Archive for the ‘Bible Study’ Category


Under Gods Command

Life Application Study Bible Named this Chapter

Judgement on Jerusalem and Judah

but I call it

Judgement on the United States of America

Isaiah 3:1-15 NIV
[1] See now, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water, [2] the hero and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, [3] the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter. [4] “I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them.” [5] People will oppress each other—man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored. [6] A man will seize one of his brothers in his father’s house, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!” [7] But in that day he will cry out, “I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people.” [8] Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence. [9] The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. [10] Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. [11] Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. [12] Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. [13] The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. [14] The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. [15] What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

Love the Commentary Notes

Jerusalem besieged, her leaders destroyed—this unhappy picture would soon become a reality. Disobedience would bring serious affliction and great destruction, as God had warned (Deuteronomy 28).

3:4-9 This section describes what happens when a nation loses its leadership.

3:9-11 The people would be proud of their sins, parading them out in the open. But sin is self-destructive. In today’s world, sinful living often appears glamorous, exciting, and clever. But sin is wrong, regardless of how society perceives it, and, in the long run, sin will make us miserable and destroy us. God tries to protect us by warning us about the harm we will cause ourselves by sinning. Those who are proud of their sins will receive the punishment from God they deserve. Having rejected God’s path to life (see Psalm 1), they had only one alternative—the path to destruction.

3:10, 11 In the middle of this gloomy message, God gives hope: Eventually the righteous will receive God’s reward, and the wicked will receive their punishment. It is disheartening to see the wicked prosper, while we struggle to obey God and follow his plan. But let us keep holding on to God’s truth and take heart! God will bring about justice in the end, and he will reward those who have been faithful.

3:14 The elders and rulers were responsible to help people, but instead they stole from the poor. Because they were unjust, Isaiah said the leaders would be the first to receive God’s judgment. Leaders will be held accountable for how they lead. If you are in a position of leadership, you must lead according to God’s just commands. Put the needs of others before your own. Fulfill the purpose God intended. Don’t seek your own advantage. Corruption will bring God’s wrath, especially if others follow your example.

3:14 Why is justice so important in the Bible? (1) Justice is part of God’s nature; it is the way he runs the universe. (2) It is a natural desire in every person. Even as sinners, we all want justice for ourselves. (3) When government and church leaders are unjust, the poor and powerless suffer. Thus, they are hindered from worshiping God. (4) God holds the poor in high regard. They are the ones most likely to turn to him for help and comfort. Injustice, then, attacks God’s children.

Lets Bring it Home: Its time we take our eyes off the television and point them to God. Stop worrying about how corrupt our Government is, and keep or start praying about it. Lets be sure we keep focus on ourselves also. We do want our prayers to be heard. When we do nothing to help the oppressed, we are, in fact, joining with the oppressor. Because we follow a just God, we must uphold justice. Don’t stop fighting for Justice. In the end God will have the Victory.


Proverbs 7:21With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. 

Women can overpower men – by words! Men crave hearing a woman’s praise, affection, and loyalty. A whore’s flattery is very dangerous. Wicked women use this power to entice men to sin; virtuous women use it to please, protect, and build up their husbands.

Solomon’s long parable about an adulteress seducing a young fool includes the power of her words tempting him to sin with her. Her speech is so powerful, she “caused him to yield” and “forced him” into sexual sin. He is fully guilty for sinning with her, but the wisdom of this proverb is to rightly grasp the danger and power of her flirting words.

In this perverse world, no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is always the man’s fault for sexual problems. Sexual harassment occurs in only one direction for such weak minds and today’s courts. But the LORD and Solomon warned about women seducing and forcing men, and they were right. Women have power (Pr 6:24-25; 7:26; Eccl 7:26).

Whorish women create more sexual temptation for men than lewd men do for women (Pr 23:27-28). Only the basest of women are attracted to crude, forward, and lascivious men. Women are naturally protected by stronger inhibitions, need for commitment, families, laws, and social decorum. But what can protect men from a bold seductress? Proverbs!

Flattery is excessive praise used to seduce someone against his will. It is presenting a matter very favorably in order to make it more pleasant and to beguile the listener. Men love the praise of a woman, for winning the adoration, favor, and devotion of a woman is an instinctive drive placed in their hearts and loins by God. Evil women manipulate this desire in men to prey on them in their various schemes of seduction for selfish purposes.

Whatever inhibitions against sexual sin a man has – by religion, parental training, or noble character – he will often lose them due to the enticing and flattering speech of a desirable woman. The adoration of a woman is an elixir that only a few exceptional men can resist, and then only by the grace of God. Joseph may have resisted Potiphar’s wife, but he was an exception to the general rule of Scripture and human experience.

King Solomon often warned his son about the smooth and silky words of a whorish seductress (Pr 2:16; 5:3; 6:24; 7:5; 22:14). Wise men will take sober heed and avoid such women, before their lying words steal their souls and virtue. But here he has just described in detail the verbal approach of an adulteress enticing a naïve victim (Pr 7:13-20). His summary in this proverb states the case well. She forced the young man to yield!

Solomon described the whore as using an embrace, a kiss, and a bold, uninhibited face before her words (Pr 7:13). Then he gave a lengthy description of her much fair speech:

  1. I am really a good girl: I am no whore: sleeping with me will not be sin (7:14).
  2. I have made many preparations and have lots of things for a great time (7:14).
  3. My motives are very noble in wanting to share a great time with you (7:15).
  4. I have waited a long time and dreamed often of finding a man like you (7:15).
  5. I am so glad I found you, because I do not want to be with anyone else (7:15).
  6. It is so wonderful to be alone with you and feel the passion between us (7:15).
  7. I have wanted to meet you for a long time; I have made preparations (7:16).
  8. I have arranged things for the ultimate, perfect lovemaking between us (7:16).
  9. I know special things you will love, that other boring women overlook (7:17).
  10. I care about you more than any other woman, so I go to greater efforts (7:17).
  11. We surely have a love between us that no one else has ever had before (7:18).
  12. Let us fully experience the depths of this unique, special love we have (7:18).
  13. No woman has ever felt as strongly about any man as I feel for you (7:18).
  14. Our lovemaking will exceed all the lovemaking in the world’s history (7:18).
  15. The comfort and pleasure we can find in each other will be wonderful (7:18).
  16. Our love and pleasure will last all night – and all our lives – forever (7:18).
  17. Don’t worry about any risk, for my old man is on a long business trip (7:19).
  18. He loves business more than me: I need your love and body so much (7:19).
  19. There is no risk of getting caught; I have figured everything out for us (7:20).
  20. He has money, which he loves; we have a love his money cannot buy (7:20).

Young man, how strong was Samson? Was he stronger than any man? Indeed! He was stronger than you. But whores have slain many strong men (Pr 7:26). Delilah used words to destroy him, even though he knew she wanted to destroy him. Why could he not resist her? Because flattering words from a beautiful woman are too much for most men! Read about his weakness and helplessness before her manipulating flattery (Judges 16:4-21).

Young man, how wise was Solomon? Was he wiser than any man? Indeed! He was wiser than you. But whores have cast down and wounded many great men (Pr 7:26). Exotic women caused even Solomon to sin, against the good advice of his own proverbs (I Kgs 11:1-8; Neh 13:26). Among many nations there was no king like him, and God loved Him, but these women corrupted his great character by power over him (Eccl 7:26).

In avoiding the dangerous flattery of women, you must also guard against seducing words in notes, cards, emails, text messages, tweets, phone messages, letters, forums, or any other forms of communication. It does not matter how a woman’s words arrive in a man’s mind, they are powerful. She can communicate with you more easily today than ever before, and wisdom demands caution in all these new dangers of the 21st century.

Christian woman, guard your speech to men other than your father or husband. Be sober. Hate flirting or flattery. While praise is a wonderful thing, it is too powerful for you to give to men other than on rare occasions and with great discretion. But you should learn to use kind words and feminine adoration of your father and husband, for it can build a man’s soul and character to be the strong and noble creature God intended him to be.

Christian wife, why let the world’s women tempt your husband by your silence or prudery at home? A virtuous wife is skilful in all the arts of lovemaking (Pr 5:19; I Cor 7:1-5; Heb 13:4), including words that comfort, intrigue, arouse, and invite her husband. If you have not been taught such things, you need to read King Solomon’s Song! The book of Proverbs has lessons of wisdom, but his song describes two hot married lovers!

The subtle and damning nature of flattery is seen also in false religion, where good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of simple hearers to sell false doctrine (Rom 16:17-18; II Cor 2:17; 11:3-4,13-15; Col 2:4; II Pet 2:3,18). What is the protection? Look for the plain and simple churches of Jesus Christ with straightforward preaching of the Bible. Look for ministers who provide all things direct and honest (II Cor 4:2). Instead of pulpit manner, look for pulpit content. Instead of presentation, look for doctrine and instruction.


Under Gods Command (Falling in Love with Jesus)

Matthew Chapter 1:18-24    

18This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

     20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dreams and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, t because he will save his people from their sins.”

     22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” w (which means “God with us”).

     24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Jewish marriage involved three basic steps. First, the two families agreed to the union. Second, a public announcement was made. At this point, the couple was “pledged.” This was similar to engagement today except that their relationship could be broken only through death or divorce (even though sexual relations were not yet permitted). Third, the couple was married and began living together. Because Mary and Joseph were engaged, Mary’s apparent unfaithfulness carried a severe social stigma. According to Jewish civil law, Joseph had a right to divorce her, and the Jewish authorities could have had her stoned to death (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).

1:18 Why is the Virgin Birth important to the Christian faith? Jesus Christ, God’s Son, had to be free from the sinful nature passed on to all other human beings by Adam. Because Jesus was born of a woman, he was a human being; but as the Son of God, Jesus was born without any trace of human sin. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine.

Because Jesus lived as a man, we know that he fully understands our experiences and struggles (Hebrews 4:15-16). Because he is God, he has the power and authority to deliver us from sin (Colossians 2:13-15). We can tell Jesus all our thoughts, feelings, and needs. He has been where we are now, and he has the ability to help.

Joseph was faced with a difficult choice after discovering that Mary was pregnant. Perhaps Joseph thought he had only two options: divorce Mary quietly or have her stoned. But God provided a third option—marry her (1:20-23). In view of the circumstances, this had not occurred to Joseph. But God often shows us that there are more options available than we think. Although Joseph seemed to be doing the right thing by breaking the engagement, only God’s guidance helped him make the best decision. But that did not make it an easy decision. Consenting to marry Mary surely cast doubt on his own innocence regarding the pregnancy, as well as leaving them both with a social stigma they would carry for the rest of their lives. Yet Joseph chose to obey the angel’s command (1:24). When our decisions affect the lives of others, we must always seek God’s wisdom and then be willing to follow through no matter how difficult it may be.

The conception and birth of Jesus Christ are supernatural events beyond human logic or reasoning. Because of this, God sent angels to help certain people understand the significance of what was happening (see 2:13, 19; Luke 1:11, 26; 2:9).

Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out his work on earth. They bring God’s messages to people (Luke 1:26), protect God’s people (Daniel 6:22), offer encouragement (Genesis 16:7-16), give guidance (Exodus 14:19), carry out punishment (2 Samuel 24:16), patrol the earth (Zechariah 1:9-14), and fight the forces of evil (2 Kings 6:16-18; Revelation 20:1-2). There are both good and bad angels (Revelation 12:7), but because bad angels are allied with the devil, or Satan, they have considerably less power and authority than good angels. Eventually the main role of angels will be to offer continuous praise to God (Revelation 7:11-12).

The angel declared to Joseph that Mary’s child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would be a son. This reveals an important truth about Jesus—he is both God and human. The infinite, unlimited God took on the limitations of humanity so he could live and die for the salvation of all who would believe in him.

Jesus means “the LORD saves.” Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t save ourselves from sin and its consequences. No matter how good we are, we can’t eliminate the sinful nature present in all of us. Only Jesus can do that. Jesus didn’t come to help people save themselves; he came to be their Savior from the power and penalty of sin. Thank Christ for his death on the cross for your sin, and then ask him to take control of your life. Your new life begins at that moment.

Jesus would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, for he would be “Immanuel” (“God with us”; see Isaiah 7:14). Jesus was God in the flesh; thus, God was literally among us, “with us.” Through the Holy Spirit, Christ is present today in the life of every believer. Perhaps not even Isaiah understood how far-reaching the meaning of Immanuel would be. 1:24 Joseph changed his plans quickly after learning that Mary had not been unfaithful to him (1:19). He obeyed God and proceeded with the marriage plans. Although others may have disapproved of his decision, Joseph went ahead with what he knew was right

Lets Bring it Home: Sometimes we avoid doing what is right because of what others might think. Like Joseph, we must choose to obey God rather than seek the approval of others.


Under Gods Command

War with the Philistines

The Philistines Capture the Ark

1 Samuel 4:1-11 1And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.

    Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. 2The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. 3When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”

     4So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

     5When the ark of the LORD’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. 6Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?”

    When they learned that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp, 7the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. 8We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!”

     10So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

The Philistines, descendants of Noah’s son Ham, settled along the southeastern Mediterranean coast between Egypt and Gaza. They were originally one of the “Sea Peoples” who had migrated to the Middle East in ships from Greece and Crete. By Samuel’s time, these warlike people were well established in five of Gaza’s cities in southwest Canaan and were constantly pressing inland against the Israelites. Throughout this time, the Philistines were Israel’s major enemy.

The ark of the covenant contained the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. The ark was supposed to be kept in the Most Holy Place, a sacred part of the tabernacle that only the high priest could enter once a year. Hophni and Phinehas desecrated the room by unlawfully entering it and removing the ark.

The Israelites rightly recognized the great holiness of the ark, but they thought that the ark itself—the wood and metal box—was their source of power. They began to use it as a good luck charm, expecting it to protect them from their enemies. A symbol of God does not guarantee his presence and power. Their attitude toward the ark came perilously close to idol worship. When the ark was captured by their enemies, they thought that Israel’s glory was gone (4:19-22) and that God had deserted them (7:1-2). God uses his power according to his own wisdom and will. He responds to the faith of those who seek him. 4:4 The “ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim” conveys that God’s presence rested on the ark of the covenant between the two golden cherubim (or angels) attached to its lid. The people believed that the ark would bring victory when Hophni and Phinehas carried it into battle. 4:5-8 The Philistines were afraid because they remembered stories about God’s intervention for Israel when they left Egypt. But Israel had turned away from God and was clinging to only a form of godliness, a symbol of former victories.

This event fulfills the prophecy in 2:34 stating that Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, would die “on the same day.”

Lets Bring it Home:  People (and churches) often try to live on the memories of God’s blessings. The Israelites wrongly assumed that because God had given them victory in the past, he would do it again, even though they had strayed far from him. Today, as in Bible times, spiritual victories come through a continually renewed relationship with God. Don’t live off the past. Keep your relationship with God new and fresh.S


Under Gods Command

2nd Samuel 5:13-25

David Conquers Jerusalem

        13After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. 14These are the names of the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet.

    17When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. 18Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19so David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

    The LORD answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

    20So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the LORD has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. 21The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.

    22Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 23so David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. 24As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” 25So David did as the LORD commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeona to Gezer.

Although David sincerely sought after God, he had weaknesses like any other person. One of those weaknesses was his desire for many wives. Sadly, the children born to these wives caused David and the kingdom much grief. David also set an unhealthy pattern for his son Solomon.

The “stronghold” is the mountain stronghold in the Desert of Judah that David used when defending himself against Saul (see 23:14 and 1 Chronicles 12:8).

The Philistine oppression of Israel had begun in the days of Samson (Judges 13–16). The Philistines were still Israel’s most powerful enemy although David was once considered a friend and ally (1 Samuel 27; 29). Because they occupied much of Israel’s northern territory, they apparently did not bother David while he was king of Judah to the south. But when they learned that David was planning to unite all Israel, they tried to stop him.

How could David get such a clear message from God? He may have prayed and been urged to action by the Holy Spirit. He may have asked God through a prophet. Most likely, however, he went to the high priest, who consulted God through the Urim and Thummim, which God had told the Israelites to use for just such a purpose.

David fought his battles the way God instructed him. In each instance he

(1) asked if he should fight or not,

(2) followed instructions carefully, and

(3) gave God the glory.

 

We can err in our “battles” by ignoring these steps and instead:

(1) do what we want without considering God’s will,

(2) do things our way and ignore advice in the Bible or from other wise people, and (3) take the glory ourselves or give it to someone else without acknowledging the help we received from God.

All these responses are sinful.

5:25 After David became king, his first order of business was to subdue his enemies—a task the nation had failed to complete when they first entered the land (Judges 2:1-4). David knew this had to be done in order to

(1) protect the nation,

(2) unify the kingdom, and

(3) prepare for building the temple (which would unify religion under God and help abolish idolatrous influences).

The one thing that I truly admire about David is the fact that he prays to the LORD before making a military attack. In this case, when he prays to the LORD, the LORD tells David that He will give these Philistines to him. David will go against them and David will win. 

Lets Bring it Home: When we go into issues, spiritual battles or any other kind of adverse situations, do you go to God first, or do you wait until your plan fails, then seek God.  

We need to slow our roll and seek God first, even something that seems so small, because it’s always those small things that turn out to be the biggest problems.

 


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

Discharges Causing Uncleanness

    16:32-33These are the regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, 33for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who has sexual relations with a woman who is ceremonially unclean.

 15:32-33 God is concerned about health. He upholds the dignity of the person, the dignity of the body, and the dignity of the sexual experience. His commands call the people to avoid unhealthy practices and promote healthy ones with practical instructions. Washing was a God-directed means to maintain physical health; acts of purification or cleansing were God-directed means to preserve spiritual dignity. Millennia before the rise of the AIDS epidemic, God’s directions already preserved people from known and unknown dangers. This shows God’s high regard for sex and sexuality.

Lets Bring it Home: In our day, sex has been degraded by shocking media exposure. It has become public domain, not private celebration. We are called to have a high regard for sex, both in good health and in purity. Our deepest form of gratitude to God for the gift of sex is expressed in how we use the gift.


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

Leviticus 7:28-30 

28The LORD said to Moses, 29“Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who brings a fellowship offering to the LORD is to bring part of it as their sacrifice to the LORD. 30With their own hands they are to present the food offering to the LORD; they are to bring the fat, together with the breast, and wave the breast before the LORD as a wave offering. 

God told the people of Israel to bring their fellowship offerings personally, with their own hands. They were to take time and effort to express thanks to God. You are the best person to express your thankfulness to God and to others.

Lets Bring it Home: Do you leave it to others to express thanks to someone who has been helpful? Do you rely on the one leading in prayer to thank God for you? Take time to communicate your personal gratitude both to God and to others who have helped and blessed you.