Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Goliath and David I Samuel 17

I Samuel 17:4 "And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span."

That's 9 feet and 3 inches.

Chapter 17 holds one of the most loved and most told stories of the Bible. It is David defeating the giant Goliath. It tells what one man, who trusts in the LORD, can do against a, seemingly, overwhelming enemy.

The Bible goes into great detail to tell about Goliath: v5 "And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass." He was even so sure of himself that he had a target of brass between his shoulders.

The armies of Israel and Philistines are encamped on opposite mountains with a valley in between where the battle was being fought. There is mention of a trench, so the army must have been dug in. Goliath came out everyday for 40 days and defied the army of Israel twice a day. The men of Israel were afraid of this giant. He would come out and roar for someone to come out and fight him. The prize was that who ever won would have the other for servants.

David was sent with food for his brothers and a gift of cheese for their captain. David ran into the army and inquired of the giant. His brother scorned David for asking of the battle but David answered him with a couple of questions:

v29 "And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?"

The words of David finally reached Saul and he was called to the king. David offered to fight the Philistine but the king was doubtful.

v33 "And Saul said to David, Thou are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth."

I am reminded of what Paul told Timothy in the New Testament. 'Let no man despise thy youth.' I Timothy 4:12

Well, Saul would allow David to try. He gave him armour but it did not fit, so David picked up some stones, took out his sling and walked forward to the giant. David had every reason to be discouraged: his brother scorned him, the king did not believe in him, he had no armour and the giant was a trained warrior.

v45 "Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied."

That tells me that David had the advantage after all. The LORD was on his side.

The giant roared his slander while David placed a stone in his sling. The stone went true and hit the giant in the forehead. He fell face down.

v49 "And David put his hand in the bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth."

It should be no surprise that a man who had took down a bear and a lion and who had the LORD of host on his side, could take down one giant. Now, the king wanted to know more about this young man.

v58 "And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite."

Remember also that Jesse descended from Boaz and Ruth. A good chapter to read all the way through.

Psalm 7:10 "My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart."

keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Israel, Samuel, Saul, David, Goliath,Milton Southerland

Monday, April 28, 2008

David Chosen to be King I Samuel 16

I Samuel 16:1 "And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse, the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons."

This chapter does not actually put David on the throne of Israel but it is the anointing of David by Samuel to be king. There is a lot of action between this chapter and when David actually becomes king.

Samuel is afraid Saul will kill him v2 if he goes to anoint a new king which is understandable considering Saul's state of mind. He has grown use to the power, even though the LORD has rejected him, he will not give up the throne easily.

v11 "And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither."

Seven of Jesse's sons had passed before Samuel, all were rejected. The sons were men of war and perhaps it was thought that they would make a good king, but the LORD choose a shepherd to lead Israel.

v12 "And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he."

Being a shepherd was not a laid back profession. There were lions and bears which saw the sheep as a feast. It was David's job to protect the sheep which he did at the peril of his own life. He will tell Saul some of his adventures later.

v14 "But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him."

Saul was not a happy king. He had fits of anger and depression. David also played an instrument which Saul's men thought would sooth Saul's spirit. We also get a further description of David from this verse.

v18 "Then answered one of the servants,and said, Behold I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a might valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him."

Wow! That is some resume. David, already, has a reputation. Not bad for a shepherd.

So Saul sent for David and he played for Saul, quieting his spirit for a time. David also became Saul's armourbearer. v21

v23 "And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him."

We are embarking on the story of David. It is a very important part of the Bible. The Psalms came from this man. Solomon with all his wisdom was his son. Christ is descended from him after the flesh. He was a man after God's own heart. I believe we find that it is David's throne that Christ will someday sit upon.

Psalm 34:1 "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Israel, Samuel, Saul, David, Jonathan, Milton Southerland

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bleating of Sheep I Samuel 15

I Samuel 15:14 "And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"

Saul had been commanded by the LORD to totally destroy the Amalekites and all they had. Saul decided (and the people) to save the best of the herds as spoils of war. They also saved Agag, a king of the Amalekites, alive.

v9 "But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly."

Amelak was the one who laid wait for the children of Israel as they marched from Egypt toward the promised land. They attacked the end of the marchers where the sick and elderly were walking. It was a cowardly thing to do and it angered the LORD.

Deuteronomy 25:17 "Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary, and he feared not God."

Amalek's day came but Saul did not obey the LORD fully. Samuel is there to tell Saul of his sin. Saul objects by saying that he did obey but Samuel asked Saul. Then why do I hear sheep bleating if you obeyed? Why do I hear oxen? Saul did not obey and he had brought the evidence with him from the battle.

Saul then explains that he did offer burnt-offerings of the things not destroyed. Samuel makes a very profound statement and one which explains well what the LORD expects.

v22-23 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."

So Saul lost the kingdom because of disobedience and for not obeying the word of the LORD.

Psalm 50:16-17 "But unto the wicked God saith, what hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee."

keywords: Bible, Study, Old Old Story, Old Testament, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, David, Agag, Amalek, Milton Southerland

Thursday, April 24, 2008

About Eternity

The Bible says more about eternity or life hereafter than any other book. Even if all ceased to exist, eternity would still be going on. Doesn't it make sense to know all the facts?

Saul and Jonathan I Samuel 14

I Samuel 14:1 "Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father."

Chapter 14 is somewhat of a long chapter having 52 verses. It tells of the emergence of Jonathan and the further decline of Saul.

Saul's forces have dwindled to about 600. He sits under a pomegranate tree. v2. Jonathan left the encampment with his armourbearer to go over to face the Philistines. There was a rock cliff he had to climb to get to them.

v6 "And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few."

Jonathan made a great statement in that verse. I have highlighted it. Jonathan had learned a lesson his father had forgotten. Jonathan knew that it was the LORD who won the battles and it was not by might or numbers.

Saul is still in camp, counting.

v17 "Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there."

Jonathan made himself known to the Philistines and they told him to come on up while they made fun of him. It was a sign for Jonathan. He had told his faithful armourbearer: if they tell us to come to them, then God has delivered them into their hands.v9-10.

v13 "And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him"

I can almost see Jonathan walking into the crowd of 20 with is sword swinging left and right. Behind him his armourbearer catches those who slipped past Jonathan or try to flank him. Then they come to the main body of Philistines. The Philistines had captured some of Israel and seeing Jonathan's success, they turned on the Philistines. The people who had hid came out and attacked.

Saul is finally aroused by the noise and joins in the battle.

v20 "And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture."

The Philistines fought with themselves as well as being attacked. Verse 15 tells what it was like for the Philistines:

"And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling."

There is a story within this story. Saul ordered the people not to eat that day by a curse if they did. The people fought but were faint. Jonathan did not know of the order and so when he came to a woods where honey fell to the ground, he ate some. He was warned by the people of Saul's words but Jonathan stated that Saul 'troubled the land'. He said we could have done much better against the Philistines if the people had eaten. v30.

v32 "And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood."

It was a very great sin for Israel to eat flesh with the blood still in it.

Leviticus 3:17 "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all our dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood."

So as the sons of Eli ate the fat and sinned, so the people ate the blood and sinned. Saul is told and he constructed an altar to cook the meat telling the people to bring their food.

Saul demands to know who ate when he had told them not to. The lot fell on Jonathan. Saul was about to kill his son when the people stepped in to defend him.

v45 "And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground: for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not."

You can see Saul slipping away into despair. Israel has overruled him and placed Jonathan's victory above his accomplishments. Saul seems unaware of what is stated in the next verse. Jonathan has already confirmed it as did the people in the last verse. It was God.

v23 "So the LORD saved Israel that day; and the battle passed over unto Bethaven."

Intense war continued with the Philistines. v52

Psalm 121:3 "The LORD is thy keeper; the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand."

keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Israel, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, Philistines, Milton Southerland, Old Old Story

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


If you like, you can get this Bible study outside the realm of traffic exchanges by forwarding it to your friends or family.

It will greatly multiply my efforts. Thank you.

Saul Stumbles I Samuel 13

I Samuel 13:9 "And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt-offering to me, and peace-offerings, And he offered the burnt-offering."

Saul has reigned a couple of years. It is not like monarchs as we know them. At least, not yet. I do not see Saul decorated with gold and sitting upon a throne. He was a huge man of war. His judgement was not mature and he made a huge mistake. He stepped into the realm of the priesthood when he offered the sacrifice.

v8 "And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him."

Saul has appointed 3000 warriors for himself and sent the people home. The Philistines are still around in huge numbers. Saul has a son named Jonathan. He sent 1000 of the men with Jonathan who had a good victory at Geba but it seems to have stirred up the Philistines. The people are fearful and have hid in caves and pits. Some have fled across Jordan.

Samuel came to Saul and told him his mistake.

v13 "And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly, thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee, for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. "

When Korah came against Moses back in Numbers 16 with censors to do the office of priesthood through his own self will he was destroyed. God has a way he wants things done. It behooves us to wait on the LORD and not take things on us that are not our business.

Saul's kingdom will not be established for ever and another will be chosen to replace him. The Philistines went about killing all the smiths v19 (blacksmiths) so that Israel could not make swords. They did sharpen what they had such as mattocks and coulters, forks and axes and goads.

v22 "So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found."

Remember the people fled their homes and hid in caves and such or fled across Jordan. I expect they traveled light and their swords were left behind. Samuel's words tell of the future and refer to king David.

v14 "But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee."

See Psalm 89: 20 "I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:"

Acts 13:22 "And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king, to whom, also he gave testimony and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will."

Next chapter, the fight.

Psalm 127:2 "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep."

keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, Philistines,Milton Southerland

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saul's Victory I Samuel 11

I Samuel 11:12-13 "And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death. And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day; for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel."

Nahash the Ammonrite surrounded a city called Jabesh-gilead. The people of Israel asked for a covenant with them. The Ammonites said they would agree if the people would agree to have their right eye put out as a reproach.

The elders of Jabesh said give us seven days and if help does not come, we will come out.

Word went out for help. Saul was working in the field when he heard the news and became very angry. He rallied all Israel by cutting up an ox and sending pieces out to the tribes.

v7"...Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen..."

The people were afraid not to follow Saul. There were 330,000 fighting men who came to fight with Saul. Word was sent to Jabesh that help was on the way.

v9 "And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, To Morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad."

Israel was greatly impressed with Saul's leadership and wanted to kill those who had been against him being king but Saul would not allow it. He said, 'no body dies today'.

Then Samuel led the people back to Gilgal and Saul was made king.

The phrase in verse 9 sounds very good to me 'ye shall have help'. It was not that, if this or that does not happen or hinder but it was a stated fact. Ye shall have help. When? When the sun is hot. Jabesh just needed to hold out until the morning.

I think of Daniel when he fasted and prayed for 21 days. Help was on the way but he did not know it. He kept praying. Daniel 10:11-12 tells of Daniel's prayer and the angel explaining why he was late.

Daniel 10:11-12 "And he said unto me O Daniel, a man greatly beloved understand the words that I speak unto thee and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thing heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. v13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."

So, we can rest in knowing that the message for help is received. We must wait and trust.

Psalm 123:3 "Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us; for we are exceedingly filled with contempt."

keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Saul, Samuel, Jabesh,Israel,Milton Southerland,Bible

Friday, April 18, 2008

Saul Anointed King I Samuel 10:1

I Samuel 10:1 "Then Samuel took a vail of oil and poured it upon his head and kissed him and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?"

No fanfare, no applause from multitudes, just one man of God anointing the first human king of Israel.

Samuel made a number of predictions concerning Saul's return which seem to be to confirm to Saul the firmness of the prophets words:

-v2 At Rachel's sepulchre Saul would find two men who tell him his donkeys are found
-v3 At Tabor there he would meet three men with three kids(animals),three loaves, one bottle of water. Each man carrying one of the items.
-v4 They would give Saul two loaves
-v5 Then Saul would come to the hill of God and find Philistines
-v5 He would meet prophets and prophesy with them

v6 "And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man."

After all these things, Saul was to meet Samuel at Gilgal for further instructions. If you remember, it was at Gilgal where the children of Israel were camped after the Jordan crossing and renewed their covenant with God. Joshua 4:19-24 and chapter 5.

v9 "And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart, and all those signs came to pass that day."

Saul then went on his way and found it as Samuel had said. Saul did not mention the anointing when his uncle asked where he had been. v16 Samuel came to the people of Israel and reminded them that they were rejecting the LORD in order to have a king over them then told them of Saul.

Saul was not among the tribe of Benjamin when they were told to appear before the LORD for he had hid. He must have been a little shy, or at least humble. I've heard that it is difficult for some tall people just as it is for short people. Tall people cannot hide in a crowd. They are always noticed. Saul is called for and Samuel breaks the news to Israel that he is to be king.

v24 "And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said God save the king."

The children of Belial were not impressed by Saul. v27. Belial means worthless and refers to vile and profligate persons. Meaning taken from The Topical Reference Bible by Dugan Publishing. I looked up profligate but the definition in Webster is as complicated as the word itself. I do not know if it refers to a particular part of a tribe or just the people in the land who had completely turned from God for the sinful life of the land. I think the latter, as mentioned in the New Testament: See II Peter chapter 2.

Saul has been anointed but has not yet taken his physical position as king.

Psalm 126:3 "The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad."

keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Israel, Saul, Samuel,Milton Southerland

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Saul Chosen to be King I Samuel 9

I Samuel 9:1-2 "Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a might man of power. And he had a son, whose name was Saul a choice young man, and a goodly and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he; from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people."

We need to take a look at Saul the man. He was a big fellow. No doubt, that was a great advantage in battle. He was also of the tribe of Benjamin, the tribe that was almost wiped out when Israel came up against them after they tried to protect a city that had gone against God. See Judges chapter 19-20.

Saul also had a pedigree. He could trace his heritage through many generations. On his mothers side, he may have been one of the wives given to the Benjamites after the great battle in Judges or his mother may have been one of those captured as they danced. Judges 21:20

V3 "And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses."

The Lord is leading Saul to Samuel to be anointed king. Saul, of course, does not know this plan. He only seeks the donkeys for his father. I think there is a lesson here. Often, it is unlikely things that take us where we need to be. Saul looked for donkeys until he found the man of God, Samuel. It is also true that many times the answer is near but not always. Saul left the land of Benjamin in his search.

v10 "Then said Saul to his servant, Well said: come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was."

They were far from home. They were concerned about their family v7. They were without bread. v7 Saul listened to advice, in this case, his servant who happened to have a few cents to give to the seer (prophet).

So they came to Samuel who was expecting them. v15 Samuel met them at the gate. v14 He invited them to eat. v19 v23 He consoled them concerning the donkeys they sought. v20 Samuel gave them rest. v25-26

v26 "And they arose early; and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. v27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God."

The rest of the story will be in the next chapter. It is good to note that Samuel showed Saul the word of God before he anointed him. I also like the servant: He stuck close to Saul. He carried a little extra (the money) and he gave good advice. He was a trusted servant.

Psalm 123:2 "Behold as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us."

keywords: Bible study, Old Testament, Samuel, Saul, Israel, servant, Milton Southerland

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Israel Wants a King I Samuel 8

I Samuel 8:4-5 "Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah. And said unto him, Behold thou are old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways, now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."

The problem with the elders' actions is not just that they are demanding a king but that they are rejecting the one they have; The LORD of Hosts. v7

Samuel was upset when the elders came to him with their demands. He went to the LORD but the LORD told Samuel to go ahead and anoint a king but to object to it and tell the people the troubles it would bring.

v7 "And the LORD said unto Samuel Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."

So Samuel was to pick this their first king. He told them what would happen:

-He will take your sons into the military
-He will take your fields
-He will take your daughters
-He will take your servants
-He will take the tenth

The results will be that the people will cry to the LORD for relief but not be heard. They just wanted to be like everybody else.

v20 "That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us and fight our battles."

Fight Our Battles! That sticks out to me. Wouldn't it be great if we had someone to fight our battles for us, only there is a great cost for that. Israel already had some one to fight their battles but he demanded obedience and right living. They did not want that. With a king, they would have to give up much more but still they wanted a king.

Psalm 124:8 "Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth."

keywords: Bible, Bible study, Old Testament, Samuel, Saul, king, Israel, Milton Southerland

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ark to Abinadab - Revival Mizpeh I Samuel 7

I Samuel 7:3 "And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying IF ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you and prepare your hearts unto the LORD and serve him only; and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines."

The ark stayed at Kirjath-jearim for twenty years. During this time Israel 'lamented' to the LORD much as they did for 400 years in Egypt. Samuel has come to tell them the conditions for getting help.

-Return to the LORD
-With all your hearts
-Put away strange gods
-Put away Ashtaroth
-Prepare your hearts
-Serve the LORD only

The promise when these conditions are met is that the LORD will deliver Israel from the Philistines.

v4 "Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth and served the LORD only."

1) The people drew water and poured it out before the LORD. 2) They fasted. 3) Confessed their sin.

Samuel took one small lamb and offered it as a burnt-offering and prayed for the people.

John 1:29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

John 19:16-18 "Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of the skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha; Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one and Jesus in the midst."

The Philistines thought it would be a good time to attack with Israel gathered all in one place. But on this day Israel was protected by the LORD.

v10 "And as Samuel was offering up the burnt-offering the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines and discomfited them and they were smitten before Israel."

While they were confused, Israel pursued them and took back the cities the Philistines had taken from Israel. It was a good day.

The rest of the chapter tells of Samuel's circuit days. He went year to year to Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpeh then back to his own place: Ramah. I suppose that may be where the circuit riding preachers got their idea.

Psalm 34:22 "The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate."

keywords: Bible, Bible Study, KJV, Old Testament, Samuel, Philistines, Israel, Milton Southerland

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ark Brought to Bethshemite I Samuel 6

I Samuel 6:1-2 "And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place."

The priest in this case were, I believe, the priests of the Philistines' gods. I doubt the Philistines would have called Israel's priests. They wanted to know how to get the ark home and I am sure away from themselves because of the health problems they were smitten with and the deaths.

The advice they got was to put in golden emblems of the plagues which they did. Next they put the ark on a new cart (contrary to how it was suppose to be transported) pulled by kine (cows) that had not had a yoke before. The kines calves were put up and the kine turned loose to see if they would go straight to the home of the ark or turn aside.

v12 And the kine took the straight way to the way of Beth-shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or the left: and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Beth-shemesh."

The animals not being driven by anyone went back to Israel's side although the were 'lowing' perhaps for their calves, they still went straight.

The ark was a curse to the Philistines. Even their priests and diviners 'preached' to their leaders about going up against the God of Israel.

v6 "Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?"

The story had gone far and wide so that Israel's enemies knew it.

Apparently, the Philistines had put the gold inside the ark and the people of Beth-shemesh looked inside which was not suppose to happen, so we have the penalty in this verse.

v19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter."

Neither did those men want the ark in their town after that and so it goes on the move again.

v21 "And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim, saying. The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD: come ye down, and fetch it up to you."

Psalms 126:4-5 "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

keywords: Ark of God, Ark of the LORD, Bible Study, Old Testament, Israel, Samuel, Philistines, Milton Southerland

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ark in Hands of Philistines - I Samuel 5

I Samuel 5:1-2 "And the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. When the Philistines took the ark of God they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon."

The ark of God or ark of the covenant was the center of Israel and represented God's presence and promise in Israel. It contained the broken tablets and the rod that budded. We have in previous studies shown how the priest surrounded it and the tribes were positioned around it. It has been at Shiloh for Jerusalem has not yet been chosen as its resting place.

It is easy to see the absurdness of the Philistines placing it beside their god. Their idol was called Dagon. Dagon was an image with head and hands like a man and the body and tail of a fish.

v3 "And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow behold Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD And they took Dagon and set him in his place again."

I cannot resist saying here that sometimes and often a rock has more respect for God than people.

They got up early the next day after v3 above and their idol had another problem.

v4 "And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him."

It so amazed the Philistines that they would no longer step on the threshold. v5.

The place where this happened was called Ashdod. Ashdod is called Azotus in the new testament and is one of the places where Philip preached in the book of Acts. It is now a small village called Esdud.

Acts 8:40 "But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesaea."

The story here in Samuel gives more meaning to the fact that Philip preached there.

The Philistines have had enough of the ark of God. They start it on the journey home.

v7 "And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us; for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god."

They sent the ark of God to Gath. The people in Gath were smitten. They took it to Ekron. They called a meeting of the lords of the Philistines for "...the hand of God was very heavy there. "v11

I think this is a good lesson for anyone. There is danger in trying to mix the things of God with the things of man or demon.

Gath means wine-press. It was the home of Goliath. David once sought refuge there I Samuel 21:10-15. It's in the area of Dan.

The next chapter picks up the story.

Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer."

keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Samuel, ark of God, ark of covenant,Philistines,Asdod,dagon,Gath, Milton Southerland

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ark of God taken-Eli dies I Samuel 4

I Samuel 4:22 "And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken."

Israel has gone to fight against the Philistines. They are not doing well.

v4 "So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas were there with the ark of the covenant of God."

We have read how Israel has forsaken God and his commandments. Bringing the ark to battle was simply a military maneuver and did not show honor to the LORD. The people were happy when it came into camp most likely because they expected victory now that the tradition had been observed.

The Philistines did not see just an ark but recognized that it meant God was there. They had more awe than Israel.

v7 "And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore."

Israel shouted but the Philistines multiplied there efforts and attacked Israel stealing the ark of God. It became not a blessing to them but a curse. During this battle the pronounced judgment on Eli's sons came to pass. They were killed. The news came to Eli who sat at the gate.

v18 "And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years."

Eli received the news of the death of his two sons and the theft of the ark of God at the same time from a messenger. He was shocked by the loss of the ark v13 but already knew that his sons would be lost. Eli was 98 years old v15.

To show the mood in Israel upon the loss of the ark of God a story is told of a woman who gave birth upon hearing the news. She named her child I-cha-bod meaning 'inglorious'.

Psalms 18:10 "And he rode upon a cherub and did fly, yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind."

keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Samuel, Eli, ark, Israel, Philistines,Milton Southerland

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Samuel Prophet-priest I Samuel 3

I Samuel 3:19-20 "And Samuel grew and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD."

Eli is old and blind. Samuel is still young and until now relies on Eli for his instructions. The the light in the tabernacle went out. Israel was told to never let the light go out in Exodus 27:20:

"And thou shalt command the children of Israel that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always."

The situation in the tabernacle with the light gone out and Eli being blind is a good picture of some of our churches today. They have lost their focus on the LORD and the needs of the people. The shepherd cares only how the sheep can profit him and cares not for the lost or wandering sheep so far as their care is concerned. The light has gone out.

v11 "And the LORD said to Samuel Behold I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle."

After the LORD talked with Samuel for the first time (see v7) Eli demanded to know all that the LORD had said. It confirmed what Eli was told in the previous chapter, that the house of Eli was under the judgment of God. Eli in perhaps a last attempt at obedience said:

v18 "And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good."

But even in that statement there seems to be a little bite, 'do what seemeth him good' would have to be heard audibly to know if there was some doubt or sarcasm there. We know that the LORD can do only good. It's almost like Eli was saying the modern teen word 'whatever'. However it is not possible to know for sure since we did not hear the words spoken. We can give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was being submissive to God's will.

Henceforth, Samuel got his instructions directly from the LORD. Eli's house has fallen.

This was at Shiloh. v21

Psalms 129:4 "The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked."

keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Samuel, Eli, Israel, Milton Southerland

Notes on Samuel

Several things can be pointed out about Samuel's young life:

-Samuel ministered before the Lord... c2v18
-Samuel grew before the LORD c2v21
-Samuel grew on... c2v26
-Samuel respected authority. c3v1
-Samuel was in his place c3v9
-Samuel answered the LORD when he called... c3v10
-Samuel kept growing and the LORD was with him c3v19
-Samuel honored the word of the LORD c3v21

So we will continue our study of Samuel.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Samuel Growing I Samuel 2

I Samuel 2:26 "And the child Samuel grew on and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men."

Chapter 2 is the growing up years of Samuel and things that happened while he was growing.

Hannah, his mother, makes a prophetic prayer in the first part of the chapter. It tells of the LORD's victory over the enemy and how he keeps his people.

v9 "He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail."

The next section v12 deals with the sons of Eli. Eli attempts to pass on the priesthood to his sons but they are not good men. They use their office to rob the people and cause them to despise the offering they made.

v16 "And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now; and if not, I will take it by force."

So it seems to me that the sons of Eli were brutes taking advantage of the people who sought to obey the LORD in their offerings. In one place, the LORD said they grow fat. The sons also took advantage of the women who came to the gate.

Samuel is ministering under Eli in the tabernacle while his mother is blessed with other children at home. She has three sons and two daughters. I think besides Samuel.

v19 "Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice."

Eli finally confronted his sons. He told them of the evil report he had received and said.

v23 "If one man sin against another the judge shall judge him but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father because the LORD would slay them."

As David was confronted by a man of God in coming chapters, so Eli is confronted as he sits on his chair by the post.

v27 "And there came a man of God unto Eli and said unto him This saith the LORD Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house?"

The preacher goes on to warn Eli of things to come.

v31 "Behold the days come that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house."

In verse 34 Eli is told that his two sons would die on the same day as a sign.

So the house of Eli is about to fold and Samuel takes over judging the people and ministering to the LORD. We are leading up to the days of the kings. (One way to remember the order of the books here is to remember that Samuel anointed the kings and therefore Samuel must come before the king books.)

Psalms 110:1 "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Ref Mt 22:41-45
(This Psalms verse was quoted by Jesus)

keyword: Old Testament, I Samuel, Eli, Samuel, Hannah, Milton Southerland

Friday, April 04, 2008

Introduction Chapter 1 Book of Samuel

I Samuel 1:20 "Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son and called his name Samuel, saying Because I have asked him of the LORD."

Samuel means asked of God.

The First Book of Samuel covers about 115 years (Ussher) and is also known as the First book of the kings.

It is a transition from the rule of the judges to the rule of the king. Samuel is the last of the judges. Saul will become the first king. The demand for a king is in a way expressed as a rejection of the LORD (Chapter 8 verse 7) but it is also used to bring about a plan in Israel.

We start the chapter with Eli the priest and his evil sons. Eli is old and is found sitting on a chair by a post. His sons are abusing their position as priests. A barren woman came to the offerings with her husband and his other wife who has children. The barren woman's name is Hannah. She is a good woman but is scorned by the other wife.

Hannah will not eat or drink and prays for a son which she will lend back to the LORD. The LORD heard her prayer and she conceived. His name is Samuel.

v27 For this child I prayed, and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there." v28

Psalms 127:1 "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

Keyword: Bible Study

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Passing the Word

We live in a busy world. One thing you could do so that you never forget to give the LORD a part of your day is to put him first in your day if only for a few minutes. I'd suggest bookmarking this site. The lessons are short and usually highlight one chapter. It would take up very little of your start up time. Also, a short note to friends would really boost the page views. I don't have advertisements, so passing it on will only help people and will not profit me monetarily. For those wishing more indepth, there are links to Bible scholars.

Boaz Redeems Ruth Book of Ruth 4

Ruth 4:9 "And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's of the hand of Naomi."

The scene is this, that Boaz wen to sit at the gate of the city where business was conducted. He saw the nearest of kin to Naomi and Ruth and invited him to sit with him. Boaz told the man that Elimelech had left a field and that he should purchase it as the next of kin.

The man at first said he would, then Boaz told him of Ruth and that she was part of the deal. The man then decided he could not do the part of the next of kin.

v6 "And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself: for I cannot redeem it."

The very thing Boaz wanted which in this case of a person, Ruth, was what stopped the nearest kinsman from redeeming the property.

mar: detract from the wholeness or perfection of, injure, hurt harm, damage impair, blemish (Webster)

The next of kin thought the purchase of the land with Naomi and Ruth would hurt his inheritance. He could not have been more wrong but it worked out correctly. Boaz married Ruth and their descendants are listed: Obed, Jesse, David .

v13 "So Boaz took Ruth and she was his wife and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception and she bare a son.

Obed: worshipper

Psalms 9:1 "I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart, I will shew forth all thy marvellous works."

keywords: Old Testament, Bible Study, Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, Israel, Milton Southerland

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ruth and Boaz Book of Ruth 3

Ruth 3:18 "Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest until he have finished the thing this day."

Boaz made the first move toward Ruth by giving her privilege in gleaning in his fields. Ruth makes the next move under Naomi's instructions. She lays at the feet of Boaz at the end of the days work.

v7 "And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down."

During the night Boaz awoke and found Ruth at his feet. They have a talk and Boaz acknowledges that he is her kinsman. He also tells her that he is not the nearest kinsman to her and for her not to worry. In the morning, he sends her away with a gift of barley.

v12 "And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I."

Boaz had already checked the family tree and had a plan even before Ruth lay at his feet. We should refer back to Leviticus 25:48-49 which speaks of the kinsman command but not precisely to the situation here.

v48,49 "After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: Either his uncle or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself."

By virtue of her relationship to Naomi and the law dealing with strangers, Ruth is part of the family and a near kinsman to Boaz. So Boaz goes off to find the nearest of kin while Ruth waits.

Kin comes up often and in Hebrew is 'goel' meaning kinsman-redeemer. It cannot be denied that Christ was the kinsman-redeemer mentioned in Isaiah 59:20. He was of Israel after the flesh on his mother's side and his earthly guardian-father was of the line of David. Boaz was the descendant on his mother's side of a Gentile (Rahab) and David was a descendant of the Moabite Ruth.

Psalms 121:2 "My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

v8 "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth and even for ever more."

keywords: Bible study, Old Testament, Ruth, Boaz, Naomi Milton Southerland
Read the Old Old Story again. It is as fresh today as it was then.