BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 22-23

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

An angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac, saying he has proved he fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.  God provided a ram instead to sacrifice.  The angel says because of Abraham’s faithfulness the Lord will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars and will rule over the cities of their enemies.

All nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.  Then Abraham went to Beersheba.

Sarah lived to be 127 years old.  She died in Hebron.  Abraham offered to buy a burial plot from the Hittites and they told him he could pick any plot to bury her in.  He approached Ephron and offered to buy his cave.  Ephron offered to give it to Abraham. Abraham refused and offered to pay for the land.  Ephron reluctantly agrees and the land is deeded to Abraham.

Abraham then buries Sarah.

Questions:

11a)  Honestly, I wouldn’t connect the two if you hadn’t of told me to.  In Abraham’s mind, he has sacrificed Isaac.  His mind was tested and he knew what God’s will was.  He offered Isaac’s body as an act of worship.

b)  Being a living sacrifice is denying ourself and being God’s instead.  We yield our body, mind, and will to God.  It’s reading the Bible instead of watching TV.  It’s helping others instead of ourselves.  It’s giving of our time and money when we’d rather not.  It’s changing your poor attitude, giving up destructive addictions, and changing your thinking to be more in tune with Christ’s.

It is a daily death to self.  We must understand and know the will of God and walk that path every day.  We must change our thoughts by obeying God and God’s word and in turn our hearts will change as well.  We must find God’s will for our life and live it and go where HE directs, not where you direct.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Today I will do my utmost to listen and obey Him and His will for my life.  That includes teaching my children, taking care of my family, doing laundry and dishes, and loving others as myself.  I will try to live and breathe Him as much as humanly possible and at the end of the day hopefully I will find rest in what I have done, which I did for Him, through Him and by Him AND according to His will.  Amen.

12a)  On the surface, he purchased it as a place to bury Sarah.  But really he purchased it to set a precedent of an alien owning land in Canaan.  As a landowner in ancient times, you were accorded certain rights others were not.  Now, Abraham could claim those rights.

b)  God promised Abraham he would take possession of Canaan and Abraham now owns a piece of it.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Good question.  God promises to provide for all of my needs and He has.  I purchase food, clothing, and shelter.  We also own cars to transport us to do His work and care for others.  He also has given more.

Conclusions:  I couldn’t help the flippancy in 11a but my haunches raised when I’m told to read a passage and then told to go somewhere else.

I’m conflicted on this lesson as well like yesterday’s.  It was interesting how Abraham used Sarah’s death as a means to own land.  Not sure if I approve of this.  I did like the living sacrifice example.  It brought out the importance of obeying God not only in word and deed but also in heart and mind.

The exchange between Ephron and Abraham is an example of how bargaining was done in that time and in that culture.  Ephron had no intention of giving Abraham the land but that is how the bargaining started off.  Kindness took precedent and is still predominant in the Middle East today when bargaining.

I liked this concise article on living sacrifices enough to link to it despite the overpowering presence of ads:

http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar27.html

Fun Fact:  Sarah is the only woman in the Bible whose age when she died is recorded.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 4: Genesis 22:1-19

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

An angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac, saying he has proved he fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.  God provided a ram instead to sacrifice.  The angel says because of Abraham’s faithfulness the Lord will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars and will rule over the cities of their enemies.

All nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.  Then Abraham went to Beersheba.

Questions:

8a)  Hebrews sums up Genesis 22.  Verse 9 in Genesis mirrors verse 17 in Hebrews, saying Isaac was offered as a sacrifice.  After the test, verse 17 in Genesis has an angel telling Abraham everyone will be blessed through Isaac like in verse 18 of Hebrews. Genesis 21:12 is the verse quoted in Hebrews.  Verse 12 of Genesis has God sparing Isaac like in Hebrews 19 and thus receiving him back from the dead.

b)  Because he was obeying God through faith and knew everything would be okay.  Like how we are to feel when we obey.

c)  Through Christ’s faith and obedience to the Father, he experienced the joy of reconciling man to Him and taking his place beside the Father.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Writing gives me joy and I sacrifice a lot in order to do it (mainly sleep!).  This site brings me joy despite the criticism and doubts it has brought.  I hope it’s all for Him.

9a)  According to Webster’s Dictionary, a substitute is “a person or thing that takes the place or function of another.”

b)  A ram

c)  Jesus

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal gratitude, awe, and immense desire to please God and obey.

10a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The same.  Listen and obey.  I don’t think many of us would have a problem of being told to not kill our kids!

b)  God will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.  His descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies and through his offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.

Conclusions:  I have mixed feelings on this lesson.  When I read the first question and saw Hebrews, I said, “Ah, not Hebrews…AGAIN!”  I don’t think I can glean anything else from Hebrews in terms of Abraham and his faith.  I think most of us by now have gotten the idea that Abraham was faithful.

The best idea is that we should have joy when we obey God.  And I would add peace.  A lot of people grumble or obey reluctantly and that is not what God wants.  But I think these people if they obey God enough will experience that joy.  After all, obeying God is what we were created to do.  Everything else is insignificant.

Nothing else was new here.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 3: Genesis 22:1-19

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

An angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac, saying he has proved he fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.  God provided a ram instead to sacrifice.  The angel says because of Abraham’s faithfulness the Lord will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars and will rule over the cities of their enemies.

All nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.  Then Abraham went to Beersheba.

Questions:

6a)  In Verse 2, God acknowledges how much Abraham loves his son when He says, “whom you love” and we all know you can’t hide anything from God so I would wager it was obvious how much Isaac meant to Abraham.  Abraham assured Isaac God would provide the sacrifice (verse 8) so he was confident this would all work out in the end.

And at any time Isaac could have run away once he realized what was happening but he didn’t.  So he trusted his father and God to know this would turn out alright.

b)  Both Isaac and Jesus willingly offer up their own life under Free Will for the Father. They obey Him and trust in Him and His ways and plans.  Both accept the lot God has chosen for their earthly lives and do not fight it.  God is first in their lives and their actions prove so.

7a)  Solomon built the temple of the Lord on Mount Moriah where the Lord had appeared to his father David.  It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.  David built the altar so the Lord would stop the plague on Israel, which the Lord sent as punishment for David’s disobedience when he counted the fighting men (or conducted a census) in Israel and Judah.

b)  The simple answer:  Through Christ’s death and resurrection where he bore our sins so we may be right before God.

Because of Abraham’s obedience and faith and his willingness to sacrifice his only son we were all blessed by God and included in His plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.  God loved us so much He sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  We should all be assured of God’s love for us at the magnitude of this sacrifice.

Conclusions:  Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if all nations were blessed because of my obedience? I thought.  Then I realized they are.  Because everything we do affects others. It may not be as monumental as having all nations blessed because of our actions, which allowed the Gentiles to be included in God’s covenant but it’s significant nonetheless.

When we obey God and fulfill His purpose for us here on earth, God is pleased and our rewards are multiplied in heaven.

It is still hard to grasp God’s love even though God uses the strongest love we humans have–that for our children–as His comparison.  God’s love is greater which is hard to imagine.  But we get the idea.  As most of us would fail the child sacrifice test, we can understand just a bit how much God gave when He gave his only Son.

Other parallels with Isaac and Jesus:  Both carried wood up the hill to their imminent death.  Both were sacrificed on the same hill.  Both were risen again after three days.  We see this in Isaac because God pronounced Isaac dead when He told Abraham to sacrifice him.  On the third day (verse 4) Isaac rose again when God interceded for him. Cool, huh?

Explanation on 2 Samuel 24:10-25:  This was one of those passages you had to read the whole chapter of 2 Samuel 24 to understand what is going on here.  And THEN you still had to know the history to understand (which I, of course, was too curious not to look up).  Because I was thinking, “What’s so wrong with a census?  We do that every 10 years?”

Exodus 30:12 states:  The Lord tells Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.”

In ancient times you only had the right to count what was yours.  This is what God is saying.  The people are His and only He had the right to order a count and even then ransom money had to be paid to atone for the counting.

Here, David directly disobeys God (which many scholars attribute to the devil’s influence on David who tempted him), lets pride creep in as he thinks some of the reason Israel has prospered is due to him and not God, and ordered a census to be taken without asking God.

Thus, in God’s infinite mercy, He ordered David to build this altar on Mount Moriah to atone for his sin of the census and spare some of God’s people (specifically Jerusalem) the plague.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 2: Genesis 22:1-10

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

Questions:

3a)  God tests everyone but I think God had to be sure Abraham trusted Him after all the wishy-washyness from before.  Abraham does not trust God to provide for him so he flees to Egypt.  He sleeps with his maidservant to have an heir.  And he laughs at God when God says Sarah will have a son.

God has to be sure Abraham finally has faith and trust in Him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We never know what we will do in a situation until it arises.  We say we will give it all up to follow Jesus but when the time comes, do we?  We say we would lay down our life for another but would we if the situation actually presents itself?

Thus, tests are necessary to grow our faith.  Here, God had to be sure of Abraham’s heart and this was the ultimate test.

4a)  Verse 2  “Take your son, your only son, whom you love”

b)  Verse 1:  Abraham says “Here I am” when called by God.  Remember Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden when called.  Abraham never questions (at least that is recorded like when he did for Sodom).  The very next day (verse 3) early in the morning Abraham sets out for where God said to go.  He follows God’s instructions exactly.  He answers Isaac with faith, saying God will provide the sacrifice in verse 8.  He has the knife, ready to strike, when the angel stops him (verse 10).

5a)  Obeying His voice pleases God more than burnt offerings.  This verse doesn’t say what kinds He rejects for He didn’t reject burnt offerings in the Old Testament; He, in fact, required them.  So not sure about what He rejects except maybe the opposite of obeying:  disobeying Him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He is asking me to have faith in what my husband is doing with his job.  Personally, not sure.  I got a lot going on right now and my novel has been put on the back-burner once again.  My heart is just not in it right now.  Not sure if that’s God or the devil.  Also, I am really struggling to exercise.  And I haven’t been sleeping really well either.

So I’m trying to support my husband in his job search.  I’m still trying to figure out my novel thing for I still feel it’s God’s work somewhere in there.  And just continue writing in general.

Conclusions:  Great emphasis on testing for we are all tested and most of the time none of us like it because it’s hard.  But everything works together for our good and we must walk through the fire and grow with Him.  Never easy to do.

No one is exempt.  Even though we think people are such as rich people or celebrities we know they are all tested as well just in different ways.  Thankfully, we aren’t asked to sacrifice our kids like Abraham was because that’s one I’m not sure I’d pass.  But each of our tests are just as significant and meaningful and important to God.  We would do well to remember that.

Abraham is trusting even when he doesn’t understand or doesn’t feel like it.  It’s about faith and obeying God and doing it, not how we feel about it.

Abraham believes God will raise his son from the dead once killed.  He is prepared to kill him but he knows anything is possible with God.

It is thought Isaac is in his thirties at this time and he hasn’t had any kids yet.  Isaac is just as trusting in God because he willingly lied down on the altar.  He could have overpowered his elderly father and ran but he didn’t.  He was just as faithful as Abraham here.

This is the difference between trusting in the promise versus trusting in the Promiser (God).  If we trust the Promiser, then the promise will be taken care of.

Map of Moriah:  http://bibleatlas.org/mount_moriah.htm

This same mountain where Abraham takes Isaac later becomes Jerusalem, the place where God provides His only son as a sacrifice for all.

Fun Facts:  This is the first mention of love in the Bible and significantly it’s between a father and son, foreshadowing God’s love for His son.

This is also the first use of the word “worship” in terms of worshipping God.  The Hebrew word here means “to bow down”.