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Life Application Study Bible-NASB
By Zondervan Bible Publishers
Zondervan Publishing CompanyCopyright © 2000 Zondervan Bible Publishers
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Chapter OneJUDGES 8:30
30 Now Gideon had seventy sons who were his direct descendants, for he had many wives.
31 His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech.
32 And Gideon the son of Joash died at a ripe old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
33 Then it came about, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god.
34 Thus the sons of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side;
35 nor did they show kindness to the household of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in accord with all the good that he had done to Israel.
9 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's relatives, and spoke to them and to the whole clan of the household of his mother's father, saying,
2 "Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, 'Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?' Also, remember that I am your bone and your flesh."
3 And his mother's relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, "He is our relative."
4 They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him.
5 Then he went to his father's house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself.
6 All the men of Shechem and all Beth-millo assembled together, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar which was in Shechem.
7 Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, "Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you.
8 "Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us!'
9 "But the olive tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my fatness with which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?'
10 "Then the trees said to the fig tree, 'You come, reign over us!'
11 "But the fig tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?'
People who desire power always outnumber those who are able to use power wisely once they have it. Perhaps this is because power has a way of taking over and controlling the person using it. This is especially true in cases of inherited but unmerited power. Abimelech's life shows us what happens when hunger for power corrupts judgment.
Abimelech's position in Gideon's family as the son of a concubine must have created great tension between him and Gideon's many other sons. One against 70: Such odds can either crush a person or make him ruthless. It is obvious which direction Abimelech chose. Gideon's position as warrior and judge had placed Abimelech in an environment of power; Gideon's death provided an opportunity for this son to seize power. Once the process began, the disastrous results were inevitable. A person's thirst for power is not satisfied when he gets power-it only becomes more intense. Abimelech's life was consumed by that thirst. Eventually, he could not tolerate any threat to his power.
By this time, ownership had changed: Abimelech no longer had power-power had him. One lesson we can learn from his life is that our goals control our actions. The amount of control is related to the importance of the goal. Abimelech's most important goal was to have power. His lust for power led him to wipe out not only his brothers, but also whole cities that refused to submit to him. Nothing but death could stop his bloodthirsty drive to conquer. How ironic that he was fatally injured by a woman! The contrast between Abimelech and the great people of the Bible is great. He wanted to control the nation; they were willing to be controlled by God.
Strengths and accomplishments:
The first self-declared king of Israel
Qualified tactical planner and organizer
Weaknesses and mistakes:
Power hungry and ruthless
Took advantage of his father's position without imitating his character
Had 69 of his 70 half brothers killed
Where: Shechem, Arumah, Thebez
Occupations: Self-acclaimed king, judge, political troublemaker
Relatives: Father: Gideon. Only surviving brother: Jotham
"Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventy brothers. Also God returned all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came on them" (Judges 9:56-57).
His story is told in Judges 8:31-9:57. He is also mentioned in 2 Samuel 11:21.
5 "But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; It touches you, and you are dismayed. 6 "Is not your fear of God your confidence, And the integrity of your ways your hope?
7 "Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright destroyed? 8 "According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity And those who sow trouble harvest it. 9 "By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end. 10 "The roaring of the lion and the voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken. 11 "The lion perishes for lack of prey, And the whelps of the lioness are scattered.
12 "Now a word was brought to me stealthily, And my ear received a whisper of it. 13 "Amid disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, 14 Dread came upon me, and trembling, And made all my bones shake. 15 "Then a spirit passed by my face; The hair of my flesh bristled up. 16 "It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, then I heard a voice: 17 'Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? 18 'He puts no trust even in His servants; And against His angels He charges error. 19 'How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before the moth! 20 'Between morning and evening they are broken in pieces; Unobserved, they perish forever. 21 'Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them? They die, yet without wisdom.'
God Is Just
5 "Call now, is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn? 2 "For anger slays the foolish man, And jealousy kills the simple. 3 "I have seen the foolish taking root, And I cursed his abode immediately. 4 "His sons are far from safety, They are even oppressed in the gate, And there is no deliverer. 5 "His harvest the hungry devour And take it to a place of thorns, And the schemer is eager for their wealth. 6 "For affliction does not come from the dust, Nor does trouble sprout from the ground, 7 For man is born for trouble, As sparks fly upward.
8 "But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God;
VITAL STATISTICS PURPOSE: To prove that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal King
AUTHOR: Matthew (Levi)
TO WHOM WRITTEN: Matthew wrote especially to the Jews
DATE WRITTEN: Approximately A.D. 60-65
SETTING: Matthew was a Jewish tax collector who became one of Jesus' disciples. This Gospel forms the connecting link between the Old and New Testaments because of its emphasis on the fulfillment of prophecy.
KEY VERSE: "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill" (5:17).
KEY PEOPLE: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, the disciples, the religious leaders, Caiaphas, Pilate, Mary Magdalene
KEY PLACES: Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Capernaum, Galilee, Judea
SPECIAL FEATURES: Matthew is filled with messianic language ("Son of David" is used throughout) and Old Testament references (53 quotes and 76 other references). This Gospel was not written as a chronological account; its purpose was to present the clear evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior.
AS the motorcade slowly winds through the city, thousands pack the sidewalks hoping to catch a glimpse. Marching bands with great fanfare announce the arrival, and protective agents scan the crowd and run alongside the limousine. Pomp, ceremony, protocol-modern symbols of position and evidences of importance -herald the arrival of a head of state. Whether they are leaders by birth or election, we honor and respect them.
The Jews waited for a leader who had been promised centuries before by prophets. They believed that this leader-the Messiah ("anointed one")-would rescue them from their Roman oppressors and establish a new kingdom. As their king, he would rule the world with justice. However, many Jews overlooked prophecies that also spoke of this king as a suffering servant who would be rejected and killed. It is no wonder, then, that few recognized Jesus as the Messiah. How could this humble carpenter's son from Nazareth be their king? But Jesus was and is the King of all the earth!
Matthew (Levi) was one of Jesus' 12 disciples. Once he was a despised tax collector, but his life was changed by this man from Galilee. Matthew wrote this Gospel to his fellow Jews to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and to explain God's kingdom.
Matthew begins his account by giving Jesus' genealogy. He then tells of Jesus' birth and early years, including the family's escape to Egypt from the murderous Herod and their return to Nazareth. Following Jesus' baptism by John (3:16-17) and his defeat of Satan in the wilderness, Jesus begins his public ministry by calling his first disciples and giving the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7). Matthew shows Christ's authority by reporting his miracles of healing the sick and the demon-possessed, and even raising the dead.
Despite opposition from the Pharisees and others in the religious establishment (chapters 12-15), Jesus continued to teach concerning the kingdom of heaven (chapters 16-20). During this time, Jesus spoke with his disciples about his imminent death and resurrection (16:21) and revealed his true identity to Peter, James, and John (17:1-5). Near the end of his ministry, Jesus entered Jerusalem in a triumphant procession (21:1-11). But soon opposition mounted, and Jesus knew that his death was near. So he taught his disciples about the future-what they could expect before his return (chapter 24) and how to live until then (chapter 25).
In Matthew's finale (chapters 26-28), he focuses on Jesus' final days on earth-the Last Supper, his prayer in Gethsemane, the betrayal by Judas, the flight of the disciples, Peter's denial, the trials before Caiaphas and Pilate, Jesus' final words on the cross, and his burial in a borrowed tomb. But the story does not end there, for the Messiah rose from the dead-conquering death and then telling his followers to continue his work by making disciples in all nations.
As you read this Gospel, listen to Matthew's clear message: Jesus is the Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Celebrate his victory over evil and death, and make Jesus the Lord of your life.
A. BIRTH AND PREPARATION The people of Israel were waiting for the Messiah, their king. OF JESUS, THE KING Matthew begins his book by showing how Jesus Christ was a (1:1-4:11) descendant of David. But Matthew goes on to show that God did not send Jesus to be an earthly king but a heavenly King. His kingdom would be much greater than David's because it would never end. Even at Jesus' birth, many recognized him as a King. Herod, the ruler, as well as Satan, was afraid of Jesus' kingship and tried to stop him, but others worshiped him and brought royal gifts. We must be willing to recognize Jesus for who he really is and worship him as King of our life.
B. MESSAGE AND MINISTRY OF Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, directions for living in his JESUS, THE KING kingdom. He also told many parables about the difference between (4:12-25:46) his kingdom and the kingdoms of earth. Forgiveness, peace, and 1. Jesus begins his ministry putting others first are some of the characteristics that make one 2. Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount great in the kingdom of God. And to be great in God's kingdom, we 3. Jesus performs many miracles must live by God's standards right now. Jesus came to show us how 4. Jesus teaches about the kingdom to live as faithful subjects in his kingdom. 5. Jesus encounters differing reactions to his ministry 6. Jesus faces conflict with the religious leaders 7. Jesus teaches on the Mount of Olives
C. DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF Jesus was formally presented to the nation of Israel but was JESUS, THE KING rejected. How strange for the King to be accused, arrested, and (26:1-28:20) crucified. But Jesus demonstrated his power, even over death, through his resurrection and gained access for us into his kingdom. With all this evidence that Jesus is God's Son, we, too, should accept him as our Lord.
THEME EXPLANATION IMPORTANCE
Jesus Christ, Jesus is revealed as the King of kings. His Jesus cannot be equated with any person or the King miraculous birth, his life and teaching, his power. He is the supreme ruler of time and miracles, and his triumph over death show eternity, heaven and earth, humans and angels. his true identity. We should give him his rightful place as King of our life.
Excerpted from Life Application Study Bible-NASB by Zondervan Bible Publishers Copyright © 2000 by Zondervan Bible Publishers. Excerpted by permission.
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