Lesson Ten—Captivity, Return, and the Future

Who is this Son of David?!

Cliffhangers. We love them and we hate them. Usually, they involve fiction, but the Old Testament of the Bible leaves readers with a doozy! After reporting God's promise of an enduring throne for David, the Old Testament closes without answer the question: Who is the Son of David to come? The people of Judah have returned to rebuild the temple and the walls of Jerusalem but there is no king on the throne. None. There is no visible path to a throne, much less and eternal throne or kingdom. There is just the question: Who is this One who was promised? All of the sudden Matthew's opening genealogy makes so much more sense! But that is another discussion for another day . . . 

This week, let's start with these questions as we close this portion of our study:

•  What are the most significant things you have learned about God during our time in the Old Testament? What difference is it making in your life?

•  How would you respond to a person who thinks the God of the Old Testament is different from the God of the New Testament?

•  What has been your biggest takeaway from studying the Old Testament?

•  Are you bringing a friend along for Cookies New Testament?

Looking forward to finishing strong and starting next week on Cookies New Testament!

Blessings,

pam :) 

Lesson Nine—Jerusalem Falls in 586 BC

Lows and Highs in Judah . . .  Manasseh and Josiah

If we remember Jeroboam, Ahab and Jehu from the Northern Kingdom and Rehoboam, Manasseh and Josiah from the Southern Kingdom, we'll be off to a great start in building the foundation for future study. Remember, the two key words are North (Israel) and South (Judah) and the two key dates are the dates each of those kingdoms fell: 722 BC for Israel and 586 BC for Judah. Don't let your zeal to remember more information hinder you in getting these facts down cold. They provide a basic structure that you can add on to little by little over time. 

For our discussion this week, I'd love for you to respond to these prompts:

1. This was Judah's finest moment . . . 
(Let us know what you think it was and why!)

2. This was Judah's greatest misstep . . . 
(Again, tell us what and why.)

Also, would love to hear how the Word of God is changing the way you think and act!

Looking forward to seeing you on the blog soon!

Love,

pam :) 

 

Lesson Eight—Warnings: The End is Near!

Jehu The Destroyer!

Before destruction comes to Israel when Assyria conquers Samaria and scatters the people in 722 BC, God brings judgment on the house of Ahab by the hand of Jehu—the destroyer! The only other anointed king of the north beside Jeroboam, Jehu executes God's mission by wiping out the house of evil King Ahab and eradicating Baal from the land. 

That said, our lesson this week covered much more than Jehu! We can talk about the other events and people during our discussion time.

What was your biggest takeaway from what you studied this week?

What else do you want to discuss? What questions do you still have? What other comments do you have that you'd like to share with the group?

We're so close to the finish line! Keep the comments coming and let's finish strong! Haven't commented yet? Why not give it a try this week?!

Love ya,

pam :) 

 

Lesson Seven—The Adventures of Elijah and Elisha

Jeroboam • Ahab • Jehu . . . Breathe!

I know. The kings of Israel and Judah can be confusing, but you're going to be okay! Stick with the big picture and keep adding on to what you know little by little, precept upon precept! For now, focus on Jeroboam, Ahab, and Jehu as the kings to remember from the northern kingdom of Israel. Sound good? You can do this!

This week, let's keep the discussion going strong with these questions to get us started:

In what ways can you learn to specifically guard your thinking so you won't find yourself curled up under a juniper tree asking God to kill you?

What was the biggest lesson you learned from Elijah's life?

What did you learn from your study of the lives of Ahab and Jezebel?

What remaining questions did you have on this week's text?

Looking forward to your voice in the discussion this week!

Love ya,

pam :) 

Lesson Six—The Day Everything Changed

Two Words to Unlock the Old Testament

North. South. Pretty simple, right? Many people get hopelessly lost in the Old Testament because they miss the division of the kingdom and the implications that follow. When Israel goes from being one kingdom with one king to two kingdoms with two kings, it's not that big of a deal . . . unless you missed the division in the first place!

When you have a grip on this, you're well on your way to understanding the prophets, too, because they typically write to either—you guessed it!—the North or the South! Hang in there, friends! We're almost to the end and you'll never regret persevering through God's Word!

Here are our questions:

What was the biggest lesson you learned from studying about Solomon?

What was the biggest lesson you learned from studying about Jeroboam?

What is the biggest remaining question that you have from this section of the text?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon! Don't forget to give a word of encouragement to someone else this week as you make your post!

Love ya,

pam :) 

Lesson Five—1 Kings . . . The Beginning of the End

A Wise Man and a Foolish Decision

There is nothing more tragic than a man set up to succeed who still fails miserably. Scripture tells us without reservation that Solomon was the wisest man ever to live and yet at the end of his life, his wives turned his heart away from God. Such tragedy and yet such hope. Turns out it's not just you and me who can't work or think or reason our way to righteousness. Even with every leg-up available, Solomon couldn't fulfill God's promise to David of an heir who would sit on his throne forever—that would take Someone far greater than Solomon, Someone who would forever bridge the gulf between a holy God and His fallen creation. 

As we move to our questions this week, let's start off by talking about this Someone!

Where have you seen the Gospel and the need for the Gospel throughout the pages of the Old Testament so far?

What do you think is the greatest threat to our hearts today? How do you think we can see the red flags as they show up in our lives?

Considering the lives of both David and Solomon, how do you think community played a role in their respective outcomes, particularly the ability of other people to speak into their lives? How do they compare? What lessons may there be in that for us?

Remember, you can answer any or all of the questions! If you're not comfortable answering, why not at least participate by leaving a word of encouragement for someone who did answer! Sound good?!

Many blessings!

pam :)

 

Lesson Four—2 Samuel . . . Sin and Consequences

The Worst of Times or the Best of Times?

Have you ever looked back and realized that God has worked for your good and His glory during the "hard" times of life? If so, you're not alone. This week, let's consider how we can pursue God whether it's the worst of times or the best of times!

Here are the questions to get us started:

Are you living in hard times? If so, How are you responding? What lesson(s) can you take from David's life that can help you remember to pursue God during these times? See if you can locate a specific verse to remember.

What are ways that we can be intentional about remembering God during the good times?

What has been your biggest takeaway this week?

Looking forward to our discussion!

Blessings,

pam :)

Lesson Three—A King After God's Heart

One King, Two King, Red King, Blue King

Anybody else love Dr. Seuss? Likely you've memorized some of his work in spite of yourself because it rhymes and is designed to be remembered. Whenever I see rain out my window, the words of the Cat in the Hat come flooding back, "The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day . . . ." Don't even get me started on Green Eggs and Ham! Let's face it, human beings are memorizing machines and we can recall even the tough stuff if we're invested in remembering.

That's what I'm going to be asking you to do over the course of the next few weeks. Just get invested in remembering the basics. Don't fret about all of the detail right now. Once you have the basics down, everything else will fall into place. The reason it will fall into place is that it will have a place to fall, so to speak—the structure will be there! 

That first step in remembering will involve putting some basic players into categories—this week it has been the house of Saul and the house of David. In weeks to come it will be the North and the South aka Israel and Judah. The easiest way to keep these group straight will be to use two colored pencils when you read marking references to the different kingdoms in different colors. There will be time later to let the details thrill you. For now, though, learn the big picture well and let a couple of colored pencils help make your life easier as you do. Deal?

For our discussion this week, let's start with these questions:

How has marking the text of Scripture helped you in studying? (If marking has been hard for you, tell us what has made it difficult!)

What questions do you still have about 2 Samuel 1–10 that you haven't been able to answer this week through your study?

What has been your biggest take away from your study this week? How is it changing the way you think and act?

Don't forget that you can answer any or all of these questions. No pressure to do them all. :)

Finally, don't forget to take the time to comment on and encourage others with regard to their posts! (If you're shy about posting yourself, start out by thanking someone else for their post! You'll get your feet wet and you'll be an encouragement—win win!)

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Blessings,

pam :)

 

 

Lesson Two—1 Samuel . . . Saul and David

Saul's Three Strikes and David's Three Spares

It doesn't matter how many times I read 1 and 2 Samuel . . . every time I do, there is something new that I notice, something amazing that I see that hadn't caught my eye before! I hope you can rejoice in the wonder of seeing a different side of the gem of Scripture every time you read it! As we move into our discussion time, let's jump in with these questions to get us started:

Are there any areas of your life where you struggle or have struggled with partial obedience? How can you identify this? What can you do to correct it?

• What was the most significant positive lesson you learned this week?

• What was the biggest warning you took away from these chapters?

Here's the link I promised in the video to help support Stephen Vernon this summer! Stephen will be interning at Precept Ministries and will be highly involved in running the Equip Boot Camps for high school teens. Your tax-deductible gift helps support Stephen, Precept, and Precept's mission to establish teens in God's Word! Will you join me by supporting Stephen today? If so, make sure to leave him a note in the comment section that says you're from the Cookies class!

YES, I'LL HELP SUPPORT STEPHEN!

Look forward to seeing you on the blog!

Blessings,

pam :)

Lesson One—1 Samuel . . . Entering the Narrative

When You Want Something in the Worst Way . . .

The time of the judges in Israel was dark. The people had a form of worship, but for the most part, their hearts had turned away from God. Even in the midst of national godlessness, though, God preserved a remnant who followed Him and He raised up a righteous judge—Samuel, a man dedicated to the LORD by his mother before he was even born.

Still, while God had established judges to administrate Israel's theocracy, the people craved a human king. They wanted a king in the worst way and in the end that is exactly what they got—Saul, a king just like they wanted! We'll talk more about Saul next week! In the meantime, let's get to our discussion questions!

What is your name and where are you from?

Which section of this week's text most impacted you: Samuel (1–3), the Ark (4–7), or Saul (8-12) and what did you learn?

Is there someone you should bring along on this adventure? If so, who?

Remember, you don't have to answer every question and you don't have to write complex answers. (This goes out especially to my college-aged friends!) We're simply discussing what we've learned. Often, less is more!

Looking forward to hearing from you all soon!

Blessings,

pam :)