FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


Old Testament Survey: Book of Haggai

The Book Of Haggai

Introduction: Haggai was relatively unknown but he voiced God’s message to the leaders of the Jews who had returned after 70 years of captivity.  

 Haggai writes to:

1. Rebuke and to instruct the remnant of the Jews: they were divided.

2. To admonish and to encourage the builders of God’s House.

The man and the Book: Haggai was born in Babylon and he returned to the Land. This was done due to the decree of Cyrus under Zerubbabel.

This Book covers a period of about 4 months, in the year of 520 B.C.  It takes place 16 years after the return of the first group who came back to the Land.

Haggai writes regarding their problem: 14 years of inactivity. The Temple should have been rebuilt but the people didn’t build it.

The people were in apathy and that is why they basically sat there doing nothing in the Lord’s work for those 14 years.

Central message: Chapter 1:7-8 

Haggai’s Four Fold Message

 I.   The Appeal To Rebuild The Temple: Chap. 1

      A. Build The House

           1. Vs 2:  “the  people say”

           2. Vs 3-4: God’s Word says …..

                a. God’s Word came to Haggai, God’s man

                b. God was leading Haggai to rebuke and to encourage – His House needed to be built

      B. Vs 5 – “…Consider your ways:” their thinking; attitudes; direction; needed to change

           1.  Vs 6: God was not blessing them in any labor of their hands, unless they rebuild His

                Temple and restore His worship

                a. God will not bless our labors when we fail to follow His Word.

                b. They thought they could escape poverty by keeping their money and not give it to

                    God’s House; there was not enough to rebuild God’s House because of that

                    Proverbs 13:7 and 11:24

                    Instead of cheating God; they cheated themselves

                c. Sown: but crop failures … bring in little = not enough food to eat

                d. Not filled with drink: nothing satisfied them

                e. Because of crop failures, there was not enough money to buy clothing

                f. Their wages went into a bag full of holes: figurative. No matter how much they

                    made … there was never enough to go around.

           2. Vs 7: Consider your ways. Is it right to build a nice house and neglect God’s house

                consider whether  your lack is due to God’s punishment due to your lack of giving

                God what is really His

 II. A Message Of Support: Chap 2

     A. Vs 4: “… I am  with you …”  – Hebrews 13:5

     B. “Be strong …”  don’t let this discourage you       

     C. Vs 6-7: God is in control

          1. Vs 6: God will shake the heavens etc.

          2. Vs 7: God will shake all nations

          3. Vs 8: poverty should not hinder them …. all things come from God. Depend on Him for

              their financial needs

 III. A Message To Confirm: Chap. 2

      A. Vs 19: “from this day will I bless you.”

      B. The seed has been planted 

           1. Harvest is months away

           2. Harvest of the fruit trees is also a while off

           3. In the past, they have had crop failures

           4. God’s Word says: trust in the Lord and not in nature

           5. Their obedience will bring the blessing of God

IV.  A Message To Assure: Chap. 2

       A. Vs 23: “I will take thee”  “I will make thee  as”  “ I have chosen thee”

            1. I will take thee: God’s leading and protection

            2. I will make thee as a signet:  a  signature ring used as a seal. God will make them

                very precious. He will exalt Zerubbabel to high dignity and power. He shall be

                precious

            3. I have chosen thee: “chosen” here, means appointed. God had a work for him to do.

                God had a plan for Zerubbabel and He has a plan for you.

       B. God’s Word gives assurance

            1. Acts 17:31

            2. Colossians 2:2

Conclusion: Matthew 6:33 is a great rule in God’s Word to follow. When we “consider our ways” and turn back to God, obey His Word in ALL things … He will bless.

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Old testament Survey: Book of Micah

Introduction: Micah lived during the time of Isaiah, the prophet.

His name means: “Who is like Jehovah.”

Isaiah was a learned man and ministered to the upper classes while Micah ministered more to the lower classes from which he came.

The Book: It was written during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

It shows judgment for idolatry. This Book followed the lead of most of the prophets and spoke of the ultimate triumph of God’s grace and the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to the faithful remnant.

Date: 750 – 710 B.C.

This Book contributed to the revival under King Hezekiah: (Jeremiah 26:18-19).

NOTE: chapter 1:2 “Hear” 3:1 “Hear” – 6:1 “Hear”

                                                                  Brief Outline Of The Book

     I.  Coming  Judgment Declared – chaps 1-3

     II.  Future Blessing Promised – chaps 4-5      

                                                                   III.  Repentance Pleaded – chaps 6-7

Note: Micah Chapter 7; the prophet pleads for repentance: what was their sin?

Micah 7:1-2: “… they lie in wait for blood …” = ambush – they have a plot;

“… they hunt every brother with a net.” = They set a trap for a brother

Micah 7:3: “… he uttereth his mischievous desire …”  The sin of the “tongue” = gossip and sowing discord.

Micah 7:4: “… best … a briar …” = they are useless at best.

Micah 7:5-7: Vs 5; “Trust not in a friend …” = even the most intimate will betray each other, when they can hope to serve themselves by it.

Vs 6: “… a man’s enemies are men of his own house.” = The state of  unnatural lawlessness in all relations of  life is here described which is to characterize the last times, before Messiah comes.

Cross references: Proverbs 10:12 – 13:10 – 15:18 – 16:28 – 22:10 – 28:25-26

Galatians 5:17-20 & 6:7-8 – Philippians 2:1-3 & 14-16

James chapter 3 / Micah 7:3 “uttereth mischievous desire …” = The tongue

Central message of the Book: Present judgment and future blessing

Lesson: The Gentile nations will be blessed also during the last days of the regathering of

Israel; 4:1-2

I.  Man’s peace brings destruction

    A. Micah is speaking here of the future – after the second coming of Christ.

    B. The only real and true peace comes from Jesus Christ: John 16:33

         1. “Ye shall have …” The Greek word “echo”

         2. It will happen over and over and over and over.

         3. That’s what the world’s peace brings to us.

    C. There is PEACE in “knowing that you are saved”  

    D. There is PEACE in knowing that you are in God’s will after you are saved.

II. The Requirements Of God: Micah 6:8

     A. The Bible speaks about duties

          1. The duty of marriage

          2. The duty of everyday living for and serving the Lord

     B. The whole “Duty” of man: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

          1. “whole” = entire – our obligation to God

          2. DUTY is something required = obedience to God in all areas of life

     C. Our duty is summed up in this … Matthew 22:35-40

          1. This means to be willing to give up your life to him, and to devote it all to His service;

              to live for Him

          2. If we love God as we should; we will have no trouble in obeying Him; serving Him

          3. If a Christian’s heart is right with God, you will have no trouble being obedient in ALL

              things

          4. you will quit making excuses for not doing what you should do or why you’re not

              doing it.



Old testament Survey: Book of Jonah

The Name Jonah:  Means Dove

Jonah was from the Northern Kingdom. His hometown was 3 miles from the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem.

The first mention of Jonah: II Kings 14:25

The Book: It shows that the love of God and the redemption of man is not just for the Jew … but for ALL who will repent.

Date: Approximately 862 B.C.

Ninevah: At this time – the capital of the Assyrian Empire  at its height.  Until its fall in 612 B.C.

it was the greatest city of that time.

Within its walls were gardens and groves; vast, lush pastures; splendid temples and palaces.

Its walls were 40-50’ high following 2  miles down the Tigris River; then 8 miles around the inner city = 20 sq. miles.

They had their own water system. The Kings Palace  contained 71 rooms with walls lined with sculptured  slabs.

Chapter 4:11: there were 120,000 infants. The total population is estimated at between 400,000 & 500,000 people.

Jonah 1:2: It was a wicked city.

Jonah 3:3: It was 3 days journey through that great city

Jonah 3:5: The   people repented, so … Why did Jonah run?

 

Brief Outline Of The Book

                                                              I. Fleeing – chap. 1

                                                             II. Praying – chap. 2

                                                            III. Preaching – chap 3

                                                             IV. Learning – chap. 4

Jonah knew of the prophecy regarding the Assyrians. Their capitol; was Nineveh – a rising power during Jonah’s time. One day, they  would destroy Israel, Jonah’s homeland. Jonah  also knew of the savagery of the Assyrians – their brutality, unspeakable torture, and killing of those they conquered.

God tells Jonah to preach to those murderous savages so that they would be saved; knowing that one day …. they would conquer his people.  Jonah was willing to spare his people; give up everything of importance to him and sacrifice his own life, if necessary, for Israel.  He knew that if he preached and they got saved; God would spare Nineveh and Israel’s fate would be sealed.

 Jonah was wrong for putting his people first and obedience to God second. We must obey God, even if  it doesn’t make sense to us …. even if we don’t understand it …. even if we don’t like the outcome of it.                



Old Testament Survey: The Book Of Amos

Introduction: Amos was a Jew who prophesied in the Northern Kingdom. Amos was not from the school of the prophets – he had no formal training. He was also a herdsman and a farmer. Yet, he had the same Divine Spirit of God upon him that influenced Isaiah and Daniel etc. God uses anybody that makes themselves available to Him. Remember, God gives abilities to us when we yield to Him. God can and wants to use you.

Date: This was written from 787 – 797 B.C.

The Book: Written during the reign of King Uzziah in Israel after Amos had been expelled from the Northern Kingdom for his bold preaching in Bethel.

Amos deals with the Judgments on the cities surrounding Palestine; Judah and Israel; Jehovah God’s dealing with the family of Jacob and the future glory of the Davidic kingdom.

  1. The Message Of The Book: Amos 3:1-3
  2. The context is this: Can you have God’s presence while you walk contrary with Him?
  3. In Amos day, God’s people broke sweet communion and fellowship with God.
  4. God did not break it from them, they broke from God: that’s sad.
  5. How can a child of God have the power of God on him while not fellowshipping with God.
  6. You cannot walk with God if you are not living for God in your daily life.
  7. Can you have God’s presence while you walk so contrary to him?
  8. Hate The Evil And Love The Good: Amos 5:14-15
  9. The choice between evil and good has gone on since Adam and Eve in the Garden in Genesis 3.
  10. Joshua exhorted God’s people to choose between good and evil in Joshua 24:15
  11. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord …..”
  12. To some, they like the evil better than the good; that’s why we have so much hatred in this world.

a So much war

b.So much violence

c.   So much murder

d.So much immorality

e. Abortion/murder of the unborn is into the millions

f. It becomes evil in the sight of people for God’s people to do good

g. Joshua exhorted the Israelites: God’s people, not the heathen, to choose between Gods              and the false gods. The gods that they worshipped before God redeemed them and                                       delivered them. The Israelites had a problem: sin. They couldn’t decide whether to go                                  back and live in sin or to go forward and serve the God that had saved them.

h. Amos 5:15: hate ALL evil among God’s people: I Thessalonians 5:22.

i. Love, commend, encourage, defend the GOOD. Let your heart be towards good things.

Psalms 34:14 and Psalms 34:8

 

Paul refused to eat meat offered to idols: I Cor. 8:1 & 10:13-14

There was nothing wrong with the meat itself: I Cor. 8:4.

Vs 7-10: be careful lest we tempt others to fall into sin and false doctrine

Sometimes, it is not the thing itself that is the sin, but where we are or what we do with it:                      that is the sin.

Be careful where we go, what we say and what we do lest we become a hindrance to

someone and they not be saved.  I Cor. 6:12 and I Cor. 10:23

III. God Always Keeps His Promises Amos 9:13-15

  1. God reminded Israel of what He has in store for them in the future.
  2. God’s Word also reminds us of what He has in store for those who have received Him as            Saviour.
  3. A perfect salvation
  4. Salvation that lasts: He won’t cast us out
  5. Blessings and benefits: here and now
  6. The Comforter – the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and empower us                                                     John 14:6: a home in Heaven.


Old Testament Survey The Song Of Solomon

 

Introduction: We now move from the writings of Solomon about the wisdom of God and the

vanity of human wisdom. Here we have a twofold interpretation.

  1. A love story – of marital love as ordained by God
  2. The story of Christ as He loves us. Hebrews 1:8-9: Psalms 45 which is a song of love.

Credible Bible Commentators (Matthew Henry for example) have said that this Book is:

“An allegory,” “ a parable,” “a nuptial song.” Here we read of the expressions of love between a bridegroom and His bride. They are set forth and illustrated showing the mutual affections that pass between God and a remnant of mankind.”

Song of Solomon was written to the Jews. They believed that the ideal marriage union as expressed in this Book, represent the relationship between God and His people, Israel.

Regardless of the interpretation, this song shows the tenderness and beauty of love, both human and divine.  It teaches that God intends for human beings to enjoy physical love within the commandments of which God has given us.

Human writer: Solomon

Solomon 1:1 Refers to this Book as the “Song of Songs.” This means: “The finest of all songs.”

I Kings 4:32 tells us that Solomon wrote 1,005 songs

II Timothy 3:16 tells us “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,”

The message also has application to us as well as Israel. Ephesians 5:25

The Bible, over and over again, reminds us of love. We are told what to love and what not to love. I John 2:15

The Bible is a love story; every page in the Bible is one of God’s love letters to us. The entire Bible shows WHY God loved the world; HOW God loved the world; and HOW LONG God will love the world.

The Rose Of Sharon: 2:1

  • This express his presence with his people in this world, the easiness of our access to him,                                  and the beauty and sweetness which  we can find in him.
  • The rose, for beauty and fragrance, is the chief of flowers, and our Saviour prefers the clothing of the lily before  that of Solomon in all his glory.
  1. He is not a rose locked up in a garden
  2. all may come and receive benefit by him and comfort in him.
  3. He is a lily for whiteness
  4. a lily of the valleys for sweetness
  5. He is a lily of the valleys, or low places, in his humiliation, exposed to injury.
  6. Lily among thorns: 2:2
  7. the lily is white: the righteousness of Christ
  8. the rose is red: His blood
  9. thorns are the “wicked:” the unsaved in this world; II Samuel 23:6 –
  10. The title of daughter, is often given to whole nations.

          Solomon 5:8-9, refers to Daughters of Jerusalem

  • The “Rose of Sharon” is probably the cistus or rock-rose, several species of which abound  in Palestine
  • lilies were molded on the rim of the molten laver in the Temple: I Kings 7:26

Here’s The Story:  Solomon 2:6

  • His left hand “IS”
  • His hand doth embrace
  • Notice the change Solomon 8:3
  • The word “should”
  • He wants to embrace her, but she won’t let Him … rejection
  • the sadness of folks rejecting Christ as Saviour
  • the sadness of Christians who won’t live for Christ

III. The Bible Is A Wonderful Love Story

  1. 23 times: Solomon mentions the word “love” in this Book
  2. 3 times the word “loves”
  3. 5 times the word “loveth”
  4. Banner of love: Solomon 2:4
  5. the love of Christ is the banner under which we march
  6. He rescued us from the enemy and sat us at the banquet table under the banner of love.                                         I John 4:8  (God is love)
  7. John 3:16 “For God so loved …” God loves sinners
  8. the “banqueting house” of Solomon 22:4 was the Temple
  9. Ephesians 5:25: Christ gave Himself for the Church
  10. we are to win folks to Christ
  11. bring them to the local church where they can be baptized and discipled


Old Testament Survey The Book of Proverbs

Proverbs

Introduction:  Date of this Book

-Year from the Creation, 3004.

-Year before the birth of Christ, 996.

-Year before the vulgar era of Christ’s nativity, 1000.

-Year since the Deluge, according to Archbishop Usher and the

English Bible, 1348.

-Year from the destruction of Troy, 185.

-Year before the first Olympiad, 224.

-Year before the building of Rome, 247.

 

The Word PROVERB means: in some original sense of superiority in mental action; properly, a pithy maxim, usually of metaphorical nature; hence, a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse):– byword, like, parable, proverb.  An easier definition would be: “A lot of truth in a short sentence.”

Human Writer: The bulk of the Book of Proverbs was written by Solomon (so were Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon).

In the Bible, (up to Song of Solomon,) most of the Books were written by men of some status in this world. After Song of Solomon, most of the Books were written by the common man.

The job of the giving of the Law was given to men of esteem and might. The job of evangelizing the world is generally done by the common man; the weak and the lowly; I Corinthians 1:26-27.

The human writers, so far, were Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David and Solomon. Later, we will read Books written by: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Amos etc. In the New Testament: common men – fishermen. There are exceptions; Luke the physician, but they are very few and far between.

The Apostle Paul writes: “not many wise men ….”

A Book of Practical Wisdom

The Psalms are a great help to our devotional life while the Proverbs have been referred to as: “Laws from heaven for a life here on earth.”

Central message: The practical wisdom of God

Six basic divisions in the Book of proverbs

  1. Instructions to sons: chap. 1-7 2. Praise and wisdom: chap. 8-9 3. The folly of sin and wickedness: chap. 10-19 4. Warnings and instructions: chap. 20-29 5. The words of Agur
  2. 6. The words of King Lemuel.

The Structure Of A Proverb

There are three main types of Proverbs

  1. Contrastive: This is the most common type; it is known by the striking contrast of the two members joined commonly by the word “but. “ Chapters 10-15 are predominately of this type.

Proverbs 10:27 is an example of this.

  1. Completive: Here, the second “member” agrees with the first and carries that idea or thought to completeness. The word “AND” is the common connector. Proverbs 16:3 is a good example of this.
  1. Comparative: Here we find a striking comparison between the two thoughts, ideas or members. The word “THAN” is a common connector between them. A good example of this type Proverb would be Proverbs 15:16.

How To Read The Proverbs

The Proverbs are meant to be read with thought and not to rush your way through them. Read a few Proverbs and then think on what you have read and consider the truths that you have just read.  Let them sink into your mind and soul   Let’s look at a few Proverbs and see the Truths contained in them.

Proverbs 1:7 – When we begin to fear God – we will begin to learn.  Fear is “moral reverence”

Proverbs 1:10 – Don’t fall victim to those who will tempt you to do wrong.

Entice means to “lure.”

Proverbs 3:5-7 – TRUST – Faith in the New Testament – faith is to believe.

Trust means take refuge in – lean on – roll on – to stay upon

The word TRUST is found 152 times in the Old Testament

Proverbs 4:18-19 – Are you walking down His path of Heavenly knowledge and love?

Are you growing in it?

Proverbs 6:16-20 – Tells us what God hates. We ought to hate what God hates and Chapter 8:13 also tells us that very same thing.

Proverbs 9:9 and 10:8 tells us about the giving and receiving of instruction.

Proverbs 13:20 – Be careful who we associate with. Just as a tree frog or a chameleon acquires the color of what it adheres to for a short time, in the same way, man is influenced by those who you associate with.

Proverbs 15:32 – learn to take constructive criticism and use it to improve your life for the Lord.

Proverbs 17:22 & 15:15 – Remember Readers Digest “Laughter is the best medicine?”

Learn to laugh: even at yourself.

 

Proverbs 18:24 – The way to make friends  is to be one.. Take the initiative, go and talk to folks.

Proverbs 21:19 – Much to be said about making the little woman happy.

Proverbs 22:1-3 – Great instructions

Proverbs 23:1-7 – Godly council of who to avoid – our heart – our desires

Proverbs 23:29-33 – A warning against fermented beverages

Proverbs 24:17-19 – Instructions to us about our enemies

Proverbs  27:1 – None of us are guaranteed of another today

Proverbs  28:9 – It pays to listen to the Word of God

Proverbs 31:10-31 – The Virtuous woman

Proverbs 1:5-7: Receiving God’s Word

  1. Brings wisdom and knowledge
  2. Fear – reverential trust with a hatred of evil – Proverbs 8:13
  3. Fear is the beginning of wisdom – Proverbs 9:10 – 10:8 – 13:1
  4. hatred of evil – Proverbs 1:10 – Ephesians 5:11

Brings Instruction – Proverbs 9:9

  1. Not to turn away – Proverbs 28:9 & 14
  2. To confess sin – Proverbs 28:13
  3. To those who reject instruction – Proverbs 12:15 – 13:20 – 13:18

Of God

  1. It’s our spiritual food
  2. for strength
  3. to grow in grace
  4. to learn
  5. May we ever read and study and hold dear the precious Word of God.


Old Testament Survey Book of Psalms

The Book Of Psalms

Introduction: The Psalms were the inspired prayer and praise Book of the Nation of Israel. The are revelations of Truth: not abstractly, but in terms of human experience. All of the chapters of these Psalms were set to music to worship God.

They are expressions of man’s feelings: from joy to sorrow; from happiness to depression and perplexity. They show the feelings that can arise from about every type of human experience; not just from a few thousand years ago. They can be applied to every time period; to every life and every situation.

The Book of Psalms provides for our emotions and feelings guidance – the same kind of guidance as the rest of the Bible provides for our faith and our actions. Hebrew poetry is vastly different from the poetry of our day and age.

The title “Psalms” comes from the Septuagint and it means “Songs to the accomplishment of a stringed instrument.”  Psalms means: “all metrical compositions fitted to be sung.”  There is a spiritual message in the Book of Psalms. Many times over, we see where distress and “feeling low” turns to singing and praise because the Psalmist turned to God in prayer.

The promises of the Psalms are primarily Jewish and are suited to a people under the Law. There are also spiritually true in Christian experience also, in the sense that they disclose the mind of God and the exercises of His heart toward those who are perplexed, afflicted or cast down.

Author: The Holy Spirit – I Peter 1:21

Human writers: David – Asaph – Solomon – Moses – Jehoshapat – Hezekiah – Ezra – Heman – Ethan; most were written by David.

Great Themes of this Book: are: Christ – Jehovah – the Law – Creation – future of Israel – and the exercises of a renewed heart.

For the purpose of this study, we will look at some Biblical principles as well as some selected passages and selected Psalms.

  1. Selected Passages
  2. The Words of the Lord – Psalms 12:6
  3. Only God can forgive your sin – Psalm 32:1-2 & 5
  4. vs 5 – we must acknowledge and confess
  5. then – God forgives – vs 1 & 5
  6. Psalms 34:8 – taste and see …
  7. Jesus is the “Bread of Life” He is the “Living Water”
  8. We must come to Him and receive Him as our own personal Saviour.
  9. I Peter 2:3 – taste, here, means to experience
  10. tasting, as used in this passage , is a figurative word
  11. Other passages: Psalms 34:1-3 – Psalms 51:1-4 – Psalms 55:17 – Psalms 88:1-3
  12. Psalms 91:2 and 92:1 – Psalms 100:3-5 – Psalms 103:1-4 – Psalms 118:8 – 119:9-11, 18,                           33-40 – Psalms 119:89, 97, 103, 111, 127, 140, 160