Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Living Lessons from Dead Kings: Lesson 01 “How to Be a King” Deut. 17.14-20

Lesson 1

In the bad ole days we had to spend big bucks to get even a sparse library to help in our Bible study.  Today there are volumes and volumes of good resources available for free online.  I would encourage you to point that out to your men in the introduction comments. 

When I research for new commentaries, these are the sites I go to.
•    Ligonier Ministries Top Commentaries on Every Book of the Bible
•    Annotated Old Testament Bibliography - 2013
•    Best Commentaries: Reviews and ratings of Biblical, theological, and practical Christian works

If you have money burning a hole in your pocket and want some additional resources, these two look promising.

  • 1 & 2 Chronicles (The NIV Application Commentary), by Andrew E. Hil.  It is one thing to understand what the original author of Chronicles was saying to post-exilic Israel, it is another to understand how the teaching of Chronicles applies to the 21st century church. The strength of the NIV Application series is in bridging the gap between the original audience and today’s audience. Hill accomplishes this goal nicely, resulting in a work that will prove especially valuable for pastors and teachers.
  • 2 Chronicles: An Introduction and Commentary  (The Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries) by Martin Selman  As with many other commentaries in the Tyndale series, Selman’s work is clear and concise without being simplistic. This is a good place to begin for laymen who are looking for a basic introduction to the books.
  • 1 Chronicles by Roddy L. Braun and  2 Chronicles by Raymond B. Dillard (Word Biblical Commentary, 1986, 1987).  Although they are on the more technical side, the commentaries by Braun and Dillard in the Word Biblical Commentary series are indispensable for serious study of the text. Each also offers helpful theological insight, sometimes missing from technical commentaries. The layout of the Word Biblical Commentaries can take some getting used to, but in the case of these two works, it is worth the effort.
There are also helpful links to resource materials in the questions.  I usually link to my preference, the NKJV, but the online Bibles I link to can easily be switched to the version of your choice.

These questions focus on the things that a king of Israel was supposed to and not supposed to do.  It will help to set the template or standard to measure the kings by.  The word study questions is designed to help you zoom in on the specific desired results for the kings (and us).

These requirements for the kings of Israel have applications for us today.  The driving theme should be how we order our world to guide ourselves to walk with the Lord.

     French novelist Alphonse Karr observed that the more things change the more they stay the same. While some of the aspects of Kings and Chronicles were specific to that time, there is a wealth of principles and wisdom that is dynamic and relevant for the twenty-first century.  These men struggled with decisions, influences (good and bad), money, religious compromise, enemies, and shifting world affairs they sometimes had little control over.  Sound familiar?  Let’s search how they handled the stuff of life for lessons we can live by today.
     This year’s study focuses more reading Old Testament narrative and less on exegesis and analysis of details in the text.  While there will be some word study and cross reference questions, most questions will focus on  thinking about inductive observations from the text.  Your focus should be more on reading for the big picture and making connections between the struggles and triumphs of Judah’s kings and your own world.
     Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, Christ expounded in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself to the disciples traveling to Emmaus.  Christ is the center of the Bible .  As we read and reflect, let’s go beyond the moral lessons of the text to see Christ foreshadowed, represented, and at work in history.
     Make use of the links to online resources in the questions as you do these studies.

Free Online Resources:
•    When reading longer passages, many find it helpful to use a more dynamic translation like the NIV84, Living Translation, or NET Bible because they are generally easier to understand. 
•    Great Treasures allows you to see the KJV, NASB, ESV, and NIV84 side by side.  This allows you to read the passage in the more dynamic NIV84 and still have more literal translations there to compare.
•    A synoptic harmony of Chronicles, Kings, Samuel, and other Bible books can be an interesting addition to a study like this. 
The Big Picture:
•    Thomas Constable’s Expository Notes provide a solid commentary on the passages.  They are available as PDF or as part of the NET Bible Learning Environment.
•    The classic work, Bible History: Old Testament, by Alfred Edersheim, provides helpful background on the historical / cultural questions.
The Details:
•    For the times you want to go into more detail, Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament comments in some detail on almost every verse in the O.T.
•    The copious translation notes in the NET Bible have frequent comments on particular issues in almost every verse.
•    Sometimes a Bible Dictionary or Bible encyclopedia like the WebBible Encyclopedia or the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915) can help if you don’t know what an item is or just want more background.
Lesson 01  “How to Be a King” Deut. 17.14-20
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context:  Read Deuteronomy 17.8-8:7 to help establish some context.  Read the passage again in a more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use. 
1.    ID:  (14)  What two requirements were given for selecting a king of Israel?
2.    ID:  (16-17)  What three things was a king prohibited from doing?  What common purpose was there for the three prohibitions?
3.    ID:  (18-19a)  What two things was the king commanded to do? 
4.    ID:  (19b-20)  What were the desired results of obeying those commands?
5.    WS:  Pick one or two of the following words and do a word study.
•    fear / Lev. 19:14; Psa. 139:14; Prov. 3:7
•    observe /  Proverbs 7:1; 10:17;19:16
•    lifted above (haughty) / 2 Sam. 22:28; Prov. 30:13
•    turn aside / Prov. 5:7; 9:16; 13:14; 28:9
•    prolong: / Deut. 5:16; 1 Kings 3:14; Prov. 28:16
The WALK: What should I do?
1.    What are your “horses” (resources like retirement, pay check, insurance, etc.) that you look to for strength, security, and protection? 
2.    How do you make prudent preparations without accumulating so many of own resources that you don’t need the Lord?
3.    Why/how would the king’s wives turn his heart from God?  Can a wife help turn your heart toward God?  How do we maximize the positive influence of our wife?
4.    What was expected of the king in the way of Bible reading?  How does that compare to your normal practice?

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