Monday, November 30, 2009

Revelation 8-9

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 8

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer

1When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

3Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. 5Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

The Trumpets

6Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

7The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

8The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11the name of the star is Wormwood.[a] A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

12The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

13As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!"

Revelation 9

1The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

7The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. 9They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.[



12The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.

13The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns[


] of the golden altar that is before God. 14It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." 15And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.

17The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

20The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

The seventh seal is about to be opened, (in John’s vision,) and the first thing is quite. This is ominous. If the heavens and angels take a moment of silence, something is about to break loose. It does!

You have fires that burn a third of the earth, floods of blood, blazing stars from heaven, and bitter springs. After the sun and moon were affected as well, an eagle cries woe. What could be worse?

How about a plague of giant locusts? This is starting to follow the plagues that proceeded the exodus. What will follow? How about demonic cavalry? Two hundred million strong they take out another third of the world. So what do the survivors do? They started worshiping false gods. People can be so stupid.


1. Why do you think there was quite before the trumpets started to sound?

2. Why would John pick locusts as a plague?

3. How did he count two hundred million, or did he just overhear this ?

4. Why are the people not repenting?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Revelation 6

Relax, Read and Reflect.

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 6

The Seals

1I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" 2I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" 4Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart[a] of wheat for a day's wages,[b] and three quarts of barley for a day's wages,[c] and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" 8I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

12I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

15Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

The scroll of life is about to be opened- be afraid. The Lamb-(Christ) open the first six seals. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are released. The white horse symbolizes a conquering power no one can resist. The red horse symbolizes bloodshed. The black horse represents famine, (and it follows war.) The pale green horse represents pestilence and death, and that follows famine. The pale green does not mean total destruction.

The last part of this chapter deals with the fifth and sixth seals. These deal with the prayers of the martyrs in heaven, and how they affect what is happening on earth. They ask "how long?" and are told to wait a little longer. Gulp!

The sixth seal brings a great earth quake and the sun turns black. This is a great symbolism, but what is it describing literally? One thing- everyone is afraid of what will happen next.


1. Is there a reason the first four seals are in that order?

2. Why are the martyrs told to wait?

3. Is the sun turning black because of something natural (volcano perhaps,) or something spiritual.?

Prayer- Lord-Help us remember that we are not immortal. We need you for eternal life, and we look forward to being with you -forever! Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Revelation 5

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 5

The Scroll and the Lamb

1Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."

6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth."

11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12In a loud voice they sang:
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"

13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!" 14The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.

What is the scroll? The scroll contains the fixed purposes of God for the future. The scroll is sealed-unopened. Therefore, no one knows what it says, no one knows the future. The angels and the creatures of Heaven were waiting for someone who was worthy to open the scroll. Only the King, the lion, the Messiah would be qualified.

Then the slaughtered lamb appears. You guessed it, the lamb is Christ. Christ sacrificed for us and our sins. As the Lamb prepares to open the scroll the Angels start singing a new song. This signifies that change is coming.


1. Why would the Angels wait until John arrived to reveal Christ?

2. What will the scroll reveal?

3. Are we ready?

Prayer- Lord, help us prepare. Even though only you know the future, remind us that we all should strive to have you in our lives daily. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 4

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our minds and open our hearts and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 4

The Throne in Heaven

1After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." 2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. 4Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God. 6Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." 9Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."

This is the Apostle John's vision, or revelation, of Heaven. He is being given the tour. The 24 thrones and elders probably represent the twelve apostles and the twelve patriarchs of the old testament. The lighting and thunder- that should be God. Then we get into a description of some of the creatures in Heaven, (angels?)They are praising God and singing.

This is what the angel showed John. How does this this vision compare with what your vision of Heaven? I doubt if any of you have the same vision when it comes to angels.


1. If the disciples have 12 thrones in heaven, does that mean there is one for Judas?

2. Why would the flying creatures be full of eyes? Why are they singing?

Prayer- Lord, help us keep a vision, or revelation, of what heaven is. Help us use that vision here on earth. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Revelation 3

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 3

To the Church in Sardis

1"To the angel[a] of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[
b]of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Philadelphia

7"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Laodicea

14"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

The Spirit is still having John write to the rest of the seven churches. Each still contains an address, a condemnation, (or a commendation,) an admonition and ending with a promise. The churches in the fifth through seventh letter represent a very small church in a small town, (Philadelphia,) and a large church in a wealthy town, (Laodicea.)

Every one of the seven churches have problems. John points these issues out and then warns them to fix these problems.


1. Why would John feel obligated to point out the problems in the church when he knows he will not personally be around to see the changes?

2. Are the problems the early church faced different from what we face today?

3. How do we treat criticism of our church?

Prayer- Lord, Help us look at ourselves and our fellowships. Help us create and maintain a vision that will bring us,(and others) closer to you. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Revelation 2

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 2

To the church in Ephesus

1"To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

To the Church in Smyrna

8"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

To the Church in Pergamum

12"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. 14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

To the Church in Thyatira

18"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—
27'He will rule them with an iron scepter;
he will dash them to pieces like pottery'[

b]— just as I have received authority from my Father. 28I will also give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

The angel has commanded John to write to the seven churches. The first four are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum and Thyatira. Each church has orders from John, a condemnation of what they are doing wrong, an admonition, a concluding promise and exhortation to the faithful. As we read these letters it is interesting to see how similar they are to our own churches


1. Paul did a lot of work in these churches, particularly Ephesus. How has his actions effected the churches?

2. Why are these letters so harsh?

Prayer. Lord, as we read about the judgement of the seven churches, help us be aware of similar conditions in our lives. Go-Fight-Win. Amen

Monday, October 26, 2009

Revelation 1:9-20

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

One like a Son of Man

9I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."

12I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man,"[a]dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

19"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels[b] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

John is in exile on a small island in the Aegean because of his faith. He is not happy. An angel comes to him and he is scared, (OK, I would be frightened too.) This angel is "like a son of man". Could this be Christ? He has a two edged sword and seven golden lampstands for seven stars, (seven churches?)

Yes, you guessed it. Revelation is full of numerology. It deals with seven, forty, and 144,000 over and over. It is so into this that it can be divided into seven parallel sections, as well as the prologue and epilogue

What will the Spirit tell John?

What knowledge will this unlock?

Prayer. Lord, let us all read this and let it touch us. Not because we need to know when the earth will end but because we want to know how to prepare here on Earth. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Revelation 1:1-8

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 1


1The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Greetings and doxology

To the seven churches in the province of Asia:

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[


] before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
7Look, he is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

8"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

We are starting a new study this week. For the next several weeks we will explore the last book of the Bible-The Revelation to John or Revelation. This book may be one of the most feared and misunderstood book in the Bible. Revelation deals with the Apocalypse-the end of the world. There are really only two books in the bible that are apocalyptic in nature, the other is Daniel in the Old Testament.

Revelation uses prophecy from both the Old and New Testament. It is a fitting end of the Bible because of it’s apocalyptic nature. It has very vivid imagery and is intended to build clear pictures in the readers mind. It was written by John, a Roman follower of Christ who has been exiled to a small island because of his faith. John does not like the Roman Emperor, (who would if you had been banished from your home and many of your friends killed.)

Some of the keys in understanding John’s vision have been lost, and some of his message may be personalized, but this also builds a strong belief that Jesus will indeed come again. Do not be afraid, I think you will find as you read this book that it is not as scary as you may think. It is definitely want of the most visual of all the books.

The Revelation starts with a prologue from John. John states that this message was brought to him by an angel of the Lord. John gives a shout out to the seven churches in western Asia Minor, (present day Turkey.) His letter is the "Alpha and Omega," the beginning and the end.

As we read this and other parts of our Bible, it is important to remember that Jesus is just that- the beginning and the end. All things are through Christ. There is no better ending prayer than that. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Friday, September 4, 2009

2 Samuel 18:6-33

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 18:6-33 (New International Version)

6 The army marched into the field to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7 There the army of Israel was defeated by David's men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men. 8 The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest claimed more lives that day than the sword.

9 Now Absalom happened to meet David's men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom's head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.

10 When one of the men saw this, he told Joab, "I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree."

11 Joab said to the man who had told him this, "What! You saw him? Why didn't you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior's belt."

12 But the man replied, "Even if a thousand shekels were weighed out into my hands, I would not lift my hand against the king's son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, 'Protect the young man Absalom for my sake. ' 13 And if I had put my life in jeopardy —and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me."

14 Joab said, "I'm not going to wait like this for you." So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom's heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. 15 And ten of Joab's armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.

16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes.

18 During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King's Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, "I have no son to carry on the memory of my name." He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom's Monument to this day.

David Mourns
19 Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, "Let me run and take the news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies."

20 "You are not the one to take the news today," Joab told him. "You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king's son is dead."

21 Then Joab said to a Cushite, "Go, tell the king what you have seen." The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off.

22 Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, "Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite."
But Joab replied, "My son, why do you want to go? You don't have any news that will bring you a reward."

23 He said, "Come what may, I want to run."
So Joab said, "Run!" Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite.

24 While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out to the king and reported it.
The king said, "If he is alone, he must have good news." And the man came closer and closer.

26 Then the watchman saw another man running, and he called down to the gatekeeper, "Look, another man running alone!"
The king said, "He must be bringing good news, too."

27 The watchman said, "It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok."
"He's a good man," the king said. "He comes with good news."

28 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, "All is well!" He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, "Praise be to the LORD your God! He has delivered up the men who lifted their hands against my lord the king."

29 The king asked, "Is the young man Absalom safe?"
Ahimaaz answered, "I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king's servant and me, your servant, but I don't know what it was."

30 The king said, "Stand aside and wait here." So he stepped aside and stood there.

31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, "My lord the king, hear the good news! The LORD has delivered you today from all who rose up against you."

32 The king asked the Cushite, "Is the young man Absalom safe?"
The Cushite replied, "May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man."

33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!"

The battle is fought in the forest, and this really affects Absalom's army. The commandos under Joab soundly defeat the forces of Absalom. Absalom flees but is caught up in the branches of an oak tree and hangs there. (The legend is that he was hanging by his hair-ouch! I'm sorry. If I am dangling by my hair and can't make a getaway-I'm giving myself a haircut.)

One of Joabs soldiers reports this to Joab. Joab then goes and kills Absalom-even though David had given specific orders to to gentle with his son.

After killing the rebel prince, they throw his body in a pit and cover it with rocks. This is ironic because he had built an elaborate tomb to be buried in to show how important he was. Now, he is covered with rocks in the wilderness-unmarked.

The word of the victory gets back to David. As the people are racing to town and making the reports, all David cares about is Absalom. No one has the guts to tell him. Finally an Ethiopian slave (the Cushite) tells the king the truth. David is sad.


1. What happened to the great army of Israel under Absalom?

2. Why did Joab kill the prince?

3. What is David's reaction to the news about his son/usurper?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

2 Samuel 17:15-20, 24-29, 18:1-5

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 17:15-20 (New International Version)

15 Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, "Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do such and such, but I have advised them to do so and so. 16 Now send a message immediately and tell David, 'Do not spend the night at the fords in the desert; cross over without fail, or the king and all the people with him will be swallowed up.' "

17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel. A servant girl was to go and inform them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they could not risk being seen entering the city. 18 But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So the two of them left quickly and went to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it. 19 His wife took a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well and scattered grain over it. No one knew anything about it.

20 When Absalom's men came to the woman at the house, they asked, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?"
The woman answered them, "They crossed over the brook." The men searched but found no one, so they returned to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 17:24-29 (New International Version)

24 David went to Mahanaim, and Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. 25 Absalom had appointed Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Jether, an Israelite who had married Abigail, the daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah the mother of Joab. 26 The Israelites and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.

27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Makir son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim 28 brought bedding and bowls and articles of pottery. They also brought wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans and lentils, 29 honey and curds, sheep, and cheese from cows' milk for David and his people to eat. For they said, "The people have become hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert."

2 Samuel 18

1 David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2 David sent the troops out—a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab's brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, "I myself will surely march out with you."

3 But the men said, "You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won't care about us. Even if half of us die, they won't care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city."

4 The king answered, "I will do whatever seems best to you."
So the king stood beside the gate while all the men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands. 5 The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, "Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake." And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders.

The stage is set for final conflict. David's spys have done their job and go out to tell him what's happening, and to warn him. David goes about preparing his men and making sure the battle will be fought to his advantage.

Absalom goes out with the army of Israel, unaware he is being led into David's trap. David tells his Generals-Joab especially, to be gentle with the boy.


1. How important was reconnaissance for David?

2. Why did Absalom come to fight with the troops?

3. Why would Davis ask Joab to be merciful to Absalom?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2 Samuel 16:15-22, 17:1-14

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 16:15-22

The Advice of Hushai and Ahithophel
15 Meanwhile, Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him. 16 Then Hushai the Arkite, David's friend, went to Absalom and said to him, "Long live the king! Long live the king!"

17 Absalom asked Hushai, "Is this the love you show your friend? Why didn't you go with your friend?"

18 Hushai said to Absalom, "No, the one chosen by the LORD, by these people, and by all the men of Israel—his I will be, and I will remain with him. 19 Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve the son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you."

20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give us your advice. What should we do?"

21 Ahithophel answered, "Lie with your father's concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench in your father's nostrils, and the hands of everyone with you will be strengthened." 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.

2 Samuel 17

1 Ahithophel said to Absalom, "I would choose twelve thousand men and set out tonight in pursuit of David. 2 I would attack him while he is weary and weak. I would strike him with terror, and then all the people with him will flee. I would strike down only the king 3 and bring all the people back to you. The death of the man you seek will mean the return of all; all the people will be unharmed." 4 This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

5 But Absalom said, "Summon also Hushai the Arkite, so we can hear what he has to say." 6 When Hushai came to him, Absalom said, "Ahithophel has given this advice. Should we do what he says? If not, give us your opinion."

7 Hushai replied to Absalom, "The advice Ahithophel has given is not good this time. 8 You know your father and his men; they are fighters, and as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Besides, your father is an experienced fighter; he will not spend the night with the troops. 9 Even now, he is hidden in a cave or some other place. If he should attack your troops first, e]'>[e] whoever hears about it will say, 'There has been a slaughter among the troops who follow Absalom.' 10 Then even the bravest soldier, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a fighter and that those with him are brave.

11 "So I advise you: Let all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba—as numerous as the sand on the seashore—be gathered to you, with you yourself leading them into battle. 12 Then we will attack him wherever he may be found, and we will fall on him as dew settles on the ground. Neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it down to the valley until not even a piece of it can be found."

14 Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel." For the LORD had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.

Absalom prepares to defeat David. So far-so good. However; David has done a few things to set his son up. First- Ahithopel suggests that Absalom sleep with his father's concubines in a tent on his palaces roof. Evidently there is no room for discretion when ravaging Dad's women.

Also, Absalom is having to take advice from David's former friends. The main problem is that he doesn't know which one to trust. Ahithopel says to only go after one man -David. Hushai the Archite says to wipe out all off David's followers. What to do? Absalom decides to take out all the followers of David. God is bringing ruin on the boy.


1. Why was it important for Absalom to sleep with the concubines in front of the nation?

2. How was Absalom to know what advice was good?

3. According to Hushai, why must Absalom fight all David's army?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2 Samuel 16:1-14

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 16

David and Ziba
1 When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine.

2 The king asked Ziba, "Why have you brought these?"
Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the desert."

3 The king then asked, "Where is your master's grandson?"
Ziba said to him, "He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, 'Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather's kingdom.' "

4 Then the king said to Ziba, "All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours."
"I humbly bow," Ziba said. "May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king."

Shimei Curses David
5 As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul's family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out. 6 He pelted David and all the king's officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David's right and left. 7 As he cursed, Shimei said, "Get out, get out, you man of blood, you scoundrel! 8 The LORD has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The LORD has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a man of blood!"

9 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head."

10 But the king said, "What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, 'Curse David,' who can ask, 'Why do you do this?' "

11 David then said to Abishai and all his officials, "My son, who is of my own flesh, is trying to take my life. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. 12 It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today."

13 So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt. 14 The king and all the people with him arrived at their destination exhausted. And there he refreshed himself.

David is fleeing from his rebellious son. He has left some of his friends and comrades in Jerusalem, to protect the ark and to provide information about Absalom. As he flees he receives food and supplies. He also is cursed by a man, and when Abishai, Joab's brother, wants to cut the man's head off, David tells him that Davids own son wants him dead. Why would they pick on this man to kill.

As David rode away, Shimei continued to curse him and throw dirt on him, (remember when the guy threw his shoe at our president? Throwing dirt is even more of a curse.) He asked God to witness this and to repay his actions with blessings.


1.Why is Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting for David? Why doesn't he wait in the city?

2.Why does Shimei curse David?

3. How does David respond?

Monday, August 31, 2009

2 Smauel 15:7-23

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 15:7-23 (New International Version)

7 At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, "Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD. 8 While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: 'If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the LORD in Hebron.

9 The king said to him, "Go in peace." So he went to Hebron.

10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, 'Absalom is king in Hebron.' " 11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom's following kept on increasing.

David Flees
13 A messenger came and told David, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom."

14 Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, "Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin upon us and put the city to the sword."

15 The king's officials answered him, "Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses."

16 The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at a place some distance away. 18 All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.

19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. 20 You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your countrymen. May kindness and faithfulness be with you."

21 But Ittai replied to the king, "As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be."

22 David said to Ittai, "Go ahead, march on." So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.

23 The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the desert.

Absalom continues to grow in power. He asks David if he can go to Hebron, (ironically the place where David first took power,) to worship God. Instead, he went and started a revolution. He was so successful that soon David was forced to flee his capital and go back on the run as he had so many years before.

As he left, he left several things behind. He left ten concubines to look after the palace, (look back to 12:11 for a reference,) 600 Gittites who had been his personal bodyguards and he left the ark. David planned on returning.


1. Why did David let Absalom out of his sight?

2. Why would David leave his capital?

3. What was the significance of the ten concubines?

Friday, August 28, 2009

2 Samuel 15:1-6

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 15

Absalom's Conspiracy
1 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, "What town are you from?" He would answer, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel." 3 Then Absalom would say to him, "Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you." 4 And Absalom would add, "If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that he gets justice."

5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

David spared his son, now his son is plotting against him. He would drive out to the gates and talk to the people who wished to talk to the king. He would then plant the seeds of destruction. To say he is sucking up to the people is putting it mildly.


1. Why would Absalom provide himself with a chariot and fifty men?

2. Why would he go outside the gate to meet people?

3. How did he win the hearts of the people?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2 Samuel 14:1-33

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 14

Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
1 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart longed for Absalom. 2 So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, "Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don't use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead. 3 Then go to the king and speak these words to him." And Joab put the words in her mouth.

4 When the woman from Tekoa went a]'>[a] to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, "Help me, O king!"

5 The king asked her, "What is troubling you?"
She said, "I am indeed a widow; my husband is dead. 6 I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him. 7 Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, 'Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir as well.' They would put out the only burning coal I have left, leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth."

8 The king said to the woman, "Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf."

9 But the woman from Tekoa said to him, "My lord the king, let the blame rest on me and on my father's family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt."

10 The king replied, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me, and he will not bother you again."

11 She said, "Then let the king invoke the LORD his God to prevent the avenger of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed."
"As surely as the LORD lives," he said, "not one hair of your son's head will fall to the ground."

12 Then the woman said, "Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king."
"Speak," he replied.

13 The woman said, "Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of God? When the king says this, does he not convict himself, for the king has not brought back his banished son? 14 Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.

15 "And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, 'I will speak to the king; perhaps he will do what his servant asks. 16 Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from the inheritance God gave us.'

17 "And now your servant says, 'May the word of my lord the king bring me rest, for my lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil. May the LORD your God be with you.' "

18 Then the king said to the woman, "Do not keep from me the answer to what I am going to ask you."
"Let my lord the king speak," the woman said.

19 The king asked, "Isn't the hand of Joab with you in all this?"
The woman answered, "As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant. 20 Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God—he knows everything that happens in the land."

21 The king said to Joab, "Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom."

22 Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king. Joab said, "Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant's request."

23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 24 But the king said, "He must go to his own house; he must not see my face." So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king.

25 In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. 26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair from time to time when it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels b]'>[b] by the royal standard.

27 Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. The daughter's name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman.

28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king's face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come. 30 Then he said to his servants, "Look, Joab's field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire." So Absalom's servants set the field on fire.

31 Then Joab did go to Absalom's house and he said to him, "Why have your servants set my field on fire?"

32 Absalom said to Joab, "Look, I sent word to you and said, 'Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, "Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!" ' Now then, I want to see the king's face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death."

33 So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.

I almost left this story out of the Sunday School lesson, but it does show a side of David we need to see. Joab sees David is in pain. Joab loves David and tries to help. He hires an actress and has her tell the king a story . This is an early reality show.

The story is that she is a widow and her two sons got in a fight and before they could be separated one killed the other. Now the surviving son faces execution, which would leave her with no sons and it would also leave her dead husband no heir. David is touched. After examining the situation he realizes she is talking about David's sons, Amnon and Absalom. David understands that Joab is behind this and has Joab fetch the wayward Absalom.

We then find that Absalom is rather narcissistic. He is beautiful and has a full head of hair. He is back in Jerusalem but David will not see him. He grows impatient and calls for Joab, but Joab doesn't come either, He burns one of Joab's fields to get his attention. David calls for his son and forgives him.


1. Why does Joab get involved?

2. The widows story is about only two sons. How does the matter of Amnon and Absalom resemble this?

3. Is Absalom spoiled?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Absalom Kills Amnon
23 Two years later, when Absalom's sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king's sons to come there. 24 Absalom went to the king and said, "Your servant has had shearers come. Will the king and his officials please join me?"

25 "No, my son," the king replied. "All of us should not go; we would only be a burden to you." Although Absalom urged him, he still refused to go, but gave him his blessing.

26 Then Absalom said, "If not, please let my brother Amnon come with us."
The king asked him, "Why should he go with you?" 27 But Absalom urged him, so he sent with him Amnon and the rest of the king's sons.

28 Absalom ordered his men, "Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, 'Strike Amnon down,' then kill him. Don't be afraid. Have not I given you this order? Be strong and brave." 29 So Absalom's men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king's sons got up, mounted their mules and fled.

30 While they were on their way, the report came to David: "Absalom has struck down all the king's sons; not one of them is left." 31 The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.

32 But Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother, said, "My lord should not think that they killed all the princes; only Amnon is dead. This has been Absalom's expressed intention ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 My lord the king should not be concerned about the report that all the king's sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead."

34 Meanwhile, Absalom had fled.
Now the man standing watch looked up and saw many people on the road west of him, coming down the side of the hill. The watchman went and told the king, "I see men in the direction of Horonaim, on the side of the hill."

35 Jonadab said to the king, "See, the king's sons are here; it has happened just as your servant said."

36 As he finished speaking, the king's sons came in, wailing loudly. The king, too, and all his servants wept very bitterly.

37 Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned for his son every day.

38 After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. 39 And the spirit of the king longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon's death.

Sometimes, revenge-like ice cream, is a dish best served cold. Absolom hates his half brother Amnon. He takes his time. After a few years he throws a party at his ranch while sheering sheep. He invites the King and all the family. David declines, (he didn't want to be a burden.)Absalom is insistent, so David sends all the princes.

Absalom orders his men to kill Amnon on his command, ( after he gets drunk at the party.) As the men are killing Amnon, the other princes flee. The word gets back to the capital before the princes do, (how did that happen? Did they stop and chat on the way? Maybe someone had signal and texted, I don't know,) and the rumor is that Absalom killed all his brothers.

Jonadab knows better. He knows that Absalom only wanted to kill Amnon because Amnon raped his sister, (at Jonadab's advice.) The princes arrive and everyone ripes clothes and morns. Absalom flees. Justice has been served.


1. Why did Absalom throw the party?

2. Didn't Abnom know Absalom wanted to hurt him?

3. Would this had happened if David had been more hands on after Amnon raped Tamar?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2 Samuel 13:15-22

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

15 Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, "Get up and get out!"

16 "No!" she said to him. "Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me."
But he refused to listen to her. 17 He called his personal servant and said, "Get this woman out of here and bolt the door after her." 18 So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing a richly ornamented robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.

20 Her brother Absalom said to her, "Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet now, my sister; he is your brother. Don't take this thing to heart." And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house, a desolate woman.

21 When King David heard all this, he was furious. 22 Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.

Sometimes, people can be jerks. Even princes who are first in line to the throne can act selfishly. Amnon was deeply in "love" with his half sister Tamar. The passion he felt for her drove him crazy-literally. After he acted on the feelings, after he raped her, she disgusted him. He kicked her out and slammed the door. The walk of shame began.

Tamar was upset, and her full brother Absalom tried to comfort her. He basically told her to be quiet, things will work out. David heard of what happened in his family. He became upset with his son Amnon, but did nothing.


1. What's up with Amnon? Why the sudden change of heart?

2. Why did Tamar tear her clothes and make a production of her pain?

3. Why did David do nothing?

Monday, August 24, 2009

2 Samuel 13:1-14

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 13

Amnon and Tamar
1 In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.

2 Amnon became frustrated to the point of illness on account of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her.

3 Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4 He asked Amnon, "Why do you, the king's son, look so haggard morning after morning? Won't you tell me?"
Amnon said to him, "I'm in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."

5 "Go to bed and pretend to be ill," Jonadab said. "When your father comes to see you, say to him, 'I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I may watch her and then eat it from her hand.' "

6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, "I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand."

7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: "Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him." 8 So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it. 9 Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat.
"Send everyone out of here," Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11 But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, "Come to bed with me, my sister."

12 "Don't, my brother!" she said to him. "Don't force me. Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don't do this wicked thing. 13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you." 14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.

Remember 2 Samuel 12:11? This is the beginning of the " your own house." Amnon is David's oldest son. Tamar is his half sister. Absalom is Tamar's full brother. Jonadab was a trouble maker.

Amnon decides he is in love with Tamar. To be honest; at the time you could legally marry your half sister. He consults with his "friend" Jonadab and Jonadab gets an idea. He tells Amnon to pretend to be sick and have his sister Tamar come and cook for him to make him feel better.

Tamar goes and cooks bread for her brother, but he will not eat it unless she feeds it to him in person in his sick bed- with everyone gone! When she tries to feed him he springs up, takes her in his arms, and despite of her pleas, he lays with her. It may have been legal to marry your half sister, but is was not legal to rape her.


1.Since Amnar was the oldest male child of David, what did that make him?

2. Absalom, Tamar's full brother was the second son. Would he be naturally jealous of Amnar?

3. What would David do about his problems at home?

Friday, August 21, 2009

2 Samuel 12:16-25

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

2 Samuel 12:16-25 (New International Version)

16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

18 On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate."

19 David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked.
"Yes," they replied, "he is dead."

20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

21 His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!"

22 He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him; 25 and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.

As a parent, this is a very sad part of the story of David. The child grows sicker and David fasts and prays so the child may live. When the baby dies, the servants are too scared to tell David. David figures it out, but instead of lashing out at he goes and comforts Bathsheba. Then they have Solomon.


1. Why is the child being punished for David's sin?

2. Why would the servants be scared to tell David the truth?

3.What do these passages tell us about David?