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Archive for July 2009

Life Under The Apple Tree

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Life Under the Apple Tree

(Song of Solomon 2:3-14)


Introduction

Please do open your bibles to the Song of Solomon!  I of course don't know when you last read it, heard a talk about it or if you have ever read it or heard a talk about it! So, if you are in that category, it's a new thing for you! In my preparation, as I talked to other Christians about this book, I have found that some people are aghast at some of the very frank and provocative language used! But this should not stop us from reading it, studying it and learning from it. It is, after all, part of the Bible and therefore part of God's Written Word. Jesus Himself and the Disciples would have read this book at Passover time. It is a book that tells of the love of a woman (the Beloved) for a man, the man probably being Solomon. Different translations have different places where the beloved, the lover and others are actually speaking.

But for ease of use tonight, we will use the guidelines of the church bibles, the New International Version.The Jews called it the Greatest Song of All Songs. Martin Luther called it the noblest of all songs! It is poetry that is full of love, romance and some say eroticism. Greater than Shakespeare's sonnets if you can believe that! Tonight, we are delving only into Chapter 2. Historically this book has been interpreted in 3 ways.
  • Firstly as a treatise on the joys of biblical sexual love;
  • Secondly as an allegory about God's love for His people Israel;These two interpretations have great merit!
  • However, some of you may be sad to know, and others very happy to know, that I am going to concentrate principally on a third way that encompasses those two and that is seeing it as a picture of the immense love that exists between Jesus Christ for His church and its people, where the bridegroom is Jesus and His bride is the church.


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BAM - Ezra

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Old Testament

Book of Ezra

Summarised in 1 Minute

Key Verses

Ezra 1:3 - So Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the Tent of Meeting of God, which Moses the servant of Yahweh had made in the wilderness.

Ezra 7:10 - On the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that Yahweh had shown to David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.

Summary

The book of Ezra continues on from 2 Chronicles by showing how God fulfils His promise to return His people to the land of promise after seventy years of exile. Israel's "second exodus", this one from Babylon, is less impressive than the return from Egypt because only a remnant chooses to leave Babylon.

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BAM - 2 Chronicles

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Old Testament

Book of 2 Chronicles

Summarised in 1 Minute

Key Verses

2 Chronicles 7:14 -if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 16:9 -For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.

Summary

The book of 2 Chronicles covers the same period of history as 1 & 2 Kings, but from the spiritual perspective. It tells mainly of Judah, the southern kingdom after the life of David and deals mainly with the reforming kings: Asa, Jehosophat, Joash, Hezekiah and Josiah.

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BAM - 1 Chronicles

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Old Testament

Book of 1 Chronicles

Summarised in 1 Minute

Key Verses

1 Chronicles 17v11-14 - It shall happen, when your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. I will not take my loving kindness away from him, as I took it from him that was before you; but I will settle him in my house and in my kingdom forever. His throne shall be established forever.

Summary

The book of 1 Chronicles Covers same period of history as 2 Samuel. but from a religious history rather that a political perspective. It traces the spiritual significance of David's righteous reign.

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BAM - 2 Kings

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Old Testament

Book of 2 Kings

Summarised in 1 Minute

Key Verses

2 Kings 17:22-23 -The children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they didn't depart from them; 17:23 until Yahweh removed Israel out of his sight, as he spoke by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria to this day.

2 Kings 23:27 -Yahweh said, "I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.'"

Summary

The book of 2 Kings continues the drama of 1 Kings, systematically tracing the reigning monarchs of both Israel and Judah, first by telling one nations history, and the retracing the same period for the other.

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BAM - 1 Kings

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Old Testament

Book of 1 Kings

Summarised in 1 Minute

Key Verses

1 Kings 9:4 - 5 -"As for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my ordinances; then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, according as I promised to David your father, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel.'

1 Kings 11:11 -Therefore Yahweh said to Solomon, "Because this is done by you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.

Summary

The first half of 1 Kings tells about Israel under Solomon. Under his leadership, Israel rises to the peak of her size and glory, including the building of the temple. Solomon soon gains a divided heart following his pagan wives, which leads to Israel being divided. The second part goes on to tell about the 2 sets of kings and nations of disobedient people, rebelling against God's prophets and His laws.

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