Monday, February 4, 2019

McGee and Me #12: 1 and 2 Samuel

Thru the Bible #12: 1 and 2 Samuel. J. Vernon McGee. 308 pages. [Source: Bought]

I recently bought a complete set of J. Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible commentary series. These books are loosely based on his popular radio program. I plan on reading or in some cases rereading his commentaries. 

First sentence: The two Books of Samuel are classified as one book in the Jewish canon and should be considered as such.

This is one of the McGee commentaries that I reread. I am still enjoying McGee's style and approach. Though in places I do wish there was more actual commentary on the Scripture itself. There is plenty of commentary on society. I do like his tell-it-like-it-is or no-compromise-approach. But there are a few times where I think a little more knowledge of the background would make a difference. For example, I am now curious to see how other commentators deal with David and Bathsheba. McGee's approach is that David should not have been lusting or giving into temptation but that there is no excuse for Bathsheba bathing in public and flaunting her body. He suggests that she was bathing in a place where she knew that David could likely see her. She wanted to catch the king's eye--that's McGee's take on the situation.

Overall, I am enjoying McGee. It's just sometimes I'm left shaking my head in bewilderment. I do know that I disagree with him strongly on a few issues.

Quotes from 1 Samuel:

  • This first Book of Samuel opens with the cry of a godly woman. While the people cry for a king, Hannah cries for a child. 
  • Eli thought she was drunk. Do you know why? Others who were drunk had come to the house of the Lord.
  • Here is Hannah who wants a child, and some women today do not want their children.
  • However, the issue today is that people want to sin, but they do not want to pay the consequences for their sin. My position is that when people sin they should bear the fruit of their sin.
  • Salvation comes in three tenses. We have been saved. That is justification, and it is past tense. God has also delivered us from what the old theologians called “the pollution of sin,” which is present deliverance. We are being saved. It is sanctification and is in the present tense. Finally there is the deliverance from death in the future—not physical, but spiritual death. This is a future deliverance. We shall be saved. That will be glorification, which is future tense.
  • The word freely means “without a cause.” God found nothing in us to merit salvation. He found the explanation in Himself—He loves us.
  • How did God reveal Himself? By the Word. God today is also revealing Himself through His Word.
  • The merit was not in that box because God was not in that box. You cannot get God into a box! The merit was in the presence and person of God.
  • The name Eben-ezer means “stone of help.” “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” It was also a stone of remembrance, looking back to the past. It was a stone of recognition, a stone for the present. It was a stone of revelation, a stone for the future.
  • God has given us memories so that we can have roses in December.
  • Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note, but today is cash. Spend it wisely.
  • Dr. R. A. Torrey always said that Romans 8:28 was a soft pillow for a tired heart. We all need an Eben-ezer stone. I trust that you have one in your life.
  • Saul is out looking for the asses of his father, and the asses of Israel are looking for a king. They are bound to get together, friend, and they do.
  • I don’t think the Bible needs defending. It needs explaining; it needs to be proclaimed.
  • We need the exclamation point and the declaration mark more than we need a question mark.
  • Saul believed in the motto: “He who tooteth not his own horn, said horn will go untooted.”
  • The ruler must obey the Lord. And what the world needs today is a ruler who is being ruled by the Lord.
  • When we begin to talk about Jesus as “a friend of mine,” we are not being Scriptural.
  • The Lord said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). Are you obedient unto Him? How dare any of us call Him friend if we are not obeying Him?
  • When you meet a person who is totally disobedient to the Lord, you almost have to conclude that he does not belong to the Lord at all.
  • I am saying that if you are a child of God, if you come to the place where you know Him, you will obey him. To be a child of God is to know Him personally. That is what makes Christianity different from any religion in the world.
  • My friend, God’s love will not deter Him from judging sinners. He can love them and still execute judgment. Our God is holy and righteous and just, as well as loving.
  • The Christian life is one of reality. It is not a life of “put-on” and pretense.
  • David had a heart for God. He didn’t volunteer to fight the giant because his people were being shamed, but because Goliath was defying the armies of the living God! 
  • If God has called you to use a slingshot, friend, don’t try to use a sword. If God has called you to speak, then speak. If God has called you to do something else, well, do that. If God has called you to sing, sing. But if He has not called you to sing, for goodness sake, don’t do it.
  • Goliath had four sons, and David was sure they would come out when he killed their father. This is why David picked up five stones.
  • What a difference there is between David and Samson. Samson treated the Philistines as friends—he even married one of them. David treated Goliath as an enemy.
  • God has had to teach patience to every man He has ever used. God moves and works slowly.
  • Imagine what would happen when Saul awakened, stood up, and found out he was wearing a mini-skirt!
  • Christian friend, we do not realize how many times God intervenes in our lives.

Quotes from 2 Samuel:

  • But as you well know (and certainly we in this country ought to know by now), when you have folk on one side who are determined on one course and people on the other side who are determined on another course, negotiation is practically valueless. It is generally an exercise in futility, and that is what happens here.
  • I am opposed to all hot-headed protesters—regardless of what side they are on.
  • God is going to judge. I do not know about you, but I am a little weary of hearing all this love, love, lovey-dovey stuff.
  • Sure, God is love. Certainly God loves you, but you can go on in sin, you can turn your back on Him, and you are lost.
  • There is no way out of it. There is no other alternative. John 14:6 says, “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
  • A sheep may fall in the mud, but he will struggle out of it as soon as he can. A pig will stay in the mud and enjoy it.
  • You see, God did something about man’s sin. He gave Jesus Christ to die on the cross and pay the penalty—sin is that heinous.
  • It is God who says that sin is so black that it required the death of His Son. If you turn your back on God, you are lost.
  • The Word of God is a mirror that reveals us as we really are.
  • I have no confidence in men. I do not believe that any politician today is going to champion the poor. This never has been done, and it never will be done.
  • It is interesting how easily you can see the sin in somebody else, but you cannot see it in your own life. That was David’s problem.
  • May I say, Christian friend, that when the question arises, “Can a Christian sin?” the answer is yes. But when you sin, you despise God.
  • As far as I can tell from the Word of God, that is the way that the Anti-christ will come to power. He is going to be the greatest little backslapper that the world has ever seen.
  • There is little effort being made to please God in our government.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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