BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 10, Day 2: Exodus 25:1-22

Summary of passage:  Moses is alone with God on the top of Mt. Sinai in a cloud.  God tells Moses offerings the people are to bring to Him that include gold, silver, bronze, yard, linen, wood, olive oil, spices, and more.  Then the Israelites are to build God a tabernacle where He will dwell among them.  God tells Moses to build an ark of gold for a holding for the Testimony (laws) and how to build it.  Here, He will meet with Moses and give all of His commands for the Israelites.

Questions:

3a)  The people’s hearts should “prompt them to give.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray for a giving heart.  Give even if your heart is not quit there yet because just the act can lead to the heart change.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Well, the passages say to offer a sacrifice that costs you something.  To offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, as a spiritual act of worship.  Give as much as you are able and beyond.  Give yourself. Basically, God wants all of us and every aspect of our lives:  money, worship, work, talents, and a living testimony to the indwelt Holy Spirit, leading a Godly-life.  I believe God wants me to fulfill the purpose He has for my life–writing something that will convert others to Him.  That is my gift beyond the others mentioned here.

4a)  As a dwelling place for Him where men could come and meet with God.

b)  From Creation, God created man as a companion to Him and as one who was meant to be with Him always. Since the Fall, sin has separated us.  So God sends His son, Jesus, Immanuel, to be with us physically.  God’s Word was given to us to be closer to us.  When we accept Jesus as your Savior, we receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, which is God within.  Then finally at Jesus’ Second Coming, Jesus will inhabit the earth with us together at last both physically and spiritually.  God will live among us and we will be together as God has meant it to be.

c)  In order to be with God, we must be cleansed of our sins for God cannot be near sin.  Hence, the atonement cover was provided as a way for His people to be near Him.  God appeared in the cloud over the atonement cover in the Most Holy place; hence, you had to be clean in order to be in the presence of God.  This allowed us to be with God as He has always meant us to.

Conclusions:  I don’t know which is harder:  one long passage of many chapters or a relatively short passage to read but with a bunch of reference passages.  Both are time consuming and challenging in their own right.  I was thinking this would be an easy day, but it wasn’t with all the look-ups.

The emphasis here is the importance of worshipping God and being near Him as we were meant to be and this passage shows how God is doing this for the Israelites in their new land.

End Notes:  Note how the Israelites 400 years ago were unskilled nomads.  After being in Egypt, they became skilled laborers, capable of crafting a beautiful tabernacle for God and an ark to hold the Testimony and for Him to dwell in.

Note the offering is not out of need nor is it us asking God for anything.  The willing heart gives–here is what God wants.  Us to freely worship and give to Him out of love and desire and because He gave everything (Jesus) to us.

The offerings listed were all of the finest and most expensive materials around–the hardest to procure and make.

The ark, or Ark of the Covenant, was described first as it was the most important offering in the tabernacle.  Scholars say it is modeled after God’s own throne.

Note the ark had wooden poles to carry it by.  The ark was too sacred to be touched by man and as Uzzah found out (2 Samuel 6:6-7) if you disobeyed this command, the penalty was death.

Note how God wants the the ark built before all the laws are even given.

The atonement cover is the lid of the ark.  Presumably, God must have made some provision for the priests to touch the lid in order to put the items inside of it.  I’m assuming we will read this later in our study.

If you picture God looking down from heaven, then the atonement cover and the passages given will make sense.  So God is looking down on the ark, which contains His laws.  The ark is then covered with sacrificial blood, atoning for and covering up man’s sins and our breaking of the law.  Hence, God could now forgive our sins and come down to be with us.

Even before the law was given, God knew we’d break it so He made appropriate provisions for us.  What a loving God!

Our mercy seat/atonement cover is now Jesus.  God is great!

Reading this passage got me confused exactly when did Moses receive the written commandments from God.  Not yet.  Exodus 24:12 has God calling Moses up to receive them but he stays for 47 days and nights so is about to receive them.  The next chapters in Exodus covers all that God told Moses (at least what Moses recorded cause I’m sure in that amount of time there would be a ton to talk about) and then he will receive the commandments to carry down off the mountain (Exodus 32:15-16).  Great website with timeline of the tablets summarized and a cool link to listen to the Ten Commandments read in Hebrew:

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Torah/Ten_Cmds/ten_cmds.html

Fun Fact:  The word “tabernacle” appears for the first time here and it is mentioned 139 times in the Old Testament.  It means ‘tent’ and just like a tent was moveable.  God does not permanently dwell in the tabernacle but comes when man does.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 5: Matthew 9:27-34

Summary of passage:  As Jesus left Jairus’ house, two blind men followed him and begged for mercy and for healing.  Jesus asked them if they had faith in him and they said yes.  They were healed and asked not to spread the news but they did.  Then a demon-possessed, mute man was brought to Jesus.  He drove out the demon and re-gained his speaking ability.  All were amazed except the Pharisees who called Jesus “the prince of demons.”

Questions:

12a)  Lord and Son of David

b) Isaiah 35:4-6:  Isaiah predicts the eyes of the blind will be opened with the redeemer (God will come) and the mute tongue will shout for joy.  So the two blind men could now see and the demon-possessed man could now talk and all presumably shouted for joy at Jesus’ arrival.

Jeremiah 23:5-6:  A righteous branch of David will rule wisely and do what is right and just in the land and save Judah and Israel.  His name will be “The Lord our Righteousness.”  The men call Jesus “Son of David” and Jesus does what is right and just and brings righteousness in the land.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  For things to be clear and for me to know in my heart what is right and for my husband to know it as well.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I think Jesus would rather be known for his spiritual healing of the heart and saving of sins rather than his physical healings of the eyes and tongue.  Also, Jesus knows the opposition will only grow against him as more and more people believe in him.  He has to finish his job and it could be hindered by notoriety.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  They were so excited they couldn’t contain themselves so they had to tell all.  Plus, the Jews had been looking for the Messiah for hundreds of years now and when he appeared it was the moment they had waited for their entire lives.

Imagine how you would feel if you just re-gained your sight?  Wouldn’t you tell all?  That doesn’t justify the men’s disobedience but it would be hard to keep such a miracle to yourself.

14a)  They were both healed by faith (faith of the blind men themselves and presumably faith of the people who brought the demon-possessed man to Jesus).  The healings sparked awe and fear amongst the people.  It turned the Pharisees more and more against Jesus.  Jesus healed out of compassion for both and mercy for both.  The blind men asked for it and the demon-possessed man could not but Jesus healed mercifully as well.

b)  In amazement and fear.  Some thought him the Messiah and others thought him the devil.

c)  Same.  Fear and amazement.  My response is awe.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I know Jesus can do anything and if he can heal others, he can heal me and allow me to fulfill his purpose here on earth.  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13  And I can testify to others about what He has done in my life and be a living testimony to His goodness.

Conclusions:  My favorite part was the part BSF did not ask about:  the fact that here we learn Jesus needs help.  There are so many people to heal and touch that Jesus cannot be in 1000 places at once so he needs helpers.  I like this part because we are called as well to spread the Good News.  God doesn’t need us to help Him but He gives us that responsibility anyways for our own good.  Love it!

We also see the growing opposition against him which will only grow as we more forward with Jesus’ life.

Fun Fact:  This is the first time Jesus himself is called the “Son of David”, overtly referring to him as the Messiah.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 2: Matthew 9:1-8

Summary of passage:  After healing the demon-possessed man in Matthew 8, Jesus then returns to Capernaum where a paralytic was brought to him.  Jesus forgave the man’s sins and thus drew criticism from the religious leaders who were watching him.  Jesus chastised them for their unbelief and told the man to go home.  The man got up and walked and the crowd was filled with awe and praise of God.

Questions:

3a)  The faith of the men who brought the paralytic to him.

b)  By inviting them to church, by sharing the Gospel, by praying for them, by showing them kindness and a heart for Jesus, by shining your light unto them by serving them, and an insistent and incessant encouragement of friends and family to accept Christ into their hearts.

4a)  “Your sins are forgiven” (verse 2)  “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (verse 6)  The act of healing the man (verses 6-7)

b)  He got up and walked.

5)  Mark tells us many more details surrounding the act.  We learn that a huge crowd had gathered and that it was actually 4 men who brought Jesus the paralytic.  The crowd was so huge that the men had to cut a hole in the roof and lower the man down to Jesus.  We learn the exact thoughts of the teachers of the law and question Jesus’ right to forgive sins.  We learn that the man took his mat with him as well.

Luke adds that Pharisees were present as well (the leaders of the priests) and that they had come from all over to see Jesus.  The power of the Lord was present with Jesus for healing.  The man was lowered right in front of Jesus.  Upon healing we learn the paralytic himself left praising God. The people said they had never seen anything so remarkable.

Conclusions:  With faith, all things are possible.

Another example of Jesus healing.  In Isaiah 35:5-6, we learn this is what the Messiah will do.  Jesus heals not only to help people but also to fulfill prophecy and prove who he is.  Sad, isn’t it?  God must prove things to us doubting, lowly humans.

The man’s friends were merely hoping for a healing of the body.  Instead, Jesus gave them something infinitely more valuable: healing of his sins.  Jesus forgave him first to show the world that his primary job on earth is to forgive the sins of people.  Then comes healing of the body once the soul is healed.

Note how our thoughts and feelings matter to God.  Although the religious leaders spoke not a word, they silently disapproved of Jesus in their hearts.  God knows when we are just going through the motions or if we truly are committed to Him.  He knows when we sin, even if it be only in the heart.  He knows everything.  Would we want it any other way?

Fun Fact:  This is the first time the Bible records opposition to Jesus.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 10, Day 2: Skim Genesis 1-5

Summary of passages:  Please see previous posts.

Questions:

3a)  Physical Needs:  God clothed them.  Food:  now man must sow the ground for his food.  The garden had provided shelter for man.

Spiritual Needs:  A Father (God) to lead man.

Man thought he needed the knowledge of good and evil (or of God and what God knows) but in all actuality man doesn’t.

b)  3:15  “…and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”  Matthew and Luke recounts how God provided Mary a child through the Holy Spirit.

4)  Faith is believing in what we cannot see and being sure of it despite this.  The writer uses the example that we believe God made the universe even though no one saw this happen and believing God made all we see from what we do not see.

5a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Abel knew God demanded the best from him so he brought the best.  Just like God demands the best from us so we must give Him our best.  Whatever that looks like for each of us.

b)  Faith.  Hebrews 11:5:  “By faith Enoch was taken from this life…”

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I must keep the faith.  Hebrews 11:13:  “…They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them…”  Hebrews 11:39-40:  “…yet none of them received what had been promised.  God had planned something better for us…”

Even though I cannot see it, it is there.  God’s promises for me.  In Him.  And when I feel like this life sucks I must keep moving towards Him.  Through faith.  For He has a better plan.

Conclusion:  Interesting how 2 obscure men in the Bible (Enoch and Abel) who maybe have a dozen verses between them (that’s being generous) made such an impact on others who remembered their faith.  For we are not told much about what they did.  Only Enoch walked with God and Abel brought the fat.  That’s about it.  Then they die.

This gives me hope.  Currently, I am struggling with my life and its meaning.  I feel like God has so much more for me and here I am languishing.

For who am I?  Who was Abel?  Just a guy who had faith and got killed for it.  Who was Enoch?  Just a guy who walked with God and because of it was spared a physical death. Who will remember me?  No one will read about me when I die.  Yet there is something out there for me that will make an impact.  I just feel I’m not there yet.

End Note:  Admittedly, I skimmed this Lesson (a review lesson) and was dreading it.  I skimmed today’s passages and thought Not again!  I mean, how many times do I have to read Hebrews.  Seriously?

So I thought God must have something here for me.  So I read all of Hebrews 11.  And sure enough I came up with the answer to question 5c and the conclusion.

That even though I am only one person out of 7 billion people or however many people are on the planet now I can make a difference and an impact.  If I have the faith in God and trust Him to do it.  Not me.  But Him.  Just like all the people mentioned in Hebrews 11.  All had one thing in common:  faith in God.  And all accomplished His mission in their lives.

This is my prayer for me and you:  keep the faith and accomplish His purpose in our lives.

Fun Fact:  Check out this website with cool charts on the world population throughout history:

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 5: Hebrews 4:1-13

Summary of passage:  God promises we will enter His rest if we have faith.  God rested from all His work on the seventh day so there remains a Sabbath-rest for God’s people.  Just as God rested from His work so can we.  Let everyone make every effort to enter this rest.

God’s word is living and active; it penetrates us to our soul; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing is hidden from God’s sight and we must give account to Him for everything.

Questions:

14)  The promise God gives us of rest through faith (a spiritual rest) and the Sabbath-rest is rest from works as a basis for righteousness.  Jesus’ death made us righteous with God.  We not loner need to work to achieve it.

15a)  By faith in God repeatedly.  We must continually rely on God and trust in Him in order to continue to have rest in Him. Otherwise we may fall just as the Israelites did.

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  I would like to think so.  As I get older, I get more and more grounded in my faith.  I know in my heart I have faith in God and completely trust in Him; yet, at times I do get overwhelmed by circumstances and outwardly it can appear not so.  But inwardly in my times of prayer, God knows even if I don’t.  And that’s all that matters.

Conclusions:  I like the faith aspect of the last two days.  Yesterday pointed out how unbelief yields to punishment.  Today pointed out how continual faith results in God’s gift of rest to us–the rewards of belief if you will.  Great juxtaposition of consequences versus rewards.

Again, a reminder of what Jesus’ death did for us:  made us righteous with God so we could rest without having to work for it.

Another great part of this lesson was verses 12 and 13 that BSF did not touch on, which emphasized the power of God’s word and His omniscience. Even when we are so low we can’t hear anything, God’s word is always with us to remind us of His greatness until we are ready again to hear Him.  For God knows our hearts and what we are going through and is there even when we don’t see.

Another great lesson.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 2: Hebrews 2:5-18

Summary of passage:  While Jesus was a little lower than angels for a time, mankind was crowned with glory and honor and everything was put under his feet, making everything subject to him.  After Jesus’ death, this changed.  Now, Jesus is crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death for everyone through the grace of God.

Jesus was made perfect through suffering, which brought man salvation.  Jesus and us (mankind) are now of the same family, called brothers.

Since Jesus was flesh and blood, his death destroyed the power of death (the Devil) and freed us from the fear of death.  Jesus had to become our brother (like us in every way) to make atonement for our sins.  Jesus suffered while tempted so he helps mankind who suffers when they are tempted.

Questions:

4a)  The end times, Jesus’ Second Coming

b)  He subjected the world to come to man and he did not subject the world to come to angels.  God gave man Earth, not the angels.  Man had dominion over everything on earth (Genesis 1:26-30)

5)  God crowned man with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.

6)  The Devil, those who were held in slavery by the fear of death, and help/save those who are being tempted.

7)  Before Jesus came, man could not get to Heaven.  After Jesus’ death, man finally was allowed to be with God in Heaven.  Victory over sin had finally been accomplished.

When Adam and Eve bit the apple, sin entered into man’s flesh.  Therefore, God sent his son in the likeness of flesh (but without sin).  When Jesus died, so did all the sin within the flesh of man.  Therefore, the Devil (and believers fear of death) was destroyed because a path to God had been made.

Romans 8:3:  “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man.”

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Verse 14 because it’s the crux of why Jesus came and was crucified and it’s always a powerful reminder of God’s grace, goodness, and love for us.

Conclusions:  I went back and re-read Hebrews 1 again just I could be clear on angels before I started today.

It’s fascinating to learn the details of just how exactly Jesus’ death rid us of sin and freed us from the Devil to bring us to God. Most people just think:  Jesus died for my sins so I’m saved.  True.  But how exactly did this occur?  Now, I know.  Hebrews 2. Great stuff.

I found this website while researching Question 7.  It says it much better than I do.

http://www.christsdeath.org/terminating/termdevil.html

End Note to last week:  It looks like we’ll be studying Hebrews for a few weeks so I guess I was wrong on the filler lesson.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this relates to Acts.