Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Judges through Poets 12b- Reasons for Suffering contd, Psalm 1

Continued from last lecture

c) God uses suffering on unbelievers to thwart their plans

Ultimately God uses suffering for one purpose.
John 9:1-3
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Suffering exists to glorify God.

Job 40:1-8 shows us that God is not obligated to give us answers for our sufferings.
Suffering comes to believers from a God who is kind and works for our benefit. All thing work for our good (Rom 8:28)

Duet 29:29 – the secret things belong to the Lord

The sovereignty of God is the basis of our comfort. His sovereignty of God is not just a characteristic but His essence.

The greatest event of sorrow (Christ being crucified) turned out to give the greatest joy.

The Psalms
Psalm 1
Everything is searching for happiness in the wrong place. What brings deep happiness?

Blessed [happy] is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

The wisdom literature contrasts the wicked man and the righteous man, the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.

V1-3 the concrete foundation of the righteous
V4-5 the tragic nature of the wicked
V6 a contrast between the ultimate end of the righteous and wicked

The righteous man is happy. The Lord is the originator of this happiness. Why? Because there are some things that he does not do. He does not having binding relationships and take worldly counsel from the wicked.

The happy man does not stand in the way of sinners. To sin is to miss the mark (Judges 20:16).

The happy man does not sit in the sit in the seat of the mockers.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers

Blessed is the man
A = who walks, nor stands, nor sits
B = in the counsel, in the way, in the seat
C = wicked, sinners, scoffers

This is an example of tri-cola complete synonymous parallelism

The parallelism teaches us about progression of sin. The happy man does not deteriorate and become like the wicked.

V2 According to scripture the blessedness of God’s word is great than any happiness found elsewhere. The seed of the woman’s pleasure is found in the torah- God’s word.

Judges through Poets 12a - Job: Satan and the Reasons for Suffering

The term Satan means ‘the adversary’. The word can be used to describe a general enemy of evil.

Zechariah 3:1-2
‘He showed me Joshua the high priest and the Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him’.
Here the word Satan stands for a definite article as it does in Job.

The devil is satan and satan is the devil. See Rev 20:2
‘He laid hold of the dragon… who was the devil and Satan’

Job 1:7 Satan has been ‘roaming about on the earth’. This means ‘stirring things up’. The word is similar to that of whipping.

Satan’s work is to attack the sons of men. Evil and sin do not only come from inside a man but from the devil as well.

Job 1, 2 and 42 are written in prose narrative. The rest is written in poetry. The prose narrative shows us that this was meant to be a historical account.

The foundation of scripture is the doctrine of the sovereignty of God. God is all-powerful. There is nothing that he can’t restrain.

Daniel 4:34-35
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?’

Proverbs 16:9
‘The mind of man plans his ways but the Lord directs His steps’

Psalm 16:3
‘Our God is in Heaven and He does what He pleases’

See also Psalm 33, 135, 24, Isaiah 40

Satan was only able to strike Job because God permitted it.

Evil things happen to the believer and the unbeliever for different reasons.
1) The Suffering that comes upon the believer

a) God uses suffering to help the believer exalt in Christ and not in self.
2 Cor 12:7-10
‘So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’

b) God uses suffering to increase our perseverance and joy.
James 1:2-4
‘Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.’

1 Peter 1:6-7
‘In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’

Romans 5:3-4
‘More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope’

c) Suffering helps the believer to follow the model of Christ; to suffer as He suffered

Christianity teaches that the believer is victorious through suffering. The cross always comes before the crown.

‘Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.’
1 Peter 4:12-13

d) God uses suffering for discipline and training in holiness.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14
‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’

Psalm 78:31-35
‘the anger of God rose against them, and he killed the strongest of them and laid low the young men of Israel. 32 In spite of all this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe. 33 So he made their days vanish like a breath, and their years in terror. 34 When he killed them, they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly. 35 They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.’

2) The suffering that comes upon the unbeliever
a) Suffering can acts as a warning to repent
Acts 16:23- 30
‘ And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’

See also Paul’s conversion experience in Acts 9.

b) God uses suffering to punish hardened unbelievers as a foretaste of Hell
Any sermon on the gospel ministers grace or stores up judgment for the listeners.

See Romans 1:18-32.

Judges through Poets 11b- Poetry contd and Job

Personification occurs when human characteristics are attributed to anything non-human.

Psalm 98:8 ‘let the rivers clap their hands’
Psalm 93:3‘the floods have lifted up their voice’

This occurs when a writer attributes human characteristics to God.

‘Incline your ear to me’
These figures of speech help us to understand who God is.

Figures of Substitution

When word is substituted for another because of some relationship between the two words.

When the relationship of the two words entails the part of the whole.
Eg Do you have any wheels?
The part of the car is a figure for the whole car.

Psalm 132:15 ‘I will satisfy her needy with bread’
Bread represents needs in general

Psalm 44:6 ‘I will not trust in my bow nor will my sword save me.’
Meaning: Human/temporal strength will not save me

An attributive word is used for what is actually meant.

Eg Joe is addicted to the bottle
Joe is not addicted to the actual bottle but rather the substance of the bottle.

Psalm 128:2 ‘When you shall eat of the labour of your hands’
Psalm 5:9 ‘They flatter with their tongue’
They actually flatter with speech that comes forth from the tongue

2 types:
1) Verbal irony: You use a word in such a way that it conveys the opposite meaning of a word.
Eg ‘it is sweet to die for ones country’

2) Dramatic Irony: the force of a person’s actions result in the opposite of his/her intentions

Eg 2 Chron 26- King Uzziah desecrates the temple making it unholy. He gets leprosy and is made unholy.
Psalm 37:15 ‘Their sword will enter their own hearts’

This is exaggeration of an intending meaning.

Eg I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.
Psalm 73:7 ‘Their eyes bulges from fatness.’

1:1 – description of Job’s character
He was blameless. All men sin and all men are guilty. So what does blameless mean? The word literally means that Job was a man of integrity. He was also an upright man. This means Job acted consistently and with honesty.
Job feared God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The word for fear in Hebrew is reverence or awe that leads to obedience.

1:2-4 – Job was blessed materially
Job had seven sons and three daughters. More sons than daughters is seen as a blessing from the Lord. He also had material possession. Job’s wife is missing from this list. She appears in 2:9 saying ‘curse God and die’.
Job had harmony in his family as they feasted together (v4).

1:6-12 – The Heavenly Counsel

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Judges through Poets- 11a Poetry contd

Strophic Structure (stanza structure)
Is a structure where parallel lines can be grouped together in a common way.

How do we know there is strophic structure?
1) Look for a refrain.
A refrain is a regularly recurring verse that stands at the end of the stanza. The refrain is also known as the chorus.

For examples see Psalms 39, 42, 43, 62, 67.

See Isaiah 9:8-10:4
See the refrain in verses 9:12b, 9:17b. 9:21b, 10:4b. The division between these chapters is wrong (also the division between Psalm 42 and 43).

2) Look for an alphabetic acrostic
This is a poem where each successive line or verse starts with a new letter of the Hebrew alphabet. See Psalms 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 135. Alphabetic acrostics were primarily for remembrance.

Example: Isaiah 44:24-28
V24 Stanza 1 refers to events of the remote past
V25-26 Stanza 2 refers to the present
V27-28 Stanza 3 refers to the future

The movement of tenses may indicate the change of stanza

Figures of speech
A figure of speech translates the ordinary meaning of a word, applies it to a concept to communicate the extraordinary.
For example: ‘The mountains skipped like rams’ and ‘your wife shall be a fruitful vine.’

Figures of speech can be grouped into three categories:
1) Figures of comparison
2) Figures of substitution
3) Miscellaneous

A simile is defined as an explicitly stated comparison declaring the resemblance of one thing to another using the words ‘like’ and ‘as’. For this you need a figurative object and a literal object. These objects are then compared.

Eg: my room mate looks like a pig
As the interpreter we must diagnose which features are applicable to this statement.
This shouldn’t be difficult as similes are intended to be self-explanatory.

A metaphor is comparison by direct assertion. A metaphor is stronger than a simile.
1 Peter 1:24 ‘All flesh is like grass’ is a simile.
Isaiah 40:6 ‘All flesh is grass’ is a metaphor.

Psalm 84:11 ‘The Lord is a light and a shield’
Psalm 119 ‘your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’.


Hypocatastasis is a figure of comparison which is much more subtle than a simile or metaphor. A hypocatastasis doesn’t mention the literal subject.

Simile = My room mate is like a pig
Metaphor = I live with a pig
Hypocatastasis = I live with a pig

Eg David saying ‘for dogs have surrounded me’

Judges through Poets- 10b Poetry contd

Hebrew poetry is structure or cause to vibrate by different means.


The basic unit of a verse consists of two lines called bi-call???
You can get a three-line verse. This is called tri-call???
The different lines in the verse express similar thoughts. They say the same thing with different words.

Psalm 19:8
‘The statues of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;’

The commandments of the Lord are both for the heart and the eyes.

Psalm 104:33
‘I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.’

Types of Parallelism
a) Synonymous Parallelism
This is when two or more lines of poetry express the same idea in different words

b) Complete synonymous Parallelism
This is when every member of the first line has a member in the second line.

Psalm 142:2
‘I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble’

A = I pour out my, I declare
B = complaint, my trouble
C = Before Him, before Him

c) Incomplete synonymous parallelism

Psalm 103:7
‘He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel’

A = He made known
B = His ways, His acts
C = To Moses, to the children of Israel

A is incomplete here.

d) Antithetic parallelism
This is when two lines of a verse express contrasting ideas in parallel.
This is used extensively in the book of Proverbs

Psalm 20:8
‘They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright’

A = They have bowed down, But we have rise
B = and fallen, and stand upright

Psalm 119:113
‘I hate those who are double minded,
But I love Your law.’

e) Synthetic parallelism
This occurs when the second colon advances the first of the first colon by adding a new idea.

Psalm 92:9
‘For behold, Your enemies, O Lord,
For behold, Your enemies shall perish; All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.’

f) Emblematic Parallelism
This is when the poet employs a metaphor in his parallelism.
One line is a literal state or subject. The second line is a metaphor that is parallel to the first line.

Psalm 42:1
‘As the deer pants for the water,
so my soul longs after you.’

This is the inversion of parallel terms in successive lines.

Psalm 78
‘They did not keep the covenant of God
And in His torah they refused to walk’

A = They did not keep
B = the covenant of God
B1= And in His torah
A1 = they refused to walk

The centre of this verse pivots on the covenant and torah.
To be continued.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Judges through Poets- 10a King Josiah contd, Intro to Poetry

Josiah continued
Josiah smashes the bones of the priests to demonstrate that there is no future life for them- no resurrection to life.

Hebrews 11:17-22- God is able to raise men even from the dead. By faith Joseph gave orders concerning his bones. Joseph like Isaac understood that God could raise the dead. Joseph believed that he would live forever.

Psalm 34:15-20. Quoted in John 19:32-36
V20 ‘He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken’
Bones being preserved pointed to the bodily resurrection form the dead. Christ was the first to be raised bodily from the dead. He broke open the gates of heaven.

What is poetry?
Words can be used in two ways:
1) Denotative - direct explicit meaning of a word
2) Connotative- an idea suggested by a word in addition to the explicit meaning

a) His father stood over him while three problems of subtraction.

b) The little cousin is dead by foul subtraction.

In b) a mathematical term has tragic overtones.
Poetry is taking denotative ideas and vibrating that word into the connotative.

Alliteration- the repetition of an initial sound.

English poetry tends to use rhyme metre to vibrate words from the denotative to the connotative.

Judges through Poets- 9b Elisha contd and King Josiah

Elisha Contd
Evil Kings during Elisha’s time:

Ahab 1 Kings 16:30
Ahaziah 1 Kings 22:52-53
Jehoram 2 Kings 3:2-3
Jehu 2 Kings 10:31
Joash 2 Kings 13:2
Jehoash 2 Kings 13:11

There is a great spiritual famine during the time of Elisha.
Elisha was granted the ability to perform miracles to fight the great apostasy.

The typology in 2 Kings 4 is predictive. Meaning it points to a greater climax.
See Matthew 14:14-21 (John 6)

Both stories contain a crowd of hungry people
A few loaves are a principle part of both meal. In John 6 John says that the loaves are made of barley same as the loaves in the story of Elisha.
Elisha and Jesus the same wording: ‘Give them that they may eat’
John 6:7- in both stories an objection is made.

Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes was modelled on Elisha’s miracle.
Jesus and Elsiah were both bringing sustenance to a spiritually ravished land.
Jesus’ miracle was greater than Elisha’s. Jesus doesn’t say ‘thus say YHWH’ He does it with His own power because He is YWHW.

Israel and Judah
1) Northern Kingdom- Isaiah
930 BC-721 BC
Ten tribes.
Jeroboam is the first King of the north is the paradigm of wickedness and evil.
The north was destroyed in 721BC by the Assyrians- the population was deported.

2) Southern Kingdom- Judah
930BC- 586BC
Lasted 135 years longer
The southern Kings are good like David (1 Kings 15:11).
The South was destroyed in 586BC by the Babylonians


Reigned for 31 years: 640-609BC
Birth and death: 2 Kings 23
3 main aspects to his Kingship
1) He attempted to free Judah form Assyrian control.
2) Wanted to remove pagan elements from Judah’s worship
3) Josiah attempts to integrate Israel and Judah
Josiahs teriority: 2 Kings 23:8 ‘from Geba to Beersheba’
Beersheba was 11 miles north of Jerusalem
Josiah implemented his policies into the north (2 Kings 23:19, 2 Chronicles 34:6-7)
Died in the north 609 BC

Josiah’s reformation 2 Kings 23
Destroys idols in the land
Gets rid of wrong high priests and prostitutes
Destroys the high places

2 Kings 23:16-20 – Josiah purges Canaanite practises out of the land
2 Chronicles 34:5 – destroys the bones of the Pagan priests

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Judges through Poets- 9a Prophetic Institution contd, Elisha

The Prophetic Institution contd
Numbers 23:23
For there is no sorcery against Jacob,
Nor any divination against Israel.
It now must be said of Jacob
And of Israel, ‘Oh, what God has done!’

No need for sorcery as God will reveal His will at His time. People don’t need to search for His voice; God speaks.

Deuteronomy 18:12
12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.
The sin is not separated from the sinner. We are what we do.
When people commit abominations they became abominated.

The superstitions of Canaan have nothing to do with Israel’s prophetic institutions according to Duet 18.

Israel was not permitted to use the methods of the Canaanites. Instead they were to listen to the prophet.
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,
The prophet had to be an Israelite

16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’
The prophet was to be like Moses.
17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good.
18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.

The prophet is God’s spokesmen.

Luke 11:49-51
49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ 50 that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

Duet 18:19
19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.
Luke sees the prophet as the prophetic institution of the OT.

Why is the complete prophetic institution described starting with Abel through to Zachariah? Abel was the first person to be slain. Zachariah is slain in the last book of the Hebrew bible (2 Chronicles).

Two interpretations of the singular word prophet:
1) The prophet comes before the messiah. See John 1:20-21 with the people making a distinction between the messiah and the prophet. See also John 7:40-41 – some say this is the prophet and some say the messiah
2) Some say that the prophet is the messiah. See John 6:14-15.

Duet 18 ties together the prophet and the messiah.
The interpretation of John 6:14-15 is clarified by Acts 3:19-23

Duet 18 is a prophecy with two fulfilments.
Duet 18 is a confirmation of the prophetic office and institution throughout Israel
Duet 18 also confirms that there is a singular prophet coming who is the messiah.

Biblical prophecy owes its origin in God Himself.
God was the first prophet. It did not find its origin in Canaan as some say.
No prophecy is an act of the human will. Prophecy happens when men are moved by the Spirit.

Elijah and Elisha
Purpose of miracles used by the prophets:
1) to display in a dramatic way the power of God (see Exodus 7)
2) to authenticate the prophetic office and message (see 1 Sam 12:12-18)

2 Kings 4:42-44
42 Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.” 43 But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?” He said again, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” 44 So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.

Context: there is a famine in the land (V38)

Exodus 23:19a = the people bring the first fruits to the priest and the Levites

Why isn’t this man taking his first fruits to the temple but rather giving them to Elisha?

Man was from ‘Baal Shalisha’ in Israel. The city was named after the false god Baal.
The man was denied access to the temple in Jerusalem.
This man was a godly man living in a Pagan culture.

Elisha commands then man to give the food to the people.
The servant questions Elisha but Elisha says:
“Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’”

The expression ‘thus says the Lord’ is a common near-eastern expression. The expression claims the authority of YHWH.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Judges through Poets- 8b Division between Judah and Israel, Prophecy

Judges 8 = First try at building a monarchy in Israel (tribe of Ephraim)
Judges 9 = Second try at monarchy (Abmilech in Ephraim)

Psalm 78 describes the rivalry between Judah and Ephraim:
67 Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has established forever.
70 He also chose David His servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him,
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.

Evidences for the split of Israel and Judah
1 Sam 11:8 (during the reign of Saul)
When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

1 Sam 18:16
But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

2 Sam 5:5
In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.

2 Sam 20:1-2
1 And there happened to be there a rebel,[a] whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet, and said: “We have no share in David, Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse; Every man to his tents, O Israel!”
2 So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.

The roots of division between Judah and Israel were longstanding.
The split finds its climax in 1 Kings 11:26:
Then Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zereda, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king.

The split grows throughout Joshua and Judges and Samuel. It finds its fruition in the times of Solomon.

In Israelite history ‘the great calamity’ refers to the splitting of Israel.

In Isaiah 7:17 the judgement of God (in bringing the King of Assyria upon the people) is paralleled with God’s judgement in dividing Israel. Ephraim represents the northern tribes (Israel) as it is the first born of Israel (lead tribe of the north).

The seeds of the division are first found in Gen 48-49.

Joshua: allotment first given to Judah then to Ephraim even though Ephraim was the first born.

Judges: two individuals trying to become king from Ephraim even though the promise was given to Judah

David had the tribes united but it wasn’t a perfection unification.

Ezekiel prophesies the two kingdoms coming together under one King:

‘Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. 18 “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’— 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.’

Christ breaks down the animosity between Israel and Judah. In the church Christ brings all his people together by His work on the cross. He is the son of David who has brought in the eternal kingdom.

The Prophetic Institution
Prophecy began in Hebrew culture. The word prophets first appears in Gen 20:7 with reference to Abraham:

Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

Jude 14 speaks about Enoch (lived earlier than Abraham) prophesying.
2 Peter 2:5 speaks about Noah prophesying.

Adam was a prophet, priest and a king. And God was the first prophet when he speaks in Gen 3:15.

Deuteronomy 18:9-22:
Not referring to the establishment of prophecy in Israel rather a distinction between true and false prophecy.

9 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

We see here nine distortions of prophecy.
Februation = child sacrifice to please the gods. God is the source of revelation. He reveals Himself when necessary. Israel is not to be dependent on despicable means.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Judges through Poets- 8a Solomon and the Seperation of Israel and Judah

The Reign of Solomon
2 Sam 12:24-25
David names his son Solomon. Solomon comes from Shalom meaning peace.
‘Now the LORD loved him’ The word love is used three times in the accounts of Samuel: 2 Sam 12:24 (YHWH loved Solomon, 1 Kings 3:3 (Solomon loved YHWH), 1 Kings 11:1 (Solomon loves many foreign women).

‘Jedidiah’ = ‘Beloved of YHWH’
This could have been Solomon’s throne or royal name.

1 Kings 1
Adonijah wants the throne

2 Kings 1:7
A new king was recognised by riding a mule

1 Kings 3:11-13
Solomon primary aim was to make the government strong. He made Israel into 12 districts. He was concerned about the internal aspect of Israel. David was more concerned about the external issues of Israel.

The districts are found in 1 Kings 4
Judah is left out of this list

Solomon constructed a magnificent temple and built fortresses.
The period of Solomon’s reign was a prosperous time for the nation.
He organised economic expeditions.

Nationally Israel was doing well.

What problems did Solomon have?
1 Kings 3:1
Now Solomon made a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall all around Jerusalem.

Solomon sins in marrying a non-Israelite. Solomon married and covenanted with an Egyptian lady. Solomon is acting like the pagan kings.

1 Kings 11:1-2
But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— 2 from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.

The foreign women cause him to stumble spiritually.
Solomon clung to these in love. The word ‘clung’ here is the same word used in Gen 2:24 about marriage.

Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. 8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Solomon became syncretistic to the god’s of his wives.

1 Kings 6:38-7:1 we see Solomon’s priority in building his own house

The Separation of Israel and Judah
The separation of Judah and Israel did not begin at the death of Solomon. Rather this event was an out growth of the historical division between the tribes.

Isaiah 11:13- Isaiah speaks of Judah’s harassment of Ephraim.

Gen 48:14 Jacob calls Joseph to bring his two sons to him to bless the firstborn. Ephraim takes the place of the first born (symbolised by the crossing over of the hands).

Gen 49:22-26 Ephraim (Joseph’s first born) is a privileged tribe

Judah gets the first allotment in Joshua
In Joshua 16:5 Ephraim gets the 2nd allotment

Joshua 18:5 And they shall divide it into seven parts. Judah shall remain in their territory on the south, and the house of Joseph shall remain in their territory on the north.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Judges through Poets- 7b David and Absalom

2 Sam 14:33 Absalom gives the appearance of submission, sorrow and repentance.
In chapter 15 Absalom tries to take the throne from his father David.

Psalm 3 tells us about David’s understanding about the situation with Absalom.

2 Sam 15:1-6
Absalom wickedly wants to take the Kingdom from his father. It is a plan of deception.

2 Sam 15:30
David weeps in agony.

2 Sam 17:12
Absalom plots to chase David and kill him. Absalom’s desire and passion is to kill his father.

Psalm 3
David’s explanation of his circumstances from a human perspective

1 LORD, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.

Most people in Israel were following Absalom. 1 Sam 15:12
Enmity is not a strange thing. Believers should expect great hostility (1 Peter 4:12)

2 Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah

From a human perspective it seems that there is no hope for David. It seems that God has forsaken Him.
3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

In the midst of affliction David turns to the Lord in whom he has complete trust and confidence.
YHWH is a shield ‘for me’. He is David’s protector. Shields in these days covered the whole body.
David can claim that God is his glory and treasure even in the hardest circumstances.

4 I cried to the LORD with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

David resorts to prayer. He cries to the Lord because God is a prayer- answering God.
5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.

David wakes up form sleep because the Lord causes him to wake up.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around.
‘ten thousands’ here is an innumerable figure.
7 Arise, O LORD; Save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly. 8 Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Judges through Poets- 7a The Kingship of David Continued

David’s early successes: 2 Samuel 1-10 (lecture 6b)
David’s grievous sins: 11-12
David’s sorrow and repentance: 13- 24

David’s Grievous Sins, Sorrow and Repentance
2 Sam 11:1
David stays in Jerusalem when he should have been going out to battle
David commits adultery with Bathsheba then plots to kill Uriah. David’s sin was a planned sin.

Even though David sinned. David’s faith in God is testified in his works. David has genuine sorrow in his disobedience.

2 Sam 12- David’s response to Nathan’s confrontation
2 Sam 12:13, David response to sin, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

1 Sam 15:30, Saul’s response to sin: “I have sinned; yet honour me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.”

Psalm 51 gives detail to David’s repentance. David understands total depravity. In verses one to six he uses many different words to describe sin.

V3 ‘For I know my transgressions’
‘I know’ here means to have an intimate understanding and relationship with

V4 David accepts the justice of God.

V6-13 David seeks forgiveness for what he has done
V13 David wants to teach forgiveness as a result of being forgiven

First mention of Absalom found in 2 Sam 3:3
Absalom is the product of a mixed marriage
Absalom means ‘Father of Peace’.

2 Samuel 14:25-26 describes the appearance of Absalom.
‘Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he cut the hair of his head—at the end of every year he cut it because it was heavy on him—when he cut it, he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels according to the king’s standard’ Absalom practised self-idolatry

Pagan’s built monuments to let their names last forever. This is what Absalom did (2 Sam 18:18)
‘Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up a pillar for himself, which is in the King’s Valley. For he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name. And to this day it is called Absalom’s Monument.’

‘I have no Son’ (2 Sam 18:18)? How does this fit with 2 Sam 14:27 which clearly states that Absalom had sons?
The names of the sons are not given in 2 Sam 14:27 this is because the sons had died in infancy.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Judges through Poets- 6b: David and Jesus in Psalm 8, David's Successes

Psalm 8
The Psalm is a hymn demonstrating God’s wonder and power.
The Psalm begins with who God is and then goes on to describe the universe and man. The magnificence of the cosmos is found in man’s pre-eminence.
Psalm 8 could refer to the story of David and Goliath (1 Sam 17).

Psalm 8:
To the Chief Musician. On the instrument of Gath.[a] A Psalm of David.
The Psalm was to be played on the Gath/Gittith. This could have been a philistine instrument.

O LORD [YHWH], our Lord [Adoni, Master/Ruler],
The majesty of His name:
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

God uses the weak to shame the wise. God is establishing a stronghold through the weakness of infants. God loves to conquer evil with what looks fragile.
God used an apparently weak and young David to destroy Goliath.

3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?

Man seems to be weak and unimportant compared to the cosmos. The universe seems to be of greater consequence.

5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,[b]
And You have crowned him with glory and honour.

David answers his own question. God’s purpose is to make man ruler over the universe. The Lord bestows on man some of His royal character.

6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet
7 All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.

All living creatures are presented as subordinate to man position. These verse are alluding to Gen 1:27-28.

The author of Hebrews concludes that Psalm 8 finds it’s ultimate climax in Christ Jesus the second Adam, the ruler of the new creation (see Hebrews 2:6-8). It appears that Satan is victorious at the cross. In truth God defeats Satan at the cross, the apparent weakness of Christ was His strength.

It is only Christ Jesus who is truly crowned with glory and praise.

Man failed in his task to rule creation. Christ becomes the perfect ruler who restores and builds a new creation.

9 O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

The Psalm begins and ends with the praise of YHWH.

How did this principle apply to us today?
The Christian life is a life of suffering and conquering through apparent weakness.
See Rom 8:31- 39 and Rev 2:9.

The Kingship of David
1 Samuel focused on the tragic Kingship of Saul. 2 Samuel focuses on the good Kingship of David. 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel were originally one book.

The author wants us to see the basic contrast between the two kingships.

David’s early successes: 2 Samuel 1-10
David’s grievous sins: 11-12
David’s sorrow and repentance: 13- 24

David’s Early Successes
David is anointed as the king of the southern tribes of Israel (2:1-4).
V1 David has a submissive heart
V2 David was a polygamist
V4 A split existed between the northern and southern tribes

3:1-5 War between the house of Saul and David. David became stronger. He has many sons born to him. The seed of iniquity grows as he has more wives.

In 2 Sam 5 David is made King over all the house of Israel. He then captures Jerusalem and makes it his capitol (5:10-12).
2 Sam 5:13- David takes more wives.
2 Sam 5:19- God gives the Philistines into the hands of David.

2 Sam 6- David dances before the ark
2 Sam 7:1- great military success
2 Sam 8- list of David’s triumph recounted in detail.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Judges through Poets- 6a The Kingship of Saul

In both the lives of David and Saul we see: early success followed by grievous sins.
Saul’s sins lead to bitterness and hatred.
David’s sins lead to genuine sorrow and forgiveness from the Lord.

1 Samuel 13:2-4 – Saul attacked the Philistines. The Israelites became ‘a stench’ to the Philistines.

1 Sam 13:8-14 =
The Philistines have gathered to do battle against Israel. Many of the people were hiding in the mountains. Many people followed Saul (v7)
The problem in this passage is that Saul performed an act only the Priest should perform. In 10:8 Samuel says that he is the one to perform the sacrifices.

V12b ‘I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering’ literarily means ‘I made myself strong to do this’

Saul disobeyed by not trusting in the authority of God’s word. Duet 17 states that trust in God’s word is essential to Kingship.

In 1 Samuel 14:24-26 Saul makes a foolish oath cursing everyone who eats food. Jonathon says (v29) ‘my Father has troubled the land’
Why did Saul make the oath? V24:‘…before I have taken vengeance on my enemies’

1 Samuel 15:1-3
‘Samuel also said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’

Saul disobeyed this word from God (v7-9) and fully earnt divine rejection.
Saul did not respond with repentance. ‘Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honour me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.’ 1 Samuel 15:30

An evil spirit comes on Saul to torment him (1 Samuel 16:14-16).
The passage does not say that the Lord made Saul evil. Saul was evil in himself. The Lord hardened him in his sin not to make him sinful. God uses the forces of evil for his own purposes.

Saul directly sinned against God by going to a medium. Samuel told Saul that he and his sons would die the next day (1 Samuel 28:19). Saul responded physically (1 Samuel 28:20) but without repentance.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Judges through Poets- 5b- Kingship in Samuel

A common theme in 1 Samuel: the establishment of Kingship under Saul found in 1 Sam 8-12.

The idea of kingship
Gen 1:26 – Adam is ordained as a ruler
Adam was prophet, priest and king in the garden.

Prophet = He spoke the word of God
Priest = Mediator between God and creation
King = He ruled the creation

God is King of all and man was created in His image giving rulership over creation.

The concept of kingship: Genesis 17:16, 35:11, 49:10

Requirements for kingship from Duet 17:14-20
V15 He must be a Hebrews
V16 He must not be greedy

God wants Israel to have a theocratic monarchy where God is at the centre of the Kingship.

The book of Judges gives a picture for what life is like with a monarchy. Everyman became his own King. The book of Judges prepared the people for a King by showing them their need.

1 Samuel 8
What’s the problem in 1 Samuel 8 when the people want a King?

There is nothing intrinsically wrong in the request. The evil was contained in the motives and underlying attitudes.
V19-20 ‘Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 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.’

The people were insecure and wanted a ruler for battle. The people wanted to be like other nations. They did not want to be set apart for God.

Characteristics of ancient near-eastern Kingship (1 Sam 8:11-18):
11 And he said, “This will be the behaviour of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.’

A human monarchy is described not a theocratic kingship.

2 Sam 7:12-16
12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you.[a] Your throne shall be established forever.’

V16 = an eternal kingship. This is not a normal human king but God as a King. See also Isaiah 9:6-7.

Judges through Poets- 5a- Redemption and the Exodus

Redemption Continued
Rom 11:26-27
‘And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“ The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

Christ is the deliverer that brings redemption to the people of God.

Titus 2:13-14
‘looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.’

Ephesians 1:7
‘In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace’

He gave up His blood to make us rightful heirs of His Father.

1 Peter 1:18-19 shows the cost of our redemption:
‘knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.’

The seemingly insignificant custom of the OT is heightened in the NT as the work of God for the salvation of His people.

How were the OT people saved?
Some teach that the OT people were saved by keeping the law or keeping the amount of the law that had been revealed at that time. Not many hold this view today.
Rom 3:20-23 clearly teaches that humans cannot be justified by keeping the law.

Some argue that the OT Hebrews was not saved by this logic:
If OT law could not save a person and Christ could not save them because He had not come to offer salvation then none of the Hebrews were saved.

The OT believer was saved by grace through faith in the blood of Christ. There is one people of God and one way of salvation.

Galatians 2:16
‘knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.’ Faith in Christ saves.

Galatians 3 gives an example of this
V6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[c] 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

V11 ‘But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.’

Faith in the revealed OT promises of God saved OT Hebrews. Christ was promised in Gen 3:15

The Exodus
The exodus is the central theme of all these Psalms 74,76,78,81,105,106,114
The exodus is alluded to in these passages: Isaiah 11, Jeremiah 2 and 7, Ezekiel 20, Dan 9, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Haggai etc etc

The exodus features as a model for other biblical events that follow

Ezekiel 20:34-36
‘I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. 36 Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord GOD.’
The language of this passage is exodus language.

Zechariah 10:9-11
‘I will sow them among the peoples,
And they shall remember Me in far countries;
They shall live, together with their children,
And they shall return.
10 I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt,
And gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon,
Until no more room is found for them.
11 He shall pass through the sea with affliction,
And strike the waves of the sea:
All the depths of the River[a] shall dry up.
Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down,
And the sceptre of Egypt shall depart.’

The exodus pattern continues into the NT in Rev 16:2-4, 8, 21.

1 Samuel 4-7- the story of the ark in correspondence to the exodus
The ark is in subjection in a foreign country causing havoc.

The word plague is a rare word in the OT. It appears in 1 Sam 6:4. It also appears in Exodus 9:14.
There are many other parallels.

The seed of the serpent will always try to destroy the seed of the woman. The wicked always act with enmity and hostility. Nothing can hinder the conquest of the gospel!! God will not be held back because of the Philistines.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Judges through Poets- 4b- Ruth, Redemption and the Kinsman Redeemer

Matthew 1:3-6 = Genealogy at the end of Ruth

The main characters fade from the story (v18-21). The focus of the story is on the seed. The greatest outcome of the book is the preservation of the seed of the woman. The Messiah’s line is upheld during this grim time by God’s sovereignty. Ruth and Boaz’s relationship serves to continue redemptive history.

Redemption: Hebrew word ‘gaw-al’ means to redeem, revenge, avenge, ransom and to do the work of a kinsman redeemer.

Boaz is the kinsman redeemer of the story
Duties of the Kinsman redeemer
a) Buy back his kin from bondage or slavery (Lev 25:47-49)
b) Buy back land sold by a relative (Ruth 4:1-5)
c) Marry a widow (without male airs) for her protection (Ruth 4:1-5)
d) Avenge the blood of his relative (Numbers 35:26-21)

The idea of the kinsman redeemer was faithful to his family. He was responsible for the good of his kin.

Redemption is the process where something alienated is restored by a kinsman.

Redemption serves as an image of God’s saving activity to all mankind.
Other examples of redemption: Job 19: 25-27. Isaiah 41:11-16, 54:5-8, Psalm 19:14 Exodus 5:22, Isaiah 48:20, 52:9, Micah 4:10, Isaiah 47:1-4, 49:24-26.

The idea of redemption that recurs throughout the OT is promised in a climatic way: Isaiah 59:15-21. Deliverance and vengeance is promised.

The first sermon of Christ: Luke 4:16-21. Jesus claims to be the ultimate redeemer of Israel by quoting Isaiah 61 in the synagogue.

Judges through Poets- 4a: Japhthah, Samson and Ruth

Jephthah’s Daughter Continued
Jephthah was a valiant warrior and the son of a harlot. Jephthah is denied his inheritance and thrown out of the Israel community of Gilead. Jephthah fled to Ammonite teriotry.

The god of the Ammonites was Molech
Lev 18:21: And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
See also Jeremiah 32:35

Jephthah was greatly influenced by foreign religious beliefs due to his upbringing.

Jepthah’s theology was a combination of truth from YHWH and heresy from Molech. This is syncretism. He knew something of YHWH because of his vow to YHWH but he added human sacrifice (influence form Molech).

The method of the seed of the serpent is to dilute the truth of YHWH. The devil loves to combine truth with error.

Problem: Heb 11:32-34
32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Why is Jephthah listed with the faithful of the OC?
‘The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon Jephthah’
Jepthah was ‘valiant in battle’, he ‘turned to flight the armies of the aliens.’
Jephthah is not being praised for his sin. He is being recognised for his conquests by faith.

The story of Samson is the 7th full cycle contained in Judges.
Samson was set apart as a Nazarite He was set apart by the Angel of YHWH to deliver Israel (Judges 13:3-7). ‘Nazirite’ means to be set apart or consecrated. The Nazarites took a vow to abstain from certain things to show there dedication.

Numbers 6:1-21 describes the Nazarite vow
1) No wine or strong drink (v3) (see Judges 13:4,7)
2) No razor to pass over his head (v5) (see Judges13:5)
3) He shall not go near to a dead person (v6) (not mentioned)

The Nazarites were spiritual leaders. Amos parallels the prophets with the Nazarites (2:11-12).
Despite the vow Samson made mistakes
He desired a Philistine woman (14:1-3)
His best friend was a Philistine (15:2)
He had relationships with Philistines (16:4)

Samson serves as a picture of the children of Israel. The children of Israel had spiritual intercourse with the heathen; they were unfaithful to their own vows.

Why was God faithful to Samson in his sin?
To glorify Himself through keeping His covenant

1) Important themes in Ruth:
The inclusion of the Gentiles in salvation
The concept of redemption
Ruth’s character in being a godly woman
Boaz’s character as a righteous man
God’s graciousness and sovereignty

2) The focal point of the book: Ruth 4:13-22
V13 Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. The Lord opened Ruth’s womb to conceive. ‘The Lord enabled her to conceive’ (NASV)- God is in control of the whole situation.

God graciously gave a male child to carry on the lineage.

God provided a redeemer of the land through Naomi. If this did not happen the land would have been passed on to another clan.

V17 Obed is born. Obed is Jesse’s father and David’s grandfather.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Judges through Poets- 3b: Deborah and Japhthah

The cycle found in Judges reaches its climax with Samson.

Deborah- Judges 4:1-5
Deborah is a woman with a specified role of leadership in the OC.

V4 tells us that Deborah is a Prophetess. The Hebrew word for Prophetess used here means ‘a woman female prophetess’. By using this word the writer is telling us that this is not a common situation.

Deborah is the wife of Lapidoth (v4). The Prophetess is under male authority.

Deborah was judging Israel. The word ‘judging’ is used over 200 times in the OT. Judges 4:4 is the only instance where the word is connected to a woman.
We can see that Deborah’s position is not normative but special.

What was the condition of Israel at this time?
Severe oppression (v3). The same word used here for ‘oppression’ is also used in Exodus 22:21 to describe the oppression of the Egyptians to the Israelites.

The oppressor was Jabin from Hazor (v2)

The Israelites had demolished Hazor in Joshua 11:10-13. The Canaanites re-settled in the land of Hazor with Jaben as King. The oppression under Jaben lasted 20 years.

Internally Israel is falling apart.
Judges 5:6, 8:
'In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, In the days of Jael, The highways were deserted, And the travelers walked along the byways.
8 They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates; Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.
Israel was not a safe place to be. Israel was without defence.'

The circumstances surrounding Deborah’s judgement were unique.

Jephthah’s Daughter- Judges 11:29-40
The story depicts the clash between the Gileadites and the Ammonites
Gilead = east of the Jordan (right next to the Ammonites), belongs to the half tribe f Manasseh.

Jephthah believes that in order to defeat the Ammonites he needs to sacrifice his daughter. The author of Judges does not condemn or praise Jephthah’s act.

V29 ‘The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah’.
3:10, 6:34, in 13-15 the Spirit of the Lord comes upon Samson four times.
This idiom is not a figure that reflects regeneration but rather a special dispensation of YHWH’s power. The Holy Spirit empowered these people at times to do great things.
In 1 Sam 11:6 the phrase is used. Saul is obviously not saved here. Saul experienced a special dispensation of the Holy Spirit’s power.

V29 Jephthah raises an army and leads them to Ammon.

V30-31 Jephthah makes a foolish vow based on the culture around him. He promises to sacrifice whatever comes through his doors first- Jephthah was likely to have an animal in mind.

V32-33 The Lord provides victory

V34-35 Jephthah’s daughter comes out. Jephthah feels that he can’t revoke the vow (Numbers 30:2)

V36-40 Jephthah does to his daughter ‘what came out of [his] mouth’ (v36). Meaning that Jephthah gave his daughter as a burnt sacrifice.

Why did Jephthah sacrifice his own daughter?
Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter shows that he did what he though to be right.

Jephthah was a valiant warrior and the son of a harlot. Jephthah is denied his inheritance and thrown out of the Israel community of Gilead.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Judges through Poets- 3a: The Cycle of Judges

(Continued from last lecture)

Judges 2:11-19
1) V11-13 The pattern of apostasy
Baal = storm god, Astoreth = fertility god
These gods were brother and sister and husband and wife.
The people apostatised with idolatry.

2) V14-15 the pattern of God’s anger and judgement against Israel
The anger of the Lord burned against the Israelites. God gives Israel into the hand of her enemy. God disciplines His own people. There is a difference between the chastisement of the devil and the chastisement of God’s children. God’s disciplines His children out of mercy. The devil is chastised as condemnation.

In Amos 4:6-10 we see God disciplining His own people. Hebrews 12:4-11 gives a NT account of God’s disciplining.

In V14-15 God plunders His people and sends oppressors

3) V16 The Lord raises up a Judge to deliver the people for a season
The Judges were military deliverers.

4) V17-19 The repetition of the cycle
The people obey the Judge for a while but then revert to their wicked ways becoming more corrupt. The people became corrupt willingly and purposefully.

The cycle shows us that we are all corrupt wanting to be like God.

Ehud’s Deliverance of Israel

Judges 3:12-30

The pattern of Judges (see above) is demonstrated in this passage.

1) The pattern of apostasy: V12a – ‘the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord’
3:12 is the first time in Judges were the writer doesn’t specify the type of evil that Israel committed. We can assume it is idolatry from 2:11 and 3:7.

The three stages of idolatry
1) One worships something of creation not the Creator
2) One begins to resemble the idol worshipped
3) One is ultimately destroyed by the idol

Psalm 135:15-18
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands [stage 1]. 16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 17 They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there any breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them are like them [stage 2]; So is everyone who trusts in them.

Jesus uses similar terminology. He accuses the Pharisees of becoming spiritually dead and lifeless.

Isaiah 1:28-31
28 The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together, And those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed. 29 For they[a] shall be ashamed of the terebinth [oak] trees Which you have desired[stage 1]; And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens Which you have chosen. 30 For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades [stage 2], And as a garden that has no water. 31 The strong shall be as tinder, And the work of it as a spark; Both will burn together[stage 3], And no one shall quench them.

What you worship will change who you are and what you do. Destruction comes through the worship of any imperfect thing or person.

2) The pattern of God’s anger and judgement against Israel: 3:12a-13
The Lord strengthens Eglon the King of Moab against the Israelites.
God hardens Eglon in their sin to oppress Israel for the Israelites good by paternal discipline.

3) The Lord raises up a Judge to deliver the people for a season- Ehud in V15
4) The repeated cycle- 4:1

Judges through Poets- 2b: The Purposes of the book of Judges

Joshua 1:7-8
‘Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.’

God with His seed has divided the waters of chaos, so that the people can take the land. The people only have one thing to do: obey His word.

Genesis 2:16-17
‘And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die [in Hebrew die die].’

Psalm 1 was composed on the basis of Joshua 1.
The promise of Psalm 1 is the command of Joshua 1: Obedience to the torah causes people to prosper.
There is an automatic connection between loving God and obeying His word. Psalm 1 is not speaking about material prosperity only spiritual prosperity. If Israel obeys God He will bless them. If they do not keep His word Israel will be judged.

The seed of the woman is to live according to God’s word.

The Purposes of the book of Judges
1) The book of Judges amplifies the picture of the conquest already recorded in the book of Joshua.

Joshua 13:1
Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.

The land was generally conquered in Joshua’s time. The land was conquered in principle but yet unfinished.
Judges 1:3-8

2) The book of Judges shows us that we need a good King
‘In those days there was not King in Israel. Everyone did what was right in His own eyes’ Judges 17:6, 21:25

Judges depicts a society full of relativism and immorality. Relativism is trying to crush the seed of the woman.

Judges 2:11-19
1) V11-13 The pattern of apostasy
Baal = storm god, Astoreth = fertility god
These gods were brother and sister and husband and wife.
The people apostatised with idolatry.

2) V14-15 the pattern of God’s anger and judgement against Israel
The anger of the Lord burned against the Israelites. God gives Israel into the hand of her enemy. God disciplines His own people. There is a difference between the chastisement of the devil and the chastisement of God’s children. God’s disciplines His children out of mercy. The devil is chastised as condemnation.

In Amos 4:6-10 we see God disciplining His own people. Hebrews 12:4-11 gives a NT account of God’s disciplining.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Judges through Poets- 2a: Introduction to Joshua

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:3-4
The Greek word for inheritance is used in the Greek OT for Canaan. Canaan is a type of Heaven because Heaven is the heightened version of Canaan.

Hebrews 13:14 ‘For here we do not have a lasting city but we are seeking the city which is to come.’

Recommended reading:
‘Kingdom Prologue’ by Kline is a discussion of the first eleven chapters of Genesis.
Warren Austin Gage ‘The Gospel of Genesis: Protology and Eschatology’

The Promise through the Patriarchs
Joshua describes the Israelites taking of the land promised to the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

1) Abraham
Genesis 12:7:
‘Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him’

Genesis 13:14-15:
‘And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.’

We see the promise of eternity in the word ‘forever’

Genesis 15:18:
‘On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: ’To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates’

2) Isaac
Genesis 26:3:
‘Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.’

3) Jacob
Genesis 28:13
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.

4) The climax of the Pentateuch:
Deuteronomy 34:4
‘Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.’

2 things in every one of the above verses
1) the seed
2) the land

The book of Joshua
The book of Joshua is a demonstration of the continuing fulfilment of Genesis 3:13. The seed of the woman is placed in a land. The book of Joshua demonstrates that God keep His promises. The land received was a temporary fulfilment of the promise.

1) Structure
1-12 the conquest of the land
13-22 the division of the land
23-24 the covenant engagement under Joshua

2) A Theological Problem
Some argue that it is wrong of God to order the annihilation of the Canaanites. How could a loving God do this?

God commanded the destruction of the Canaanites:
Duet 7:1-2
‘When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.’

This is also seen in Duet 20:16-17.

How are we to understand this destruction?
Some argue that the OT God is a God of wrath and the NT God is a God of love.
This division is not easily made. Christ quotes the OT when commanding His disciples to love the Lord.

God’s wrath is explained in the NT in various places such as Revelation and 2 Thes.

Theodacy is the theology of trying to defend God’s goodness in the presence of evils’ existence.

God has the right to exercise His power whenever He wants to who ever He wants.

The Canaanites were not a peaceful, righteous, and moral people. They were deserving of such wrath. Lev 18 speaks about the sin of the Canaanites. The Canaanites were not indifferent to the Israelites. They had enmity and murderous intent towards them.

Romans 1 tells us that everyone (including the Canaanites) suppress the truth and exchange God’s glory for sin. We are all without excuse and deserving of wrath.

3) The commissioning of Joshua
Joshua 1:1-9 is the key theme passage of the book.
We see in this passage the commissioning of Joshua. This shows us that Moses’ authority has been transferred to Joshua.

This commissioning is confirmed by:
God speaking directly to Joshua as He did Moses
God’s addressing of Joshua out of the tabernacle (Duet 31:14-15)

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Judges through Poets- 1b: Typology

John 20:25:
‘The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print [too-pos] of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’

can be an impression of a god
can be a pattern of lifestyle (Phil 3:17)
can be a prefiguring of a pattern that can serve future believers

Eg Adam is a type (too-pos) of Christ in Rom 5:14.
Eg OT believers are a pattern to us. See 1 Cor 10:6-11

Too-pos points us to:
the unchanging covenant of grace
the immutability of God
the sovereignty of God

Typology is prophecy based upon a repetition of patterns.

Examples of typology
The Israelites complain during the wilderness wanderings. God sends serpents so that the people will feel the consequence of their sin. A bronze serpent is set up for the healing of the people. See Numbers 21:4-9.
In John 3:14-15 Jesus states that He is the true bronze serpent so that anyone can have eternal life. The pattern found in the OT is fulfilled and points to Christ typologically.

In Matthew 12:39-41 Jesus claims that Jonah’s story is typical of His work. Jonah is three days inside the fish and then is delivered. Jesus was three days in the tomb then He is delivered from death in being resurrected. Jesus is the greater Jonah.

The fulfilment of typology is always greater than the original type.

Some people are hyper-typers. They make everything fit into a type!

The trials of the Israelites are the for-shadowing of Jesus’ temptation: Matthew 4:1-11
The first temptation is an appeal to Christ’s physical attraction for food. Christ quotes Duet 8:3 back at the devil.

In the second temptation the devil tempts Christ to throw Himself off the cliff. Christ responds with Duet 6:16.

Satan offers riches in exchange for worship. Christ quotes Duet 6:16. Moses uses Duet 6:16 to address the Israelites idolatry.

Jesus fulfils what Israel failed to keep. Jesus in His wilderness temptations stayed faithful to God.

3 Characteristics of types
1) Typology must be firmly grounded in history
The pattern and repetition must be historical events persons or things.
The historical aspect of typology separates typology from allegory. According to the allegorist scripture becomes mystical

2) Typology must have notable correspondences
Song of Songs 1:13
‘A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, That lies all night between my breasts.’

Some say that this verse is about the OC and NC with Christ in the middle! Other say that Christ is the myrrh and the two breasts are the criminals crucified either side of Him!

Paul says ‘Christ our Passover’ in 1 Cor 5:7. This is typology not allegory.

3) Typology must intensify
The repetition of the pattern must be intensified. ‘Christ being our Passover’ as typology is realistic because Christ brings a greater salvation when compared with the salvation received by the Israelites.

Repeated Patterns
In Gen 1:6-10 God divides the waters. God divides the waters of chaos and void. Then He brings forth a land. Then He abundantly supplies the resources for this land. Then He puts His people there.

This pattern is repeated throughout the scriptures. For example Exodus 14:15-16:

15 And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

God divides a land of chaos- made chaotic by the plagues and oppression. God drives His people through the chaos into the new land

The pattern is repeated again in Exodus 15:13
‘You in Your mercy have led forth The people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength To Your holy habitation.’

See Joshua 3:13-17:
‘And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” 14 So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), 16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.’

In verses 13 and 15 the word ‘heap’ is used and also found in Exodus 15:8

Judges through Poets- 1a: The Foundation of Redemptive History

This course will focus on the historical and wisdom literature found in scripture.
We will be approaching the literature in a thematic way. The course should enable us to apply scripture to all areas of our lives.

Genesis 3:15
‘And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.’

God is proclaiming a new order for the universe. Because of sin the whole of the universe has been re-ordered. God is formally cursing the serpent in Genesis 3:15. God is did not announce the first prophecy, it is announced by God Himself.

The normal Hebrew structure of sentences: verb, subject, direct objects and nouns.
God re-organises this. He starts with the object: enmity. This term means ‘to be an enemy’. God is setting up a situation where He will set hostile intent between the serpent and woman. The word enmity is only used 5 times in the OT. On of them is found in Ezekiel 25:15:

‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because the Philistines dealt vengefully and took vengeance with a spiteful heart, to destroy because of the old hatred’

The Philistines have a hostile intent towards the Israelites.

Another example Ezekiel 35:5:
‘Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end’

Another, Numbers 35:21-22:

‘or in enmity he strikes him with his hand so that he dies, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him. ‘However, if he pushes him suddenly without enmity, or throws anything at him without lying in wait’

The verse is speaking about murder. The author is showing a distinction between killing someone with or without enmity. Hostile pre-meditated intent is involved in enmity.

The new order in Gen 3:15 is due to God’s desire and sovereign purpose. The enmity is ordained between the woman and the serpent. Jesus equates Satan’s acts as an act of murder (John 8:44).

The enmity is also between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The Hebrew term for seed is most often used for lineage and decent. This is not referring to physical lineage but a spiritual lineage. Satan can’t bear children. He’s a fallen angel. ‘You are of your Father, the devil’ (John 8:44) those who are in spiritual communion and union with the devil are His children.

The next example of lineage in scripture features murderous intent between Cain and Abel. Esau and Jacob also have enmity. The theme continues becoming broader. Enmity is Genesis is seen through individuals. In Exodus we see enmity between nations; Israel and Egypt.

Rev 12:13-17:
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring [seed], who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The serpent continues on in trying to murder the woman and the seed.

Humanity is divided into one of two camps: Satan seed and the woman’s seed.

Gen 3:15
‘He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.’

The battle will reach its climax between two individuals: A third masculine singular and a second muscular singular. The seed of the woman is a man.

In the first half of the verse the serpent was mentioned first. In the second half we see the primacy of the serpent-bruiser. The blow to the serpent is to the head. It’s deadly wound. The serpents harming of the seed of the woman is minimal. His heel is bruised.

Luke 3 gives a genealogy referring Jesus back to Adam and Eve. After Luke 3 we see Christ going off to do battle against the devil.

How does our understanding of Gen 3:15 influence our understanding of the historical books?
The rest of scripture is the unfolding of Genesis 3:15. Redemptive history starts stems from Gen 3:15. Scripture traces the development of Gen 3:15- it places the meat on the bones of Gen 3:15.

The historical books point out the failure of human Kings and the need of Israel for the promised one of Gen 3:15. Israel are encouraged to trust in this King above all others.

Gen 3:15 is direct verbal prophecy as a means of God revealing the unfolding of redemptive history.

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Adoring Christ: Communion with God

By Tim Keller

As people adore Christ they will apply Christ.

The best way to lead people to worship is to worship Christ yourself during the sermon.

Whitefield agreed to having his sermons printed but said ‘you’ll never get the thunder’.
The sermon is what you write
Preaching is the active delivery of the preaching

The spiritual quality and character of the person shines through during preaching more than the sermon itself.

Keep in your mind the differences between graces and gifts. You can be using gifts without being godly.
The fruit of the Spirit is character change. The gifts of the Spirit are skills or abilities.
People often assume that skill or gifts indicates

Spiritual gifts with spiritual fruit is like a tyre without air. When you’re far from God

Sacramental: meeting God in the sacraments and traditions
Evangelical: meeting God in your quiet times
Charismatic: emphasis on meeting God in corporate worship

The Puritans were bigger on experiencing God compared with other reformed evangelicals today.

MLJ was on a farm trying to pray and couldn’t pray. Looked at the word glory in an AW Pink book and felt God’s glory for a couple of hours. He then looked back at the Puritans and saw these themes were present in there writings.

Meditation is the overlap between prayer and Bible study. Read and meditate on scripture until your heart gets hot, then move on to pray.

Bible reading should be a slow and careful reading of scripture. Give yourself time to meditate on truths you haven’t enjoyed before. Listen to God’s voice and enjoy the truth.

In meditation you take parts that have impressed you from the Bible reading and think about how this helps you to:
1) adore God
2) confess sin
3) petition to grace

God structure for quiet times:
Listen to God through the Word
Reflect on what He is saying
Respond by speaking to Him
Sense and enjoy His grace

Meditation is truth with you left in it. What is this truth saying to me? What would happen if I were living in light of this?

The minds must descend into the heart. To hunger for God and not eat is better than not to be hungry.

Contemplation is the witness of the Spirit telling us that we are children of God.

Mini sermon on John 2
The first of Christ’s miraculous signs is featured in John 2 when he turns water into wine. When you go to a web page you want the content of that page to get straight to the point, you want to find out the essence of that page straight away. Christ shows hi heart and essence in the performance of His first miracle.

What is Christ doing? He’s not healing anyone. He’s taking a party and restoring it.

a) What did He come to bring?
Christ came to be lord of the feast. Verse 10 is talking about the master of the banquet. His job was to make sure that the party went well. Christ kept the party going by making 150 gallons of the best wine. Christ is saying I’m the real master of the banquet. I can bring taste and experience and fullness of life.

Why does the Bible talk about tasting? Psalm 34: ‘taste and see’. God wants you to experience Him- He wants your senses. There’s a difference between knowing God’s holiness and feeling His holiness. Jesus Christ wants you to know the sweetness of God.

He is the master of the banquet. He wants to come into your life and bring sweetness.

b) How does He bring this?
Mary says ‘We’ve run out of wine?’ Jesus responds: ‘Woman, why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come.’ He is not referring to his time of miracles. He is referring to the hour of His death. Jesus is thinking of His wedding. He is thinking of His wedding feast.

How is Christ going to give you incredible sensation? He dies to give you Himself. To purchase the wedding feast He had to be slaughtered.

Christ adores His bride. Jesus feel ravished when He sees us. He came to give us festival joy by dieing so that we would be His bride.

Applied to non-Christians:
1) Admit you’re out- admit you’re empty, devoid of goodness.
2) Take the credit for what He’s done- love me and praise me because Jesus is lovely and praiseworthy

Applied to prayer:
1) Pray for small things- Christ was willing to use divine time for small things
2) Learn patience prayer- pray yourself patient
3) Get perspective on Christ’s wedding day. There’s only one spouse that awaits you and He will fulfil you- He’s waiting for you if you believe in Him.
4) Presence prayer- He wants to come into your life and give you wine. Don’t settle for bread and water- you’re missing the feast!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ:Asking Questions, Discourse Analysis

By Ed Clowney

Luke 17
We see in this passage the return of praise, which is the glory of faith showing the glory of grace.

The lepers call to Jesus from afar off: ‘Jesus, Master have mercy on us’.
Faith hears the word of Jesus.

Jesus came to gain the worship of the unclean- He wants the Lepers for Himself. He came to be the servant who would receive the punishment for our sin. He paid the price of our uncleanness so that we would become clean.

The disciples ask about receiving faith and Jesus responds by speaking about the obedience of praise. The others lepers didn’t show hear-obedience to the master. They were doing exactly what they were told to do without praise in their hearts.

If faith is to be increased it must show the fruit of praise.

When preaching narratives make sure you weave doctrine around the story.

The Wisdom Narratives
The meekness of wisdom- ‘learn of me’, ‘let your gentleness be known to all men’.
Prov 8- wisdom personified produces joy.
The meditation for wisdom leads to the realisation of joy.
Calvary is the ultimate expression of wisdom- it looks foolish to men but is wise in an ultimate sense.

Christian meditation is the awareness of a person. It’s personal and focuses, arousing emotion. This emotion grows out of knowledge of scripture.

The suffering servant brings to us the counsel of God. This is the solution to the problem of suffering and wisdom presented in the OT. Our suffering (planned by God’s wisdom) allows us to enter into fellowship with Christ.

The sending of Jesus Christ is the sending of wisdom (Matt 23:24)

Wisdom is the right application of knowledge to a specific situation. Therefore wisdom will be (in one way) look different for different preachers. This is because Pastors preach to different peoples and cultures.

Psalm 1:2 tells us that wisdom ends with delighting in the law of the Lord. Wisdom leads to thinking and savouring scripture; this is the fuel of joy.

Discerning- seeing the world through a renewed mind, seeing the world through light and not darkness, discern opportunities for the gospel by the power of the Spirit.
Don’t think ‘I’ll only do a task that matches my gift list’.
Be task-orientated not fulfilment orientated
Reflect- on what you’ve done, consideration on the outcome and process.

Spiritual gifts are often a heightening of natural gifts that you already posses. As God renews us we should expect that our natural gifts will be used by the Spirit. Don’t look at Paul’s list of gifts as the complete list of all gifts. There is individuality to our calling and graces. Gifts are designed for corporate worship. The whole body works together.

Recognise Christ direction in your calling.

Analysis is making distinctions, noticing the limits
Intuition is seeing relationships, seeing the whole

Eastern traditions say that analysis must stop in meditation. Scriptural meditation uses both analysis and intuition.

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Adoring Christ: Spiritual Reality

By Tim Keller

The goal of the sermon is to get people to worship.

A sermon isn’t a sermon until you call people to adore Christ. A sermon is a lecture when Christ is not adored.

Willow Creek approach: ‘You can evangelise non-Christians or edify Christians’
Conservative approach: ‘All people need to worship through the same material’
If you preach Christ you’ll e evangelising and edifying at the same time.

Post-modern people like to know how Christianity works.
PM people try on Christianity as a dress. They’ll try it out to see if it works.

You can only change a person’s life by changing what they worship and how they worship.

Text, Context and Subtext
Be clear about the text, context and subtext
1) The text: know what the text is saying. Be clear on theology
2) The context: know how to present the text to the people
3) The subtext: have the right heart for the text (Christ) and the right heart for the context (people)

4 types of subtext
1) Social Reinforcement
The purpose of the sermon is to say: ‘Aren’t we great’
The preacher builds community and belonging by using familiar language and over endorsing the goodness of the church
‘We’re here to remind ourselves that we are unique people’

2) Selling
Promotion the products of the church
‘Don’t you feel that this is a great church’?
‘See how worthy I am of your respect’
The sermon is trying to give teaching to win people over to the individual church

3) Training
The purpose of my sermon is to teach people things they don’t know
‘I want to inform you of things you don’t know’

4) Worship
This subtext points to Christ and says ‘Isn’t He great?’
‘Don’t you see that your problems are rooted in that you don’t worship Christ?’

Spiritual Reality and Edwards
Religious Affections by Jonathon Edwards:
We have always done what we wanted to do.
Edwards argued that there is no ultimate opposition between head and heart. The heart always leads the will to act. Actions are grounded in emotions- always!

‘I know God cares for me but I can’t help but feel unloved.’ Edwards would say ‘You clearly don’t know that God cares for you. You haven’t felt that reality. Once you feel that God cares you’ll act as if God cares.’

Acting directly on the will doesn’t really work. We need to aim for the heart.
If someone is not being generous it’s due to sinful emotions. It’s because their hearts find something more attractive than Christ. Once people really see and feel 2 Cor 8:9 giving becomes frequent and a happy experience!

Sensing Christ only way to motivate the will. The task of the preacher is to present the beauty of Christ so that He becomes the object of our hearts greatest affection. Presenting Christ as more excellent than everything will weaken the Christians love for things other than Christ.

‘Excellency is that which is appreciated and rested in for its own sake.’- Edwards

The nominal Christian is someone who finds grace useful to get the things that the heart finds excellent and beautiful. Christ should not be the means to the end. He is the end!

Spiritual reality is more than rational conviction.

2 fold knowledge of good according to Edwards:
1) That which is notional- understanding something rationally
2) That which is pleasing to the heart- delighting in Him

You can rationally know that honey is sweet without feeling it. You can’t feel that honey is sweet unless you rationally know it’s sweet.

5 tips for heart preaching
1) Use reason- be clear and logical
2) Use analogical illustrations- relate the truth to another discourse. Doing this engages the senses
3) Use narrative- use stories
4) Transfer the affections of the people from sin to Christ- show that sin is not satisfying- show people that Christ’s beauty satisfies
5) Worship as you preach- show the people that you are sensing Christ – taste the food that you’re feeding to the children

Our problem: we forget spiritual knowledge.
2 Peter 1:8-9 is not talking about someone who has forget that they are saved. Rather the Christian here is not being continuously refreshed with Christ.
Video is more attractive than audio. The Bible sometimes can go straight to audio- it is heard and not fully experienced. We need to see Christ on video this is to experience Him.

We worship when we treasure God- when we find Him more beautiful than anything else.