Sat 8/8/20

1 Thessalonians 3:6-13 … PAUL REJOICES IN THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE THESSALONIANS.

Q.1. What report from Timothy about the Thessalonians brought Paul such encouragement? – (1 Thes.3:6-8) =

Q.2. How did the success of his ministry stimulate his prayer life? What more did Paul desire for the Thessalonians? – (1 Thes.3:9-10) =

Q.3. What does Paul’s benediction indicate about God’s goal for the convert? What does it reveal about our dependence on God in ministry? – (1 Thes.3:11-13) =

Timothy’s Encouraging Report

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— for this reason, brothers,[a] in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What report from Timothy about the Thessalonians brought Paul such encouragement? – (1 Thes.3:6-8) = Paul had been afraid that Satan had tempted the converts to give up (1 Thes.3:5). However, Timothy reported that they were not only established in their faith and love, but also were very grateful for Paul’s sacrifices – for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith (1 Thes.3:7). To hear that they were standing firm in the faith made all his trials worthwhile (1 Thes.3:8).

Q.2. How did the success of his ministry stimulate his prayer life? What more did Paul desire for the Thessalonians? – (1 Thes.3:9-10) = All his epistles indicated that Paul and his team were sustained by prayer – as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face and may complete what is lacking in your faith (1 Thes.3:10). Timothy’s good report filled Paul with gratitude to God, for answering his pleas for the Thessalonians. He expressed his desire to make a return visit so he might encourage them in their faith (1 Thes.3:9).

Q.3. What did Paul’s benediction indicate about God’s goal for the converts? What did it reveal about our dependence on God in ministry? – (1 Thes.3:11-13) = We are all totally dependent on the grace of God in ministry. It was not even in Paul’s power to reconnect with the Thessalonians (1 Thes.3:11). Paul explained God’s goal for the converts in great detail – 12 … to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;  and to … 13 establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints (1 Thes.3:12-13). Before our conversion, our main preoccupation was with our own welfare. After conversion, our love should grow toward others. We should also increasingly live in ways that glorify God. What increases our motivation toward holy living is the awareness that a Day of Reckoning is imminent – at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints (1 Thes.3:13).


…(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.) If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Fri 7/8/20

Ezekiel 4:1-17 … GOD USES EZEKIEL TO HIGHLIGHT THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.

Q.1. What unusual way was the prophet to clarify the sins of the nations of Israel & Judah? – (Ezk.4:1-8) =

Q.2. What odious food preparation was Ezekiel to engage in? Did God listen to the request of His prophet? What message was God driving home to His people? – (Ezk.4:9-17) =

The Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

“And you, son of man, take a brick and lay it before you, and engrave on it a city, even Jerusalem. And put siegeworks against it, and build a siege wall against it, and cast up a mound against it. Set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it all around. And you, take an iron griddle, and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; and set your face toward it, and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is a sign for the house of Israel.

“Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment[a] of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel. And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year. And you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm bared, and you shall prophesy against the city. And behold, I will place cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from one side to the other, till you have completed the days of your siege.

“And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer,[b] and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it. 10 And your food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels[c] a day; from day to day[d] you shall eat it. 11 And water you shall drink by measure, the sixth part of a hin;[e] from day to day you shall drink. 12 And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung.” 13 And the Lord said, “Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.” 14 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I have never defiled myself.[f] From my youth up till now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has tainted meat come into my mouth.” 15 Then he said to me, “See, I assign to you cow’s dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.” 16 Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, behold, I will break the supply[g] of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay. 17 I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. In what unusual way was the prophet to clarify the sins of the nations of Israel & Judah? – (Ezk.4:1-8) = I can imagine that the children of the Jewish families living nearby would have loved joining Ezekiel in building the model city of a besieged Jerusalem (Ezk.4:1-3). However, it was no game. God told the prophet that – this is a sign to the house of Israel (Ezk.4:3). Sadly, Israel and Judah were blind to their sins, so God further instructed Ezekiel on how to clarify exactly what their offences were. He was to bear the sins of God’s people by sleeping for 390 days on his left side, and for 40 days on his right side.  God explained – For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; this long you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel … When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year (Ezk.4:5-6). We know from the histories recorded in 1st & 2nd Kings and Chronicles, that Israel had been far more wicked than the nation of Judah. In this way, Ezelial would act out the coming siege of Jerusalem (Ezk.4:7-8).

Q.2. What odious food preparation was Ezekiel to engage in? Did God listen to the request of His prophet? What message was God driving home to His people? – (Ezk.4:9-17) = God provided the prophet with grain for bread that would adequately maintain his health with – wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt (Ezk.4:9). This diet was to predict that – bread and water will be scarce; and they will be appalled with one another and waste away in their iniquity (Ezk.4:17). He was to cook his food in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel (Ezk.4:12). Ezekiel was appalled. He protested – Ah, Lord God! Behold, I have never been defiled; for from my youth until now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has any unclean meat ever entered my mouth (Ezk.4:14). God heard his plea and provided cow dung as a substitute. In this way, God displayed clearly the vileness of the sins committed by His people (Ezk.4:15-17).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Thurs 6/8/20

Psalm 103:1-22 … THE LORD IS PRAISED FOR HIS GRACE TO FALLEN MEN.

Q.1. What is it about God’s treatment of sinners that should call for the highest praise? – (Ps.103:1-14) =

Q.2. What response does the Lord seek for all His benefits to us? – (Ps.103:14-18) =

Q.3. How does David view God’s place in the universe? How can this change everything in the midst of our trials? – (Ps.103:19-22) =

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Of David.

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;[a]
    he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his word,
    obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What is it about God’s treatment of sinners that should call for the highest praise? – (Ps.103:1-14) = The Psalmist was full of praise for the far-reaching benefits that God extends to His people. The greatest is that He has not dealt with us according to what our sins deserve, but instead pardons all our iniquities, and redeems us from the pit of everlasting destruction (Ps.103:3-4). This all reflects the heart of God, Who – is compassionate and gracious, slow to get angry and abounding in lovingkindness … and has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities (Ps.103:8 & 10). God inspired the Psalmist to reveal – As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Ps.103:12). The distance from the north to the south can be measured, whereas from east to the west cannot. As His children, we are known by God, Who is mindful of our frailty and fickleness (Ps.103:14).

Q.2. What response does the Lord seek, because of all His benefits to us? – (Ps.103:14-18) = The Psalmist went on to call for two responses: (i) We should understand the large distinction between the fleeting nature of our lives, and the everlasting lovingkindness that God extends to all who fear Him (Ps.103:15-17); (ii) In our hearts we should cultivate a heart of grateful obedience to this One Who has bound us into a covenant relationship – with those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them (Ps.103:18). We neither deserve, nor have ever had the power to bring ourselves into such a beneficial relationship. All praise belongs to our God.

Q.3. How did David view God’s place in the universe? How can this change everything in the midst of our trials? – (Ps.103:19-22) = David recognized that God’s reign could in no way be challenged – The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all (Ps.103:19). He described the angelic hosts of heavens armies, who are at His disposal to do His bidding – in all places of His dominion (Ps.103:22). Our lives ebb and rise like the motion of the sea. However, God’s sovereign rule never changes or diminishes. Keeping our eyes on Him will protect us from adding despair to the trials of life. We can say with the apostle Paul – 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh (2 Cor.4:8-11). God is still on the throne!


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Wed 5/8/20

2 Kings 1:1-18 … CONSEQUENCES FOR AHAZIAH’S FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD.

Q.1. What did King Ahaziah do that provoked God’s judgment against him? Did the king know Elijah? – (2 Kgs.1:1-8) =

Q.2. How did God punish the lack of respect for His prophet? What can we learn from the attitude of the third captain of the king? – (2 Kgs.1:19-15) =

Q.3. What brought about the early removal of King Ahaziah of Israel? – (2 Kgs.1:1 16-18) =

Elijah Denounces Ahaziah

After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel.

Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.” But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus says the Lord, You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” So Elijah went.

The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, “Why have you returned?” And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”

Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” 10 But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

11 Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, “O man of God, this is the king’s order, ‘Come down quickly!’” 12 But Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

13 Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, “O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. 14 Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight.” 15 Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king 16 and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?—therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’”

17 So he died according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken. Jehoram became king in his place in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What did King Ahaziah do that provoked God’s judgment against him? Did the king know Elijah? – (2 Kgs.1:1-8) = King Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper storey palace at Samaria. Though he clearly knew the identity of Elijah the Tishbite, he preferred to find out about his future welfare from Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron (2 Kgs.1:2 & 8). This was an affront to God, since Ahaziah was the king over ten of the twelve tribes of His people. God challenged the king – Is it because there no God in Israel to inquire of His word? (2 Kgs.1:3, 6, 16). Because of his insult to the God of Israel, Ahaziah would not recover, but would die (2 Kgs.1:4 & 6). There were similarities between Elijah and John the Baptist (2 Kgs.1:8 c.f. Mal.4:5-6; Mk.1:6).

Q.2. How did God punish the lack of respect for His prophet? What can we learn from the attitude of the third captain of the king? – (2 Kgs.1:19-15) = Just like his parents did, Ahaziah had little respect for God’s servants. (c.f. 1 Kgs.18:4, 9, 17; 22:8, 27). He had by-passed God’s prophet. His attempts to see Elijah were too late (2 Kgs.1:9). Ahaziah’s command to arrest Elijah was curtailed by the dramatic fiery destruction of a hundred of his best troops (2 Kgs.1:9-12). Why was the commander of the third company of fifty troops spared? Where the king and his troops had trusted in their superior strength, the third captain appealed with complete humility to God’s prophet. He bowed on his knees and pleaded for the lives of his men – O man of God, please let my life and the lives of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight (2 Kgs.1:13). Not only was Elijah assured that this man knew his proper place … God in heaven responded with mercy (2 Kgs.1:15).

Q.3. What brought about the early removal of King Ahaziah of Israel? – (2 Kgs.1:1 16-18) = Ahaziah had the title of king but was a woeful leader of God’s people – 52 He did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. 53 So he served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done So Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken (1 Kgs.22:52-53 & 2 Kgs.1:17).  The difference between the final departure of the king of Israel, and that of the faithful prophet of the Lord, could not  have been more pronounced (2 Kgs.1:17 c.f. 2 Kgs.2:11).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Tues 4/8/20

Leviticus 27:1-34 …  INSTRUCTIONS TO REDEEM THAT WHICH BELONGS TO THE LORD.

Q.1. How did God safeguard against His people treating vows made to Him lightly? Why was a fifth of the stated value to be added to the redemption price?  – (Lev.27:1-25) =

Q.2. Why could some offerings not be redeemed? How did God provide for the future of the priesthood? – (Lev.27:26-34) =

Laws About Vows

27 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, If anyone makes a special vow to the Lord involving the valuation of persons, then the valuation of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old shall be fifty shekels[a] of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. If the person is a female, the valuation shall be thirty shekels. If the person is from five years old up to twenty years old, the valuation shall be for a male twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels. If the person is from a month old up to five years old, the valuation shall be for a male five shekels of silver, and for a female the valuation shall be three shekels of silver. And if the person is sixty years old or over, then the valuation for a male shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels. And if someone is too poor to pay the valuation, then he shall be made to stand before the priest, and the priest shall value him; the priest shall value him according to what the vower can afford.

“If the vow[b] is an animal that may be offered as an offering to the Lord, all of it that he gives to the Lord is holy. 10 He shall not exchange it or make a substitute for it, good for bad, or bad for good; and if he does in fact substitute one animal for another, then both it and the substitute shall be holy. 11 And if it is any unclean animal that may not be offered as an offering to the Lord, then he shall stand the animal before the priest, 12 and the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall be. 13 But if he wishes to redeem it, he shall add a fifth to the valuation.

14 “When a man dedicates his house as a holy gift to the Lord, the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand. 15 And if the donor wishes to redeem his house, he shall add a fifth to the valuation price, and it shall be his.

16 “If a man dedicates to the Lord part of the land that is his possession, then the valuation shall be in proportion to its seed. A homer[c] of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. 17 If he dedicates his field from the year of jubilee, the valuation shall stand, 18 but if he dedicates his field after the jubilee, then the priest shall calculate the price according to the years that remain until the year of jubilee, and a deduction shall be made from the valuation. 19 And if he who dedicates the field wishes to redeem it, then he shall add a fifth to its valuation price, and it shall remain his. 20 But if he does not wish to redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed anymore. 21 But the field, when it is released in the jubilee, shall be a holy gift to the Lord, like a field that has been devoted. The priest shall be in possession of it. 22 If he dedicates to the Lord a field that he has bought, which is not a part of his possession, 23 then the priest shall calculate the amount of the valuation for it up to the year of jubilee, and the man shall give the valuation on that day as a holy gift to the Lord. 24 In the year of jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, to whom the land belongs as a possession. 25 Every valuation shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs[d] shall make a shekel.

26 “But a firstborn of animals, which as a firstborn belongs to the Lord, no man may dedicate; whether ox or sheep, it is the Lord‘s. 27 And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back at the valuation, and add a fifth to it; or, if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold at the valuation.

28 “But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the Lord, of anything that he has, whether man or beast, or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord. 29 No one devoted, who is to be devoted for destruction[e] from mankind, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.

30 “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord‘s; it is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. 32 And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. 33 One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.”

34 These are the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How did God safeguard against His people treating lightly the vows they make  to Him?  Why was a fifth of the stated value to be added to the redemption price?  – (Lev.27:1-25) = Why would an Israelite make a ‘special’ (Hebrew: yapli) or wonderful (Hebrew: neder) vow? The vow could be the dedication of a person (Lev.27:1-8), an animal (Lev.27:9-13), a house (Lev.27:14-15), a piece of property, or a harvest (Lev.27:16-24). These freewill gifts could be promised in order to express gratitude to the Lord or to His servants for benefits received, or for deliverance from evil (Lev.27:28). Moses was empowered by God to prescribe conditions of this voluntary promise. Hannah made such a promise to the Lord, regarding Samuel. (c.f. 1 Sam.1:11). Though people may offer to serve the priest, generally such vows were redeemed and the promise fulfilled, according to its valuation in temple shekels (Lev.27:25). What should be paid to fulfil the vow? God stipulated the value (of service) of men and women, according to their different ages, and the proximity to the release date of the Year of Jubilee (Lev.27:16-24). Moreover, they had to add one fifth of the valuation, to ensure that the requirement of keeping vows was absolutely above board – 4 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay (Ecc.5:4-5 c.f. Lev.27:13-19).

Q.2. Why could some offerings not be redeemed? How did God provide for the future of the priesthood? – (Lev.27:26-34) = At certain times in the history of Israel the spoils of battle were to be set aside for the Lord and His treasuries (Lev.27:28 c.f. 2 Sam.8:11; 1 Kgs.7:51). God took severe action against Achan and his household, when he violated the ban (c.f. Jos.7:1, 11, 22-26), and also King Saul when he disregarded God’s order to destroy the Amalekites (c.f. 1 Sam.15:1-3, 15-23). The firstborn of Israel had been redeemed through the blood of the Passover lamb, so belonged to the Lord already. God told Moses – 12 Now, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. The Levites shall be Mine. 13 For all the firstborn are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, from man to beast. They shall be Mine; I am the LORD … 40Number every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward, and make a list of their names. 41 You shall take the Levites for Me. I am the LORD. Instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites, and instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the sons of Israel (Num.3:12-13, 40-41 c.f. Lev.27:26 & 34). To ensure the priesthood could continue to function and represent Him, God built the offering of tithes into the fabric of the nation’s economy. A tithe of all the firstlings of their flocks and herds, and the first fruits from their trees and harvests belonged to the Lord. This supported the continuance of the priesthood – All the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; It is holy to the Lord (Lev.27:30 c.f. Lev.27:30-33).


If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Mon 3/8/20

Luke 10:38-42 & 11:1-13 … THE PRIORITY OF GOD’S WORD AND PRAYER.

Q.1. What attitudes characterized Martha & Mary? What does Jesus teach us about giving priority to our relationship with Him? – (Lk.10:38-42) =

Q.2. Why did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray? What attitude should what is known as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ cultivate in us? – (Lk.11:1-4) =

Q.3. What quality does Jesus underscore in His parable? Why is this so crucial? – (Lk.11:5-8) =

Q.4. What does Jesus teach us about the heart of our heavenly Father? What are we promised? – (Lk.11:9-13) =

Martha and Mary

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus[a] entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

The Lord’s Prayer

11 Now Jesus[c] was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,[d]
and forgive us our sins,
    for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence[e] he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for[f] a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What attitudes characterized Martha & Mary? What did Jesus teach us about giving priority to our relationship with Him? – (Lk.10:38-42) = Jesus often went to stay with Martha, Lazarus, and Mary in Martha’s home. This explains the forthrightness of the interchange. It is clear that Martha had the gift of hospitality, and that the relationship between Jesus and the trio was strong. The idea that Martha’s role was less respected by Jesus is not supported by Scripture (c.f. Jn.11:5). Though Martha welcomed Jesus into her home, she became agitated during her acts of service, and was  outspoken enough to confront Jesus with her grievance (verses 38-40 c.f. Jn.11:20-21). Mary was more reserved. She loved to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His explanations of the Word and heart of God.  Later, she would prove her love by making a generous display of devotion for Jesus (Lk.10:39 c.f. Jn.11:2). Martha was annoyed by   her sister’s perceived laziness. As well, she was unhappy with Jesus for not asking Mary to help her. In response, Jesus chided her for her attitude and her wrong priorities. Martha’s interest in Jesus’ priorities was obscured by her pre-occupation with her own. It seems that it was standard procedure for Martha to do what needed to be done. However, she was in danger of losing the opportunity most believers would have so longed to have … to sit at Jesus’ feet.

Q.2. Why did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray? What attitude should ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ cultivate in us? – (Lk.11:1-4) = Many of the followers of Jesus had previously been followers of John the Baptist. They would have been familiar with his ministry style (Jn.1:35-40). John preached a clear message of the need for repentance. Here, Jesus also clearly taught His disciples the disciplines of dependence on God, through prayer. This model of prayer given by Jesus, caused His disciples to thirst for more insight. Not surprisingly, the underlying theme of the Lord’s Prayer was to do with DEPENDENCE ON GOD: (i) They were to focus on God and His rule. This reminds us that He is always on the throne (Lk.11:2); (ii) They were to recognize that it was God alone Who would provide their basic necessities (Lk.11:3); (iii) They were to keep short accounts with God and others.  Jesus reminded us that forgiveness is a two-way responsibility – we can’t claim it from God if we won’t extend it to those who offend us (Lk.11:4); (iv) God’s provision of forgiveness is not to be treated lightly. We should call on God to – lead us not into temptation (Lk.11:4) i.e. our relationship should bring about growth in godliness.

Q.3. What quality did Jesus underscore in His parable? Why is this so crucial? – (Lk.11:5-8) = Jesus commended the neighbour because of his PERSISTENCE … The Greek word Jesus used is variously translated as ‘shameless’, ‘audacious’, or ‘impudent’. When sharing our faith with friends, we are to be unembarrassed and bold … and persistent. Persistence is crucial because answers to prayer are not automatically granted as soon as we ask. If prayer worked that way, it would suggest we are in control and that we know what is best. Neither of these propositions is true. God is in control, and our heavenly Father knows what is best.

Q.4. What did Jesus teach us about the heart of our heavenly Father? What are we promised? – (Lk.11:9-13) = Jesus was teaching persistence when He challenged the crowds – 9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened (Lk.11:9-10). The translation from the Greek should read – Ask and keep asking; seek and keep seeking; knock and keep knocking i.e. persist in asking – seeking – knocking. The promise in verse 10 is only to the persistent ‘asker’, seeker’, and knocker’. In the example of an earthly father in verses 11-12 it is obvious that even a caring father will not always give the child what he asks or seeks. Jesus was making the point, that however graciously an earthly father may give (or not give), his giving will be excelled by our heavenly Father. Luke seemed  to convey the idea that God will give far more than good gifts to His children. God will – give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Lk.11:13). There are no gifts that God could give to His children that will ever be as good as the gift of the all-wise Holy Spirit (Lk.11:13 c.f. Rom.8:26-27).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Sat 1/8/20

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20-3:1-5 … THE TRIUMPH OF THE GOSPEL OVER SATAN.

Q.1. What did the Thessalonians mean to Paul? In what way did Satan hinder him? Could Satan remove his joy? – (1 Thes.2:17-20) =

Q.2. What was the substance of Paul & Timothy’s follow up message to the church? Why was this important? – (1 Thes.3:1-4) =

Q.3. Why was Paul worried about the converts at Thessalonica? What did he do about his concerns? – (1 Thes.3:1-2, 5) =

Paul’s Longing to See Them Again

17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker[a] in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What did the Thessalonians mean to Paul? In what way did Satan hinder him? Could Satan remove his joy? – (1 Thes.2:17-20) = Paul loved and was proud of the Thessalonians. They were always in his heart, even when apart (1 Thes.2:17 c.f. 1 Thes.1:2-10). He had tried to visit more than once – and yet Satan hindered us (1 Thes.2:18). No one could ever take away his prize, because they were his – hope or joy or crown of exultation … in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming … You are our glory and joy (1 Thes.2:19-20).

Q.2. What was the substance of Paul & Timothy’s follow up message to the church? Why was this important? – (1 Thes.3:1-4) = Paul was so concerned for his converts, that he eventually sent Timothy – to strengthen and encourage … their faith (1 Thes.3:1-2). It is interesting to read of the reason for the extra time spent with them. The aim was to stimulate their faith. However, the circumstances required that they major on helping them to face and succeed under intense persecution and trials – For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know (1 Thes.3:4). A new believer who understands the probability of facing trials and opposition, is far more likely to survive, even while  experiencing prevailing circumstances.

Q.3. Why was Paul worried about the converts at Thessalonica? What did he do about his concerns? – (1 Thes.3:1-2, 5) = Paul was not unaware of the schemes of the Devil (c.f. 2 Cor.2:11). He considered it to be satanic interference, when he was unable to be reunited with his converts. He was concerned that these new believers may cave in under the pressure exerted by the Tempter (1 Thes.3:5). Doubtless, Paul and his associates prayed. However, Paul did more than pray – he dispatched a highly qualified and faithful servant of Christ to help the Thessalonians through their early days as followers of Jesus (1 Thes.3:1-2).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Fri 31/7/20

Ezekiel 3:1-27 … GOD COMMISSIONS EZEKIEL TO BE A WATCHMAN TO HIS PEOPLE.

Q.1. Did the fact that Ezekiel was not called to a cross-cultural mission make his task any easier? Why? – (Ezk.3:1-7) =

Q.2. How did God prepare His prophet to execute his mission to the exiles? – (Ezk.3:8-15, & 22-27) =

Q.3. What essentially was Ezekiel’s role as a watchman? How could he deliver his soul from judgment? – (Ezk.3:16-21) =

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.

And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel— not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” 10 Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. 11 And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear or refuse to hear.”

12 Then the Spirit[a] lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice[b] of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!” 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake. 14 The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. 15 And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling.[c] And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.

A Watchman for Israel

16 And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for[d] his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. 20 Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”

22 And the hand of the Lord was upon me there. And he said to me, “Arise, go out into the valley,[e] and there I will speak with you.” 23 So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face. 24 But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, “Go, shut yourself within your house. 25 And you, O son of man, behold, cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Did the fact that Ezekiel was not called to a cross-cultural mission make his task any easier? Why? – (Ezk.3:1-7) = Though digesting the scroll of God’s truth was sweet to Ezekiel, God’s Word was despised by his people (Ezk.3:1-3). God informed the prophet that he had not been called to – a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel … to those who should listen to you (Ezk.3:5-6).  Ezekiel’s words would be rejected, because people  were unwilling to listen to God (Ezk.3:7). As Jesus stated – … no prophet is welcome in his own hometown (c.f. Lk.4:24).

Q.2. How did God prepare His prophet to execute his mission to the exiles? – (Ezk.3:8-15, & 22-27) = Ezekiel was forewarned that the exiles would not be willing to listen (Ezk.3:7-11). For such a difficult mission, God strengthened Ezekiel with another vision of His glory – The Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me, ‘Blessed be the glory of the Lord in His place … and behold, the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory which I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face (Ezk.3:12 & 23). Ezekial’s  ministry among the exiles caused consternation (Ezk.3:14-15). God instructed him to only speak what and when He commanded (Ezk.3:25-27).

Q.3. What essentially was Ezekiel’s role as a watchman? How could he deliver his soul from judgment? – (Ezk.3:16-21) = A watchman’s role was to faithfully warn of danger from an invading enemy. Ezekiel had been appointed to act as Israel’s watchman – Son of Man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; Whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me (Ezk.3:17). He had no permission to change the message God had given him. The nation could either listen and repent, or ignore the warning. God would do as He promised. The prophet was obliged to pass on the dreaded message – or his blood I will require at your hand … or by passing on the warning – to deliver yourself (Ezk.3:18 & 19). It was a message of life or death, depending on the response of the hearers (Ezk.3:18-21 c.f. 2 Cor.2:14-17). The response of the hearers is also God’s responsibility (c.f. 1 Cor.3:5-9).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Thurs 30/7/20

Proverbs 17:1-9 … CONTRAST BETWEEN THE UPRIGHT AND THE UNGODLY.

Q.1. What are the benefits of living wisely and seeing life from God’s point of view? – (Prov.17:1-3) =

Q.2. Does it matter what we listen to and how we speak? – Prov.17:4-5, 7) =

Q.3. What does the writer convey about the importance of family relationships? – (Prov.17:6, 8-9) =

Better is a dry morsel with quiet
    than a house full of feasting[a] with strife.
A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
    and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    and the Lord tests hearts.
An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
    and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
    he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
    and the glory of children is their fathers.
Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
    still less is false speech to a prince.
A bribe is like a magic[b] stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
    wherever he turns he prospers.
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
    but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What are the benefits of living wisely and seeing life from God’s point of view? – (Prov.17:1-3) = All our circumstances are a test of faith from the Lord. Therefore, we must keep everything in perspective: Quietness is better than strife, no matter what is happening (Prov.17:1). We can make progress, according to the level of our wisdom – A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully and will share in the inheritance among brothers (Prov.17:2). The Lord tests our hearts with adversity, in order  to purify us like silver and gold (Prov.17:3 c.f. 1 Pet.1:7; 4:12-13).

Q.2. Does it matter what we listen to and how we speak? – Prov.17:4-5, 7) = Much harm can be done by listening to a bad report – An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue (Prov.17:4 c.f. Prov.17:7; Num.12:1-15; 13:31-33; 14:1-10). Quietly reminding ourselves and others that we belong to the Lord, will ward off much destructive talk. Most bad reports are given with the intent of  damaging the reputation of others. Remember – He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; he who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished (Prov.17:5). We need to be very careful about what we allow ourselves to hear and say.

Q.3. What did the writer convey about the importance of family relationships? – (Prov.17:6, 8-9) = Grandchildren are a blessing because they are your children’s children – Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers (Prov.17:6). The stability of the home lays a foundation, and gives confidence to children. The importance of the family cannot be overstated. People may use a bribe in order to prosper. However, wise is the one who trusts the Lord and deals with integrity (Prov.17:8 c.f. Prov.11:3; 12:22; 28:6; 1 Pet.3:16).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Wed 29/7/20

1 Kings 22:29-53 … AHAB CANNOT CHEAT DEATH AND ITS AFTERMATH IN JUDAH AND ISRAEL.

Q.1. What lessons do we learn from Ahab and Jehoshaphat in their battle against Aram? How did God justify His prophets? – (1 Kgs.22:29-40) =

Q.2. What kind of man was King Jehoshaphat? Did he learn anything from his friendship with Israel? – (1 Kgs.22:41-53) =

Ahab Killed in Battle

29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” 32 And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is surely the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 But a certain man drew his bow at random[a] and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 35 And the battle continued that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died. And the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. 36 And about sunset a cry went through the army, “Every man to his city, and every man to his country!”

37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria. 38 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord that he had spoken. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did, and the ivory house that he built and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

Jehoshaphat Reigns in Judah

41 Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. Yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.

45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46 And from the land he exterminated the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa.

47 There was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships,” but Jehoshaphat was not willing. 50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.

Ahaziah Reigns in Israel

51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 53 He served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What lessons do we learn from Ahab and Jehoshaphat in their battle against Aram? How did God justify His prophets? – (1 Kgs.22:29-40) = The godly prophet Micaiah had warned the kings of Israel and Judah of impending doom. By forming an alliance with Ahab, Jehoshaphat had placed his spiritual welfare and his life at risk. Ahab had set him up, but in grace, God saved him (1 Kgs.22:29-33). In spite of Ahab’s disguise – a man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel … The battle raged all day and the king was propped up in his chariot in front of the Arameans, and died at evening, and the blood of the chariot ran into the bottom of the chariot (1 Kgs. 22:34-35). In accordance with the prophecies from Elijah and Micaiah that Ahab would meet an ignominious end – They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves there), according to the word of the Lord which He spoke (1 Kgs.22:38 c.f. 1 Kgs.21:19; 22:28). God’s true prophets were vindicated.

Q.2. What kind of man was King Jehoshaphat? Did he learn anything from his friendship with Israel? – (1 Kgs.22:41-53) = The reign of Jehoshaphat is given more exposure in 2 Chronicles chapters 17-20. His alliance with King Ahab was strongly condemned by the seer Jehu – Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath upon yourself from the Lord? (2 Chron.19:2). In response, Jehoshaphat repented and turned the nation, in revival, back to God. His prayer to God when a vast army came against Judah was legendary (2 Ch.20:5-12). He was one of the great kings of Judah – He walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord (1 Kgs.22:43). He also removed – the remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father (1 Kgs.22:46 c.f. Lev.18:22; 20:13). According to this record, Jehoshaphat was prevented from turning to shipbuilding, and when Ahab’s son sought an alliance – Jehoshaphat was not willing (1 Kgs.22:49 c.f. 1 Kgs.22:48-49). Ahab’s son, Ahaziah followed his wicked father. He provoked God to anger by going by the way of his ancestor, Jeroboam – who caused Israel to sin (1 Kgs.22:51-53 c.f. 1 Kgs.12:25-33).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009