THE EARLY church grows by leaps and bounds in the days after Pentecost. But things weren’t perfect because (surprise!) the apostles were human, too.
We discuss the dispute between Greek and Jewish believers over the care of widows and the deception of Ananias and Sapphira. We also cover the sort-of conversion of Simon Magus, the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, and the stoning of Stephen — our introduction to Saul of Tarsus, who would arguably become the greatest of all the apostles.
DAVID’S CORONATION as king over all Israel is the focus of this week’s Old Testament study. We discuss the Mighty Men who served David, some of whom are described in language that makes them almost seem superhuman.
And we read several Psalms, one lament and two of thankfulness, which — since we are following a chronological reading order — are appropriate for the period of mourning for Saul and the rise of David to the kingship.
PSALMS OF ASAPH are featured this week in our Old Testament study. Once again, we find that what appears on the surface to be a–dare we say–relatively ordinary hymn of praise or supplication turns out to be something far more exciting when you actually take the time to read it and start peeling away layers.
We also find hints of the ultimate schism in Israel that created the two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. And since Asaph lived through the period of turmoil and intrigue that marked the transfer of power from David to Solomon, we suspect there will be some more hidden gems among his Psalms in the weeks and months ahead. Continue reading →