BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 2, Day 3: Exodus 2:15-22

Summary of passage:  Pharaoh tried to kill Moses for killing the Egyptian but Moses fled to Midian instead.  He rested by a well where a Midian priest had come with his seven daughters to water his flock.  Some shepherds came and hogged in but Moses drove them away so the girls could water their flock.

The girls returned to their father, Reuel and told him what happened.  He told them to invite this Egyptian to dinner.  Reuel gave Moses his daughter, Zipporah, to Moses as a wife.  She had a son whom Moses named Gershom, meaning “alien”.

Questions:

6)  From these verses, I can’t describe the country of Midian.  All we get is there was a well where some girls watered their father’s livestock.  That’s it.  Let me know if you can infer from these verses the geography of the land.

However, as most of us know, the Sinai Peninsulas is a desert just like all of this area of the world.  On a google search, I found that it has two principle regions: high mountains and a sloping plateau.  There is a narrow coastal plain where some farming occurs.  Mostly Bedouins live here still, migrating with their flocks with the seasons.  It is arid and hot with rain in the winter.  The vegetation is sparse and it is an area that is sparsely populated due to the arid climate.

7a)  Coming to the defense of the helpless, doing what was right.

b)  No

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Patience.  Less apathy, more sympathy.

Conclusions:  Not much here to go on.  Question 6 annoyed me because it was impossible to answer just using the verses.  Most of us use our background knowledge of the area to picture these scenes.  I saw no change in Moses (Question 7b).  He characteristically helped the girls like he did the Hebrew being beaten by injecting himself in the thick of things.  No one died this time is the only difference.  I still see him as driving the bullies away.  I think this is one of Moses’ greatest character strengths:  his desire to help others no matter the cost.  I wish I had that sometimes.

This lesson should be combined with fourth day.  Would have made a stronger impact.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 2, Day 3: Matthew 2:9-18

Summary of passage:  The wise men leave Herod and continue their journey in search of Christ, using the star as their guide.  They arrived at Jesus’s house and bowed down and worshipped him.  They gave the child gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh.  Then they returned home a different way to avoid Herod.

An angel of the Lord warns Joseph to flee Bethlehem for Egypt because Herod is going to try to kill the child.  So Mary, Joseph, and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod died, returning to fulfill another prophecy in Hosea 11:1.

When Herod realizes the magi have escaped him, he orders all boys in Bethlehem under the age of two killed, fulfilling Jeremiah’s prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15.

Questions:

5a)  Naomi is from Bethlehem (Ruth 1:2, 19) and that is where they returned.  Boaz married Ruth who are ancestors of David (Great-grandfather and mother of David).  God sends Samuel to Bethlehem where David lives to anoint David as God’s chosen king.  All of this takes place in Bethlehem, where Jesus himself is born centuries later.

b)  Hosea 11:1:  “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”

Jeremiah 31:15:  “This is what the Lord says:  ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.'”

Rachel is weeping over the exiles and here over the babies slaughtered by Herod.

6a)  The Pharisees are hostile towards Jesus, skeptical and jealous:  Matthew 15, 16

The chief priests plot against Jesus:  Matthew 26:3-5   They look for false evidence against him:  Matthew 26:59

Judas betrays Jesus:  Matthew 26:14-16; 49

Jesus is mocked:  Matthew 27:27-31, 41-44   Jesus is insulted:  Matthew 27:39-40

b)  They are berated and even persecuted for their beliefs.  They are looked down upon or snubbed by friends.  They may even be plotted against or betrayed.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Nothing significant.  I live in a bubble.  I should probably get out more.

7a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The magi travel great distances in difficult times to worship the One, True King.  They bring expensive gifts despite their lives being threatened by Herod.  God provides them a safe way home.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The key for me is prayer.  I need to spend more time throughout my day praying and worshipping and thanking God for everything in my life. Spending as much time as I can in the Word, wrestling with Truths and soaking up Him, is my goal.

Conclusions:  I liked 5a the best.  It had never dawned on me that the story of Ruth and Boaz takes place in Bethlehem where Jesus was born.  My brain had never made that connection before.  Nor had it dawned on me that David was from Bethlehem.  The significance of this had to be pointed out to me.  Great stuff!

Interesting Notes:

We can surmise the star reappeared for the Magi to follow again.  Scholars believe the trip took some months.  First, the Magi followed the star and then went to Jerusalem where they talked with Herod, and then continued under another star.

Jesus is called a child here, not a babe, placing him at toddler age.

The three gifts have led to the Three Magi myth when actually we are uncertain of the number of Magi.

These gifts were probably used to finance their flight to Egypt.  God knows all and provides for all!

Note the persistence and dedication of the Magi.  They pursued the sign.  The sign vanished so they inquired and gathered more information of others who might know the Truth.  Then the sign reappeared and they obediently followed.  They worshipped and brought gifts.  They followed without ever giving up and were rewarded for their obedience.  As we all must do.

Egypt had been a place of refuge since Abraham’s time.  And as a result, a vibrant Jewish population flourished in Egypt.  Hence, Joseph had no reason to doubt the angel.

The actual number of boys killed would have been small:  a dozen or so maybe.  We must remember Bethlehem was a tiny village.  It’s hard for us who live on a planet full of billions to NOT imagine a great number of kids killed (hundreds).  But it would have been small in Roman times, which would explain why this event is not recorded in other histories.  Herod committed many more atrocious acts that killed hundreds.  So to historians of the time, it wasn’t seen as a recordable act.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 2, Day 3: Genesis 1:3-19

Summary of passage:  God made light and separated it from the darkness.  He called the light “day” and the dark “night”. God made an expanse between the waters to separate them, creating “sky”.  He gathered the waters to create dry ground, which He named “land.”  The water was called “seas”.  Then God made vegetation on the land.  And God saw all this was good.

God made lights to separate the day and night and so they would serve as signs to mark the seasons, days, and years and to give light on earth.  These lights were the sun and the moon and the stars and God saw that it was good.

Questions:

5)  God himself is light so the light on the first day is God.  You could also say it’s God bringing his light or knowledge of himself to the world and into our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).  Light is Truth.

The lights on the fourth day are the sun (the greater light to govern the day) and the moon (the lesser light to govern the night) and the stars (which could include the constellations)–literal objects to provide light.  Both were made to separate the light from the darkness.

6a)  The main purpose of all is to separate out night and day, light from dark.  The sun’s main purpose is to govern the day and serve as signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.  The moon’s purpose is the same:  to give light at night just not as much.  The stars give light as well.  All govern the night and the day.

b)  Psalm 8:3-4:  The glory of God (got this from verse 1).  The love of a God who can create such marvels, yet He still cares for such lowly beings as man.

Psalm 19:1-6:  The glory of God; the work of His hands.  They pour forth knowledge of God, proclaiming His divinity so that all will know Him (much like Romans 1:18-20).

Jeremiah 8:7:  Literally, as signals for the birds of the world to migrate.  Broadly, as signs for all animals in their life cycle such as when to migrate, hibernate, breed, etc.

Matthew 2:2:  As a sign of Jesus Christ’s coming

Acts 2:19-20; Revelation 8:12:  As signs of the end times when the sun will be turned to dark and the moon to blood and other wonders in the heavens above.

7a)  Miraculously.  He designed everything perfectly.  Orderly.  He starts with light, separated it from the darkness.  Separated the seas to make the sky.  Made dry ground.  Produced vegetation on this dry ground.  Made the moon and the stars for light at night.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To my new home, to my life without my first dog, to getting back in the routine of school after our move.

Conclusions:  This lesson was a bit tricky.  I had to go back and re-read the first day where God created light and analyze it (initially, I got it wrong). It’s hard for us humans because light to us means the sun.  Sun gives life.  Without it we can’t survive.  Plants won’t grow.  We need sunlight to be healthy.  It’s essential to life on earth for earth cannot exist without the sun.

What we miss and what we commonly don’t connect is that God made the sun to give life. He is the ultimate giver.  He gave us life and created a light source to sustain us while we are here on earth.

Yes, we cannot exist without the sun.  But the sun cannot exist without God.  Therefore we cannot exist without God.

It’s that math common math problem:  If a needs b and b needs c, then a must need c.  Or another way:

If a equals b and b equals c, then a must equal c.

Wish more non-believers would see it this way…

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 2, Day 3: Acts 2:14-21 and Joel 2:28-32

Summary of passage:  Peter stood up the with the Eleven Apostles and told the confused crowd: we (the 120 and them) are not drunk.  Listen to Joel’s words:  God will pour out His Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, the young men will see visions, old men will dream, the servants will prophesy and have the Spirit as well.  Wonders will appear in the heaven and signs will appear on earth such as blood, fire, and smoke.  The sun will be dark and the moon to blood before the day of the Lord when everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.

Questions:

5a)  They stood up with Peter as he spoke.

b)  I don’t like how this question is phrased at all.  It implies that  we don’t stand up with our family, church, or business.  This is a matter of English grammar.  The question would be better if stated “If you followed the example of the Eleven disciples what difference would it make in your family, church, or business?”  Subtle but a big difference.

My answer:  Obviously, unity is better than being alone.  But it also depends on the matter you are standing behind. You stand behind those whom you believe are right.  You don’t stand by those whom you believe are wrong.  My answer would depend on what exactly I’m called on to support.

Again, a matter of grammar and what this question is asking.  It seems like everyone’s answer would be the same here so not sure what BSF is trying to accomplish with this.

6) The last days begin with Jesus’ death as this ushers in and makes possible the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Joel is speaking of after Jesus has arisen into Heaven then the Spirit will be outpoured.

7) The Spirit will be poured out on all people.  Everyone will prophesy, see visions, and dream.  God will show wonder in heaven and give signs on Earth (blood, fire, and billows of smoke).  Sun will turn to darkness and the Monn to blood.

8 ) It’s for everyone who accepts Christ as their Savior.  Romans 10:11-13  Paul is speaking.  “As the Scripture says (Isaiah 28:16) ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.  For there is no difference between Jes and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

9) The Second Coming of Jesus who will judge all mankind and deliver the remnant.

Revelation 6: 12-17:  “…the sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned red, and the stars in the sky fell to the earth…For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Matthew 24:29-31:  “…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken (Matthew quoting Isaiah 13:10; 34:4)…At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and…they will see the Son of Man coming….”

1 Thessalonians 5:2:   “…the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

Conclusions:  You can almost feel Peter endeavoring to make the people understand the significance of what has just happened; the passion in his voice; the excitement he is fighting to contain; the anger from being called a drunk. He quotes Joel, an Old Testament prophet, almost as an attempt to prove he’s not making this stuff up.  Great study of Joel as well.

End Note:  This site lists all of the places in the Bible where “the day of the Lord” is said:  http://www.gotquestions.org/day-of-the-Lord.html