Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Study notes for the Old Testament reading - Sunday July 22nd

Bible Study notes for Sunday July 22nd
(Apologies for the formatting which doesn't seem to have transferred from the original)

2 Samuel 7:1-16
Ephesians 2:11-22
Mark 6:30-34,53-56 (Note - the verses missing from this passage tell of the feeding of the five thousand - which is the set gospel reading in a couple of weeks time, but from John)

(You might like to read all three passages first to get a feel for how they might fit together)
For the sake of time we’ll concentrate just on one of the passages for now, from 2 Samuel

The theme of our worship this week is ‘Making Peace’ - in this passage we see the beginnings of our misunderstanding of Peace, and how a false peace can lead us into deep trouble

Have someone read it through slowly, whilst everyone else listens - (not following in your own bibles) - asking ‘what catches your attention in this passage? Does it leave you with questions?’

[At whatever point you have but a few minutes left for Study, Make sure to leave time at the end to read it through in this way at the end - ‘What is Christ saying to his church in these verses?’ is there a message for us at St John’s? Respond in prayer]


What is the context given to us in the text (vs 1) for this incident in David’s life?

Always it is worthwhile having the whole story in mind - look at 2 Samuel 11.1 - again David is ‘at rest’ - what is the outcome?

Both passages (chapter 7 and 11) speak of David with time on his hands and a wandering mind. He is musing - his intention to build a house for the LORD is not made explicit, but its seeds are in his heart. Is there some kind of warning here?

To come back to the passage for this week What is David’s concern (vs 2)?
Does this seem a reasonable concern to us?
What do you think might be David’s motivations - what feelings might he have which precipitate this incident? (vs 2)

Nathan responds positively to David vs 3 - but the LORD speaks to David through Nathan otherwise, in two parts vvs 5-7 beginning ‘Go and tell my servant David’ and 8-16

vs 5 - David has good intentions, but they are distorted by a poor understanding of the nature of God and his relationship to him. The LORD refers to ‘my servant David’ and then says “are you the one to build a house for me to live in” What does this suggest is the nature of David’s error?

Read verses 6-7 What do the LORD’s words suggest about the nature of God?

[Take a moment to read from Sunday’s Epistle - Ephesians 2-19-22  - what does this passage suggest about the nature of David’s error? (2 Sam 2:6-7)]

David has it in mind to do something for the LORD
Is that what it means to be ‘the servant of the LORD’?

Read Verses 8-16 - what is the highly repetitive element, emphasis of these verses cf  David’s intention alluded to in verse 2?

David has set out with a desire to ‘do something for God’ (Like Martha in the story of Martha and Mary??) A desire perhaps coming from an inner restlessness, or ‘idle hands’?? Yet the whole emphasis of the passage is on what God has done and will do for David. Sit in the quiet with this for a few minutes perhaps - what is it saying to us?

Although we see a sort of fulfilment of the word of the LORD in the life and reign of Solomon, son of David - the critique of David’s intention still holds good. The Word of the LORD is actually fulfilled in Christ. In John 1:14 we read ‘And the Word became flesh, and dwelt amongst us’ - the word in the Greek which we render ‘dwelt’ is in fact Tabernacled. Take time to give thanks to God that he condescends to dwell amongst his people and build us into a dwelling place for his Name, revealed to us in Christ.

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