Adam Osborne dot net My Bible Studies

July 22, 2021


Filed under: Old Testament — Adam Osborne @ 9:51 am

444 B.C.

Nehemiah’s Prayer

The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 

  • Kislev (or Chislev) is the ninth month on the Jewish calendar, counting from Nisan. It is best known for the holiday of Chanukah, which begins on 25 Kislev. 

Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

  • 2 Kings 25:10 The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem.

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said:

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 

  • Daniel 9:4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
  • Exodus 20:6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.

  • 1 Kings 8:28-29 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. 29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.
  • 2 Chronicles 6:40 “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place
  • Daniel 9:17-18 17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.
  • Daniel 9:20 20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill—

We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

  • Psalms 106:6 We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
  • Daniel 9:5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.
  • Deuteronomy 28:15 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 

  • Leviticus 26:33  I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins.
  • Deuteronomy 4:25-27 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you.
  • Deuteronomy 28:64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known.

but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

  • Leviticus 26:39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their ancestors’ sins they will waste away.
  • Deuteronomy 4:29-31 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.
  • Deuteronomy 30:2, 4 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back.

10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 

  • Deuteronomy 9:29 But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.”
  • Daniel 9:15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong.

11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

I was cupbearer to the king.

  • Isaiah 26:8 Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.
  • Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.

June 4, 2016

1 Samuel – start date 6.4.2016

Filed under: Old Testament — Adam Osborne @ 9:43 am

Vernon McGee, The two Books of Samuel are classified as one book in the Jewish canon and should be considered as such. In the Latin Vulgate they are the first of four Books of Kings. Our title identifies the name of Samuel with these first two historical books. This is not because he is the writer, although we do believe that he is the writer of a good portion of it. It is because his story occurs first, and he figures prominently as the one who poured the anointing oil on both Saul and David. Samuel, then, is considered the writer of 1 Samuel up to the twenty–fifth chapter, which records his death. Apparently, Nathan and Gad completed the writing of these books. We learn this from 1 Samuel 10:25 and 1 Chronicles 29:29.

The Books of Samuel contain many familiar features. We read of the rise of the kingdom of Israel. There is also the story of Hannah and her little boy Samuel. Recorded in these books is the story of David and Goliath and the unusual and touching friendship of David and Jonathan. We have the account of King Saul’s visit to the witch of En–dor, and 2 Samuel 7—one of the great chapters of the Word of God—gives us God’s covenant with David. Finally, we have the record of David’s great sin with Bathsheba and of the rebellion of his son Absalom.

In the Book of Judges we find that God used little people, many of whom had some serious fault or defect. Their stories are a great encouragement to those of us today who are little people. However, in 1 and 2 Samuel we meet some really outstanding folk: Hannah, Eli, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David. We will become acquainted with each of them as we go through these books.

There are three subjects that may be considered themes of the Books of 1 and 2 Samuel. Prayer is the first. First Samuel opens with prayer, and 2 Samuel closes with prayer. And there’s a great deal of prayer in between. A second theme is the rise of the kingdom. We have recorded in these books the change in the government of Israel from a theocracy to a kingdom. Of great significance is God’s covenant with David given to us in 2 Samuel 7. We will comment further on the kingdom in a moment. The third theme is the rise of the office of prophet. When Israel was a theocracy, God moved through the priesthood. However, when the priests failed and a king was anointed, God set the priests aside and raised up the prophets as His messengers. We will find that for the nation of Israel this resulted in deterioration rather than improvement.

The rise of the kingdom is of particular importance. First and Second Samuel record the origin of this kingdom, which continues as a very important subject throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The first message of the New Testament was the message of John the Baptist: “… Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). The kingdom of which he spoke is the kingdom of the Old Testament, the kingdom that begins in the Books of Samuel. This kingdom we find has a very historical basis, an earthly origin, and geographical borders. This kingdom has a king, and its subjects are real people.

God’s chosen form of government is a kingdom ruled by a king. Yet to change the form of our government today would not solve our problems. It is not the form that is bad—it is the people connected with it. But a kingdom is God’s ideal, and He intends to put His King on the throne of this earth someday. When Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, rules this world it will be very unlike the job men are doing today. There will be no need for a poverty program, an ecological program, or for moral reforms. Rather, there will be righteousness and peace covering this earth like the waters cover the sea.

In these books the coming millennial Kingdom is foreshadowed in several respects; and in the setting up of the kingdom of Israel we observe three things that our world needs: (1) a king with power who exercises that power in righteousness; (2) a king who will rule in full dependence upon God; and (3) a king who will rule in full obedience to God. The Lord Jesus Christ, the coming King of kings, is the very One the world so desperately needs today.

(McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible Commentary, Vol. 12: 1 & 2 Samuel. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991.)

Notes and Outlines, Vernon McGee,

Dr. J. Vernon McGee

1 & 2 SAMUEL

I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. (Hosea 13:11)

The books of 1 and 2 Samuel give us the origin of the kingdom. The two books of Samuel were classified as one in the Jewish canon. They are the first two of four books of Kings in the Latin Vulgate.

WRITER: The name of Samuel is identified with these two historical books, not because he was the writer primarily, but because his story occurs first and is so prominent. He anointed as king both Saul and David. Samuel is considered the author up to 1 Samuel 25 (his death). Nathan and Gad completed the writing (1 Chronicles 29:29 ASV).


1. The rise of the kingdom.
2. The story of Hannah.
3. The story of little Samuel.
4. The story of David and Goliath.
5. The friendship of David and Jonathan.
6. King Saul’s visit to witch of Endor.
7. God’s covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7.
8. David’s great sin — Bathsheba.
9. David’s rebellious son — Absalom.


Prayer — 1 Samuel opens with prayer; 2 Samuel closes with prayer.

Kingdom — The change of the government from a theocracy to a kingdom; God’s covenant with David.

Prophet — The rise of the office of prophet, who became the messenger of God in place of the priest.

KEY VERSE: 1 Samuel 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

COMMENT: There is a striking contrast between the characters in the Book of Judges and those in the two books of Samuel. The men in Judges seem to be ordinary and average, while here the characters are outstanding and above the average. There are 6 who stand out in 1 Samuel. They are Hannah, Eli, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David. First Samuel is a transitional book from the era of the judges to the kingdom.

The kingdom foreshadows the coming millennial kingdom in some respects. There are certain profound global lessons for us in the setting up of the kingdom.

The world needs:
1. A king with power who exercises his power righteously;
2. A king who will be in full dependence upon God and who can be
trusted with power; and
3. A king who is in full obedience to God.

1 Samuel 15:22 — Samuel’s word about obedience

1 Samuel 25:29 — Abigail’s word about David’s relationship to God

2 Samuel 3:33 — Abner’s epitaph

2 Samuel 7 — God’s covenant with David (note the 7 “I wills”)

2 Samuel 18:33 — David’s grief over Absalom

2 Samuel 22 — Song of David (Psalm 18)

2 Samuel 24:24 — David’s rebuke against a cheap religion

I. SAMUEL: God’s prophet, priest, and judge, Chapters 1 — 8

Chapter 1

Chapter 1 — This First Book of Samuel opens with a cry of a godly woman. While the people cry for a king, Hannah cries for a child. God builds the throne on a woman’s cry. When woman takes her exalted place, God builds her a throne.

Eli, the high priest, thinks Hannah is drunk as she prays before the tabernacle in Shiloh. When he discovers her true anxiety is for a child, he blesses her. Samuel is born to Hannah and she brings him to Eli in fulfillment of her vow.


The Birth of Samuel

1Sa 1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

Ramathaimzophim: This ancient town, now called Ramla, is, according to Phocas, about thirty-six miles west of Jerusalem, and, according to modern travellers, about nine miles from Joppa and a league from Lydda, between which it is situated. It is built on a rising ground, on a rich plain, and contains about two thousand families. 1Sa 1:19; Mat 27:57, Arimathea

1Sa 1:2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Vernon McGee: this scripture does not mean God approves on a man having two wives. This just means that it is recorded. God disapproved/disapproves of having more than one wife.

LifeWay Explore the Bible: Since Peninnah was the second wife (1:2), and since the text tells us that Elkanah, the husband of the two women, loved Hannah (v. 5), we can assume that Elkanah took Peninnah as a second wife only after a number of years of trying and failing to have a son by Hannah. In ancient Israel, people believed it was essential for every landowning man to father a son to whom he could pass the property. The land was considered to be inalienable from the family that owned it. If the family fell into debt and had to sell the land, it was to be returned to them free of charge in the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:25-28). If a man died without having fathered a son, it was the duty of a near relative, usually a brother of the deceased, to father a son by the man’s widow (Deut. 25:5-10). The child would be considered the son of the deceased man, and thus the property would continue to be held by his legal (albeit not biological) descendants. In light of these customs and laws, the taking of a second wife was not an indulgence or something done on a whim. For Elkanah, a son was an absolute necessity.

1Sa 1:3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.

It will become more obvious as to why Samuel mentions the two sons of Eli here in this scripture.

yearly….Exodus 34:23 (KJV) Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.

1Sa 1:4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

offered….Leviticus 7:15 (KJV) And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

1Sa 1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

worthy portion: means he gave her “more” than the others….because he loved her more.

worthy portion…The Hebrew phrase, manah achath appayim…meaning “double portion.

1Sa 1:6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.

adversary: tsaw-raw’

Feminine of H6862; tightness (that is, figuratively trouble); transitively a female rival: – adversary, adversity, affliction, anguish, distress, tribulation, trouble.


A primitive root; to trouble; by implication to grieve, rage, be indignant: – be angry, be grieved, take indignation, provoke (to anger, unto wrath), have sorrow, vex, be wroth.

Why does Samuel describe the other wife as her adversary? Probably because there were family problems within the family. Vernon McGee points out that God does not approve of two wives, so this man and family were having problems.

1Sa 1:7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

1Sa 1:8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

1Sa 1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.
1Sa 1:10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

post: mez-oo-zaw’, mez-oo-zaw’

From the same as H2123; a door post (as prominent): – (door, side) post.

1Sa 1:11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

vowed: naw-dar’

A primitive root; to promise (positively, to do or give something to God): – (make a) vow.

LifeWay Explore the Bible: Hannah promised that if God gave her a son, she would give him up to God so that he could perpetually be a Nazirite. In ancient Israel, any man could take a Nazirite vow. The rules for the Nazirites are found in Numbers 6:1-21 and Amos 2:11-12.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5: “When you make a vow to God, don’t delay ful lling it, because He does not delight in fools. Fulfill what you vow. Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not ful ll it.”

1Sa 1:12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.

marked her mouth: shaw-mar’

A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.: – beware, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep (-er, self), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch (-man).

Eli marked her mouth. He was trying to read her lips. But her voice was quiet, she was moving her lips but not making any voice or noise.

1Sa 1:13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

Eli had seen other people there who had been drunk. This place wasn’t always the best place to be.

1Sa 1:14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

wine: yah’-yin

From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication: – banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].

1Sa 1:15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.

my lord: ‘âdôn ‘âdôn

aw-done’, aw-done’

From an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine): – lord, master, owner. Compare also names beginning with “Adoni-”.

1Sa 1:16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.

handmaid: ‘âmâh


Apparently a primitive word; a maidservant or female slave: – (hand-) bondmaid (-woman,) maid (-servant).

daughter of Belial: belı̂ya‛al


without profit, worthlessness; by extension destruction, wickedness (often in connection with H376, H802, H1121, etc.): – Belial, evil, naughty, ungodly (men), wicked.

complaint: śı̂yach


From H7878; a contemplation; by implication an utterance: – babbling, communication, complaint, meditation, prayer, talk.

1Sa 1:17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.

the God of Israel: ‘ĕlôhı̂ym


Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

1Sa 1:18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

1Sa 1:19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.

worshipped: shâchâh


A primitive root; to depress, that is, prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): – bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.

1Sa 1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.

Samuel: shemû’êl


heard of God; Shemuel, the name of three Israelites: – Samuel, Shemuel.

Vernon McGee: This book opens with a woman crying, and a nation crying for a King. God answers both.

Samuel Given to the Lord

1Sa 1:21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.

offer: zâbach


A primitive root; to slaughter an animal (usually in sacrifice): – kill, offer, (do) sacrifice, slay.

1Sa 1:22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.

the Lord: yehôvâh


From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord.

1Sa 1:23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.

1Sa 1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.

three bullocks: The LXX, Syriac, and Arabic, read “a bullock of three years old;” which is probably correct, as we read (1Sa 1:25) that they sleweth happar, “the bullock.”

1Sa 1:25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.

1Sa 1:26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

1Sa 1:27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
1Sa 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

She kept her vow to God. She brought him to the Lord.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 — Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving is prophetic, as she mentions the Messiah for the first time (v. 10).

Eli’s sons are evil and not fit for the priests’ office.
An unnamed prophet warns Eli that his line will be cut off as high priest and that God will raise up a faithful priest (v. 35). Notice verse 26 — spoken only of Samuel and Jesus.

Hannah’s Prayer

1Sa 2:1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

horn = strength. Something to hold on to!

1Sa 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

rock: in the old testament, God is frequently referenced as a rock.

1Sa 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
1Sa 2:4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
1Sa 2:5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
1Sa 2:6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.

The whole thought here is that the Lord is the giver of life. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

1Sa 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
1Sa 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.
1Sa 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
1Sa 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

anointed = The Hebrew word Messiah. This is the first mention of the word Messiah.

1Sa 2:11 And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest.

LifeWay Explore the Bible: SUMMARIZE: Hannah shared her burden with the Lord. She acknowledged God when He answered her prayer, and she was faithful to her commitment to the Lord.

Eli’s Worthless Sons

1Sa 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

sons of Belial = sons of the devil, they were not saved.

1Sa 2:13 And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;
1Sa 2:14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
1Sa 2:15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
1Sa 2:16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
1Sa 2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

These two men were not offering the sacrifice to the Lord. They were keeping it.

1Sa 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
1Sa 2:19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
1Sa 2:20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home.
1Sa 2:21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

Eli Rebukes His Sons

1Sa 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
1Sa 2:23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
1Sa 2:24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress.
1Sa 2:25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.
1Sa 2:26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.

Chapter 3
Chapter 3 — The story of the call of Samuel as a prophet-priest is ordinarily reserved for children. It is not only for the junior, but for the senior. Bring it out of the nursery and into the adult department, for it is not only a beautiful story but marks one of the great transitional periods in Scripture — the change from theocracy to monarchy, from priest to king. God spoke to a king through prophets. Samuel was not a wee child. Josephus says he was 12 years old (2:18 gives the wrong impression). Solomon was a grown man when he prayed, “I am but a little child” (1 Kings 3:7). Jeremiah was called to prophetic office when he wrote, “I am a child” (Jeremiah 1:6).

There were a total of 4 calls to Samuel: first and second were the call of God to salvation (v. 7); the last 2 calls were to service (v. 10).

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 — Israel, without consulting Samuel, goes out to battle against the Philistines — which leads to defeat. Then they bring the ark of the covenant into battle, thinking its presence will bring victory. This reveals the superstitious paganism of the people who thought there was some merit in an object. The merit was in the presence and person of God.

Verse 5 reveals gross idolatry.

Verses 6 through 8 show that the Philistines were both superstitious and ignorant.

Verse 10 tells Israel’s defeat again. The ark is captured.

Verse 18 — The capture of the ark causes Eli to collapse and fall backward, breaking his neck (he was a fat man).

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 — The captured ark is placed in the house of Dagon, idol of the Philistines. The idol falls over and breaks. In fear, they send the ark to Gath where it is then transferred to Ekron.

1 Samuel 5

The Philistines and the Ark

1Sa 5:1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.
1Sa 5:2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
1Sa 5:3 And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.
1Sa 5:4 And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.
1Sa 5:5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.

  • When the arc of the covenent had been taken by the Philistines, they had placed it “into the house of Dagon”. Dagon was the Philistine God.
  • The Lord “face-planted” Dagon first, then the next night, the Lord beheaded the Dagon symbol and also cut off it’s arm.
  • See Exodus 25:10-22 for the description of the Arc of the Covenant.
  • See Numbers 7:89

1Sa 5:6 But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.
1Sa 5:7 And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.
1Sa 5:8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither.
1Sa 5:9 And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.
1Sa 5:10 Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.
1Sa 5:11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
1Sa 5:12 And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

  • The hand of God was heavy against the Philistines.
  • If used in the proper manner, God’s GLORY can be awesome for us. If used in the improper manner, God’s GLORY can be bad, even hazardous to us.
  • In the Old Testament, the Glory of God was represented by the Arc of the Covenant. In the New Testament, the Glory of God has moved into the HEART of the believer.

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 — Philistines return the ark to Israel, carried on a cart, to the field of Joshua at Bethshemesh. The ark is transferred to Kirjath jearim.

The Ark Returned to Israel

1Sa 6:1 And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months.
1Sa 6:2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place.
1Sa 6:3 And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.
1Sa 6:4 Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.
1Sa 6:5 Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.
1Sa 6:6 Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?
1Sa 6:7 Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:
1Sa 6:8 And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go.
1Sa 6:9 And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us.
1Sa 6:10 And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:
1Sa 6:11 And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods.
1Sa 6:12 And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh.
1Sa 6:13 And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
1Sa 6:14 And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD.
1Sa 6:15 And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD.
1Sa 6:16 And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

  • Notice the Jews did not take vengence upon the Philistines for taking the arc. In the New Testament, Paul tells us to not take vengence, and leave all vengence to God.

1Sa 6:16 And when the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron.

  • The Philistines saw how the Jews worshipped God. We should also set a good example for others to follow.

1Sa 6:17 And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;
1Sa 6:18 And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.
1Sa 6:19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.
1Sa 6:20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?
1Sa 6:21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and fetch it up to you.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 — After 20 years Israel prepares to receive the ark. Israel turns from Baalim and Ashtaroth to serve the Lord (v. 4).
After Israel’s victory over the Philistines, Samuel sets up a stone at Ebenezer, which means “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”

Verses 15 through 17 give Samuel’s extensive ministry as prophet, priest, and judge.

Chapter 8

Chapter 8 — Hosea 13:11 can be written over the remainder of 1 Samuel:
I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my
Samuel made the mistake of making his own sons judges to succeed him. They were wholly unworthy and incompetent (v. 3). Samuel was a failure as a father.
Israel demanded a king and rejected God and Samuel. Israel was influenced by surrounding nations.

Mark Dooley, 1 Samuel , Sunday School, Sunday June 26th, 2016.

Samuel was the last of the Judges. Hanna did something that we would think as odd. She couldn’t have children, she cried to God for a child, God gave her the child, then she gave the child to God. Later, Samuel became prophet and priest.

The request for a King, shows that the people do not trust God, they wanted an earthly King, a protector. This was prophesized earlier in the Old Testament. Deut 17, 14-20.

Deut 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
Deu 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
Deu 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
Deu 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Deu 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

The people wanted a King, one of the reason was because they did NOT want Samuel’s two wicked sons to rule Israel.

Israel Demands a King

1Sa 8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
1Sa 8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.

Both of Samuel’s sons names were significant. Both names were in reference to God, Jehova.

1Sa 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
1Sa 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

1Sa 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
1Sa 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
1Sa 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

The people rejected God, not Samuel. Think about that! However, we too reject God, just like Israre’s people did. Everytime we sin we reject God. We are no different. We are the rejector!

Slipping away from God is “gradual”, not immediate. One day we sleep in instead of going to church, or one day we don’t say prayers or have a quiet time. Eventually, things start to slip more and more, it make takes years, little by little. That is the nature of slipping. That is why we as a church body need to be concerned about each other. The bible says bear each others burdeons. There is noone who is exempt. Anyone can slip away. So, stay in the Word, stay close to the fellowship.

1Sa 8:9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

Samuel’s Warning Against Kings

1Sa 8:10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
1Sa 8:11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
1Sa 8:12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
1Sa 8:13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
1Sa 8:14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
1Sa 8:15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
1Sa 8:16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
1Sa 8:17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
1Sa 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

Samuel outlines what having a king will mean to the nation. It’s not going to be pretty, but if you want a kind, it’s going to happen.

The Lord Grants Israel’s Request

1Sa 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
1Sa 8:20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

Verse 20, there’s the REAL reason they want a king. “Then we will be like other nations.” At this time, remember, all the other nations were idolatrous.

1Sa 8:21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
1Sa 8:22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

1 Timothy chapter 2: 1-4 1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Our Ultimate King is God. BUT, we are called to pray for our leaders. Could it be that sometimes our leaders do NOT make good decisions, because we are not praying for our leaders like the bible has commanded us to do? Are we reaping what we are sowing because we have not followed God’s Word?

II. SAUL: Satan’s man, Chapters 9 — 15

Chapter 9

Chapter 9 — The people chose Saul. He looked like a king (v. 2). God granted their request but sent leanness to their souls (v. 17). Is Saul (v. 21) genuinely humble?

Chapter 10

Chapter 10 — Samuel anoints Saul king (v. 1). Was Saul (v. 6) converted? This verse is not the final proof. The Spirit of God came upon Balaam also, but he was not converted. Succeeding events in Saul’s life indicate that he was not. Verse 9 does not mean he had a new heart, only another heart. God equipped him for the office of king.
The reception of Saul as king was their rejection of God (v. 19). Saul’s conduct (v. 22) is evidence of a false modesty. Verse 25 gives the message of 1 Samuel.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 — Saul began well, as he gained a victory over the Ammonites at Jabesh-gilead. All Israel accepted Saul as king (v. 15).

Chapter 12
Chapter 12 — Samuel transfers all authority to Saul and turns in his report as judge over Israel. Verse 3 is Samuel’s autobiography — he was a remarkable man. Although Saul was Israel’s choice (v. 13), God would still bless if the people would obey (v. 14). The people begin to see and acknowledge their mistake (v. 19). Verse 22 is the revelation of the marvelous grace of God.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 — The real nature of Saul begins to show. His son Jonathan got the victory at Michmash, but Saul blew the trumpet and took credit for it (vs. 3, 4). In presumption Saul intrudes into the priest’s office (vs. 8-10). Samuel rebukes and rejects Saul (vs. 13, 14). The disarmament of Israel is revealed (vs. 19, 22).

Samuel Chapter 13

Saul Fights the Philistines

1Sa 13:1 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,

1Sa 13:2 Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

1Sa 13:3 And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear.

1Sa 13:4 And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal.

1Sa 13:5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven.

1Sa 13:6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits.
1Sa 13:7 And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
Saul’s Unlawful Sacrifice

1Sa 13:8 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.

1Sa 13:9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.

1Sa 13:10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.

1Sa 13:11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

1Sa 13:12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.

1Sa 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.

1Sa 13:14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.

1Sa 13:15 And Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about six hundred men.

1Sa 13:16 And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.

1Sa 13:17 And the spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned unto the way that leadeth to Ophrah, unto the land of Shual:

1Sa 13:18 And another company turned the way to Bethhoron: and another company turned to the way of the border that looketh to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.

1Sa 13:19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:

1Sa 13:20 But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock.

1Sa 13:21 Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads.

1Sa 13:22 So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.

1Sa 13:23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Mishmash.

Chapter 14

Chapter 14 — Again Jonathan gains a victory, but Saul takes credit for it (vs. 14, 15). “Saul took credit for victory…modesty gone now” (Young). Saul’s jealousy is revealed (vs. 37-45). He actually would destroy his son if he stood in the way.

1 Samuel 14

Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

1Sa 14:1 Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.

1Sa 14:2 And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men;

1Sa 14:3 And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD’S priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.

1Sa 14:4 And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.

1Sa 14:5 The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.

1Sa 14:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.

1Sa 14:7 And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.

1Sa 14:8 Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them.

1Sa 14:9 If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them.

1Sa 14:10 But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the LORD hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.

1Sa 14:11 And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.

1Sa 14:12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the LORD hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.

1Sa 14:13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.

1Sa 14:14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.

1Sa 14:15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.

1Sa 14:16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another.

1Sa 14:17 Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there.

1Sa 14:18 And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel.

1Sa 14:19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand.

1Sa 14:20 And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture.

1Sa 14:21 Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan.

1Sa 14:22 Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle.

1Sa 14:23 So the LORD saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Bethaven.

Saul’s Rash Vow

1Sa 14:24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.

1Sa 14:25 And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground.

1Sa 14:26 And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath.

1Sa 14:27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.

1Sa 14:28 Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.

1Sa 14:29 Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.

my eyes have been enlightened: see how bright my eyes are now that I have had a little bit of this honey. Or see how much better I feel now that I have had a little of this honey.

1Sa 14:30 How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?

1Sa 14:31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint.

1Sa 14:32 And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.

did eat them with the blood: they were starving, and when the oath was over, they quickly ate the food without doing the normal jewish routine that was normally performed.

1Sa 14:33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day.

1Sa 14:34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the LORD in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there.

1Sa 14:35 And Saul built an altar unto the LORD: the same was the first altar that he built unto the LORD.

1Sa 14:36 And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God.

1Sa 14:37 And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day.

1Sa 14:38 And Saul said, Draw ye near hither, all the chief of the people: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day.

1Sa 14:39 For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.

1Sa 14:40 Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee.

1Sa 14:41 Therefore Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel, Give a perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.

1Sa 14:42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.

1Sa 14:43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die.

1Sa 14:44 And Saul answered, God do so and more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.

1Sa 14:45 And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.

1Sa 14:46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.

Saul Fights Israel’s Enemies

1Sa 14:47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them.

1Sa 14:48 And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.

1Sa 14:49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchishua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal:

1Sa 14:50 And the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the captain of his host was Abner, the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle.

1Sa 14:51 And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

1Sa 14:52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.

Chapter 15

Chapter 15 — Saul’s glaring rebellion is revealed in his disobedience regarding Agag. He wants to cover up his sin before the people (v. 30). Saul is rejected now as king with no hope of recovery (v. 35). Samuel loved Saul for he mourned for him. Was he Samuel’s choice? A great spiritual principle is enunciated by Samuel (vs. 22, 23).

God has given Saul an opportunity to make good after his first failure, but he failed the second time. This is God’s method all the way through Scripture (cf. Jacob, Jonah, Peter, Mark, etc.). God did not need to wait for the result — He already knew. However, the individual needed to know, and we need to know (Psalm 51:4; Romans 3:19; Revelation 15:3). We shall be tested, and we need the help of the Holy Spirit (James 1:12).
Why the extreme surgery in slaying the Amalekites and Agag? Move ahead about 500 years. Haman was an Agagite (Esther 3:1). God was protecting multitudes of the future, as He did at the Flood.

1 Samuel Chapter 15

The Lord Rejects Saul

1Sa 15:1 Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.

1Sa 15:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

1Sa 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

1Sa 15:4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.

1Sa 15:5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.

1Sa 15:6 And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

1Sa 15:7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.

1Sa 15:8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

1Sa 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

1Sa 15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

1Sa 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

1Sa 15:12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.

1Sa 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.

1Sa 15:14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

1Sa 15:15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

1Sa 15:16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.

1Sa 15:17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

1Sa 15:18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

1Sa 15:19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

1Sa 15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

1Sa 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

1Sa 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

1Sa 15:25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

1Sa 15:26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

1Sa 15:27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.

1Sa 15:28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

1Sa 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.

1Sa 15:30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.

1Sa 15:31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

1Sa 15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.

1Sa 15:33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

1Sa 15:34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

1Sa 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

III. DAVID: Gods man, and SAUL: Satans man, Chapters 16 — 31
Chapter 16

Chapter 16 = God chooses David as king to succeed Saul and sends Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint him as king. Another great principle is enunciated (v. 7). This is Gods method of choosing men for a particular office and task. Because Saul is forsaken of God (v. 14), David is brought into court to play upon his harp to soothe the evil spir- it of Saul.

David Anointed King

1Sa 16:1 The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”
1Sa 16:2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’

1Sa 16:3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.”
1Sa 16:4 Samuel did what the LORD commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?”

Prophets so often brought bad news with them, messages of doom and judgment, and people preferred not to see them at all. When Elijah turned up at the court of Ahab, he received the greeting, “Is that you, you destroyer of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17). Also, remember that Samuel was a Judge over Isreael, not just a prophet.

1Sa 16:5 And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
1Sa 16:6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.”
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

1Sa 16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”
1Sa 16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”
1Sa 16:10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.”
1Sa 16:11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.”
1Sa 16:12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”

ruddy = glowing, healthy, redish. Esau was also ruddy.

The main point here is this….”GOD” selected David, not Samuel. Samuel was merely an agent being used by God to identify the next King.

1Sa 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David = supernatural evidence of God’s will being accomplished.

In earlier times, the Spirit came upon various judges, including Othniel (Judg. 3:10), Gideon (Judg. 6:34), Jephthah (Judg. 11:29), and Samson (Judg. 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14). In every case, the Spirit enabled the judge to overcome his enemies or some immediate danger.

Apart from Saul and David, the Bible never says that the Spirit came upon any king of Israel or Judah. In other places in the historical narrative, the Spirit of God comes upon prophets (1 Kings 18:12; 2 Kings 2:16; 2 Chron. 15:1; 20:13-15; 24:20).

David in Saul’s Service

1Sa 16:14 Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him.

Immediately after Samuel anointed David and the Spirit came upon him, the Spirit abandoned Saul (see 1 Sam. 16:14). Later, however, Saul prophesied again by the power of the Spirit (19:23). David, after his sin involving Bathsheba, was fearful that God would take away His Spirit (Ps. 51:11). us, it appears that the Spirit could come and go in the lives of kings. is is analogous to what we see in Samson, whom the Lord abandoned (Judg. 16:20), but later strengthened (Judg. 16:28-30).

In the New Testament, the Spirit dwells within believers primarily for their sanctification (Rom. 8; 1 Cor. 6:18-20; Gal. 5:22). Even the gifts of the Spirit are primarily for the edification of the church, and they were given to all rather than to a select few (1 Cor. 12:8-13). Paul indicated that believers can grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:30), but he does not say that the Spirit might abandon us.

1Sa 16:15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you.
1Sa 16:16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.”
1Sa 16:17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.”
1Sa 16:18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.”

Not a coincidence. God had things in control and was accomplishing his ultimate will. David is now in the throne room where he will learn, and the people will learn about David.

1Sa 16:19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”
1Sa 16:20 And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul.
1Sa 16:21 And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer.
1Sa 16:22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.”
1Sa 16:23 And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

Chapter 17

Chapter 17 — This chapter contains the familiar episode of David slaying Goliath with a slingshot. Why did David take 5 smooth stones to slay Goliath (v. 40)? Did he expect to miss? No, Goliath had 4 sons, and David expected them to come out also. In fact, he did slay them (2 Samuel 21:22); David did not expect to miss (Judges 20:16).

David and Goliath

1Sa 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.
1Sa 17:2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines.
1Sa 17:3 And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.
1Sa 17:4 And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
1Sa 17:5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.
1Sa 17:6 And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders.
1Sa 17:7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him.
1Sa 17:8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.
1Sa 17:9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”
1Sa 17:10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.”
1Sa 17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
1Sa 17:12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years.
1Sa 17:13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
1Sa 17:14 David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul,
1Sa 17:15 but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
1Sa 17:16 For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.
1Sa 17:17 And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers.
1Sa 17:18 Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.”
1Sa 17:19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
1Sa 17:20 And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry.
1Sa 17:21 And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army.
1Sa 17:22 And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers.
1Sa 17:23 As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.
1Sa 17:24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid.
1Sa 17:25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.”
1Sa 17:26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
1Sa 17:27 And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”
1Sa 17:28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”
1Sa 17:29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?”
1Sa 17:30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.
1Sa 17:31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him.

1Sa 17:32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
1Sa 17:33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.”
1Sa 17:34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock,
1Sa 17:35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him.
1Sa 17:36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”
1Sa 17:37 And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”

David had learned that God would use David’s life experiences to help deliver him from the Philistine. Also, David knew that Samuel had anointed him as the future King of Israel. David knew that God had plans for him, and David knew that God is in control of all.

1Sa 17:38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail,
1Sa 17:39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off.
1Sa 17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
1Sa 17:41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him.
1Sa 17:42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance.
1Sa 17:43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
1Sa 17:44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.”
1Sa 17:45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
1Sa 17:46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,
1Sa 17:47 and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
1Sa 17:48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.
1Sa 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
1Sa 17:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David.
1Sa 17:51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
1Sa 17:52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron.
1Sa 17:53 And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp.
1Sa 17:54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.
1Sa 17:55 As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.”
1Sa 17:56 And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.”
1Sa 17:57 And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
1Sa 17:58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

Chapter 18

Chapter 18 — David and Jonathan become fast friends, and they make a covenant for life. Saul becomes jealous of David because of the people’s applause (vs. 8, 9) and twice attempts to slay him. David becomes the favorite of the people (v. 16). Saul gives his daughter Michal to David as wife in order to trap David.


Chapter 19 — Saul openly attempts to have David slain; he personally attempts to slay him with a javelin as David plays upon his harp (vs. 9, 10). David escapes and becomes as a hunted animal.

Chapter 20

Chapter 20 — Jonathan proves his love for David by protecting him (vs. 16, 17). Jonathan communicates with David the intentions of Saul by means of the shooting of arrows. Saul determines to kill David,
and David flees.

Chapter 21

Chapter 21 — David flees to Ahimelech the priest and feeds his young men with the showbread from the holy place. Then David flees to Achish, king of Gath, in Philistine country.

Chapter 22

Chapter 22 — David begins to gather his mighty men. Those who came to him were in dire need — in distress, in debt, and discontented. David is hunted as a criminal. Saul slays Ahimelech and the other priests for helping David (vs. 16-23).

David at the Cave of Adullam

1Sa 22:1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him.
1Sa 22:2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
1Sa 22:3 And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me.

Moab: Saul was fighting with the Moabites. David took his parents to Moab because David’s grandmother was RUTH, who was in Moab.

1Sa 22:4 And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold.
1Sa 22:5 And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.

Saul Kills the Priests at Nob

1Sa 22:6 When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him;)
1Sa 22:7 Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds;
1Sa 22:8 That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

Saul is whining here; he is having a pity-party. But notice, David also has pity-parties. But the difference is quite noticable. When Saul whines, he takes it out on his people. But when David has a pity-party, he cries out to the Lord. Just read the Psalms, you will see how differently David reacts and how Saul reacts. See Psalm 34 and 57.

1Sa 22:9 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
1Sa 22:10 And he enquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.
1Sa 22:11 Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king.
1Sa 22:12 And Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord.
1Sa 22:13 And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast enquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?
1Sa 22:14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king’s son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?
1Sa 22:15 Did I then begin to enquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.
1Sa 22:16 And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father’s house.
1Sa 22:17 And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.
1Sa 22:18 And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.

This priest was a grandson of Eli. Remember in 1 Samuel 4, it was prophesized that Eli and his family line would be removed.

1Sa 22:19 And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.
1Sa 22:20 And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David.
1Sa 22:21 And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the LORD’S priests.
1Sa 22:22 And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father’s house.
1Sa 22:23 Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.

Chapter 23

Chapter 23 — David continues to flee with 600 men (v. 13). Jonathan contacts David and recognizes that David will be the next king (vs. 16, 17). Jonathan is a great man, and his attitude and action remind us of John the Baptist.

Chapter 24

Chapter 24 — David spares Saul’s life at Engedi because he honors his office, not the man (v. 6).

Chapter 25

Chapter 25 — Death of Samuel in his retirement. David encoun- ters Nabal and Abigail. David in anger is prevented from the rash act of murdering Nabal and his servants by the presence and diplomacy of Abigail, Nabal’s beautiful wife. Nabal dies after a night of drunkenness, and David takes Abigail as wife. She was a good influence in the life of David (vs. 29, 32-34).

Chapter 26

Chapter 26 — David again spares Saul in the wilderness of Ziph. Note the contrast between Saul and David. Obviously, Saul knows that David is God’s choice, but he seeks to slay him (v. 25). David recognizes that Saul is the anointed king, and he spares him. God must deal with Saul (vs. 9-11). Is David being sarcastic with Abner (v. 15)?

Chapter 27

Chapter 27 — David in fear retreats to Philistia (v. 1). Achish of Gath gives David and his men the city of Ziklag.

Chapter 28

Chapter 28 — Saul’s interview with the witch of Endor poses and provokes many questions. The primary one relates to Samuel. Did she bring Samuel back from the dead? If so, this is the only instance in Scripture. Scripture positively condemns such practices of necromancy (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). The New Testament account of Lazarus and a rich man indicates there can be no return (Luke 16:19-31). Paul was silenced about his experience of being caught up to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). Scripture warns of these practices and predicts a future outbreak (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; Revelation 16:13, 14).
Saul was abandoned of God (vs. 6, 15). Because heaven was silent, Saul turned to hell. We maintain that Samuel did not appear. There are 2 possible explanations: (1) It was a fraud, the witch was a ventriloquist (this is the position of G. Campbell Morgan); (2) an overweening desire to communicate with dead loved ones makes people victims of deceit. We believe a false spirit appeared — not Samuel. Even the witch was deceived and frightened (vs. 12-15). The false spirit communicated nothing that was not previously revealed.

Chapter 29

Chapter 29 — The Philistines do not trust David to fight against Israel.

Chapter 30

Chapter 30 — David fights against the Amalekites because of destruction of Ziklag. Note David’s refuge (v. 6).

Chapter 31

Chapter 31 — Saul, mortally wounded in battle, tries to commit suicide. See 2 Samuel, chapter 1, for the answer to the question: “Who killed King Saul?”

Saul failed in ruling God’s property.
The end is self-destruction.
God and His authority are rejected.
Saul spared the Amalekites; Saul was killed by Amalekites.

I. SAMUEL: God’s prophet, priest, and judge, Chapters 1 — 8
A. Birth of Samuel, Chapters 1, 2
1. Hannah’s prayer and answer, 1
2. Hannah’s prophetic prayer; boy Samuel in temple, 2
B. Call of Samuel, Chapter 3
C. Lastjudgeandfirstprophet(propheticoffice),Chapters4—8
1. Ark captured by Philistines; Word of God to Samuel fulfilled;
Eli dies and his sons slain, 4
2. God judged Philistines because of the ark; ark returned to
Bethshemesh, 5, 6
3. Samuel leads in revival (put away idols and turn to Jehovah);
victory at Ebenezer, 7
4. Israel rejects God and demands a king; Samuel warns
nation but promises a king, 8

II. SAUL: Satan’s man, Chapters 9 — 15
A. Saul received, Chapters 9, 10 1. Saul chosen as king, 9
2. Saul anointed as king, 10
B. Saul reigning, Chapters 11, 12
1. Saul’s victory over Ammonites, 11
2. Transfer of authority from Samuel to Saul, 12
C. Saul rejected, Chapters 13 — 15
1. Saul’s rebellion against God, 13
2. Jonathan responsible for victory over Philistines; Saul
took credit, 14
3. Saul’s glaring rebellion and disobedience regarding
Agag, 15

III. DAVID: God’s man, and SAUL: Satan’s man, Chapters 16 — 31
A. David anointed, Chapter 16
B. Davidtrained,Chapters17,18
1. David slays Goliath, giant of Gath, 17
2. JonathanandDavidmakecovenant;Saulgivesdaughter
Michal to David, 18
C. David disciplined, Chapters 19 — 30
1. Saul attempts to kill David again, 19
2. Jonathan helps David escape, 20
3. David escapes to Nob and Gath, 21
4. David gathers his men; Saul slays priests of God, 22
5. David fights Philistines; Saul pursues David; Jonathan
and David make covenant, 23
6. David spares Saul’s life at En-gedi, 24
7. Samuel dies; David and Abigail, 25
8. David again spares Saul’s life in wilderness of Ziph, 26
9. David retreats to land of Philistia (Ziklag), 27
10. Saul goes to witch of Endor, 28
11. Philistines do not trust David in battle, 29
12. David fights Amalekites because of destruction of
Ziklag, 30
D. Saul, mortally wounded in battle, commits suicide,
Chapter 31

January 2, 2006

Ecclesiastes – updated 4.14.2016

Filed under: Bible Studies,Old Testament — Adam Osborne @ 8:35 pm

Chapter 6

Taught on 16 October 2005

Leonardtown Baptist Church

This chapter concludes Solomon’s pursuit and enjoyment of wealth in his search for satisfaction.

INTRO: From Ray Stedman’s commentary.

… We are all facing to one degree or another some sort of hard times ahead. That makes everyone’s heart sink a little; we tend to react emotionally to these circumstances.

Yet our view of life may be so distorted that if hard times actually do come to us they may be the best years of our lives. That is what the Searcher (Solomon) tells us this morning in the passage in Ecclesiastes 6, where he declares that things are not what they seem to be. We think life is one way and it turns out to be something quite different. The thesis of our passage this morning is that we may be reading everything that is happening to us entirely wrong.

In Chapter 6, the Searcher of Israel, says that prosperity may not always be good; and in the first fourteen verses of Chapter 7 he takes up the opposite and accompanying truth — that adversity may not always be bad. What we need, of course, is a true view of good and evil: how to tell good when it is good, and how to recognize evil for what it is. We would save ourselves much heartache if we could do that. The wonderful thing about Scripture is that it does just that. The Searcher here gives us the true view of good and evil.

SHEPHERD NOTES: In verses 1 through 6, the Teacher described a hypothetical person who is superrich by the standards of the ancient world. He had money, things, honor among people, and a hundred children. More than that, he lived 2000 years! For the ancient Israelite, wealth, children and long life were the STANDARDS for JUDGING whether a person was rich. The Teacher contrasted this man with a fetus who is stillborn. Thus, the ultimate “have” (the superrich person) is contrasted with the ultimate “have not” (a stillborn fetus).


Adam’s comments: It is important to remember here what we are talking about in this chapter. We are not talking about us, about us Christian saved men and women. This chapter is talking about the man or woman who doesn’t know the saving grace of God. A person who does not recognize that all good things are from God.

1 I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men:

God causes his sun to shine upon the evil as well as upon the good

Matt 5:44-45 (NIV) But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

QUESTION: Why does God cause his sun to shine upon the EVIL as well as upon the good?

Matthew Henry: “Common” mercies sent from God, more proof of God’s goodness to all.

It is given to the just as well as the unjust, so that so that we cannot know love and hatred by what is before us, but by what is within us; not by the shining of the sun on our heads, but by the rising of the Sun of Righteousness in our hearts.

The gifts of God’s bounty to wicked men that are in rebellion against him, teach us to do good to those that hate us; especially considering, that though there is in us a carnal mind which is enmity to God, yet we share in his bounty.

Those only will be accepted as the children of God, who study to resemble him, particularly in his goodness.

2 God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

Verses 1 and 2: Immediately, Solomon recognizes that to have abundance and possessions — all that money can buy — and yet lack the power to enjoy them is a very heavy burden to bear.

To make matters even worse, the Searcher says, material wealth and abundance can be frustrating: imagine a stranger enjoying what you cannot enjoy.

That would make one very frustrated, even resentful: “Why couldn’t I enjoy it?” he would be entitled to ask.

The key to all of this is in the words, “God does not give him power to enjoy.”

WHY WOULD GOD NOT GIVE US THE ABILITY TO HAVE PLEASURE? The answer has already been given. Look at Ecclesiastes 2: 25-26.

25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.

Ray Stedman….”To the man who pleases him.” Again, I am afraid many people read that as though it means that some level of religious performance, some standard of morality, like joining a church or coming to meetings, is what pleases God. We must understand that the Scriptures never say that. Faith is what pleases God, believing him, taking him at his word and acting upon that word. This is what pleases God: obedience based upon faith. To such a man or woman God gives the gift of enjoying whatever he or she has. How little or how much it may be, is a gift poured out and taken from his hand. That is why gratitude, to be grateful for what you get, is the most important element of our lives.

3 A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.

Why did Solomon say “a hundred children”?

Represents a long life, a lot of children and grandchildren…things that would normally make us very happy.

Then to make it even more grand he will live for MANY years, which should even make him happier.

The “reference” referring that a stillborn child is better off than he:

Matthew Henry says: “Better is the fruit that drops from the tree before it is ripe than that which is left to hang on till it is rotten.”

Job also thought of this…that it would have been better to have never been born….

Job 3:16 (NIV) Or why was I not hidden in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?

4 It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded.

In other words, the stillborn child is very sad, never knowing the light of day, knowing only darkness, with no name.

Note: Solomon was not trying to teach us anything about the eternal destiny of a stillborn child. He was just saying that the child had never seen the sun.

5 Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man–

Those that live in willful ignorance are no better than an untimely birth that has not seen the sun nor known any thing.

6 even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?

This man will meet the same fate as the stillborn child and will ultimately die.

7 All man’s efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied.

Adam Clarke’s commentary: “When a man learns to provide for his soul as he does for his body, then he will begin to be happy.

Worldly sinful desires are insatiable.

Still focusing on “wealth” here.

8 What advantage has a wise man over a fool? What does a poor man gain by knowing how to conduct himself before others?

Conversation now shifts to WISDOM. Solomon says, “What advantage has the wise man over the fool?”

Adam Clarke’s commentary: “They must both labor for the same end. Both depend upon the labor for of themselves or others for the necessities of life. Both must eat and drink in order to live. The necessities of life are the same to both and their condition in life is nearly similar….liable to the same diseases and death.

You may be wise in your investments, careful with your money, you may pursue pleasure moderately, but it is still not going to work; if that is all you have you are no different than the fool.

“who knows how to conduct himself before the living”

Even a poor man who learns how to attract others to himself by means of his charming personality is still left empty, lonely and miserable inside.

9 Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Now we have moved from “wealth”, then “wisdom”, to a roving dreamer who wants more and more.

Better to take pleasure in what you have (what the eyes see), than to daydream about pursuing something more.

SUMMARY SO FAR: (Shepherd Notes) The intellectual seeks knowledge with the same zeal by which the miser seeks money. Both are driven by the “appetites.” Their motives are not really all that different. Both seek permanence and significance in the face of death and a tumble into meaningless.


And here is the answer, here is the “reason” why you can not be happy without God…verse 10

10 Whatever exists has already been named, and what man is has been known; no man can contend with one who is stronger than he.

Stedman: – The Searcher (Solomon) is telling us here that God has decreed that enjoyment cannot be found by effort, by work, and by the pursuit of pleasure. Enjoyment must be taken as a gift from God’s hand; that decree is as unalterable as the law of gravity. You may not agree with God about it, you may not like it, but there it is; it cannot be changed.

OUR study book said: “Solomon says we should celebrate and enjoy life for what it is–a precious gift from God. God made life to be enjoyed, not to be collected.

The Searcher points out three things about this:

First, God decreed it before man was ever created Whatever exists has already been named ” — before it happened. Even man did not come to be before he was named in the mind and thought of God; and God created this strange law of life before man ever appeared on earth.

Secondly, it was decreed in view of what man is: ” what man is has been known.” God made us. He knows what we are like, how we function, what will satisfy and what will not. In view of that, he set up this decree that enjoyment cannot be found from the possession of things. Jesus stated that very plainly: “A man’s life does not consist of the abundance of things which he possesses.”

Then, thirdly, the Searcher says that it was decreed in spite of man: ” no man can contend with one who is stronger than he.” How are you going to change the laws of God? They govern your life whether you like it or not. Though this may appear to be very much against us, nevertheless there is nothing we can do about it.

” no man can contend with one who is stronger than he”. When Job was discussing his dilemma with his “friends”, he said this….

Job 33:12 (NIV) “But I tell you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than man.

11 The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?

Arguing does not help.

C.S. Lewis said: “To argue with God is to argue with the very power that makes it possible to argue at all.”

Shepherd Notes: Now that we have fallen, and now that the knowledge of good and evil has enslaved us in death, we realize that an excess of words (knowledge) will not save us.

Our study books said ” Solomon is basically saying that we can talk back to God allwe want, but we will just end up frustrated.” God says “Life is to know me.”


Before reading verse 12: QUESTION: How many times in life do we think “WE” know what is good or bad for us? How many times have you really wanted (or even prayed) for something only to find out later that it would have not been good if that would have happened?

What are some of the times when “we” are making decisions based on what WE think is good or bad for us?

job hunting



12 For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?

Verse 12:

First he asks “Who knows true value in life?” Where is the man who understands everything, who knows what in life is good and what is bad?

“Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone”?

In other words, “Who can what the results of our present choices will be?” In other words, we don’t even know what we should wish for.

QUESTIONS from the study book:

1) What are some lessons you have learned that have had a “high tuition.” Are there things you did not learn except from experience? What was the process like?

“high tuition”…. When you walk away from God, God does not walk away from you. I forfeited many years of joy and peace while trying to run my own life apart from God.

Are there things I did not learn except from experience? I learned about how “hard” life can be apart from God. My rough times eventually drove me back to God, but I don’t feel any better because I have experienced those times. I only experienced those times because I was outside the will of God. God never intended those hard times for me, I caused them because of my sinful behavior. I didn’t have to go through those hard times.

2) What are some of the things you do just to enjoy life?

Pray. Get close to God. Enjoy the peacefulness of his STRENGTH and his love.

Eat dinner as a family. Sit, talk, laugh, smile, cry, etc. Get to really know them, how they think, how they act, what their friends are like. Sometimes I use these conversations to “shape” their thinking, to teach them Christian principles.

Reading the bible…sometimes it can be a real comfort. A calmness in the storm.

3) You can be miserable or you can be happy. Think back to times when you have made that choice. What factors influenced your attitude? How do we make the choice to be happy?

Factors influencing my attitude: The more I read the bible, and the closer I get to God, the more I know when I am sinning by my ungodly attitude. When I get angry at my wife, or my co-worker, God’s holy spirit convicts me of that sin much more than in the past.

I have actually thought in my mind…. you can make a choice here… you can just walk away from this anger or you can chose to be sinful and angry…..

4) Why is it so hard sometimes to chose to be happy, rather than choosing to be angry or sad?

Our pride. Sometimes choosing to be happy means forgiving others of something they have done to us. Our pride wants to pay them back or to get angry.

5) Talk about a time when God used “hard times” to drive you back to the throne of Grace.


Stedman: If prosperity is not always good, as he has clearly shown in Chapter SIX, then it is equally true that adversity is not always bad. Suppose the hard times do come? Many good and even great things can come out of that.


1) A Life Well Lived, A Study of Ecclesiastes. 2005. Tommy Nelson. Broadman & Holdman Publishers, Nashville, TN.

2) Shepherd’s Notes. Ecclesiastes / Song of Solomon. 1995. Broadman & Holdman Publishers, Nashville, TN.

3) Adam Clarke’s Commentaries. First release in England in 1810. Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN.

4) Ray C. Stedman, Title: Why does God allow This? Series: Things that Don’t Work: Ecclesiastes
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:1-5:20 Message No: 4 Catalog No: 3809 Date: October 10, 1982

5) Matthew Henry’s Study bible, World Bibles, 1994.

6) Thru the Bible with Vernon McGee. Thomas Nelson INC, Nashville, TN. 1983.

Last edited for HTML content on 1.22.2016… God’s blessings upon you all!

Contact Adam


To be taught on 23 October 2005

Leonardtown Baptist Church

Vernon McGee’s comments: This is the last experiment that Solomon tries. He has made experiments in everything under the sun to see if any of it would bring satisfaction and enjoyment to him. He tried science, the study of the natural laws of the universe, which made some contribution but did not satisfy him. Then he went into the study of philosophy and psychology. They didn’t satisfy. He went the limit on pleasure and materialism. He tried fatalism, which is such a popular philosophy of life today. He tried egoism, living for self. Then he tried religion — no religion can satisfy because only Christ can satisfy the heart. Wealth was another thing which Solomon tried. He was the wealthiest man in the world, but he found that wealth did not bring satisfaction in and of itself.

Now we will see him try the last experiment: morality. Today we would call him a “do-gooder.” I would say that this is the place to which the majority of the people in America are moving. (I think the majority would still be classified as do-gooders.) They are going down the middle of the road on the freeway of life. This group can be described as the Babbitts, doing business in the Big City, under a neon sign, living out in suburbia, in a sedate, secluded, exclusive neighborhood, and taking it easy. Their children go to the best schools. They move with the best crowds. They go to the best church, the richest church in the neighborhood, the one with the tallest steeple, the loudest chimes, and the most educated preacher, who knows everything that man can possibly know, except the Bible (of course, if he did know and preach the Bible, he would lose his job). This is the kind of do-good society Solomon now tries.


QUESTION for the group: The study book says that “trials, such as cancer, have a very beneficial purpose, they purify you.” What do you think that means? Give examples:

Trials show you what you are.

They put your faith to test.

Whatever comes out of you when you are hit, shows who you really are.

Trials perfect you. It will bring you to the end of your physical, intellectual rope.

Trials make you pray and go to the bible.

Trials make you trust.

Trials make you go to Christ.

Trials prove you.

Trials humanize you, they can make you sweet and sensitive.

QUESTION for the group: How does the group feel about this quote from A.W. Tozer: “God cannot use a man until He has hurt him deeply.”

Certainly is true in my case. God had to drive me to my knees before I would listen….. (1) Mary’s illnesses and (2) crisis at work

QUESTION for the group: What would you do if you only had ONE MORE DAY to live?

Go around the room, ask for answers. Discuss.

Discuss how that day would be different than the way we are actually going to live out the rest of this week, month, year.


1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

“A good name” = God is committed to our character, not our “ointments or perfume”.

What does “fine perfume” represent in this text?

That is how people during this era got ready for a party. They would dress up for the occasion and put on their best perfume.

What is Solomon saying when he says “and the day of death better than the day of birth”?

Our study book says, “If you want character and a good name, sometimes death is better than life.” Sometimes a funeral is better than a party because pain makes you real. Pain can get you thinking straight.”

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.

Why does Solomon say that it is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting?

Because in a house of mourning you see the end of every man. The wise person will take it to heart. The house of mourning will change you.

I REALLY liked the point that Tommy Nelson (author of our books) said here….”I can go preach a sermon at the bar, but people don’t want to listen because they are too busy laughing. But whenever I conduct a funeral, I have the audience’s full attention. Funerals are a reminder that one day you are going to die.”

3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.

Why does Solomon say that “sorrow better than laughter”?

A person who is laughing is not facing reality. He’s not learning anything about the nature of life; he’s just pretending that happiness will make him whole. But man’s highest purpose is not simply to enjoy life, but rather to know God.

OK, at this point, it is important to remember what Solomon is trying to teach us here. Here’s trying to teach us that hard times are useful, they serve a purpose, they force us to reach out to God. I think Solomon is just like one of those old time, southern Baptist evangelists like my dad was (is), he restates things, time and time again, sometimes over exaggerating the point, just to drive the point home.


4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

SUMMARY OF 1-4: Knowledge alone will not save us or allow us to escape the fact of our mortality. In fact the wisest thing we can do is face death and reckon with the issue of how we ought to spend our days.

QUESTION for the group: Is the point of all of these scriptures so far that we should be MISERABLE? If not, what is the point?

We should face facts soberly and make good decisions about how to spend our limited time.

QUESTION for the group: Has anyone here ever had a near death experience? Something that really shook you up and forced you to face your mortality?

struck by lightning, a bad car wreck where other people died, etc.

Did it actually change your opinions about life?

5 It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.

How many of you can honestly say that you respond “favorably” when someone rebukes you? What is our natural tendency?

Can someone give an example of when a wise man’s “rebuke” led you in the right direction?

Pastor John Fields took me aside for quite a few discussions after I first became a deacon. Sometimes I came on a little strong, or I said things that might offend the other deacons….his counsel was wise and timely and CORRECT! God used John to help me relate to the other deacons.

Prov 9:8 (NIV) Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.

Prov 15:31 (NIV) He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.

6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.

What is this “crackling of thorns under the pot” stuff? What’s that all about?

Study book: Thorns are great to start a fire with because they burn bright and hot. But the also burn quickly and then they are gone. While they are burning they crackle and pop like laughter.

Solomon is saying that a fool’s laughter is like burning thorns. It sounds great and makes a lot of noise, but it’s gone in a flash.

7 Extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

OK, so where are we going here? Why would a wise man even consider extortion, or why would a wise man consider a bribe?

Power, more and more power. Being surrounded by godless people, who seek power and position, can tempt you. In order to keep up with them, if you are “power” driven, you might be tempted to these type of things in order to succeed.

Summary of this verse….be just and live with integrity.

8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

Relating verse 8 to verse 7….verse 7 talks about extortion, and verse 8 talks about the “end of a matter”. So, what he’s saying here is just be patient, be true, don’t get ahead by extortion or bribery. If you do things the right way, the Godly way, then the “end” will be better than the beginning.

9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

Tommy Nelson discussed that this text was actually talking about getting mad at God Himself. Getting angry for a death of a loved one, your sickness, etc.

Have patience with God, his ways are better than our ways.

You are a fool if you choose to become angry at God.

SUMMARY OF 8 & 9. Cynics and fools laugh at the “stupidity” of trying to maintain righteousness in a world where corruption is the norm and where money rules everything. But a person should patiently wait to see how things turn out. Wisdom is justified in the long run.

10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

Do not complain to God asking Him why he isn’t doing what he used to do…complaining that your life used to be good but now it’s hard.

Remember, God knows what is good for you….you do not.

11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.

QUESTION: How do we obtain “wisdom” or knowledge? Can we get it from just reading about it?

No, usually you have to “experience” it before you can understand it and help someone else through it. That’s why God will let us suffer some times. To give us wisdom.

12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.

The wisdom that God gives you is meant to protect you, or mold you, in your daily lives.

There is a family that goes to this church, I will keep their name anonymous. This is a true story. A father, a mother, a son in his early teens, and a daughter approaching her teen age years. The son is in the youth group. Before his mother was diagnosed with a life threatening disease, this boy was an unbelievable problem child. One of the most challenging I have ever had the displeasure of trying to teach. But then, we all got news about his mother being gravely ill…. the kind of illness that can easily result in death. Over the last year I have seen this boy change, I mean totally change. Now, that same boy, is one of the most pleasant boys in the youth group. I truly enjoy being around him. He is now kind, and courteous, and helpful.

That’s how God works. This news did not have to change this kid for the better, actually things could have gotten worse. But the father and the mother never faltered in their worship. They came week after week, praying and serving and worshipping God. I believe GOD Himself gave the son “wisdom.” God used this scary experience to reverse this young man’s negative behavior.

13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?

QUESTION: Do we sometimes want to change what God has done, or is doing in our lives? Do we sometimes want to take matters in to our own hands and run it ourselves?

Solomon reminds us that we can not change God’s ultimate plan. Embrace God’s plan for your life.

14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.

How many of us, when good stuff happens to us, wait for the other shoe to drop?

Remember that song, back in the mid 80’s….”Don’t worry, be happy.” When God send you His blessings, rejoice in it!

When times turn back, stay with God and remember that He is probably trying to teach you something. Have faith in God, continue to rejoice, and persevere.

Prov 3:6 (KJV) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I like what Tommy Nelson said about this scripture: “If you are in a time of pain and adversity right now, be patient. A day of prosperity is coming. And if you are in a time of prosperity, in which everything is great, start preparing. A day of pain and prosperity and adversity is just around the corner.

SUMMARY OF THE LAST FEW VERSES: Although neither wealth nor wisdom can save us from the limitations of our mortality, both have their place in life. We should accept our limitations, fear God, and live balanced lives.


VERSES 15 TO 29: Solomon is going to remind us that we need to have a correct perspective on not only “adversity” but also ourselves. A person who hasn’t learned humility will always have a problem with God.

So far in this chapter we have discussed (1) prosperity isn’t always good and (2) adversity isn’t always bad. Now we will discuss trusting God even when things don’t add up.

15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

Off the top of your heads, what “righteous people” do you know of died for righteousness sake?

Jesus Christ

All but one of the apostles


On the other side of the coin, what “wicked” men (women) have you seen living long is his/her wickedness?

Madona…corrupted millions of children, starting the MTV craze.

Larry Flint – Hustler magazine. Pornography is a proven home wrecker and corrupter of minds.

Hugh Hefner – Playboy magazine. This guy is so bad, he even passed his pornography business to his DAUGHTER!

16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise– why destroy yourself?

What is this saying? Is this saying that we should just be mediocre Christians? Is this saying that if we work hard to be righteous and wise that we will destroy ourselves?

Our study guide points out that this scripture is saying that we shouldn’t think we are smart enough or wise enough to understand what God is doing.

However, isn’t this also saying to not be a “holier than though” kind of person…. a person who “knows it all” type? God doesn’t want a show off either. A “know it all” or an overly righteous person can actually bring damage to the kingdom of God.

Off the top of your heads, can anyone give me a few scriptures that says we are to keep growing, we are to keep striving, we are to get wiser?

2 Cor 13:11 (NIV) Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Matt 5:48 (NIV) Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

1 Peter 1:16 (NIV) for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool– why die before your time?

How many of us have done wicked or STUPID things? Before you were Christians, did you ever drink and drive? Did you ever intentionally go out of your way to hurt or damage someone in a wicked moment?

18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all [extremes].

Grasp one = verse 17…do not be overwicked and don’t be a fool.

let go of the other = verse 16.. do not be overrighteous or overwise. Remember, you are just a sinner saved by grace. Not of works, you can not earn it.

Fearing God will put you in the right perspective.

19 Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city.

OK, so we’ve talked about how we gain “wisdom” from the lessons that God teaches us. Now, how many of you have heard the saying “be careful what you ask for?”

James 1:5 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

So….chew on that for a little while. How many of you have asked for wisdom but then moaned and groaned when life became hard? God is answering your prayers but you complain about it.

Yes, it is good to ask God for wisdom, we should constantly strive for wisdom from God. But, just so you know, wisdom might come from a few of life’s school of hard knocks too. Wisdom is just not being able to understand that scripture, or remember the scriptures, wisdom also comes from the experiences in life.

I like what Tommy Nelson said here ” You can surround yourself with the greatest men, but if you know and fear God, you’re ahead of the pack.

More scriptures on wisdom:

Prov 24:5 (NIV) A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength;

Prov 8:11 (NIV) for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.

Romans 3:10 (NIV) As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;

21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you–

Look at verse 20 first, then look at this verse.

So, let me ask you…. as Christian men and women, have you ever done or said anything that would make a person NOT like you?

Of course, everyone has. We all make mistakes.

In other words…what is this saying?

Don’t be surprised or hurt when you hear that people don’t like you because of your sin. And, don’t be surprised when, because of your sin, people have a reason to NOT like you.

And why did this verse particularly say “you may hear your servant cursing you”? Why “servant”?

Because your employees know the “true” you. You can fool some people that you don’t see routinely, but your employees see the real you.

Now, how do we react when we hear bad things about us? Do we turn inward and evaluate ourselves? Or, do we become angry and strike back? What’s our natural response?

22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.

You reap what you sow? What goes around comes around.

Shepherd Notes: Verses 19-22….we need to learn how to get along with people, lead people, and get the best from people, even though they are all sinners. Another way of saying this is that we need to understand what agape love is all about.

What is “agape” love? Dictionary: Love as revealed in Jesus, seen as spiritual and selfless and a model for humanity.

23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise”– but this was beyond me.

I tried as hard as I could, I tried to get wiser, but I couldn’t. Man can only obtain “so” much on his own. There is a limit even for the richest king, the wisest king, that ever walked our planet.

24 Whatever wisdom may be, it is far off and most profound– who can discover it?

25 So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.

NOTE: The Shepherd’s Notes says this about verses 26 to 29. “The key to interpreting verses 26 to 29 is to recognize that it builds upon Genesis 3:15 – a text that teaches that because of sin, family life will be filled with grief.”

It also says…” The Teacher’s point is not that marriage is a bad thing or that righteous people should avoid it. Rather, those who fear God can have a marriage that is characterized by love instead of strife. but just as sin has corrupted the political realm, so it has also corrupted marriage.”

26 I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.

27 “Look,” says the Teacher, “this is what I have discovered: “Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things–

28 while I was still searching but not finding– I found one [upright] man among a thousand, but not one [upright] woman among them all.

29 This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes.”

Shepherd’s notes: Summary of verses 15 to 29: ” The teacher here took a serious look at human virtue and sin. He concluded that we should fear God but not be driven by religious scruples, that we should be forbearing in the face of the fact that all people are sinners, and that it is only through the fear of God that we can have a happy domestic life.”


1) Why do you think it is so easy for us to have a higher opinion of ourselves than we should? What are some of the motivations that lie behind this?

2) Has there been a time in your life when you were overwhelmed by someone’s sin against you? Does it help to remember that you have also sinned against others? Why or why not?


1) A Life Well Lived, A Study of Ecclesiastes. 2005. Tommy Nelson. Broadman & Holdman Publishers, Nashville, TN.

2) Shepherd’s Notes. Ecclesiastes / Song of Solomon. 1995. Broadman & Holdman Publishers, Nashville, TN.

3) Adam Clarke’s Commentaries. First release in England in 1810. Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN.

4) Ray C. Stedman, Title: Why does God allow This? Series: Things that Don’t Work: Ecclesiastes
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:1-5:20 Message No: 4 Catalog No: 3809 Date: October 10, 1982

5) Matthew Henry’s Study bible, World Bibles, 1994.

6) Thru the Bible with Vernon McGee. Thomas Nelson INC, Nashville, TN. 1983.

Contact Adam


Taught on 30 October 2005

Leonardtown Baptist Church

Our study book says that this chapter discusses “How Should I Act When There Doesn’t Seem Any Way To Win In Life?”

This chapter discusses being courageous in Life and being bold in doing right even if you are not rewarded.

1 Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance.

In other words, “What authority is intelligent enough to be compared with a person who has a Bible in his hand and who knows God’s will?

Solomon is saying that the wise person is illuminated and has so much joy that you can see it on his face.

Our study book talks a lot in this chapter about “Poise”. Can someone define poise for us?

Poise means that you do not “shift” due to outside circumstances.

I really liked what our study book discussed for this verse: “that there is no greater privilege than understanding where we came from, who we are, where we are going, how sin is removed, and what the will of God is.”

We’ve briefly mentioned this before…but for us born again Christians the “wisdom” that we have of God should give us a bright face and we shouldn’t walk around with a “hard appearance” as mentioned in verse one.

Solomon is saying that in a world full of questions, it’s wonderful to know the absolutes of life. We know and understand that God is in control of our life and that the creator of our universe is with us and on our side.


Wisdom “brightens a man’s face”: Can anyone remember times in the bible when a man’s face was brightened?

Moses when he came down from the mountain.

Ex 34:30 (NIV) When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.

Jesus when he was transfigured when he was with Peter, James and John.

Matt 17:1-3 (NIV) After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Stephen…when he was in the Sanhedrin and the Jews were plotting against him.

Acts 6:15 (NIV) All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Obey the King

2 Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God.

OK, that’s not too hard to understand.

Ezra 7:26 (NIV) Whoever does not obey the law of your God and the law of the king must surely be punished by death, banishment, confiscation of property, or imprisonment.

Prov 24:21 (NIV) Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious,

Romans 13:1 (NIV) Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

So, how many of you have heard your friends, or even “Pastors” of churches talk “bad” about a certain “PRESIDENT” of our country…. President Clinton, or President Bush, etc.

What does the bible say about talking “bad” about your President? Would God approve of such talk?

Romans 13:1 says, as we discussed a few chapters ago, that the authorities that exist have been established by God….so…. if we talk bad about a government, are we really out of God’s will?

FIRST reason to obey government: because you are a citizen of that government. Remember this…”I pledge allegiance, to the flag..”. When you said that as a child, or as an adult, you made a pledge, or a commitment to obey the laws of the land.

Obedience is not always based on convenience. Getting called to jury duty as you are leaving for vacation is not convenient.

I liked what Will Rogers said about government: “We should be glad that we don’t have as much government as we’ve paid for!”

3 Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.

Do not be in a hurry: (Be patient)

Prov 14:29 (NIV) A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.

Do not stand up for a bad cause: (Use your head…before you lose it)

Prov 16:14 (NIV) A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, but a wise man will appease it.

4 Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”

SECOND reason why we should obey government (v 3 & 4): Because it has power to compel us to do so.

5 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.

THIRD reason to obey government: because if we do, no harm can come to us from the government.

Verses 2 through 5: Our study book makes the following points:

These verses remind us that we are called to obey authority. Don’t abandon that position.

Even if you have an evil King, don’t panic.

Every time a person in the Old Testament rebelled against the king, he ended up being killed.

Nobody can challenge the king, he will do what he pleases.

It takes patience and trust in God to submit to frail, human authority (the King).

Our study book also used the story of David and Saul. David, who could have killed King Saul many times, did not kill him. He maintained his “poise” and obeyed God.

Does anyone remember a New Testament book that says almost the exact same thing as verses 2 through 5?

Romans 13, verses 1 through 7. Someone read that for us please.

6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.

Proper Time = voting day…. vote the evil king out! There will also be times when you are “asked” for your input (polls, election meetings, letters, etc.), those are the proper times to face the political agendas.

though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.

It is HARD for us to remain quiet. We all have the natural tendency to try to fix things. But, these scriptures remind us to have patience. A time and a place will eventually be revealed so that you can correctly voice your opinion and take the necessary actions.

Don’t we believe that God can take an evil man “out” at any time? Anytime he wants to, can’t God turn a government upside down? What recent world events prove this?

The overthrow of IRAQ.

Though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him“… so, this is just saying that even though we suffer because of an evil or misguided King, God is still in control. AND, here we go again, God is not making it easy on us is He. Once again we are to occasionally suffer from injustice.

I liked this statement (question) out of our study books: “If you are going through great struggles right now, how much of your difficulties involve things you can’t change and how much involves things you can change? Verse 6 indicates that you need not worry about the things you can not change. Rest in the sovereignty of God. The things you can change, you need to change.”



7 Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?

Since no man knows the future”: Obviously, God has gotten you here in our church somehow. How many of you had to make “choices” that affected you being here right now? For example, I had prayed and prayed to God to lead me to a good Church after I retired from active duty. I got this job offer in Maryland, and I lived in Florida at the time. I didn’t know about LBC, but I trusted that God was leading me in the right direction. After 3 years of prayer, I felt God was answering my prayers, so I listened and I followed. And, here I am today. In the best church I’ve ever had the pleasure of worshipping God in. I could not foresee all that!

Are there any other examples from the group here today?

We can look at this in lots of ways when we are talking about the “FUTURE”.

We can look at this pertaining to our personal future, or our governments future, our church future, etc.

How many of you here today have been praying, and praying, and praying about something but it doesn’t seem like God is answering your prayer about something?

Why? What are some of the things that might be preventing God from answering your prayers right now?

Right now I have a MAJOR prayer. I’ve been praying that my oldest son get saved. Out of my six children, he’s the only one that hasn’t accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior.

This too is out of my control. I can pray, and pray, and pray. After that, I’m just called to let God handle the rest. God hears my prayers and will answer them in his own time.

Our study book reminds us that we are not supposed to keep a stopwatch on God. We are to remain POISED. Keep going to church, keep singing, and keep listening.

8 No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death. As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.

The Stedman commentaries say that this verse discusses the possibility of losing your life when obeying the government, like when you go to war.

Looking at this verse it makes three statements: (1) death is wholly in God’s hands. You can go through a combat zone, people will die next to you, left and right of you, but for some reason, you live. God is totally in control, not you. (2) It states that there is no discharge in time of war. War involves a total commitment to your government to try and preserve the integrity and values of our government. As such it requires the wholehearted commitment of it’s citizens. (3) And lastly it says that war does not justify wickedness. A soldier who disobeys the laws of justice while he is wearing the uniform can be guilty of murder just like any private citizen. Wicked violence is not justified.


9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt.

Governments come from God right? Both the old and new testaments tell us that.

BUT, evil in government arises from the evil in fallen man, living in a fallen world. “There are none righteous, no not one.”

Does “evil” usually win?

They might, maybe, win in this world. They don’t usually win for their entire life. Their time of ruling is usually brief.

But, there is a judgment day a coming….and we all know that they won’t win in heaven, and that lasts for an ETERNITY.

10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried–those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

Any idea what this means: “come and go from the holy place”?

The sacred office which they held. Annointed as either kings or priests to God.

receive praise” : some Hebrew manuscripts show this scripture as reading “receive praise and are forgotten”

Once again, good or bad, the end is the same. Men are eventually forgotten and we can’t control the sovereignty of God.

11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.

“Sentence for a crime: Why does God not immediately punish us for our crimes?

God’s longsuffering is meant to give us time to repent of our sinful ways. If he punished us immediately, every time, he’d be constantly punishing us.

Since God doesn’t punish us immediately, what do we do? What do we think?

Since God doesn’t punish us immediately we think that he disregards evil acts; and therefore we are tempted to sin even more because of our sinful nature.

Does anyone here know the significance of the usage of the word “heart” in this scripture?

According to the Bible, the heart is the center not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life. “Heart” and “soul” are often used interchangeably. So, this is actually an extremely powerful statement.

12 Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God.

If God is so merciful to the unrepentant sinner as to delay their punishment, surely he will be peculiarly kind to them that fear him and endeavor to walk uprightly before him.

I know that it will go better with God-fearing men: Anyone know of any scriptures that tell us this:

Deut 4:40 (NIV) Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.

Isaiah 3:10 (NIV) Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.

13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.

wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them : God will judge the wrong in his own time. God will preserve the innocent.

QUESTION: Do evil men get away with evil things indefinitely on this earth? Don’t we believe that for the most part, evil men will be found out one day and will be punished for their deeds?

Job 20:5 (NIV) that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.

14 There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.

Once again, as in previous chapters, Solomon is telling us to not be surprised by injustice. Just know that it is out there and God is still in control.

15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.

QUESTION: If we were sad every time we saw an injustice in this world, would there ever be a time when we could be happy?

1 Tim 6:17 (NIV) Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man’s labor on earth–his eyes not seeing sleep day or night–

When I applied my mind to know wisdom = Adam Clarke’s commentary:

This is the reply of the wise man, “I have also considered these seeming contradictions. God governs the world; but we can not see the reasons of his conduct, nor know why he does this, omits that, or permits a third thing. We may study night and day, and deprive ourselves of rest and sleep, but we shall never fathom the depths that are in the Divine government; but all is right and just. But eternity is at hand; and then shall every man receive according to his works.”

17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.

God’s nature is such that (1) That a man cannot find it out and (2) that if he does labor to find it out he shall not succeed and (3) it is beyond our abilities.

S/N = “When wisdom fails, we must simply trust God and realize that we are in His hands. It is more important that we yield to Him than that we know how to master life itself.


1) A Life Well Lived, A Study of Ecclesiastes. 2005. Tommy Nelson. Broadman & Holdman Publishers, Nashville, TN.

2) Shepherd’s Notes. Ecclesiastes / Song of Solomon. 1995. Broadman & Holdman Publishers, Nashville, TN.

3) Adam Clarke’s Commentaries. First release in England in 1810. Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN.

4) Ray C. Stedman, Title: Can we Trust Government ? Series: Things that Don’t Work: Ecclesiastes Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:1-5:20 Message No: 4 Catalog No: 3809 Date: November 21, 1982

5) Matthew Henry’s Study bible, World Bibles, 1994.

6) Thru the Bible with Vernon McGee. Thomas Nelson INC, Nashville, TN. 1983.


Taught on 20 November 2005

Leonardtown Baptist Church

“How Should A Christian Deal With An Uncertain Future and Growing Old?”

OUTLINE for our upcoming study:

Be courageous in Life = Eccl 8:1 to 12:8

Be bold in doing right even if you are not rewarded = Eccl 8:1 to 10:12

Be bold in enjoying life, although death will come.

Can someone share with the group a time in your life when you had something planned perfectly, every “t” was crossed and every “i” was dotted, but your plans fell apart?

Another question for the group. Have many of you are “what if” people?

Well, I can’t do that, what if this should happen….or…what if that should happen?

How many of you know people like that?

Another question for the group. Before I ask you this question about yourselves, I’ll tell you in advance that I AM one of these people. This fear still controls me in certain circumstances

How many of you would do “more” but you are afraid of failure? Example: How many of you have thought that you wouldn’t mind teaching a class, but the thought of public speaking scares you so much that you don’t do it?

In this chapter Solomon will explain to us that life is full of unexpected contingencies. Solomon says we can live boldly even though life is unpredictable.

Bread Upon the Waters

1 Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

Our study book explained the “cast your bread upon the waters” line. It refers to doing business in grain by putting it on a ship and having to set sail to be traded…casting it on the waters.

The only way to get that financial return on your investment was to take the “some” risk.

Isaiah 32:8 (NIV) But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.

Ray Stedman’s commentaries point out that this verse is also referring to “giving” generously. Cast your bread out generously upon the waters, for after many days, when you might need help too, it will come back to you. In other words, “What goes around, comes around.”

SUMMARY: Don’t be afraid of doing good, even though the reward might be late in coming…at least in this world…

2 Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

OK, let me ask you. Where do we hear this advice in today’s society all the time? Dividing your portions? Diversifying?

Stock market. Your portfolio manager will constantly tell you that you should not have all your eggs in one basket.

Speaking of “Portions”….where should some of our “portions” go? What does the bible say?

We should give some of our portions to the less fortunate:

Neh 8:10 (NIV) Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

1 Tim 6:18 (NIV) Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

Luke 6:30 (NIV) Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

In keeping with Stedman’s comments above about giving generously, Stedman goes on to say that this verse also means to give as generously as you possibly can, and then some more.

for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land = Well, don’t take this the wrong way, but this verse makes good political sense. This verse tells you to give good and hard, as much as you can, because you might have problems one day and the more people you have helped, the more you might have that want to help you in return when you really need it.

3 If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie.

One of the commentaries said that this verse was a pair of proverbs on misfortune: “If clouds are full (that is to say….if it looks like a storm is coming) they pour out rain upon the earth”. In other words, we should try to read economic conditions and act accordingly. Which way a tree will fall basically means “Which ever way the cookie crumbles” type of thing, in other words, what will happen will happen.

Adam Clarke’s commentary: We should act as the clouds; when they are full they pour out their water indifferently on the field and on the desert. Give charity indiscriminately. He goes on to explain even if you occasionally give it to the unworthy that is better than trying to discriminate and then not giving it to the real needy.

Other commentaries said that this confusing verse was actually referring to God’s continued blessings upon us. Sometimes we get them, sometimes our neighbor gets them:

Clouds full of water: God sends the rain for our crops,

Tree falling: Wood for fires. Sometimes for us, sometimes for our neighbors.

Psalms 65:9-10 (NIV) You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. 10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV) As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

LET US ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT EVERYTHING WE HAVE IS PROVIDED BY GOD, OUR PROVIDER AND REEDEMER. All he would need to do is make a whisper and our clouds would dry up and our farms would become desert.

Now, let’s talk about the last verse that we just read, Isaiah 55:11….. 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it…….Someone explain to me what this verse just told us! This is a BEAUTIFUL, awesome, stand-up-and-shout kind of promise!

God’s Word, the Holy Bible, can NOT return empty. God will accomplish what He wants for His purpose.

When God inspires you share a scripture with someone, when God leads you to give someone a bible, God’s Word can not, will not, return void.

4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

watches the wind = How many of you have “delayed” life while trying to figure out what to do? Trying to figure out which way the wind will blow type of thing.

looks at the clouds = How many of you have procrastinated and didn’t act on something, kind of looking at the clouds type of thing….then you procrastinated so long that you didn’t reap?

College / education

Scholarship applications

Finding a new job

Buying that new house

Stedman, in terms of giving says: “watches the wind will not plant” means that do not wait until the perfect time to give (until you have more money than you need) because the perfect time will never come. Give while the need is present.

In other words, verse four tells us to not be so cautious that we never act.

5 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

In other words…. Don’t let what you don’t know, disturb what you do know.

Life is unpredictable and mysterious, but God is the Maker (and controller) of all things. Have faith, rest in the knowledge that God, our Father, loves us and will provide for us.

John 3:8 (NIV) The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

6 Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

Sow your seed in the morning. Obviously this was making a reference the “farming”, but what other “sowing” could Solomon be referring to here?

Hosea 10:12 (NIV) Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

2 Cor 9:6 (NIV) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

This is with everything…. tithing…giving to others…your time in bible study… love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.

Be ready at all times to show mercy, to give generously. Start sowing in the morning, continuing to evening.

ALSO, this verse is saying to attempt to try a lot of things, not just a few things. In church, try singing in the Choir, or teaching a Sunday School class, or helping with the Home School ministry. Try lots of things and find out which ones God will bless.

let not your hands be idle = once again, another scriptural reference to “work”. (Steve Vellines knows his stuff!)

Remember Your Creator While Young

7 Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

Life is good…. OK, we have time for one more verse….”Don’t worry, be happy.”

8 However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.

days of darkness = when you get old and start to slow down.

Everything to come is meaningless…everything to come on THIS EARTH is meaningless. We were not created just for this earth, to just “be here” and now. We were created to have a relationship with God, for all eternity.

9 Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.

How many of you, like ME, wasted so many days of your strong youth on the wrong pursuits? Pursuits of the “flesh.” How many of you have thought, “Man, if I just would have followed God for all those years, how much more he could have used me for His purposes!

Question….is this something that we just all have to go through, do we all need to sow our wild oats before we start listening to God and following his will?

As parents, what role do we have to play in this? Can we teach or train our children so that they do not waste their youthful lives in childish, youthful pursuits?

“Young Man”…..As in the book of Proverbs, Solomon addresses the “Young Man” group so that they may receive special attention in Wisdom Literature because they represented the leadership for the future.

Whoa…OK, this makes the most sense. Be happy, youth is great, enjoy your life, but be careful. Play within the rules. Don’t sow wild oats because judgment time is around the bend.

How many of you think that the secular world thinks that we Christians are just plain old unhappy people? Do we Christians usually look like we are happy? On TV, when they talk about Christians, is it synonymous with happiness?

10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.

So, here’s how to live:

FIRST: Remove anxiety from your mind/heart. The King James uses “Vexation” which combines anger and resentment. Don’t let things gnaw at you that are ungodly.

SECOND: Cast off the troubles of your body.


wrong use of sexual powers

things that are bad for you like excessive drinking, smoking, any kind of things that are bad for your body.

THIRDLY and lastly: Recognize that being “Young and having vigor” was NOT the reason why you were created. That type of thinking is meaningless. Being young will not satisfy. Recognize that the only meaningful thing in life is recognizing WHO God is! Having a full time, meaningful RELATIONSHIP with God. Life finds its fulfillment, its meaning, its significance, only as you develop a relationship with the living God daily. ETERNITY ALONE IS PERMANENT, LIVE FOR ETERNITY.


1) A Life Well Lived, A Study of Ecclesiastes. 2005. Tommy Nelson. Broadman & Holdman Publishers, Nashville, TN.

2) Shepherd’s Notes. Ecclesiastes / Song of Solomon. 1995. Broadman & Holdman Publishers, Nashville, TN.

3) Adam Clarke’s Commentaries. First release in England in 1810. Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN.

4) Ray C. Stedman – Title: How, then, Should we Live? Series: Things that Don’t Work: Ecclesiastes

5) Matthew Henry’s Study bible, World Bibles, 1994.

6) Thru the Bible with Vernon McGee. Thomas Nelson INC, Nashville, TN. 1983.

Powered by WordPress