Browsing Tag

Digging Deep in God’s Word Bible Study

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

For the Diggers: Loving the Young Hearts in this Dig

                                        Melanie Pinedo (center) is one of our younger 2017 diggers!

 

We have several young women, even several pre-teens, who are diligently studying the Great Escapes this year with our international Digging Deep group. They are learning how to rescue souls. Kaitlyn Epling, age 12, of Elizabethton, TN was disappointed earlier this week when we failed to get to question number 10 in our podcast discussion.  Here’s her list (verbatim) of several rescues from Acts 9-17. Kaitlyn’s styles of listing and study may evolve as she grows in Christ, but grow in Christ she will if she stays in the book!

 Digging Deep- Great Escapes- Month Three- Question 10

The disciples of the Lord were saved of Saul by Jesus 9:1-6.

Saul was saved of his blindness by Ananias 9:18.

Saul was saved of the Jews by the disciples 9:25.

Saul was saved of the Hellenists by the brethren 9:29-30.

Aeneas was saved of being paralyzed by Peter 9:33-34.

Dorcas/Tabitha was saved of death by Peter 9:40.

All those being oppressed were saved of the Devil by Jesus of Nazareth 10:38.

Jesus was saved of death by God 10:40.

Sinners were saved of sins by Jesus 10:43.

Gentiles were saved of sins by Jesus 11:18

Peter was saved of contending by his dream 11:2-10.

The people were saved of famine by disciples 11:28-29.

Peter was saved of prison by an angel 12:7.

Peter was saved of Herod by God 12:11.

Peter was saved of Herod by the brethren 12:19.

Israel was saved of the nations of Canaan by God 13:19.

Jesus was saved of death by God 13:30.

Paul & Barnabas were saved of abuse & stoning by themselves 14:5-6.

A man in Lystra was saved of lameness by Paul 14:8-10.

Paul was saved of death by himself 14:19-20.

Timothy was saved of the Jews’ wrath by Paul 16:3.

Girl of fortune-telling was saved of a demon by Paul 16:16-18.

The Philippian Jailor was saved of suicide by Paul 16:27-28.

Paul & Silas were saved of prison by the Philippian Jailor 16:33.

Paul & Silas were saved of the Jews by the brethren 17:10.

Paul was saved of the crowd by the brethren 17:14.

                                                                           Kaitlyn Epling 

 

I was kind of sad we didn’t get to that question, too. I had hoped to share my list from one single chapter, noting how God can use the faithful and the rogue to rescue His own and further the gospel. Let’s look at this list of ten rescues from chapter nine:

9: 7-8 Look at how the enemies of the cross are being used to lead around the most influential 1st century missionary.

9;13 Notice Ananias arguing with God, but then going straightaway to rescue the preeminent New Testament writer. God always accomplishes His purposes.

9:15, 16 Can you think of a more unlikely candidate to be the rescuer of Gentiles?

9:25 Those disciples could not go and powerfully write and preach, but they had a rescue basket for  the one who could!

9:27 Barnabas would be greatly overshadowed in Scripture by Paul, but Paul might not have had the chance to do what he did without the jumpstart given by Barnabas.

9:30 Jerusalem was not the right place and time for Paul. But there were rescuers who knew how to get him to the right place and time.

9:33-35 Aeneas was a rescue tool for the people of Lydda and Saron.

9:39 Dorcas was a rescuer using needle and thread.

9:42 Peter rescued the recipients of Dorcas’ goodwill when he raised her.

9:42 In turn, Dorcas became a tool to rescue the people of Joppa.

Another young digger, Grace Yocum, of Louisville, Kentucky.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

For the Diggers: Lessons from Jabesh-Gilead

The town of Jabesh-Gilead was in the half tribe of Manasseh that settled on the east of Jordan. Jabesh was the name of the town and Gilead was the region, that region being partially in Manasseh and partially in Gad. Jabesh-Gilead was in the land belonging to Manasseh. (You will remember Manasseh was one of the sons of Joseph, along with Ephraim.) We remember that one of the stipulations for their being allowed to settle on the east side of the river, before the conquering, was that they would go across the Jordan and help their brethren fight for the promised land, driving out the inhabitants of Canaan. We read about this agreement in Joshua 1: 14,15:

Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

It seems that the two-and-a-half tribes kept that commitment to go in and fight for the whole of Israel as they conquered Canaan. But it was during a later civil war that erupted between Israel and a remarkably immoral tribe of  Benjamin, over an abused concubine, that the men of Jabesh-Gilead went AWOL and failed to defend the honor of the nation against Benjamin. Because they failed to show up in this important and God-sanctioned war, the men and married women of the city of Jabesh were killed in the very last chapter of the book of Judges. A curse had been pronounced on Benjamin, because of their immorality and violence, that no man of Israel would give his daughter in marriage to the Benjamites. So, because of this failure to come to war against the Benjamites, the remaining unmarried women of Jabesh-Gilead were given as wives to the Benjamites who had survived the war.  (After all, this was not technically a violation of the curse, since these virgins had no fathers to give them in marriage. Their fathers had been killed in the punishment on Jabesh-Gilead.) These marriages were performed in order to preserve the tribe of Benjamin, threatened by extinction because the few men who remained had no wives.  Thus began the rebuilding of the tribe of Benjamin (of which Saul, coincidentally, was a son).

Fast forward to I Samuel 11. Though some years had passed, it appears to me that there were some of the men of Judges 21, who may have  been living still by the time of the events of I Samuel 11. (Some commentators put these events in close proximity time-wise. Others believe they may have been some 300 years apart.) The young boys who were left in Jabesh-Gilead had perhaps had time to reach adulthood or even be grandfathers, but the city would have likely been yet vulnerable to attack since its utter destruction had occurred in the not-too-distant past (although the exact date of the civil war is not certain). 

At this point (I Samuel 11), Saul was on the brink of becoming the brand new king of Israel and his first major challenge was when the Ammonites, under King Nahash, attacked the city of Jabesh-Gilead. The vulnerable city attempted to make a league of service to the Ammonites, but the men of Nahash the Ammonite required that the men of Jabesh-Gilead have their right eyes plucked out before coming into their service. The men of Jabesh-Gilead asked for one week, during which they appealed to Israel for help, in order to preserve their eyes and perhaps maintain their liberty. It was Saul, who organized an army and rescued Jabesh from the Ammonites. Lots of questions can emerge from this scenario. 

  1. Was Saul’s mother or grandmother one of those women who came from Jabesh-Gilead in forced marriage to a remaining Benjamite? Was this one reason he was quick to go to the rescue of that city? Did he have relatives who were young boys at the time of the initial destruction? 
  2. Was Saul lacking in character as the first king of Israel because of the fact that the male leaders of his tribe were almost all killed as a result of their immorality? Was this, perhaps, part of God’s purposeful lesson in giving the nation a human king rather than allowing the intended divine system to remain in place? 
  3. Lastly, we see that the bodies of Saul and his sons following their deaths in battle against the Philistines were left on the wall of Bethshan (I Samuel 31:11-13). Who was it that went to get the body of the former king of Israel and bury him? It was the “valiant men of Jabesh-Gilead.” They brought Saul and his sons to Jabesh and buried them under a tree. David later thanked the people of Jabesh for this act of piety (2 Samuel 2:4-6). Why, out of all of Israel, who had served under this the first king of Israel, was it that the men of Jabesh went to get the body?  Was it possibly because the king’s matriarchal ancestor was from Jabesh-Gilead? This is impossible to ascertain, since we cannot be sure of the exact chronology of the events in Judges 21 or the exact identity of Saul’s mother, but it is interesting to ponder. 

What we can know is that, for whatever reason, Saul was quick to defend the people of Jabesh-Gilead even before he became king of Israel. He was not of the judgment that, because of their prior failures to stand with Israel, that Israel should fail to stand for them. 

Finally, it is interesting to note that the attacking people in 2 Samuel 11 was the people of Ammon. The Ammonites, of course, were the Semitic people born of Benammi, who was one of the sons born to Lot after his incestuous relationship with his daughters shortly following his delivery from Sodom. The Ammonites, though related to Israel through Lot, were a constant thorn in the side of God’s people. 

In all of these interwoven accounts, one thing is very clear. Sin has a very progressively negative effect as time goes by. A “vacation” from the battle for Jabesh turned into the massive destruction of the adults of the entire city. (How much destruction do we encounter/cause when we take a break from fighting the spiritual battles of our own environments?) 

A single act of immorality turned into the humbling of an entire tribe of Benjamites. (How often do we fail to see huge consequences of “a little action” that violates the moral code of God? Is this not the 2017 Fox News story we see being replayed over and over this very week?)

An entire nation of wicked people grew from a single incestuous decision/act on the parts of some desperate women. (Do parents today make decisions that may turn into national tragedies? You do not have to look very far into monarchies and other governments of the modern world to see what happens when parents become separated from Biblical moorings.) 

The rejection of God as king never had a chance of being what was best for Israel. (Spiritually, we rob ourselves of our very best happiness in this life and eternal fulfillment when we reject Him as King in our lives.)

The regrowth of Benjamin without the fathers/leaders of that tribe resulted in moral poverty. (Once again, this is the plight of our nation today. It is the catalyst for moral bankruptcy or, at least, one recurring arc of a cycle of moral depravity.)

Saul and his sons were poor and desperate at the time of their deaths. There was no national mourning for the king, no proper burial and no pomp and circumstance. (When we die without His favor, our desperation is inevitable and limitless in both its depth and its eternality.)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Dig till You Die!

As I write, I am at a convention where 4700 Christians have gathered to study and grow and enjoy fellowship that’s just rarely paralleled in this lifetime. If I were to travel home today, the blessings would be far greater than I could ever deserve. But I will, Lord willing, get to bask in them for four more days! So many unforgettable conversations…so many lessons I’ve been needing…so many hugs I’ve been missing all year…so many longings for heaven here in its foyer in Sevierville, Tennessee this week!

A gentleman walked up to me today and opened a painful page of his life with me. His marriage of four years ended tragically last March when his wife passed away unexpectedly in a hospital after a short and undiagnosed illness. “We really do not know what happened, “ he said. “She just experienced some symptoms that did not seem to  be life-threatening and, before we knew it, she was gone.” 

“But I wanted to tell you because of this,” he said. “My wife came to Polishing the Pulpit last year for the very first time. She left here and we went from bookstore to bookstore trying to buy a book that she had heard about at PTP.  It was called ‘Digging Deep.’ We finally found it and she worked through that study until she died.” 

You know, I understand that we don’t have to do Digging Deep in order to go to heaven. I get it that we are very busy and it’s sometimes challenging to consistently keep up with any organized study. Just the same, though, I think it’s a wonderful legacy to a life taken on to glory early that she was using her last days to grow toward heaven. I like to believe she went to glory with a greater capacity to appreciate His majesty and the fellowship of His people because of the study. I believe people who die with greater faith have larger cups to fill in heaven (Luke 19:11-27; Matthew 25:14-30).

Today we will unveil a whole new year of study. On September 1st, we will begin that study in earnest. The topic will be a surprise on the podcast, but let me just assure you that it will directly help you overcome the devil in this life and it will enable you toward hearing those words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  The study will be free for downloading. A study book that has just a bit more commentary and some lines for answering the questions will be available for purchase here at PTP and online after 1:15 pm EST today. There will be t-shirts for fun, podcasts for encouragement and optional Facebook group participation. (I highly recommend this!) 

You may not be convinced yet. That’s okay, as long as you are in the book in some serious way during the next year. Digging Deep is just one way. But it’s a way that keeps us encouraged and accountable and prayerful for one another. I hope you’ll join us. There are no daily or weekly deadlines. Just do as much as you can and try to complete each month’s study as we go along. But whether you complete or not, you’ll be the richer for whatever you can accomplish. Get the details here on Tuesday afternoon: http://thecolleyhouse.org/category/digging-deep-bible-study.  Podcast is at 12:45 EST on Tuesday here: https://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women.

P.S. Melanie Pinedo, in the picture above is one of our youngest diggers this year. Her parents are rich people! She’s rich, too! And I  am blessed to know this young soul in the Word.

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

For the Diggers: Two Important Men

A study that’s made me richer is about to come to a close. One more month and we will kick off Digging Deep 2017-18. If you didn’t hear the podcast yet, please know that, if you are ever going to invite a non Christian to do a study with you, this new one is the one! You just might have a big reason to rejoice for eternity if you do invite someone. Topic  will be announced at PTP on the live podcast from The Wilderness in Sevierville. Study books will once again be available, because you liked this, but study basics will always be free online, as well. We’ll recognize those in the room there, who have completed (all phases and parts of) this year’s study. If you are one of those women, you are glad you did because the Word is so good for all of us. God has simply showered His best on our fellowship and study. I know we can better serve Him after the deep study we’ve done this year. 

The podcast bulged this month and time ran out. Some have requested the list about Paul and Naaman. As I was writing this study, it just occurred to me that there are lots of similarities between Naaman in II Kings five and Paul. While I’m not stretching to say that Naaman typifies Paul, I am saying that, when two important men, even in different dispensations, submit to the command of God to escape certain peril, there are some important lessons that should not be lost on us. 

Here’s the list:

Both were great (important) men. (II Kings 5:1; Acts 9:14,15; Acts 22:3; Acts 22:25-28)

Both were honored by men even prior to obedience. (II Kings 5:1; Acts 9:29)

Both were brave fighters. (II Kings 5:1; Acts 9:29)

Both were unclean. (II Kings 5:1; Acts 22:16)

Both needed the healing. (II Kings 5:3; Acts 9:8,9)

Both carried letters. (II Kings 5:1; Acts 9:2; Acts 22:5)

Both encountered a great prophet. (II Kings 5:9; Acts 9:4; Acts 22: 7,8)

Both were commanded to wash. (II Kings 5:10; Acts 22:16)

Both were cleansed by dipping, plunging or immersion. (II Kings 5:10; Acts 22:16)

Both had to follow the details of the instructions. (II Kings 5:14; Acts 22:10 [all])

Both were converted. (II Kings 5:15; Acts 9: 18-20)

Both realized they were debtors. (II Kings 5:15; Romans 1:14-16)

Both had to get way out of comfort zone. (II Kings 5:12; Acts 22:14)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

“However,” No Israel Trip Next Year

 

For the past year, Glenn and I have been working toward and praying about and saving our money for a trip to Israel. The trip evolved rapidly into a Digging Deep trip for the Diggers and their families and it was our plan to have the June 2018 podcast live from Jerusalem.I announced this on last month’s podcast and many of you have asked about details.  I even planned that month’s (June 2018) study around the resurrection so we could be in the area of the tomb as we discussed the study live. John Moore, of World Video Bible School and Bear Valley Institute of Biblical Studies and Bible Land Passages has been so kind and helpful every step of the way and with every detail of the planning. Our plans have been at the expense of lots of time and effort on his part, for which we are very grateful. You can read about these trips and even plan your own at http://biblelandpassages.org/about/.

And now, there’s the “however”…

However, in the interim, my life has gotten a bit more chaotic as we have had the privilege of stepping up the care for my aging father and pre-set schedules of siblings have collided. I’m blessed to get to do what I am doing with a full 1/3 of my life at this point, but it’s not going to  be possible for us to salvage those plans for Israel. We tried moving the trip in both directions, but, for different but unrelenting reasons, neither direction worked for 2018. It’s our very real desire to walk where our Lord walked and so we are praying to be able to reschedule for another year. I hope we will still be digging and I hope many of you can go. Glenn will be speaking the gospel in key places of this land, the “cradle” of Christianity. I plan to have some devotionals for ladies as well as the podcast. All of these things are some of the most exciting prospects we can imagine right now. We will, thus, come up with another plan, when we can see the way clear, and, for now, keep thanking Him for the blessing of caring for parents. We truly are blessed by our families—a big reason we have Jesus and even the desire to see the Bible lands, in the first place! 

I covet your prayers as plans are gearing up for Polishing the Pulpit, several ladies’ events and lots of time at my father’s house. Let’s keep digging. I’m very excited about the release of the new study and growing in the Word for the next year through it.  If we can’t go to Israel right now, we can still bring its amazing historical events into our hearts through the precious Word! And many thanks for the patience on the part of so many of you as we tried to reschedule. 

Romans 8:28!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

For The Diggers: King David and King Jesus

If you haven’t finished number two in the study this month, work on it on your own a bit and then compare notes with me.  You’ll want to use this chart when you watch the podcast. I hope you are loving the shadows.

 

 

 

 

 

              David                                                                                        Christ

Born to a Common Family

I Samuel 16:1—son of Jesse  Mt. 13:55, Mk.6:3—is not this the carpenter’s son?
17:58—son of servant of the king Luke 3:23—being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the carpenter…
18:18—who am I? John 6:42—How can he say he came from heaven, when he is the son of Joseph?
18:23—poor man
I Chron. 17:16—who am I, Lord, that you brought me here? 

   

 

Bethlehemite

I Sam. 16:1   Luke 2:4; 2:11

     

 

Shepherd

I Sam. 16:11   John 10:14—I am the good shepherd.
16:19   I Pet. 2:24,25—the One who bore sins is Shepherd of our souls.
17:15   I Pet. 5:4—when Chief Shepherd shall appear.

     

 

Anointed

I Sam. 16:3-6 Acts 10:38—anointed with Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:16,17)
16:12
16:13—Spirit came on

     

 

Life in Jeopardy for Sheep

I Sam. 17:34,35 John 10:11—the good Shepherd lays down His life for sheep.
Heb. 13:20—Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep through blood. 

 

 

On Throne of David

I Sam. 24:17—King over Israel Acts 2:30,31—God had sworn He would raise up Christ to sit on throne of David.
II Samuel 7:12,13, Psalm 132:11,12—David’s throne forever II Sam. 7:12,13, Psalm 132:11,12—Throne of His kingdom forever
Luke 1:32—God will give Jesus the throne of David.

 

 

Conqueror

I Samuel 16:18—valor I Cor. 15:25-26; Acts 2:34,35—all enemies under footstool
17:50—prevailed Psa. 8:6, Heb. 2:8—all things under His feet
19:8—great slaughter Mt. 28:18—all authority given Him
30—defeat of Amelekites

 

 

Man of Prayer

I Sam. 23:2,4; —inquired of the Lord (“David Inquired of the Lord”- those words 11 times) Mt. 9:37-39; Luke 10:2—prayer for laborers
23:10-12—O Lord God Of Israel… Mt.11:25-27- prayer of gratitude
30:8—Amelekites took captives, David inquired Mt.14:23—prayer on mountain
Psalm 51, multiple Psalms are prayers of David Mt. 26:26,36; Mk. 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46—prayer in Gethsemane
Mt. 27:46,50; Luke 23:34,46—prayer at Calvary
Mk. 1:35; Mk 6:41,46; Luke 5:16—prayer alone
Luke 6:12—prayer all night
Luke 6:12,13,20,28—prayer for enemies
Luke 9:28,29—prayer at transfiguration
Luke 22: 31,32—prayer for Peter
Luke 24:30—prayer at table
John 14:16—prayer for Comforter
John 11:40-42—prayer for confirmation
John 12:27,28—prayer when conflicted
John 17—prayer for unity of believers

   

 

King of the Jews

I Chron. 14:2 Mt. 27:11,29,37,42
II Samuel 22:51 Luke 1:33—reign over Israel
The entire Davidic account confirmed by secular history

           

 

Praised by the Jews

I Sam. 18:7—women sang praise Luke 19:28-40—triumphal entry
18:16—all loved Mt. 4:25—great multitudes followed
21:11—praise remembered

   

 

Salvation Wrought through Him

I Sam. 19:5—great salvation wrought Acts 4:12—no other name
Acts 10:43—though his name, remission of sins
Heb. 5:9—author of eternal salvation
Heb. 2:3—if we neglect so great salvation
Luke 2:11—in the city of David, a Savior

 

 

Enemies Wanted to Kill HIm/Object of Conspiracy

I Sam. 18:9— Saul eyed Is. 49:7—despised, nations abhorred
18:11—tried to kill John 11:56,57—conspiracy to kill
18:21— Saul gave Michal as a snare Rev. 12:10—Jesus had accuser
18:25—Saul sent him to kill Philistines in hopes of their killing him Matthew 26, 27—conspiracy of Calvary
19:1—told Jonathan and servants to kill David
19:8-10—Saul tried to pierce with Javelin
19:8-17—David rescued from murder by Michal
20—Jonathan saves David
23:8—Saul declares war on David
23:15—Saul wanted to kill
23;25—pursued to kill

 

 

Man of Compassion

Psalm 22:2—People with problems came to him Psa. 122:4 —a light in darkness; full of compassion
I Sam. 25—kindness to Abigail Mt. 9:36; Mk. 6:34—because they fainted and were as sheep with no shepherd.
II Sam. 9—Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan Mt. 14:14—compassion on multitude
Mt. 15:32; 8:2—compassion on hungry
Mk. 20:34—on blind men
Mk. 1:41—on leper
Mk. 5:19—on demonic man
Luke 7:13—widow of Nain
Mt. 23:37—I would have gathered you as a hen gathers her chickens, and you would not
John 11:35—wept at Lazarus’tomb

 

 

Honored Government

I Sam. 25:20—Saul said David would be established Is. 9:6—governement on His shoulders
I Kings 2:45—throne will last forever 9:7—government shall not end
22:1—commit government into His hand

 

 

Loved Enemies

I Sam. 24:6-10— cut robe of Saul, when he could have assassinated. Mt. 23:37—Jerusalem stoned the prophets, yet he loved
25:17—rewarded Him good for evil Luke 23:34—from the cross
Mt. 5:44; Lk. 6:27; Luke 6:35—taught it