Old Testament Lessons
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
|Suggested Grade Levels|
|Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|2. The Fall into Sin and the Promise of a Savior||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|3. Cain and Abel||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|4. Noah and the Flood||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|5. Tower of Babel||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|6. Call of Abram; Abram and Lot||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|7. Birth of Isaac announced to Abraham and Sarah||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|8. Sodom and Gomorrah||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|9. Isaac's Birth; Abraham Offers Isaac||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|10. Isaac's Marriage to Rebekah||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|11. Jacob Receives the Blessing||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|12. Jacob Flees from Esau; Jacob's Dream||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|13. Jacob Returns to Canaan||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|14.Joseph Sold into Slavery||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|15.Joseph in Egypt||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|16. Joseph's Brothers Come to Egypt||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|17. Joseph's Brothers Come to Egypt Again||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|18.Jacob and His Family Live in Egypt||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|19. Early Life of Moses||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|20. The Call of Moses||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|21. The Plagues||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|22. The Tenth Plague; The First Passover||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|23. Israel Leaves Egypt||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|24. Israel in the Desert||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|25. The Giving of the Law||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|26. The Golden Calf||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|27. Worship in the Tabernacle||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|28. The Twelve Spies||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|29.The Bronze Serpent||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|30. The Last Days of Moses||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|31. Israel Enters the Promised Land||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|32. The Fall of Jericho||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|33. Gideon||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|34. Samson||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|35. Ruth||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|36.Samuel||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|37. Saul||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|38. David Anointed King||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|39. David and Goliath||Teacher's Notes||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|40. David Becomes King||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|41. David and Bathsheba||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|42. Absalom's Rebellion||Teacher's Notes||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|43. Solomon Builds the Temple||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|44. The Kingdom Divided||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|45. The Prophet Elijah||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|46. Elijah and the Prophets of Baal||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|47. Elijah in the Wilderness||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|48. Naboth's Vineyard||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|49. Elijah and Elisha||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|50. Naaman and Elisha||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|51. Jonah||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|52. Overthrow of Israel. King Hezekiah||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|53. Babylonian Captivity||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|54. Daniel||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|55. The Three Men in the Fiery Furnace||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|56. Daniel in the Lion's Den||Preschool||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|57. Esther||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|58. Job||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
|59.. Return from Captivity/Rebuilding the Temple||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||All|
Brief summaries to describe the stories and References to Bible History Commentary (by W. Franzmann)
1. Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:7, 2:18-25)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 12-36
The Triune God creates all things in six regular days. Mankind (Adam and Eve), created in God’s image – perfectly holy and without sin - are the crown of God’s creation. God gives them dominion over all creation and the happy duty of being stewards of the Garden of Eden. Perfect harmony exists between God and man.
2. The Fall into Sin and the Promise of a Savior (Genesis 2:8-17, 3:1ff)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 37-54
In this lesson, mankind (the crown of God’s creation) fails to show his love to God, fails in following God’s will, i.e., he SINS!Sin offends the holy and almighty creator (Elohim), but He is also a gracious God who provides a Savior (Jehovah) for His fallen creation.top
3. Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-16, 25-26)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 55-63The story of Cain and Abel teaches that sin grows inwardly by showing how the sin began in the heart with hatred and then developed and led to the action of murder. The next lesson (the Flood) will teach that sin grows outwardly by showing the outward manifestation of sin in the people of Noah’s time. Genesis chapters 3-8 are God’s instruction in the reality of sin…but also of His grace.
4. Noah and the Flood (Genesis 6-9:17)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 71-88
Because of the wickedness of the people, God decided to destroy them. God spared Noah and his family and told him to build an ark. Into this ark Noah was to take his family, a pair of every creature on earth, and food to feed them all. God sent a flood which covered the highest mountains. All land creatures and birds not in the ark died. Just over a year later the earth had dried and all in the ark came out. God promised never to send such a flood again.top
5. The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 89-93
Following the flood, mankind shows its ongoing sinful nature by seeking to make a name for themselves, rather than glorifying the one true God. Out of undeserved love, God stops their evil plan by giving them different languages.top
6. The Call of Abram; Abram and Lot (Genesis 12:1-9 and 13:1-18)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 93-111
Abram, the father of the Jews, stands as the premier example of God's ways with sinners—the way of salvation prompted by God's grace. God directs and blesses Abram’s life so that the promise of the Messiah takes place in time. By faith Abram believed God’s promise: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”top
7. Birth of Isaac announced to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 15:1 - 18:15)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 112-119
When God first came to Abraham and asked him to leave his home and family, He promised to be with him and to bless him. Here, despite their old age, the LORD promises to give Abraham and Sarah an heir – a son through whom God will carry out His promise of grace – the sending of the Messiah Jesus Christ.top
8. Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16 – 19:29)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 120-126
This is a continuation of the previous lesson. The three men (two angels and the Son of God) are now about to leave Abraham. God had decided to destroy the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their great sinfulness. Abraham prays for the ungrateful people of Sodom and thereby rescues Lot (Abraham’s brother-in-law). By faith Abraham believed in salvation by grace.
9. Isaac’s Birth; Abraham Offers Isaac (Genesis 21:1-7 and 22:1-19)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 127-133
God fulfills His promise to Abraham and Sarah with the miraculous gift of a son, Isaac, in their old age. God tests Abraham's faith with the command to sacrifice Isaac. God provides the substitute sacrifice for all of us in Jesus Christ our Savior.
10. Isaac’s Marriage to Rebekah (Genesis 24)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 135-140
God’s Promise of the Messiah will be carried on through Isaac--and thus he must marry and sire a child. This lesson presents the LORD's handling of Isaac's approach to marriage.
11. Jacob Receives the Blessing (Genesis 25:19-34 and 27:1-40)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 142-151
This is God's record of how He manages our affairs even in spite of the mistakes that humans make due to their selfishness. The events of Isaac and his son Jacob’s lives turned out the way God wanted them to turn out, despite their sinful plans. In this lesson we learn that God is the Author and Finisher of our salvation.
12. Jacob Flees from Esau; Jacob’s Dream (Genesis 27:41 - 28:22)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 151-155
Due to the results of sinful family deceptions in the family of Isaac, son Jacob is forced to flee from the wrath of his brother Esau. Along this journey Jacob has a dream. From this lesson we see God’s mercy, Jacob’s repentance, and God’s favor towards Jacob, and His reassurance to him of His promises of the Messiah.
13. Jacob Returns to Canaan (Genesis chapters 32, 33 and 35)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 162-174
Although Jacob returns a wealthy man, his past sins against his brother Esau worry him. In a wrestling match with Jacob, God shows He there to answer our prayers working with us, not against us. Jacob is given the name “Israel.” God preserves and blesses Jacob because He had promised to send the Promised Savior through the family of Jacob's son, Judah.
14. Joseph Sold into Slavery (Genesis 37)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 175-179
Jacob’s son Joseph is envied by his 10 older brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt. God shows His saving mercy by using their wicked act to carry out His plan to rescue the family of Israel (Jacob) and keep His promise to send the Savior through their ancestors.
15. Joseph in Egypt (Genesis chapters 39-41)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 180-190
God gives Joseph the faith to resist Potiphar’s wife; God gives Joseph the ability to interpret dreams; God blesses Joseph even while he was in prison; God carries out His plan to make Joseph a ruler in Egypt. God guides and blesses Joseph’s life according to His plan for the salvation of mankind. As God guided and blessed Joseph’s life, so our Lord guides our lives for our good.
16. Joseph’s Brothers Come to Egypt (Genesis 42)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 191-195
This story represents the first step in God’s chastening of the ten brothers who had treated Joseph so shamefully. Joseph’s actions toward his brothers were not done out of hate but love. Joseph, a God-fearing man, was deeply concerned for the spiritual welfare of his brothers. Joseph's acceptance of what God had allowed to come into his life, together with his loving forgiveness toward his brothers, serves as a model for all who would follow.
17. Joseph’s Brothers Come to Egypt Again (Genesis chapters 43-45)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 196-201
Here we clearly see the love and forgiveness God has for us and that we should have for one another. The first part of this lesson shows the repentance of the brothers (turning from sin and in faith turning to God for forgiveness); also the forgiving nature of our Lord and the excellent example provided by Joseph. In faith Joseph realized that what had happened to him God worked for the good of him and his family.
18. Jacob and His Family Live in Egypt (Genesis chapters 46-50)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 202-211
Many years had passed since Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers. Jacob (Israel) was now 130 years old. The Lord directed him to make the journey to Egypt because of the famine in his homeland. There the Lord promised to make of him a great nation. With Joseph as His key human instrument, God preserved alive His chosen people and builds the nation which would bring forth the Messiah.
19. Early Life of Moses (Exodus 1:1 – 2:10)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 212-217
It is estimated that the descendants of Jacob now numbered between two and three million people. There arose a fear that the people of Israel would become more powerful than the Egyptians and dominate them. This resulted in putting in place various work-related practices that grievously burdened the people of Israel. They also tried to limit the growth of the nation of Israel or possibly bring it to extinction by ordering all of the male infants killed at birth. So God began His plan of deliverance of the people of Israel.
20. The Call of Moses (Exodus 2:11 - 4:31)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 218-223
In these chapters, we read of Moses’ upbringing in Egypt, his flight after his crime of murder, and God’s Call to Moses from the Burning Bush to lead the Children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt. This is a picture of God’s larger plan to rescue mankind from the captivity of their sin through His Servant Jesus Christ.
21. The Plagues (Exodus chapters 5 – 10)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 242-236
God sends Moses and his brother Aaron to Pharaoh of Egypt with the command to let the Children of Israel go free. Pharaoh refuses to acknowledge the LORD’s authority and persists in his opposition. God sends heavy plagues over Egypt. They were to give encouragement to Israel and warning the Egyptians. They served to harden Pharaoh’s heart, and to make the LORD’s name known throughout the earth.
22. The Tenth Plague; The First Passover (Exodus 12)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 237-239
When Pharaoh definitely refused to hear the LORD’s servant Moses any more, God dealt the final blow: He instituted the Passover by which Israel was spared, and sent the 10th plague which killed every firstborn of the Egyptians. The blood of the lamb is symbolic of the blood of Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
23. Israel Leaves Egypt (Exodus 13:17 – 15:2)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 240-244
Led by the presence of Jehovah God manifested in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, the Children of Israel (totaling about 2 million people) left Egypt and began their journey to the Promised Land. When Pharaoh corners them with his army by the Red Sea, the LORD tests their faith and shows His almighty power to deliver His people by parting the Red Sea. The Children of Israel cross over on dry ground, and the pursuing army of Pharaoh is completely destroyed by the waters. Faith is trust, not in self, but in God. This event became for Old Testament Israel a picture of God’s saving power and salvation which found completeness in Jesus and the cross.
24. Israel in the Desert (Exodus 15:22 – 17:16)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 245-250
God continues to provide for His complaining people. At Marah the Children of Israel complain about the lack of water and God meets their need. In the Wilderness of Sin they complain about the lack of food, and God miraculously satisfies their needs with the gift of manna. At Masseh and Meribah, Israel again complains because of the lack of water and God meet their needs. Finally God defeated the Amalakites showing His power to save His chosen people.
25. The Giving of the Law (Exodus 19:1-20:24; 24:1-18)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 251-258
At Mt. Sinai the holy God gives Moses the Ten Commandments written on two tablets of stone, as well as other laws pertaining to their civic and religious lives. The Law of God - this “Old Covenant” was given to the Children of Israel to inform them that God demands holiness (perfect keeping of the law). This covenant kept the Children of Israel together as a nation until the time of Jesus Christ, as God promised. The Law shows us our sins. But the Gospel – the “New Covenant” shows us our Savior Jesus Christ. Obedience to the Law was then - and is now - always a spontaneous response to the Good News of the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ our LORD.
26. The Golden Calf (24: 12-18; 31:18-32:35; 34:1-7, 28-33)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 264-270
While God’s servant Moses is up on Mt. Sinai receiving the Law of God, the Children of Israel show their sinful waywardness by making and worshiping an idol – a golden calf. God shows His mercy by not destroying them for their unfaithfulness, but brings them back to repentance and faith in Him.
27. Worship in the Tabernacle (Exodus 35-40; Lev. 24; Num. 6, 15)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 259-263
God here establishes an orderly series of sacrifices and services for the spiritual welfare of His people and to the glory of His name. Every Christian is called upon by God to publicly worship Him by hearing His Word, repenting of his sins and receiving the Good News of forgiveness through Jesus.
28. The Twelve Spies (Numbers 13 and 14 [refer also to Deut. 1 for a rehearsal account])
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 271-274
Twelve spies (one from each tribe of Israel) were sent into the Land of Canaan. Their job was to scout out military forces, survey the ecology and economy of the country, its crops and population factors. After forty days they came back. 10 reported pessimistically – that Israel wouldn’t be able to defeat the inhabitants. The other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, urged the Children of Israel to go in a take the land as the LORD promised. The people were afraid to do what the LORD commanded, showing their faithlessness. The result was 40 years of wandering in the wilderness until they died, and the new generation of people 20 years and younger being allowed to enter the Promised Land.
29. The Bronze Serpent (Numbers 20:14 - 21:9 [and Deut. 2:1-9])
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 279-281
As they wandered in the desert, the Children of Israel again rebel against Moses and God. God sends fiery serpents to turn their rebellious hearts back to Him. The cure was a bronze serpent set upon a pole. This was a picture of Jesus Christ dying on the cross to cure us from our sins. John 3: 14-16 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
30. The Last Days of Moses (Numbers 20:1-13, 27:12-23; Deut. 6-8, 18:15-18, 31-34)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 292-299
Moses is not allowed to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land because of his sin. Joshua is commissioned to assume the responsibilities of Moses as God commanded. Moses gives three farewell address with the following primary points: 1) teach the Word, 2) possess the promised land, 3)remember the LORD your God. Moses also speaks of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would be the Prophet of prophets. In his final words, Moses predicts what will befall Israel in the days ahead. He rehearses the blessings which God will pour out upon Israel. He also shows the judgments that will be their lot because of their unbelief and perverse ways. Before Moses dies, God shows him the Promised Land from a mountain top. God buries Moses.
31. Israel Enters the Promised Land (Joshua 1 - 5)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 300-305
Joshua takes command of the Nation of Israel. God promises to be with him and bless him. The people also promise to obey Joshua as they did Moses. Two spies are chosen and sent into Jericho to scout for the coming conquest. The spies came back convinced. “Truly Jehovah has delivered into our hands all the land, for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.” Jehovah divides the waters of the Jordan River just as He had done with the Red Sea so the Children of Israel could pass through on dry land. This assured them of His presence and power. Joshua sets up an altar to Jehovah God and leads the people in the worship of His name. The rite of circumcision was renewed as a sign of God’s covenant. The nation celebrated the Passover. The manna ceased. The Captain (Prince) of the host (army) of Jehovah appeared to Joshua. This was Jesus, the Angel of the Lord, who had appeared to Moses at the burning bush.
32. The Fall of Jericho (Joshua 6 & 11:23)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 306-307
God destroys the wicked City of Jericho by the hand of Joshua and the Children of Israel, demonstrating both His omnipotence and His holy intolerance of sin and unbelief. Jehovah God is making good on His promise to deliver the Promised Land. The larger picture: God has destroyed our spiritual enemies and through faith in Christ guaranteed us heaven – the Promised Land.
33. Gideon (Judges 6:1-8:28)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 321-324
The LORD raised up Gideon as a deliverer of the children of Israel against the Midianites. After raising an army of 33,000 men, the LORD instructed Gideon to reduce his army to 300 with which he attacked the camp of the Midianites by night with torches and trumpets. “The LORD set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp.” Gideon’s army of 300 defeated a superior force of 135,000 men. 40 years of peace ensued. After Gideon’s death (some things never change), “the children of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals” and “did not remember the LORD, their God.”
34. Samson (Judges 13-16)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 325-331
Samson, a man blessed by God with tremendous strength, is used by God as a judge to free Israel from their enemy the Philistines. The account of Samson is a good reminder of how honest the Bible is. Rather than painting him as a flawless character, we find in Samson the same sinful flesh that infects all people. As amazing as the feats of strength which he performed with the Lord’s power is the fact that the Lord chose to use Samson as His instrument. One cannot justify the sinful actions that are so evident in Samson’s life; one can merely use the opportunity to teach about God’s grace and mercy. Just as God used even the prideful Samson to accomplish His plan for Israel, so He uses each of us, even in our weakness, to accomplish His plan for mankind.
35. Ruth (Ruth 1 - 4)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 332-339
According to verse 1, this story took place during the time of the judges. God tells us in Judges 17:6, "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." The book of Judges showed God's faithfulness even when His people were unfaithful to Him. The book of Ruth shows that despite the wickedness around about, one non-Israelite and a few Israelites faithfully followed God's will and were richly blessed for it.
36. Samuel (1 Samuel 1 - 7)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 340-345
For about 450 years after Joshua's death, Israel was a theocracy, ruled by God through the law which He had given His people. However, the people often forgot about God and His will and worshipped heathen idols. God would send enemies to invade their land and afflict them. When they remembered God, repented of their sin and asked God for help, He would send someone, a judge, to lead them against the enemy and free the people from foreign rule. Samuel was the last of the judges. He led the people back to the worship of the true God.
37. Saul (1 Samuel 8 - 15)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 349-361
Sinful dissatisfaction over the judges by whom God had ruled Israel led the people to demand a king like the nations around them. God gave them a king, Saul the son of Kish. He started well as a humble servant of God. But later he chose to ignore God's will and to do things his own way. When he failed to destroy the Amalekites completely, God rejected him as king.
38. David Anointed King (1 Samuel 16)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 362-364
When the Lord chose Saul to become king, Saul was a believer. As the years went by, Saul fell from faith. He trusted in himself and not the Lord. He rejected the Lord in his unbelief, and the Lord rejected him as king. The Lord now chose a young man named David to become his successor. The Lord sent the prophet Samuel to anoint David as king.
39. David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 365-369
As a young shepherd, David trusted in the LORD to defeat Goliath - a fierce giant Philistine warrior. He firmly believed that the Lord could and would preserve him. We need to pray for the faith and strength to follow David’s example. The faith David displayed was a gift from God. Our faith is a gift from God, too. David faced a great foe. Like David, only the Lord can deliver and save us from our spiritual enemies, and from the trials and tribulations of life. The Lord can and will deliver us from them all.
40. David Becomes King (1 Samuel 31 – 2 Samuel 7)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 370-393
David was anointed by Samuel the prophet at about the age of 18. David didn’t become king until he was about 30. For 12 years David waited to become king while Saul sat on the throne. During this time the Lord was preparing David. Saul made David’s life very miserable. Again and again he tried to kill him. David was hunted like an outlaw. During these years of adversity, the Lord strengthened David spiritually. During these years David wrote some of his greatest, and most beautiful psalms. With the Lord’s blessing, he became one of the best kings Israel ever had.
41. David and Bathsheba (II Samuel 11:1-12:25)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 394-397
David was a great king of Israel. Scripture describes him as “a man after God’s own heart.” He was very concerned about both the temporal and spiritual welfare of his people. He was inspired by the holy Spirit to write and record many hymns and prayers in the Book of Psalms. David, however, was not beyond temptation and sin. The devil succeeded in leading him into two grievous sins-adultery and murder. By God’s grace, he was brought to repentance and restored to God’s family. Some of his greatest psalms reflect his experiences.
42. Absalom’s Rebellion (II Samuel 13:30 - 18:33)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 398-402
After David’s great fall into sin, the Lord announced that he would experience some great trials within his family. These words were fulfilled when David’s son Absalom rebelled against his father and tried to steal the kingdom from him. Absalom was very handsome and had beautiful hair, but he was very vain and proud. Even though Absalom succeeded in turning the hearts of many and raising an army, he was defeated and killed by Joab, David’s General. David grieved him.
43. Solomon Builds the Temple (I Kings 1-11 and I Chronicles 28-29)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 403-413
King David’s son, Solomon, is appointed to rule in his place when he dies. Solomon became a world famous king, noted for his wisdom and his wealth. He begins his rule like his father David and like King Saul; a God-fearing, obedient child of God. The most prominent event in his life was the building of the magnificent and extraordinarily beautiful house of God, the temple in Jerusalem. Solomon built the temple not to enhance or further his own fame and glory, but to glorify God and to further the spread of His spiritual kingdom on earth. He would give to God the best he and his people had to offer.
44. The Kingdom Divided (1 Kings 12 - 14)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 435-440
King Solomon, in his later life, was led to the worship of false gods by his many wives. The LORD told him that He would tear the kingdom from him and give it to his servant. This happened after Solomon’s death. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was the rightful heir to the throne. But Jeroboam, Solomon’s former servant, was made king of the Northern ten tribes – henceforth known as “Israel.” Rehoboam was made king of the Southern two tribes of Judah and Benjamin – henceforth known as “Judah.” Both Kings led the people into idol worship. The one true God did not abandon His people, but sent His prophets to bring His Word.
45. The Prophet Elijah (I Kings 16 - 17)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 441-443
Elijah is sent by God to proclaim His Word to wicked King Ahab. God sends a drought upon the land for their idolatry. The LORD provides for Elijah’s well-being in miraculous ways. First, Elijah is fed by the ravens. Then, a widow cares for him with the miracle of a jar of oil that doesn’t run out and a bin of flour that doesn’t go empty. Elijah raises the widow’s son from the dead.
46. Elijah and the Prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 444-447
Elijah announces the end of the drought and calls King Ahab to repent of his wickedness. Elijah calls all of Israel to make a choice: “If the LORD is God, follow Him. If Baal, then follow him.” They are silent – showing the terrible effects of false teaching. Elijah sets up a stand-off with the 450 prophets of Baal. The sacrifice whose fire is lit by their god is the true God. The LORD gives a great demonstration that He is the one true God, not the Baals of the false priests of King Ahab and Queen Jezebell. The 450 false prophets are killed.
47. Elijah in the Wilderness (1 Kings 19)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 448-451
Elijah had to flee from the wrath of Queen Jezebel. He is depressed and cast down because of the unbelief of Israel. The LORD in this lesson gives Elijah and us a lesson in how He preserves His people – through His “still small voice” – His Word. Our Lord wishes for us to realize that, as we work with Him and for Him He has given us a special duty. He has not asked much of us. He has simply invited us to share the blessings in Christ, which He has given to us. The only way we can fail is if we refuse to give His love to others. Our success is simply in the doing of it.
48. Naboth’s Vineyard (I Kings 21-22, II Kings 9:30-37)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 451-453
King Ahab covets Naboth’s vineyard. When he can’t purchase it, he pouts to Queen Jezebel, who plans and carries out Naboth’s false trial and finally his murder. God sends the prophet Elijah to stand up to the Ahab and Jezebel and proclaim their dishonorable deaths due to their wickedness. A Godless life always leads to disaster in time and, unless there is repentance, for eternity.
49. Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings chapters 2 - 4)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 454-460
The prophet Elijah has an assistant named Elisha. When Elijah strikes his mantle on the water of the Jordon, the river parts for their crossing. The LORD hereby shows His support and approval of His servant. Elijah and the chariot and horses of fire are taken up into heaven by a whirlwind. Elisha takes up Elijah’s mantle and the LORD shows His approval of him with the same miracle of the parting the Jordon. Elisha carries on as God’s prophet.
50. Naaman and Elisha (2 Kings 5)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 461-464
Naaman is the commander of the Syrian army. He has leprosy. One of his slave girls from Israel tells him of the prophet Elisha who can cure him. A meeting is arranged. Elisha sends simple instructions to dip in the Jordon River seven times. The Lord, through Elisha, heals Naaman of his leprosy. This lesson teaches us not to despise the Gospel for its simplicity.
51. Jonah (Jonah chapters 1 - 4)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 465-472
Jonah is called, flees, and is swallowed by a great fish before he carries the Lord's call to repentance to the great city of Nineveh. Our omnipotent God exercises His power in love, desiring all men to repent and be saved.
52. Overthrow of Israel. King Hezekiah (2 Kings 17-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 473-478
Chapter 17 deals with Israel's fall and the reasons for that fall - idolatry. Chapters 18 and 19 stand in contrast, for there we read that the same Assyrian military threat that destroyed Israel was turned away from Judah because of faithful obedience to the Lord on the part of Judah under King Hezekiah. Chapter 20 deals with Hezekiah's sickness and recovery, again emphasizing that the Lord is ready and willing to bless us when we turn to Him in time of need rather than to idols.
53. Babylonian Captivity (2 Kings 22-25; 2 Chronicles 34-36; Jeremiah 34-39)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 526-531
Though the reforms brought by Josiah were indeed God-pleasing, the evil wrought in the early part of Manasseh's reign was not easily undone. The Jews had broken the conditional covenant God had made with them as a nation (Exodus 19-24) and therefore God no longer acted as their national defender. However the covenant that God would send a Savior from the Jews was an unconditional covenant, therefore God preserved a remnant in Babylon to fulfill His promise. Because of her idolatry and perversion, Judah is delivered over to her enemies; but a faithful remnant is preserved, both in Judah and in Babylonia. Though God punishes those who reject Him, He preserves His children and keeps His promises.
54. Daniel (Daniel chapters 1 - 2)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 532-544
As a young man, Daniel is taken into captivity and deported to Babylonia along with other young people from Judah. He is blessed by the LORD and raised and educated in King Nebuchadnezzar’s courts as a future wise man or councilor. The King has a disturbing dream and demands not only the telling of it, but also its interpretation. God blesses Daniel with the ability to do both. The dream tells of the plans of God’s Kingdom using Nebuchadnezzar’s earthly kingdom. Earthly kingdoms rise and fall; The KINGDOM OF GOD destroys all earthly kingdoms and shall stand forever.
55. The Three Men in the Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 538-541
Certain Chaldeans accused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego of failing to fall down and worship a 90’ image of King Nebuchadnezzar. Accusers were political opponents of the three men of Judah. Enraged by the fact that anyone would dare to disobey his command, Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into a fiery furnace. They were not harmed, and a fourth Man appeared with them in the furnace – the Son of God. God preserved these men and gave them favor in the king’s sight.
56. Daniel in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 445-448
King Darius ruled the Medo/Persian kingdom and placed 3 governors over 120 satraps. Daniel was one of the govenours. The other governors and satraps were jelous of Daniel and ploted to have him killed. They come up with a statute forbidding anyone from petitioning God or man for thirty days, except the king. Disobedience punishable by death in the lions' den. Flattered and unthinking, Darius passed the irrevocable law. To the king’s dismay, Daniel was brought up on charges and thrown into the lions den. The LORD shut the mouth’s of the lions and preserved Daniel’s life. The next day the King brought Daniel out and threw his accusers into the lion’s den.
57. Esther (Esther)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 554-561
Xerxes held a banquet, ordered Queen Vashti to appear so he could show off her beauty, but she refused to come. Xerxes had her deposed as queen and ordered an empire-wide beauty contest to be held to find a new queen. Esther was chosen. She was a cousin of Mordecai who appears to have been a minor official in the Persian Court. Enter Haman, an officer of the King who hated Mordecai because he refused to honor him by bowing down to him. Haman plotted the destruction of all Jews in the empire. His plot backfired to his own destruction and blessing for the Jews. God preserved the remnant of His people through the Jewish woman Esther.
58. Job (Job 1, 2:1-10, 19:25-27; 38:1-3; 40:1-5; 42:1-6; 42:10-17)
OT Bible History Commentary (none from Franzmann)
Job trusted in God even in the midst of tremendous suffering. God taught Job that He was in control of Job's life in good times and in bad. We learn that God gives to us only what is for our best.
59. Return from Captivity/Rebuilding the Temple (Ezra 1-10, Nehemiah 1-8)
OT Bible History Commentary pp. 562-566
Ezra relates the story of two returns from Babylon: the first led by Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1-6), and the second under the leadership of Ezra, the scribe, to rebuild the spiritual condition of the people (Ezra 7-10). Sandwiched between these two accounts is a gap of nearly sixty years. Nehemiah is a contemporary of Ezra and leads the third and last return to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Nehemiah challenges God’s people to rebuild the shattered walls of Jerusalem. In spite of opposition, the walls are rebuilt in only fifty-two days.