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2 Samuel 22:32-34 1
32 For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? 33 It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. 34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.

deerBackground 2

The two Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל‎) are part of a series of Old Testament books (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) that constitute a theological history of the Israelites which affirms and explains God’s law for Israel under the guidance of the prophets. According to Jewish tradition the book was written by Samuel, with additions by the prophets Gad and Nathan; modern scholarly thinking is that the entire history (called the Deuteronomistic history) was composed in the period c.630–540 BCE by combining a number of independent texts of various ages.

Samuel begins with the prophet Samuel’s birth and God’s call to him as a boy. The story of the Ark of the Covenant that follows tells of Israel’s oppression by the Philistines, which brings about Samuel’s anointing of Saul as Israel’s first king. But Saul proves unworthy and God’s choice turns to David, who defeats Israel’s enemies and brings the Ark to Jerusalem. God then promises David and his successors an eternal dynasty.

Biblical Truth 3

David described how wonderful God is. There is nobody else like him. He is the only real God. Then David described how this wonderful God helped him to win his battles. In these verses, David described how God prepared him for the battles and how God’s way is always perfect. Because God is strong, So, God could make David’s way perfect and make him strong. David had been a shepherd and grew up in the mountains so he knew the wildlife. His knowledge came from experience. He knew deer had special feet so that it can climb up and down the mountains and not slip on the rocks. Deer can even run and jump across the rocks. Because a mountain is a difficult place to walk let alone to run on, David knew that God had helped him so that he did not fail during his difficult times. David may have been referring to the times when Saul chased him and he had to escape and to live in the mountains.

Items for Discussion

  • How do life’s experiences help us build/create courage?
  • What do we learn from our failures?
  • David is bringing forward his life’s lessons in a way that helps others understand God – How can all of us do the same thing?

 

John 8:30-36
30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him. 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Background

John’s Gospel was the last Gospel written, giving the Apostle the advantage to write about what had been misunderstood in previous Gospels. Since John had the advantage of being with Jesus for most of His ministry, John’s own writings include much of what he heard Jesus tell others.

John wanted his readers to believe ‘that Jesus is the *Messiah, God’s Son’ (John 20:31). Matthew, Mark and Luke recorded many miracles in their Gospels but John chose to record only seven miracles ( He called them ‘signs’). John felt that these miracles gave evidence that Jesus is God’s Son. John also emphasised that Jesus was human. John recorded that Jesus was tired (John 4:6). John also recorded that Jesus needed food (John 4:31). Jesus was very sad when his friend Lazarus died. At that time, Jesus cried (John 11:35). On another occasion, Jesus became angry with the people who did business in the *Temple (John 2:15). And John also recorded that Jesus was *thirsty (John 19:28). Jesus was not half human and half God. He was completely human and completely God, too.

John and the other disciples had lived with Jesus for about three years. John knew that Jesus was a real man. Also John had seen the miracles that Jesus did. John watched Jesus die on a cross. And John had also seen Jesus after he (Jesus) had become alive again. John knew that Jesus had defeated death and had seen Jesus rise up to heaven. So John knew that Jesus was a real man and is also God’s Son.

Bible Truth 4

The Greek words for ‘*believed in him’ have a different meaning from the same phrase in verse 30. This is because the author wanted to distinguish between two groups of people. The people that he referred to in verse 30 were sincere. They genuinely trusted Jesus. But the people that the author referred to in verse 31 did not have such a genuine belief. They were similar to those people who believed just because of Jesus’ miracles. But Jesus did not trust those people, because they did not really want to obey him (John 2:23-25). Some people today are like this group of people in verse 31. They may say that they are *Christians. They may attend a church. But their faith is not very important to them. Jesus is not the most important person in their lives. They may agree with the things that Jesus taught. But they do not allow this to affect their attitudes or their behavior in their daily lives.

So Jesus spoke to this group of people next. He told them what to do if they really wanted to be his disciples. They could not just agree with his message. That was not enough. They had to obey him. They had to do what he said all the time. His words had to guide them in every part of their daily lives. How is it that we know the Truth? This knowledge comes when we follow Jesus. When we are freed from the results of our sins and the ultimate eternal death that befalls an unrepentant man, we are guided on a path to eternal life with God. We begin to see the ways in which we deceive ourselves. Through Christ’s example, we learn how Satan and other people can deceive us.

This is called freedom, a freedom that Jesus gives to us is real freedom. While we cannot do just what we want, it is the freedom to serve God. Then, we can become the kind of people that God created us to be. The people did not understand what Jesus meant since the Romans ruled them. Yet, they were not slaves. They were proud because they were God’s chosen people. However, Jesus pointed out that they were really slaves, not because of other people, but because of sin.

Sin controls people. It guides what they do. It affects how they behave. Because of this, it causes people to act as if they were its slaves. So if sin is so bad, how can we stop it? Only Jesus is God’s Son (John 1:18). Only Jesus can stop sin’s power over a person. Only He can say that they are not slaves anymore. And only Jesus has the authority to let them join God’s family. Jesus is pointing out that slaves do not belong to a family in the same way as a son. Slaves have no permanent place in the family. But a son is a real member of the family. A son knows that he belongs there always. And so, a son feels security about the future. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become part of God’s family.

Items for Discussion

  • Have you ever joined a group only to find that you could not become accepted be those who were already members?
  • Did that change over time and what or how did you help change their attitude toward you?
  • What are the responsibilities of being a family member? How does this differ between just joining a group as a member?
  • Why is Christ the only way to join God’s family?

Discussion Challenge

  • What is the responsibility of a Christian body (a church) to help visitors and new members become part of the family?

 

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