- Created on Saturday, 10 May 2008 11:53
These 2 books describe the events that occured during the kingship of David. What made David a man after God's own heart? Also, in preparation for the book of Psalms, the subject of inspiration was discussed at length. Nathan at first told David that his idea to build a temple was a great idea, but then had to return to say that he was wrong. Can a prophet make mistakes? And, we discussed the story of David and Bathsheba. What is there to learn about God in that story? Did David want God to pardon him or to heal him?
- Created on Friday, 01 October 2010 11:53
"Envy rots the bones" (Proverbs 14:30) and is listed as one of the "seven deadly sins." Saul was consumed by envy and jealousy for David which eventually led him to attempt to kill David, his own son, the priests, entire villages of his own people, and finally to consult a witch for advice. Envy is the opposite of love and is rooted in selfishness that springs from the insecurity of placing ourselves at the center of our universe rather than God. This unavoidably leads to us derive all of our security and self-esteem from the opinions that others have of us.
- Created on Friday, 17 September 2010 11:53
"We want a king, so that we will be like other nations, with our own king to rule us and to lead us out to war and to fight our battles." (1 Samuel 8:20)
This is such an important story because it is a summary of all human history and our desire to live and treat others in the same way that the kingdoms of the world do. There have been only rare examples in human history where we could say, "That's what God's Kingdom looks like!" In this Bible study we will contrast kingdoms of the world with God's Kingdom. It is easy to find ourselves living our lives and identifying ourselves primarily with the methods of worldly kingdoms. Can we catch a glimpse of the true Kingdom?
- Created on Friday, 10 September 2010 11:53
God is often viewed as inflexibile and unchanging. Verses such as "I change not" (Malachi 3:6) could be used in support of this position. Yet, in story after story, the Bible reveals a God who is constantly adapting and giving in to things that are less than the ideal to meet his children where they are. In this Bible study we considered the implications of God giving in to the Israelite's demands for a king - - even though he did not approve.
Perhaps it would be better to say that God never changes in character and that this changeless character of personified love causes him to adapt to our needs.
- Created on Friday, 03 September 2010 11:53
In the two books of Samuel, God does everything - both good and "bad." Three times he sends evil spirits to torment Saul; He then tempts David to give a bad census; He "decided to kill" Hophni and Phineus; He closed up Hannah's womb until her prayer; after Nabal had a massive stroke that left him paralyzed, "The LORD struck Nabal and he died" (1 Samuel 25:38). God is responsible for everything in this book! Hannah would sum up God's power this way, "The LORD kills and restores to life; he sends people to the world of the dead and brings them back again. He makes some people poor and others rich; he humbles some and makes others great" (1 Samuel 2:6,7).
- Created on Friday, 27 August 2010 11:53
I've been a Roger Ebert "fan" for many years, and so I was struck by his recent comments about God in a great article that can be found here. Ebert said:
“To hope we can learn how the universe came about is admirable; one might as well call that hope by any name. Whatever one calls it, it’s by definition outside the reach not only of our knowledge, but of knowledge itself. I was asked at lunch today who or what I worshipped. The question was asked sincerely, and in the same spirit I responded that I worshipped whatever there might be outside knowledge. I worship the void. The mystery. And the ability of our human minds to perceive an unanswerable mystery.”
- Created on Friday, 09 May 2008 11:53
More challenging stories! 70 Israelites die for peeking into the covenant box. Then Uzzah was killed. Was it because he sinned so badly? Why is so much power associated with the covenant box? Then we discussed the sad life of Saul. What went wrong? And finally, did the witch of Endor really bring up Samuel?