BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 13, Day 5: Exodus 40:34-38

Summary of passage: The cloud and glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle once it was completed and no one could enter. Whenever the cloud lifted, the Israelites would continue their journey. If the cloud stayed, they stayed. The cloud was over the tabernacle by day and fire by night during all the Israelites travels.

Questions:

11a)  The cloud controlled when the Israelites moved and when they camped.  When the cloud covered the tabernacle, the Israelites stayed put.  When the cloud lifted, the Israelites broke camp and moved towards the Promised Land.

b)  It provided shade for the people in the hot, desert climate.  It kept them from moving when their enemies may have been moving about so they didn’t run into anyone.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Many times we have moved, always with a purpose.  I complied although begrudgingly.  We were protected and we served Him.  Now as we move from rental to rental it’s with a purpose as well.

12a)  He promises to guide us in His truth.  To have the light of the world (Jesus) to follow.  He guides us through His word.  He guides us when we ask Him through prayer.  He gives us the Holy Spirit within which guides us.  He anoints pastors and other Bible leaders to provide leadership and guidance as well in our lives.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He guides me continually when I read His word with sound advice and things I need to pray about.  It’s constant for me.

c)  He uses other people to guide others through Godly-advice or wisdom.  He performs miracles in answer to prayer. He closes doors when it’s not His will and opens them when it is His will.

Conclusions:  The Numbers passage only expounds on this passage.

My take away:  God is always with us through the power of the Holy Spirit.  He is just a prayer away.  He is always there when no one else is.  Take advantage of God’s closeness and use Him. That’s what He wants us to do!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 13, Day 4: Exodus 40:34-38

Summary of passage:  The cloud and glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle once it was completed and no one could enter.  Whenever the cloud lifted, the Israelites would continue their journey.  If the cloud stayed, they stayed.  The cloud was over the tabernacle by day and fire by night during all the Israelites travels.

Questions:

9a)  “The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”

b)  That He would dwell amongst His people

c)  When the Holy Spirit filled the early Christians.

d)  Acts 2:38:  “Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

10a)  Moses could no longer enter the Tent of Meeting.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Moses couldn’t enter the Tent of Meeting because God’s glory was too powerful to be near.  He did not have the Holy Spirit within.  As a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, I have the Holy Spirit within and I can be next to God.  I can use God’s power and guidance to serve Him in His ways.

Conclusions:  Short and sweet.  When we obey God, we are blessed.  He is pleased with us and He dwells with us and walks with us.  He does anyways if we are believers but when we do His will, He rewards us.

We should feel immensely blessed that we live on this side of heaven and have the Holy Spirit to help us through this rough and turbulent life we lead.  It’s something we should thank God for daily–for His Son, Jesus Christ, who saved us so we can be with God.  Amazing and wonderful and compassionate and inspiring!

End Notes:  The same thing happened to Solomon when the Temple was completed (1 Kings 8:10-11).  Without God, it was just a tent.  With God, it’s holy.

God kept His promise to stay with the Israelites and the book of Exodus ends with such hope and obedience. Awesome!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 13, Day 3: Exodus 39:32-40:33

Summary of passage:  The Israelites did just as God commanded and built the tabernacle and all of its furnishings.  When they had completed the work, they showed Moses who blessed them.  Then God told Moses to set up the tabernacle and arrange all the furnishings.  Then anoint the tabernacle and make it holy and Aaron and his sons so that they would be the priesthood to come.  Moses obeyed and finished the work.

Questions:

6a)  “As the Lord commanded”

b)  Had a critical eye to make sure everything was just as the Lord had commanded.  Had the Spirit to guide him as well.  He was the overseer, the supervisor, the one in charge.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To have the Lord’s heart and eyes when I am overseeing others’ work.

7a)  It was the beginning of Passover

b)  They would have remembered how God had rescued them from Egypt and His greatness and faithfulness.

8a)  The Ark of the Testimony

b)  It is the place God would dwell.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God and His purpose in my life.  It’s what He wants for all of us.

Conclusions:  Anyone else close their Bible upon seeing MORE reading.  I know it’s only one more chapter, but it is ONE MORE CHAPTER.  Persevere.  Refill your coffee.  And keep going!!  Plus, the good thing is that this is also a repeat of previous chapters so it made the reading easy.

There was no meat to any of these questions, especially 8c.  We all know the answer should be “God” and if it’s not then you just feel bad.  7b is a duh and 6b and c are really interpretive.  Was disappointed to say the least.

End Notes:  The opening of Exodus 40 tells us it has been one year since the Israelites have left Egypt.

Leviticus 8 & 9 tells the full details of Moses consecrating Aaron and the priests.

“As the Lord commanded” is repeated at least 19 times.

The tabernacle was an earthly model of a heavenly reality.

This whole section is here to show how the Israelites obeyed.  God would dwell here for 300 years until the Temple would be built.

Pictures of Tabernacle:  http://www.theologyinsneakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Tabernacle.png

Interesting comparison of the Early Tabernacle with the Heavenly Tabernacle:  http://ichthys.com/Jewish-tabernacle.htm

Layout of Tabernacle:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tabernacle.png

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 13, Day 2: Exodus 35:1-39:31

Note:  This is the last lesson in Exodus.  We will be finishing the book and will start Leviticus after the Christmas break.

Also, most of this reading is a repetition of Exodus 25-31, which was Lesson 10.  See links here for detailed summaries:  Exodus 25, Exodus 26-27, Exodus 28-29, Exodus 30-31

Summary of passage:  Exodus 35:  Moses is giving more regulations to the people, saying the Sabbath must be holy and no work is to be done or face the penalty of death.  No fire is to be lit on the Sabbath.  All are to take an offering to the Lord of what they have in order to furnish the tabernacle or to use their skills to make all the furnishings such as the altar of incense, the table, the ark, the lamp stand, the curtains, the priests’ robes, etc.

All who were willing did as bidded–brought offerings of all kinds to furnish the Tent of Meeting.  Bezalel and Oholiab have been gifted with the Spirit of God to make such items for the Tent and they are to teach others as well.

Exodus 36:  All the items brought were given to the craftsmen and they discovered that the people were brining more than enough.  So Moses ordered the people to stop bringing offerings.  So the workers set about making all the items from the curtains to the frame for the tabernacle to the ark (Exodus 37), table, lamp stand, and altar of incense to (Exodus 38) the altar of burnt offering, basin for washing, and the courtyard.  All the materials used were recorded by the Levites at Moses’s command.

Exodus 39:  All the garments were made for the priests which were made sacred by the Lord.  The ephod, breast piece, tunics, sashes, etc were woven.

Questions:

3a)  To work for six days and rest on the Sabbath.

b)  So that the Israelites may have time to worship the Lord.  Furthermore, it was the best way to ensure continued obedience of His people.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Our lives should revolve around worshipping God and we do that through our calling (our work, our purpose) and dedicating our days to His glory by setting aside time to come to Him and be with Him.  Doing His work such as my writings and this blog is resting in Him.  When I do His will, I worship Him.  When I go to church I worship Him.  When I open His word, I worship Him.  We need to remember the importance of resting in Him and in His finished work.  God wanted to make sure the Israelites realized the importance of this command.

4a)  The people themselves.

b)  The Lord chose Bezalel, son of Uri and Oholiab son of Ahisamach.  Bezalel was filled with the Spirit of God with the skill, ability, and knowledge of all kinds of crafts to make artistic designs for the work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work the wood, and to engage in all kind of artistic craftsmanship.  Oholiab was gifted with the ability to teach others the skills to do all kinds of work as craftsman, designers, and embroiderers, etc.

c)  “Every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work.”

d)  Yes.  They received more than enough (Exodus 36:5).

e)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The people gave more than they had to and as they were able.  God chose the leaders and gifted them.  My prayers would be for God to imbibe His people with the talents He needs for the church.  To imbibe me and my family with talents to fulfill His purposes for our lives.

5)  God gave the commands to Moses in chapters 25-31 and Moses is repeating the commands to the Israelites in chapters 35-39.  God told Moses to write down the commands twice when Moses was divinely inspired when he was writing the book of Exodus in which case God thought the details important enough to record twice so they wouldn’t be lost.  Repetition in the Bible is because we humans need to hear things more than once to “get it”.  Here, we get how important the tabernacle is to God when the instructions are recorded twice for our benefit.

Also, this demonstrates Moses faithfulness to us (those who came after Moses) so we see his faithfulness to God’s instructions and commands.  It strengthens our faith when God gives us commands and gives us a great role model.

Conclusions:  BSF combined all these chapters because they are a repetition of Chapters 25-31.  Good emphasis on faithfulness to God, praying for His gifts in our lives and to use them for His purpose, and for the importance again of resting in Him.

End Notes:  God could have created all the materials for the tabernacle Himself but the purpose was to teach His people to be cheerful givers and develop in them the quality of giving and generosity.  And the people were asked to give according to what they were able–great lesson for us as well.  What they were able to give and where God had moved their hearts to give.  Some gave work as well.

The need was presented–Moses led the people in the need, which is what we need today.  We need to be told the needs since often we don’t know them.  Then we need to respond.

Note when the need was met, the giving stopped.  As it should be today.  We should expect organization and management of our resources given and not asked to give and give.  Prudence reigned here.

Note how women gave up their mirrors to make the basin for ceremonial washing.  They gave up what looking at themselves to look at God.  Awesome!

The exact count of the money teaches us how accuracy is important when involving money and God’s work.  Prudence again.

Fun Fact:  Some commentators estimate that descriptions of the tabernacle make up the largest single subject covered in the Bible.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 5: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Summary of passages:  Matthew 13:24-30:  Another parable Jesus told was of a man who sowed good seed in his field but while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds alongside the seed.  Once the wheat and the weeds sprouted, the farmer will first pull the weeds and then harvest the wheat so as not to pull up the wheat with the weeds.

Matthew 13:36-43:  Jesus explained this parable by saying the farmer was him, the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed are believers, the weeds are unbelievers, the enemy is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.  At the end of the age, the angels will weed out all the evil and sin in the world and will throw them into the furnace.  Then the righteous will shine.

Questions:

12a)  The Son of Man (Jesus)

b)  The sons of the kingdom (believers)

c)  Earth

d)  The sons of the evil one one (unbelievers)

e)  The end of the age (Jesus’ Second Coming)

f)  Angels

13a)  He is sneaky and crafty.  He does come when we are least aware, when we are weak, when we are unprepared, when we are distracted, when we are needy.  He comes at our weakest point, when we are furthest from God.

b)  He said because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.  Basically, you may damage the wheat along with the weeds.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  According to these verses, because Christians themselves will rise up and distort the truth or they will turn their ears away from the truth to myths and hear only what they want to hear because they do not like what they hear.

There has been and will continue to be Christians who don’t like what the Bible has to say so they ignore those parts and say it doesn’t apply to them or they will misconstrue the meaning and say it means something else.  An example are those who blatantly ignore what the Bible says about homosexuality and marriage.

Many Christians live how they want to live despite what the Bible says.  They are hypocrites and know it but continue to live in their sin instead of changing it.

Living a Christian life is hard work and many in today’s society aren’t up for the challenge.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  It gives me strength to know at the end of the day all my struggles and trials will all be worth it and are just temporary for I have a permanent home in heaven.

Conclusions:  I would say this is one of the best explained parables by Jesus in the Bible.  Very straight-forward and very encouraging.  Although I liked Question 13c, it really had nothing to do with this passage and I am not for sure why it was thrown in there.  Nothing else to ask?  Hmmm….

End Notes:  The commentaries I read said the weeds represent corruption (or false believers) amongst the people of God so people of God who are corrupt (hence why BSF asked 13c).  Well, I submit if they are false believers, then they are unbelievers and hence are not God’s people.

This parable show’s it is God’s job to judge at the end of the day, not man’s, and it is God who will call out the professed “believers” who truly aren’t.  Our job here on Earth is to follow God in our lives and do His purpose.  What others do, we should care about, but not judge them righteous or not.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 4: Matthew 13:9-17, 34-35

Summary of passages:  Matthew 13:9-17:  Jesus tells his disciples that he uses parables to speak to the people because those who do not have him will lose everything and they have not the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven as the disciples do.  Thus, those who have him, will be given more.  Furthermore, the parables fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 6:9-10, which says those who do not hear nor see have a calloused heart and if they turned they would see and hear.  But those that do hear and see the Truth are blessed because many who long to hear and see the Truth are unable.

Matthew 13:34-35:  This quotes Psalm 78:2 how Jesus will speak in parables when he comes.

Questions:

9a)  First, Jesus tells his disciples that he uses parables to speak to the people because those who do not have him will lose everything and they have not the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven as the disciples do.  Second, Jesus speaks in parables to fulfill prophecy.

b)  Most had rejected Jesus and the parables are meant to conceal truth from those who do not see or hear.  And these people who do not have will lose what has been given to them.  They will see the parables as mere stories and will thus not turn more against God.  In this way, God is merciful.

c)   To those who are blessed with the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven more will be given to them and they will have an abundance (verse 11-12).  They will understand more through the parables and will have a deeper relationship with God.  They will be blessed (verse 16).

d)  Part-personal question.  Jesus said they are blessed by their knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven and they will be given an abundance.  I lead a pretty blessed and abundant life.  All of my needs are met (and many of my wants).  I feel utterly humbled and privileged to be a part of God’s kingdom here on earth and I try to take that responsibility seriously every day of my life as I convey God’s greatness to those around me.

10)  Both Mark and Luke say whoever has will be given more and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.  Mark says with the measure you use, more will be measured to you.  Matthew is saying whoever understands God and Jesus and His kingdom will be blessed and receive more because of it.  Whoever rejects Jesus and God and His kingdom will lose everything.

11a)  People, although physically able to see and hear, were not spiritually able to see and hear the message for their hearts were hardened towards him and his message.  Otherwise, if they heard, they would be healed.  They were against him with no hope of salvation.  So he had come for those who would hear and see him.

b)  This describes those who are going through the motions only; who attend church with no real desire to be more like Jesus; who pretend to be God-like but their actions show they are not; whose heart is not God’s.  The world and their experiences have hardened them to the word to the point they barely hear and see.  God wants all of us and He wants to be first in our lives.  Otherwise, we aren’t hearing nor seeing Him.

Conclusions:  I guess this day answers my qualm’s with Day 2 but I still would prefer chronological or at least have us read the whole passage and then focus on small bits so we’d know Jesus’ reasons while answering the rest of the questions.  I read the whole passage anyways and I prefer to have the whole picture instead of just snippets of Jesus.  There’s so much we don’t know that I need to know what we do know.

Admittedly, I had to read commentaries to understand the intricacies of these passages.  On the surface, it just appears as if Jesus tells cool stories.  But there is so much more to the parables as we learned through these questions, which show God’s extreme love for us, his people, and his love for the unbelievers as well whom he shows both mercy to and whom he warns as well.  God is such an awesome God!

Fun Fact:  Matthew uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven” 32 times in his book.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 3: Matthew 13:1-8, 18-23

Summary of passages:  Matthew 13:1-8:  The same day that Jesus’ Mother and Brothers show up, Jesus sat by a lake.  Such large crowds gathered that he got in a boat and retreated to the middle of the lake to teach.  He told them the parable of the sower who scattered seeds which fell in different soils.  Those that fell in no soil got eaten up.  Those that fell on shallow soil withered because it had no root.  Those that grew amongst thorns were choked. Only those that fell on good soil produced a crop.

Matthew 13:18-23:  Jesus breaks up different kinds of people who hear the Word.  Those that hear the message and do not understand, the evil one comes and snatches it away–the seed along the path.  Those that hear the word and receive it but falls away quickly when trouble comes because he has no root–the seed in the rocky places.    Some hear the word but are choked by worries of life–the seeds with the thorns.  Only those who hear the word and understand it produce a good crop.

Questions:

7)  Before the message is even received, it is snatched away.  Satan does not even want us to hear it.  This is done when people have a bad impression of the church to the point they won’t go and hear.  Or Christians in general and they won’t hear a testimony.  Or he perverts the message.  He hardens our hearts to the Word to the point it never penetrates.  This is sad.

8a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When I don’t give God my worries and instead I carry them around I am no longer focusing or trusting in Him but am relying on myself to solve my problems.  When wants and desires creep into my life and they take precedence over God and His will.  Like wanting a job so I can have a home.  It’s about what’s important in God’s view, not the world’s.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Simple.  Do you come back to God?  If the answer is yes, then you are good soil.  If you never come back to Him, then you are thorny.  We all fall off God’s path for our lives.  It’s those that persevere as Luke says and come back to Him and get back on track who are ultimately His.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am the good soil who perseveres, hears God’s word, retains it, and I hope passes it along.  I usually have doubts on where my heart lies but not in this case.  I know it is His.  I know I won’t quit despite the thorns in my path.  I know that my purpose is His purpose.

My prayer is to make those thorns less in my life and to make me stronger to overcome them when they do crop up so I can get back to doing God’s work instead of the world’s work.

Conclusions:  I usually don’t like all the personal questions but after yesterday which was a doozy of a lesson for me in terms of time this was a piece of cake.  Message for today:  We have to be aware of the devil’s ploys to pull us from God’s path.  And we must never give up.  God is a good God.  He forgives us everything.  He takes us back no matter what.  We will produce a good crop if we trust God to do so.