BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 19, Day 5: Genesis 25:1-18

Summary of passage:  Abraham took another wife named Keturah and had more kids. He left everything he owned to Isaac but gave gifts to his other sons and sent them away to the land of the east.  Abraham lived 175 years and was buried with Sarah in the cave he bought from the Hittites.  God blessed Isaac who settled near Beer Lahai Roi.

Ishmael had 12 sons who became 12 tribal rulers.  He lived to be 137 years old.  His descendants settled near Egypt from Havilah to Shur as you go towards Asshur.  They lived in hostility towards their brothers.

Questions:

12a)  Isaac got everything.  Ishmael got gifts before he died.

b)  Isaac:  Map of Beer Lahai Roi:  http://bibleatlas.org/full/beer-lahai-roi.htm

The sons of Ishmael all settled in Arabia as did most of the sons of Keturah.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Provided my husband with a job opportunity.  He’s given me a band to play in to keep my mind busy.  We are lacking for nothing for we have savings.  I keep getting the message that I need to write so I keep at it.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Husband.  Kids.  Dog.

Conclusions:  I spent a little bit of time trying to find where the descendants settled but everywhere I looked it was all speculation as to the exact location so in the end I just linked to where Isaac settled since we’re going to be seeing a lot of him coming up and left the rest to Arabia.

I think every day is special as a gift from God and everything He provides is special.  So food, clothing, shelter, and another day to live and breathe are special gifts from God.

Does Beer Lahai Roi sound familiar?  It should.  It’s the place where Hagar encountered God in the form of “the angel of the Lord” as she was fleeing from Sarai and Abram in Genesis 16:14.  The name means “well of the Living One who sees me.”  Interesting that Isaac now ends up there.

Fun Fact:  Abraham is mentioned 70 times in the New Testament.  Only Moses is mentioned more.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 19, Day 4: Genesis 24:29-67

Summary of passage:  Rebekah ran home and told all what had transpired.  Laban, Rebekah’s brother, ran out to the servant to bring him to their house.  So the servant, his men, and his camels were brought to Rebekah’s house and provided for.  The servant told them his story, how he came there seeking a wife for Abraham’s son, and how Rebekah had been the girl to answer his prayer to God.

Laban and Bethuel agreed that this was God’s will so they let Rebekah go.  The servant showered them with precious and costly gifts for the dowry.  The next morning Laban and Bethuel tried to delay the trip but they left immediately on Rebekah’s acquiescence.  The family blessed Rebekah and sent her on the long journey to Canaan.

Isaac whom we can assume had been praying for a wife as well greets the return party, hears the tale of the servant, and marries Rebekah.

Questions:

9a)  Deuteronomy says to not intermarry with unbelievers for they will turn you away from God to other gods and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and destroy you.  Paul says in Corinthians not to be yoked to unbelievers for they have nothing in common. Paul here was probably talking about the false teachers.  This verse has been extrapolated to the marriage realm but note Paul does not say marriage nor is he speaking about marriage prior to or after this passage.  See my post HERE with regards to this same question.

b)  Verse 50 when Laban and Bethuel acknowledge the servant as from the Lord and give him Rebekah “as the Lord has directed” in verse 51.

10a)  He faithfully told the story to Rebekah’s family about how Rebekah had passed God’s test.  When the family agreed to give Rebekah to him, the servant “bowed down to the ground before the Lord” (verse 52).  He says that “the Lord has granted success to my journey” in verse 56.  Everywhere you turn in this passage, the servant acknowledges God and gives Him all the credit.

b)  Isaiah 48:11 is God talking and He says (if you read verse 10 as well) that He tests us for His own glory.  Not sure how that speaks about attitudes of the people unless you assume the people God directs understand this.

1 Corinthians tells us God chooses the lowly ones so that they have nothing to boast about except for Him.  We should boast in Him.  Give Him the glory.  So we should humble ourselves and when we achieve it is because of God alone.  He chose us.

11a)  He gave Rebekah a gold nose ring, two gold bracelets, gold and silver jewelry, and articles of clothing.  He gave costly gifts to her brother and mother.

b)  Rebekah hears the story of how she was chosen from the servant (verses 34-49) and God is everywhere in the story.  Laban and Bethuel agree “this is from the Lord” (verse 50) and willingly give her to the servant.  The servant gave a huge dowry (verse 53), which gave credibility to the servant’s story.  He came prepared to bring home God’s chosen wife for Isaac.  The servant was eager to leave (verse 56)–to fulfill God’s purpose.

c)  A father desires a bride for his son.  Abraham for Isaac.  God for us.  A son was dead and then raised from the dead.  Isaac and Jesus.  The bride is chosen for marriage before they knew it (Ephesians 1:3-4).  Rebekah and us.  The bride is divinely chosen, called, and then lavished with gifts. (Revelation 19:7-8)  Rebekah and us.  She is entrusted to the care of the servant before she meets her bridegroom.  Rebekah and us.

Conclusions:  The best part of this story is the heart of the servant.  I would wager he was probably treated well by Abraham but servants in ancient times had extremely rough lives and had no social status nor class.  They were nothing in the eyes of many.  So the willingness of this servant to serve his master is a great picture of how we are to serve the Lord.  Everything is credited to God.  The servant is merely the instrument in God’s work.

This is how we should approach life.  God uses us to accomplish His purposes but so often our pride negates this or gets in the way.

Love the parallel to Jesus’s life in the questions.  He served his Father for us.  Incredible to ponder how we were chosen, brought, and loved by Jesus to God like Rebekah to Isaac.  Great stuff!

I’m not sure why we have the question 9a.  It does pertain to this lesson but I can’t say which way BSF is leaning.  If you read my post HERE, you will see a huge debate we had on my blog.  The only thing I wanted to add was the reference to Deuteronomy we had to look up.  This reference to me is null and void today since it is under the Old Covenant that Jesus shattered with his death.  So in terms of marriage today, I believe this doesn’t apply.  Marriage to Rebekah, yes.  Today.  no.

I’m saying this question is only in reference to Rebekah and it is here in order for us to understand the lengths Abraham took to find Isaac a wife and why (because God outlawed it).  Any extrapolation to today’s time should be done with caution.

Interesting reads I found:  Simple read of the church as the Bride of Christ:

http://www.gotquestions.org/bride-of-Christ.html

Great commentary on all of Chapter 24:  http://bible.org/seriespage/how-find-godly-wife-genesis-241-67

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 19, Day 3: Genesis 24:10-28

Summary of passage:  Abraham’s servant left on the quest to find a wife for Isaac.  He went to the town of Nahor in Northwestern Mesopotamia and stopped at the well.  The servant prays to God for the chosen girl to give him and his camels water when he asks.

Rebekah appeared who was the beautiful daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor.  She gave the servant a drink when asked and volunteered to water his camels as well.

The servant offered to pay for lodging and Rebekah readily agreed.  The servant bowed and worshipped the Lord who has been faithful to Abraham by leading him to Abraham’s relatives for a wife.

Questions:

6a)  Traveling in ancient times.  There were robbers always about.  And finding a wife out of a small pool of people.

b)  He prayed for the Lord to give him a sign and he was specific about it:  Let it be the girl who gives him AND his camels a drink at the well.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The actual doing it.  Pray and follow through.

7a)  The servant asked for the girl to offer him and his camels a drink of water when asked.  The servant was at a well so water was readily available.  It was toward evening when all the women go to draw water so there would be a lot of opportunity for this to happen.  He didn’t ask for fire to be sent down or something outrageous to test God.

b)  That she was thoughtful and helpful to others.  She was sharing and caring.  That she was willing to do hard work.  The servant had 10 camels with him.  One camel can drink up to 20 gallons so watering 10 by hand would have taken at least an hour.  That she had a servant’s heart.

8a)  Verses 17-19  She did what the servant prayed for.

b)  Verse 24  She was a relative of Abraham, not a foreigner.

c)  Verse 27  He praises God.

Conclusions:  Very short answer day.  I liked the personal question the most because it brings me back to my purpose here on earth, which lately seems to be languishing by the wayside.

We can assume the servant was Eliezer from Genesis 15:2 since a different name is not used in this passage.

Before the servant was even done praying, God answered his prayer (verse 15).  I wish God would do this for me.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 19, Day 2: Genesis 24:1-9

Summary of passage:  Abraham had his servant swear not to get a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites but from his country and his relatives.  Abraham said not to take Isaac back to his fatherland and that God would send an angel before him to find the wife.

Questions:

3a)  In every way.  God will make his descendants as numerous as the stars.  They will take possession of the cities and all nations will be bless because of Abraham. (Genesis 22:16-18)

b)  From Psalm:  Blessed are those who take refuge in Him (Psalm 2:12).  Blessed is the man who does not walk with in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  Blessed are those who delight in the Lord and who meditates on the law.

Psalm 37:  They will inherit the land; He makes his steps firm;  man will not fall for the Lord upholds him in His hand.

Malachi:  God throws open the floodgates of blessings when the tithe is brought.

Ephesians: Blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  With my sweet babies and my husband being home for a stretch of time.  With my band.  With my friend whom I saw a movie with.  With job opportunities.  Maybe for a way for me to do something outside the home.  Options for schools.  Nice park weather.  Food, clothing, shelter.  My dog.  Many more.

4a)  By directing his children (Isaac) to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just so that the Lord will bring about what He has promised to Abraham.  By getting a wife not of foreign birth who would know the One, True God.

b)  Finding one from the Canaanites because of they were pagan worshippers.  And having Isaac go back to the “home” country from where Abraham came from.  Isaac had to stay to fulfill God’s desires for man.

c)  Our number one priority is to raise our children to know the Lord.  He must be first in their lives.  We must raise them to follow God’s laws and not the ways and laws of the world.  They must strive to be more like Jesus every day of their lives and to do what he would do.

5)  He makes sure his son has the right wife pleasing to God.  He keeps his son in the Promised Land so he and his descendants can inherit it.  He shows his servant that the Lord will guide him in his quest.

Conclusions:  Surprisingly, I did like 3c.  It’s always good to remember our blessings because so often we forget them in the humdrum of life.  It was a good exercise to write them down so we do realize we are incredibly blessed even when we don’t feel blessed at all.

The blessings God has for us are innumerable and it would behoove us to remember that (me at least).

Great reminders on responsibilities we have as parents to raise our kids right.  This goal can easily get lost in the day-to-day caretakings of our children whose needs are immediate.  Great prayer to start the day with!

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 22-23

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

An angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac, saying he has proved he fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.  God provided a ram instead to sacrifice.  The angel says because of Abraham’s faithfulness the Lord will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars and will rule over the cities of their enemies.

All nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.  Then Abraham went to Beersheba.

Sarah lived to be 127 years old.  She died in Hebron.  Abraham offered to buy a burial plot from the Hittites and they told him he could pick any plot to bury her in.  He approached Ephron and offered to buy his cave.  Ephron offered to give it to Abraham. Abraham refused and offered to pay for the land.  Ephron reluctantly agrees and the land is deeded to Abraham.

Abraham then buries Sarah.

Questions:

11a)  Honestly, I wouldn’t connect the two if you hadn’t of told me to.  In Abraham’s mind, he has sacrificed Isaac.  His mind was tested and he knew what God’s will was.  He offered Isaac’s body as an act of worship.

b)  Being a living sacrifice is denying ourself and being God’s instead.  We yield our body, mind, and will to God.  It’s reading the Bible instead of watching TV.  It’s helping others instead of ourselves.  It’s giving of our time and money when we’d rather not.  It’s changing your poor attitude, giving up destructive addictions, and changing your thinking to be more in tune with Christ’s.

It is a daily death to self.  We must understand and know the will of God and walk that path every day.  We must change our thoughts by obeying God and God’s word and in turn our hearts will change as well.  We must find God’s will for our life and live it and go where HE directs, not where you direct.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Today I will do my utmost to listen and obey Him and His will for my life.  That includes teaching my children, taking care of my family, doing laundry and dishes, and loving others as myself.  I will try to live and breathe Him as much as humanly possible and at the end of the day hopefully I will find rest in what I have done, which I did for Him, through Him and by Him AND according to His will.  Amen.

12a)  On the surface, he purchased it as a place to bury Sarah.  But really he purchased it to set a precedent of an alien owning land in Canaan.  As a landowner in ancient times, you were accorded certain rights others were not.  Now, Abraham could claim those rights.

b)  God promised Abraham he would take possession of Canaan and Abraham now owns a piece of it.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Good question.  God promises to provide for all of my needs and He has.  I purchase food, clothing, and shelter.  We also own cars to transport us to do His work and care for others.  He also has given more.

Conclusions:  I couldn’t help the flippancy in 11a but my haunches raised when I’m told to read a passage and then told to go somewhere else.

I’m conflicted on this lesson as well like yesterday’s.  It was interesting how Abraham used Sarah’s death as a means to own land.  Not sure if I approve of this.  I did like the living sacrifice example.  It brought out the importance of obeying God not only in word and deed but also in heart and mind.

The exchange between Ephron and Abraham is an example of how bargaining was done in that time and in that culture.  Ephron had no intention of giving Abraham the land but that is how the bargaining started off.  Kindness took precedent and is still predominant in the Middle East today when bargaining.

I liked this concise article on living sacrifices enough to link to it despite the overpowering presence of ads:

http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar27.html

Fun Fact:  Sarah is the only woman in the Bible whose age when she died is recorded.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 4: Genesis 22:1-19

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

An angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac, saying he has proved he fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.  God provided a ram instead to sacrifice.  The angel says because of Abraham’s faithfulness the Lord will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars and will rule over the cities of their enemies.

All nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.  Then Abraham went to Beersheba.

Questions:

8a)  Hebrews sums up Genesis 22.  Verse 9 in Genesis mirrors verse 17 in Hebrews, saying Isaac was offered as a sacrifice.  After the test, verse 17 in Genesis has an angel telling Abraham everyone will be blessed through Isaac like in verse 18 of Hebrews. Genesis 21:12 is the verse quoted in Hebrews.  Verse 12 of Genesis has God sparing Isaac like in Hebrews 19 and thus receiving him back from the dead.

b)  Because he was obeying God through faith and knew everything would be okay.  Like how we are to feel when we obey.

c)  Through Christ’s faith and obedience to the Father, he experienced the joy of reconciling man to Him and taking his place beside the Father.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Writing gives me joy and I sacrifice a lot in order to do it (mainly sleep!).  This site brings me joy despite the criticism and doubts it has brought.  I hope it’s all for Him.

9a)  According to Webster’s Dictionary, a substitute is “a person or thing that takes the place or function of another.”

b)  A ram

c)  Jesus

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal gratitude, awe, and immense desire to please God and obey.

10a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The same.  Listen and obey.  I don’t think many of us would have a problem of being told to not kill our kids!

b)  God will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.  His descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies and through his offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.

Conclusions:  I have mixed feelings on this lesson.  When I read the first question and saw Hebrews, I said, “Ah, not Hebrews…AGAIN!”  I don’t think I can glean anything else from Hebrews in terms of Abraham and his faith.  I think most of us by now have gotten the idea that Abraham was faithful.

The best idea is that we should have joy when we obey God.  And I would add peace.  A lot of people grumble or obey reluctantly and that is not what God wants.  But I think these people if they obey God enough will experience that joy.  After all, obeying God is what we were created to do.  Everything else is insignificant.

Nothing else was new here.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 3: Genesis 22:1-19

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

An angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac, saying he has proved he fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.  God provided a ram instead to sacrifice.  The angel says because of Abraham’s faithfulness the Lord will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars and will rule over the cities of their enemies.

All nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.  Then Abraham went to Beersheba.

Questions:

6a)  In Verse 2, God acknowledges how much Abraham loves his son when He says, “whom you love” and we all know you can’t hide anything from God so I would wager it was obvious how much Isaac meant to Abraham.  Abraham assured Isaac God would provide the sacrifice (verse 8) so he was confident this would all work out in the end.

And at any time Isaac could have run away once he realized what was happening but he didn’t.  So he trusted his father and God to know this would turn out alright.

b)  Both Isaac and Jesus willingly offer up their own life under Free Will for the Father. They obey Him and trust in Him and His ways and plans.  Both accept the lot God has chosen for their earthly lives and do not fight it.  God is first in their lives and their actions prove so.

7a)  Solomon built the temple of the Lord on Mount Moriah where the Lord had appeared to his father David.  It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.  David built the altar so the Lord would stop the plague on Israel, which the Lord sent as punishment for David’s disobedience when he counted the fighting men (or conducted a census) in Israel and Judah.

b)  The simple answer:  Through Christ’s death and resurrection where he bore our sins so we may be right before God.

Because of Abraham’s obedience and faith and his willingness to sacrifice his only son we were all blessed by God and included in His plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.  God loved us so much He sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  We should all be assured of God’s love for us at the magnitude of this sacrifice.

Conclusions:  Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if all nations were blessed because of my obedience? I thought.  Then I realized they are.  Because everything we do affects others. It may not be as monumental as having all nations blessed because of our actions, which allowed the Gentiles to be included in God’s covenant but it’s significant nonetheless.

When we obey God and fulfill His purpose for us here on earth, God is pleased and our rewards are multiplied in heaven.

It is still hard to grasp God’s love even though God uses the strongest love we humans have–that for our children–as His comparison.  God’s love is greater which is hard to imagine.  But we get the idea.  As most of us would fail the child sacrifice test, we can understand just a bit how much God gave when He gave his only Son.

Other parallels with Isaac and Jesus:  Both carried wood up the hill to their imminent death.  Both were sacrificed on the same hill.  Both were risen again after three days.  We see this in Isaac because God pronounced Isaac dead when He told Abraham to sacrifice him.  On the third day (verse 4) Isaac rose again when God interceded for him. Cool, huh?

Explanation on 2 Samuel 24:10-25:  This was one of those passages you had to read the whole chapter of 2 Samuel 24 to understand what is going on here.  And THEN you still had to know the history to understand (which I, of course, was too curious not to look up).  Because I was thinking, “What’s so wrong with a census?  We do that every 10 years?”

Exodus 30:12 states:  The Lord tells Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.”

In ancient times you only had the right to count what was yours.  This is what God is saying.  The people are His and only He had the right to order a count and even then ransom money had to be paid to atone for the counting.

Here, David directly disobeys God (which many scholars attribute to the devil’s influence on David who tempted him), lets pride creep in as he thinks some of the reason Israel has prospered is due to him and not God, and ordered a census to be taken without asking God.

Thus, in God’s infinite mercy, He ordered David to build this altar on Mount Moriah to atone for his sin of the census and spare some of God’s people (specifically Jerusalem) the plague.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 2: Genesis 22:1-10

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

Questions:

3a)  God tests everyone but I think God had to be sure Abraham trusted Him after all the wishy-washyness from before.  Abraham does not trust God to provide for him so he flees to Egypt.  He sleeps with his maidservant to have an heir.  And he laughs at God when God says Sarah will have a son.

God has to be sure Abraham finally has faith and trust in Him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We never know what we will do in a situation until it arises.  We say we will give it all up to follow Jesus but when the time comes, do we?  We say we would lay down our life for another but would we if the situation actually presents itself?

Thus, tests are necessary to grow our faith.  Here, God had to be sure of Abraham’s heart and this was the ultimate test.

4a)  Verse 2  “Take your son, your only son, whom you love”

b)  Verse 1:  Abraham says “Here I am” when called by God.  Remember Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden when called.  Abraham never questions (at least that is recorded like when he did for Sodom).  The very next day (verse 3) early in the morning Abraham sets out for where God said to go.  He follows God’s instructions exactly.  He answers Isaac with faith, saying God will provide the sacrifice in verse 8.  He has the knife, ready to strike, when the angel stops him (verse 10).

5a)  Obeying His voice pleases God more than burnt offerings.  This verse doesn’t say what kinds He rejects for He didn’t reject burnt offerings in the Old Testament; He, in fact, required them.  So not sure about what He rejects except maybe the opposite of obeying:  disobeying Him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He is asking me to have faith in what my husband is doing with his job.  Personally, not sure.  I got a lot going on right now and my novel has been put on the back-burner once again.  My heart is just not in it right now.  Not sure if that’s God or the devil.  Also, I am really struggling to exercise.  And I haven’t been sleeping really well either.

So I’m trying to support my husband in his job search.  I’m still trying to figure out my novel thing for I still feel it’s God’s work somewhere in there.  And just continue writing in general.

Conclusions:  Great emphasis on testing for we are all tested and most of the time none of us like it because it’s hard.  But everything works together for our good and we must walk through the fire and grow with Him.  Never easy to do.

No one is exempt.  Even though we think people are such as rich people or celebrities we know they are all tested as well just in different ways.  Thankfully, we aren’t asked to sacrifice our kids like Abraham was because that’s one I’m not sure I’d pass.  But each of our tests are just as significant and meaningful and important to God.  We would do well to remember that.

Abraham is trusting even when he doesn’t understand or doesn’t feel like it.  It’s about faith and obeying God and doing it, not how we feel about it.

Abraham believes God will raise his son from the dead once killed.  He is prepared to kill him but he knows anything is possible with God.

It is thought Isaac is in his thirties at this time and he hasn’t had any kids yet.  Isaac is just as trusting in God because he willingly lied down on the altar.  He could have overpowered his elderly father and ran but he didn’t.  He was just as faithful as Abraham here.

This is the difference between trusting in the promise versus trusting in the Promiser (God).  If we trust the Promiser, then the promise will be taken care of.

Map of Moriah:  http://bibleatlas.org/mount_moriah.htm

This same mountain where Abraham takes Isaac later becomes Jerusalem, the place where God provides His only son as a sacrifice for all.

Fun Facts:  This is the first mention of love in the Bible and significantly it’s between a father and son, foreshadowing God’s love for His son.

This is also the first use of the word “worship” in terms of worshipping God.  The Hebrew word here means “to bow down”.

Joan of Arc

Joan was born in 1412 in the tiny village of Domremy, France.  She led an ordinary life until she was 13 when she says the Archangel Michael appeared to her and told her to save France.

From this day forward, her life would change forever.

It was during the Hundred Years’ War where France had been at war with England over a dispute for the French crown.  The French people were divided as to who should rule: the English or the French.  The Burgundians, a province of France, was one group of French people who were helping the English.

For 3 years the voices (Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret appeared to her as well) haunted her and finally told her urgently to go to see the dauphin Charles (the rightful king of France but he hadn’t been crowned yet) immediately.

She obeyed.

Following her voices, she met Charles and picked him out of a crowd when Charles was trying to trick her.  Her commission by God was to free the city of Orleans (under siege by the English) and to crown Charles King.

She led an army against the English and drove them off.

After Charles was crowned in 1429, Joan wanted to go home.  But the king refused to allow her to go.  Against her voices, she obeyed the king.  Her voices had told her she only had a year to help.  It was over a year now.  Hence, the voices fled.  She had been protected by God up until this point.  But when she obeyed the king and not her voices, everything changed.

Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc

Her battles were unsuccessful as Charles delayed action.  She was captured by the Burgundians and ransomed.  Charles refused to pay her ransom so she was sold to the English.

She stood trial on trumped-up charges of heresy and was found guilty and sentenced to death.  However, if she confessed, she could save her life.  She signed the confession but then recanted. Immediately, acknowledging she had done all for God, her voices returned.

She was cruelly burned at the stake.  She cried, “Jesus” three times at her death.  Her ashes were scattered in the Reine River so they could not be made into relics.

Twenty-six years later, Charles gave Joan a new trial and was declared innocent.  She was canonized in 1920 and is beloved in France today.

Undoubtedly Joan turned the tide of the Hundred Years’ War.  The French were languishing under a young and indecisive dauphin (who would become King Charles VII) until this girl comes out of nowhere to revive the French cause.

The most profound part of this was the fact her voices left her when she obeyed man instead of God.

We know more about Joan of Arc than any other woman in the Middle Ages because of the transcripts of her trial.  Every word was recorded at her trial as well as at her Trial of Rehabilitation where people who knew her were interviewed.  Very cool for a girl of only 19 years old.

Joan of Arc is the epitome of someone who came from nothing (she was a girl and a peasant in a tiny village in the Middle Ages) and changed the course of the world, proving God uses everybody for His purposes.  She is a great role model for young girls as well as those struggling to find themselves in today’s world.

There are many good picture books of Joan of Arc.  The one pictured is by Diane Stanley but we have also read Joan of Arc by Demi and Ann Tompert and enjoyed them as well. All are highly recommended.

Review of Latin for Children Activity Book

Latin For Children Activity Book
Latin For Children Activity Book

In the beginning, the Latin for Children Activity Book that we purchased for Primer A put out by Classical Academic Press was the favorite part of Latin for my kids.  It was word puzzles and crosswords and mix and match and all relatively simple.

At about chapter 20, the activity book became tedious due to the repetitiveness of the activities and the increasing complexity and by chapter 23 the workbook was abandoned all together.

The main reason is it is full of complicated crossword puzzles and if you’re not a crossword fan, you won’t like them.  My kids I think are a bit too young (9 & 7) and both just don’t want to spend the time on it.

Furthermore, some of the other activities require you to draw lines and match and the graphics are just too big so the lines become entangled and you can’t tell what is matched to what.

Lastly, it’s all in black and white.  For my young kids, they’d prefer some color graphics every now and then to spice it up.

I love Classical Academic Press and I hate writing this review that may be construed as negative but it’s my honest opinion.  I rely on homeschool reviews when I purchase items and as homeschoolers every penny counts since the government doesn’t give us $10,000/child for education.

We are about to purchase Latin for Children Primer B and we will be skipping the workbook this time around.

If you like crossword puzzles, then this is for you.  Otherwise, save your money.