BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 5: Matthew 25

Summary of passage:  In the parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus tells the story of 10 young virgin women who grabbed lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five were prepared by bringing extra oil and five weren’t.  The five who didn’t bring extra oil went back to town to buy more and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived.  They went into the wedding banquet with him.  The late-comers, the 5 who went back to town, were not allowed in because the door had already been barred shut.

Jesus tells his disciples another parable.  A master decides to go on a journey so he calls his servants and gives each some property to them.  One servant receives 5 talents, another 2, and another just 1. The man who had received the 5 talents went out and put his talents to work so that he gained 5 more.  The one who received 2 talents went out and gained 2 more as well.  But the man who had only received 1 talent went off and buried his under a tree.

The master returned and settled accounts with his servants.  Because the one with 5 talents had doubled his, the master praised him and put him in charge of many more things.  The same with the man who had doubled his 2 talents.  The one who had received the 1 talent was chastised by the master.  He had his talent stripped from him and given to the man with 10 talents now.

Everyone who has more will be given more.  Those who do not have will have even what they have taken from them and be thrown into the darkness.

The Son of Man will separate all the nations gathered before him.  Those on the right will inherit the kingdom of heaven and eternal life that has been prepared for them since the creation of the world because they took care of Jesus through taking care of others (his sheep).  Those on his left will go to Hell and eternal punishment for they did nothing for him nor others.

Questions:

13a)  The meaning of the Greek word is “age-long”.  There has been debate on whether this means at some point the “age” will come to an end and the damned will have another chance at redemption.  But to believe this, then you must believe that the righteous “age” will also have an end.  Hence, most scholars agree that heaven and hell are ever-lasting, forever, and without end and once in, you cannot leave.

b)  Matthew 25:10:  It will be a banquet/party

Matthew 25: 21, 23:  You will share your master’s (Lord’s) happiness or joy.

Matthew 25:34:  You will share in the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world–your inheritance and your blessing.

c)  Matthew 25:12:  Jesus will not know you in Hell.

Matthew 25:30:  Hell is dark with weeping and gnashing of teeth and you will be worthless

Matthew 25:41:  The cursed will be departed from God into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

14a)  Personal Question.  My answer: [Note:  I think the Sheep and Goats is NOT a parable.  It's a description of Jesus' Second coming and the judgment that will happen at that time.  Hence, it is not teaching us anything per se, especially in a clouded way.  Hence, the question should either say two parables or just say in this chapter.]

They are all relating the importance of being prepared for Jesus’ second coming.  Being prepared physically, spiritually, with works, and with talents for His kingdom.  They are all emphasizing how it could be any time.  The groom comes at an unexpected time.  The master returns unannounced.  Jesus divides when he returns which we don’t know.  The importance of individuality here where it focuses on people themselves being prepared.  In other words, don’t worry about what others are doing; worry about what you are doing.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I loved how the kingdom has been prepared for me since the creation of the world.  To think I’m that special to God that He made a place just for me so long ago and He provided Jesus so I could be there.  It’s overwhelming to think about and definitely praise-worthy.  It is encouraging to know I have work to do.  It is encouraging to know my talents are my own and I have a unique commission in this life to fulfill it.  Furthermore, if I do even the littlest of things, even if insignificant to me, for others, it is doing it for Jesus.  Powerful stuff!

Conclusions:  I liked how all the verses we looked up was in this chapter and not elsewhere in the Bible.  A nice break.  I haven’t said this much this year but this is the first lesson I can remember all year that we’ve had a “review” day and studied the chapter as a whole on Day 5.  A filler day, but an important one to reflect on lessons learned.

Only 3 more chapters to go in the Book of Matthew.  Can you believe it?!

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 35:5-36:43

Summary of passage:  No one pursued Jacob and his family when they left Shechem for God sent a terror upon them.  Jacob built an altar at Bethel as instructed by God. Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died.  God appeared to Jacob again and re-named him Israel.

God repeats his covenant to Abraham and Isaac to Jacob, saying to be fruitful and multiply for a nation will come from your body and He will give this land to his descendants.  God left and Jacob set up a stone pillar.

Rachel died after they left Bethel giving birth to Benjamin.  She was buried along the route.  Israel moved on and stayed for a bit near Migdal Eder.  Here, Reuben slept with Bilhah.

Jacob’s 12 sons are:  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

Jacob finally arrived home in Hebron to see Isaac who was still alive.  Isaac died at age 180 and was buried by Jacob and Esau.

Esau moved to a land some distance from Jacob because the land could not support both of their livestocks.  Esau settled in Seir.

Questions:

11a)  Psalm 51:7:  “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”  “Creat in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Isaiah 1:16:  “Wash and make yourselves clean.  Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong.”

Hebrews 9:13-14:  The blood of animals offer up spiritual cleanliness.  The blood of Christ cleanses our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve God.

1 John 1:7,9:  You are cleansed from your past sins to have godliness, kindness, and love.

b)  Matthew 3:8:  “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Acts 2:38:  Repent, be baptized in the name of Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and receive the Holy Spirit.

James 4:  Come near to God and He will come near to you.  Wash your hands and purify your hearts.  Grieve and humble yourselves and He will lift you up.

c)  1 Corinthians 10:20:  The sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not God.  If you sacrifice to pagans, you cannot partake of the Lord’s table as well (verse 21).

Ephesians 5:5:  Idolaters (immoral, impure, or greedy) do not have an inheritance in the kingdom of God.

1 Thessalonians 1:9:  Turn from idols and serve the Living, True God.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Language, anger

12a)  God sent a terror upon the towns to protect Jacob and his family from retribution after the slaughter of Shechem as they traveled to Bethel.  God re-named Jacob Israel again (Genesis 32).  God bestows the covenant of Abraham and Isaac on Jacob as well, saying to be fruitful and multiply for nations will come from his body and his descendants shall inherit the land.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not for sure.  I’d like to say I’ve changed but I can’t be for certain.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m getting that God spoke to people (and obviously, Jesus) in these verses.  Not sure what I’m supposed to be “blessed” with here.  If you obey, God will love you and come to you and make a home with you as Jesus says in John. God spoke to those who obeyed him.  So, He will speak to us who obey.  He will love us and be with us as in the Holy Spirit.

So obey, listen, and hear.

d)  Esau was blessed with livestock and goods.  He was granted the land of Seir of which he and his descendants ruled.

Conclusions:  You didn’t need the passage to answer Question 11.

God re-naming Jacob Israel again is important despite the fact God had already done so. The first go-around, Jacob had not changed, had not put off his old clothing, and had continued to follow his will instead of God’s.  Here, God reminds Jacob that he must be new and this time Jacob obeys, thus earning the name Israel in God’s eyes.

This is good for us as well.  We need to remember who we are-God’s chosen people-regularly so we don’t slip back into this world.

The same is true for the repetition of the covenant blessing.  God is reminding Jacob who he is and what he has been called to do.  Finally, Jacob listens.  He follows God’s will. And he is blessed for it.

Benjamin means “son of my right hand”.  The right hand or side is highly valued in the Bible.  After all, Jesus sits at the right hand of God.

Poor Rachel.  Both prophecies come true.  Genesis 30:1 “Give me children, or I’ll die!” She dies in childbirth.

Jacob cursed her for the idol debacle in Genesis 31:32.

This passage reveals why Reuben was passed over for the blessing: because of his sin with Bilhah.  So now Reuben, Simeon, and Levi have all committed egregious sins so Judah is next in line for the Messiah.  Interesting as well.

We should not be surprised of this.  This family is the epitome of dysfunctional.  Yet God works through it all.  By His grace alone.

Esau was important enough in God’s eyes to have all of his descendants listed in the Bible.  He was loved despite his sins and blessed beyond what was deserved.  God is faithful even when we aren’t!  Can you imagine the blessings He has in store for those who are faithful?

Interesting facts about Edom:  Edom is mentioned over 130 times in the Bible.

Herod the Great was an Edomite.  He was the one who tried to kill Jesus.

To this day, the land that was Edom remains unoccupied as Obadiah prophesied.

Genesis 36:33 is where some speculate Jobab is the same Job as in the Bible (remember we had a question on this at some point?).  This is speculation.  Among all the list of descendants, most were ungodly.  We must ask ourselves:  would someone as godly as Job come from the line of Esau?

End Note:  One commentary I read suggested comfort as an idol.  That some value living a comfortable life over living a Godly-life.  This was interesting I thought.  For if you think about it, life is never really comfortable.  There are ups and downs, highs and lows, tragedies and triumphs.  And only God can get us through it all.

Map Work:  Good map of Bethel, Bethlehem, and Hebron HERE.

Migdal Eder is just outside of Bethlehem.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 25, Day 5: Ephesians 6:19-24

Summary of passage:  Paul requests prayer from the Ephesians that whenever he opens his mouth that words are given to him so that he can fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel to others.  Tychicus will tell them how Paul is doing and will encourage them.  Peace and grace to all.

Questions:

10a)  Whenever Paul opens his mouth, words are given to him so that he will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel and declare it fearlessly.

b)  Myself and others.

c)  I would say it is key in converting others.  Prayer is what will soften their hearts and turn to God.  Through prayer God shows up and He is the one who does all the converting, not us.  Your words will have power and not just be empty.  The sword of the Spirit is the word of God and this will slice through non-believers resistances.

When the Bible speaks of spreading the Good News, prayer is never far behind.

Romans 1:9-10:  “…in preaching the gospel of his Son…I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.”

1 Samuel 12:23:  “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.  And I will teach you the way that is good and right.”

It’s intricately connected, a part of every believer’s life, our life-line to God if you will.  It should accompany conversion. We need all the weapons we can get against Satan.

11a)  To update the Ephesians on how Paul (and others) are doing and to encourage them.

b)  Husband

Conclusions:  I liked how Paul asked for prayer.  A lot of the time we don’t.  We don’t want others to know we are hurting or suffering.  But this is the time we need others.  To help us through this life here on Earth.  Good lesson on asking for prayer.  If Paul needed it, certainly we do!

A good reminder on the power of prayer for conversion.  When we are telling others the Good News, we should pray for them at some point.  Pray for their hearts to become Jesus’.  And continue to pray for them.  And others.

I am texting my husband right now to encourage him!

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 25, Day 5 Isaiah 56:9-57:21

Summary of passage:  Israel’s watchmen (leaders) are blind, ignorant, mute, lazy, gluttonous, drunks, and self-satifying.  They seek their own way for his own gain.  The righteous suffer at their hands but God will bring them peace.  The watchmen mock the righteous when they themselves have turned to idols, lusting after them, human sacrifices, and pagan symbols.  They have forsaken God and even though abandoning God has wearied them, still they turn to idols.  The watchmen no longer fear God nor remembered Him instead relying on their own works.  When they cry for help, let your idols whom a mere breath of the wind will blow away save them!

But he who makes God his refuge will inherit the land and possess God’s holy mountain.  For God lives in a high and holy place but he also lives with those who are contrite and lowly in spirit.  He will revive such people.  God will not accuse nor be angry forever for He knows the spirit of man will grow faint before Him.  Therefore, God will comfort, guide, heal man, creating praise on man’s lips.  God offers man peace.  But for the wicked there shall be no rest.

Questions:

10a)  Israel’s watchmen are the leaders of God’s people.  They have disregarded God’s people in favor of drink and gluttony.  They turn their own way and seek their personal gain instead of God’s way.  What’s worse is they are supposed to be looking out for the people whom they have abandoned spiritually.  The watchmen ignored the righteous people but God says they will enter into peace.  The watchmen sneered at the righteous and persecuted them, thinking them better when the watchmen have turned to idol worship and would sacrifice their own children.  They have embraced pagan symbols behind closed doors and worshipped Molech.  Despite receiving nothing in return from these foreign gods, the watchmen do not turn to the One True God.  In essence, the watchmen have committed spiritual adultery.

b)  God says when those with false hearts cry for help, their idols will save them–these same idols that the wind will carry off!  They do not fear God nor remember Him.  They trust in themselves.  No peace will be granted for the wicked.  Yet those who make God their refuge will inherit the land and possess His holy mountain.

11)  Contrite means grieving and penitent for sin or shortcoming.  Lowly in spirit is humble.  Constantly ask God for forgiveness for our sins, to be constantly striving to be better and do better.  To be humble before God and others.  To appreciate God’s great works in our lives.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God will live with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit and revive those person’s spirits.  I think I feel God’s presence more in my life.  I strive to be better more and be like Jesus.  I think I’ve been revived by God shining through me and in His purpose for my life.

Conclusions:  I love how God calls out those who disobey Him and who persecute the righteous.  He rakes His supposed watchmen vehemently; yet, at the same time, He assures his people He will not accuse forever nor be angry.  He understands “for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me–the breath of man that I have created.”  The fact that God himself would love man enough to consider how the human spirit can only take so much blows my mind!

God is multi-dimensional.  He condemns and judges yet always in love and not relentlessly.  He will comfort us, heal us, and offer us peace–things man desperately needs.

The first part of Isaiah was tough for me at least.  It’s hard to hear over and over again how man fails and God judges.  And God knows this!  Yet these last two lessons have been such a breath of fresh air to my soul.  To fully grasp Jesus’s suffering for me.  To have God declare He will be my husband.  To have God promise not to be angry at me.  To read Romans 1:16-17 and know I am righteous through no ability of my own but just because God made me so.  Amazing!

At least for me who has been consumed by the book of Isaiah, it’s good to be reminded that Isaiah is just one book of the Bible.  Just one.  There are many, many more that speak of God’s love for me as well as Isaiah.  And God planned that on purpose.  To know repercussions and consequences; yet, also how everything is from His extreme love for me.