“The Church Begins” – One Year Bible Reading – June 4

Old Testament:  2 Samuel 22:1-23:23

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2 Samuel 22: 1 – 51   Jumping A Wall In A Single Bound

What is Psalm 18 doing stuck at the end of 2 Samuel?  It is essentially the same as the psalm you will find right after Psalm 17 and before Psalm 19.

It is David’s psalm of thanksgiving to God as he looks back over his life.  God has provided for him and protected him throughout the course of his life.  Technically, it is a royal hymn of thanksgiving.  All of the psalms can be classified by type which is a help to understanding all the psalms and each one individually.  This particular psalm is “royal” because it is kingly in its perspective but also looks ahead to Christ as the King of the earth.  The form is that of a hymn and its content is mainly thanksgiving.

The psalm portrays Yahweh as Rock (v. 2, 3, 32, 46, 47), Fortress (v. 2, 33, 46), (Deliverer, v. 2), Shield (v. 1, 33, 36), Horn of Salvation (v. 3), Refuge (v. 3, 31), and Savior (v. 3).

The Bible is about having a relationship with God through faith.  Those who do not trust Him are ultimately doomed.  Despite all of the troubles that came upon David, the Lord blessed him.  Though David brought many of the troubles upon himself, He remained close to God and though he was scourged, he was blessed.

My favorite portions of this Psalm are verses 26-27 (“With the kind You show Yourself  kind, With the blameless You show Yourself  blameless; With the pure You show Yourself pure, and with the perverted You show Yourself astute”) and verses 30 and 31 (“For by You I can run upon a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him”).

It is a great, encouraging Psalm.  Study it yourself and find own your favorite parts.

2 Samuel 23: 1 – 7  Famous Last Words

David wrote 73 psalms.  But this last one does not appear with the rest.  It is about leadership but much more.  It definitely would be a some type of royal hymn.  It predicts the coming of the Messiah through David (v.   It is an inspired writing as were all David’s psalms (v. 2; cf. Acts 2: 30; 2Pet. 1: 21).  He recounts the covenant Yahweh made with him and his descendants (cf. 2Sam. 7: 15-16).  It is an “everlasting covenant” (v. 5) which can never be broken.  That is what an “everlasting” covenant is.  As we will see in our study in Acts , the church is not Israel and Israel is not the church.  God has made unilateral (one-sided) promises to Abraham, Israel and David that have not been fulfilled and can not be broken.  David does not understand this but is awestruck that God would choose him for such an honor.  The kingdom had been taken from Saul but it will never depart from David and his descendants (2Sam. 7: 15).  Those who are not part of the covenant by faith in Christ, “the worthless” (v. 6), will be throw away like thorns and burned ultimately (v.7).  This psalm covers the entire span of life, from God’s rule to His purpose in salvation (v. 5) to eternal judgment (v. 7).

2 Samuel 23: 8 – 22   Super-men

David had three super-men fighting for him.  Josheb-basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah.  I’m glad I’ve already picked my baby names.  These wouldn’t help.  The first fella killed 800 men in one battle!  That’s a day’s work!

David was thirsty one day so the three of them snuck into the Philistine camp and drew some water from their well.  They snuck back and gave it to David but he poured it on the ground and wouldn’t drink it.  He said they had risked their lives and he couldn’t do it.

We’ve already heard of Abishai.  He didn’t make the cut to be called one of the three but he was honored as if he was.   He led the great thirty warriors that served David.  He was the most honored of the thirty but still not one of the three.

Another runner-up for the “top three” award was Benaiah.  He once killed a lion in a pit in the middle of a snowstorm.  One time he went after an Egyptian with a club, took the spear from the man and killed the guy with his own spear!  He was one of the thirty and David also made him chief of his bodyguards.

New Testament: Acts 2: 1-47

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Acts 2: 1 -13  Drunk On Power

A sound “like” a rushing wind filled the house where the disciples were sitting.  Something “as” tongues of fire lit upon them.  Notice Acts does not say there was an actual wind or actual tongues.  What manifested was “like” and “as” wind and tongues of fire.  All of the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in foreign languages.

The noise drew a crowd of devout Jews from all of the surrounding nations.  Strangely, they were hearing the disciples in their native languages!  Some of them were pure idiots and mockingly accused the disciples of being drunk.  Drunk guys usually speak in foreign languages?  Who was really drunk?

Acts 2: 14 -26  The Church Begins

The Feast of Pentecost had begun, it was the Feast of Pentecost, fifty days after the Feast of First Fruits.  Jesus had predicted that the church would begin in the future (Mt. 16: 18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it,” “will” is future tense).  So the beginning of the church would occur subsequent to Jesus’ remarks.  In Acts 11: 15, Peter says, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as [He did] upon us at the beginning.”  He’s talking about the Holy Spirit coming on the day of Pentecost but what was the “beginning” he was talking about.  The “beginning” of what?  It had to be the beginning of the church that Jesus had predicted in Mt. 16: 18.  The church began on the day of Pentecost and is definitely separate from Israel in the Old Testament.  Something distinctly new was occurring.  We mark it by breaking our Bibles into two sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament!

Peter stood up and said, “You think these men are drunk at 9 in the morning?  Jews did not eat or drink until 10 a.m. on feast days if participating in the Temple.  The prophet Joel prophesied that something like this would happen” (cf. Joel 2: 28-30).  (Peter did not say this was the fulfillment of Joel 2 but only something like it so they shouldn’t be so surprised.)

The actual fulfillment of this prophecy will be in the last days (v. 17, cf. Rev. 6: 12).  Peter was trying to impress the hearers that the phenomena were from God and they should have recognized it as such.  Peter said they had just experienced many miracles done by Jesus and that this was more of the same.  Jesus was handed over to be murdered by godless men but was raised again.  Peter quoted David in Ps. 16: 8-11 that Jesus was not going to be abandoned to a grave (lit. “Hades” (v. 27).  David had died and been buried for quite some time so this must be referring to Jesus.  Peter said there had been plenty of evidence that Jesus had raised from the dead (v. 32).

Peter told his audience that because Jesus had ascended to Heaven, there was this display of the Holy Spirit.  To nail it all down, Peter quoted Psalms again (110) that Yahweh had said to Jesus-Lord God that He was to sit at the place of power at His right hand until all His enemies had been subdued (v. 34-35, cf. Ps. 110: 1).

Peter exhorts his hearers to submit to Jesus as Lord, even though they were responsible for killing Him.

Acts 2: 27 -47  Peter’s Invitation

Many were “pierced to the heart” (v. 37) which was just what the Holy Spirit was trying to do (cf. Jn 16: 8, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”).  They were “under conviction” and asked Peter what they should do.

Peter told them that they would have to change their perspective on things (“repent” = lit. “change of mind,” v. 38).  He told them that they should be baptized as a sign to the world that they had changed and that they would receive the Holy Spirit.  Three thousand took his advice that day and were baptized.  After that they were committed to hearing the apostle’s teaching and getting together with each other.  They also ate together and had long prayer meetings.

These were special times.  Everyone could tell something truly awesome was going on.  Apostles were doing miraculous things to prove that what was going on was from God.  All the disciples sold a lot of what they had and shared everything so no one was in need of housing or food.  It was a great time of worshipping God.  Many new people trusted Christ and entered the fellowship every day.

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