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I hope you all are enjoying digging into BSF’s People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided as much as I am! It’s a great study so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come!

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Friday Digest BSF People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN BSF PEOPLE OF THE PROMISE: KINGDOM DIVIDED LESSON 13

  • God alone gives the strength and gifts to work hard and do His will
  • God shows mercy in judgment
  • God cares about how we treat others
  • We truly live when we follow God
  • We should love what God loves; hate what He hates
  • No one can hide from God
  • Jesus is our salvation
  • You are here for a reason; what is it?

TAKE AWAY: God is a God of many chances.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 4: Amos 7:1-9:10

SUMMARY OF AMOS 7:1-9:10

Amos 7

The Lord prepared judgments against Israel (locusts, fire, and a plumb line) but Amos asked the Lord to forgive, and He did. Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, tried to kick Amos out of Israel and send him back to Judah, so he would quit prophesying there. Amos told him God sent him to Israel to say they will be exiled from their native land.

Amos 8

The Lord told Amos he will spare his people no longer, as he sees a vision of a basket of ripe fruit and the Lord standing by the altar.

Amos 9:1-10

God will kill all of the sinners amongst his people. No one will escape.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 4: Amos 7:1-9:10

10)

7:1-3: Amos saw locusts, but asked the Lord to relent against Israel, and he did.

7:4-6: Amos saw fire, but asked the Lord to relent against Israel, and he did.

7:7-9: Amos saw a plumb line, but asked the Lord to relent against Israel, and he did.

8:1-3: Amos saw a basket of ripe fruit, but the Lord will spare his people no longer.

9:1-10: Amos saw the Lord standing by an altar, and God will kill all of the sinners amongst his people. No one will escape.

11) Amos faithfully obeyed the Lord’s calling to prophesy against Israel.

12a) God gives everyone plenty of chances to turn to him, but he’ll judge at the end. People never change; they are sinners at heart.

b) I should always be looking for God and turning to him.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 4: Amos 7:1-9:10

Gloom and doom here. The people sin; God judges. This is the entire story of the Old Testament (and the New Testament) except that God gives us Jesus to save us.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 4: Amos 7:1-9:10

Amos 7: Amos sees the judgment of Israel with locusts, fire, and a plumb line. Prayer is powerful, as Amos saves the people here. A plumb line helps to build straight walls. God’s people must be straight against His standards.

Bethel was the center of Israel’s idolatry, and Amos was faithful in delivering God’s warnings to His people.

Amos 8: The ripe fruit has turned sour. Israel is dishonest and cheats the poor, so God will judge.

Amos talks about the famine of not hearing God’s word. God grants us the ability to hear his word and to benefit by it.

Amos 9: All of God’s people will face judgment.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 3: Amos 3-6

SUMMARY OF AMOS 3

More pronouncements of judgment against Israel and how they will be punished for their sins. An enemy will overrun Israel, and the foreign altars will be destroyed. But a remnant would be preserved.

SUMMARY OF AMOS 4

Israel has been warned, yet they still continue to sin.

SUMMARY OF AMOS 5

God warns his people to seek him and live or they will perish.

SUMMARY OF AMOS 6

God warns those who are complacent and says they will among the first to go into exile. The cries against the pride of Israel. He says a nation will oppress them as punishment.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 3: Amos 3-6

5a) The Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to the prophets. God has spoken just like the lion has roared, the bird has swooped, and the trumpets have sounded. Disasters the Lord has caused.

b) Because the people have sinned and turned away from God, God sent prophets to warn his people of his judgment if they don’t turn back to him. Israel needs to turn back or they will be judged.

6) The sins are how Israel does not do right and they plunder and they loot. The consequences are that an enemy will overrun the land and plunder them. The Israelites living in Samaria will be rescued. The altars of Bethel and houses will be destroyed when Israel is punished for her sins. The women will be taken away and cast out. God punished them periodically such as with little rain and food, but still they did not return to him. God sent plagues and killed young men with no one returning to him.

7a) “Yet you have not returned to me.” Amos 4:6; 8; 9; 10; 11  God gives his people chances to repent before he judges them.

b) Any type of calamity, whether a natural disaster or a personal disaster.

8 )

4:12: “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, Israel, prepare to meet your God.” If you sin, you will suffer the consequences.

5:4: “Seek me and live.” God is a God of second chances. He gives life to those who seek him.

5:14: “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.” Be good, and God will be with you.

5:15: “Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.” Do good, and the Lord will have mercy.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 3: Amos 3-6

Long reading with lots of warnings here. At the end of the day, God just wants us to choose Him.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 3: Amos 3-6

Amos 3: Israel rejected God despite the privileges they had of being with him. Thus, God enacts judgment.

God revealed to the prophets the judgment so people would turn to him. Israel would be overrun by Assyria in less than 30 years after Amos prophesied.

Amos 4: Bashan was known for its cattle.

Women of Israel indulged, so God would judge them. Their sacrifices were in vain. God would judge by withholding rain. He would send a plague. They would meet him.

Amos 5: God invites his people to seek him once again. He will save, but he will also judge.

Because they treated each other terribly, they would be judged. There would be wailing and woe on judgment day. Their sins would end in captivity.

Amos 6: Those who are comfortable should take heart as woe is coming. Those who are high-standing will be brought low. Israel will be destroyed.

Israel is too full of pride and injustice.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 2: Amos 1-2

SUMMARY OF AMOS 1

Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa, a prophet, pronounces judgment on Israel and their neighbors, Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, and Ammon. God will destroy Israel’s neighbors and dry up their fields.

SUMMARY OF AMOS 2

Amos  pronounces judgment on Moab and Judah. Judah is because they have rejected God’s laws and decrees and been led astray by false gods. The Lord will judge Israel for how they treat the poor and do not honor him.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 2: Amos 1-2

3a) Israel, Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah

b) The foreign nations took slaves and fought one another. For Israel and Judah, because they turned from God and worshipped other gods.

c) The other nations’ sins centered around cruelty to other nations and crimes against humanity, as well as crimes against God’s people. Israel and Judah turned from God and His ways.

4a) It’s everywhere. Sin against others. Cruelty to others. Murder, rape, assault, you name it. And, people everywhere are turning from God, including His people.

b) To turn towards him, not away from him.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 2: Amos 1-2

Lots of judgments here. Great reminder that God is just, and we will all be held accountable for our actions once we reach heaven.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 13, Day 2: Amos 1-2

Fun fact: Amos the prophet is only mentioned in this book, not in any other books of the Bible.

Amos means “burden,” and Amos was definitely burdened as he was the bearer of bad news for all.

Amos was a farmer and not of the school of prophets. He was a live during Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, which would be between 760 B.C. and 750 B.C.

Remember, the kingdom of Judah to the south had good kings. The kingdom of Israel to the north had nothing but bad kings.

Here, Assyria had defeated Israel’s enemy, Syria, so Israel was prosperous.

Amos pronouces judgment on nations for sin upon sin.

  • Israel was judged because they disobeyed God.
  • Damascus was judged for coming against God’s people.
  • Gaza was judged because they came against God’s people.
  • Tyre was judged because they sinned against God’s people.
  • Edom was judged because they attacked Judah.
  • Ammon was judged because they attacked Israel.
  • Moab was judged because of their cruelty to Edom.
  • Judah was judged because they despised and disobeyed God’s laws.

Fire expresses judgment in the New Testament, but it also can be a purifying of the spirit with fire.

Israel took advantage of the poor. There was sexual immorality. There was idolatry.

God’s people were now a burden to him. They would not succeed without His strength.

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Friday Digest BSF People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN BSF PEOPLE OF THE PROMISE: KINGDOM DIVIDED LESSON 12

  • God uses our life’s storms to grow us
  • God’s purposes are greater than our will to resist them
  • God hears and answers our prayers even in our darkest days
  • God always has the last word in our lives
  • God always pursues us
  • God’s mercy knows no bounds
  • God uses our sorrows to teach us about His character

TAKE AWAY: There’s always a second chance with God.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 5: Jonah 4

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SUMMARY OF JONAH 4

Jonah expresses his anger that God saved Nineveh. He asks to die. Jonah leaves the city and waits. The Lord provides a plant for shade for him. It grows and then dies. God asks him if he has a right to be angry about the plant. He still wishes for death. Jonah’s concern for the plant is the same as God’s concern for the people of Nineveh who also needed tending to grow in faith.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 5: Jonah 4

13a) That Jonah is playing God, deciding who should be saved and who should not.

b) Pride that he was better than the people of Nineveh. Anger that they were horrible sinners and God saved them when he was a prophet who was also saved. Anger that the Assyrians were his enemies (the enemy of God’s people). They should be judged, not granted mercy.

14a) Tenderly. By trying to explain to Jonah in a way he would understand about God’s infinite mercy for Nineveh.

b) “should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh” “you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity”

15) It really hasn’t. I’ve always understoon that God can forgive whoever he wants to forgive like he has forgiven me. It’s not on me to judge who he saves and who he doesn’t.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 5: Jonah 4

I find it interesting how Jonah is playing God here and decides for God that Nineveh should not be saved. How many of us do this to our loved ones?

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 5: Jonah 4

Most prophets are pleased with converts. Thus, Jonah’s reaction here is very different.

Without God’s mercy, Jonah would be dead. Yet, this same mercy granted to Nineveh overwhelms him with anger.

God questions us because we are in the wrong and He wants us to see it from a different (often His) perspective. Sure, we can be angry with God, but we are never right over God, and we must repent of that anger, which is often due to misunderstanding.

Jonah seemed to hope that God would still destroy Nineveh when he left. He did not understand God’s love for all of humanity.

Yet, if Jonah cared so much for a plant that he did nothing for, how much more is God’s caring and love for a people that He did everything for from the moment of their creation?

Fun Fact: This is the first time Jonah is recorded as being happy. And it’s all because of a plant.

Fun Fact: Jonah’s last words recorded in the Bible show him clinging to his ways and not God’s ways. Luckily, God always has the last word.

All of this prepared Jonah for God’s work. How is He preparing you today?

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 4: Jonah 3

SUMMARY OF JONAH 3

God gives Jonah the same command twice to go to Nineveh and proclaim His message. Jonah obeyed.

It took Jonah 3 days to deliver God’s message to all the people: Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown. When Jonah’s message reached the king of Nineveh, he ordered everyone to cover themselves in sackcloth, fast, and call on God. They were to give up their evil ways and violence. God saw this and relented. He did not punish them because they repented.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 4: Jonah 3

10a) “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” A message of destruction.

b) The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. They called upon God and turned from their evil and violent ways. God does listen, and God’s word can change people and their lives.

11a) God is merciful. God listens. God relents. God warns. God gives people second chances. God is gracious, loving, and caring

b) I love second chances. I need them a lot. I love God’s mercy, too, for all my daily sins. I love God’s warning. I should listen more. These truths draw me closer to God.

12) This one is hard. Unsure. Hopefully, with my kids. I’ve learned to give God the glory for everything.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 4: Jonah 3

So encouraging to see so many people turn to the Lord. God is gracious, loving, and caring. He loves us so much He never stops chasing us. How awesome!

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 4: Jonah 3

God had work to do through Jonah, and He was determined to accomplish it, despite how much we (humans) resist it.

Oftentimes, God only gives us enough information that we can process at one time. The rest will come in time and with faith.

The word “overthrown” was used in the destruction of other cities in the Bible, too.  (Genesis 19:25Lamentations 4:6, and Amos 4:11).

Believing God is repenting. The people put on sackcloth (animal hair clothes essentially) and came to God. God, in his mercy, forgave.

Nineveh does receive judgment as we read in Nahum. It was just delayed 150 years out of God’s mercy.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 3: Jonah 2 and Matthew 12:39-41

SUMMARY OF JONAH 2:

Jonah prayed to God from inside the fish. He called out to God who brought him up from the pit. Jonah will proclaim God’s name and say that salvation comes from the Lord. The Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 12:39-41:

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The people of Nineveh repented when Jonah preached, but Jesus is here who is greater than Jonah.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 3: Jonah 2 and Matthew 12:39-41

7a) God listens even in our darkest (literally) hours.

b) “I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.” Even though God has given us consequences for our sins, we can still praise him in his infinite mercy. He always lifts us up.

8a) Mankind is stubborn. Sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom to come to Him.

b) Patience. I’m trying to be patient as I yearn to move some place else.

9a) I hopefully learn not to disobey God and suffer the consequences. But when I do, all I have to do is cry out to Him for forgiveness and redemption.

b) Jonah saved many people in Nineveh. That matters to God.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 3: Jonah 2 and Matthew 12:39-41

I can just picture the fish vomiting up Jonah. I’m unsure who was more relieved: Jonah or the fish?

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 3: Jonah 2 and Matthew 12:39-41

Jonah prayed many of the Psalms (Psalm 18:6), (Psalm 42:7), (Psalm 31:22). He was a man of God

Jonah is distressed to be separated from God. Yet, he praises God and realizes his mistake at resisting Him. He repents and promises to do what God tells him to do. He realizes salvation is the Lord.

Note Jonah was delivered after he truly repented of his wrongs. This is what we must do, too.

Jonah most likely was vomited onto the shore and then made his way to Nineveh.

Jonah’s journey foreshadowed Christ’s:

  • Both offered their life for others
  • Both spent 3 days and 3 nights “dead”
  • Both were resurrected per se

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 2: Jonah 1

SUMMARY OF JONAH 1:

God called Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against its wickedness. But Jonah ran from the Lord and headed for Tarshish on a ship. God sent a great wind and storm against Jonah’s ship. They threw their cargo overboard to lighten it. Jonah was sleeping, and the crew cast lots, which told them he was responsible for the storm.

Jonah confessed that he was running from God, so he told them to throw him overboard because the storm is his fault. At first, the men did not do this, but the sea grew wilder. The men prayed for God to not fault them for throwing Jonah over. A fish swallowed Jonah, and he was in its belly three days and three nights.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 2: Jonah 1

3a) 2 Kings 14:25 says, “He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea, in accordance with the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.”

b) Jonah ran away from the Lord.

c) He was afraid to do what God told him to do. He may have been afraid of the people of Nineveh. He was outside of his comfort zone. It was a hard job and Jonah simply did not want to do it. Many Bible scholars believe that Jonah did not believe that the evil Assyrians deserved repentance and mercy from God.

d) They run in every way possible. They ignore his voice and his calling. They don’t do what he tells them to do. They don’t pray or go to church. They hide from Him like Jonah did.

4) When you disobey God, there are consequences. He pursues you and does what he has to to get you to listen to him.

5) I usually don’t struggle with this. None of us are worthy of God’s love and grace, no matter how “good” we are or how “evil.”

6) All the time. He asks me to be nice to people I don’t want to be nice to. He puts me in places I hate. He challenges me to bloom where planted. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes I fail. Still, I try.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 2: Jonah 1

I love the story of Jonah. Such a colorful story of God doing whatever it takes to get your attention.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 12, Day 2: Jonah 1

map of nineveh and tarshish www.atozmomm.com It’s important to understand that Nineveh was the capital of Assyria at the time. It was a pagan city. God chose Jonah to go and speak to the people of Nineveh and rebuke them for their sins.

Nineveh was to the east of Israel. Tarshish was to the west in what is now Spain. Jonah wanted to get as far away from God’s calling as possible.

God sent a storm. God’s timing is now when He calls. You don’t put off His call for when it’s convenient for you.

Jonah slept as many Christians sleep through God’s calling. We must be awake for Christ.

Jonah asks to be thrown into the sea, and gives us a picture of Christ who threw himself into humans’s storms.

The storm ended once Jonah was thrown into the sea, proving God existed. Many Bible scholars believe the men on the ship came to faith in God after this.

What Was the Fish?

We don’t know what kind of fish this was. It could have been a whale or a special fish God created for just this moment in time. Either way, God was not finished with Jonah yet. He lived three days and nights in the belly of the fish. This was what Jonah personally needed to come to God and obey Him. God does the same with us, just in different ways.

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