Everything in Daniel’s exceptional life and ministry arose from his first test on arrival in Babylon. This, with later tests, and his revelations, maintained him for 70 years at the top of an empire, for the preservation of Zion, and for imparting unique prophecies on historic eras and the last times. Here is biblical faithfulness at its noblest.
What Elisha’s prophets taught – alongside the law, salvation and the psalms of spiritual life, they taught God’s lessons from events, including the miracles of Elijah and Elisha. Here are examples of their sermons from miracles, including the siege of Samaria and its overthrow.
Analysing semi-conversion – Elisha’s servant despite his spiritual advantages fell, and the reasons show pseudo-conversion, its signs, causes and dangers. By contrast the miracle of the floating axe shows a student prophet with marks of grace and dependence on the Lord.
The spiritual meaning behind Elijah’s withdrawal (not desertion!) from Jezebel’s murderous threats, his deep dismay and despondency at the seeming failure of Carmel events to move hardened Israelites, and his pilgrimage to Sinai seeking light. God’s gracious treatment of His faithful prophet, and his new commission.
Ministry at the Tabernacle hardly ever refers to the church’s own labours, but this message sets out vital aims of the seminary (LRBS) in the preparation of preachers and officers for the eight principal spiritual battles of our day. Here are the issues – so often not addressed in seminaries – that are testing and sifting Bible churches today.
David’s census – a lesson for God’s people throughout time about acting only on divine authority. Who inspired it: God or Satan? Why was it so wrong? The ‘normative principle’ of God’s rule over us. The problem of pride and God’s precautions for us. A verse also about heartfelt worship.
The contrast between love and lust seen in Amnon’s rape of Tamar; Jonadab, like Satan, will prove a treacherous friend; Absalom unites charm and murderous cunning; a coup prepared after ’40 years’ – not an error but linking to the public mood that deposed Samuel.
Following comments on the summary of David’s wars (ch 8), the kindness shown to Mephibosheth (ch 9), and the Ammonite war (ch 10), this message focusses on the fall of David into sin, the causes and consequences, applied to God’s people today (ch 11-12).
‘Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.’ (Ephesians 6.2-4)
A very serious mistake is sometimes made to make these two identical. Here is the difference, and the order of salvation. Here also are the three biblical and historic reasons why the Gospel must be persuasively preached to all.