Monday, September 12, 2011

A New Day

Study Background--

We are beginning to look at the recorded prophesies of Christ.  Most of these will be in the Old Testament, and then we will lead to reading the text of the Christmas Narratives in all three gospels.  We will look at our pre-conceptions, what was written and some historical background.  I love the Bible, and have taken many classes.  However, I am not a "Bible Scholar".  Feel free to disagree with me.  Feel free to disagree with each other--but in a healthy and loving way.  Being said, know that any comments that are disparaging or mean will be deleted.

This is the plan, on Mondays I will post a little background on the passage and some questions to answer.  Feel free to answer all or some of them them in the comments.  Then Friday I'll try to write a summary of the collected comments and add some more of my own.  The study schedule is posted on this post.  If you have questions or suggestions feel free to email me at emily AT kennesawumc DOT org.

Scripture Background--

Typically, we won't study passages from two books at once, but these two passages are closely connected!  Moses and David are closely connected, because they were both recipients of God's covenants with Israel.

Scripture Reading--Deuteronomy 18:15-22 and 2 Samuel 7

In ancient times, a covenant was a special promise--one cemented by God.  When two people made a covenant, they got their gods involved!  In scripture, covenants are promises between us and God.  God promises us something, and we promise something in return.  

Our first reading is from Deuteronomy, a book describing the laws God gave to Moses for Israel.  The covenant was that God would claim Israel IF Israel kept God's laws.  These laws were important, for they were Israel's link to God!  Remember, Moses was a prophet, but this passage prophesies a new prophet coming!  

Our second reading is from 2 Samuel 7 (Look most closely at 10-17 and 25-29).  This concerns a covenant God made through the Prophet Nathan with David.  David was King, but God promised that God would build God's own House from David.  

Your Mission!
  1. Pray--God open our eyes to your truths!  Let us see with your eyes!  Let us hear nothing but your words! Open our hearts to you!  Amen
  2. Read through the two chapters and put it down.
  3. Read through the questions below, and then the scriptures a second time!
  4. Try to answer the questions.
1) What makes you believe the "prophet" that is spoken of in Deuteronomy 18 Points to Jesus?

2) What makes you believe that the "house" in 2 Samuel 7 points to Jesus?

3) Talk about your notion of covenant.  How do these covenants with Moses and David helping point to the new covenant that will be Jesus?  What is the Covenant we have with Jesus?

4) What else stuck out to you?  What is new that you've never heard before or seen before or thought?  What did I not ask?

Can't wait to start this together!   We will reassess Friday and see how its going!

Pastor Emily


Carol Flores said...

My first thought after reading the scriptures and then the questions was that the people of that time did not have the benefit we have of already knowing the story of Jesus. So in Deut. 18:18, it says something we heard Jesus say alot. "I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him."

I found 2 Samuel a little harder, but verse 14 seems like a clear reference to Jesus -- "I will be his father and he will be my son". It also says that David's offspring will build the "house for my Name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever."

It's been awhile since I have read about David. I really enjoyed David's response after he heard what God said. “How great you are, Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears."

Lindsay said...

Alright, this is good stuff, but these are hard questions for me! So, I'm looking forward to this opportunity to learn!!

1. To me, my first thought was, how would people know this is referring to Jesus over other prophets? Many prophets were around between Moses and Jesus... did people think this referred to those other prophets as well? So, I thought a bit... and I know Jesus to be the "voice of the Lord"... as verse 18 says, "I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him." Jesus was perfect disciple of God who obeyed His will even in his death.

2. In 2 Samuel 7, the Lord tells Nathan/David that the offspring of David will be His (God's) son. I believe that is talking about Jesus! This "house" part is a little more unclear to me... the offspring (Jesus) will "build a house for my Name"... Is Jesus, himself, the house? He is Emmauel, God with us. Or is he the builder of the house of God... the church, the body of Christ?

3. These covenants help to establish validity to Jesus's purpose. In Deuteronomy, God address people's doubts and concerns about false prophets. His answer is, "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken." These proclamations of Moses and Nathan came true through Jesus as did the proclamations of other prophets. Not only is Jesus the "proof" that these previous prophets were speaking the word of God, but the things Jesus spoke of about His death and resurrection came true.

4. I found it kind of assuming that David wants to build God a house to stay in instead of His tent. I guess I can see myself thinking the same way... wow, it's really not fair that I get to live in this nice house, and God just has to stay in that tent. God answers David by saying... no, I'm actually going to be building this house through Jesus. It's like he's saying, "Remember, I'm God, I've got a plan here, you may not understand it all right now, but trust me." And I can see how that applies to these prophecies of Jesus... I may not "get" all of it, but it's God's plan, and I trust it!

Lynne Watts said...

To take the verse in Deuteronomy about raising up a prophet and say that refers to God sending Jesus, seems like quite a stretch to me. The one verse is surrounded by lots of references to how to live in a land of pagans and how to recognize a real prophet of God. As Lindsey says there were lots of prophets and false prophets between Moses and Jesus and how are we to say this refers to Jesus any more than any other?

The covenant that God makes with David that his family line will continue seems more relevant to Jesus' coming. It says, " I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." Jesus of course comes from David's family line and he established the kingdom of God on earth.

i like what Lindsey says also about it being rather assuming on David's part that he needs to build a house for God. After all, God is not constrained to "living" in the tent or anywhere else. God the creator lives everywhere in the amazing world he created. I do however understand David's wish to 'honor' God as God had honored him with power and riches.

Overall, I think these verses and stories make me reflect on how God had a plan for the lives of the people long ago and he continues to have a plan for each of us individually. Sometimes this plan is for the present time (how to live in the secular world and still be in relationship with God) and sometimes this plan has to do with the bigger picture... (how to save mankind from our sinful ways), but always God is in control.

Jen said...

Hi all...why did I not know about these on-line studies? I'm not a professional blogger and don't know if I can get hooked in this am or not...

Kennesaw UMC said...

Jen! We'd love you to get involved! Just follow along with us! I'm certainly not a professional blogger, just a pastor who knows people are busy. Read, comment, and pray along with us! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Emily

dwcal said...

I'm also in agreement with Lindsay. These are some hard questions! I've never been one to easily or quickly recognize symbolism in literature. So I enjoyed just reading everybody else's comments. The references to Jesus in these scriptures weren't obvious to me.

mary said...

Deut. 18:15- God gives prophets or spiritual leaders to his people, but THE PROPHET like Moses has to be Jesus and after His Ascension, the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.

2Samuel 7- In David's time they thought that God lived in the tent they made for him, in the cloud that led them through the desert. So David wanted to build God a greater place to stay. But now we know that God is with us where we are. And when it says "He will build a house for my Name." I think he means that Jesus will build the church- not a building but the people of God.