Job – Suffering

Books of the Old Testament
BACKGROUND Job was a very wealthy and religious man who seemed to have life under control (1:1-5). However, unknown to him, Satan challenged his righteousness. God allowed the challenge, but limited Satan's power to Job's possessions (1:6-12). In quick succession, Satan destroyed all of Job's possessions including even his children. However, Job did not blame God nor question His integrity (1:13-22). Satan then challenged God to let him attack Job's personal health. God agreed, but warned him not to kill Job (2:1-6). Without warning, a loathsome disease fell upon Job; yet he still refused to blame God (2:7-10). Job's friends were shocked and dismayed, but nevertheless came to encourage him and offer their help (2:11-13). To this point Job displayed a traditional faith accepting suffering as inevitable and patiently enduring…
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Hosea – Heart of God

Books of the Old Testament
Background The book of Hosea’s main theme is that though God will bring judgment on sin, He will always bring His people back to Himself. Hosea linked his message closely with his personal life. By marrying a woman he knew would eventually betray his trust and by giving his children names that sent messages of judgment on Israel, Hosea’s prophetic word flowed out of the life of his family. God is faithful God wanted to illustrate to His people how faithful He was despite their idolatry. To do so He instructed His prophet Hosea to marry an adulterous wife and to love her despite her adultery. Hosea 1:2 When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with…
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Nehemiah – Serving God

Books of the Old Testament
Background Despite the fact that the returned exiles had been in Jerusalem for many years, the walls of the city remained unrepaired, leaving its people defenseless and vulnerable. Upon hearing this news, Nehemiah seeks permission from the Persian king to go to Jerusalem. Arriving in Jerusalem, he mobilizes the people to begin rebuilding the wall. Faced with opposition, both from without and from within, Nehemiah perseveres until the project is completed, and the city resettled. When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he found more than just broken walls, he found broken lives. In response, Nehemiah gathers the people together to hear Ezra read God's Law. The people repent and promise to change their lives by obeying God's words. Theme (Nehemiah 5:16 NIV) I devoted myself to the work on this wall.…
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1 Kings – Making decisions

Books of the Old Testament
Background According to tradition, Jeremiah is the author of 1 and 2 Kings. The first part of the book describes the events leading to Solomon's becoming king even though he wasn't the eldest living son of David. The book also described his greatness, especially in building the temple. The Bible clearly notes that Solomon had faults as well as elements of greatness. The "seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines" came from many of the kingdoms with which Solomon had treaties (1 Kings 11:1). He apparently allowed his wives to worship their native gods and even had altars to these gods constructed in Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7-8). This sin lead to the empire built by David being split in two at the death of Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-12:25; see…
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Psalms

Books of the Old Testament
How to study the Psalms Quiz question : Who wrote the psalms? Answer : David wrote almost half the Psalms, 73 in all, Moses wrote one (Psalms 90), Solomon wrote two (Psalms 72 and 127) and the rest written by sons of Asaph (a Levite musician David appointed to serve in the tabernacle until the Temple was completed), sons of Korah (another group of temple singers), etc. How we can benefit from the Psalms Read it like a prayer. It helps us to express ourselves to God When we want to worship God and run out of words. Or when we want to be creative in our worship of God, use the praise psalms. They help us to express our awe and worship of God (Psalms 104:1-4 NIV) Praise the…
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Leviticus – Holiness

Books of the Old Testament
Background Exodus 26-27 give the Lord's instruction for the building of the tabernacle, the place of worship during ancient Israel's sojourn in the wilderness. These instructions are carried out and the tabernacle accepted as an appropriate place of worship (Ex. 35-40). Exodus 28-29 recount the Lord's instructions for ordaining Aaron and his sons as priests. Leviticus contains instructions for priests and worship. Leviticus 1 - 5 list the five main types of sacrifice. Leviticus 6-7 provide further instruction on sacrifice for the priests, and Leviticus 8-10 describe the beginning of sacrifice at the tabernacle. Leviticus 11-15 provide instruction on that which is clean and unclean. Leviticus 16 describes the ritual of the Day of Atonement, a way of removing the impact of sin and uncleanness. Leviticus 17-27 is the Holiness…
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Lamentations – Intercession

Books of the Old Testament
Background The book of Lamentations is about the lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet. His heart was broken not for selfish reasons but for the things of God. His heart was broken by the things that break God’s heart. That reminds me of the lyrics of the song Hosanna by Hillsong United. Song - Hosanna  by Hillsong United Heal my heart and make it clean Open up my eyes to the things unseen Show me how to love like you have loved me Break my heart for what is yours Everything I am for your kingdom's cause As I walk from earth into eternity Jeremiah was watching his city Jerusalem burn and it broke his heart. Even though he knew that the city was destroyed…
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Isaiah – Trusting God

Books of the Old Testament
Background The book opens with prophesies concerning Israel and Judah (chapters 1 - 12). As a result of their disobedience, God foretells their judgement which includes the invasion by the Assyrians. Chapters 13 - 23 comprises of judgement against the surrounding nations which includes Babylon, Assyria, Philista, Moab, Egypt, Edom, etc. Chapters 24 - 27 talks about end-time prophecies of universal judgement and destruction and songs of victory and thanksgiving from the saints as the Lord preserves them. A second major collection of prophecies concerning Israel and Judah is contained in chapters 28 - 35. Four chapters are historical (Isa. 36-39), relating to the times of Hezekiah. From chapters 40 onwards, the prophet speaks about the events that will occur after their captivity. This includes the decree by Cyrus to…
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Jonah – God’s Plans

Books of the Old Testament
Background God called Jonah to preach to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh. Jonah was unwilling to do so because the Assyrians were an evil people. He therefore tried to run away from God’s call and headed towards the farthest westward point known to him—Tarshish, located in modern-day Spain. The story is about how God moved in the situation to ensure that His plans are fulfilled. Jonah eventually obeyed and prophesied to the people of Nineveh and the people repented. God’s plans cannot be thwarted Jonah had tried many times to avert God’s plans. He did not want to bring God’s message to the Ninevites - Israel’s hated enemy - for fear that they would repent and God would withhold His punishments towards them. Yet no matter how Jonah ran, he…
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Amos – Injustice

Books of the Old Testament
Background Amos was a prophet raised by God to speak against the injustice of his day. Although outwardly they appear to be religious, inwardly the society suffers from many aspects of injustice. 5:21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;  your assemblies are a stench to me. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,  I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,  I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs!  I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos was a shepherd and a grower of sycamore figs. Because of his humble background, he showed a heart for the downcast…
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