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hands joined together April 27 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 1Chronicles 12:23-40; Psalm 2; Psalm 78

Unity and Securing God's Favor

Just give me a second chance. I'll do better this time. Please! Such is the cry of most of us at one time or another. We all do wrong things. Doing wrong things or failing to do right things is called sin in the Bible (more…). We are no strangers to this, but we want some hope that our lives will be better. We want our nation, family or the members of the organization we work with to be strong and unified. This is also what the Israelites wanted.

The Israelites had a history of disobedience. Time after time God had been merciful and gracious to them, delivering them from the bondage of Egypt (February 4 and 5 Bible studies), giving them victory over the kingdoms of the Moabites and Amorites (March 6-7 Bible studies), and delivering them from the oppression of their enemies (April 1-9 Bible studies). Recently we have read how Israel was plagued by Philistine armies. She only achieved partial victories by her power hungry and insanely jealous military leader, King Saul. Now he and his sons are dead. Israel needs new hope and a strong unified country.

Unity

Do we need new hope? Have we been divided? Do we want unity in our family or nation and favor with God? It starts with humbling ourselves, confessing our sins, and looking to him for our deliverance. He can give us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...). As God was gracious to Israel, he will be gracious to us if we seek his favor. Again, we can be strong and unified.

God chose David to be the next king. David would be their agent of hope; he would unite the tribes into one strong nation and lead them to follow the LORD. God was with David, and he was loved by all the people of Israel and Judah. Psalm 78:70-72 says,

He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (NIV)

David learned to lead people by learning to shepherd sheep. He bound the wounds of his sheep and now he binds the wounds of Israel, the emotional wounds of division and civil war which they suffered from King Saul and King Ishbosheth. David exercises skillful diplomacy in helping them to become a strong unified nation. With him the nation has peace and victory. Other kingdoms are foolish to oppose Israel, for they are now led by David, the LORD ’s anointed king, an man after God's own heart. Therefore, when they oppose him they will meet the Almighty's anger and wrath (we see this in our next Bible reading). Do we want peace or God’s wrath? Those who foolishly oppose God and his leaders usually suffer for it.

Psalm 2 may have been written shortly after David captured Jerusalem (or Mt. Zion) and made it the capital of Israel, from which he would reign, 2Samuel 5:6-7. We will see this in our next lesson. The “nations that conspire” against him may be referring to the Philistines and other unnamed nations. The Psalm was written for David's coronation and demonstrates God's favor upon him. Our hope (confidence) is that even if we have displeased God and opposed him, we can regain God's favor if we will repent and submit ourselves to him (James 4:7-10; 1John 1:9).

Psalm 2 is also a prophetic psalm, prophesying the future reign of the Son of David, Jesus Christ (i.e., Jesus was his descendant). David was a figure or type of Christ (more…). Would we like to be a part of the future reign of Jesus Christ? We will rule and reign with him if we trust him for our salvation and are faithful (Revelation 5:10; 20:6; 22:3-5). Jesus Christ is our ultimate hope in this life and the next.

Securing God's Favor

How do we secure God's favor? By this we do not mean eternal security—true believers in Christ are eternally secured by the Holy Spirit. He seals them on the day of their salvation from sin (Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30). To secure our hope of favor with God in this life, however, we need to remember the lessons of the past. Someone once said something like this: The definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same mistakes without changing anything and expecting different results. We must remember, repent, and live lives of revival and restoration. How do we do this? Psalmist tells us:

What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers-- a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. (Psalm 78:3-8, NIV)

To help secure our hope for future generations we must share the good things the LORD has done and the lessons he has taught us. We must seek to pass our faith on to the next generation so they might choose to follow him.

Lessons to Live By

  • Do we need unity and a new hope? It starts with humbling ourselves, confessing our sins, and looking to God for our deliverance (more...).
  • Do we want peace or God’s wrath? Those who foolishly oppose God and his leaders usually suffer for it.
  • Jesus Christ is our ultimate hope for unity and peace in this life and the next.
  • Christians, to secure our hope of God’s favor in this life, we must discipline ourselves to read the Bible, live the Bible, and share our faith in God with the next generation. If we do this, he will make our hope secure, and we will keep enjoying his favor.

Focus Verse

Isaiah 46:9 (NIV) “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.

praying hands Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

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A Look Ahead: Having unified the country, now David begins his leadership. Join us for our Next Lesson: Leadership—Starting out Right.

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