Christianity differs from all other religions in that it is built upon the person of Christ, who embodies all approaches to spiritual truth. Paul acknowledges this unique and ontological nature of Christianity when he exclaims, “I know whom [not what] I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12) and “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
If your dear ones are dead you cannot restore them to life by your unbelief; and if they still survive, it will be a pity to be downcast and unbelieving when there is no occasion for it. ‘Your strength is to sit still.’ Remember that you are a Christian, and a Christian is expected to be more self-possessed than those who have no God to fly to.” (Spurgeon)
Where are the faith healers, where are the Word of Faith ministers...why is the Church so quiet? Don’t they realise that this is the hour for the Church to lead the way when death and fear rage rampage in society?
The temptation to turn a blind eye to the sins of our children is common not only to leaders but to any parent. In 2 Samuel, we see how David, though an otherwise just king, failed in acting with justice when it was his own children who needed to be punished. And there are principles here for all parents and any affected by the destructive consequences of a leader glossing-over at their child’s sin.
The unconditional nature of this covenant continues as God explains that it is not based on David’s descendants behaving perfectly. In fact, God says that when — not if! — the son commits iniquity, he will be punished, but God’s steadfast love will not depart from him as it did from Saul. The mention of Saul’s name in 2 Samuel 7:15 is a sobering reminder of what can happen to a kingdom and to a king, but it also heightens the graciousness of this promise God makes to David.
In the Old Testament wisdom literature in Job 27, Scripture says, “My lips will not speak falsehood and my tongue will not utter deceit.” In Psalm 5 it says, “You destroy those who speak lies.” In Psalm 58, it says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb. They go astray from birth, speaking lies.” In Proverbs 12:22, it says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”
2 Samuel depicts David as a true (though imperfect) representative of the ideal theocratic king. David was initially acclaimed king at Hebron by the tribe of Judah (chs. 1 - 4), and subsequently was accepted by the remaining tribes after the murder of Ish-Bosheth, one of Saul's surviving sons (5:1-5). David's leadership was decisive and effective. He captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it his royal city and residence (5:6-13). Shortly afterward he brought the ark of the Lord from the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem, publicly acknowledging the Lord's kingship and rule over himself and the nation (ch. 6; Ps 132:3-5).
Christ is searching us as to whether we are searching the Scriptures. “Search the Scriptures”, He commands (John 5:39). Searching is not a superficial activity. You believe or think that in the Scriptures you have eternal life. He says this to us just as much as the Jews to whom He spoke. Is this not a reason to study them? The Scriptures testify of Christ. Searching them to find the Saviour is evidence of love towards Him.
The account of the witch of Endor summoning Samuel is recorded in 1 Samuel 28:7-20, and it is the only biblical account of someone being visited in such a manner by someone who was deceased. Saul, having deprived himself of every legitimate means of spiritual input as a result of his own disobedience and rebellion, walked in foolishness again by seeking out the very resource (a medium) he had previously removed from the land. By divine law, mediums and spiritists were banned from Israel (Deuteronomy 18:11), and Israel was not to be defiled by them (Leviticus 19:31). That the king would stoop to this indicates how far he had fallen from God’s grace.
The “anointed ones” in these passages are not modern-day Pentecostal preachers. And the Bible never promises that God’s prophets, anointed ones, children, or other faithful believers will never suffer harm from evil people. As Jesus explained to the Pharisees, “God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute’” (Luke 11:49).
Modalism, also called Sabellianism, is the unorthodox belief that God is one person who has revealed himself in three forms or modes in contrast to the Trinitarian doctrine where God is one being eternally existing in three persons. According to Modalism, during the incarnation, Jesus was simply God acting in one mode or role, and the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was God acting in a different mode. Thus, God does not exist as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the same time. Rather, He is one person and has merely manifested himself in these three modes at various times. Modalism thus denies the basic distinctiveness and coexistence of the three persons of the Trinity.
Modalism was condemned by Tertullian (c. 213, Tertullian Against Praxeas 1, in Ante Nicene Fathers, vol. 3). Also known as Sabellianism, it was condemned as heresy by Dionysius, bishop of Rome (c. 262).
Original sin, also described as ancestral sin, is a Christian view of the nature of sin in which humanity has existed since the fall of man. Original sin arose from Adam and Eve's transgression in Eden, the sin of disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Original sin can be explained as “that sin and its guilt that we all possess in God’s eyes as a direct result of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden.”
People tend to judge the character and worth of others by looking at outward appearances. If a person is tall, good-looking, well-built, and tastefully dressed, then he or she possesses physical qualities that humans generally admire and respect. Often these are the physical qualities we seek in a leader. But God has the unique ability to see inside a person. God knows our true character because he “looks at the heart.”
Saul chose to keep the Amalekite king Agag alive and took the plunder from the battle rather than destroy everything as God had commanded. When Samuel confronted him, Saul said, “I did obey the Lord. . . . I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15:20–21).
Samuel answered in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices / as much as in obeying the Lord? / To obey is better than sacrifice.” Why is obedience better than sacrifice?
We depart from Biblical teaching when we think that today's so-called gospel rock, gospel clowns, gospel magicians, and other forms of gospel entertainment can legitimately be employed to communicate spiritual truth. The Scriptures teach that the world is on its own, "without hope and without God"
Giving God the honor due him is surely at the heart of genuine worship (cf. Pss. 29:1–2; 96:7–8), for the incomparable God refuses to share his glory (Isa. 42:8; 48:11). Genuine repentance culminates in genuine worship when the repentant ones ascribe to God the glory he deserves. Paul points out that the pagan world has “exchanged the glory of the immortal God” for idols (Rom. 1:23), but John foresees a day when survivors of God’s eschatological judgment will proclaim God’s glory (Rev. 11:13). Indeed, he tells how an angel will proclaim the gospel, announce impending judgment, and call the nations to worship, exhorting them to “fear God and give him glory” (Rev. 14:7)
One day Hannah was at the tabernacle earnestly pleading with the Lord to bless her with a son and promising to dedicate her future child to the service of the Lord. When Eli observed Hannah, he was inspired to declare to her, “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:17). Later, after she gave birth to a son, Hannah brought the young Samuel to Eli to fulfill her vow (1 Samuel 1:24–28). Under the supervision of Eli, Samuel faithfully served at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:11).
Unfortunately, Eli’s own sons did not submit to their father’s supervision as Samuel did. Like their father, Hophni and Phinehas were also priests at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 1:3). The sons of Eli “knew not the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12). They are referred to as “sons of Belial” (1 Samuel 2:12), which is a term of derision used elsewhere in the scriptures. The word Belial basically means “wickedness” or “worthlessness.”
During the darkest period of my life I had no one to say “Brother, how is your faith? Is Christ alive in your life? Are you lawless and doing your own thing? Brendon do you know that if you are carrying on in your sin and ignore God’s will - Jesus will say to you, ‘depart from me you lawless one - I don’t know you!’”.
Ruth demonstrates great faith with her insistence to go with Naomi to Judah. Unlike her sister Orpah, Ruth is not returning to her homeland, her people, or her gods. She trusts in the Living God of Israel—Naomi’s God. She trusts Naomi’s confidence in God’s provision (Ruth 1:6) although she has not seen it.
Ruth is willing to commit herself to Naomi and follow her to a land she has not seen and a people who are not hers. Remember, she is a Moabite widow—a foreigner to Naomi’s people. And, Naomi is clear there are no guarantees (Ruth 1:11-13).
The book concludes in Judges 17:1-21:25 with three failures of the Israelites in sinning like the pagan peoples they were commanded to dispossess and in their failure to maintain the unity as a covenant people and the summary statement: In those days there was no king in Israel and everyone did as he saw fit (Judg 21:25).
1. The failure of Israel through idolatry (17:1-18:31) 2. The failure of Israel through immorality (19:1-30) 3. The failure of Israel through civil war (20:1-21:25)
The Scripture says, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly [that’s everybody]. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
One has to wonder where is God in these complex processes of engaging the Judges from their very distracted lives? God is relegated to the role of silent witness to a purely human contract between a desperate people that are self-centred rather than subservient to His plans.
Jesus did not come into the world simply to set a good example, tell us to lead better lives or even to ask us to pray more and read our Bibles regularly. He came into this world primarily in order to make forgiveness for us possible. It is why, when he looked forward to the Cross, he stated that it was for this very reason he had come into this world. The real question as we have said is not about who is good enough to get in. The real question is how God makes it possible for anyone to get in at all. The answer is that we need to be forgiven, and that forgiveness is won for us through the Cross
Children of Israel did evil” (v. 1) is the reason for their being delivered into the hands of the Midianites. Gideon, the sixth judge, was raised up to deliver Israel. All the judges, as we have indicated, had some weakness, defect, or unusual characteristic that God actually exploited in order to deliver His people. Gideon was a coward at heart. His threshing grain at the winepress, instead of on the threshing floor of a hilltop in sight of the Midianites, reveals this. Here is where the angel of the Lord calls him “Thou mighty man of valor.” Gideon pleads his weakness and littleness as an excuse. God equips him and encour- ages him in his first exploit.
Christians, by definition, believe Christ to be God- made-man, God-in-the-flesh. His claims cannot be amended, watered down, relativised, negotiated away or nuanced into acceptability. But this exclusivism is not an exclusivism of Christian culture, of Christian ethics or of Christians as the only candidates for heaven. Attacks on Christian exclusivism often ignorantly or maliciously confuse these three indefensible exclusivisms with the real one, which is almost never squarely faced.
Hosea’s name means salvation and shares the root Hebrew word with the names Jesus and Joshua. If there was any doubt that this was a man of God, although marrying a prostitute, the scripture clears it up in the first verse. Throughout the book, salvation is attained by turning to the Lord away from our sin, evident in how Hosea applies the word to his life and circumstances.
The book of Judges describes a period in the life of the nation of Israel between the prophetic leadership of Moses and Joshua and the establishment of the monarchy and kingship in Israel. The nature of this time period is described on four different occasions in the book, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6; cf. 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).
The tradition of casting lots is referenced several times in the Bible. Although they are thought to have been used in 1Samuel 14:40 - 42, when King Saul sought God's counsel, they were not. In this case, what was cast was not lots but rather the High Priest's Urim and Thummim used to render a decision.
The primary reason for casting lots was to render an impartial, unbiased decision on important matters. Once the lot was cast, no one could argue that the decision was the result of human intervention like nepotism, politics, favouritism, and so on.
We overlook the fact that God speaks to us all the time, we may not even know it and we don't give Him the credit. So listen to that voice! He will always give you peace. He also will never contradict His written word in the Bible.
Moses encourages the people of Israel to obey God’s law. He says it is not too hard to do because God will put it in their hearts so they can do it. Remember what we read in the last section. The problem is the human heart. But God will circumcise or change the heart so his people can obey the law.
For us today, Jesus fulfils the law and sacrifices. We must not offer animal sacrifices. Jesus is our
sacrifice for sin. Believers are not
under a curse for their sin. Jesus takes away our curse. We enjoy fellowship with God because of Jesus.
Do you have a hunger for something more in life? Is there something deep inside of you that never seems to be satisfied? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). Are you confused? Are you unable to find a path or purpose in life? Does it seem like someone has turned out the lights and you cannot find the switch? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus proclaimed, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
How can people maintain a quality of true community in the midst of such pressures? From the point of view of mission, Zoom, WhatsApp etc. can offer unprecedented opportunities for the intelligent proclamation of the Christian gospel. But could never replace the personal contact?
Our world has drastically changed and we are now being treated as “herds” to “immunity”. Now this is for the greater good of our society, we are requested to observe the rules so not to spreading the virus. Whether we live or we die - we do unto the Lord!
All these things mislead people. They come from Satan, who lies. These things are detestable and disgusting to God. God’s people must not go to the magic man or witch or other people like that.
God is in control of everything. God tells his people everything they need to know.
We must remember God’s commandments all the time. This is so the commandments will go deep into our hearts and lives. If we really love God, then we will love his commandments, and read them often, and follow them in our lives.
Christians are not the same as the people of Israel. Christians have the Holy Spirit to write God’s word in their hearts. The Spirit does this when we think about and read God’s commandments often.
If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want, without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God.