David’s reaction to his son Absalom’s death is gut-wrenching. For those who have lost someone close to them, a wide range of feelings can accompany grief. One of these is often guilt. We use David’s moment of grief as a springboard for considering the types of guilt we may experience after losing someone.
Studies have shown we are generally more likely to trust the people we find attractive or have a “presence” about them. Those who “look the part” are more likely to receive our listening ears, our votes, our willingness to hire them, and our delegation of important roles to them. 1 Samuel highlights how the Israelites, including the prophet Samuel, fall into the trap of relying on the data their eyes are receiving. But God has a strong message about the reliability of our eyes in making value judgments. We explore and apply.
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." What effect do adverse situations have on friendship? If we read Job, we may conclude that crisis just drives friends to turn on each other under stress. But could a crisis actually solidify friendship and reveal its true meaning. We explore David and Jonathan and the principles of their covenant friendship.
As the second lesson in a series on Memory, we look at the biblical perspective on memories of my own failures. Among others, we examine Paul - a man who says he is forgetting what lies behind and yet still talks about his past a great deal. Is it possible to forget my mistakes of the past? And if it isn't, what does Paul mean? If memories are not forgotten, how can they be redeemed?
Some limitations are legitimate. Others may be comfort zone issues. But accepting genuine limitations is part of life. They are not intended to make us feel inferior to others or inadequate for making a difference in God's Kingdom. We look at some biblical examples of those who made a tremendous difference even while facing limitations.
Sometimes one traumatic event is enough to cause a breakdown. Sometimes post-traumatic stress disorder may be the result of the cumulative effect of a number of episodes. The situation of David and his men in 1 Samuel 30 is enough by itself to be a crisis. But add the cumulative effect of years of stress, and you have the makings of a meltdown. We examine the different responses to crisis in this text, including how David demonstrates a faithful response that neither ignores the crisis nor despairs during it.
We examine the message of 1-2 Kings in relation to Jesus, finding 2 major themes: the preservation of the messianic king line through the descendants of David...and shadows of the prophetic ministry of Jesus in the work of Elijah and Elisha.
As part of our series on seeing Jesus in every book of the Bible, we examine 1 and 2 Samuel where the "seed" language reemerges and is now connected with the idea of "Messiah" as one who is coming.