BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 14, Day 2: Exodus 40:34-35; Leviticus 1

Introductory Note:  We are spending all of January on Leviticus and unlike Exodus where a ton of action happens, this is mostly legalities and rituals and laws God institutes among His people.  Thus, the reading will be frankly boring.  The details here are unimportant.  Try to read with a big picture view as to what kind of people God wanted and how he wanted them to live.  How would these laws have set them apart from the nations around them and made them His?

Summary of passage:  Exodus 40:34-35:  The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and God’s glory filled the tabernacle and Moses could not enter.

Leviticus 1:  Lord speaks to Moses about the kinds of offerings He wants brought.  If it’s from the herd or the flock, it must be a male without defect.  It is to be slaughtered and the blood sprinkled on the altar.  It is to be cut in pieces and burnt.  If it be a bird, it is to be a dove or young pigeon, head wrung, and blood drained on the altar and then burned.

Questions:

3a)  The Lord had just inhabited the tabernacle with His glory.

b)  The whole purpose of the tabernacle was to offer sacrifices to the Lord and now that it was complete and the Lord’s presence was there, it only made sense to begin offering sacrifices to God and to atone for their sins.  Up until now, sacrifices had been made but haphazardly with no clear direction.  Here, God makes it clear what He wants.

4a)  A male without defect from the herd or flock (cows or sheep or goats) or a dove or young pigeon.

b)  Present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. The person is to lay his hands on the head of the burnt offering and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.  Then he is to slaughter it before the Lord.

c)  It was killed, its blood was sprinkled on the altar.  It was skinned and cut into pieces, placed on the altar by Aaron or his sons and burnt.  It was to atone for sins and honor God with an aroma pleasing to Him.

5a)  God dwells with His people through the indwelt Holy Spirit inside of us, given to us when Christ sacrificed himself for our sins.

b)  Thank you, Lord, for sending your Son to die for me.  For gifting us with the Holy Spirit and for being so near.  Words are insufficient.  Amen.

Conclusions:  What I like about reading these passages in the Old Testament is they give me an appreciation of how lucky I am to live on this side of heaven and not have to do daily, ritual sacrifices.  I get a new sense of gratitude and humbleness of God’s grace and majesty.

End Notes:  Israel is still encamped at the base of Mount Sinai where they will remain throughout all of Leviticus.  Chapters 1-5 of Leviticus deal with personal offerings.  Chapters 6-7 deal with priest offerings.  Thus, the first 7 chapters of Leviticus are all about offerings.

Sacrifices had to be made for sin.  Offering sacrifices has been around since the beginning of time.  Now, God just formalizes it.

The sacrifices had to be domesticated animals.  They had to cost the person something.  They had to be freely offered.  They had to be male because the males were thought stronger and more valuable.  They had to be perfect like Jesus was perfect.

With the placing of the hand on the animal, the person is transferring their sin to the animal to die in his place and accepting the sacrifice in place of his own–just like we must accept Jesus as our Savior.

The Hebrew word for atonement means to cover but this is different in the Old Testament than in the New Testament.  In the Old Testament, that was all that was possible–to cover up one’s sins.  With Jesus, sin is eliminated ‘at-one-ment.’

The point of all of these regulations was to surrender all to God and to do it His way, not yours.  To do it with the right heart.

Fun Fact:  Atonement appears over 50 times in the book of Leviticus.

Fun Fact:  The phrase “before the Lord” is used more than 60 times in the book of Leviticus, more than in any other book of the Bible.

Interesting Fact:  The word “holocaust” which means burnt whole comes from this practice of the Israelites of offering up the entire animal to God.  The Jews themselves began referring to Hitler’s mass destruction of them by the gas chambers and ovens as “the Holocaust.”

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 The Life of Moses Lesson 12, Day 5: Exodus 34:10-35

Summary of passage:  God renews the covenant with Moses and His people, repeating the same stipulations as before, promising to make them into an amazing people as long as they obey His commands and not make treaties with neighboring peoples or worship any other god.  Don’t intermarry either because the foreigners will only lead you astray.

God reminds them to make no idols, observe His feasts of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Ingathering and give Him the firstborn.  Observe the Sabbath.  Moses stayed on Mount Sinai another 40 days and nights without eating or drinking and he wrote down God’s commands on the tablets.

Moses descended Mount Sinai and his face was radiant from speaking with God.  The people were afraid at first but then Moses veiled his face except when speaking with the Lord.  He would relay the commands of God and his radiant face proved he had spoken to God.

Questions:

10a)  The people had just been told God would not accompany them and had been threatened to be killed by God.  To know they were back in God’s favor would renew their faith in Him and His grace.

b)  God said He is making a covenant with the people and He would do wonders never before done in all the world so the people whom they live among will know He is God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I hope in my faith, my giving, my living out His commands and following Him, my prayers, my good deeds, and my love for Him and all.

11a)  God, being the One, True God must guard this position.  He must preserve His honor and supremacy.  And as the One, True God He demands of His people exclusive worship and devotion.  Hence, He is jealous when Israel turned from Him with the golden calf.

God wants everyone to obey Him.  He wants the best for us.  He wants to protect what is precious to Him (us).  God is jealous because He is sovereign over all.  He has to protect that which is His (us and Israel in the Old Testament).  Note God is jealous when the people are worshipping other idols because then they are not His.  God wants us completely and when He doesn’t have it, He is jealous.

This all comes down to the meaning of the word “jealous”.  God’s jealous is different than what we normally think of as “jealous”.  Hence, it confuses us.  In essence, God is jealous when someone gives to another what rightly belongs to Him.  In the case of the Israelites, their worship.  [See End Notes for wonderful links on this topic].

b)  To reassure the people who have just sinned against Him and almost paid the ultimate price. Obviously, the people need a reminder of just who God is and what He desires from them.  They aren’t understanding yet how they are His treasure.  He is trying to get them to understand their uniqueness and reveal in that and in Him.

12a)  This is a ‘DUH!’ question.  He was with God.  Anything is possible with God.  God sustained Moses.  He is enough.

b)  His face was radiant because he had spoken with God and some of God’s glory had been passed on to Moses.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  These are always hard ones because it is those around us who notice the changes more so than we do because the changes are usually so subtle every day that we absorb them and they go unnoticed.  It’s only when you run into someone you haven’t seen for a while that the changes are noticeable.  It’s like when you lose weight and someone comments on it even though you never noticed it (this has happened to me a bunch of times in my life).

Anyways, this question is hard because we rely on others who sometimes don’t tell us when they notice changes in us for whatever reasons.  Honestly, none.  I haven’t heard anything from others.  No one has commented.  So it makes me wonder if I have changed or I’m still the same hard-hearted, selfish, conceited person.

Conclusions:  Loved the jealousy question as we as Christians need to understand why God is jealous and get the “envy” definition out of our minds in order to understand God more fully.  This is one of the hardest attributes of God to grasp and I am still trying to grasp it–how the Almighty Lord could so love me that He is jealous of me.  It is my prayer to have this penetrate deep into my soul.

The 2 Corinthians passage made it seem like Moses’ veil was a selfish thing because the glory faded.  I see it as for the people’s benefit who were afraid of Moses’s radiance.  Furthermore, because the glory faded, the people might begin to believe that the Lord faded from Moses as well and be afraid that God had abandoned them.  The veil was for the people; not for Moses.

Also, note how Moses’s shining face reflects the Old Covenant.  The Old Covenant wasn’t powerful enough to give glory forever.  Only the New Covenant.  Hence, we can shine for all of eternity.

The personal questions are the same:  how do people see God in you?  Great question but unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to it.

End Notes:  We must remember that the covenant is all for God’s glory and Israel was the nation God chose to receive His blessing and grace.

Everything spoken here by God is repetition from before:  same laws, same stipulations, same requirements, same blessings.

Three times a year Israelites are to appear before God are Pentecost, Passover, and the Feast of the Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14-17).

Leaven or yeast frequently represents sin in the Bible.  Hence, it is outlawed here with the blood sacrifice.

No one in the Bible has ever gone 40 days or nights without water except in this instance.  Great illustration of how we are to live on the Word of God alone.

The remarkable thing about Moses’s face shining is that he had no clue he shone.  He was humble, not a bit of pride or superiority to be found.  Awesome!

Great reads on a jealous God:  https://bible.org/seriespage/jealous-god

http://www.gotquestions.org/jealous-God.html

Fun Fact:  Only two men in the Bible have faces that shone:  Moses and Stephen (Acts 6:15).

Cool Mistranslation Fact:  The verb “shone” in Hebrew has two meanings:  “shot forth light” and “having horns”. Hence, when monks first began to translate the Bible into Latin in the Middle Ages, Moses was thought to have horns so you often see depicted Moses with horns on his head in medieval paintings and drawings.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 12, Day 4: Exodus 34:1-9

Summary of passage:  God gives Moses another set of identical tablets that Moses broke in his anger at seeing the golden calf.  Moses chiseled out the tablets and went up on Mount Sinai so that God could re-engrave them.  Here, God proclaimed His name to Moses in a cloud, saying He is compassionate and gracious and loving but punishes the guilty.  Moses bowed down and once again asked for the Lord’s forgiveness of the people.

Questions:

8 )  God knew the importance of having written laws for the people’s sake so graciously made another set once Moses broke the first set.  He forgave the people their sin and continued on with His plans for them.

9a)  Compassionate:  Inspires me to be more compassionate as God is/was

Gracious:  Inspires me to extend grace to those who don’t deserve it

Slow to anger:  Inspires me to exercise more self-control

Abounding in love:  Inspires me to open up more and love more

Abounding in faithfulness:  Inspires me to keep my word and be more faithful to Him

Maintaining love to thousands:  Inspires me to care for others

Forgiving wickness:  Inspires me to forgive the evils of this world and those done to me

Forgiving rebellions:  Inspires me to forgive myself when I rebel inside

Forgiving sin: Inspires me to forgive myself of my sins and forgive others sins.

Punishes the guilty:  Inspires me to let things go for I know God is the mete of justice.

b)  Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped and asked for forgiveness and for God’s presence.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God’s goodness and faithfulness and grace.

Conclusions:  Liked the questions.  Not for sure they went deep enough.

End Notes:  This description of God became the cornerstone for the Jews as the most profound statement  of God’s nature.

As Christians, knowing God as Moses knew God–His character–should be our highest striving.

Fun Fact:  Exodus 34:6-7 is the most alluded to passage in the Old Testament.