Intro to First Kings
Intro to First Kings

Alexander Galvez • November 08, 2019

14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 

1 Kings 3:14 


I hope that I am not asking for too much as I type this….During the entire month of July, our Old Testament reading consisted of reading through the books of First and Second Samuel. And I really hope that you took some good notes because for the entire month of November, your Old Testament reading will be on First and Second Kings. You will remember, or find in your Bible reading notes, that Second Samuel concluded with David sinning by conducting a census and a great plague being sent by God as a result of it. David then builds an altar to the Lord and pleas to the Lord for his mercy (also echoed in 1 Chron 21). We then read these words at the very end of Second Samuel 24, “…So the LORD responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel” and then the curtain falls. But the story does not end there. We can consider the plague event mentioned prior as sort of the closing scene of Act II of the play and the opening scene for Act III to be recorded in First Kings. 


First Kings brings closure to the legacy of David that we find in 1 Samuel and the covenant that God had made with him is one that needs to be remembered in First and Second Kings. As a reminder, the Davidic covenant can be found in 2 Samuel 7 and consists of three main elements: 1) That the Lord had not forgotten his promise to Abraham and that they will have a place, a home (vs 10) 2) That the offspring of David will build a house for the Lord (vs 13) and 3) That there will be an eternal kingdom established by another son of David (vs 13, 16). In First Kings, it becomes clear to us that Solomon fulfills the second part of the covenant, but he does not fulfill the third. And as we track each king throughout the course of Israel’s history, our hopes of finding that king begins to dwindle. Immediately after Solomon, the kingdom is divided into two, the north and the south. In the northern kingdom, they immediately turn to idolatry and almost every single ruler is wicked. The southern kingdom is no Bible belt though. It too is ruled by many wicked kings with really only two that stand out, Hezekiah and Josiah. And because of these wicked kings, prophets are raised up to proclaim righteousness in a time full of unrighteousness, the most prominent ones being Elijah and Elisha. 


Which brings us to one of the central messages of this book. Firstly, we must not place our faith and trust in rulers of this world. We serve, follow, and obey the one true Lord, the Son of David who has established a kingdom with no end. And even when our earthly rulers lead our nation away from God, we must have courage and confidence in His word. And like Elijah versus the prophets of Baal, we must not cower in fear nor change the truth. Instead, we must stand firm on it and have faith that God is sovereign and working everything according to the perfect council of His will. Finally, we are reminded through Elijah’s doubting experience that God has never left us and never will leave us. That ought to encourage and embolden us even more to trust Him above all else. His kingdom is without end, may we live as citizens of the kingdom here on earth waiting for the day when we will see the kingdom consummated at Christ’s second coming. 


Grace and Peace, 

Alex Galvez 


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These articles follow the current Bible Reading plan for Overflow Ministries. If you would like to join the reading plan, simply download the plan here: Overflow Reading Plan 


You may follow Overflow Ministries @ https://faithlife.com/overflowtx/activity 

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Intro to Proverbs
Intro to Proverbs

Alexander Galvez • November 06, 2019

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7 


Quiz time! Serving 160 years apart, name the two secretaries of state who never married? What are the two four letter words that have ‘oo’ in them in the poem inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty? In Genesis 4, what name is chosen because God ‘hath appointed me another seed’? Those questions are a few of the final jeopardy questions that Brad Rutter faced during his Jeopardy campaign. Having all that memorized knowledge served him well to the effect that he had earned $4,255,102 or $4,270,102 and a pair of Chevrolet Camaros. And as impressive as that sounds, King Solomon was estimated to have had a peak net worth of $2.2 trillion! And while he too had knowledge and had a lot of dough, what really sets him apart from Brad Rutter (and many other wealthy people) is the fact that Solomon had true knowledge and true wisdom. And much of his wisdom is contained in the book of Proverbs. 


While the book of Proverbs does state that they are from Solomon (1:1), this book is really a collection of wise sayings from multiple authors, such as Agur (chapter 30) and Lemuel (chapter 31) and compiled over a long period of time; one point being during the reign of King Hezekiah (25:1). And to try and summarize this book can be very difficult since the maxims in it touch on a wide breadth of topics such as righteous living, sexual relations, revenge, discipline, laziness, a godly wife, and so much more. Despite the cornucopia of themes, it is not difficult to discern that this book is providing the reader with wisdom in how to live in this world. Many of the books we read in the Old Testament have covenantal themes, being dominated more on how it is that a person can have fellowship with God, but proverbs comes alongside and teaches us how we as disciples ought to live our lives in fellowship with God. 


Also, prevailing theme that we encounter throughout the book is that wisdom proceeds from God and can be found by those who fear and trust in Him. And because everything that we do has a direct correspondence to our hearts, it is important for us to recognize that while knowledge (memorization of facts) alone does not change a person’s nature or character, the first truth is that we if we desire to be wise we must fear the Lord. It is our fear of the Lord that drives us to Christ and drives us to living life in a manner that is pleasing to Him. And this can be difficult for us at times because we are finite. But a recognition of our limitations and fragility (30:2-4) is a good thing because it brings us to humility and a realization that we are not to walk in a way that seems wise to us because it will only lead to death (14:12; 16:25). Instead, a truly wise man will submit himself God’s Word, because “every word of God proves true” (30:5). When we reject God and His word and try to live our lives apart from His counsel and will, we live like fools. But when we fear the Lord, we find life (9:10-11). May we live wisely in the fear of the Lord because we know that our lives are short and that in the end we will be demanded an account of it in eternity.


Grace and Peace, 

Alex Galvez 


To never miss an article, click on the "Subscribe" button at the top of the blog page (https://aogalvez.blogspot.com/

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These articles follow the current Bible Reading plan for Overflow Ministries. If you would like to join the reading plan, simply download the plan here: Overflow Reading Plan 


You may follow Overflow Ministries @ https://faithlife.com/overflowtx/activity 

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Parable of the Growing Seed
Parable of the Growing Seed

Alexander Galvez • November 04, 2019

26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” 

Mark 4:26-29 


In the fourth chapter of Mark’s Gospel, we read four parables related to the Kingdom of God. And all, but one, parable can be found in one or more of the other Gospels. The parable of the soils can be found in Matt 13:1-23 and Luke 8:4-15, the parable of the lamp is recorded in Luke 8:16-18, and the parable of the mustard seed may be found in Matthew’s Gospel; chapter 13:31-35. However, the parable of the growing seed is unique and exclusive to Mark’s Gospel and its meaning is not explained to us. 


In this parable, we read about a sower who sows seed in the field and then goes to bed. He seemingly plays a very small role in this story since the focus of the story shifts entirely to the seed. In the next 3 verses, we read an accelerated history of the seed’s lifecycle as it sprouts, then becomes a seedling, bud, and a fully ripe and mature plant ready for harvest. It is a very short parable and it does not seem to be teaching very much, but Jesus compares this seemingly dull parable to how the Kingdom of God is. Earlier in this chapter and in the verses that follow (1-8; 30-32), we read of a much more interesting parable concerning seeds and the kingdom of God, so why does Jesus provide this uninteresting and ordinary one? In the earlier parable of the soils, the word that is planted in good soil at times yields an unbelievable amount; 30, 60, 100 fold. We understand that we should examine ourselves to see what type of “soil” we are. In the latter parable of the mustard seed, we see how such a small, humble beginning will grow vey large. Those are exciting as we consider how the Kingdom of God will expand to proportions we cannot imagine and that His word, in the lives of believers, will produce an amazing harvest. But what are we to do with the parable of the growing seed? 


Well, for one, I think we should consider how the sower mentioned sowing the seed without any knowledge as to what sort of growth will occur. Connecting this to the earlier parable and the context of this parable, I think we can rightly understand the seed as being the gospel planted into a person’s life. The evangelist may not be aware of what growth will occur and “he knows not how” it even grows. Our duty as believers is to be faithful with the word that we have received and to sow it, trusting that God is active and working to complete a good work for His glory. And God’s work has an end and goal, a harvest. 


Now, there are two interpretations for what this harvest is. The first is that this harvest represents the end times day of judgment when God will separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares. In this sense, then the meaning for the growing seed story is that God’s kingdom will continue to grow, almost without any notice, and at the time of the harvest those who are righteous will be gleaned by the Lord. This perspective seems to connect this parable to the parable of the mustard seed. The second interpretation is that this is a picture of the work of the gospel in a person’s life. The seed, the gospel, is planted in to a person’s life by a sower, a faithful disciple. And at times, it may seem to have a very little effect on that person’s life, in the end God will bring it to fruition and that person will be saved. In this view, this parable seems to tie very well to the parable of the sower. An objection to the second interpretation is that this parable seems to be tied to the kingdom of God which should refer to God’s actual kingdom. However, some “kingdom” parables describe more than the kingdom in general, but specifically. For example, the parable of the Hidden treasure or pearl of great price in Matthew 13, describes the kingdom specifically. 


One thing we must keep in mind is that Jesus was a masterful story teller and teacher. It could be that he meant for both of those meanings to be understood. The application for us then would be for us to have faith that God is working, even when we cannot see or understand, and that it will yield a good harvest. Additionally, we must be faithful in proclaiming the Gospel and having faith that God will bring it to completion in the lives of those who hear. 


Grace and Peace, 

Alex Galvez 


To never miss an article, click on the "Subscribe" button at the top of the blog page (https://aogalvez.blogspot.com/

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These articles follow the current Bible Reading plan for Overflow Ministries. If you would like to join the reading plan, simply download the plan here: Overflow Reading Plan 


You may follow Overflow Ministries @ https://faithlife.com/overflowtx/activity 

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The Ninety-Five Theses
The Ninety-Five Theses

Alexander Galvez • October 30, 2019

“Many have taken the Christian faith to be a simple and easy matter, and have even numbered it among the virtues. This is because they have not really experienced it, nor have they tested the great strength of faith.” – Martin Luther 


On Thursday, October 31, 2019, we will celebrate the 502nd anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. And for the past three Wednesdays, we have covered a few events and figures which/who have been influential during this much needed reformation of the church. We very briefly touched on the mysticism of the Dark Ages which was leading to the dawn of the Renaissance; a time which is summarized by the catch phrase ad fontes (back to the sources). We also looked at some of the contributions made by Erasmus, the Prince of the Humanities, to prepare and awaken the people of the need for reform in the church. But no study of the Protestant Reformation can be complete without also considering Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. 


Many of us have heard about the 95 theses, but, unfortunately like the Pilgrim’s Progress, very few of us have actually read them. Some have thought that the theses that Martin Luther nailed to the Castle Church in Wittenberg was intentionally put there by him as a denouncement of the sale of indulgences. The document did not represent Luther’s absolute condemnation of indulgences as you can read in the 71st thesis where he wrote that anyone who “speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.” The reality is that Luther wrote them in Latin so that the masses could not read it and he posted them on the door, as was the custom, in order to call for an academic discussion on the issues he presented. This was not an act of vandalism against All Saints Church, but was what you would do in those days. Luther also did not have any intentions of sparking a reformation in the church, although he did see that there was a need for it.


Additionally, it cannot be overlooked that Luther had not intended for his theses to be mass produced and published. But because that had occurred, he published an extensive explanation of each point. So, what are theses about? And why did they spark the Reformation? To address the first question, we can summarize them into three main points. 1) A denial of the power of papal indulgences without contrition, 2) an objection to using the sale of indulgences for the building project, and 3) a careful consideration of the sinner. On the first point, Luther explained, “Papal indulgences do not remove guilt. Beware of those who say that indulgences effect reconciliation with God. The power of the keys cannot make attrition into contrition.” This possibly could also be construed as an attack on the power and authority of the pope, but really it was his understanding from Scriptures that only true repentance can bring forgiveness of sin and lead to one's salvation. Secondly, Luther did not agree with using the revenues for a building which “we Germans cannot attend” and questioned why the pope did not fund it himself or “give the money to the poor folks who are being fleeced by the hawkers of indulgences”. And lastly, Luther was very concerned about the souls of the people. He wrote, “Indulgences are positively harmful to the recipient because they impede salvation by diverting charity and inducing a false sense of security.” Rather than purchasing indulgences, he wanted Christians to commit themselves to a life of good works in keeping with inward repentance. 


Why then did this ignite the Reformation? No one can be 100% sure, but we know that his theses stuck a chord with the people and, to an opposite degree, with the religious leaders, to include the Pope. It eventually led to an imperial diet in which Luther was called to recant of what he wrote and taught, eventually leading to him being declared a heretic. It also forced Luther to defend his position and eventually fight contra mundum (against the world) in defending the three solas of the reformation (later expanded to five); Sola Fide (by faith alone), Sola Gratia (by grace alone), and Sola Scripture (by Scripture Alone). All doctrines which we can agree are fundamental to the Christian faith. As Luther defended these very important truths, we too are reminded each year on Reformation Day that we too must defend the faith. In one sense, Luther was doing what Paul commended to Timothy, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth" (2  Timothy 2:15).


Grace and Peace, 

Alex Galvez 


To never miss an article, click on the "Subscribe" button at the top of the blog page (https://aogalvez.blogspot.com/

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These articles follow the current Bible Reading plan for Overflow Ministries. If you would like to join the reading plan, simply download the plan here: Overflow Reading Plan 


You may follow Overflow Ministries @ https://faithlife.com/overflowtx/activity 

or on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/OverflowChurchTX/ 


Question? Comments? Post in the comments or send me an e-mail: OverflowBlog@outlook.com

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