BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 30

Hey all,

As all of these are personal questions, I won’t be posting my answers here.  I’ll just give you all a summary of what I learned for the year.  This will be my Sharing Day so to speak.

I learned that God only desires our faith in Him and obedience.  That’s it.  Later, it’s changed to faith in His son, Jesus Christ.  It’s so simple that most people are tripped up by it.

I learned how truly amazing Moses was.  Everyone knows about Moses but most people just know him as the guy who parted the Red Sea and turned some water into wine (this was my impression at least).  But Moses was so much more.  He was the closest to God a person can be.  He did amazing things for 40 years for millions of people.  He had a heart for God.  He stumbled and paid the price like we all do.  But his life was extraordinary.  It gives courage to those of us who live ordinary lives.

I learned how incredibly stubborn God’s people were and how this explains much of how we are today.  Man’s nature never changes.  Neither does God’s.  Repeatedly, the Israelites fell. Repeatedly, they rebelled.  Repeatedly, they turned away.  Always God picked them up.  Always God forgave them.  Always grace prevailed.  God is amazing and loving and awesome. Compassionate, forgiving, and omnipotent.  Protector.  Provider.  Comforter.  The story of the Israelites journey out of Egypt is a story of grace and God’s goodness.  His will in all.

I learned about the importance of helpers.  How we all need them.  Asking for help is okay. Humbly receiving it is even better.

I learned how God’s grace and judgment are not to be questioned.  We all know His ways are not our ways.  We all deserve death.  Anything we receive in our walk on earth is all by Him.  Every breath is by His grace alone.  One day we will all take our last when He deems it so.  What would happen if we all lived out that truth?

The Study of Moses was a struggle for my kids, especially the giving of the laws.  The first half of Moses they loved.  Full of heroic stories and deeds.  The second half was a drag.  Archaic laws that went over their heads.  But they came and they had fun and I know they got something out of it. Even if they don’t realize it until later on down the road.

Anytime I read God’s word my faith is strengthened.  Moses is a man after God’s own heart. Knowing more about him helps me to know more about what God wants for me.  Moses’s walk was an extraordinary one.  I only hope I can lead one half as well!

Final Link:  Just a little summary in a nutshell of Moses’s life and some important lessons to glean:

http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Moses.html

Thank you all for studying with me, for sharing your thoughts, for being my “group”.  It was amazing.  I can’t wait for Revelation!  Bring it on!  Have a great summer break and God bless!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 5: Deuteronomy 34

Summary of passage:  Moses climbed Mount Nebo and God showed him the Promised Land.  Moses died as the Lord had said and was buried in Moab.  He was 120 years old.  The Israelites mourned his death for 30 days.  Joshua took over as leader of the people.  There has never been anyone before or since like Moses.

Questions:

10a)  God promised the Promised Land to Abraham and his descendants (Isaac, Jacob, etc).  The land was from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates River, which included the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Raphaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites–the whole land of Canaan.

b)  It is a fulfillment of God’s promise, one the Israelites have waited for for centuries.  Finally, the time has come.  All of the people (including Moses) must have been overwhelmed with God’s faithfulness and their faith must have grown.  God would keep His promises of a Savior and a time when all would live forever with Him on heaven and earth.

11)  Filled Joshua with the Holy Spirit.  Thus, the Israelites listened to him and accepted him as their new leader as well.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Faith.  Prayer for decisions.  Prayer for guidance in his role for my life.

Conclusions:  Dang!  I really wanted to study the Israelites in the Promised Land!  Is that a study in BSF?  The Minor Prophets perhaps?  I know BSF alternates Old Testament with New Testament, but it would be cool to do this study back-to-back because I fear when we get to the Minor Prophets in a few years I won’t remember a lot of the details of the study of Moses.  I’m an order/chronological freak so I’d love to do the bible straight from the beginning to the end.

Good lesson today.  Great conclusion to the Life of Moses as we see him ascend into God’s arms.

End Notes:  Moses does get to set foot on the Promised Land with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17; Mark9; Luke 9).

Mount Nebo scholars believe is in the country of Jordan today.  The list of places is in a counter-clockwise circle from north to south.

Can you imagine Moses’s thoughts and feelings?  Immense job mixed with incredible sadness.

Note what Moses is called:  The servant of the Lord.  Not great leader.  Not prince of Egypt.  Not miracle-worker.  Not prophet.  Servant.  That is the greatest job God wants from all of us.

Moses died as the Lord had said.  This is usually translated “at the mouth of the Lord.”  This shows us that God keeps all of His promises–even the judgement ones.  Ancient Jewish custom says that Moses died as God took away his soul with a kiss.  Of all the ways to die, this is the best!

Note the Lord Himself buried Moses where no one can find his body.  Jude 9 tells us that the devil wanted the body of Moses.  We are not told why the devil wanted Moses’ body and scholars speculate reasons.  But we do know Moses appeared for the Transfiguration.  God was not done with him yet!

Notes Moses life divided by 40:  40 years in Egypt.  40 years in the desert leading sheep.  40 years leading people to the Promised Land.  God prepared Moses for 80 years for the last 40 years of His life.

God’s plan moves on as it always does.  But Moses is remembered for his intimacy with God, his miracles, and his leadership over Israel.  Moses was prophet, lawgiver, deliverer, and judge.  Before Jesus, he was the closest to God and in my opinion still is/was the closest human being (Jesus was both man and God) to God.

Scholars debate whether or not Deuteronomy 34 should really be the first chapter of Joshua.  First, it obviously wasn’t written by Moses (and no one knows who wrote this chapter).  Second, it seems to transition well into the first chapter of Joshua.  Furthermore, when these books were originally written one book followed another.  The modern divisions and chapter breaks are just that–modern.  This was an advent of the Middle Ages beginning in 1227 (Great note HERE) for the sole purpose of our convenience.  They are not from God.

One scholar believes the Bible was meant to read as a whole–the books without stopping.  The divisions can cause problems in interpretation as well.  (See article HERE).  Fascinating in my opinion.

Summation:  The bible is God-breathed.  The divisions are not God-breathed.

Modern Country of Jordan showing Mount Nebo:  http://www.atlastours.net/jordan/map.jpg

Mount Nebo is now a tourist destination.  Note this is where scholars think is the likely Mount Nebo from the Bible.  We are not 100% sure.  Information HERE

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 4: Deuteronomy 33:26-29

Summary of passage:  Moses leaves the people with encouraging words, telling them there is no one like God who is their refuge and salvation and protector and provider.  They are blessed and will drive out their enemies with the Lord before them.

Questions:

8 )  They are God’s chosen people no matter their sins (just like we are today).  God chose them from the beginning and God will never abandon them.  They are righteous if they follow the sacrificial law despite their rebellion.  They are blessed and righteous because God said they are blessed and righteous.  In my book, that’s proof enough.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is omnipotent.  God never abandons us.  God drives out our enemies so we can live in safety.  God blesses us and is our shield.  God walks with me in my daily struggles which compound sometimes into the big struggles.  Knowing He is there makes life indescribably easier.

Conclusions:  Felt these questions could have been deeper.  Moses sums up his whole experience with God in these three verses and gives them as a gift to us.  God is there always and we should feel forever humbled and grateful and reverent for what He has done.

End Notes:  Note the power in these words:  “eternal God” and “everlasting arms”.  God is forever.  No other god was/is.

Israel shall live alone means Israel shall never merge with other people.  They shall continue to be separate and set apart from all the other people–which is true to this day.  Try reading the translation:  “Israel shall dwell in safety; alone shall the fountain of Jacob be”.

Most translations render “Blessed” in verse 29 as “Happy.”  Reads different, doesn’t it?  We should be happy God has saved us and chosen us.

On this side of heaven, we are to read this victory as Jesus’s victory on the cross as well.  These words instruct us:  The One, True God has saved us completely; therefore, He is to be our refuge, our shelter, our protector, our provider.  And in return we offer full faith, worship, and surrender to Him.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 3: Deuteronomy 33:6-25

Summary of passage:  Moses takes one tribe at a time and blesses them.  Let Reuben live and grow.  Judah help with his foes.  Levi bless him and his skills and strike his foes.  Benjamin rest in Him.  Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) bless him in all ways.  Zebulun and Issachar rejoice for they will prosper.  Blessed is Gad. Dan is a lion’s cub.  Naphtali is blessed.  Asher is blessed.

Questions:

5)  Simeon is missing in Moses’s blessings.  Moses’s blessings is out of birth order.

6)  Let Reuben live and grow. Judah help with his foes. Levi bless him and his skills and strike his foes. Benjamin rest in Him. Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) bless him in all ways. Zebulun and Issachar rejoice for they will prosper.  They will feast on the abundance of the seas and on the treasures hidden in the sand. Blessed is Gad. Dan is a lion’s cub. Naphtali is blessed. Asher is blessed.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’d take any blessings to be quite honest especially if they were pronounced by Moses.  I liked Levi’s to have his skills blessed and for the Lord to be pleased with his work.  I liked Benjamin’s to rest secure in Him.  Peace is hard to come by in this world.  And I want to do the Lord’s work in this world and I constantly wonder if I am or not.  That is what I want for my family as well–to do His will and not theirs.  That is so very hard in today’s culture.  Fighting selfishness.

Conclusions:  I liked BSF brought in the Genesis 49 passage.  Interesting to see God’s love for his people.

End Notes:  Verses 6-25 is the blessing of the 12 Tribes.

Reuben:  Jacob said “you shall not excel” (Genesis 49:4).  This blessing is similar.  Reuben produced no leaders nor anything beyond the normal.

Judah:  The name Judah means “praise”.  Moses prays God hears the cry of praise.  Moses knew the Messiah would come from Judah (Genesis 49:10) and prays for them to survive.

Levi (and Simeon not mentioned here):  Moses recounts the favored status of the Levites.  Genesis 49:7 says the tribe will be scattered.  Levi’s was a blessing–they spread the Good News.  Simeon was a curse–they disappeared as indicated here when they are not mentioned (although they are given a portion of the promised land–this prophecy was still many centuries to come).

Scholars debate whether Simeon was originally mentioned here or not.  Some ancient manuscripts have Simeon here; some don’t, which say “Let Judah live and not die and let the men of Simeon be few.”  Recall Simeon lost the most men in the second census (63%), which seems to support the idea Simeon was mentioned here.

Benjamin:  As the only surviving son of Rachel when Jacob thought Joseph had died, he was sheltered, protected, and favored.  This is echoed here when he is called “the beloved of the Lord”.  Benjamin was blessed with the city of Jerusalem as their inheritance, which became the center of the nation.  Genesis 49:27 called them “a ravenous wolf”.  They were fierce and loved.

Joseph:  Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which received a double inheritance when Jacob adopted both as his own in Genesis 48 were the most numerous tribes.  This was Jacob’s prophecy as well in Genesis 49:22.

“Him who dwelt in the burning bush” refers to the covenant God made with Moses.

Zebulun and Issachar:  They were given land by the Sea of Galilee and thus became fishermen. Jacob said this as well in Genesis 49:13.

Gad:  Gad turns into a war-like tribe with many soldiers.  1 Chronicles 12:14 says they have many good soldiers.  Genesis 49:14 says Gad will attack.

Dan:  Bashan is in northern Israel but if you look at a map of where the tribes ended up, Dan is in the South.  Judges 18 tells us that the tribe immigrated to the North centuries later.

Dan was a troublesome tribe.  They were the tribe to introduce idolatry into Israel (Judges 18:30).   Jeroboam set up an idolatrous golden calf in Dan (1 Kings 12:26-30).  Dan became a center of idol worship in Israel (Amos 8:14).  Jacob predicts this of Dan in Genesis 49:17, “Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backwards.”

Naphtali:  Naphtali was also given land around the Sea of Galilee.  Here Jesus would do a lot of his teachings.  Jacob describes Naphtali as “a doe set free, bearing beautiful fawns”(Genesis 49:21) as we were set free by Jesus.

Asher:  Jacob describes Asher in Genesis 49:20 as “food will be rich and he will provide delicacies fit for a king”.  Moses echoes this saying his feet shall be bathed in oil–something reserved for the rich of the time.

Map of 12 Tribes of Israel:  http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/large-map-of-division-promised-land-to-israel.jpg

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 2: Deuteronomy 33:1-5

Summary of passage:  Moses blesses the Israelites before dying.  He says God loves them and is with them.  The people bow before Him and receive the law.

Questions:

3)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My friend because through the tough times she still gives God the glory.

4a)  He came, dawned, and shone forth.  He loves the people.  They bow down.  He teaches them.  He is king.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He is king, Lord of all.  He is with you.  He teaches you.  He loves you.  He is always there.

Conclusions:  Didn’t see the point to this lesson with only one factual question.  What I got out of it was from the commentary I read online.  The questions did nothing to further my knowledge of this passage.

End Notes:  This reflects Jacob’s blessings on his 12 sons in Genesis 49.  Scholars believe since Moses was the one who recorded Jacob’s blessing that he modeled his blessing of the 12 tribes (note how instead of 12 individuals we have 12 groups from those individuals) after Jacob’s.

Verses 1-5 of this blessing speaks of the glorious majesty of God.

Note how “the man of God” is in the third person tense.  This indicates that Moses did not record this blessing.  Scholars believe Moses’s writing stops at Deuteronomy 31.

Note how also “the people” does not include the Gentiles.  The Gentiles are not extended an olive branch until Jesus comes.  Every time we read “people” in the Old Testament, it is the Israelites, God’s first chosen people.

Moses does address himself in the third person in verse 4 (this part is quoted)–very unusual in the Hebrew language.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 5: Deuteronomy 32:44-52

Summary of passage:  After Moses sang the Song, he told the people to take his words to heart and live by them so that they will prosper in the new land.  That same day the Lord told Moses to climb Mount Nebo and view the Holy Land before his death.

Questions:

10a)  To take all of his words to heart.  Moses said to love and serve God with all of your heart and soul.  He said God would circumcise your hearts in order to love Him.  Because the heart is what matters to God.  We all will sin.  But are we truly sorry for our sin.  Do we have a heart for God?  Or do we not truly care about our actions?  God wants our hearts.  Once He has that everything else falls into place.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When you love and serve God, God happens.  Blessings happen.  To you and to others.  Peace happens.  Fulfillment.  God’s plan happens.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God’s words are our life.  His commandments.  His will.  Without God’s word and His Holy Spirit within we have no life.  We are empty shells.  For His word is Him.

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is just.  Moses didn’t physically enter the Promised Land but Moses is in heaven in a much, much better land than here on Earth.  That’s what matters.  Not what happens to Moses down here.  He was probably the most faithful man to ever walk the earth.  It is not for me to judge God’s judgements.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The part of my thinking that is selfish and all about me.  The part of my thinking that is not from God but from Satan.  The thoughts that need to be of God instead of of the world.

Conclusions:  Personal Day here.  12a was redundant.  We were asked before when Moses was first judged by God whether we thought it was just punishment or not.  The only question I liked was the non-personal question (10a).  I liked how we did examine the heart for that is what matters to God.  Whether we desire Him or we are indifferent to Him.  Moses knew what God wanted and he desperately tried to impart that to the people before he left.  Again, a man after God’s own heart who spoke face to face with God.

End Notes:  Moses is to “be gathered to your people”, which was the ancient Israelites way of saying going to heaven before Christ came to allow them to go to heaven.  I’ve posted about what this means before.  You can read HERE if interested.

Others who were “gathered to their people” in the Pentateuch:  Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and Aaron.

Quick Reminder of where Israelites are:  http://www.keyway.ca/gif/nebo.gif

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 3: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:14

Summary of passage:  Moses spoke his song to the people.  Moses proclaims God’s greatness and the people’s sins.  Remember the days of old and what God has done for His people.  He cared for them and nourished them.  He alone.

Questions:

5)  Let his words fall like rain, descend like dew, shower new grass, and abundant rain on tender plants.

6a)  God is first in his life.  It’s the first thing he talks about is how great is the Lord, how faithful and just and perfect.  He talks of God’s character with very intimate words.  His love for God is obvious.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By speaking of all of the blessings upon me and not complaining.

7a)  Even when the people acted corruptly and foolishly, God cared for His people, giving them the land, bringing them through the desert, shielding them and guarding them, and letting them take flight while watching over them to make sure they didn’t fall.  He fed them with the fruit of the fields, nourished them with honey and gave them labs and goats and rams and wheat and drink.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Lessened my fear of my husband’s job being lost.  Blessed me with a free gym membership.  Given me more time to write.  Things are winding down (school and BSF) so I will have more time to write.  I thank Him in prayer, living out my life like Jesus, and doing His will as much as possible.

Conclusions:  Love the prayer model of proclaiming who God is, what He’s done for us, and who He is. Good stuff!

End Notes:  Moses asks for attention from Israel and all of creation, praising God for who He is and what He has done.  He calls attention to the Israelites’ sin, and speaking of God’s love and grace, he hopes to call the people back.

Fun Fact:  This is the first time God is called “the Rock” in Scripture.