Acts (Program #61) – The Propagation in Asia Minor and Europe through the Ministry of Paul’s Company (27)
In Acts chapter 9, Saul of Tarsus, the great persecutor of the Christian Church, is seeking out all those that call on the name of the Lord to persecute. Just days later, he himself becomes one of the very callers whom he formerly tormented. Stay with us for a rich life study of the bible as we take an in-depth look at what it is to call on the name of the Lord.
One of the many magnificent stories recorded in the passages of the New Testament is the account of the conversion of the fierce persecutor of the church, Saul of Tarsus. The book of Acts gives a rather detailed account of how the Lord gained this fierce opposer. These details, when opened up from the scripture and in God’s shining, afford us one of the most inspiring accounts in all the Bible.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #22) – The History Concerning David (9)
After years of being persecuted at the hands of the evil king Saul, David has finally become king, fulfilling the promise that Jehovah had given to him as a young boy. Now, the entire nation of Israel was with him. And, even the surrounding nations lent their support to him as king. But most importantly, David had Jehovah’s presence with him as well. With all things fully in order under God’s sovereign arrangement, what would David turn his attention to now?
Many before him had sought greater riches and glory for themselves, but David has a different kind of heart. David had a heart that was fully one with the Lord. So and with his own house in order, David turned his full attention to God’s house. What a marvelous picture and pattern for us as believers today.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #21) – The History Concerning David (8)
The first two kings of Israel present us with two distinctly different patterns. Both began their monarchy by being selected and anointed by God, but any similarity ends there. Saul, the first king, was intent on one thing, and that was establishing and building up his own monarchy. What he was building up was absolutely for himself. David who replaced Saul was also intent on one thing. But for David, that one thing had nothing to do with his own kingdom. His focus was God’s kingdom. What he was building up was for God’s kingdom, not for his own.
The result of their two lives tells us a lot about how we should approach and conduct ourselves in the kingdom of God. Saul and his three sons died a humiliating death, and the honor and the glory that surrounded his kingship in the beginning was completely lost. David on the other hand, despite some serious failures, became an important person in God’s plan and even in the accomplishment of His eternal economy.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #19) – The History Concerning David (6)
The first king in Israel was the tall, handsome, and gifted King Saul. His beginning was quite glorious and he gained the heart of the people by leading Israel to victory over her enemies, including the dreaded Philistines. Not only did the people love him, but it seemed that at least outwardly that Jehovah was with him as well. His ending however, was not so glorious, in fact it marks one of the most tragic and dramatic accounts in the whole Bible. Listen how it is described in first Samuel chapter 31, “Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines chased Saul and his sons; and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, Saul’s sons. And the battle bore heavily against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was badly wounded by the archers. more…
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #18) – The History Concerning David (5)
Saul, the first king of Israel, had a marvelous beginning, but the most tragic ending imaginable. In the Old Testament story of this tragic inclusion to Saul’s life, there are a number of valuable things that we, the New Testament believers, can learn concerning God’s economy. Foremost among them is the fundamental problem that Saul had, and that is that despite his early glory and successes, he was never properly related to God’s economy–God’s desire to build himself a house, and ultimately His kingdom. Rather, Saul’s heart was consumed with his own kingdom, and building something for himself. In first Samuel chapter 20 this hidden desire for his own kingdom is revealed. more…
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #14) – The History Concerning David (3)
All of us are used to thinking of David as perhaps the most valiant of the great men of the Old Testament. From his youth, when he was fighting off lions and bears as they attack his flock of sheep, to his triumph over the mighty Goliath, to his fearless warring against all the enemies of Israel once he was king. It seems that David never backed away from a fight. Yet when his own wife was being threatened by the evil King Saul of Israel, when given the chance to defend himself, his only action was to flee. He would not lift a finger against Saul even when it seemed that Jehovah had delivered Saul fully into his hands. But why behind David’s refusal to avenge himself of Saul is most enlightening.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #13) – The History Concerning David (1)
When the children of Israel asked God for a king, He responded by giving them Saul, a tall, handsome, capable man who also was victorious over the Israel’s enemies. God’s intention was that Saul would use the kingship to build up God’s kingdom, but it soon became clear that Saul’s intent was different. Yes, He desired to build a kingdom, but not God’s kingdom. What Saul sought was to build a kingdom for himself under the guise of God’s kingdom. Of course the Lord knew Saul’s heart, and he moved secretly and quietly behind the scenes to prepare a king for Israel that was of His choice, and who would build up God’s kingdom, and even pave the way for Christ, the King, to eventually be brought forth. Who was this one chosen by God? Well, let’s turn to the book of Ruth chapter 4, “And Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed, and Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.”
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #10) – The History Concerning Saul (2)
During every period of history it is important to realize God is operating behind the scenes for the accomplishment of His eternal purpose. When Israel’s first king, Saul was anointed by the priest Samuel, he was confronted with three enemies that were troubling Israel. Jehovah was there working behind the scenes. And He gave Saul specific instructions how to deal with each of these enemies. How Saul carried out these instructions gives us a clear window into what was in Saul’s heart, and what kind of king he would turned out to be for Israel. The first enemy Saul confronted were the Ammonites.