Gilbert House Fellowship

Gilbert House Fellowship

Weekly Bible study with authors and analysts Derek and Sharon Gilbert


November 20, 2022 83 min
THE PSALMS are filled with supernatural meaning that we often miss because we don’t have the worldview of the authors.

This week, we dig into three psalms of David that appear, on first reading, related to his ascension to the kingship over all the tribes of Israel. They are that, but on a deeper level, we find references to the the unseen realm and those spirits who rejected God’s authority.

For example, the “saints/holy people in t...
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THE PSALMS we study this week are especially timely, coming as they do after a contentious midterm election in the United States.

At the end of the day, regardless of how the vote turned out, God is still on His throne, and He, for one, was not surprised by the results.

We also discuss a psalm not usually interpreted as messianic. Psalm 8 includes several verses quoted by the author of Hebrews:

What is man that you are mindful of him,...
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THE DEATH OF SAUL and his three eldest sons triggered a power struggle among the tribes of Israel, as you’d expect anytime humans and politics are involved.

The chapters we study this week summarize the 7-1/2 years that David ruled as king over Judah from the city of Hebron. During that time, the two youngest sons of Saul, Ish-bosheth and Mephiboseth, ruled the northern tribes from Mahanaim, east of the Jordan River. We dig into the...
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GOD IS our protector through the trials of life. That comes through in the psalms we read this week, all part of the group titled Songs of Ascents.

These come from the period of David’s life between the death of Saul and his acceptance as king over all Israel. They are a reminder that while we will endure trials in this life, God offers us His steadfast love, forgiveness, and redemption.
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THE PSALMS OF DAVID give us a window into his heart and mind during the ups and downs of his life. This week, we discuss a psalm written shortly after the death of Saul in battle against the Philistines.

We also look at a pair of psalms described as “songs of ascent,” two of fifteen so titled. Not surprisingly, we discover more supernatural depth and prophetic significance than we noticed our first time through the Old Testament.
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SAUL’S VISIT to the medium of En-dor is one of the more controversial chapters in the Bible. Does it prove that ghosts are real?

We discuss the recent research that shows why the Hebrew word ôb, usually translated into English as “medium,” more accurately means “owner of a ritual pit.” This is a concept that can be traced back through the archaeological record to the ancient Hurrians (the biblical Horites), who originated on the Ara...
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DAVID’S PSALMS are a window into his heart and mind, and those written while he was on the run from Saul are instructive, teaching us that even in our darkest hours, God has not forsaken us.

We discuss these psalms, composed while hiding in the dry, dusty wilderness of Judah—possibly the site of the later fortress of Masada, or even further southeast, in the desert of Edom near modern-day Petra. Even then, driven from his home and f...
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ABIGAIL IS a wonderful example of wisdom and diplomacy, who acted contrary to her husband’s wishes—but in his best interests.

Nabal—certainly not his name, since it means “fool”—insulted the messengers sent by David to ask for some supplies after protecting Nabal’s flocks and shepherds in the wilderness. Abigail wisely put together a caravan of gifts for David and his men, which stopped David from slaughtering everyone in Nabal’s ho...
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WE GET insight into the mind of David this week as we read a collection of psalms probably written while he was hiding from Saul.

We discuss similarities in the words of David and Job. Although their circumstances were different—David being persecuted by a man while Job was being tested by “the satan”—their hope in God in the midst of their trials is very much alike.
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DAVID’S FLIGHT from Saul led both men to take desperate action: David sought refuge among Israel’s mortal enemies, first the Philistines and then the Moabites, while Saul ordered the slaughter of the priests of the tabernacle because they unknowingly helped David escape.

The difference between the two men is highlighted by the incident in a cave at Ein Gedi, a site on the west side of the Dead Sea. David had the opportunity to kill ...
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SAUL’S INSECURITIES were his downfall, the hole in his spiritual armor that led him to try to murder David rather than accept God’s will.

We discuss the plot to assassinate David and his first wife Michal’s scheme to buy time for David to escape, and how the account of 1 Samuel 19 shows the influence of the pagan Amorite culture, with its veneration of the ancestral dead, on ancient Israel.

Our schedule this week also takes us into t...
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THE STORY of David and Goliath is one of the best-known in the Bible. The contrast between the faith of David (in God), Saul (in his armor), and Goliath (in himself) is just one of the lessons to draw from the account.

One of the interesting aspects of David’s battle with Goliath is the way the Masoretic Hebrew text, on which our English Old Testament translations are based, includes a big chunk of 1 Samuel 17 that is not in the old...
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SAUL WAS a flawed man—indecisive, rash, and lacking in faith.

Although Saul led Israel to victory over its enemies, mainly the Philistines and the trans-Jordanian kingdoms of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, his insecurity and poor judgment led to God’s decree that the kingship would be stripped from his family and given to another.

We discuss Saul’s foolish decision to offer sacrifices rather than waiting for the prophet Samuel, placing himse...
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The story of Saul is a record of the transformation of Israel from a theocracy to a kingdom.

The sons of the prophet Samuel followed in the footsteps of the sons of the former high priest, Eli, pursuing wealth and taking bribes. (Interestingly, they set up shop in Beersheba, located in the Negev in southern Israel. We need to do more study into the significance of Beersheba to figure out why they went there instead of staying in the...
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The ark of the covenant was not to be misused. God made that very clear to both Israel and its mortal enemies in the days of Samuel, Saul, and David, the Philistines.

The ark had been moved from Shechem to Shiloh at some point during the time of the Judges. As we discussed last week, the Samaritans believe to this day that Eli, the high priest who raised Samuel, was the one who moved the center of Israelite worship sometime around 1...
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The rise of the monarchy in Israel begins with the story of Samuel.

We dive deeply into the prayer of Samuel’s mother, Hannah, and unpack its spiritual and prophetic implications. 2 Samuel 2:1 sets the tone for her prayer:

My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

Key to understanding that verse is knowing that “salvation” is the Hebrew word yeshua—J...
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GOD IS our redeemer, a theme woven throughout the Old Testament. This is illustrated most clearly in the Book of Ruth.

This week, we finish the Book of Judges with the story of how the other tribes of Israel prevented the extinction of Benjamin after the sordid affair of the Levite’s concubine (Judges 19–20). Then we move on to Ruth, which relates the story of the great-grandparents of David.

Ruth was a Moabite woman who married a ma...
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SODOM AND GOMORRAH come to mind when reading the last chapters of the Book of Judges.

The disturbing events recorded in the final chapters of Judges describe a time “when there was no king in Israel.” A Levite from the hill country of Ephraim traveled to Bethlehem to bring home his wayward concubine, probably a secondary wife. On their return journey north, they stopped for the night at Gibeah, a town in the territory of Benjamin ab...
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SAMSON WAS the stereotypical alpha male. Ruled by his passions, Samson fell into the hands of Israel’s enemies, the Philistines—but God used even Samson’s failings to save His people from their enemies.

We discuss Samson’s flaws, such as his pride and rather flexible approach toward keeping his vow as a Nazirite. It’s clear that Samson either wasn’t the smartest guy in Israel, or he put so much trust in his own strength that he did ...
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JUDGES 11 describes an event in Israel’s history that is difficult to reconcile with a loving God.

Jephthah, the son of man of the tribe of Manasseh by a prostitute, is called upon by the people of Gilead to lead them into battle against the kingdom of Ammon, which had invaded their territory. Jephthah, described as “a mighty warrior,” vowed to God that he would sacrifice as a burnt offering “whatever [or “whoever”] comes out from t...
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