BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 2: Genesis 49:1-7

Summary of passage:  Jacob calls his sons together to bless them and tell them their future before he dies.  He tells Reuben he will no longer excel because of his defilement of his father’s bed.  Simeon and Levi will be scattered in Israel.  They will no longer be leaders as punishment for the slaughter at Shechem.

Questions:

3a)  “You are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.”  “You will no longer excel.”

b)  Matthew says if your eyes are bad then your whole body is full of darkness–basically saying one bad deed or body part corrupts the whole body.  James says if you doubt the Lord when you ask then you will not receive.  Because of Reuben’s one act, he has corrupted himself and therefore his inheritance.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s the old saying:  it takes 1000 praises to make up for one bad comment.  Same here.  It only takes one sin to completely change your life or corrupt yourself.  Some are extreme like drunk driving and killing people.  Some are not so extreme but life altering like teen pregnancy.

Some sins like greed or stealing may not seem so big but are in God’s eyes.  I’m sure Reuben didn’t think sleeping with his father concubine, Bilpah, was a big deal.  The Bible only devotes one verse to it (Genesis 35:22).  But that one verse was enough.  We cannot hide from God our sins no matter how small we might believe them to be.

We must constantly strive to be like Jesus or the devil will win.  I must have control over my heart and mind and fill it with God and the Truth; otherwise, evil will invade and cause irreparable damage around me.  We must guard against the world and focus on our home–heaven.  All it takes is one act.

4a)  “I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.”

b)  Slaughtering Shechem

c)  The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord and to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name.  They have no inheritance because the Lord is their inheritance.  [So Deuteronomy reveals the why. Their inheritance they have lost has been replaced by God Himself.  So God had a plan for Levi.]

The Levites are the priests who watch over God’s word and guards the covenant and who teaches the law to the Israelites.

Exodus 32:26-29 gives us another reason why God elevated the Levites:  They were faithful during the golden calf debacle.  Hence, they became a blessing and received the Lord as their inheritance (Joshua 13:33).

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The comfort I receive is Romans 8:28–that all things work together for my good.  God takes the sin and uses it to help others.

Conclusions:  Another nice, short lesson.  I used quotes for some of the answers.  I liked the emphasis on consequences for our sins.  Nowadays, there are no consequences for our kids it seems.  Parents bail them out every time they are in trouble.  Kids don’t move out of their parents’ house until their late 20′s or even 30′s.  Excuses abound for unruly behavior.

Yet the example of the Levites is encouraging.  No matter what you did in the past, there is hope.  God in His grace saves, forgives, and elevates us despite our downfalls.

I need this encouragement.  It’s good to know hope exists when at times it seems to not be so.

God sees all.  Our good and our bad.  My prayer is that there is more good than bad in my life for Him to see.

Fun Fact:  This is the first prophecy in the Bible pronounced by a man.  The first real prophecy that is clear.

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BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 30, Day 2: 2 Peter 1

Summary of passage:  Peter (the most widely-accepted author of this book) tells the readers of this letter that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him.  By His great glory and goodness He has given us great and precious promises so that we can be with Him (the promise of sanctification and eternal life).

Therefore, we must strengthen our faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love in this world in order to be effective and productive in knowing Jesus.  If we do these things (our calling and election), we will never fall and we will be welcomed into the eternal kingdom.

Peter promises to remind them of these things always as he is close to death.  He was an eyewitness to Christ’s majesty and stood on the mount as God himself declared Jesus as His son.  Plus, the words of the prophets confirm Christ as their words were from God.

Questions:

3)  Eternal life given to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ

4)  A Christian must add to his/her faith:  goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.  If you possess these qualities you will be effective and productive in knowing Him.  Make your calling and election sure (verse 10) by doing the above.

5a)  Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus and heard God declare that Jesus was His son.  And the prophets confirmed the truth who spoke from God’s will not their own (i.e. spoke God’s words, given to them by God).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By the way I live my life.  When I speak, I am sure.  I hope it radiates from me and my belief shines through.  And my knowledge of Bible and Scripture (which needs to be strengthened).

Conclusions:  I need to work on all of the aforementioned truths and callings of a Christian’s life:  faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love.  I think I’m weak in all aspects (which probably explains my falls). Great reminder of what we should be doing in this world.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 30, Day 2

Questions:

2a)  The single most important lesson has been the importance of God’s word.  Knowing it, understanding it, applying it, obeying it, sharing it–all has been deeply rooted in my soul.  I have never really studied the Bible before.  I’ve always wanted to but to be honest didn’t know where to begin.  I have done other “Bible Studies”, which weren’t in essence Bible Studies.  It was more social hour with other women and read a book and hopefully get something out of it.  I had become bored, yearning for something deeper, when I was invited by a lady from my church to try BSF.

I loved it from Day 1 and as the months went by I began questioning why I hadn’t heard of BSF before.  I was ready for this study years ago but just didn’t know.  I began wondering why my church has never mentioned it.  Why BSF doesn’t advertise (probably monetary reasons)?  At least my church should have said something about it.  I’m assuming most churches know about BSF and would want to promote such a study.  Maybe not.  Maybe they are afraid it would detract from the studies they offer (I think this is my church by the way.  They offer studies at the same times as BSF meets).

I know, I know.  You come to BSF when God brings you.  I get it. But sometimes I think God needs a bit of help in spreading His word, right?  “I will send some of those who survive to the nations…that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory.  They may proclaim my glory among the nations.”  Isaiah 66:19

So, this is my free advertising for BSF’s sake:  Come one, come all to Bible Study Fellowship for an in-depth study of the Bible. World-wide, BSF appeals to all learning styles and offers classes at different times to accommodate different schedules.  We have a kids program that is phenomenal–guaranteed to teach your little ones (and not-so-little ones) about the Bible.  Come to an introduction class today!  (I picture myself as a circus announcer here!  Very hilarious to see myself in such a get-up with a huge megaphone!)

(Just using modern tools to spread the gospel, ya know!)

b)  I have a 3 year old in the program.  It’s been a benefit for me because I know He is hearing God’s word and it allows me 2 hours a week baby-free to relax in God’s word.  My family gets a happy, more God-centered mama!

Beyond this, it’s hard to say.  I’m not for sure how much he is getting out of it.  He doesn’t talk about it (he can’t get a word in edge-wise with 2 older sisters!), but I know he enjoys it.  He loves going.  He loves his teachers.  I think he’d get a lot more from it if he were older. But I know foundations stones are being laid that will be invaluable to his future faith and growth in God and His word.

Conclusions:  I went off on 2a and to be honest this was the most fun question I have answered all year.  Not for sure where that came from to be honest.  But it made me laugh!

This is how I write by the way.  I have no plan usually.  I write what comes to me and hope for the best.  I think this is more freeing and allows God to creep in more (this is what I tell myself anyway!).