BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 13, Day 5: Psalm 110; Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-5:10; & 6:18-7:28

BSF Study of Genesis and Hebrews

Summary of passages:  Psalm 110:  The Lord told my Lord (David’s Lord who is Jesus) to sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool.  God will extend Jesus’s scepter and rule in the midst of enemies.  On the day of battle your troops will be arrayed in holy majesty.

The Lord calls Jesus a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.  He will crush kings on the day of his wrath, judge the nations, and heap up the dead.

Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-5:10; 6:18-7:28:  Jesus had to be made like his brothers (flesh and blood) so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and to be able to make atonement for man’s sins.

4:14-5:10:  Jesus is our great high priest who has gone through the heavens who can sympathize with our weaknesses for he has been tempted in every way just as we are–and remain without sin.  Let us hold firmly to our faith, approach God with confidence so we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.

Every high priest is selected among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for our sins.  He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray and offer sacrifices for our sins.

Priests must be called by God.  Jesus was called to be a High Priest by God in the order of Melchizedek.  Jesus prayed to God and he was heard because of his submission.  He was obedient and made perfect for our eternal salvation for all who obey him.

6:18-7:28:  God swore promises to us by Himself so that we may have hope and encouragement.  This hope anchors our soul and enters the inner sanctuary where Jesus has entered on our behalf.  Jesus is a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews Chapter 7:  This Melchizedek was king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest of the God Most High.  He met and blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.  His name means “king of righteousness” and king of Salem means “king of peace”.  He remains a priest forever without the proper lineage.

Just think how great he must have been for Abraham to give him a tenth of the plunder!  The law requires the descendants of Levi to collect a tenth from the people.  Melchizedek was not a Levite.  One could deduce that Levi collects the tenth through Abraham because Levi (who is Abraham’s descendant) hadn’t been born yet when Melchizedek collected.  Hence we have Levites paying tithes to Melchizedek, making Melchizedek greater than the Levites (or Abraham in this instance since the Levites are through Abraham).  Since the lesser is blessed by the greater, Melchizedek is greater than Abraham.

Perfection could not be attained through the Levites so there was need for a priest in the order of Melchizedek (the mere fact that a priest in the order of Melchizedek shows up should be a clue that there is a need for something better than the Levites).  If the priests change, then so must the law.  The old law was weak and useless for it made nothing perfect and a better hope was introduced by God (Jesus!).

Through an oath Jesus became a priest and the author of a better covenant.  Jesus lives forever so his priesthood is forever; therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.

Jesus meets our needs as holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens with one sacrifice of himself who has been made perfect forever.

Questions:

11a)  Himself

b)  The Messiah will be both a king and a priest

c)  Melchizedek was a king and a priest of God.  He remains a priest forever.

Melchizedek and Christ’s similiarities:  1)  Both were kings  2)  Both were priests 3)  Both received a tenth of everything  4)  Both names mean king of peace  5)  Both are priests forever  6)  Both live forever (without beginning of days or end of life)

One difference: Only Jesus was the Son of God

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Christ is our hope. He died for us so we can live forever with him.  We won’t be lonely in Heaven.  The Holy Spirit lives inside of us as a reminder He is with us always, never forsaking us so we will never be alone.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus was tempted as well.  He was fully man and fully God so he knows what we are going through.  Yet he resisted and we can use his power to resist the devil as well.  Open His Word and soak Him in.  You will become burning bright for Him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus gives us hope and encouragement when we are down.  Cling to him.  Remember He speaks all the time if only I listen.

Conclusions:  Any one else irked with Hebrews yet?  We studied this exact same passage last year in Acts and we answered very similar questions.  HERE we studied Hebrews 7 WITH Genesis 14:18-20.

So why is this Melchizedek important?  Why is BSF spending so much time on him (this year and in other years)?

Here’s the crux:  For the Israelites, they had divisions within society and roles.  The leaders were priests, prophets, and kings.  Prophets told the truth, revealing God’s righteousness.  Kings implementing this righteousness as heads of the government.  Priests represented God to the people and brought God to them.  According to the God-given laws of Israel, kings and priests always came from different tribes.  Thus, a king could NOT be a priest.

So how could Christ the Messiah be a king, a prophet, and a priest?  Wouldn’t that violate God’s laws?  We must remember at this time when Jesus is living he hasn’t yet died for our sins and ushered in the New Covenant.  So the Jews are trying to piece together who the Messiah is based on the Old Testament laws, which still govern how God’s people live.  Christ doesn’t “fit” these laws. [Cool, cause I don't really "fit" either!]

Enter Melchizedek:  a priest AND a king.  He wasn’t even an Israelite let alone a Levite (the priests line) yet he was a priest.

Psalm says the Messiah will be greater than David and he will be “in the order of Melchizedek”, which means he will be both a priest and a king.  Melchizedek establishes the precedent and the credibility to be a priest and a king.

[Explanation summarized and credited to Zondervan NIV Student Study Bible].

Fun Fact:  Melchizedek was a Gentile.  So from the beginning God had intended Gentiles to inherit the kingdom of God.  I wonder why it was such a huge deal for the first century Christians to accept Gentiles when Melchizedek was one.

End Note:  Note the order of Melchizedek’s names.  He is king of righteousness and THEN king of peace.  As always you must have righteousness before you can have peace. Without righteousness there is no peace.  Jesus makes us right; thus we have peace with God.

Also, some commentators believe because Melchizedek remains a priest forever (verse 3) he was either a heavenly being or Jesus himself incarnate!  Jesus in the Old Testament! Now that’s cool!  Something to ponder at least.

Final Note:  Sorry!  This is a long one!  I didn’t really focus on the questions this time as you might have noticed.  I took the subject of Melchizedek and the passages given and investigated.  I had to get this straight in my mind.  I will concede we did study this last year.  But we hadn’t studied Genesis yet (at least I hadn’t).  In the context of Genesis and knowing Abram’s life and world, Hebrews 7 makes much more sense to me.

I often forget the HUGE differences between Old Testament way of life and New Testament living since I’m under the New Covenant.  I now understand the confusion more when Jesus showed up, proclaiming he’s the Messiah.  What? the people wondered.  He doesn’t “fit” the Messiah.

I believe following Jesus in first century AD was a HUGE leap of faith.  It was a total shift in paradigm.  Myself, having grown up with Jesus, saying “Yes” to him seems easier than it did 2000 years ago.  Don’t get me wrong:  following him is a BIG deal and is insanely difficult.  But I can see how it would be even tougher not necessarily for pagan worshippers but for God’s people.

Yes, I am sick of studying Hebrews.  But what I’ve learned is this:  you can’t get enough. You can’t read a passage enough times in order to have His word soak into your core. There are so many questions about God and who He is and our job is to answer as many of those as possible to draw near to Him.

Every time I read His word, I learn something about God:  how compassionate He is, who He is, who Jesus is, how the Holy Spirit works inside of us, how the early Christians suffered, or even how there were 7 clean animals on the ark and not just two.  But even the little details reveals God overarching omnipotence and control over this world.  How everything is planned, down to God foreseeing the need for Noah to sacrifice to Him. How God’s promises are Truth.

All of this makes me a better person especially in the realm of spreading the Good News. For if we ourselves don’t know God’s word, promises, and truths, how can we explain God’s greatness and goodness to others?

Ok, I’ll stop now.  You get my point.

Don’t stop reading His word.  Don’t stop craving Him.  For He never stops craving us.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 13, Day 4: Genesis 14:17-24 & 15:1

Summary of passages:  Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him.  The king of Sodom came out to meet him.  Then Melchizedek king of Salem (or Jerusalem) and a priest of God brought out bread and wine.  He blessed Abram and Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

The king of Sodom asked Abram for his people back that had been carried away by Kedorlaomer but told Abram he could keep the goods.  Abram said he has sworn to God that he will accept nothing from him so that he could not say he had made Abram rich. He will only accept what they have eaten and what the men who accompanied him want.

Abram had a vision and received the word of the Lord:  Do not be afraid for I am your shield and your very great reward.

Questions:

8 )  Reverently.  The king of Sodom fled from the Babylonians and had their entire city plundered.  Abram, a Hebrew, regained all that was taken.  The king came to Abram after his victory and asked for his people back and told Abram he could keep the booty.  Abram said he would accept nothing belonging to them so all would know and testify that Abram’s wealth and success came from God, not from military might or pagan’s goods.

Melchizedek, king of Salem (or Jerusalem) and priest of God showed up.  Not for sure why since he and his people were not involved in the fighting.  He brought bread and wine to Abram and blessed him and in return Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Everything he took in the war or everything I wonder).

9a)  God will be his shield and his very great reward.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  So Abram could conquer and prosper by God’s hand and not by others.  So he wouldn’t have to accept charity from unbelievers.  So he could be the example of God’s greatness.  So all would know blessings and rewards come from God.

I think we all need these promises.  God is our shield and He is the best reward.  Agree?

10)  If we do God’s will and live by Him, then He will prosper us.  We don’t have to prosper on our own.  Many people today think they are successful because of their hard work but it’s really by God’s grace and will even if you are an unbeliever for God has plans for ALL and He uses all to accomplish His purposes.  Look at all the kings and rulers throughout history who were successful and not believers.  Yet God was in control.

Give God the credit and do His will.

That being said I do see a place where accepting charity from unbelievers could grow their faith as it affords opportunities to share the gospel.

Conclusions:  Focus on this lesson was on Abram’s refusing to accept booty from unbelievers for he wanted God to have all the credit for his success and not man.  I hope we explore Melchizedek tomorrow for there is a richness we are missing otherwise with regards to the Messiah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 13, Day 3: Genesis 14:13-16

Summary of passage:  One escaped and told Abram his nephew had been captured. Abram, who was allied with his neighbors, called out all 318 trained men to go with him to rescue Lot.  Abram launched a night attack near the city of Dan, routed them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.  Abram recovered all the stolen goods, women, and others, and rescued Lot and his possessions, whom he brought back with him.

Questions:

5)  Abram is loyal to Lot.  Abram is allied with his neighbors so he has diplomacy skills.  He spares no expense, requiring all his trained men to fight for Lot; he has some military training (or guidance from God) for Abram divided his men and attacked.

This shows the extent of God’s blessings to Abram in terms of his wealth.  Abram had his own trained army to fight for him.  This is NOT cheap, especially in ancient times.  Metals and weapons (shields, swords, and armor) were expensive–way more expensive than I would say 90% of the population at the time could afford in their LIFETIME.

6a)  Abram gathers all his allies and men and we put on the full armor of God (all of our resources available) to fight. Abram stood firm in his belief to rescue Lot and he was ready like we are to be when fighting spiritual battles.  Abram had faith he would win as we are to in our battles.  We are to pray and use the Word of God.  We are not told if Abram prayed before he set out, during, or after.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Full armor of God I would say is the Holy Spirit indwelt.  The Holy Spirit will protect your entire body.  The belt of truth is God’s truths and righteousness is what Christians are if they accept Jesus as their Savior.  The shield of faith in trust in God.  The helmet of salvation is our knowledge that we will win and be saved.  The sword of the Spirit is the Bible, God’s word.  Prayer to God for help to overcome.

These weapons have divine power.  We take captive every thought and make it obedient to God and we can defeat every argument or pretension with God’s truth (His word).

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Prayer and His Word.  Ask and you shall receive.  If Jesus chose God’s word to defeat the devil in the desert, then I will as well (Matthew 4).  “It is written….”

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It is comforting and humbling to know God is with me and I have the knowledge (His Word and Spirit) and He will give me triumphs in life, beginning with His Son who conquered the grave.  We are as precious to God as Christ is to salvation.  Amazing!

The challenge is to be that sweet aroma to others as I spread His message.

Conclusions:  Dreading this lesson when all the questions save one is on New Testament passages.  We studied this Ephesians passage in Acts last year, Lesson 25.  The questions are basically the same, just tweaked.  You can review my answers HERE and HERE.

Review.  I guess I’d better get used to this.  Seems to be the theme for this year.  I was honestly hoping for more in-depth on what’s happening in Genesis, not Ephesians.

Interesting Fact:  This is the first use of the word “Hebrew” in the Bible.

End Note:  My new favorite website.  I wish I could draw simple maps that make everything so clear!

http://www.generationword.com/notes_for_notesbooks_pg/genesis/14_1.htm

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 13, Day 2: Genesis 14:1-12

Summary of passage:  Basically, the Babylonians attacked a group of peoples living in the Siddim Valley who had been under their control but had rebelled.  The Babylonians defeated or re-conquered them and took even more territory.  The Babylonians sacked Sodom and Gomorrah, which included Lot and his possessions since he was living in Sodom.

Questions:

3a)  Amraphel King of Shinar (Babylonia), Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim

b)  Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (or Zoar)

c)  Plain of Shinar (or Babylonia)

4a)  Lot put himself in the midst of these pagan countries by choosing the most fertile land as he saw it and pitched his tent near the evil city of Sodom (Genesis 13:11-13) and so he was caught up in the wars and taken along with the rest.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All of our choices are the same–to either choose God or to not choose Him.  To choose God’s way or something else (either your way, the devil’s way, or some other idol or false god’s way).  This is what all of our choices come down to.  Obedience or disobedience.  It’s as simple as that.

Conclusions:  Didn’t like this lesson because we didn’t learn anything.  Of course, Lot would end up in trouble.  He chose to live with evil people.  The names of these kings are obscure to most and I would wager meaningless.  And the personal question?  I truly don’t think details matter.  What it comes down to is this:  you either choose God or you don’t.  Period.

My kids had this question too and they were stumped.  So this is their answer as well.

I do admire the note at the beginning.  This is unusual.  But it sums up typical ancient times:  people were conquered; the people rebelled; the conquerors put down the rebellion; prisoners and goods were taken.

End Note:  Great home drawn map of the region and the battles!  I love this website:

http://www.generationword.com/notes_for_notesbooks_pg/genesis/14_1.htm