Week #36; Wed, 9/05/18: Judges 14-19

Week #36; Wed, 9/05/18: Judges 14:1-19:30

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: Samson began to grow and was moved by the Spirit of the Lord. He felt the power of the Spirit when he killed a lion by hand. The Spirit of the Lord also led Samson to do the will of God against the oppression of the Philistines.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
JUDGES 14. Samson marries a Philistine woman.
1. Samson appealed to his parents to “get” the Philistine woman he saw at Timnah for him to marry, but they discouraged him by questioning if he wouldn’t be better off with a woman from the circumcised.
2. Samson would not be deterred; he was acting on direction from the Lord to gain an opportunity against the Philistines who ruled over Israel at the time.
3. While going to get the woman at Timnah with his parents, a lion approached Samson and he killed it by hand unbeknownst to his parents.
4. Upon reaching the woman at Timnah, Samson found her to be “right in his eyes.”
5. Later, when Samson returned to get her, he observed the carcass of the lion and it was filled with bees and honey.
6. Samson ate and took some to his father and mother.
7. Samson prepared a feast when his father went down to the woman with onlookers nearby.
8. Samson put out a riddle and promised if they could solve it, he would give 30 changes of clothes; however, if they could not solve it, they would give him the same.
9. The Philistines could not solve the riddle, so they used Samson’s wife to entice him and learn the riddle for them.
10. When Samson’s wife learned the riddle, she told the Philistines and they gave Samson the meaning of his riddle.
11. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson leading him to kill 30 men in the city of Ashkelon.
12. Samson returned and gave the spoils of garments to those that spoke his riddle; her father gave his wife to his companion at his wedding.

JUDGES 15: Samson Defeats the Philistines
1. In Samson’s rage, he caught 300 foxes and tied their tails together, lighting the tails, and releasing them into the standing grain.
2. Samson also destroyed the stacked grain and the olive orchards of the Philistines.
3. In turn, the Philistines destroyed Samson’s wife and her father with fire.
4. Samson struck down the Philistines and went to a “cleft of the rock of Elam” to stay.
5. But the Philistines raided Lehi in Judah saying, “we have come to bind up Samson to do to him what he has done to us.”
6. 3,000 men of Judah went to Samson to bind him and turn him over to the Philistines thinking it would call off the Philistines.
7. As Samson was turned over to the Philistines, the Spirit of the Lord came over him and he took the jaw bone of a donkey and killed 1,000 men at Ramath-lehi.
8. Upon being restored by the Lord with water from a hollow place at En-hakkore, Samson judged Israel for 20 years in the days of the Philistines.

CHAPTER 16: Sampson and Delilah
1. Samson’s strength was on display in Gaza where he tore down the gates of the city including the posts and bar, putting them on his shoulders and setting them on a hill in front of Hebron.
2. Later, Delilah of Sorek, Samson’s lover, was approached by the Lords of the Philistines to have her learn of Samson’s great strength.
3. Delilah complied with the Lords of the Philistines who bribed her with 1,100 pieces of silver from each of them.
4. So Delilah said to Sampson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies and how you can be subdued.”
5. Three times Delilah had men lying in wait for her to bind up Sampson to no avail; each time Sampson broke the bindings of bowstrings, ropes, and seven locks of his hair.
6. Delilah pressed him day after day for Sampson to tell her the secret to his strength and finally he told her if his head was shaved, he would become weak and like any other man.
7. The Lord left him when his head was shaved and the Philistines gouged out his eyes and bound him taking him to Gaza to grind at the mill in the prison.
8. The Philistines offered a great sacrifice to Dagon their god with much joy for the capture of Sampson; they made him entertain them by standing between the pillars of the house where they were gathered.
9. Several thousand were being entertained in the house and on the roof by Samson when he cried out to the Lord for his strength to return to avenge the Philistines.
10. He bowed with all his strength, and the house fell, killing more than those whom he had killed during his life; Samson also died with the Philistines.
11. He was buried at Manoah with his father; he had judged Israel for 20 years.

CHAPTER 17: Micah and the carved image
1. Micah gave his mother back 1,100 pieces of silver that was taken from her and she gave him 200 pieces for the silversmith to make it into a carved image and a metal image.
2. Because there was no judge in Israel at that time, everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
3. A Levite from Bethlehem in Judah was sojourning and he met Micah where he was ask to stay with Micah and become his priest for ten pieces of silver a year and clothing.
4. But, Micah ordained the Levite thinking he would prosper because of it.

CHAPTER 18: The Danites take the Levite and the idol from Micah
1. Still, there was no king in Israel and the Danites were seeking an inheritance for itself to dwell in; no inheritance had fallen to them among the tribes of Israel.
2. So five men from Dan were sent to spy out the land where they arrived at the house of Micah.
3. The men of Dan overheard the voice of the Levite and asked him why he was there; when they learned the Levite was the hired priest of Micah, they asked him to inquire of God so they would know if they would have a successful journey.
4. The Levite told them to go in peace; their journey was under the eye of the Lord.
5. The five men completed spying out the land and returned and reported that the land is very good, a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.
6. 600 men of Dan armed for battle traveling to Ephraim where they arrived at the house of Micah.
7. The 5 scouts that were with the men of Dan told the rest that the house of Micah contained an ephod, household gods, a carved image, and a metal image.
8. The 600 men of Dan took the ephod, household gods, carved image, and a metal image along with the Levite and left the house of Micah.
9. They went to Laish and struck the people there with the sword and burned the city.
10. The Danites rebuilt the city and lived there, renaming the city Dan.
11. But, the Danites set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the captivity of the land.

CHAPTER 19: A Levite and his concubine
1. A certain Levite sojourning in Ephraim, took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah, but she was unfaithful to him and she fled to her father’s house at Bethlehem.
2. The Levite went after her; at the girl’s house, her father welcomed him and urged him to stay.
3. The Levite, his concubine, his servant, and his donkeys stayed until the 5th day before departing and stopping at Gibeah that belonged to Benjamine.
4. Stopping in the open square of the city, an old man urged them to go to his home for the night where he had plenty of room and no lack of anything.
5. As they rested, worthless men of the city surrounded the house, beating on the door demanding the Levite man come out to them.
6. The old man intervened for the Levite because he knew the men outside were dishonorable and were filled with bad intentions.
7. Then the man seized his concubine, led her out to the men, only to find her in the morning motionless at the threshold of the door.
8. The man took his concubine home and divided her body into twelve pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel.

Week #37; Wed, 9/12/18: Judges 20-Ruth 4

Week #37; Wed, 9/12/18: Judges 20:01-Ruth 4:22

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: 400,000 men on foot that drew the sword came together as one from the tribes of Israel against the tribe of Benjamin over the evil done by the “worthless fellows” at Gibeah, a possession of Benjamin. In Ruth we see how this book records part of the life line and linage of Christ and became Cannon with the other 65 books of the Bible.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
JUDGES 20: Internal war in Israel against the tribe of Benjamin
1. Israel goes to war with Benjamin with outrage over the abomination done by the leaders in Gibeah to the Levite and his concubine.
2. The abomination by the leaders in Gibeah resulted in 400,000 men of war being gathered up from Israel saying, “None of us will go to his tent, and none of us will return to his house.”
3. The men of Israel said, “We will go up against Gibeah of Benjamin by lot, taking 10 men of 100 throughout the tribes of Israel; 100 of 1,000 and 1,000 of 10,000 will bring provisions for the people.”
4. The tribes of Israel sent messengers through all the tribe of Benjamin demanding that they give up the worthless fellows in Gibeah that they may be put to death and purge evil from Israel.
5. The Benjaminites would not turn over the evil men of Gibeah and they came out of their cities to Gibeah with 26,000 men to do battle against the people of Israel.
6. 700 men also came out of Gibeah to join the men of Benjamin; they were all left handed and could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
7. The men of Israel went up to Bethel to seek guidance from God who shall go up first to fight Benjamin; Judah was chosen by God to go up first.
8. Over 3 days of battle, Israel lost 30,030 men even though they were sent up by God; however, on the third day, the men of Israel set up an ambush with all of their men of war and defeated Benjamin’s 25,600 men.
9. All men (and women as described below) and beasts, were destroyed; the towns of Benjamin were set on fire.

JUDGES 21: Remaining Survivors of Benjamin lack wives
1. One tribe of Israel could now potentially be cut off since the survivors of Benjamin had no wives.
2. After offering up a burnt offering and a peace offering, the people of Israel searched for any that did not come up in the assembly to the Lord at Mizpah.
3. Jabesh-gilead did not come to the assembly at Mizpah to go against Benjamin so they were all put to death (except 400 virgins) by 12,000 men of the people of Israel.
4. Upon making peace with the remaining Benjaminite’s at Rimmon; the people of Israel gave them the 400 women whom they saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead.
5. However, the 400 virgins were not enough for the surviving Benjaminites, but no more were available because of the oath the people of Israel took not to provide wives to Benjamin.
6. So, at a yearly feast of the Lord at Shiloh, the surviving Benjaminites were told by the elders of the congregation to go and lie in ambush to snatch one of the daughters of Shiloh that comes out to dance.
7. The men of Benjamin did so and returned to their inheritance to rebuild the towns and live in them; the people of Israel also departed to their inheritance.

RUTH 1: Naomi becomes widowed
1. A famine came in the days of Judges making a man of Bethlehem named Elimelech take his family to search for food in Moab.
2. Elimelech’s wife was Naomi; his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion.
3. When Elimelech died in Moab, his sons took Moabite wives named Orpah and Ruth, but the sons also died leaving their wives with Naomi.
4. Upon discovering that food was available in Judah, Naomi set out to return home, but Orpah declined yet Ruth remained with Naomi.
5. Ruth embraced Naomi and the God of Israel; they set out for Bethlehem arriving at the beginning of wheat and barley harvest.

RUTH 2: Boaz, a relative of Elimelech
1. Naomi’s husband was a relative of a worthy man named Boaz, who owned part of a barley field that was being gleaned.
2. Ruth set out to glean after the reapers where she came upon Boaz’s field.
3. Boaz told Ruth to glean in his field only and to follow his reapers while telling his young men not to touch her and provide her with drink.
4. Ruth asked Boaz why he was so generous to her and he replied that he was aware of her plight while remaining loyal to Naomi.
5. Boaz was generous to Ruth and protected her saying you have chosen to come under the wings of the Lord, God of Israel even as a foreigner.
6. Ruth returned to Naomi and told her about Boaz and his kindness and generosity.
7. Naomi told Ruth that Boaz is a close relative, one of our redeemers.
NOTE: This is a key link to the blood line of Christ and the basis for the book of Ruth being placed in the Cannon.

RUTH 3: The threshing floor
1. Naomi sent Ruth to Boaz one evening at the threshing floor where he was winnowing barley so he could tell her what to do regarding his role as a redeemer.
2. Ruth presented herself to Boaz as a woman desiring to be his servant.
3. Boaz informed Ruth she was a worthy woman and that although he was a redeemer, there was one who is a redeemer nearer than him.
4. Boaz told Ruth if the nearest redeemer would not redeem her, he would redeem her.
5. Boaz told Ruth to tell no one that she had visited him at the threshing floor during the evening hours; he gave her 6 measures of barley to take with her as she departed before daylight.
6. When Ruth told Naomi the outcome of her visit to Boaz, she told Ruth to be patient for now knowing that Boaz would settle the matter with the first redeemer that day.

RUTH 4: Boaz redeems Ruth and they marry
1. Boaz meets the first redeemer at the gate where he took 10 elders of the city indicating to them that Naomi is selling a parcel of land (including Ruth, the Moabite) that belonged to Elimelech.
2. Upon hearing that the parcel of land up for redemption included Ruth, the first redeemer decline his rights and deferred his rights to Boaz.
3. So, Boaz claimed his right to Naomi’s parcel of land, including Ruth, and the matter was attested to by the elders.
4. Then Boaz took Ruth as his wife and a son was born to perpetuate the linage of Elimelech in Israel.
5. Naomi became a nurse to their son for all of her remaining days in Israel.

Week #38; Wed, 9/19/18: 1 Samuel 1-8

Week #38; Wed, 9/19/18: 1 Samuel 1:1-8:22

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
1. It is striking that Elkanah, a devout Levite, had two wives in contrast to only one wife (Matt. 19:5, 8).
2. However, the conflict between the two wives led to a special outcome, the birth and dedication of Samuel, the prophet.
3. Samuel was given the role of anointing the first two kings over Israel, Saul and David.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
1 SAMUEL 1: Samuel’s birth
1. Elkanah’s wives were very different; Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children until later.
2. Hannah prayed for a son, promising to dedicate him to the Lord.
3. When Hannah delivered Samuel, she gave him to the Lord to serve all the days of his life.
4. Elkanah maintained his devotion to the Lord and he strongly supported Hannah.

1 SAMUEL 2: Hannah’s prayer of praise, thanksgiving, and rejoicing
1. Hannah’s powerful prayer praises God’s triumph; wisdom and sovereignty of divine providence of the affairs of people; and prediction and advance of his friends and demise of all his enemies.
2. At the tabernacle where Elkanah worshiped with his family in Shiloh, Eli was the priest; however, his two sons performed service there too, but with contempt of the Lord.
3. Meanwhile, Samuel grew under the presence of Eli in the tabernacle.
4. There came a “man of God” to Eli and said, both of your sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall die on the same day and I will put in place a faithful priest that will do according to what is in my heart and in my mind forever.

1 SAMUEL 3: The Lord calls Samuel to minister
1. While Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli, he was lying down where the ark of God was placed.
2. The Lord called Samuel three times, each time he ran to Eli prepared to answer and support his need.
3. Eli told Samuel he did not call him and to return to his rest; however, at the last call Eli perceived the call to Samuel was from the Lord and to respond to the Lord by saying, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”
4. The Lord came and stood, calling as before, “Samuel, Samuel, behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore, I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
5. The next morning Eli told Samuel to tell him what the Lord said; Samuel told him everything the Lord said.
6. All people came to know that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord; the Lord revealed himself to Samuel again at Shiloh.

1 SAMUEL 4: The ark of the covenant is captured by the Philistines
1. When Israel went out to battle against the Philistines at Ebenezer, they were defeated losing about 4,000 men.
2. The elders determined that they should bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord to Shiloh that it may save them.
3. All of Israel gave a mighty shout as soon as the ark came into the camp and striking fear into the Philistine camp.
4. In battle; however, the Philistines defeated Israel striking down 30,000 foot soldiers, capturing the ark of God, and killing Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas.
5. When the news reached Shiloh, Eli was informed of the losses and he fell backwards, breaking his neck; Eli had been judge over Israel for 40 years.

1 SAMUEL 5: The ark and the Philistines
1. The Philistines placed the ark in Ashdod in the house of Dagon; however, the next day Dagon had fallen face down on the ground before the ark of the Lord.
2. When the Philistines restored Dagon to its place, the same thing happened only the head and hands were cut off.
3. Ashdod was plagued by tumors and the lords of the Philistines decided that the ark of God should be sent to Gath, but the people there experienced tumors too.
4. The ark of God was then sent to Ekron, but tumors struck them too.
5. In panic, the lords of the Philistines sent the ark of God away after a total of 7 months.

1 SAMUEL 6: The ark of God is returned to Israel
1. The Philistine priests insisted on returning the ark of God to Israel with a guilt offering of 5 golden tumors and 5 golden mice so that they would be healed (1 for Ashdod, 1 for Gaza, 1 for Ashkelon, 1 for Gath, and 1 for Ekron).
2. A new cart was prepared with two milk cows that had never been yoked.
3. The ark of God and the golden figures were loaded on the cart and released.
4. The cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh, turning neither to the right or the left; the cart stopped in the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh amid cheers and rejoicing.
5. The cows were offered as a burnt offering.
6. 70 men of Beth-shemesh were struck down because they looked upon the ark of the Lord.

1 SAMUEL 7: Samuel judges Israel
1. The ark of God was taken to the house of Abinadab and they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark.
2. Samuel told Israel to put away their foreign gods and Ashtaroth and to serve the Lord only so that He will deliver them from the Philistines; the people of Israel did as Samuel told them.
3. Samuel told the house of Israel to gather at Mizpah for prayer and fasting for sinning against the Lord.
4. The Philistines heard of the gathering and they went up against Israel.
5. Samuel offered up a lamb as an offering and as the Philistines drew near, the Lord thundered with a mighty sound against the Philistines and threw them into confusion and they were routed before Israel.
6. So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel.

1 SAMUEL 8: Israel demands a king
1. When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel, but they took bribes for gain and perverted justice.
2. The elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah saying, “You are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
3. Samuel was displeased and appealed to the Lord in prayer, but the Lord said, “Obey the voice of the people for they have not rejected you, for they have rejected me from being their king.”
4. The Lord told Samuel to warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.
5. Samuel did so, but the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel thinking that a king will go out and fight their battles.
6. The Lord granted Israel’s request for a king saying, “Obey their voice and make them a king.

Week #39; Wed, 9/26/18: 1 Samuel 9-14

Week #39; Wed, 9/26/18: 1 Samuel 9:1-14:32

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
1. God’s direction to Samuel to anoint Saul and David overlaps their lifespans; tension had to follow.
2. In desperation under the threat of the Philistines, Saul unlawfully offered the burnt offering instead of Samuel thereby dooming his kingdom.
3. Jonathan, Saul’s son, acted out of faith.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
1 SAMUEL 9: King Saul led to Samuel
1. At the direction of Kish, a wealthy man, Saul and his servant were sent to search for some of his lost donkeys. Q: WHAT COMPELLED THE DONKEYS TO BECOME LOST? A: THE HAND OF GOD MOVES IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS . . .
2. For a quarter of a shekel of silver, Saul’s servant offered it to Samuel as a gift when they came seeking directions from the “man of God.”
3. Prior to Saul’s arrival, God told Samuel he was coming and he was to anoint him as prince over His people Israel.
4. Saul was invited to eat with Samuel as the honored guest at the feast of sacrifice; he was served a special portion that had been reserved for him.

1 SAMUEL 10: Samuel anoints Saul king
1. Samuel used a flask of oil, a kiss, and prophesy to Saul at his private anointing.
2. A series of steps over seven days then started which led Saul to become “another man” by the Spirit of the Lord.
3. Saul then prophesied among a group of prophets and they proclaimed “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
4. Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah where lots were drawn and the tribe of Benjamin was selected and the clan of the Matrites was selected and Saul was selected out of them.
5. Samuel then said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen?” and the people said, “Long live the king!”

1 SAMUEL 11: Ammonites defeated
1. When the Ammonites threatened to gouge out the right eye of the people of Jabesh-gilead in condition for a peace treaty, Saul mustered 330,000 as one man to come out against them.
2. Upon victory over the Ammonites, Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingdom.”
3. There they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal.

1 SAMUEL 12: Samuel’s farewell
1. Samuel spoke to all Israel as he grew old, about his displeasure for the failings of the people in the distant past to the present for not following the Lord.
2. So, now he said, “. . . if you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king.”
3. As a confirmation, Samuel said before the people as he called on the Lord to send a “great thing” through thunder and rain, a testament to their wickedness for asking for a king; the Lord sent thunder and rain that day.
4. The people asked Samuel to pray for them for asking for a king; he said he would pray continuously for them and he cautioned them to not “. . . turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

1 SAMUEL 13: Philistines advance for war
1. When Jonathan defeated the Philistine garrison at Geba, the Philistines made a “stench” toward Israel and assembled 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen and troops to fight.
2. When the people of Israel learned of the advance of the Philistines, they fled and hid; meanwhile, Saul was waiting seven days for Samuel to return, but he did not arrive at the appointed time.
3. Saul himself UNLAWFULLY offered the burnt offering instead of Samuel.
4. When Samuel arrived, he asked Saul, “What have you done?”
5. Saul confessed that he needed to seek the favor of the Lord before confronting the Philistines; however, since Samuel was not present to offer up the burnt offering, he offered up the burn offering himself.
6. Samuel told Saul, “You have done foolishly! You have not kept the command the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man ‘after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
7. Only 600 men possessed sword and spear under Jonathan to meet the Philistines.

1 SAMUEL 14: Philistines defeated
1. Jonathan took only his armor-bearer out to meet the Philistines saying to him, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.”
2. The Philistines fell before Jonathan and his armor-bearer; 22 men fell in the first strike; however, a panic began in the camp when the earth quaked causing the Philistines to disburse.
3. When Saul rallied the men with him and went into the battle, they learned that every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was great confusion.
4. All of the people of Israel then rallied and pursued the enemy; so the Lord saved Israel that day.