Wed 19/6/19

1 Samuel 24:1-22 … DAVID SPARES SAUL’S LIFE AND SWEARS TO SPARE HIS DESCENDANTS.

Q.1. Where was David hiding? Why did he stop his men from killing Saul? What bothered his conscience? What appeal and prayer did he present to the king? – (1 Sam.24:1-12) =

Q.2. What did David mean by his proverb? On whom did David rely for safety? What admission did Saul make to David? What did David promise the king? – (1 Sam.24:13-22) =

David Spares Saul’s Life

24 [a] When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wildgoats’ Rocks. And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself.[b]Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave.And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lordsaid to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord‘s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord‘s anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.

Afterward David also arose and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’? 10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lordgave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you.[c] I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord‘s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. 12 May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you.13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness.’ But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea! 15 May the Lord therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you, and see to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.”

16 As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. 18 And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 Swear to me therefore by the Lord that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house.” 22 And David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Where was David hiding? Why did he stop his men from killing Saul? What bothered his conscience? What appeal and prayer did he present to the king? – (1 Sam.24:1-12) = After David had escaped from Saul, and survived the treachery of his countrymen, Saul was told – David is in the wilderness of Engedi (1 Sam.24:1). He took three thousand of his troops to ferret David out of hiding (1 Sam.24:2). At one stage, Saul went into a cave to relive himself … the very cave occupied by David and his men (1 Sam.24:3). Perhaps Saul was known to be deaf, or it was a stormy day, so his men told David – ‘Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’ Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly (1 Sam.24:4). David responded to his men – ‘Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.’ David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul (1 Sam.24:6-7). However, his conscience bothered him over his lack of respect for the king (1 Sam.24:5). David then followed Saul, called to him, and bowed before him. He asked why Saul believed he was out to harm him, and informed the king – Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ (1 Sam.24:10). He showed him the edge of his robe to prove his claim and declared – May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord avenge me on you, but my hand shall not be against you (1 Sam.24:12). David understood that vengeance is God’s prerogative alone (c.f. Rom.12:19-21).

Q.2. What did David mean by his proverb? On whom did David rely for safety? What admission did Saul make to David? What did David promise the king? – (1 Sam.24:13-22) = The proverb David quoted was based on the observation that – out of the wicked comes wickedness (1 Sam.24:13). However, David resolved not to act that way, but rather to trust in God, and told Saul –  The Lord therefore be judge and decide between you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand (1 Sam.24:15). Saul admitted to David – You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you (1 Sam.24:17). He acknowledged – May the Lord therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand (1 Sam.24:19-20). He asked David to promise not to destroy his descendants, or his name (1 Sam.24:21). David agreed to Saul’s request and swore to spare Saul’s posterity. Nevertheless, in spite of all David’s kind words, Saul wouldn’t stop trying to kill David. David showed Saul that he had nothing to fear from him, and that he would wait for God’s timing, before ascending the throne of Israel. David’s gracious action to the king also revealed Saul’s stupidity in trying to eliminate him, since he was no threat to Saul. It would also establish for Saul’s army, and his own men, a brand new basis for running the kingdom, when eventually he would ascend to the throne. David acted wisely and righteously.


(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

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Tues 18/6/19

Exodus 18:1-27 … GOD USES JETHRO TO ADVISE MOSES HOW TO DELEGATE HIS LEADERSHIP.

Q.1. What made Jethro visit Moses? How important were his family to Moses? What news did Moses give Jethro? How did Jethro respond to the news? – (Exo.18:1-12) =

Q.2. Did Jethro like the leadership style of Moses? What advice did he give Moses? What kind of men should Moses appoint to leadership? How did he manage Israel? – (Exo.18:13-27)

Jethro’s Advice

18 Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner[a] in a foreign land”), and the name of the other, Eliezer[b] (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. And when he sent word to Moses, “I,[c] your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.

10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.”[d] 12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; 16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.”17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. 19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”

24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.26 And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What made Jethro visit Moses? How important were his family to Moses? What news did Moses give Jethro? How did Jethro respond to the news? – (Exo.18:1-12) = In Exodus 3:1 attention was drawn to Jethro’s connection to Abraham, and his second wife Keturah (Q.1 – Exo.3:1-6). Jethro, the priest of Midian, and Israel’s leader, Moses,  were both of the faith of Abraham. Upon hearing of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt – Jethro, Moses’ father-in-la, took Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away (Exo.2:21; 4:25). His wife and sons would have been a special target of Pharaoh’s wrath,  so Moses had sent them back to the protection of her father. His sons carried his two great life experiences in their names: Gershom – I have been a sojourner in a foreign land (Exo.18:3). The other was named Eliezer – The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh (Exo.18:4). The place where Moses and Jethro met was back at the mountain of God in Midian, where Moses had his ‘burning bush’ experience (Exo.18:5 c.f. Exo.3:1-6). This mountain of God  is also referred to as Mount Sinai, and Mount Horeb, where Israel entered into their covenant with God, and where He gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Mt. Sinai as in Exo.19:18 & Horeb as in Dt.5:2). In his tent – Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how the Lord had delivered them. Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians (Exo.18:8-9). Jethro acknowledged –Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods … (Exo.18:11). Jethro was treated with much respect when he – took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law before God (Exo.18:12).

Q.2. Did Jethro like the leadership style of Moses? What advice did he give Moses? What kind of men should Moses appoint to leadership? How did he manage Israel? – (Exo.18:13-27) = It didn’t take Jethro long to recognize that Moses had enormous demands on his time (Exo.18:13-14). This would place family relationships under jeopardy. Moses explained that – people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbour and make known the statutes of God and His laws (Exo.18:15-16). Jethro told Moses plainly that his leadership style was neither good for him, nor the people (Exo.18:17-18). He respectfully suggested – 19 Now listen to me: I will give you counsel and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, 20 then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do (Exo.18:19-20). To delegate effectively would require him to select – able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thous and, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens (Exo.18:21). He advised Moses to restrict himself to major disputes alone, and delegate all other matters to the other leaders (Exo.18:22). He predicted – if you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace (Exo.18:23). Moses listened to the advice of Jethro, and bad him farewell (Exo.18:24-27).


(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@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Mon 17/6/19

Mark 5:21-43 … JESUS STOPS A HAEMORRHAGE AND RAISES A DEAD GIRL TO LIFE.

Q .1. Why did Jesus stay by the boat? How did Jesus know someone touched Him for healing? Who touched Him and why? Why did Jesus get her to testify to her healing? – (Mk.5:21, 25-34) =

Q.2. Who was Jairus? What did he want from Jesus? What happened during the delay? Why did Jesus take three disciples? Was the girl dead? What was Jesus’ follow up? – (Mk.5:21-24, 35-43) =

Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter

21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him.

And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ 32 And he looked around to see who had done it.33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”36 But overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus[b]saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Suggested Answers:

Q .1. Why did Jesus stay by the boat? How did Jesus know someone touched Him for healing? Who touched Him and why? Why did Jesus get her to testify to her healing? – (Mk.5:21, 25-34) = Jesus was in great demand, and a large crowd awaited His arrival. This meant He stayed in the boat on the seashore (Mk.5:21). While dealing with the plight of Jairus, a synagogue official, Jesus – perceiving in Himself that the power had gone forth from Him, turned around in the crowd and said – ‘Who touched Me?’ (Mk.5:30). It seemed a silly question, and the disciples said so, since everyone was pressing in upon Him (Mk.5:31). Nevertheless, He declared that He was aware that power had gone out from Him (c.f. Lk.8:46). Only then did the shy and grateful woman testify that she had been afflicted for twelve long years, and  – had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was not helped … (Mk.5:24-25). Then she had heard about Jesus, and believed that if she just touched His gown, she would be healed. When she did, she was instantly healed of her affliction (Mk.5:27-29). In response to Jesus’s question – the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told him the whole truth (Mk.5:33). Jesus encouraged her – Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction (Mk.5:34). This notable miracle had to be made known.

Q.2. Who was Jairus? What did he want from Jesus? What happened during the delay? Why did Jesus take three disciples? Was the girl dead? What was Jesus’ follow up? – (Mk.5:21-24, 35-43) = Poor Jairus! His hopes were raised when Jesus followed him. They then were dashed when his servants told him that his little girl had died. Fortunately, Jesus had overheard the report, and encouraged Jairus not to lose faith (Mk.5:36-37). Soon his faith was rewarded, when his little girl was raised to life again. (Mk.5:24). Jairus was a synagogue official, who had come to ask Jesus to heal his dying daughter (Mk.5:22-23). A great miracle would soon take place! The travel to and fro would have taken much time. We learn that Jesus – allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter, James, and John (Mk.5:37). They were also the sole witnesses to the transfiguration of Jesus and were his chosen companions in Gethsemane (Mk.9:2 c.f. Mk.14:33). They were the prominent apostles in the establishment of the church. By the time Jesus arrived at the house of Jairus, the mourning was well under way. Christ’s claim that the dead girl was asleep was greeted with scorn, since everyone knew she had died (Mk.5:38-40 c.f. Jn.11:11-14). Taking only the parents and the three disciples, Jesus took the child’s hand, and spoke with authority – ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’ (Mk.5:41). The twelve year old girl did as Jesus said, and was raised to life. He then asked the parents to give their daughter something to eat (Mk.5:43). The crowd were amazed. He ordered the people to refrain from spreading news of the miracle. Jesus did not want His mission to be circumvented by sensation.


(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

Sat 15/6/19

2 Corinthians 6:1-10 … PAUL COMMENDS THE CORINTHIANS TO PERSEVERE IN THE MINISTRY.

Q.1. On what basis did Paul make his appeal? What makes the gospel urgent? How were the Corinthians to exercise their ministries? What is the price we must pay for serving Christ? – (2 Cor.6:1-10) =

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,
    and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. On what basis did Paul make his appeal? What makes the gospel urgent? How were the Corinthians to exercise their ministries? What is the price we must pay for serving Christ? – (2 Cor.6:1-10) = After his lofty insights on the Atonement, Paul went on to apply the appeal of these provisions we have in Christ. He seemed to be applying the gospel to two kinds of people in the Corinthian Church. Firstly, he addressed those who had received the grace of God. They should respond by operating as Christ’s ambassadors (2 Cor.6:1). Secondly, he challenged those who had not fully embraced the calling of the gospel, to do so, because – now is the day of salvation (2 Cor.6:2). In the O.T. Isaiah had brought a strong appeal to Israel, that they should live out their covenant. He also highlighted their responsibility to be a light to the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:6-8). We must do both! However, sharing the gospel is far from easy, and all the circumstances Paul went on to describe, are trials and challenges: Later in Chapter 11, he will give an even broader summary of his trials. Here he gave them more in categories, and also gives the character qualities that should be displayed by faithful servants of God. Needless to say, all of these are hard to bear, and therefore hard to consistently live by: (i) He spoke about the extremes that he had to endure – … in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in sleeplessness, in hunger (2 Cor.6:4-5). (ii) Then he added qualities that are not natural to develop because they are produced by the Holy Spirit –  in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left (2 Cor.6:6-7). (iii) Paul also documented the ‘ups and down’ of the ministry that add to its uncertainty – by glory and dishonour, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things (2 Cor.6:8-10). Like His Master, Paul did not want to misrepresent the pressure and pain of serving the Lord. No person reading the Bible could conclude that tests and trials are foreign to the Christian’s walk.


(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 14/6/19

Jeremiah 7:1-34 … GOD DIRECTS JEREMIAH TO EXPOSE THE SINS OF THE NATION.

Q.1. Where was Jeremiah to deliver God’s message? Was there any hope? How far had the nation drifted? How was Judah approaching God’s house? What warning did Jeremiah give? – (Jer.7:1-15) =

Q.2. Why was Jeremiah told to stop interceding for Judah? What did God require? How had Israel treated God throughout their history? How had Judah insulted God? What would He do? – (Jer.7:16-34) =

Evil in the Land

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Stand in the gate of the Lord‘s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place.Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.

16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19 Is it I whom they provoke? declares the Lord. Is it not themselves, to their own shame? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26 Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

27 “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lordtheir God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

29 “‘Cut off your hair and cast it away;
    raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
    the generation of his wrath.’

The Valley of Slaughter

30 “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. 34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Where was Jeremiah to deliver God’s message? Was there any hope? How far had the nation drifted? How was Judah approaching God’s house? What warning did Jeremiah give? – (Jer.7:1-15) = God commanded Jeremiah to preach in the entrance of the gates of the temple (Jer.7:2). He was told in advance that the people would not listen to him (Jer.7:27). Nevertheless, the prophet faithfully proclaimed the words of the Lord – the exhortations, promises, and denunciations (Jer.7:3-26). The Lord promised – Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place … 7 the place that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that I may dwell with you (Jer.7:3, 7, 23). God demanded a return to godly living – For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbour, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin (Jer.7:5-6). Their religion had deteriorated into a sham, and their actions included stealing, murder, adultery, broken vows, and idolatry (Jer.7:4, 8-10). Jesus would ask the same question generations later, as God did then – Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight (Jer.7:11 c.f. Mt.21:13; Lk.19:46). He accused the nation of trusting in a building, rather than the God it represented (Jer.9:14). He advised them to look at the devastation at Shiloh. This had been the place of the first tabernacle that was desecrated by Eli and his sons. The people should remember that God had destroyed it forever (Jer.7:12-15).

Q.2. Why was Jeremiah told to stop interceding for Judah? What did God require? How had Israel treated God throughout their history? How had Judah insulted God? What would He do? – (Jer.7:16-34) = Because Judah had stopped taking any notice of God’s warnings, Jeremiah was told neither his, nor the people’s intercession would be answered (Jer.7:16). Their false sacrifices, and insulting conduct had made God angry (Jer.7:17-20). He reminded them that true religion had never been about going through the motions of sacrifices, but that He desired His people to – ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ (Jer.7:23). Down through the generations, Israel did not heed God’s voice (Jer.7:24-26). Consequently, His patience had run out, for – the Lord has rejected and forsaken ‘the generation of His wrath’ (Jer.7:29). He asked if Jeremiah had observed the worst defilement possible being perpetrated in Judah – burning their sons and daughters in the fire, which I did not command … (Jer.7:31 c.f. 2 Chron.33:3-6). The valley of burning would be known as the valley of slaughter where – 33 The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin (Jer.7:33-34). This corresponds to God’s judgment at the end of the Great Tribulation (Rev.14:19-20; 18:21-24; 19:17-18).


(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 13/6/19

Psalm 57:1-11 … DAVID TURNS HIS TRIALS INTO AN OCCASION TO EXALT GOD.

Q.1. Why did David write this Psalm? How severe was this trial? Where was his focus? What was David’s view of God? What difference did his meditation make? – (Ps.57:1-11) =

Let Your Glory Be over All the Earth

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam[a] of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.

57 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
    for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
    till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
    to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
    he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

My soul is in the midst of lions;
    I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
    whose tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!

They set a net for my steps;
    my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
    but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
My heart is steadfast, O God,
    my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
    Awake, my glory![b]
Awake, O harp and lyre!
    I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
    I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Where was Jeremiah to deliver God’s message? Was there any hope? How far had the nation drifted? How was Judah approaching God’s house? What warning did Jeremiah give? – (Jer.7:1-15) = God commanded Jeremiah to preach in the entrance of the gates of the temple (Jer.7:2). He was told in advance that the people would not listen to him (Jer.7:27). Nevertheless, the prophet faithfully proclaimed the words of the Lord – the exhortations, promises, and denunciations (Jer.7:3-26). The Lord promised – Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place … 7 the place that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that I may dwell with you (Jer.7:3, 7, 23). God demanded a return to godly living – For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbour, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin (Jer.7:5-6). Their religion had deteriorated into a sham, and their actions included stealing, murder, adultery, broken vows, and idolatry (Jer.7:4, 8-10). Jesus would ask the same question generations later, as God did then – Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight (Jer.7:11 c.f. Mt.21:13; Lk.19:46). He accused the nation of trusting in a building, rather than the God it represented (Jer.9:14). He advised them to look at the devastation at Shiloh. This had been the place of the first tabernacle that was desecrated by Eli and his sons. The people should remember that God had destroyed it forever (Jer.7:12-15).

Q.2. Why was Jeremiah told to stop interceding for Judah? What did God require? How had Israel treated God throughout their history? How had Judah insulted God? What would He do? – (Jer.7:16-34) = Because Judah had stopped taking any notice of God’s warnings, Jeremiah was told neither his, nor the people’s intercession would be answered (Jer.7:16). Their false sacrifices, and insulting conduct had made God angry (Jer.7:17-20). He reminded them that true religion had never been about going through the motions of sacrifices, but that He desired His people to – ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ (Jer.7:23). Down through the generations, Israel did not heed God’s voice (Jer.7:24-26). Consequently, His patience had run out, for – the Lord has rejected and forsaken ‘the generation of His wrath’ (Jer.7:29). He asked if Jeremiah had observed the worst defilement possible being perpetrated in Judah – burning their sons and daughters in the fire, which I did not command … (Jer.7:31 c.f. 2 Chron.33:3-6). The valley of burning would be known as the valley of slaughter where – 33 The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin (Jer.7:33-34). This corresponds to God’s judgment at the end of the Great Tribulation (Rev.14:19-20; 18:21-24; 19:17-18).


(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 12/6/19

1 Samuel 23:1-29 … DAVID DELIVERS KEILAH AND IS PURSUED BY KING SAUL.

Q.1. Where was Keilah? Was David wise to try to help Keilah? What made his men reluctant to get involved? How did he gain their support? What advantage did Abiathar give David? – (1 Sam.23:1-6) =

Q.2. Why did King Saul renew his attack on David? How did David know what Saul would do? Was the response of the people of Keilah surprising? How were Saul’s plans frustrated? – (1 Sam.23:6-14) =

Q.3. How did Jonathan encourage David? Why did the Ziphites work against David? How far was Saul prepared to go to destroy David? How did David escape from the trap? – (1 Sam.23:15-29) =

David Saves the City of Keilah

23 Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

When Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David to Keilah, he had come down with an ephod in his hand. Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has given him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account.11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” 13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition. 14 And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

Saul Pursues David

15 David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.” 18 And the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.

19 Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon? 20 Now come down, O king, according to all your heart’s desire to come down, and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” 21 And Saul said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, for you have had compassion on me. 22 Go, make yet more sure. Know and see the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there, for it is told me that he is very cunning. 23 See therefore and take note of all the lurking places where he hides, and come back to me with sure information. Then I will go with you. And if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.” 24 And they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul.

Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 25 And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, 27 a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.”28 So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape.[a] 29 [b]And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of Engedi.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Where was Keilah? Was David wise to try to help Keilah? What made his men reluctant to get involved? How did he gain their support? What advantage did Abiathar give David? – (1 Sam.23:1-6) = Keilah was in the foothills of Judea, about 25 kms S.W. of Jerusalem. David would have been familiar with this region. After consulting the Lord, David was urged to save these people from the scourge of the Philistines, who were plundering their harvests (1 Sam.23:1-2). However, David’s men tried to dissuade him from adding Philistine opposition to that of Saul’s (1 Sam.23:3). David did not ignore their pleas and checked with the Lord again.  The Lord repeated His earlier promise of triumph (1 Sam.23:4). David’s dependence on God, his respect for the fears of his men, and his humility in admitting he could be wrong, explains why he was such an inspirational leader. It is recorded that David and his men struck the Philistines, with great slaughter (1 Sam.23:5). The prophet Gad was a wonderful support for David. However, Abiathar was able to consult the Lord with the Urim and Thummin, and gain clear direction from God (1 Sam.23:6 c.f. 1 Sam.22:5 & 20). Today we have the principles of God’s Word (2 Pet.1:3-4, 19-21).

Q.2. Why did King Saul renew his attack on David? How did David know what Saul would do? Was the response of the people of Keilah surprising? How were Saul’s plans frustrated? – (1 Sam.23:6-14) = Initially, the people of Keilah welcomed David and his men in their barred city (1 Sam.23:7). Believing that David was trapped, Saul gathered his army to attack Keilah, and caprure David and his men (1 Sam.23:8). David soon found out, and asked Abiathar to consult God for him (1 Sam.23:9). He was concerned that his presence was placing the people of Keilah under threat (1 Sam.23:10). He was given two warnings from God: (i) The men of Keilah would not protect him, but would give David into Saul’s hand; (ii) Saul would attack them at Keilah (1 Sam.23:11-12). David and his men fled. They hid in various strongholds in the wilderness of Ziph. Consequently, Saul gave up his pursuit of David (1 Sam.23:13). However, the primary reason David was kept safe was that – God did not deliver him into his hand (1 Sam.23:14).

Q.3. How did Jonathan encourage David? Why did the Ziphites work against David? How far was Saul prepared to go to destroy David? How did David escape from the trap? – (1 Sam.23:15-29) = David could have easily lost the focus of his calling. However, he was encouraged by Jonathan, who assured him – Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel and I will be next to you; and Saul my father knows that also (1 Sam.23:17). Before Jonathan left, the two of them renewed their covenant to each other before the Lord (1 Sam.23:18). Both David and Jonathan were amazing leaders. We don’t know exactly why the Ziphites, who were from David’s territory of Judah, would have turned against him (1 Sam.23:19-20). During that time David and his men acted as protectors of the landowners. However, there were 600 men beside women and children, so like Nabal’s response to them, they might have been unwilling to support such a crowd (c.f. 1 Sam.25:2-8). Saul saw the disclosure of the Ziphites as an act of faithfulness to him (1 Sam.23:21). He asked them for exact information (1 Sam.23:22-23). Saul pursued David relentlessly (1 Sam.23:24-25). He almost succeeded in surrounding and catching David with his army (1 Sam.23:26). Again, God intervened and sent him news of a Philistine raid in his territory (1 Sam.23:27). Therefore – Saul returned from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines … they called that place the ‘Rock of Escape’ (1 Sam.23:28).  David was delivered once more, and escaped to Engedi (1 Sam.23:29).


(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