BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 6, Day 5: Exodus 15:1-21

Summary of passage:  Moses and the Israelites sing a song of praise and worship to the Lord after the final defeat of the Egyptians.  They exalt Him for defeating the Egyptians by parting the waters of the Red Sea.  The enemy boasted and God brought them down.  God redeemed His people in unfailing love and strength.  All of the nations will know and tremble once they hear of what happened here.  Miriam and the women sang God’s praises as well.


10a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  verse 2:  “The Lord is my strength and my song…I will praise him and … exalt him.”  Verse 7:  “In the greatness of your majesty, you threw down those who opposed you.”  Verse 11:  “Who is like  you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory?”  Verse 13:  “In your unfailing love…and strength you will guide them”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He is always there, waiting to help me and love me when I need Him most.  He is omnipotent and omniscient and knows everything about me.  He sees me.  He knows me.  He is present.  He protects me, shelters me, provides for me.  He wraps me in a big hug when no one else will.  His blessings are beyond what I deserve.  My greatest gift is praise and worship to Him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By being faithful.  Praising Him.  Thanking Him.  Praying.  Serving. Obeying.  By living a Godly life.

11a)  God will lead the people He has redeemed and guide them to His holy dwelling.  Israel’s enemies would be as still as stone, allowing God’s people to pass by.  Israel will have the Promised Land once again.

b)  God led Abraham to the Promised Land.  God cared for His people in bringing them to Egypt.  He will do the same now.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God has done everything for me and I know He will continue to do so.  I have so many hopes for the future it is ridiculous.  I feel like I’m in a lull now, but I am praying and waiting on Him to do great things.  I would like to write an impactful novel, raise good, God-fearing children, be a dutiful wife, care for all that God has given me (which includes material things and pets), and continue to live in His light.

Conclusions:  Nice break from all the reading!  Nice reflection day since most all are personal questions.  It’s good to think about these things in our lives because often we don’t stop and do so.  It was nice just to pray and think about how much God has done in my life and His promises for the future.

I am wondering though:  Is “Moses and the Israelites” just the men praising God since Miriam then took the women?  I’m confused.

End Notes:  This song is thought to have been spontaneous and a new song unto the Lord.  It is all about God, nothing about Moses.  God is their strength, not He gives them strength.

Parts of this song is found in Scripture 3 times.

The right hand (considered the hand of skill and power) is used in the Bible over 50 times.

This song shows the Israelites definitely knew who God was if the Egyptians still haven’t.

God’s enemies did hear of this event as Rahab the prostitute said so (Joshua 2:10).

This is the first mention of Miriam by name.  Numbers 26:59 seems to indicate Moses had only this one sister.  We also will study later this year that it was not only Aaron who caused trouble for Moses; Miriam did as well.  She is called a prophetess because she received divine communication as did Moses as the prophet.

Scholars are divided on whether the men and women were separated as are ancient recordings on such.  There is arguments on both sides but I think most think men and women were separated.  It would seem to fit the culture to have men and women separated.  Some suggest Moses and the men sang the chorus while Miriam and the women sang the refrain.  Vocal wise, this makes sense since men have low voices and women have high voices.

I find it strange all the women have tambourines.  If this were me, I’d leave that behind when I fled Egypt.  But maybe tambourines were integral in the worship of God, so they brought them.

Fun Fact about Passage:  This is the first song recorded in the Bible.  Can you imagine?  Millions singing at once to God.  Amazing!!

My take away from the Exodus out of Egypt:  God did it.  No one else.

More Celebrations of God:  Psalm 78 & 105

Fun Fact:  The Book of Exodus shows a greater proportion of miracles (direct, supernatural acts of God) than any other part of the Bible except the Gospels.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 6, Day 4: Exodus 13:17-14:31

Summary of passage:  God did not lead the Israelites out of Egypt on the quickest path for God did not want them to encounter enemies of Egypt and flee back to Egypt.  So He lead them around a desert road to the Red Sea.  Moses took the bones of Joseph with him as Joseph had requested.  From Succoth they camped at Etham and then God led them always either in a pillar of cloud or fire.

Moses by Michelangelo

Moses by Michelangelo

The Lord orders the Israelites to turn back so that Pharaoh will think they are lost and pursue them.  Then the Lord will show Pharaoh once again that He is the Lord.  Pharaoh did pursue them with all of his chariots.  When the people saw the Egyptians pursuing them, they complained to Moses “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert.”  Moses told the people God will fight for them if they are still.

God tells Moses to part the Red Sea, which he does.  The angel of God and the cloud separated the two and allowed the Israelites a chance to escape.  The Egyptians followed the Israelites across and God made the chariot wheels come off.  Then He told Moses to close the sea again and the entire army of Pharaoh was lost at sea.  Afterwards, the Israelites faith was strengthened and they trusted the Lord and Moses.


8a)  Everything God instructed the Israelites to do was to strengthen their faith or to keep them safe or to keep them moving towards the Promised Land.  He showed them He was in control and even the mightiest army in the world was no match for Him.

b)  They would fear Him and put their trust in Him and in His servant, Moses.

c)  Killing all of Pharaoh’s best troops, chariots, and horsemen showed the Egyptians and the world who was boss and would bring God glory.  Remember at this time, the Egyptians were unbeatable, supposedly protected by their many gods.  Being brought down by the God of Israel would bring him much praise and glory and converts perhaps.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I personally feel none of my circumstances have been “impossible”.  With God, there is always a way.  In my difficult circumstances, God has been by my side every step of the way and in my faith I hope I have brought glory to Him for others to see.  Even in doubt, I have prayed.  Even when I don’t feel like praying, I manage something.  And I believe that to be the key.

9a)  “The people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.”  Humility and praise.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I believe the same as the Israelites–stronger faith in Him to do it all.  Greater reliance on Him.  Greater praise and credit.  Greater love towards all.

Conclusions:  Thought 8 was a bit repetitive and the personal questions too close as well.  For one of the most important and famous scenes in the Bible I would have liked to have spent more time on it and diving deeper.  There are a lot of nuggets here to explore that we didn’t touch on.  My favorite:  the importance of being still, especially in this crazy, insane world.  How encouraging to know if you are still, God will fight for you and don’t worry about the details–God’s got it.  I would also have liked to explore Pharaoh and his connection with Satan more.

End Notes:  The Red Sea here in the Bible is the modern day Gulf of Suez.  It is not the thick part of the Sea but the beginning.

From Genesis, you may remember that Joseph was never buried.  God had revealed to him that Egypt was not the Promised Land. Hence, it would have been relatively easy to carry Joseph’s bones back.

Pillar in Hebrew means ‘something standing’.  Scholars say it was most likely a column.  God was constantly present with His people and still they doubted.

God set a trap for Pharaoh for His glory and Pharaoh went for it.

How quickly Pharaoh forgets God’s power.  How quickly do we?

This can apply to the devil as well.  He pursues us just like Pharaoh does and we must be always wary.

Chariots at the time were the most advanced weaponry for fighting.  Most battles involved chariots and foot soldiers and maybe some archers.  That’s it.  Charioters were valuable and were seen with honor in Egypt.  Destroying them would hit both Pharaoh and his people a major blow.

God’s people were hemmed in–Pharaoh on one side, Red Sea on another.  It was natural to be scared.  But not natural to lack faith in God (whom you could see in a cloud by the way).  Yet note they cried out to God–exactly what we are supposed to do when fear overwhelms us.  And He answered.  In a BIG way.

Man’s cruel nature is revealed here:  Egypt, the king of burial grounds, and the Israelites use this to mock Moses.  Sad, really.  I see this in man all the time.  People are mean and cruel and it saddens me.

What short-term memories!  Not one week out of Egypt and the Israelites want to go back!

Moses responds in faith!  He has no idea how God is going to save them, but he knows God will.  He encourages the people and soothes them–the mark of a great leader.

When God is the only rescuer in a situation, we trust Him more.  Like with an illness or addiction.  Where we need faith is the daily little things in life.  That is my prayer this week.

Note Moses incredible connection with God and advice:  Be still.  Don’t do anything hasty.  Don’t panic.  Just wait on Him.

Saying the Egyptians would not be seen again is both literal and figurative–not here or in heaven.

God answers “Why are you crying out to me?”  Prayer and then action!  By having Moses perform the miracle, God is strengthening the people’s faith in God’s chosen leader.

Who is the Lord? Pharaoh asked.  God is still answering.  God answers this question with everything in our lives.  When we triumph, God’s enemy falls.  We are a testament to His power every day.

God shielded the Israelites from their enemies.  How often does God do the same for us?

The Egyptians could have submitted then and been spared.  But they chose the dark side and judgment.

The Hebrew is “Reed Sea” so identifying the exact spot of crossing has been impossible.  Modern scholars say modern-day Lake Sirbonis but recent research says Gulf of Aqaba.  For me, this is a mute point.  All that matters is God’s delivery of His people.

Nice Map showing Map of Exodus with crossing on Gulf of Aqaba:

Just to be clear:  no one is for sure the exact route that Moses took or where the crossing of the Reed Sea took place.  Every map I find online is different.  I provide these so you can have a rough idea of what the Israelites went through and what land they crossed.  God is behind it all.  The details are left for when we get to heaven.

Psalm 77:16-20 gives more detail on the actual crossing.  One of the “remembering” psalms, the author begins in despair, but remembers God’s great deeds and is strengthened in his faith.  Powerful psalm for when we are lost and low.

God slows the chariots while Moses closes the Sea–again, using Moses as His chosen instrument.

Egypt with relation to Israel is now no more.  Egypt does not bother with Canaan for most of the rest of the Bible.  Seeing the dead bodies would have been final to the Israelites–no more slavery.

Interesting tid-bit:  one scholar speculates that the Israelites may have pillaged the dead bodies and stolen weapons to be used against their enemies in Canaan.

God delivers us out of both love and glory for Him.  The Passover and the Red Sea must happen just like the cross and the Redemption.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 6, Day 3: Exodus 12:31-13:16

Summary of passage:  During the night Pharaoh finally told the Egyptians to leave as the Egyptians were afraid they would all die.  Pharaoh also asks to be blessed by God.  So they were given clothing, silver, and gold and journeyed on foot.  They numbered 600,000 men, along with the women, children, livestock, and others.  They were in Egypt for 430 years.

The Lord said no uncircumcised males may partake of the Passover.  It must be eaten inside with no bones broken.

Exodus 13:  God ordered every firstborn male be consecrated to him, including the animals (this would later be replaced with the Levites in Numbers).  This day must forever be commemorated with a festival and with no bread with leaven in it for the generations to come and is to be told to every generation and remembered.  Every firstborn and sacrifice will be a sign of this remembrance.


5a)  It would devastate it.

b)  When He struck down all the firstborn in Egypt (Passover).

c)  Israel is God’s firstborn son.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By following God’s purpose for my life.  Living a godly life.  Doing what Jesus would do.  Repenting.  Asking for forgiveness for others.  Praying.  Faith.

6)  “The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.”

7)  Non-Israelites did go with the Israelites (verse 38) and God had to make sure they believed in Him and accepted His sacrifice for their sins.  It’s just like taking communion or the Eucharist today.  It has meaning and you must accept Him in order to be cleansed just like with Jesus.

Conclusions:  Try not to gloss over this section although it’s easy to do especially after yesterday which was a doozy. It is repetitive, yes, of what happened in Exodus 12 but it’s important enough to be repeated.  Note the emphasis of how God keeps stressing over and over the importance of remembering this day and what it means to His people.  The importance of passing this on to the next generations.  The importance of obeying these ordinances forever.

We must remember the Passover in the OT is the equivalent of Jesus dying on the cross–it was that important.  It accomplished the same thing–cleansing us of our sins.  Hence, the importance of it in these passages.

I love how Pharaoh says “Go but bless me too!”.  It’s still about him, yes.  But we see he has finally accepted that God is the One, True God.  He learned the hard way.  I pray we don’t learn that way.

End Notes:  Pharaoh was finally broken when his son died.  God does whatever it takes for His will.  Always justly.

We see the importance of the unleavened bread for the Israelites had to leave NOW.

Succoth means shelters to this may not be the town of Succoth.  There was probably was an air of celebration after the haste and the people were probably over the moon.

The number 600,000 has been debated.  Some say this was about 2 million people in total who left Egypt.  Regardless, it was a lot of people to be moving all at once out of the country.

Note the magnitude of God:  to the exact day of 430 years did the Israelites leave.

If you were part of God’s people, you had to celebrate the Passover.  If you wanted in,  you had to be circumcised and celebrate Passover.

God also required the dedication of the firstborn to Him because God always requires our best and the firstborn was considered the best in Ancient Times.

Phylactery boxes began with these instructions of which priests corrupted back in Jesus’ day.  This passage is not meant to be literal.

This is the simpliest and easiest Map of Exodus I could find with Rameses and Succoth clearly marked:

Fun Fact:  “Out of Egypt” occurs 56 times from this passage in the Bible.  Important, wouldn’t you say?

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 6, Day 2: Exodus 11:1-12:30

Summary of passage:  The Lord says He will bring one more plague upon Egypt and then Pharaoh will finally relent and let His people go.  Tell the Israelites to ask for gold and silver as I (God) have made them favorably disposed to help you.  So Moses tells Pharaoh that God will kill every firstborn son in Egypt and every firstborn calf as well.  There will be mourning as never seen before.  No harm will come to the Israelites.  Then everyone will demand us to leave and we will leave.  Moses, angry, leaves Pharaoh.

[In Chapter 10 of Exodus we see how Pharaoh banishes Moses from his court because Moses won’t compromise on the Exodus.  It seems as if no time has elapsed here and God speaks to Moses in this moment before he leaves Pharaoh for the last time so Moses can warn Pharaoh.  Scholars say Moses just threw in here what God had said to him previously.  Thus, we are unsure of the time frame here in terms of when God spoke to Moses.  We can say though that Exodus 10 and Exodus 11:4 is in the same moment.]

Chapter 12:  God gives Moses and Aaron clear instructions for the Passover, which is where God does not harm the Israelites but instead takes the firstborn of every Egyptian and animal.  Each Israelite household is to take a lamb without defect and raise it for 14 days.  Then at twilight all the lambs must be slaughtered.  They must take the blood and mark their doorways with it, which will serve as the sign for me (God) to pass over and not bring the plague.  Roast the meat over fire and make haste and be prepared to exit Egypt.

This is to become the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which entailed eating no yeast for a week and doing no work except preparing food.  Moses summoned the elders of Israel, gave them the Lord’s instructions, and they obeyed and worshipped.

Everything happened as the Lord said and there was one one house in Egypt without someone dead.


3a)  This will be the last plague and Pharaoh will let His people go and he will drive them out completely from Egypt.

b)  Verses 4-8:  “This is what the Lord says:  ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.  Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.  There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt–worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.  But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any man or animal.’  Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.  All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’  After that I will leave.”

c)  Moses does not give Pharaoh time to respond, so angry is he with Pharaoh’s obstinance.  We can assume since God sent the plague that Pharaoh acted the same way as he has consistently acted–flippant, defiant, and refusing to release God’s people.

4a)  Verses 2-11:  Each Israelite household is to take a lamb without defect and raise it for 14 days. Then at twilight all the lambs must be slaughtered. They must take the blood and mark their doorways with it, which will serve as the sign for God to pass over and not bring the plague. Roast the meat over fire, along with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast, and make haste and be prepared to exit Egypt.

b)  Verse 13:  “…when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”  Moses tells the elders in verse 27 “It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.”  It is the day to be remembered as the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people.

c)  Jesus rescued us (His people) from sin and he had to be sacrificed to do so just like the Passover lambs who had to be sacrificed to save and mark God’s people.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes.

Conclusions:  I had never noticed before how Moses never left Pharaoh and how God spoke directly to Moses so Moses could give Pharaoh the final warning.  God keeps His promise from Exodus 4:12 “I will help you speak and will teach you what to say”. I wonder how this occurred.  Did Moses pause and listen to God and then repeat God?  Or did Moses just open his mouth and God spoke through Moses?  I think it would be pretty cool if God’s words just came from my mouth, wouldn’t you?

I also had never noticed how God killed the firstborn cattle and animals in Egypt as well.  God already stuck down the livestock in the Plague of the Livestock (Exodus 9) so I’m wondering how much time is actually taken place between these plagues?  Obviously enough time for the cattle and the animals to re-populate themselves if God is going to strike them down again.

I also like how we see the first commandment in full on play here and just how jealous God is.  “I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt.  I am the Lord.”  Love this!!  God is going to show Pharaoh once more just how stupid his gods are and how mighty the One, True God is!  I love it! This shows God’s justness and it helps me to see man’s need for justice as well and that we are right to seek justice and dole out consequences from those who harm us as God pronounced judgment on the Egyptians.  As long as the path is not crossed into revenge I believe is God’s example here.

Since we are made in God’s image, we are like Him as well.  And seeing God punish the Egyptians for their sins gives me a new perspective on justice.

End Notes:  This is the fulfillment of God’s word (Exodus 4:21-3).  The Egyptians gave the Israelites silver and gold to get rid of them.  The Israelites saw this as payment for past wages.  These riches were later used to adorn the temple.

Why the firstborn?  As punishment for Egypt not letting God’s firstborn (Israel) go.  There were no exemptions.

Pharaoh would take the fall for this one; there would be no one else to place the blame

The first 9 plagues dealt with nature.  Here, this is against man.

For the fourth time we are told that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 9:12, 10:20, 10:27, and 11:10). Yet God never hardened Pharaoh’s heart until he first hardened it against the Lord and His people (Exodus 7:13, 7:22, 8:15, 8:19, 8:32, and 9:7).

Christians today do not usually celebrate the Passover.  It has been incorporated into the taking of the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist.  The idea is still there–relying on God whom rescued His people.  Only for Christians, the ultimate rescue was Jesus.

God starts the calendar over with this event.

The lamb (or goat in Hebrew–either one) was to live with them so that the sacrifice would be meaningful and mourned.

Lamb killed at twilight.  Jesus at the last hour. (1 John 2:11).

Presumably this blood would remain as a sign for the Israelites to remember this day.

All of the lamb was to be consumed just like we are to take and feed upon all of Jesus and not just some.

Leaven is seen as a picture of sin.  Hence, God’s people needed to begin anew without sin.

The herb hyssop has seen throughout the Bible with blood.  Presumably, it helped it stick. We will see hyssop again in our study this year.

The Passover is the Old Testament’s equal to the cross.  It was what cleansed God’s people to be with Him before Jesus was sent.

The Israelites obeyed as we are to do.  We are not told if any disobeyed or if any Egyptians obeyed.

This final plague was against Osiris, the giver of life to the Egyptians and against Pharaoh himself who thought he was a god.

Interesting read on who exactly was the Pharaoh during this time:

Even more detail with all kinds of charts and reasonings–for those who desire more in depth analysis:

Short answer:  Thutmose III during Exodus is the most likely candidate.

Fun Fact:  This is the first use of the word that would become our word for church.  Here it is translated as community.  It describes Israel collectively as a religious body.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 5: Matthew 5:33-48

Summary of passage:  Jesus says to not swear oaths.  He says not to strike back against evil doers.  Instead, give to the one who asks you and go the extra mile.  He says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you as God does.  Be perfect as God is perfect i.e. be like God.


12a)  You shouldn’t need to swear by anything.  Your word should be enough.  God is a part of every word we breath; thus, oaths are unnecessary.

b)  You shouldn’t have to emphasize what comes out of your mouth if you speak from the heart.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That you don’t take the Lord’s name is vain.  That’s all I can come up with.  Otherwise, not sure what commitment I have made.  Maybe to speak truthfully and from the heart.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Would be better if I loved my neighbor and made peace with my enemies.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Bless me more.

14)  Galatians 5:16:  Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of a sinful nature

Ephesians 4:22-24:  Put off your old and put on your new self to be more righteous

Philippians 2:12-13:  God will work in you according to His purpose

Philippians 4:8:  Think about pure, noble, right, lovely, admirable things

Conclusions:  Didn’t get a lot out of this as you could probably tell from my answers.  I was thinking on 13a I should have put “worse” and should say that in class just to emphasize the poor quality of the question.  If we love our neighbor and enemies more, then obviously our relationships will be better.   Also, on b I should say “curse” or something.  Obviously, if we obey God’s commands, we receive blessings in return.

Be perfect means here to be more like Jesus and keep all of God’s commands not just a chosen few that suit you.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 4: Matthew 5:27-32; Mark 10:1-12

Summary of passages:  Matthew 5:27-32:  Jesus says do not commit adultery and this includes anyone who looks at another lustfully is adultery in your heart.  If what causes you to sin is your eye or your hand, then get rid of it for it is better for you to lose one part of your body than your whole self to hell.

Jesus says except for marital unfaithfulness, you commit adultery when you divorce or marry someone who has been divorced.

Mark 10: 1-12:  Jesus answers the question is divorce lawful.  In the Old Testament, Moses permitted a man to divorce a woman.  Jesus said this was only because your hearts were hard. God intended for man and woman to be united in one flesh and to not have man separate what God has put together.

Jesus continues by saying if you divorce, then you are committing adultery against that person.


9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray.  Remove yourself from the situation where the impure thoughts happen like a work environment or what have you.  Read the Bible.  Quote scripture. Purposely replace those thoughts with quotes from the Bible.  Use God’s word as a shield against the devil and the thoughts he puts in your head.  Read another book or do a different activity to occupy the mind until the thoughts stop.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  1 Corinthians 10:13:  “…God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you  are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up against it.

Matthew 26:41:  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Galatians 5:16:  “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Psalm 119:11:  “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

11a)  Marital unfaithfulness.  Mark adds because man’s hearts were hard.

b)  Essentially, that God never intended for divorce to exist.  That divorce is man’s institution and a supposed way around God’s law.  God made man and woman to be together and once together to join as one and to never be parted.

Conclusions:  I love how we are digesting Jesus’ teachings in little chunks and then looking in the Bible elsewhere for supporting themes.  Great study of the Bible and how to apply it in our daily lives.  Thank you BSF!

We are given the Deuteronomy verse here because this is the law the Pharisees had been using to justify divorce.  The problem was the word “Displeases” or “indecent” or “uncleanness” was ill-defined and subjective at best.  In Moses’ time, it was understood to mean unfaithful but by Roman times, it had been interpreted as any old excuse.   Hence, Jesus here clarifies it unequivocally by defining it as “marital unfaithfulness.”

Many of us fall into sin because of the situation around us.  It’s why your parents didn’t want you hanging out with kids who were bad influences because then you’d be more likely to sin because of it.  Good call by BSF to highlight that fact.  For it is up to us (especially as adults) to insulate ourselves if you will from sin by turning our backs on situations where we know we will be more likely to sin.

If you are an alcoholic, avoid places that serve alcohol.  If you are tempted to drugs, find different friends.  If you are attracted to someone you shouldn’t be, don’t be around that person.  For God always provides a way out.  Just many of us don’t chose it.

End Notes:  Again, Jesus is applying adultery to the heart, not merely to the actions.  You sin when you have lustful thoughts not just when you act on that lust.  They are not the same, but they are both sin.  You can extrapolate this to anything else you covet as well as evinced by the Ten Commandments and outlawed.

We are in charge of our thoughts and we must gain control if we are to win against the devil.  You must be willing to sacrifice in order to be more like Jesus.  And no one said it was easy.

2 Corinthians 10:5:  “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

God does not recognize divorce.  It is an institution of man, not of God.  Hence, if you divorce and marry again, you are committing adultery because you are still married to your first spouse in God’s eyes.

It was commonplace for Romans to marry and then sleep around with others.  Extramarital affairs was not condoned  and divorce was rampant.  Hence, it was (and still is) very important for people to hear these words from Jesus to know the Truth when they were surrounded by society’s lies.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 3: Matthew 5:21-26; 1 John 2:7-11, 3:10-24

Summary of passages:  Matthew 5:21-26:  Jesus says if you murder you will be judged.  And if you are angry with your brother you will be judged.  Jesus says to reconcile with your brother first and then offer a gift at the altar.  Then settle matters with your enemy before you end up in court.

1 John 2:7-11, 3:10-24:  You are not in the light if you hate your brother.  If you hate your brother, you are in the darkness.  You are a child of God if you do what is right and if you love your brother.  Thus, love your brother even though the world may hate you because of it.  If you do not love, you remain in death and will have no eternal life.

Since Jesus laid down his life for us, we ought to do the same for our brothers.  We must love with actions and truth, helping those in need.  We must believe in Christ and love one another so that we live in him and he in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.


5a)  Deuteronomy 5:17

b)  Jews applied it literally to anyone who physically murdered someone.  Here, Jesus says we commit murder when we do not love.  We also commit murder when we do so in our hearts.  When we are so angry towards someone, we do things to hurt them over and over again.  Thus, we need to love our brothers.

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  1 John 3:15:  Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer and thus will not receive eternal life.  This shows us just how powerful Jesus’ command is to love one another.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We should reach out to those whom we have differences with in order to reconcile those differences.  Do not grievances or anger fester.

8 )  The overarching theme is forgiveness and reconciliation.  Your disagreements imprison you.  You are a slave to hatred, contempt, anger, and bitterness that your whole life is affected to the point you are doing no good for His kingdom.  Your life becomes jaded and you are no longer able to perform God’s purpose for your life here on earth.

Talk to those whom you have differences with before it gets to the point where a judge must decide because in the end this will only cost you more.  Think of divorce settlements that go to arbitration.  Anytime you let someone else have control you give up something.  Take it upon yourselves to forgive and reconcile with people before it’s too late.  It may cost you more than money like a relationship as well.

Matthew 5:7:  “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.”

Conclusions:  Great emphasis on the importance of love and forgiveness in our lives.  1 Corinthians 13:13:  “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these if love.”  The bible repeatedly talks about loving others (especially the New Testament) and it’s so easy not to in this world full of self-seekers out for themselves.

If you don’t love others, you might as well be murdering them.  That is my interpretation at least.  Nurture, forgive, and reconcile.  For life is too short to hold grudges and be a Scrooge.  Engage with others and you shall be rewarded.

End Note:  As we embark upon Jesus’ teachings, try to keep in mind Jesus is not against Moses here.  Jesus is against the Pharisees and scribes and their interpretations and limitations they placed on the law.  He is, in essence, re-establishing the law as God meant it; not as man has meant it.

We must remember that 99% of the population of the ancient world could not read.  All they knew was what they were told by the priests and they had to take that as God’s word.  Thus, the possibility for corruption was rampant here.  Hence, Jesus is now teaching them himself what God’s word truly says.  (If you are reading Killing Jesus, this is explained in much the same way on page 157).

Raca, again, another word lost in translation.  Here, it really means the attitude behind the word.  Where you are so angry at someone you despise them and wish them dead.  My study bible describes it as contempt.