Tag Archives: BiteSize Bible

Bitesize Bible Study – The Book of 1 Kings

What happens in the book?

  • David’s son Solomon becomes king of the land of Israel and reigns for 40 years.
  • Following Solomon’s death the kingdom is divided in two, the south (Judah) is ruled by Solomon’s son Rehoboam and the north (Israel) by a man called Jeroboam.
  • Jeroboam leads Israel into idolatry and his reign is followed by other kings who follow in his footsteps and do not follow God.
  • The prophets Elijah and Micaiah try to turn the heart of one of these kings, Ahab, back to God to no avail.

What happened during the reign of Solomon?

  • Chapter 3 – Solomon asks God to give him wisdom.
  • Chapters 5 – 8 – Solomon builds the temple in Jerusalem.  It is modeled on the tabernacle.
  • Chapters 9 – 10 – Solomon becomes extremely wealthy, and the Queen of Sheba comes to visit him.
  • Chapter 11 – Solomon sins by marrying foreign wives, building up a great army of horses and chariots, and turning to idolatry.
  • God tells Solomon he will take his kingdom away from him and it will be torn in two.

What did Elijah do during the reign of king Ahab?

  • Chapter 17 – he performed a miracle for the widow of Zarephath, providing her with food to eat when she had only a handful of flour left, and also raised her son back to life following a fatal illness.
  • Chapter 18 – he competes with the prophets of Baal to see whose God is the true God – and wins.
  • Chapter 21 – he rebukes Ahab and his wife Jezebel for murdering Naboth and taking his vineyard.

What can we learn?

  • When Israel followed God the country flourished and had wealth and peace from their enemies.
  • When they departed from God the kingdom declined.
  • Wealth and peace sometimes led the people to become complacent and forget God – we should never forget to thank him for our blessings and to follow Him during good times and bad.

Next time – Bitesize Book of 2 Kings!

 

Bitesize Bible Study – The Book of 2 Samuel

What’s the book about?

  • The book covers the reign of King David over the land of Israel.
  • He reigned in Hebron for 7 years and in Jerusalem for 33 years.
  • Chapters 1 – 10 detail David established as king, and God’s promises to David.
  • Chapters 11 – 24 tell of David’s great sin, and the family troubles that come on him as a consequence.

David becomes king:-

  • Following Saul’s death, the men of Hebron anoint David as king over the southern half of the country.
  • Meanwhile Saul’s son Ishbosheth becomes king over the northern half of the country.
  • Following much warfare, Ishbosheth is murdered.
  • David captures Jerusalem and becomes king over the whole of Israel.
  • David brought the ark of God to Jerusalem.
  • David wanted to build a temple to put the ark in, but God told him that his son would be the one to build the temple, not him.

David’s sin:-

  • David sins by committing adultery with Bathsheba, and then having her husband murdered so that he could marry her.
  • He repented of his sin following a visit from the prophet Nathan.
  • However his punishment was that his first son with Bathsheba would die.
  • Following this, his family was never at peace – his son Absalom stages a coup and David has to flee for his life.
  • Civil war reigns in the country and eventually Absalom is killed.
  • Another man called Sheba stages an uprising, which is suppressed in due course.
  • Towards the end of the book David sings praises in gratitude to God for deliverance from his enemies.

What can we learn?

Sin

  • God sees everything we do, and everything that is in our hearts – he knows our motives.
  • God will always forgive our sins, but we may also have to live with the consequences and punishment for our actions.
  • The consequences of our actions can be far reaching and affect our whole lives and the lives of those around us in some way.

God’s Promises

  • Yet again we see more promises from God in this book, in Chapter  7 verses 12-13:

“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom.  He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

  • Not only will David’s son Solomon build the temple for God, but this is a dual prophecy, referring to Jesus, the Son of God whose kingdom will never end.

 

Next time: Bitesize Book of 1 Kings!

 

 

Bitesize Bible Study – The Book of 1 Samuel

What is the book about?

  • The book centers around three characters, Samuel, Saul and David.
  • It recounts their history, highlighting significant events.

Samuel

  • Hannah, a barren woman, prays to God for a child.
  • Samuel is born and she dedicates his life to the service of the Lord.
  • Samuel becomes a prophet, priest, and judge.
  • The Israelites are at war with the Philistines.
  • The Philistine nation capture the ark of God but later return it when it brings disease and other problems on them.
  • The Philistines are defeated when Samuel prays to God on Israel’s behalf.

Saul

  • The Israelites request a King, and Samuel takes this request to God in prayer.
  • Samuel is instructed to anoint Saul as king, and he does so.
  • Saul has a kingly presence, and leads the people to victory against the Ammonites.
  • Saul makes two key mistakes, and consequently is rejected by God:
  • Firstly, he offers a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel to do it.
  • Secondly, he disobeyed the Lord by keeping Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and taking various spoils from the battle, when he had been ordered to destroy everything.

David

  • Samuel is instructed to anoint a new king, David, the shepherd boy.
  • David does not become king immediately.
  • David enters King Saul’s service as his armor-bearer.
  • In a famous battle against the Philistines, David defeats Goliath.
  • David becomes best friends with Saul’s son Jonathan.
  • Saul becomes jealous of David’s skills and popularity in the army and attempts to kill him.
  • David eventually flees for his life with a band of followers and continues to evade Saul who pursues him constantly.
  • During this period, Samuel dies.
  • Eventually in a battle against the Philistines, Saul takes his own life.

 

What are the important themes in this book?

Prayer: Hannah prays for a son, Samuel is constantly praying on behalf of the Israelites,  God gives Israel victory through Samuel’s prayers.  We can see that righteous people always pray about decisions in their lives, and God hears them.

“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22): God wants our obedience, and he wants to be worshiped in the way He chooses, not the way we would prefer.  It is always better to obey, than to sin and ask forgiveness.

“People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7): Only God knows what is really inside a person, and we should leave ultimate judgment to Him.  God knows what the best choices are for us, and before making decisions we should go to Him in prayer to ask Him to direct our lives.

 

Next time: Bitesize Book of 2 Samuel!

Bitesize Bible Study – The Book of Ruth

What happens in the book?

  • Elimelech and Naomi live in Bethlehem with their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion.
  • There was a famine in the land of Israel, so they all went to live in the land of Moab.
  • Mahlon and Chilion both married Moabite wives – Orpah and Ruth.
  • The men in the family all die, and when she hears that the famine is over, Naomi prepares to return to Bethlehem.
  • Orpah stays in Moab, but Ruth goes with Naomi.
  • They arrive in Bethlehem at harvest time, and Ruth goes to work gleaning in the fields of Boaz, a relative of Naomi.
  • Naomi suggests that Ruth ask Boaz to “redeem” her, i.e. to marry her in accordance with the Jewish law following the death of her husband to preserve the family line.
  • Boaz agrees to this, and officially redeems Naomi’s land and also takes Ruth as his wife.
  • Ruth and Boaz become the great-grandparents of King David.

What can we learn from this story?

Ruth shows true love and devotion to her mother-in-law and to the God of her mother-in-law.

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)

  • We can learn that respect and love are fundamental principles in our relationships with other believers, our families, and God.

The Gentiles are saved through the grace of God.

  • God’s message went initially to the Jews through his law.
  • By grace, the Gentiles (non-Jews) are accepted into his plan of salvation.
  • Boaz is an echo of Christ, redeeming the poor and needy foreigner and showering her with blessings.

There is true rest with God.

  • Ruth found her rest and redemption after on a difficult journey into a strange land where her personal savior redeemed her.
  • The same is true for us on our spiritual walk following Jesus on the walk to God’s kingdom.

What place does this book have in the Bible?

  • We are shown links between the period of the Judges and the life of David, who became a King of Israel.
  • We learn that key Gentile characters are included in the genealogy of Jesus.
  • We learn of the sanctity of love and marriage.

Next time: Bitesize book of 1 Samuel!

Bitesize Bible Study – The Book Of Judges

What is the Book of Judges about?

  • The book covers the period between the death of Joshua and the time of the judge Samuel, roughly 450 years.
  • During that time there was no king in Israel.
  • God was the king, and the judges were his servants who led the people.
  • From time to time the people would turn away from God and God would send an enemy upon the land.
  • The people would cry to God for help and he would set up a judge to lead them to victory.
  • This pattern repeated throughout the generations until the time of Samuel.

Who were the main judges of Israel?

Othniel: Chapter 3

  • Delivered the Israelites from the king of Mesopotamia.

Ehud: Chapter 3

  • Assassinated Eglon, a very fat man, king of Moab.
  • Led the Israelites in a victory against the Moabites.

Deborah and Barak: Chapters 4 & 5

  • Fought against Jabin, king of Canaan, resulting in victory.
  • Jabin’s army captain, Sisera, was killed by a woman, Jael, with a tent peg.

Gideon: Chapters 6 – 8

  • Defeated the Midianites with only 300 men, in a night attack, using trumpets and torches concealed in pitchers.

Jephthah: Chapter 11

  • Led the Israelites in victory against the Ammonites.
  • Vowed to sacrifice to God the first thing that came out his house on his way home from victory.
  • Unfortunately this was his daughter – although some think her sacrifice was merely a life devoted to temple service.

Samson: Chapters 13 – 16

  • A Nazarite from birth – a special vow to God meaning he did not drink alcohol, or cut his hair.
  • Samson had exceptional strength and used it to help fight the Philistines, Israel’s current oppressors.
  • He was in love with Delilah, a Philistine woman, who enticed the secret of his strength out of him – his long hair – and betrayed him to the Philistines.
  • Captured by the Philistines and chained in their temple, God gave him strength one last time.
  • He pulled the supporting pillars down, destroying the temple, and killing all the Philistines and himself as well.

Lessons from Judges

  • Although God sent judgment on the people, he always listened when they turned back to him.
  • His mercy and concern for His people was ever present.
  • The judges point the way to Jesus, the great Judge.

Next time – Bitesize Book of Ruth!