Studying the Historical Books

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After completing our 3 1/2-year cycle of readings in the Torah, we decided to continue with the historical books that follow, beginning with Joshua.

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June 2, 2024 – 1 Kings 20 – ‘Slay Each His Man’

A war with the Syrian king Benhadad prompts an unnamed prophet to promise King Ahab victory. But he fails to finish the job by executing Benhadad – “A man whom I appointed to utter destruction.”  The story reveals an underlying thread of gospel truth, that we each must “slay our man” i.e. ourselves – accept our death and go to the cross.

Notes on 1 Kings 20:1-43

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May 12, 2024 – More on Mt. Horeb and 1 Kings 19

Rabbinical tradition considered Mt. Horeb (Sinai) as a sacred mountain, and found references to mountains serving as types for Israel and even the Messiah.  Elijah’s experience of the “still, small voice” of God there embodied a whole host of meanings –  from the death and resurrection of the Israelites at the giving of the Law to the suffering of the Messiah to come. The concept we would call death to self and or picking up the cross was present in Jewish tradition even at the time of Christ.

Notes in Mt. Horeb, Counting the Omer, and ‘Nullification of Self’

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April 27, 2024 – 1 Kings 19:9-21 – Elijah Travels to Mr. Sinai

We find the prophet Elijah depressed and at the lowest point in his life. He flees to Mt. Sinai (Horeb), where God speaks to him in a “still, small voice.” On his return he calls Elisha to be his companion.

Notes on 1 Kings 19:9-21

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April 21, 2024 – 1 Kings 19:1-8 – A Dejected Elijah Flees to the Wilderness

After Queen Jezebel hears of Elijah’s victory over the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel, she vows to kill him. Suddenly experiencing a loss of faith, Elijah flees into the wilderness, burdened by despair, taking shelter under a Juniper tree.

Notes on 1 Kings 19:1-8

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April 14, 2024 – Reading Melito of Sardis’ Passover Homily

This Sunday we will celebrate the Christ’s Resurrection by reading through the Passover Sermon of Melito, the second-century bishop of Sardis in what is now Turkey.

The homily dates from around 190 A.D. (some date it earlier, around 170 A.D.) and shows how closely these early Christians linked the Passover and the story of the Exodus with salvation through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Get comfortable because it takes about an hour to read it through.

Read the text of Melito’s Homily here,  beginning on Page 37.

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April 6, 2024 – We Celebrate Passover

We celebrate Passover this year on Saturday, April 6, by first sweeping away any spiritual leaven from our lives, and then reading through the Haggadah and to experience the seder meal with an explanation of the Passover elements, and how each points to the Messiah – Jesus.

You can find our general Notes on Passover here

Notes on The Search for Leaven and The Meaning of the Afikomen

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March 31, 2024 – Preparing for Passover

Two things led up to Passover and prepared the people for the Exodus:
– God rained down plagues on the Egyptians and their false gods.
– Before the Passover ceremony, the people swept their houses clean of any leaven.
The plagues desecrated and humiliated the false gods of the Egyptians. Purging out the old leaven (1 Corinthians 5:7) means turning away from things that “puff you up.”

Notes on the Plagues and Preparing for Passover

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