Tag Archive: kings


“The Story” Quiz

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After a long study it is good to follow-up with a test. How many of these can you get right? There could be some prizes for the winner. Try not to use any resources unless you have given up. I’ll be posting answers to the test next week

Kings

1. Who held the final reign over the united monarchy of Israel which ended in 931 BC?

2. Who was the king by whom all other kings were measured?

3. Who is the king that lacked the wisdom of his father Solomon because he rejected the advice of the elders and split the kingdom?

4. Who is the evil king of Israel that set up Baal worship and even sacrificed his firstborn son in the rebuilding of Jericho?

5. Which king became king of Judah at twelve years old and perpetrated horrific evil, including shedding innocent blood, star worship and idolatry in the temple?

Prophets

1. Which prophet did God tell to marry an adulterous woman as a lesson on Israel’s unfaithfulness?

2. Who is the greatest of writing prophets that helped King Hezekiah thwart Sennacherib’s Assyrian threat?

3. Who promised that the Shunammite woman would have a son whom he later raised from the dead?

4. Who was the last Old Testament Prophet and said that Elijah would come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord?

5. Who is the prophet that was the shepherd of Tekoa and warned Israel to prepare to meet her God?

Locations

1. After fearing for his life, what mountain did Elijah flee to where the Lord spoke to him in a gentle whisper?

2. Which mountain did Elijah call down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice to defend God against Baal?

3. What capital city of the Persian Empire did Mordecai live when King Xerxes took Esther as queen?

4. What city became the capital of the Northern territory of Israel?

5. What is the name of the place Jeroboam placed a golden calf, installed priests, offered sacrifices and instituted a new festival to mimic authentic worship and hold onto his power?

Exile

1. Which Babylonian King destroyed Jerusalem in three sieges and took thousands captive?

2. Which young Judean nobleman was put in charge of the province of Babylon after correctly interpreting the king’s dream?

3. Who reigned over Israel when they were taken captive by Assyria?

4. Which prophet was already in exile when he warned Judah of coming doom for their unbelief?

5. Who was reigning over Judah when he and ten thousand Judeans were taken prisoner to Babylon?

Home Again

1. Who prophesied that Judah would be in exile for 70 years and then return to the land?

2. Which King of Persia issued a decree allowing the people to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple?

3. Which festival celebrates God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman’s attempted genocide?

4. Which leader is credited with rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem?

5. Which prophet did the people obey who warned Zerubbabel to get back to work on the Lord’s house?

Teachings of Jesus

1. Which parable did Jesus use to explain what it means to love one’s neighbor?

2. Which parable did Jesus use to explain different people’s responses to the gospel?

3. Which parable did Jesus use to explain why he has compassion for sinners?

4. Which long teaching of Jesus began with many “blessed” and came to be known as one of his greatest sermons?

5. Which Pharisee did Jesus teach the need to be born again of the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God?

Signs and Wonders

1. What was Jesus’ first miracle that reveled his glory?

2. Who’s 12-year-old daughter was raised back to life?

3. What items did Jesus feed the 5000?

4. What are the names of the sisters that witnessed their brother being raised to life?

5. Which disciples healed a man lame from birth and were then arrested?

Notable Quotes Who said,…

1. “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

2. “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called Son of God.”

3. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

4. “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

5. “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

Book of Acts

1. Who was the author of Acts?

2. On which festival day did the Holy Spirit come upon the disciples?

3. Who was the first Gentile to receive the Holy Spirit?

4. Which apostle went to Samaria to preach the gospel there? (Hint: you should recognize his name)

5. Which prophet did Peter quote when he explained their speaking in tongues?

Church on Mission

1. Where was Paul’s home base church that sent him out on his missions located?

2. Which city did Paul and Silas share the gospel with their jailer and his family?

3. Which couple did Paul stay with during his year and a half in Corinth?

4. Which city did Paul spend more time building a church than in any other?

5. Which island was Paul shipwrecked for months while on his way to Rome?

When it comes down to it these are all facts that you may remember or you may not. My prayer is not that you have memorized some facts or have all the knowledge of the world, but I hope God’s story has moved the foot from your brain to your heart. It is sometimes the hardest distance to overcome.

What has been the most memorable part of “The Story” for you? What are the areas that you have a hard time taking out of your head and believing them in your heart?

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The Kingdoms Fall (4 Perspectives)

Dark-Days-screen-one

Perspective 1- Diane Schmidt

The kings continued to do terrible things, leading the people away from God. They built altars to false gods, even sacrificed their own children. God sent Ezekiel and Jeremiah to speak to them, to turn them back to the Lord, but they didn’t listen. Things became desperate, they were exiled, scattered, killed, and famine was in the land yet they still refused to turn to God for help.

This reminds me so much of some of my days as a mom, when the kids just won’t do what I have asked of them. Or how about when I was as a teenager and when I wouldn’t listen to or follow my parents. No matter what is said there are times that the kids just aren’t going to do what the parents want. But God is amazing, and way more patient than I could ever be. I know many times I have been patient and forgiven them for not doing what they need to do or following directions but eventually I’ve just had it.

I can see from Chapter 17 of “The Story” that God has just had it, too. He lets them know that he is going to really let them have it now. He will scatter them, they will die, they will suffer and more. The amazing thing that we see from Jeremiah is that God still forgives his people, still loves them, still wants to be part of their lives, still has a plan for redemption. As a parent I want that, too. To have my children know that I love them, no matter what they do, no matter what consequences I have to give them, no matter how “far away” I have to send them (sometimes I need space from them). I guess this chapter reminded me that no matter what I do, how many times I reject him, make my own choices without consulting him, that God loves me and is there for me. I just need to reach out to him, call on his name, and he will reach right back to me.

Perspective 2- Dan Petrak

Perspective 3- Pastor Phil

Right at the beginning of the chapter I was stunned to read about a new batch of kings. Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king. Josiah was only 8 years old when he began to reign. Other kings were 18, 22, 25, etc. Look what the kingdom has come to. Children are the ones taking the throne and given power and authority over everything. I’m not saying that children and young adults don’t have worth, they absolutely do, but do we want them to have ultimate power?

My son is 10. I can’t imagine giving him all the power of the state, country or world. We would be watching SpongeBob, Phineas and Ferb, Adventure Time, or any other animated show all the time, except when video games needed to be played. Video games would be the priority over all the land. My son can make some smart choices, but I still don’t think he would be ready for the keys to the land. I can’t imagine what life would be like.

The story says that Josiah ended up being a good king, but how good can you be at 8 years old. A kingdom that once stood with some dignity is now subject to letting little kids be king just because they are in the right family. I have to believe that these choices led to the kingdom being ripe for downfall. We ignore God and plot out our own path, which leads to destruction.

Perspective 4- Pastor Ron

Judah falls and Jeremiah the prophets weeps…..so does God.  This is a tragic chapter as the last of God’s people are carried off into captivity and Jerusalem is left in rubble.  The Temple is burned along with the King’s Palace.   The end has finally come and it was not a pretty sight.

Jeremiah is the prophet to the people at this time.  A rather reluctant prophet as first, but he turns out to be faithful and passionate.  He is the author of Lamentations and in that book he weeps over Jerusalem, thus he is known as the weeping prophet.  It reminds me of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem during his life on earth.  God had never intended it to end this way.  For hundreds of years he reached out to His people practically begging for them to come back to him.  It was to no avail though, they remained in their rebellion and unfaithfulness.  It must have caused God great grief to watch as Jerusalem burned.  The city where His Temple resided.  The Temple that David wanted to build, but was not allowed.  The Temple that Solomon painstakingly oversaw to make sure it was done just right.  The Temple that brought glory and honor to Him…….and now it is gone just like His people.  Yes, I believe that he must have wept in heaven on that day.

I wonder if He weeps yet today for all those who do not know Him and the salvation that His Son won for them.  I wonder if we weep for them?

The King Who Had It All (4 Perspectives)

Kings

Perspective 1-Pastor Ron

God’s grace and Jesus’ genealogy is what struck me the most from this chapter.  God’s grace to David is incredible. David’s relationship with Bathsheba had obviously started all wrong – an affair, the murder of her husband, and the death of the first child they had together. Yet, God allows them to have other children and even allows their first son to become the next king! Others were in line to be king before Solomon, but God knows the love that David has for Bathsheba and he allows their child to be the heir to the throne.

One has to believe that when God formed Solomon in the womb He had plans for him. Believers and unbelievers alike know the Wisdom of Solomon. A wisdom that he received from God when he could have asked for anything, anything at all! I would suggest that Solomon had maturity beyond his years and a good deal of wisdom before God blessed him with even more. God’s grace in all of this is indescribable. How incredible that God could take an adulterous affair and turn it around to produce a wise king for Israel!

You add to all this grace the genealogy of Jesus and it becomes even more overwhelming. Jesus’ family history now includes Bathsheba. Add her to the woman of the night who hid the spies that Joshua sent into the Promise Land, along with Ruth the Moabite! Even Jesus’ genealogy is a testament to God’s grace. He indeed came for all people—people from every ethnic background and shady background.

Jesus said; “On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” (Matt. 9:12-13)

Perspective 2-Dan Petrak

Perspective 3-Diane Schmidt

What a great event for Solomon to build the temple and then be there for its dedication, for the first sacrifices made to God in the temple. I have witnessed and heard about dedications of buildings in recent years and it’s a pretty big deal. A big party, super important people are present, speeches and accolades are given. As I read through Chapter 13 of “The Story” I just imagined how huge the event of the Temple dedication would have been. The splendor, no holds barred party that King Solomon would have held for this dedication. To be there would have been a life altering experience. Since the temple was destroyed in the first century I guess I will just have to continue to image the splendor of the temple, as we will never really know its full beauty and grandeur. Just imagine the splendor and beauty!

But what about the man Solomon? King Solomon, a very wise and rich man, had it all. He had the love of God, the guidance, the blessing and favor of God. He was known the world over, sought after for his wisdom, given gifts from foreign kings. He was achieving world peace. He was blessed with possessions of great value from foreign kings, including their daughters. The only thing Solomon had to do was follow the laws and decrees of God. Follow me and I will continue to bless you and your descendants. That was it. But what did he do? Did he get bored? Did he change his mind? He definitely let those around him influence his decisions. His wives led him astray. In this chapter of the story there is no mention of a prophet, no Nathan or Samuel. What happened there?

Perspective 4- Barb Miles

In this chapter we see that God didn’t choose the qualified but qualified the chosen, again.  This happened when Solomon was chosen to fulfill the responsibility of building the Temple.

Completing his father’s plans for building the temple of The Lord, Solomon is not unlike families of today.  As one generation takes over the previous generation’s plans and accomplishments, so did those in the Old Testament.  God continues to lay the groundwork for the next generation.

Perhaps you or someone you know is a farm family, or runs a family operated business.  They are an example of when one generation steps back from running the business daily to multi-generations working together for their continuation.  They are preparing the next generation to be qualified.  God and David prepared Solomon to be qualified.   When they are so fortunate to have been handed down their previous generations knowledge and wisdom, then God has truly blessed them.

“He is good; His love endures forever.”

The Trials of a King (Bible Study)

Kings

Recap of Chapter 12

David was voted least likely among his brothers to be anointed king.  He was the last person on the battlefront you’d pick to play the hero’s part, but David was the underdog who overcame. He confronted lions, giants and kings with bare hands and bold faith.  At last, the man after God’s own heart became the man on Israel’s throne.

But kings who stay home from battle are seldom at rest.  David’s eyes wandered and so did his heart.  He summoned the very lovely and very married Bathsheba to his palace and then into his bed. When Bathsheba sent word she was pregnant, David turned his strategy tactics toward her husband, Uriah.

He called Uriah home from the battlefield to visit his wife, expecting a night together would position Uriah as the father-to-be. The plan failed, so David concocted a surefire Plan B.  He sent Uriah back to the front-lines carrying his own death warrant: an order for General Joab to engineer a battlefield “accident” and guarantee Uriah’s death.  The plan worked.  David married Bathsheba and went back to the business of the kingdom.

Then Nathan, the prophet, came to the palace. Guilty kings never fare well when prophets arrive for a visit.  Nathan told a parable and pointed the finger of blame squarely in David’s face.  He asserted, “You are the man!” and David knew he’d met his match.  The man after God’s own heart had become the man with blood on his hands. David and Bathsheba’s marriage feasting turned quickly into mourning the death of their son. David repented of his sin, and God forgave him.  They had a second son named Solomon, which means peace.

Sadly, David was a better king than father.  David’s sin was forgiven, but its aftermath was calamitous.  His son, Absalom, attempted to usurp the throne, and his rise to power resulted in a rebellion.  David instructed his troops to be gentle with his proud son, perhaps because he connected the dots between Absalom’s behavior and his own failures as a father.  But the clash between David’s army and Absalom’s rebels was brutal.  When Absalom was found hanging from a tree limb, Joab seized the moment and killed the conspirator.  King David mourned in anguish when he heard the news.

David’s closing chapter turns the page from battles to building.  He knew that his son, Solomon, would build a house for God, so he did all he could to prepare the way.  From the overflow of David’s heart came the emptying of his bank account.  Others followed the king’s example and gave willingly to build God’s temple.  King David’s story draws to a close with poetic psalms of praise, reminders of faithfulness to Solomon and his sights set on living “in the house of the LORD forever.”

David’s Lower Story places the spotlight on one man’s sin and its tragic consequences.  Yet it also beams with the offer of forgiveness and redemption. God’s grand Upper Story reminds us that no one is righteous on their own.  God’s promise to David pointed across a millennium to a sinless King of Kings; no end of righteousness, no end of peace, and the redemption of all things.

The Artistry and Anatomy of the Psalms

When Queen Victoria had just ascended her throne she went, as is the custom of Royalty, to hear “The Messiah” rendered. She had been instructed as to her conduct by those who knew, and was told that she must not rise when the others stood at the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus. When that magnificent chorus was being sung and the singers were shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,” she sat with great difficulty.

It seemed as if she would rise in spite of the custom of kings and queens, but finally when they came to that part of the chorus where with a shout they proclaim Him King of Kings suddenly the young queen rose and stood with bowed head, as if she would take her own crown from off her head and cast it at His feet.

—J. Wilbur Chapman

Queen Victoria was not the first royal to understand that there is a King who is worthy of more honor and respect than any earthly queen or king.  King David knew full well that he was lower than God and therefore rendered honor and respect to Him throughout his lifetime.  David often “cast his crown” at the feet of God by writing psalms of praise and thanksgiving, and fear and lament.

I.       The Artistry of the Psalms

A. A psalm is a form of Hebrew poetry that is usually in the form of a prayer.  The psalms were collected and used in the community of faith for worship, for comfort and for teaching.

B. The psalmists—including David—use vivid imagery and life experiences to express themselves.  These figures of speech turn an ordinary prayer into an artistic and memorable expression of emotion common to all worshipers.  Many of the images reveal the earthy culture of the Israelite shepherds and farmers living close to nature.

C. In Psalms, there are 150 separate psalms which are numbered as chapters.  Of them, 73 are attributed to David.  Psalms is the longest book in the Bible.

D. If there is a single theme to all the psalms, it might be the belief in the sovereignty of God over all the creation.  Sometimes psalmists praise God in awe as He rules the universe and other times the psalmists view God as in control of their very lives and the lives of their enemies.

E. Types of Psalms:  Understanding the different types of psalms helps in understanding their purpose and meaning.  Each type has a loose structure.

  1. Individual lament: These psalms cry out for help for a need (sickness, war, slander, etc.)  The typical pattern is:  introductory cry, the lament, confession of trust, prayer for God’s intervention, expression of praise.
  2. Communal lament:  The psalmist cries out to God on behalf of the nation.  The pattern is the same as for the individual lament.
  3. Thanksgiving or praise psalms:  These poems praise God for what He has done either for the individual or for the nation.  The pattern:  proclamation to praise, the content of the praise, a lesson or instruction
  4. Descriptive praise psalms:  While the thanksgiving psalms focus more on what God has done, these offer direct praise to God for who He is–His attributes.  The pattern:  call to praise, the cause for praise, the conclusion.
  5. Didactic or wisdom psalms:  These poems instruct worshipers about living life in accordance with God’s law.  The pattern is historical or similar to wisdom literature.

II.       The Anatomy of the Psalms

A. Poetry differs from other genres of Scripture.  It is more concentrated and employs symbols, images, figures and emotional language.

B. The “bone structure” of Hebrew poetry is parallelism or repetition.  Understanding the parallelisms will help readers grasp the meaning of the figures of speech and ultimately the meaning of the psalm.  There are three main types of parallelism:

  1. Synonymous parallelism—the thought of the first line is expressed in the second line, but using different but synonymous words.  For example 

                      “Hide your face from my sins, 
                      And blot out all my iniquity” (Ps. 51:9)

      2.  Antithetical parallelism—the first line expresses one thought, while the second line is a contrast or opposition.                     

                    “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
                      But the way of the wicked will perish.”  (Ps. 1:6)

      3.  Emblematic parallelism—a figure of speech is used in the first line and explained in the second.      

               “As the deer pants for the water brooks

                So my soul pants for Thee, O God.” (Ps. 42:1)

C. A psalm stands alone as a unit.  There is an overall message to a psalm tied together to express one main feeling.  Like anatomy, you can cut a psalm apart into its pieces, but you will probably kill it in the process!

III.       The Analysis of the Psalms in The Story.

Slow down and read the psalms in such a way as to appreciate the author’s experience.

A. Ps. 59 is found on page 123.  What kind of psalm is it?  [It is an individual lament psalm.  David is crying out for deliverance.]  What is its main message?  What emotions do the figures of speech evoke?

B. Ps. 51 is on page 133.  What kind of psalm is it?  [It is an individual lament psalm.]  What is the message of the psalm?  What emotions does it express?  How is God described?

C. Ps. 32 is on page 135.  What pattern does it fit?  [It is a psalm of thanksgiving or praise.]  What images express David’s feelings?

D. Ps. 23 is the most well-known of all psalms.  What kind is it?  [It is a praise psalm for what God has done and will do for David.]  Why do you suppose this psalm brings such comfort to people?  What in David’s background or experience might have contributed to the images that he used in this psalm?  [David was a shepherd.  He would understand the care and duties of a shepherd for his sheep.]

IV.       Applications and Implications

A. David expressed every emotion to God.  It is OK for me to do the same, the good, the bad and the ugly—God knows anyway!

B. Faith is more than just intellectual assent.  It is also from the heart.

C. I can learn to pray and worship better using the psalms as a guide.

D. Manly men are also artistic and creative.  David was a warrior, king, musician and poet.

E. It is OK for manly men to express emotions, especially about God.  Plus, chicks dig men who love God J

F. The psalmists seek God because He is sovereign to act and worthy of all praise.  I should do the same.

G. The psalmists see the hand of God in all creation, the big stuff and the little stuff.  I can train myself to see evidence of God and praise Him for it too.

H. I can use Ps. 51 as a pattern for confession of my sin and Ps. 32 as a pattern for my thankfulness to God for His forgiveness.

Write a psalm

Now that we have talked about it and examined it…Give it a try. Write a short psalm.  It could be praise or thanksgiving, lament or descriptive.  Below you will find some beginning lines to help you get started.  Antithetical parallelisms are actually slightly easier to write than the others.  As another alternative, you could update Psalm 23 to a 21st century psalm.  What image of God might replace the shepherd?  If you like please share your final products. Here are some beginning lines:

  • It is important for me to do God’s will.
  • I will always praise God.
  • The person who turns away from God is in for big trouble.
  • Like a ship caught in a storm,
  • Deliver me from my enemy
  • Thank You, O God, for my spouse

Truly BeautifulStudy of David and Bathsheba

Chapter 12 of THE STORY is devoted to the story of David and Bathsheba.  David’s actions set the course of the rest of his reign as king of Israel.  David saw Bathsheba, and he wanted her because she was truly beautiful.  In Bathsheba’s case, physical beauty was not a blessing.  But as David and Bathsheba allowed God to reclaim their lives, he turned a bad mistake into something truly beautiful.  What God did 3000 years ago in David and Bathsheba’s lives brings us this assurance today: God can turn a bad start into something beautiful.

I.  A Bad Mistake Times Two. 2 Samuel 11:1—12:25

1. In the spring time what usually occupied the kings?  (11:1)

2. In the space before the arrow briefly note the events that are related in 2 Samuel 11:2—5. After the arrow with each of the, note what choice Bathsheba had in the matter.

v.2                                                                                           →

v.3                                                                                           →

v.4                                                                                           →

v.5                                                                                           →

3.  In your opinion, was Bathsheba a victim or a party to the sin that was committed?

One of the tallest buildings, David’s palace would have been constructed with a railing or battlement around a flat roof with openings to view the area and for protection.  In fact the Israelites were to build a wall around their roofs to avoid liability for a fall (Deuteronomy 22:8).

Uriah’s home was located in close proximity to the palace for David to be able to see Bathsheba, bathing on her roof.  Women were commanded by God’s law to cleanse themselves after a period.  It was common practice for a woman to bath after the day’s work, at night, in the privacy of the roof top.

4.  What additional atrocity did David commit after learning of Bathsheba’s pregnancy? (11:14)

5.  What happened to Bathsheba next? (11:26-27)

6.  What displeased God?  (11:27b)

II. Truth and Consequences.  2 Samuel 12:1—23.

1.  What did Nathan use to convict David of the truth of his sin? (12:1—10)

2.  What is the meaning behind the heartfelt words from God that Nathan related? (12:7—9)

3. What consequences did the Lord declare? (12:11—18)

4.  How did David react to God’s truth and consequences? (12:13)

5.  The Lord struck the child with an illness and, in spite of David’s pleading and fasting, the baby died seven days later.  What losses did Bathsheba endure because of her encounter with David?

6.  Describe David’s anguish and his reaction to the death of the son. (12:18—22)

III. A new life for Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 12:24-25; 1 Kings 1; 2:1—25)

Bathsheba’s attributes go beyond beauty. David’s remaining years were plagued by family turmoil and war, as God promised.  But the rest of Bathsheba’s story reveals a woman with strength and character.  She was honored by David and Solomon.  She was respected by Nathan the prophet, as well as others in the kingdom. God gave a new life to Bathsheba, and she helped bring his treasure to the world.

1.  How did God Bless Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 12:24)

2.  Who did God love?  What does this mean to you? (2 Samuel 12:25)

3.  Why did Nathan consult with Bathsheba about Adonija? (1 Kings 1:9—13)

4.  What shows David and Bathsheba’s relationship at this point? (1 Kings 1:16—21, 31)

Adonija was determined that as the oldest living heir of David, he should have the throne, despite David’s proclamation.  Knowing the Queen Mother’s influence on Solomon, Adonija involved her in a plot which could actually have resulted in their deaths.

5.  Describe what actions of Solomon show respect toward his mother. (1 Kings 2:19—20)

6.  Was Bathsheba naïve or wise in her approach to Solomon with the request from Adonija? (1 Kings 1:21—27)

One has to wonder how David, described as someone God loves (cf. Acts 13:22) could stray so far off the path of godliness.  He let his desires take over, hurting innocent people in his wake. Yet we know that God loves all of us as well.  This is still the same struggle for followers of God today.  Praise God, the perpetrator and the victim alike can find help and healing.

IV. A New Life for You and Me (Psalm 51)

1.  Read Psalm 51:1-2.  David confessed and asked God to deal with three kinds of sin.  Note them:

Blot out my____________________________.

Wash away my _________________________.

Cleanse me from my_____________________.

2. David pled with God: “ …create a new heart within me “(Psalm 51:10).  How does this happen for you and me? (1 John 4:16; Acts 2:38, Ro. 6:1—14)

3.  Why then, do Christians struggle with sin? (Romans 7:21—24)

4. In Romans 7:7—8:37 we read how Christians who love God and follow Christ can be victorious over sin.  How does the writer describe those who remain faithful, despite the difficulties? (Romans 8:37-39)

5.  Share how God has helped you make something truly beautiful of your life, even after a bad start.

Key Question:  What do you need to let God do in your life to make it more beautiful to Him?

From Shepherd to King (4 Perspectives)

Perspective 1- Barb Miles

David constantly reached out to God in prayer when he was fearful and needed direction and help.  And David also thanked God for being his deliverer, always giving thanks to God for hearing his prayers.  This is a good lesson for me.  My take away for this chapter is to always pray for direction and to always give thanks.

Perspective 2- Pastor Ron

Sometimes the egos of the characters in the Bible are as fragile as that of the stars in Hollywood! Saul is the king anointed by God to lead his people. God has blessed him during his reign. He even provides him with David. Yes, David will be the next king, but he has intense loyalty to Saul. One would think, what a wonderful blessing to have this naturally gifted warrior by my side! David did so well that the people sang about him:

“Saul has slain his thousands,and David his tens of thousands.”

This can be taken one of two ways. Either, Saul has done a great job mentoring the boy and can celebrate his success, or he can see him as a threat…Saul chose the latter. How sad. Can you imagine what a powerhouse the two of them would have been? Saul on his way out, but David being chosen by God and groomed by Saul. But Saul’s ego would have none of that. David was a threat and the fact that Saul’s son was David’s best friend was just salt in this open wound. What a missed opportunity. What pain and agony was put upon so many…in part, at least, because of an ego.

We all have an ego and it is necessary to have a positive self-image. We can get into all kinds of trouble if we have too negative of a self-image of ourselves. Like all things though, if left unchecked it can get us into a lot trouble. How many times have you failed to celebrate with another person’s success because somehow you saw that as a poor reflection on you? How much more productive would your place of business be if egos were removed and everyone celebrated everyone else’s success?  What if sibling rivalry was removed from your home? What would happen if we put our egos aside?

It reminds me of this passage in Philippians 2:5-8

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!

Perspective 3- Diane Schmidt

I just love the example of David as he demonstrated his faith in the living God; how he loved and trusted him in all things. Right from the beginning of this chapter David demonstrates his faith in God. He questions the army when they allow Goliath to “defy the living God.” (pg. 148) He convinces Saul that he can slay this enemy because “the Lord…will rescue me from this Philistine.” (p 148-149) He gives credit to God and shows great trust when he says, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (p 149) As Saul pursues David, he once again turns to God for deliverance. At the encounter in the cave, David could have slain Saul but he didn’t. Why? I think it’s because he knew it would not be pleasing to God. David was taught God’s laws and knew that God’s story was bigger than his own. David knew that God had a plan for him and even if he couldn’t see the magnitude of the Upper Story he still trusted God. Throughout this chapter we see David’s trusting faith and God’s blessings, and the strength and courage he gave David. David gives us some great images of who God is: my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my refuge, my shield, my horn of salvation, my stronghold, my savior! What great words and images that we can hold on to when we are surrounded by a world of doubt, struggle, fear, unbelievers, death and destruction. To be comforted and strengthened by a God who is so personal that he cares about my daily life and yet so big he can fight and defeat my biggest enemies, just like he did for David.

Perspective 4- Dan Petrak

Unfounded Fears and Hopes

As we look around our world today, it is hard not to join in the cycle of fear and hope. We fear what may happen to our country as wars seem to more and more cover the world, and as violence spreads in our own land. We find ourselves joining the rest of our culture in hoping for a person or a plan guaranteed to fix the world, become its restoring glue, give the world peace and restore our hope that all will be better.

It is normal for Christians living in a very secular, God is far away, society to find themselves joining in this fear and hope cycle. When we do, we are literally running in circles, missing the reality that God is shouting as we run past Him, as the following demonstrates.

In his book, Deliver Us from Evil, Ravi Zacharias quotes author and speaker Malcolm Muggeridge concerning the fears and hopes of the world that often intrude on the Christian heart and mind:

“…such hopes and fears are equally beside the point. As Christians we know that in this world we have no continuing city, that crowns roll in the dust and that every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder. We acknowledge a King men did not crown and cannot dethrone, and we are citizens of a city of God they did not build and cannot destroy. …[We] seek the reality of what is not seen and eternal, the reality of Christ.”   (From “Deliver Us from Evil” as quoted from “The End of Christendom” by Malcolm Muggeridge, 1980)

Sue Wilson

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