A Book Study of the Bible
by Pastor Wesley Darby
Joshua through Esther
MARCHING INTO THE PROMISED LAND
Joshua- The Conquest of the Promised Land-24 Ch.- 1:27 Covers 1451-1427 BC - From beginning of Conquest to settling down; from a wandering multitude to a nation. Key Verse is 1:3 - "every place... have I given you." But ye must possess the land. The Book tells us how to be successful in the battle of life - "Be strong and of good courage".
1- Joshua Commissioned
6- Conquest of Jericho
7- The Sin of Acha
13- Division of the Land
20- The Cities of Refuge
23- Joshua's last Counsel
24- Joshua's last Charge
Joshua (1); Rahab (2)
Captain of Lord's Hosts
Achan & City of Ai
Caleb - 14:11
Joshua's long day (10:12)
Schismatic Altar 22
Phineas - v.13
The abiding message of this Book is in realization that the "Just shall live by faith", and that Victory is possible. Joshua's name is the Jehovah, and Jesus-Heb. 4:8, and he is a type of Christ leading US to Christian Victory in conquering all our possessions in the Power of God. The warfare of Israel is the fight of faith, Canaan is the higher type of Christian life that can be won by faith in action. Jesus is seen as the Captain of the Lord's Hosts giving us guidance to victory. The companion book in the New Testament is Ephesians - in the heavenlies. Joshua shows us how the common man can possess what God has for him by faith.
Key verses to mark include 1:8,9, Meditate in law, and be strong; 23:11, take heed that ye love the Lord; 24:15- choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me...we will serve the Lord.
In the book are 624 verses of history; 42 of fulfilled prophecy; 21 questions, 14 messages from God, 98 Commands; 44 predictions; and 15 promises. "The Lord spoke" 7 times and "The Lord said" 10 times, but we are not told how He spoke. Jehovah is a God of War, in a perpetual war against sin. His instruments are nature and His loyal people. Our task today - to exercise a righteous influence, and produce righteous conditions. Song - ''We're Marching to Zion."
A STORY OF APOSTASY, AND ITS TERRIBLE PRICE
Judges - Rulers over Apostate Israel - 21 Ch. - 1:30 The history of the people while backsliding - 1425 BC. covering around 440 years of 7 apostasies, 7 servitudes, 14 judges, 5 civil wars, and 7 deliverances. This book shows the deterioration of a nation that seeks its own way, and it shows God's overriding administration. Life is shown as a steady conflict with sin, and that the life of faith wins, but the life of sin leads us into captivity.
The key words are "Apostasy" and "Forsook", and the key verses include 2;13 -"They forsook the Lord," and 17:6, 18:1, 19:1, 21;25 - "no king in Israel.. This book proves Prov. 14:34 - "Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people". God's amazing grace is shown as our only hope.
2- God forsaken
4- Deliverance by Deborah
6- The Call of Gideon
7 - Gideon's Battle
11- Jephthah's Vow
13-16 - Samson
19 Horror story of sin
3- Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Barak, Sisera & Jabin, Jael, Heber's wife, Mystery Prophet, Fleece, Abilmelech, Tola, Jair, Ibzan, Elon Abdon, Delilah, Philistines, Dagon, Levite & Concubine - 19:30
Christ is seen as ready to forgive and save if -"My people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves, and confess their sin, and forsake their evil ways --- " Even human greatness fails unless the life is led by faith. There are great and tragic verses throughout the book.
Christ is seen as willing to deliver, but man is not willing to obey enough to be saved.
In the book are 585 verses of history, 33 verses of fulfilled prophecy, 92 questions, 23 messages from God, 71 commands, 26 predictions, 5 promises.
There are great cases of nobility and grand deeds, but you have to separate them from the evil and sin.
Song; "There's A Wideness in God's Mercy"
THE ANCESTRY OF DAVID - Love story, 4 chaps. - 12 min.
The author is believed to be Samuel or Isaiah. Covers the period of 1660-1500 BC during first half of Judges. The history of how a Gentile woman became a part of the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Key passage -4:14; key message of the book- the secret of saintship. A pastoral story, literary gem.
1. Rest Forsaken
2. Rest Sought
3. Rest Found
4. Rest Secured
Elimelech & Naomi
Sons- Mahlon & Chilion
Ruth & Orpah
Symbolism: Ruth- the Church; Boaz- Christ Jesus; the nearer kinsman- Satan.
Men see a real problem in 3:8,9 - this was NOT adultery but a proposal of marriage. Note vs. 11. Not skirt but 2:12- Wings!
Key verses include 1:14 - Ruth clave unto her; 16 -"Whither thou goest"; 2:12- under whose wings thou art come to trust; 3:15- last phrase "and he went into the city"- if you find this bring me the Bible:: 4:14- not left without a Kinsman.
There are great cases of nobility and grand deeds, but you have to separate them from the evil and sin.
Song for the book - Under Thy Wings; Redeemed
I & II Samuel are one book in the Jewish Canon
Hos. 13:11- "I gave thee a King in mine anger and took him away in my wrath."
I Samuel = The choice & fall of a king - 31 chapters; Reading time - 1:54
Samuel authored till 1 Sam. 25, the probably Nathan & Gad, cf. I Chron. 29:29 - mentions books of Samuel, Nathan & Gad. The dates covered from 1204- the end of the Judges till 1035- the end of King Saul.
The book shows the failure under Eli, Samuel, & Saul; the nation was weak- 13:19- No smith in the land - The Key Verse - 15:22 - to obey is better than sacrifice.
1 - Birth of Samuel
2 - The Evil Sons of Eli
8 - Israel Demands a King
10- Saul Anointed as King
14- Jonathan's Victory & Trial
17- David & Goliath
19- David Flees Saul
26- David Spares Saul
28- Saul & Witch at Endor
31- Death of Saul
Hannah, Eli, Samuel
Hophni & Phinehas
Saul & Jonathan
Abner- Saul's General
Joab- David's General
Abigail & Nabal
The Witch at Endor
The abiding appeal of the book is shown in God's overruling control that every person and every event being used for His Will. God will have victory- and whether the individual has victory or not depends on his attitude toward God.
Christ is seen as David the Shepherd, Seed of David, & Ark. I Sam. begins and end II Sam, in prayers- and the power of obedience is shown. "Touch not the Lord's Anointed" 24:6. Historical features show a change from Theocracy to Monarchy. Key verses include 12:23-24, Keep praying, & fear the Lord; 15:22, obey better than sacrifice; 16:7, God looketh on the heart; 26:9-11, touch not the Lord's Anointed.
Further experimental study should be made of obedience. Every failure in I Sam. was because of disobedience - Saul is shown as a great man who would not obey, so he ends a tragic figure who committed suicide in battle.
A Song of David - "The Lord is My Shepherd"
From formation of Kingdom to purchase of Mt. Moriah
II Samuel- King David enthroned- 24 chaps.- Read- 1:36 Written by Nathan & Gad- I Chron. 29:29; 1050-1015 EC. Telling the story of the Triumph and Troubles of King David. The joys of the kingdom are overcast by the heartbreaking cry of King David for his son Absalom, 18:33--.
David's great ability in war and organization brought a united kingdom -- but his personal sin and lack of family care brought sin that showed just as greatly as his greatness.
5 - David Unites the Kingdom
7 - David Desires to Build Temple
11- David's Great Sin
12- David's Repentance(Ps.51)
13- Sin in David's Family
15- Absalom steals heart of Israel
18- Civil War & Death of Absalom
22- David's Song of Deliverance(Ps.18)
24- David's Sin/Numbering People - bought Mt. Moriah
Uzzah- touched ark
Uriah & Bathsheba
Amnon, Tamar, Absalom
David's Mighty Men- Ch.23
The abiding appeal is in showing that God's opportunity to work in a person's heart is created by the person's attitude - toward God; and a man's greatest opportunity is created by God's attitude toward him. The only way a man's potential can be realized is when he cooperates with God.
Devotional topics could not miss the lesson in David's sin, and we can be sure that our sin will find us out. II Sam. 22:26 shows God's way of dealing with man-With the merciful- Thou wilt shew thyself merciful. Key verses include 7:8 - "I took thee from the sheepcote...", 12:23b- "I shall go to him..."; 24:14b- "Let me fall into the hands of the Lord..."; 24:24 "Neither will I offer unto the Lord my God that which cost me nothing..."
I & II Kings are counted as one book in Jewish Canon
III & IV Kings in the Catholic Canon
A STORY OF MAN'S SIN CORRUPTING COD'S KINGDOM
I Kings - the Kingdom Falling - 22 chap, - 1:48 Read.
Jeremiah is considered the author (cf. I Ki.8.8) written before the Temple was destroyed. Covering from David to Jehosophat 1015 BC to 897 BC. This book shows the Kingdom decaying, the human standard of government, "as David his father" mentioned 9 times. The purpose of the book is to show why the Davidic Kingdom was not perpetuated. If God be counted out, every method of man leads to disaster. 3:3 shows the greatness of Solomon - but also his sin.
1. David & Plots for throne
2. Solomon crowned as King
3. Solomon claims wisdom v.9
8. God inhabits the Temple
11. Solomon's heart turned
12. The Kingdom Divided
13. Jeroboam's False Altar
17. Elijah & the drought
18. Elijah & prophets of Baal
19. Elijah flees
21. Ahab & Naboth's Vineyard
David, Nathan, Adonijah Bathsheba, Solomon
8- Solomon's Prayer
10- Queen of Sheba Jeroboam & Rehoboam
13:4- Mystery man of God Asa 15:11, Ahab 16:29 Jezebel
The abiding message of the book is that no matter how smart a person might be if he "walks in the way of his father David" God will bless him, and if he "does evil in the sight of the Lord" God will crush him.
This is a book of the failure of human kings (intrigue, murder, rebellion) but behind the scenes is the thought of the King of Kings that will not fail. Sometimes man's sin is no bad God intervenes directly.
Jesus Christ is seen as the coming King of Kings, Key verses are Solomon's request - 3:9; God's 7,000 -19:18; Sarcasm- 22:15, and the Truth v.17-
THE DECLINE & FALL & CAPTIVITY OF ISRAEL & JUDAH
II Kings- the Kingdom Fallen- 25 chap,-1:45 Read time.
Jewish tradition is that Jeremiah was author- could be that Isaiah wrote up to Hezekiah and Jeremiah wrote after - 2 Chron. 32:32.
This book shows the nation degenerating until both Israel and Judah are carried away captive. This book is saturated with hopelessness in man, and the promise of help only in the Lord is almost hidden.
1. Elijah & fire on soldiers
2. Translation of Elijah
4. Elishia &Widow's oil
5, Healing of Naaman the leper
7. Miraculous delivery of Samaria
9. Jehu King & Jezebel killed
10. Jehu destroys Baal
17. Lost 10 Tribes & new Samaritans
18. Hezekiah coning to rule Judah
19. God slaying Syrians/Jerusalem
20. Hezekiah & the sun dial
22. Josiah & Revival in the Word
25:9 Destruction of Jerusalem
Elisha & miracles
Perhaps one of the strongest verses - 10:10 "Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the Lord which the Lord spake concerning the house of Ahab" is true in every area & for every man.
The key message of this book is the everlasting wages of sin - there is no escape, and God will fulfill His word to the sinner as well as bless the saint.
"Where there is no vision- the people perish" Ideals, conscience and purposes of man were lost -- The respite of revival under Asa, Jehosophat, Jehoash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jothan, Hezekiah, Josiah -- were but for brief periods of time -- for 33 of the Kings of Israel and Judah led the children into sin!
"The History of the Bible repeated- Temple Records"
Kings seems to give man's view & Chronicles God's view.
I Chron.- 29 chapts. - 1:39 reading time 11 Chron.- 36 chapts. - 2 hrs. reading time
Covering time from the Creation of Adam to Captivity of Jews. Probably written during the Jewish Captivity. I CHRON.- Divine Activity in Building of a Nation. God answered the prayer of Jabez (4:10)- should be our prayer. Saul died (10:13) because of sin against God.
11- David's Mighty Men
12- Men of War v.33-Keeping Rank
13 & 15- Ark to Jerusalem
16- David's Psalm (Pe.105)
17- Davidic Covenant
21- David's Sin (Numbering people)
22- Solomon's Charge- Build
28- David Advises Solomon
Adam - Saul Ch.1-10
Faithful Joeb, Ornan
Samuel, Nathan, Gad (29:29)
Christ is seen as God's True King for us. Our rationalism brings disaster. The election of God is shown in the life of the nation. Key verses include 11:18--water poured to God; 11:32,33,38- description of victorious men, 17:7 - a reminder "I took thee from the sheepcote & made thee king"
II CHRON. - From its greatness to its fall- Israel - a dark picture of instability & apostasy - some revival.
6- Sermon & Prayer of Solomon
7- God's Acceptance, Offer of Revival
10- Division of Kingdom
15- Backsliding & Revival
29- Revival Under Hezekiah
34- Revival Under Josiah
David & Solomon
Rehoboam & Jeroboam
Key verses show how Christ is the God who cares and brings Revival. 7:14 "if my people..." recipe for revival; 13:4- Covenant of Salt; 16:9- the Eyes of the Lord; 20:15b- "The battle is not yours but God's".
God's Glory is shown by the contrast - Solomon's inheritance, greatness, service, & failure, and continually illustrated in history. Their religion deteriorated to formalism, and formalism killed their faith in God. Five periods of Revival, but terrible folly & sin. The failure of man brings the darkest night.
Ezra- Rebuilding the Temple 36 min. reading time, 10 chapts. Covers about 80 yrs. 536-457 BC Key verse - 7:10
God's Sovereignty over Israel; God/picture of a potter He made it again, another vessel. - first post-exile Book.
Gen-I1 Chron presents a family, a people, and finally a nation- The fall, sin, captivity in Babylon, - and now! Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther- In the captivity, Returning.
1. Preparation to Return & Build
3. The Altar & Worship restored
4. Adversaries & opposition
7. Ezra sent to restore order
9. Remnant lost its separation
10. Restoration of separation
Cyrus- of Persia
God's instruments are men- some aware & willing, some completely unaware of God's sovereignty. The abiding message is that of hope - the Hope that God keeps on working in us in the face of many obstacles. Ezra was a priest who led the 2nd colony to help Zerubbabel, and to bring further authority from Artaxerxes.
The living message is that of the permanent value of God's ultimate word in sovereignty. To man this means a Conviction in place of carelessness, Consecration in the place of comfort, Courage in place of cowardice, and Confidence in the place of contempt.
Satan has no new tricks- he had his adversaries try to hinder the work by - joining and compromising- 4:2; troubling & hiring evil counsellors- 4:4,5; legal letters to the king to stop the work- 4:8.
Ezra encouraged the people to finish the temple and restore worship. He led the people to confess their sins Ch.9, & to return to the Lord in separation-Ch.10
The key thought is restoration; Christ is seen as the Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth. The conclusion of the book is that God's Word should have a place and power in the religious, social and civil life of His people.
Great verses include 3:11- Singing praise; 7:10-Ezra prepared his heart; 9:6- Blush & shame, & 15; 10:1- Ezra prayed; v.3- covenant, v.44- fruit of sin. Against tremendous odds, they came back to God and had a revival.
Song for the book - .Revive Us Again.
REBUILDING THE WALLS OF JERUSALEM
Author- Nehemiah; 13 chapters; 51 min. reading time. Written- 443 BC; After Ezra started rebuilding the temple Nehemiah came with authority to rebuild the walls. The book covers the politics of restoring the walls and civil authority to Jerusalem. Key Passage: 2:20 "God will prosper us, we will arise and build"
1 - Nehemiah's burden & prayer
2 - Before Artaxerxes; to Jerusalem
4 - Opposition led by Sanballat
6 - Opposition but wall finished
8 - Law read & sin mourned
9 - People fast, pray & return
13 - Restoration of separation
Ezra and Nehemiah appear as one book in many early Bibles. The book ends incompletely as does Acts. Geneva version first separated them. Christ is seen as the Lord of Heaven and Earth, but no part of the book shows that the people had any Messianic hope et all. Abiding Message - The clay in its attitude "The righteous shall live by faith". Nehemiah was not a king, priest, nor prophet. Here God is working through a cup bearer - an ordinary man. Devotional Topics--Prayer, pains and perseverance are the conditions of successful work for God. When they began to read the Word they began to grow closer to the Lord. Sin has its entanglements - High priest, inlaw of Tobiah.
Key verses - 4.6- So built we, for the people had a mind to work; 8:8- So they read the book; 13:26- Outlandish women; 31- Remember me for good.
Nehemiah was a man who trusted God even though the nation had failed. Prophet, priest, & king had failed but here was a man, and God used him.
Song: "Who Is On The Lord's Side"
"GOD'S HIDDEN PROTECTION"
Author- Ezra?; 10 chapters, 27 minutes reading time. Written- 516-506 BC; written to show the history of the Feast of Purim- God's deliverance of the Jews from extermination. Covering 464-434 B.C. The records of the Court of Ahasuerus and the unique delivery of Israel through Queen Esther during the 60 years between Ezra and Nehemiah. Key passage - 4:14 "Who knows". Key message of the book - God takes a real interest in all our affairs and shapes His providence to work out His glory through them.
1 - The Feast of Ahasuerus
2 - Esther Chosen to be Queen
3 - Conspiracy of Haman
4 - Appeal to the Queen
6 - Queen Victorious- Haman hanged 7,8,9- Israel Defended
Ahasuerus & Vashti
Hadassah- Myrtle (Heb.)
Star Flower (Persian)
God's name does not appear in this book, but His sovereign hand is shown behind the events and deeds of men. The myrtle tree (Hadassah) and the star (Esther) became symbols for Israel in her captivity. During the darkest hour God is there. He alone foresees all and is able to act on foreknowledge. Christ is seen as our Mordecai, our helpful uncle.
Each person is important to God. "Who knows but that thou art come to the kingdom for such an hour as this." In Esther God teaches through pictures, sometimes trivialities but always active. God gives or takes sleep from us for a purpose.
Key verses - 1:20,22- all wives honor husbands and husband bear rule; 4:14 - every moment of our lives should be lived in this light; 7:8- God trapped Haman and he was hanged on his own gallows.
Song: "Under His Wings""