Monday, October 29, 2012

Bible Study Week 3: Factual and Historical Observations

2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ,(NKJ)"

Slow down and identify with what is present in Gods word-be patient and let God speak to you. Bible study is a process. It involves you being able to observe before you can move forward. We already discussed the first part in observation, but there is also a 2nd part and that is being able to observe the historical aspects, the outside factual observations. That is what we will look at this week. Lets take a look at 1 Samuel 4:1-11 and see what kind of observations we can make but lets also look at historical, factual observations as well within the text.You are looking for who are the people involved? What do you see? Look for context clues to historical background.

1 Samuel 4:1-11 (NKJV)

And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.[a]Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines, and encamped beside Ebenezer; and the Philistines encamped in Aphek. Then the Philistines put themselves in battle array against Israel. And when they joined battle, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men of the army in the field. And when the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh to us, that when it comes among us it may save us from the hand of our enemies.” So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp. So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before. Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong and conduct yourselves like men, you Philistines, that you do not become servants of the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Conduct yourselves like men, and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

What did you come up with? Did you recognize that these are the 2 people groups sent out to battle; one of which are the people of God and one the enemy of God? Did you realize that both camped beside each other on hills to prepare for the battle in the valley? Did you have any of the following on your list?

  • are people of God
  • Jews
  • Chosen People ( GEnesis 12:1-_
  • Law of God
  • Covenant relationship wiht God
  • God promised them everytime they wernt to battle they would win, if they were in good covenent relatoinship with Him; if not they would loose
  • Israelite's "went out" they took the defensive.  
  • Signature Israelite character: David
  • camped at Ebenezer
  • battled for land, jurisdiction, resources ad trade route
  • Not in good covenant relationship with God: they lost the battle  vs. 2
  • Israelites thought they were in good covenant relationship with God vs. 3
  • They expected the Lord to let them win based on Genesis 12:1-3 and Deuteronomy 28; 29
  • General not smart to attack up hill- you loose the ability to see what is ahead of you and you are left in a vulnerable position
  • 4,000 med died (legions) 
  • some pople died- some returned to camp
  • elders did not fight the battle
  • 2 groups of people fighters (soldiers) and elders (observers/spiritual leaders) 
  • Shilo was the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord
  • Ark- a box, coated in gold with the 10 commandments and manna, a symbol of Gods presence among Gods people- artifacts remembrance of Gods mighty acts for being His people
  • the Ark was not with them, but in Shiloh, did not realize the covenant was something inside them, but thought it was an object they had to possess to win. They put their trust and faith in a box, not God vs 5
  • Ark= reminder; covenant= relationship (ark narratives 1 Sam 4,5,6,7)
  • Threw a party when the Ark arrived (shouting, screaming etc) vs. 5
  • Do not profess what God has done for them
  • lost another 30,000 foot soldiers during battle
  •  they are the masters vs 9
  • arch enenmy of God
  • Signature biblical Philistine character: Goliath
  •  camped at Aphek
  • battled for land, jurisdiction, resources ad trade route.  
  • elders did not fight in the battle
  • 2 groups of people fighters (soldiers) and elders (observers/spiritual leaders) 
  • recognized Gods power  vs. 6 They knew what the Arc represented
  • feared Gods power/ark/promise to Israelites (vs 7-8) They are aware of what God has done for the Israelites and aware of what God did for them in the Exodus
  • captures of Arc of the Covenant
  •  2 sons of Israelites that were Holy Priests -Hophni and Phinehas die
 What other observations did you make? What I really got out of this exercise is that you can ask God a really good questions, but answer them really poorly-saying its from God. This is what I saw the elders doing, trying to manipulate the word of God to motivate God to do for them, not them for God! Makes me really look hard at myself when I am asking God for an answer, am I answering for Him or waiting patiently, always in prayer until He answers me?

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