Studying the Historical Books

masada_ancient_wall595x250

After completing our 3 1/2-year cycle of readings in the Torah, we’ve decided to continue with the historical books that follow, beginning with Joshua. We’ll read first about the conquest of the Canaanite tribes, then examine the disappointing time of the Judges – punctuated by the exploits of Gideon and Samson – and the turmoil that led up to the anointing of Saul as King.

Posted in Readings | 2 Comments

February 5, 2023 – 2 Samuel 12 – Nathan Confronts David

The prophet Nathan tells David a parable that is really an allegory for David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. David confesses and repents of his sin, and Psalm 51 describes the depth of his repentance. God forgives him, but the consequences of his actions bring tragedy to his house immediately and on into the future.

Notes for 2 Samuel 12:1-31 and Psalm 51

Posted in Readings | Leave a comment

January 29, 2023 – 2 Samuel 11:1-27 – David and Bathsheba

King David’s moral failure with Bathsheba as well as his arranged murder of her husband Uriah, left a stain on his name, the kingdom and God’s Law. It gives us a picture of the progression of sin in our own lives. It would take a confrontation with the prophet Nathan to bring David to repentance.

Notes on 2 Samuel 11:1-27

Posted in Readings | Leave a comment

January 22, 2023 – 2 Samuel 10 – War with the Ammonites

David’s offer of kindness to the Ammonite king is rejected and his ambassadors are humiliated. The Ammonites aided by the Syrians prepare for war. David’s general Joab’s exhortation to the troops (later quoted by Paul) is one we can apply to our own lives today.

Notes on 2 Samuel 10:1-19

Posted in Readings | Leave a comment

January 15, 2022 – 2 Samuel 9 – David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

David honors his promise to Jonathan by seeking out his crippled son, Mephibosheth, returning lands and provisions to him and giving him a seat at the royal table. The story is a reflection of our own situation before God and God’s mercy toward us.

Notes on 2 Samuel 9:1-13

Posted in Readings | Leave a comment

January 1, 2023 – Luke 2:21-3, Matthew 2:1-23 – The Wise Men and the Star

The response of Simeon and Anna at the presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the visit of the wise men from the east show the high level of Messianic expectation that accompanied Jesus’ birth.

Notes on the Wise Men and the Star

 

Posted in feast | Leave a comment

December 18, 2022 – Celebrate Hanukkah!

The eight-day feast of Hanukkah, a festival of lights, occurs in the darkest time of year. It commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. after it was cleansed by Judas Maccabeus when the Jews prevailed against the Seleucid Greeks of Syria.

When the special oil for the Temple lamp stand could not be obtained in time, Judah Maccabeus took a step of faith (and a risk) by lighting the lamp with only one day’s supply of oil. It burned miraculously for eight days until the extra oil arrived.

Many scholars place the time of Mary’s annunciation and the conception of Christ (rather than his birth) at this time of year, and the festival contains numerous types and foreshadowings of Christ’s coming.

Notes on Hanukkah (disregard the meeting schedule)

Notes on Hanukkah and the Humility of Mary

Posted in feast | Leave a comment

December 11, 2022 – Luke 1:26-38 and Matthew 1:18-25 – When was Jesus born?

In preparation for Hanukkah, we will first read the story of the annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary, and then examine how this season became associated with Christmas on Dec. 25. Can the pagan traditions associated with Christmas be transformed and redeemed? The answer is yes.

Notes on “When was Jesus Born?”

Notes on the Shepherds at the Birth of Christ

Posted in Readings | Leave a comment