and lows. He desires reality over ritual, substance over symbolism.
2 Samuel Briefing
Sunday, December 28, 2003, and January 4, 2004
2 Samuel Theme: Kingdom of Israel
- Despite the fact that Israel had always been a rebellious and complaining people, God kept the Abrahamic Covenant and established His theocracy through the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—The Kingdom of Israel—through His chosen King, David, with its spiritual center in Jerusalem. In keeping with His grace and promises, and knowing that David would publicly sin many times, God promised David that his dynasty would last forever.
- 2 Samuel 7:12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.
- 2 Samuel 7:13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
2 Samuel Overview Outline
- David gains political, spiritual, and military victories, 1-10.
- David sins, confesses, is forgiven and disciplined, 11-12.
- David experiences revolution, bloodshed, sorrow, and return, 13-20.
- David reestablishes his authority, 21-24.
Lessons For Us Today
- My “heart” attitude is most important. Do I want to do God’s will? Am I sensitive to His word and his leading? Do I continue to focus my life on the Lord and His will. To do otherwise, makes me vulnerable to sin, failure, discipline, heartache, and ridicule.
- When I sin, I need to confess that sin and continue to live the Christian life. Even if the sin has consequences, God will use that to work His will and blessing.
- Sin does not stop God from using me. When I sin, even what people call “big sins,” am I willing to accept God’s grace and continue to serve him in the job he has given me. Guilt over past sins is a rejection of God’s grace and a distraction to living the Christian life. Nourished guilt is actually a form of pride.
- Take responsibility for whatever leadership God has given me. Do the best job I can do.
1 Kings Briefing
Sunday, January 25 and February 1 and 8, 2004
Theme of 1 Kings: Civil War
- God’s people, Israel led by their kings and prophets, followed either the path of faith and obedience to the Lord or unbelief and rebellion against Him. The period of the kings beginning with Solomon played out, through apostasy and civil war, what God said through Moses: “I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity….So choose life.” With the exception of a few kings and prophets, Israel chose death and adversity.
- 1 Kings 9:4, “As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances,
- 1 Kings 9:5, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
- 1 Kings 11.11, So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.
1 Kings Overview Outline
- Solomon and his great kingdom, 1-11
- The divided Kingdom—idolatry, chaos, bloodshed, 12-22
Lessons For Us Today
- We need to get the biblical worldview and make it our own. Our worldview determines how we think and what we think, our purpose, and how we spend our time. Our worldview tells us what we value or what is important to us, and what we believe and what we do not believe. The biblical worldview comes from the Bible (2 Corinthians 10.3-6; Hebrews 5.11-14).
- We need to make good decisions, one after another, to prevent self induced disasters and to prepare us for severe tests that come along. When disaster strikes due to things that we can control, we are ready for God to use us and bless us. And remember, self induced disasters usually do not happen from one bad decisions, but from a series of bad attitudes and choices. Solomon and the kings of Israel and Judah teach us this (1 Kings 22.25-35; Matthew 6.24; James 4.13-17; Philippians 4.5-9) .
- Details of life include many things. Keep a proper perspective about them. Do not allow them to control your life. Solomon did and it just about destroyed him. They will not bring lasting happiness nor will they solve the big questions in life. Ecclesiastes teaches this (Ecclesiastes 8.11; 1 John 2.15-17; Matthew 6.29, 31-34; Philippians 4.11-13).
2 Kings Bible Briefing
Apostasy and Exile
Sunday, February 15, 22, and 29, 2004
Theme of 2 Kings: Apostasy and Exile
- Israel and Judah’s unbelieving and rebellious spiritual life brought on the tragic moral, political, economic, social, and further spiritual collapse of God’s people. The apostasy, idolatry, warfare, intrigue, and eventual exile of both Israel and Judah happened because the kings and people continually refused to listen to and obey God’s word through His prophets. Yet, two kings, Hezekiah and Josiah were faithful to the Lord, Who through them protected and blessed Judah.
- 2 Kings 17:22 The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them 23, until the Lord removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.
- 2 Kings 23:27 The Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from My sight, as I have removed Israel. And I will cast off Jerusalem, this city which I have chosen, and the temple of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’ ”
Overview Outline of 2 Kings
- Apostasy and wars lead to Assyria exiling the Northern Kingdom (2 Kings 1-17).
- Apostasy and wars lead to Babylon destroying the temple, Jerusalem, and exiling the Southern Kingdom (2 Kings 18-25).
Lessons For Us Today
- Protection from apostasy begins with one’s faith response to God and His word. The kings, priests, and people of the divided kingdom rejected God and His word. Jude addressed this under eight principles.
- All lasting solutions to national problems (political, economic, social, security, religious) begin with the right spiritual solutions which come from God and revealed in His word.
- Spiritual and national and leaders determine the kind of life and length of life of a People. We ought to pray for both.
- The people and ideas that we spend our time and energy with will eventually influence and control us—for good or for bad.
- Just as the prophets taught God’s word to the people for their blessing, so today pastors and teachers, teachers, and evangelists teach God’s word to people for blessing. Take advantage of our local church’s ministry, by listening, learning, participating, and serving. This is where we get primary spiritual preparation.
Religious or Spiritual Continuity
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Theme of 1 Chronicles: Religious or Spiritual Continuity
- God’s people, Israel, just returned from Babylon. Though the Israelites wondered about their place in God’s plan because of all the bad things that have happened, they do have religious or spiritual continuity—divinely planned connections with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and especially with the great king David. In fact, God continues to work with them at the present time—after the Babylonian exile—and through them to bring the nation to the fullness of times and to fulfill his promises to the nation.
Key Verses: 1 Chronicles 17:11-14
- 11 “When your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
- 12 He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.
- 13 “I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.
- 14 But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.” The Lord
Key Verse: 1 Chronicles 29.18-19
- 18 “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You;
- 19 and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision.” David
- The spiritual and physical connections from Adam to David, 1-9.
- David’s spiritual leadership and reign, 10-29.
Lessons For Us Today
- The expectation of David, Solomon, and the people was that they had a future in their promised land. This future would be ruled by a king in David’s line. This expectation was based upon God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. God’s promise still holds. Israel has a future of blessing in their land.
- As the central place of revelation and worship was necessary to the Jewish nation (Ark and Temple), so the Bible and the assembly of believers in the church is equally important.
- Your Christian heritage (family, friends, other ministries, nation, and the universal church) influences us in visible and invisible ways. It is a blessing to each of us to know our heritage.
- Spiritual leaders are gifts from God. Spiritual leadership is something that we all depend upon—family, church, missions, body of Christ, and national leadership. God has made us dependent upon leadership.
Religious Continuity and the House of God—Israel’s Temple
Sunday, June 20-July 4, 2004
Theme of 2 Chronicles
- Religious Continuity and The House of God
- The temple in Jerusalem was the center of Israel’s national life. After Solomon built the temple, the following kings were to maintain the temple’s centrality, and therefore relationship with God, in the life of the people. Most failed. Because some attempted reforms, God blessed and withheld judgment. He was most interested in their heart attitude toward Him.
- The spiritual failure of the kings eventually resulted in the complete destruction of the temple in 586 BC and the exile of the people. Once the people returned to the land, plans were made to rebuilt the temple and again give it the central place in the nation for God’s word, worship, and national life.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14-16 “And [then] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”
- Solomon’s reign, temple, fame, and wealth (2 Chronicles 1-9).
- The twenty kings of Judah, spiritual failure, and the resultant destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, and national exile (2 Chronicles 10-36).
Lessons For Us Today
- God is most interested in our heart attitude toward Him. He does not demand sinlessness. He does desire an attitude of seeking the Him.
- God’s word stresses the importance to a nation off worship of God, morality, national defense, international relations, and leadership.
- Our Christian heritage is very important for each of us. It connects us with the great biblical heroes, with the great heroes of church history, and with our biblical doctrine heritage. We learn who we are and what our present purpose is from our past Christian heritage.
- National leaders set the course and attitude of the nation. We in the USA are fortunate to have founders who took the Bible seriously—some were believers in Christ and some were simply attracted to biblical ethic. They gave us a strong foundation like Moses and the prophets gave Israel. We should follow there lead and pray for our present leaders, and all the more since we have a Christian president who desires to follow the Bible.
- Evil leadership does great harm to a nation and its people.