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.

Structure
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.

Saul
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
11:1-4
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.

Samson
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

Ruth
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.

V14-16
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.

11:1-4
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.’

‘Too-pos’
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

Traditions:
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.

(Keller)
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.