Is there not a cause?

When David went to the front lines to check on his brothers in obedience to his father, he was confronted with theĀ tauntingĀ of Goliath. He immediately began to stir up the people around him in 1 Samuel 17 saying that there was a cause for which to fight. Goliath had not done anything personal to David. David’s fight with Goliath was impersonal. What David fought for was a cause. Goliath had made an attack on God and His people. David chose to fight for God’s cause.

In the following chapter of 1 Samuel, Saul began to mount a personal attack against David. He ignored the attack. But God didn’t. God fought on David’s behalf. David was a man who did not fight out of anger or emotion—he fought for causes (at least at this point in his life).

As I sat at lunch today talking with other missionaries we reflected on how important it is to not take confrontation and attacks personally. We need to look at the reason we are on the mission field and fight for the cause. When you start internalizing the frustrations you begin to think that the whole country and culture needs to change to match your perspective of the world. You forget that you are there for a reason. That reason is not to change a country, but to win people for the Lord. As you fight for the right cause you will see the personal attacks as being petty and unnecessary to fight.

Allow God to fight on your behalf when personal attacks come. Your cause is to bring others to Christ.

Bible Study: 1 Chronicles – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 1 Chronicles

The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one book. Like the books of Kings, this is a historical book. However, the books of Kings focused on the northern kingdom, Israel, and this book focuses on the southern kingdom, Judah.

The two books of Chronicles cover about the same time period as 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. For 1 Chronicles this is approximately 1000 to 960 BC. It includes the end of Saul’s reign and takes the reader up to the beginning of the reign of Solomon.

Author of 1 Chronicles

The book does not claim an author, but tradition says that the author was Ezra. Ezra was a priest in the southern kingdom who lived in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:11). The books of Chronicles focus on temple worship, priests and Levites. This fits with the fact that Ezra was a priest. The writing style is very similar to Ezra, who wrote the book bearing his name. The two books of Chronicles are historical books which go up to the time period of the book of Ezra. The book of Ezra reads like a continuation of the book of 2 Chronicles.

Date Written

The author of the book wrote it after the end of the Babylonian Captivity (1 Chronicles 3:19; 6:15; 9:1, 2). The book seems to be a guide to those returning from exile to know how to worship in the rebuilt city of Jerusalem. It was written between 450 and 425 BC. The book of 1 Chronicles covers just 40 years while 2 Chronicles is approximately 424 years. Continue reading Bible Study: 1 Chronicles – Summary of the Book

Bible Study: 2 Samuel – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 2 Samuel

Originally the books of 1 and 2 Samuel were one book. The men who translated the Septuagint from Hebrew to Greek separated the book into two parts. They are two separate books to this day.

The book of 2 Samuel is one of the books of history in the Bible. Like the other books of history, it does not seem to have a targeted audience. It covers a time period of approximately 40 years. This was from the death of Saul until the end of the life of King David.

Author

Tradition held that Samuel wrote the book. However, that is not likely. Samuel died in 1 Samuel 25:1. If Samuel wrote at least part of the books of Samuel, then whoever finished what is now 1 Samuel probably wrote 2 Samuel.

Possible authors are Gad or Nathan (1 Chronicles 29:29). The book could have been finished before the death of David. Even though David did not die until the next book, whoever wrote the first book would have probably included some information about David’s death if his death had happened when the book was written. Continue reading Bible Study: 2 Samuel – Summary of the Book

Bible Study: 1 Samuel – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 1 Samuel

The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally one book. The translators of the Septuagint separated the books and they have remained two separate books since that time.

The book of 1 Samuel is a historical book, as is 2 Samuel. It covers a time period of approximately 100 years. This was from the birth of Samuel to the death of King Saul. While it is general history it has a very strong focus on the selection of the first king in Israel as well as how the kingdom progressed under Saul.

Author

While tradition holds that Samuel wrote the book, it is unlikely. He may have written part of the book, but someone else would have had to finish a good portion of the book. Remember that the two books of Samuel were originally a single book. The events continue long after the death of Samuel (1 Samuel 25:1). However, it is known that Samuel wrote at least one book (1 Chronicles 29:29). This verse probably refers to one of the previous books attributed to him.

Other possible authors are Nathan the prophet or Gad (1 Chronicles 29:29). Since the death of David is not recorded in either book, it is suspected that the books would have been finished while David was still alive. Both Gad and Nathan could have written the book from a chronological perspective.

Date Written

The book was written after the death of Saul (1007 B.C.), but before the death of David (971 B.C.). Saul’s death is recorded by the end of the book, but David’s was not. Nor is David’s death recorded by the end of 2 Samuel. Continue reading Bible Study: 1 Samuel – Summary of the Book