Friday, June 23, 2017

Man (Anthropology)

VI. Man (Anthropology)
A. Purpose
1. We teach that man and woman were directly and immediately created by God1 in His image and likeness.2 Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God.
·   Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
·   James 3:9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
2. We teach that God's intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God,3 enjoy God's fellowship, live his life in the will of God and by this, accomplish God's purpose for man in the world.4
·   Isaiah 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
·   Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
1 Genesis 2:7; 15-25    2 Genesis 1.23-27; James 3:9    3 Isaiah 43:7; Revelation 4:11         4 Colossians 1:16
B. The Fall
1. We teach that in Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God1 the whole human race fell,2 man lost his innocence,3 incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death,4 became subject to the wrath of God,5 and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace.6
·        1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
·        Ephesians 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the


·        course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
2. We teach that all men, until they accept the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior, are lost,7 darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them,8 hardened in heart,9 morally and spiritually dead through their trespasses and sins.10 They cannot see nor enter the kingdom of God until they are born again of the Holy Spirit.11 With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost.  Man's salvation is thereby wholly of God's grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
·       Ephesians 4:18 …having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
·       John 3:3-5   Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”   5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  
1 Genesis 2:16-17 1 Timothy 2:13-14   2 Romans 5:12   3 Genesis 3:1-19 (esp. 9-11)   4 Romans 6:23  5 John 3:36  6 1 Corinthians 2:14  7 Luke 19:10; 2 Corinthians 4:3    8 Ephesians 4:18: 1 Peter 1:14    9 John 12:40  10 Ephesians 2:1   11  John 3:3-5     
C. The Sin Nature
We teach that because all men were in Adam, the consequence of Adam's sin has been transmitted (imputed) to all men of all ages,1 Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by divine declaration, by nature, 2 and by choice. 3
·       Psalm 14:1-3 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
·       Romans 5:10-12 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
1 Romans 5:10-12     2 Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23    3 Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12



Monday, June 19, 2017

"Watch Video Magnificent Men: The Image of God Expressed in Redeemed Masculinity" by Rev. Charles M. Butler

These are just my initial, rough draft notes as I listened.  It is much better in person.

This is not just a motivational sermon, or set of rules to live by.  The rules made in one time and context often become outdated and irrelevant because it is often impossible to anticipate changes

I.  Go back to the original design specifications and see what God’s intentions were for designing us. 
Genesis 1:26
The first man’s name is Adam.  The Hebrew word for man is Adam.  It can be used to refer to a man or to a group of men or men and women.  It can be used as a name.
Gen 1.3, 6, 9, 20, 24  God commands his creation and it obeys.  When God creates his image bearers his words change.  He holds a brief conversation.  Let us make man in our image.  As my son’s experience fatherhood they will understand me better. 
Progressive revelation:  Our ability to understand about increases through history.  God doesn’t change, but our understanding does.  He gives hint through history and then tells “all.”  Hebrews 1:3  The only limitation is our dim vision  1 Cor 13.12
Through the lens of the N.T. we can clearly see the Father, Son, and Spirit speaking.  God is unity in diversity in loving and affirming relationship  They create humanity as male and female.  God creates us to be in community.  The priority of relationships to God and to each other.
The two greatest commandments to love God and our neighbor reflect the priority of relationships. 
The Hebrew for "male" is Zucar (sp?)  The word means to remember, recite, recollect with the idea of acting on what you remember.  Ex. 22.23  God heard their groaning and remembered His covenant…
That is what it means to be male.  To remember and act upon what is remembered.  Masculinity remembers and then moves to bring about what was remembered.
Gen 1.1-2.4 we have an overview.  2.5 begins the street level view.  God personally formed man and breathed life into him.  He was intimately involved.  God planted a garden with the tree of life and Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  It was given to Adam when he was alone and it will be up to him to remember and convey.
There was not a helper fit for responding to him.  Adam hast to have a female adam for the image of God to be complete. Together they display the full image that God intended.
The Hebrew word for woman is nekabot (sp?)which means open or pierced.  The women is open to receive and nurture what advances the purposes of God. 


II. Consider humankind's early history and how that has impacted our present situation.

The serpent approaches Eve.  There is nothing to suggest Adam knew anything about Satan.  The Gist of the conversation is that God was depriving them.
The husband who was with her and he ate.  All they had to do was live out their purposes to be like God.  As soon as the serpent contradicted God, Adam, the male, should have remembered what God had said and moved to advance God’s purposes.  Instead, he stood passively by…
The NT comments on this passage in two places.  1 Timothy 3.14  Eve was deceived.
Romans 5, sin came into the world through Adam.  He wasn’t deceived.  He chose the solution that didn’t require submitting to God and trusting Him.
Shame was the result.  The choice to choose what the serpent said over what they heard from God they became conflicted.  They knew evil because they had done evil.
Now they had another problem to solve.  They covered themselves with fig leaves.  In verse 8 they heard the sound of God…  the Lord God called to Adam.  Who told you were naked?  Have you eaten…?”  God gave them the opportunity to repent but they didn’t.  They just made excuses.  Innocence is lost and replaced with a disposition to turn away from God. 
This is the essence of how sin expresses itself in us.  Isa 53  We go our own way
Jer. 2.13  We pass up God’s fountain for our broken, dirty broken cistern.
The Hebrew word for earth is adoman (sp?).  Adam was formed from adoman (sp?).  Now that relationship is troubled.
Eve will desire to control Adam and Adam will cause him to want to dominate Eve.
Adam’s intentional misuse of God’s design has landed them in trouble.
Adam gave her the name Even because she was the mother of all the living. 3.21   Though bearing children in pain she would continue to raise children.  Though he would have to sweat and fight with the soil, he could feed his family.  The serpent would continue to strike the women’s offspring in the heal, but a day would come when the evil brought by the serpent would be eradicated.  Jesus would save his people from their sin.  Satan struck Christ’s heal in the crucifixion and Christ struck the Satan’s head at the resurrection.  Adam didn’t know all of that.
III. Examine how God responded to what took place
The fig leaves were insufficient.  God took the lives of animals in place of Adam and Even and covered them with their skins.  The Lamb of God takes away sin.
They rebelled. God punished and remember His love. This is our God, the image of God in zakar (sp?), the male.
What lessons do we gain?
1. Redeemed masculinity means we have accepted God to come to us.  The way we find leads us away from him instead of to him.  If have moved of ourselves, we have moved away from Him.  We cannot fix our sins.  God has moved toward us and invited to forgive our sins.  God will redeem us if we ask him.
2. Being a man who is a Christian is not the same as redeeming our masculinity.  What are you waiting for?  The further you go on the wrong road, the longer it takes to get back to the narrow road.  It’s not the road of being odd.  It’s the road of being clear.  Identifying first things that line up with His first things, keeping second things second.  First things is to love God, neighbors.
3. The ultimate image of God revealed in masculinity is seen in Christ as He moves toward the cross.  He is settled in his love for God and to love us.  As a redeemed man, God calls me to remember His word and live it, and to remember his love and to move toward others to show that love, to die to self, lose the self-obsession.  His glory should be my first concern.  That call on me to repent.
CS Lewis describing repentance.  “It means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training into ourselves.  Killing part of yourself.  It is a kind of death. 

For the image of God to be expressed in my masculinity, I need to move forward selflessly not for personal reasons, but because this is what He calls me to be. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Happy birthday, Donna

Donna,
I still remember the flutter in my heart as I perused the students in Mrs. Martin’s English Comp. class and noticed one cute girl in particular.  I don’t remember whether it was love at first sight, but I do remember making a note that I wanted to spend some time with you.  I still do not understand what you saw in that skinny, gangly kid, but I am still thankful for your temporary lapse in judgment.
At this point, we have been together for 2/3 of our lives.  It brings a smile as I reflect on our long distant engagement with the phone calls and those long trips along I-40 between Tulsa and Jacksboro, our early days in apartments and a duplex, the blind enthusiasm at the possibilities of a move back to Tulsa and into a life of ministry.  I remember raising three kids with you and the way you excelled in business for yourself and later teaching second grade. 

Our lives drastically changed with the news of your acoustic neuroma and things have never been the same.  Through that surgery (and all the others) I have seen in you an impressive toughness and determination.  Your devotion, faithfulness, and loyalty to our own children and your chickadees have been a model and inspiration.  Each year the price of shipping and handling goes up along with my appreciation and love for you.  God knew what he was doing through it all.  Happy birthday!!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

1 Samuel 7 Sermon study notes

Intro –A When we think of Ebenezer, we are immediately reminded of Ebenezer Scrooge.
“Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.” 
External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn't know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often ‘came down’ handsomely, and Scrooge never did.  --Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Intro –B Some of us may remember an odd term from the old versions of the classic hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
2. Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
What is an “Ebenezer?”
Actually it finds its origin in our text tonight. 1 Samuel 7.  Before we turn there, let’s review some context and background for your text.
Intro –C  1 Samuel is building toward the kingship of David
David, as king, was an illustrious type of Christ. "I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." (Psalm 2:6.) "All Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the deliverer." (Romans 11:26.) Jesus was recognised as "The Son of David"; He is "King of the Jews"; "King of kings," and "of His kingdom there shall be no end." This passage suggests several analogies between King David and King Jesus.
The Biblical Illustrator, Electronic Database.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission. 
BibleSoft.com
“Ch. 7 is therefore making the claim that even without Saul’s military skills, Samuel was perfectly capable of leading Israel to victory. God was the real author of victory, and he had long ago called Samuel to speak for him and to give Israel whatever guidance was needed. From a human point of view, Samuel became subordinate to Saul once Saul became king. From God’s standpoint, however, it was as if the king was subordinate to the man of God.”  -- David F. Payne, “1 and 2 Samuel,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition
Intro –D    Sin Cycle from Judges  
Judg 2.11-19 provides a macro-structure for the time period of the judges.  It is a pattern and a cycle
3 – SIN Samuel receives the rebuke for Israel’s sin
4-6  SLAVERY  Military defeat and humiliation.
7 - Supplication, Salvation, and Silence.
READ: Have everybody stand to read 1 Samuel 7:2-17
PRAY:
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·       “Nevertheless, from a literary and discourse grammar point of view, ch. 7 seems to be a terminal literary unity.  The narrative of Samuel’s life has reached a conclusion; it summarizes his role and prepares for the next episode.”  --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
·       One striking feature of chapters 4-6 has been the absence of Samuel (apart from 4:1).  --John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for  a Leader (Preaching the Word)
·       Why was Israel (like the Philistines) experiencing the heavy hand of God?”  That is the question that the events of the last three chapters have powerfully raised.  --John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for  a Leader (Preaching the Word)
·       Similarly, it was natural that they would go on this expedition not without serious misgivings as to the power of the God of Israel, which they had experienced during the stay of the ark in their land; and that in this state of mind they would be prepared to regard any terrible phenomenon in nature as His interposition, and be affected accordingly[1] -- Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament

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I. SIN

2. SLAVERY
v.2 So it was that the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years.
And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord
.

·                  The Hebrew construction is unusual, hence the tentative translations (e.g. rv mg. ‘was drawn together after’; niv ‘mourned and sought after’)[1]
·                  Judg 2.11-19 provides a macro-structure for the time period of the judges.  It is a pattern and a cycle
·                  Samuel makes an appeal to the Israelites, who after 20 years of neglecting the Lord now show signs of wanting to return.    ESV Gospel Transformation Bible 7.3
·                  In the course of time the people appear to have come to feel how sad and desolate their national life was without any tokens of God’s presence and grace.  “All the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.”  The expression is a peculiar one, and some critics, not understanding is spiritual import, have proposed to give it a different meaning.   But for this there is not cause.  It seems to denote that the people, missing God, under the severe oppression of the Philistines, had begun to grieve over the sins that had driven Him away…  –William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)
·                  There are two great services for God and for Israel in which we find Samuel engaged in the first nine verses of this chapter 1. In exhorting and directing them with a view to bring them into a right state before God. 2. This being accomplished, in praying for them in their time of trouble, and obtaining Divine help when the Philistines drew near in battle.  --Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 7:4". "Expositor's Bible Commentary".
v.3-4
“If with all your hearts you are returning to Jehovah,”—implying in the expression that repentance was primarily of the heart, and by the form of the Hebrew verb, that that return had indeed commenced and was going on[2]
In Hebrew, the phrase with all of your heart has been moved to before the nucleus of the sentence and thus emphasized.  --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
3. Supplication
v. 3  The Gospel according to Samuel (vv.3-4)  --John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for  a Leader (Preaching the Word)
1.    RETURN to the Lord with all your hearts.
In Hebrew, the prase with all of your heart is emphasized by the Hebrew grammar
In another context the Bible would call the possible change in the Israelites repentance.  Repentance” however, is not just weeping. It is “returning to the Lord with all your heart.”  This is the first point of Samuel’s gospel.

2.     PUT AWAY The second point in Samuel’s gospel is that you must put away the pagan gods.  The pagan way must be repudiated.
·                  Ashtoreths. The plural form of Astarte, the consort of Baal within the Canaanite pantheon, is indicative of her appearance in various local manifestations. She was both a fertility goddess and a goddess of war. The singular form of the name only appears in 1Kings 11:5 and 2 Kings 23:13, where it refers to the chief goddess of the Phoenician city of Sidon. In fact there are several female deities who are mentioned as Baal’s consort (Anath, Ashtoreth, Asherah) in Ugaritic and Phoenician texts. Astarte’s popularity among the Canaanites may reflect a merging of these other goddesses into her person or simply a local preference. The cult of Astarte also appears in Egypt during the New Kingdom (perhaps due to greater contact with Canaan) and in Mesopotamia.[3]
·                  the Hebrew construction is unusual, hence the tentative translations (e.g. rv mg. ‘was drawn together after’; niv ‘mourned and sought after’)[4]
 “Now the putting away of the strange gods and Ashtaroth was a harder condition than we at first might suppose.”
“To put away Baalim and Ashtaroth was to abjure what was fashionable and agreeable, and fall back on what was unattractive and sombre.  Was it not, too, an illiberal demand?  Was it not a sign of narrowness to be so exclusively devoted to their own religion that they could view that of their neighbours with no sort of pleasure?  Why not acknowledge that in other religions there was an element of good, that the services in them were the expression of a profound religious sentiment, and were therefore entitled to a measure of praise and approval?”  --–William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)

3.     PREPARE YOUR HEART The third point is this: “…and direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only…” (v. 3c)  This speaks of exclusive, single-minded, whole heartedcommitment.
It takes time (and effort)
·        King Reaboam of Judah 2 Chron 12:14   
“Let us mark this last expression.  It is not enough that in church, or at some meeting, or in our closet, we experience a painful conviction how much we have offended God, and a desire not to offend Him in like manner any more.  We must “prepare our hearts” for this end.  We must remember that in this world with which we mingle we are exposed to many influences that remove God from our thoughts, that stimulate our infirmities, that give force to temptation, that lessen our power of resistance, that tend to draw us back into our old sins.
But besides this, he must “prepare his heart” against his sin.  He must resolve to turn away from everything that leads to drinking, that gives strength to the temptation, that weakens his power of resistance, that draws him, as it were, within the vortex. …” --–William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)

SERVE THE LORD  The return, put away, and prepare are key foundations
·                  “Nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25).

·       It means to do what he says in a way that motivated by His supreme value.
·       It means to submit to him with a joy that makes Him look thrilling.
·       There are ways to submit to God that only make him look threatening, not thrilling.
·       (We can follow commands by rote as burdensome, meaningless tasks.)
“Therefore, “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).
(John Piper with edits)  

4.     HE WILL DELIVER YOU FROM THE PHILISTINES The final point of Samuel’s gospel on this occasion supports the three preceding imperatives. It is the promise, “…and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”
That previous history is the key to understanding what was going on.  The Lord gave Israel over to their enemies as judgment for their apostasy (see Judges 2:11-15).  The Philistines, therefore, had been the instrument of God’s judgment on Israel.
“Now the putting away of the strange gods and Ashtaroth was a harder condition than we at first might suppose.
To put away Baalim and Ashtaroth was to abjure what was fashionable and agreeable, and fall back on what was unattractive and sombre.  Was it not, too, an illiberal demand?  Was it not a sign of narrowness to be so exclusively devoted to their own religion that they could view that of their neighbours with no sort of pleasure?  Why not acknowledge that in other religions there was an element of good, that the services in them were the expression of a profound religious sentiment, and were therefore entitled to a measure of praise and approval?”  --–William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)
5
Mizpeh, located at Tell en-Nash, about 7 miles north of Jerusalem.  KJV Ryrie Study Bible
Later, Saul was appointed king here. --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
The next step was to call the people to one of those solemn national gatherings, in which, as on former occasions (Josh. 23:2, etc.; 24:1, etc.), they would confess national sins and renew national obligations towards Jehovah.[5]
“It is important to mark the stress which is laid here on the public assembly of the people.  Some might say would it not have answered the same end if the people had humbled themselves apart—the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart, every family apart, and their wives apart, as in the great mourning of Zechariah (Zech. Xii. 12-14)?  We answer, the one way did not exclude the other; we do not need to ask which is best, for both are best.  But when Samuel convened the people to a public assembly, he evidently did it on the principle on which in the New Testament we are required not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.  It is in order that the presence of like-minded, and with the same earnest feelings and purposes, may have a rousing and warming influence upon us.”  --–William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)
Samuel was a praying prophet (8.6; 12.19, 23)   KJV Ryrie Study Bible
Jeremiah 15.1  “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people… ESV Study Bible
“In Psalm xcix. 6, he is coupled with Moses and Aaron, as having influence with God, --“they called upon the Lord and He answered them.” 
Psalm 99:6 (NKJV)
Moses and Aaron were among His priests,
And Samuel was among those who called upon His name;
They called upon the Lord, and He answered them.
The difference it made for Israel to have an intercessor able to do what they plainly could not do – namely, effectively pray for themselves – cannot be overstated.    --John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for  a Leader(Preaching the Word)
 Sam 8.6; 12.19, 23)
6
·       Now in 7:6 we find him in a new role, as Israel’s ‘judge’ or political leader. The word is deliberately used to show that he was God’s chosen man to deliver Israel. In practice, it is not obvious what exactly his political role was as yet, since the Philistines were so dominant. At any rate, all Israel listened to him (4:1), and so he alone was able to call a national assembly at Mizpah, in Benjamite territory. [6]The outpouring of water was a sign of repentance.    KJV Ryrie Study Bible
·       This act is repeated in 2 Sam 23:16. …  The symbol of Samuel pouring out the water and the acknowledgement of the people reveal a situation where true repentance had taken place.  The condition of the heart superseded the importance of righteousness of the ritual.  NKJV MacArthur Study Bible 
2 Samuel 23:16 (NKJV)  16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord.
·       The ceremony of drawing and pouring out water, which accompanied Israel’s fast and confession, has been regarded by most interpreters as a symbol of their sorrow and contrition. But may it not have been a ceremonial act, indicative not only of penitence, but of the purification and separation of the service of Jehovah from all foreign elements around? Comp. here also the similar act of Elijah (1 Kings 18:33–35).[7]
1 Kings 18:33-35(NKJV) 33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” 34 Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.
·       “In the present context, “pouring,” instead of drinking, the water and “fasting” are connected, and both acts were done before the lord… --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
·       Fasting:  The principle is that the importance of the request causes an individual to be so concerned about his or her spiritual condition that physical necessities fade into the background. In this sense the act of fasting is designed as a process leading to purification and humbling oneself before God (Ps 69:10).[8]

Chapter 4
Chapter 7
Israel “struck down” by Philistines
2, 3, 20
Philistines “struck down” by Israel
10
Manipulation  “Let it save,”
3
Repentance “Let Him deliver/save”
3, 8
Philistines hear
6
Philistines hear
7
Result: Ichabod”
21
Result: Ebenezer
12

·       Samuel’s leadership is described by the same term that serves as a title for the judges (see comment on Judg 2:16–19). This rounds out his credentials as prophet, priest and judge. The three roles are combined in this passage as he leads them in repentance in order to bring about their deliverance.[9]
·       Samuel judged the people … at Mizpah (cf. v. 15): In this instance his role as judge involved a pastoral concern, with particular reference to the covenant relationship between an apostate people and their holy God. [10]
7
·       The name Mizpah meant ‘watchtower’—it was a vantage-point for military purposes and was itself visible from a distance.[11]
·       The people respond with all sincerity (vv. 4-6) but instead of their situation immediately improving, circumstances get worse!    ESV Gospel Transformation Bible
8
·       Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us. Two thoughts are combined: ‘do not cease from us’ or ‘keep silent from us’, expressing dependence on Samuel’s support; and ‘do not fail to pray’, indicating ultimate dependence on the Lord.[12]
9
·       whole burnt offering.  (Lev 8:15-21) and its purpose is atonement for sin…  NIV Zondervan Study Bible
·       How often has this been exemplified in the history of the Church!  How many anxious sinners have sought unto God by other ways, but have been driven back, sometimes father from Him than before.  Luther humbles himself in the dust and implores God’s favour, and struggles with might and main to reform his heart; but Luther cannot find peace until he sees how it is in the righteousness of the lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.   --–William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)
4. Salvation
10
·       In a literal manner, the lord did to his enemies what was said by Hannah in her prayer (2:10).  NKJV MacArthur Study Bible
·       Baal was supposedly the god of storms, but Yahweh humiliated him here.”  Bibliotheca Sacra 164:654 (April-June 2007):165-80.  --Thomas Constable’s Expository Notes on 1 Samuel
·       The situation that had prevailed in chapter 4 was exactly reversed.  Then Israel had been “defeated before the Philistines.” Now the Philistines were “defeated before Israel.”  In both cases the expression used (“defeated before”) alludes to the fact that the defeat was God’s doing.    --John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for  a Leader (Preaching the Word)
·       If it was a natural storm, if it was the result of natural law, of atmospheric conditions the operation of which was fixed and certain, it must have taken place whether Samuel prayed or not.  Undoubtedly.  But the very fact that the laws of nature are fixed and certain, that their operation in definite and regular, enables the great Lord of Providence to make use of them in the natural course of things for the purpose of answering prayer.  For this fact, the uniforimity of natural law, enables the Almighty, who sees and plans the end from the beginning, to frame a comprehensive scheme of Providence, that shall not only work out the final result in His time and way, but that shall also work out every intermediate result precisely as He designs and desires.”   --–William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)
·       The weather frequently played a part in the outcome of a battle (Josh. 10:11; Judg. 5:4, 20, 21; cf. 1 Sam. 2:10; Ps. 18:13).[13]
11 
·       Israel pursued the disorganized, fleeing Philistines to Beth-car (site unknown, perhaps a Philistine fortress where the wretched remnant was able to rally and defend itself).  Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament
12
·       Ebenezer lit. stone of help (4.1) KJV Ryrie Study Bible
·       Ebenezer means ‘stone of help’ or ‘stone of the Helper’, a name frequently applied to the Lord (e.g. the refrain ‘He is their help and their shield’ in Ps. 115:9–11).[14]
Psalm 115:9-11 (NKJV)
9 O Israel, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
·       This may be understood spatially (“As far as this place the Lord has helped us”) or temporally (“Until now the Lord has helped us”).  The former sense is straightforward: the Lord had helped Israel all the way from Mizpah to this stone.  The second sense is suggestive.  The Lord had helped Israel so far – but what of the future?  Will Israel and the Lord continue into the future as we have seen them in chapter 7, or will the situration of chapter 4 somehow return?  --John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for  a Leader (Preaching the Word)
·       Perhaps Samuel named the stone after the place-name “Ebenezer” with the earlier experience in chs. 4-5 in mind so that the people might always be reminded of God’s special help (‘ezer) in this time and at this place.  The name “the stone Ezer” is not unusual as a place-name, and it is certainly a reminder of God’s powerful intervention in the history of Israel as well as her former failure at the other “Ebenezer.”  --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
·       The links of the long chain denoted by Samuel’s “hitherto” were not all of one kind.  Some were in the form of mercies, many were in the form of chastening.  –William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)
13
·       Israel’s Justification (13, 14)
This is what God did for Israel.  They could hold their heads high again – not because of their virtue or strength – but because of what the Lord their God had done for them.
That is why I have called this Israel’s justification.  I do not what the term to be pressed to far,…  Our enemy has been defeated.  --John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for  a Leader (Preaching the Word)
1 SAMUEL 7:13—WERE THE PHILISTINES EXPELLED ONCE AND FOR ALL, OR ONLY TEMPORARILY?
PROBLEM: This verse says that “the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel.” However, only a few chapters later (9:16; cf. 10:513:517) they were repeatedly fighting the Philistines.
SOLUTION: There are two ways to explain this difficulty. One is that it may simply be a strong idiom, not to be taken as excluding all future incursions on their land by the Philistines. In other words, “they came no more” for some time. Or, it could simply mean that “they came no more” at that time. A third possibility is that “they came no more” to occupy and dwell in the territory of Israel, which would not exclude them coming back to fight again and again.
This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
http://defendinginerrancy.com/bible-solutions/1_Samuel_7.13.php
5. Silence
14
·       Elkron and Gath were the easternmost cities of the Philistine pentapolis.  The verse probably means that the cities and territories that had come under the control of those two ruling cities were freed from their control. ESV Study Bible
·       The Israelites subdued the Philistines while having a peaceful relationship with the Amorites.  In other words, Israel was safe both internally and externally.  MaCarter [The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries] hold that such a situation is “a part of the carful negtative preparation for the people’s demand for a king.”  --David Tsumura,The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
·       All his life he judged Israel—three times the fact is stated (the rsv’s he administered justice is simply a variant to improve the English style); but, as has already become plain, the settlement of legal matters was only one aspect of his leadership. To all intents and purposes he was a supreme governor, of the type exemplified by Moses—appointed and equipped by the Lord to keep Israel in a right relationship with their Lord God, and depending upon his resources, in all their undertakings to live and work to his glory. [15]
·       The key phrase all the days of … bridges this chapter and ch. 8, which refers to Samuel’s old age.  First, this phrase appears in a parenthetical clause (v. 13b), hence as background information, and then in the summary statement about Samuel’s life: “And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his live” (v. 15).  Such repetition prepares the audience for the next section where Samuel is already an old man, a long time having passed between the events in the two chapters.  --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
15
·       Samuel’s “judging” was presumably like the judging we have seen in this chapter: calling Israel to wholehearted devotion to the lord alone and to put away pagan ways, interceding for them, offering sacrifices for their sins, as well as a more general administration of justice.
In other words, with the enemy defeated, Samuel’s job was to lead Israel in righteousness.  That is why I have called this Israel’s sanctification.  --John Woodhouse, 1 Samuel: Looking for  a Leader (Preaching the Word)
·       All four of these towns are located on a heavily trafficked toad known as Central Ridge Route or the “spine” that traverses the hill country north to south from Shechem to Hebron.  NIV Zondervan Study Bible
·       Annually he made the rounds to hold court at Bethel (“House of God”), where judgment must begin; at Gilgal (“rolling”), where Egypt’s reproach was rolled away and the flesh judged (Josh. 5:1-12); and Mizpah (“watch-tower”), higher vigilance was constantly exercised against foes.  Ramah (“heights”), where Samuel had his home, suggests that the great prophet-judge of Israel lived on a high spiritual plane, which is confirmed by his general life and accomplishments. Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament
·       Bethel appears for the first time in Samuel; other occurrences are 10:3; 13:2; 30:27; it does not appear in 2 Samuel.  According to Judg. 20:27, at that time, “the ark of the covenant of God”
·       was there. .  --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
·       Gilgal also appears for the first time in Samuel.  The site is not yet identified.  --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
1 SAMUEL 7:15—DID SAMUEL JUDGE ISRAEL ALL HIS DAYS, OR ONLY UNTIL SAUL WAS ANOINTED KING?
PROBLEM: In this verse, we are informed that “Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” However, Samuel lived after Saul was anointed king (1 Sam. 8:512:125:1).
SOLUTION: Samuel only gave up his civil authority to Saul, not his spiritual authority. Under Israel’s monarch there was a separation of power. Kings were forbidden to perform spiritual functions (cf. 2 Chron. 26:16–23), and the prophets no longer had political authority. Even so, the prophets, with their direct revelations from God, were a continual moral check on those in political power.
This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
http://defendinginerrancy.com/bible-solutions/1_Samuel_7.13.php

16
·       Annually he made the rounds to hold court
at Bethel (“House of God”), where judgment must begin;
at Gilgal (“rolling”), where Egypt’s reproach was rolled away and the flesh judged (Josh. 5:1-12);
and Mizpah (“watch-tower”), higher vigilance was constantly exercised against foes. 
Ramah (“heights”), where Samuel had his home, suggests that the great prophet-judge of Israel lived on a high spiritual plane, which is confirmed by his general life and accomplishments. --Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament
17
·       altar at Ramah. The text does not specify whether this is an altar for sacrifice or a memorial altar (see comment on Josh 22:9–34). If it is an altar for sacrifice, it may be replacing the one that was in Shiloh and had been destroyed by the Philistines.[16]
·       The reference to the altar here is a good background information which anticipates the story of the meeting of Saul and Samuel in 9:11f. .  --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
·       Thus the narrator summarizes Samuel’s era: Israel is secure and stable both externally and internally under the judgeship of Samuel…  Samuel’s annual visit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah from his home town Ramah gave the people confidence that trust in God and in Samuel’s leadership.  In the next episode, however, the readers will know, the people of Israel senselessly request a new institution of kingship, rather than a new judge, despite Samuel’s opposition. --David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel (NICOT)
·       “Ch. 7 is therefore making the claim that even without Saul’s military skills, Samuel was perfectly capable of leading Israel to victory. God was the real author of victory, and he had long ago called Samuel to speak for him and to give Israel whatever guidance was needed. From a human point of view, Samuel became subordinate to Saul once Saul became king. From God’s standpoint, however, it was as if the king was subordinate to the man of God.”  -- David F. Payne“1 and 2 Samuel,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition
“Mothers, did not Hannah do well, do nobly, in dedicating her son to the Lord?  Sons and daughters, was it not a noble and honourable life?  Then go ye and do likewise.  And God be pleased to incline many a heart to the service; a service, which with all its drawbacks, is the hightest and noblest; and which bequeaths so blessed a welcome into the next stage of existence: “Well done, good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” –William Blaikie in The First Book of Samuel (The Perfect Library)


------------------------------------------------------------------------
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rv English Revised Version, 1881.
niv New International Version, 1978.
[1] Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 83–84.
[2] Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975), 27.
[3] Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Jdg 2:13.
rv English Revised Version, 1881.
niv New International Version, 1978.
[4] Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 83–84.
[5] Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975), 28.
[6] David F. Payne, “1 and 2 Samuel,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson et al., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 303.
[7] Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975).
[8] Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 1 Sa 7:6.
[9] Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 1 Sa 7:6.
[10] Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 85.
[11] Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 85.
[12] Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 85.
[13] Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 85.
[14] Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 86.
rsv American Revised Standard Version: Old Testament, 1952; New Testament, 21971.
[15] Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 87.
[16] Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 1 Sa 7:17.
[17] David F. Payne, “1 and 2 Samuel,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson et al., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 303.




[1] Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975), 29.