BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 12, Day 2: Genesis 13:5-13

Summary of passage:  Lot, Abram’s nephew, was traveling with Abram until he had to separate because their herds of animals were growing too big to support both flocks. This caused quarrels between the two groups.  The Canaanites and Perizzites were living there as well so it was crowded.

Abram approached Lot and suggested they separate, giving Lot the choice of which lands he wanted.  Lot chose the plain of the Jordan which was well watered and they parted, leaving Abram in Canaan and Lot near Sodom.  Sodom was wicked and sinning greatly against the Lord.

Questions:

3)  Genesis 13:5-13:  Abram saw tensions rising and he took quick action.  He came up with a solution and gave the choice to Lot instead of Abram choosing which way to go. He approached Lot out of love and deferred to him.

1 Corinthians 6:1-8:  This passage says to settle disagreements between believers without bringing in unbelievers.  Appoint an arbitrator from the church.  Paul says it is better to be wronged than to wrong your brother.  Abram followed this advice Paul later wrote.  He approached Lot with their disagreement and came up with a fair solution and Abram humbly let Lot chose.

Ephesians 4:1-3:  Paul advised to live humbly and be patient and deal with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity, to get along.  Abram did just that.  He loved Lot as a brother so he wanted to settle the problem quickly.

Ephesians 4:31-5:2:  Paul says to not be angry or slanderous but to be kind and compassionate and forgiving to one another.  Be imitators of God and live a life of love. Abram did just that.

Seems Abram and Paul had a lot in common!

4a)  He was the eldest and God gave Abram the land (Genesis 12:1), not Lot.  Lot just tagged along.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I have no concrete example but no, I would say my attitude is usually pretty poor when it comes to submitting rights.  But I will say as time passes and I grow in God I do become more generous, compassionate, and yielding.  This is hard when we are born selfish.  It definitely takes time to develop.

In this day and age when it’s all about personal rights and people thinking others owe them, this is a shining example of how to show God’s love to others.  The Canaanites and Perizzites were watching.  They saw the quarrels and probably didn’t think much of Abram’s God.  But when Abram did something not many others would in the ancient world, the Canaanites and Perizzites probably wondered, Who is this God of theirs?  

And just like that, the seed is planted…

We must remember everyone is watching (this isn’t too hard in the age of YouTube and hidden cameras).  We must reflect God to the un-Godly.

Conclusions:  I liked this lesson.  It’s a great reminder that we don’t always have to be right or even exercise our rights.  By submitting our will and rights, we are submitting to God’s will and showing trust in God that all will work out as He planned (not as we planned) and God will take care of us.

End Note:  It’s interesting the turn around in Abram.  We’re not told how much time has passed between Egypt and Abram and Lot separating but here was a man in Chapter 12 who did not trust God to save him so he took matters into his own hands by prostituting his wife.

Now we see Abram completely surrendering his rights to his nephew, trusting God will take care of him and his animals.

People do grow in faith.  This gives me hope that I can as well.

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BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 12, Day 2: Hebrews 7 with Genesis 14:18-20

Summary of passages:  Hebrews 7:  Melchizedek, King of Salem (or Jerusalem) and priest of God Most High met Abraham and blessed him.  Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.  King of Salem means king of righteousness and king of peace.  Melchizedek has no mother nor father but he remains a priest forever (this is saying Melchizedek’s genealogy is not recorded).

Now, this is what this means:  the patriarch Abraham gave this guy a tenth of the plunder!  Now the law requires the descendants of Levi (the priests) to collect a tenth from the people (all related).  Yet Melchizedek did not have the lineage to collect the tenth nor bless Abraham.  Since the lesser person is blessed by the greater person, this means Melchizedek is the greater over Abraham.

When Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi hadn’t been born yet so Abraham had no need to pay the tenth.  But he did anyways.

So why was there a need for someone to come in the order of Melchizedek if perfection could be attained through the Levites (or the order of Aaron)?  Verse 18 provides the answer:  This regulation was set aside because perfection could not be attained in this way so a better hope was introduced so we could draw near to (be with) God.

God made Jesus a priest forever with an oath!  This oath has made Jesus the guarantee of a better covenant.  Since Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lives forever.  Therefore, Jesus can save completely those who come through him to God.

Thus, such a high priest (Jesus) meets our needs:  he is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens, does not need to offer sacrifices;  He is perfect. Forever.

Genesis 14: 18-20:  Melchizedek, King of Salem (or Jerusalem) who was priest of God Most High, blessed Abram who then gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.

Questions:

3a)  Melchizedek and Christ’s similiarities:  1)  Both were kings  2)  Both were priests 3)  Both received a tenth of everything  4)  Both names mean king of peace  5)  Both are priests forever  6)  Both live forever (without beginning of days or end of life)

One difference: Only Jesus was the Son of God

b)  Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of the plunder, which is usually only given to the descendants of Levi (the order of priests) and in this case since Levi had not yet been born this shows Abraham tithing to the order of Melchizedek’s priesthood; and Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek and accepting Melchizedek’s blessing showing Melchizedek as superior.

4)  The Levites were the ones who answered Moses call when he came off of Mount Sinai for those who were for the Lord.  They were then ordered to kill the others who did not answer the call.  Then the Lord set the Levites apart and blessed them for their faithfulness.  Hence, the Levites were under the Law of Moses (which Jesus voided with his death).

5a)  The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind:  ‘You are a priest forever.'”  Verse 21

Because Jesus lives forever he has a permanent priesthood  Verse 24

He sacrificed for our sins once and for all … and has been made perfect forever  Verses 27-28

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s means no matter what sins I commit I am forgiven. Forever.  Jesus atoned for my sins and I no longer must offer sacrifices.  All I must do is pray for forgiveness in Jesus’ name.

Conclusions:  Who would have thought some guy named Melchizedek played such a huge role in the Bible?  I’ve never studied this guy before and my church has never preached on him.

We must remember who the writer of Hebrews is speaking to here:  the Jews who are hesitant to accept Jesus (Recall Lesson 9, Day 2 when we first started Hebrews).  One objection these Jews had was that Jesus did not come from the order of priests, the Levites or from the tribe of Aaron.  So how could he be the High Priest?

Therefore, the whole point of this chapter is to show how Jesus did not need to come from the Levites since Melchizedek did not to be a High Priest.  Also, with Jesus’s death that rule is no longer applicable since now the average person (you and me) can now approach God himself instead of having the Levites do it.

Further objection the people had:  how can someone be both the High Priest and a King since in the OT and under the Old Covenant this was not allowed?

Well, this guy named Melchizedek was both a Priest and a King and he was accepted by Abram (you know, the father of our people and the one God himself made an ever-lasting covenant with) so therefore it is possible.

But further than that:  the OT Covenant is no longer valid due to Jesus’s death but I am pointing out the precedence that was set anyways for all you dunderheads.

[Sorry!  Got a little carried away there speaking as the writer of Hebrews].

The writer of Hebrews is just trying to prove that Jesus is our priest forever.  So accept Him now and save yourselves a lot of trouble.

Nice, clear, concise argument.  The people surely were convinced after this.

Personal Tip:  I usually read the passage and then answer the questions.  The questions get me thinking about the passage.  As I’m doing the questions, I re-read the passage the questions are referring to.  Then when I’m done with the questions, I go back and write my summaries (re-reading again the passage).  I find the final time through is when it all clicks.  It usually doesn’t click until I go back after my study.  I often change my answers or re-write the conclusion after this final read through.

I would encourage you to do a final read-through when you are finished to cement the Word in your head and give God one more chance to speak to you about the passage.  I think you will find you will have a greater grasp of the Word if you do so.  At least I do.

Time-consuming?  Yes.  Worth it?  Oh, yeah.

BSF is not meant to be sped through so try to set enough time apart to do your study.  I know everyone has hectic weeks.  But you will benefit the most if you take the time to do so.