1 Samuel 18-25 and 1 Chronicles 3-7
- David and Jonathan: A true covenant friendship. In great contrast to his Father, Jonathan is honorable to David in every way. What does it mean to have a covenant friendship? Would it be of benefit to formally state our commitments to our friends? How might this be helpful in relationships?
- David: Notice David’s convictions concerning the king. Even with opportunities to take him out and end the running, David declines saying, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’s anointed.” 1 Samuel 24:6. Notice also how he cares for his family, 1 Samuel 22:3-5, in Moab – remember Ruth? David was related to some Moabites only about three generations back. What other actions reveal the character of David? In what ways did God protect him?
- Saul’s decline: Saul becomes jealous. What sins contribute to his decline. A friend suggested that Saul and David represent a contrast between false and true converts. Do you see this? Matthew 7:21-14 shows that even false converts can do miraculous things for God. Again, the scripture shows us that it is about the heart – the inward person.
- Genealogies: This was a civilized people. They kept records. Why was it important for the Israelites to keep these records? It is thought that Ezra compiled Chronicles from the records of Israel after the exile. See Ezra. Look for breaks in the monotony of these.
- Saul and Barnabas, missionaries: Notice that Saul (Paul) was sent under the authority of the church at Antioch. Not even Paul was a maverick Christian. He comes back and reports to them about the journeys, Acts 14:26-27. Paul and Barnabas have a disagreement concerning John Mark, who left them in the beginning of their previous journey, Acts 12:12, 13:13, 15:37-38. Later, however, Paul considers John Mark useful, 2 Timothy 4:11. Later we meet Silas, Acts 15:40, and Timothy, Acts 16:1.
- Paul’s pattern: Paul starts in the local Synagogue if one is available. After the Jews tire of him, he turns to the gentiles. Eventually, Paul is usually run out of town. The true gospel is resisted by the world everywhere it goes, but it is also received gladly by some, and it is worth it!
- Keeping the Gospel pure: In Acts 14:11-12, Paul and Barnabas are mistaken for Greek gods. Notice their response. We must not compromise the gospel despite the desires of the people.
- Church polity: Acts 14:23 shows that the disciples appointed local leadership in churches. Other than the Apostles, there does not seem to be any church leadership structure above the local congregation. See Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Peter 5:1, 5. Also note that there are no attempts to “Christianize” the local government – possibly just descriptive.
- Preaching priority: Although signs and wonders accompany Paul, his emphasis is the proclamation of the Word of God. Acts 13 contains much of his content. Note the similarities and differences from Peter’s in Acts 2. It is the preaching of the Word of God that endures. Signs and wonders are not always present, but the Word of God is!
- The Jerusalem Council: With Gentiles coming into the church, the natural question became, “Do they need to be circumcised or keep the law of Moses since Jesus fulfilled it?” They settle on a few key points, Acts 15:20, and put it in a letter, Acts 15:22-29. But notice that later even the food sacrificed to idols becomes a matter of conscience. See 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14.
- The Holy Spirit’s guidance: Notice that the Holy Spirit is truly empowering and guiding the mission. Acts 13:2, 16:6-7. In all, the word spirit occurs in 68 verses in the book of Acts!
- Psalm 59 – Notice that these Psalms of David are marked for the occasions we read of in 1 Samuel. Singing in the midst of danger. Remind you of someone from Acts 16?
- Psalm 56 – Notice especially verses 9-11. In whom shall we trust? What then should we take to Him in prayer?
- Psalm 57 – Notice the common theme in these? Troubles are brought before the Lord. The Psalmist is reminded of who He is and what He has done. Then it ends with praises and promises.
- Psalm 52 – Try to recall the context. What happened after Doeg the Edomite told Saul about David’s visit to Ahimelech? David had to have felt responsible. How can we deal with such a thing?
- Psalm 54 – David gets ratted out by the Ziphites, and He takes it to the Lord in prayer.