BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 32: Reflection

Hey all,

I will not be posting my answers to Lesson 32 as they are all personal in nature.

Genesis shows us how God had everything planned from Chapter One Verse One.  How God would deal with sin once it entered the world.  How Jesus would come as our Savior. How He would choose His people for all of eternity.

How man falls.  Always.  And how God loves us anyways and in His grace offers us salvation.

People are not perfect.  We were not created to be such.  Otherwise, we’d be God.

Embrace our faults.  Love ourselves and one another.  Repent our sins.  Strive to do God’s will.

And our purpose in this world will unfold as it is supposed to.

That’s all God ever asks of us.

So will you choose to do so?

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 5: Genesis 50:22-26

Summary of passage:  Joseph spent his entire life in Egypt and died at the age of 110. Before he died, he reassured his brothers that God will aid them and take them out of Egypt to the Promised Land and requested that his bones be brought out of Egypt.  He was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Questions:

11)  God will aid them and take them up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

12a)  To have his bones moved to the land God promised.  This encouraged the Israelites in their faith in God as they trusted in God’s plan to return them to the Promised Land.

b) Exodus 13:19:  “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him.”

Joshua 24:32:  “And Joseph’s bones which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a 100 pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem.”

13) Personal Question.  My answer:  From this passage:  “God will surely come to your aid and take [your loved one] up out of this land to the land He promised (heaven).”

Other passages are better:  Genesis 50:19-21:  “Don’t be afraid…God intends it for good…He will provide for you and your children.”

Conclusions:  Disappointment reigns.  I think Lesson 30 & 31 should have been combined.

Did you catch the fact that Joseph was never buried?  (I didn’t until I read commentary on this passage.  I had assumed he was buried and then would be dug up for the trip to the Promised Land).  Scholars suggest his bones were left out as a visual reminder to the Israelites that one day Joseph would be buried in the Promised Land.

Joseph’s request was showing great faith in God’s promises.

And so ends the Book of Genesis with God’s chosen people looking forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 4: Genesis 50:15-21

Summary of passage:  With Jacob dead, Joseph’s brothers once again became afraid of retribution from Joseph for what they did to him.  They lied (again), saying Jacob told Joseph to forgive them before he died.  Joseph wept over this.  His brothers humbled themselves before Joseph, offering themselves as slaves.

Joseph told them to not be afraid for God intended good out of the evil they did–to save lives.

Questions:

8a)  They were afraid Joseph would enact revenge and justice upon them now that Jacob was dead.  So they lied that Jacob told him to forgive them.

b)  He spoke kindly to them, telling them God has worked good out of their evil.

c)  Personal Question:  That God has a plan that we cannot see.  Things happen for reasons we cannot know.  We must trust in Him always and learn and grow in our walk of faith no matter the hardships.  For good is right around the corner.  All things work together for my good.

We must also keep in mind that the evils that befall us are not from God; they are from man.  Man enacts evil upon us, not God.  But God will work it for good in our lives.  All for His glory.

9a) He forgives us; He loves us; He protects us; He provides for us; He showers us with grace when we are in no way worthy.

Psalm 103:  “The Lord forgives all your sins…redeems your life…compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love…He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities…for so great is his love for those who fear him.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal gratitude.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Could be better.  Need to be more God-like.

10a)  “To accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”.  To save the seed of the Savior and God’s people.

b)  Matthew 28:18-20:  “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey”

1 Peter 2:9:  “You are a chosen people…that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Acts 1:8:  “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the ends of the earth.”

Conclusions:  Was convicted with 9c.  I need to treat my family better than I do strangers.  I think a lot of struggle with that.  It’s so easy to take them for granted when we cannot.  For God didn’t take us for granted.  For He knows everything about us.

Why did Joseph weep upon hearing this concocted story of forgiveness?  Scholars think probably because his brothers doubted him, his forgiveness, and his character.  That the brothers thought so little of him.

Joseph trusted in who God is and trusted God in His promises.  We have a problem in doing the same.  Trust first in Him.  Then love, forgiveness, and comfort naturally flow outwards.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 3: Genesis 50:7-14

Summary of passage:  So Joseph, all of Pharaoh’s officials, all the members of Joseph’s family, chariots, and horsemen journeyed to Canaan to bury Jacob.  At Atad near the Jordan River, Joseph stopped and mourned 7 days for Jacob.  He was buried and all returned to Egypt.

Questions:

6)  High.  He sent practically all the nobles with Joseph to bury Jacob as well as chariots and horsemen to escort and protect them.

7a)  The mourning at the threshing floor of Atad.

b)  They mourned 7 days for him and buried him in the Promised Land.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not a lot.  Comfort is not the word.  Encouragement, yes.  Comfort, no.

Conclusions:  Overarching theme:  Jacob was greatly revered in Egypt.  7c was out of place.  Again, stretching this lesson.  One question would have been sufficient for this passage.

Fun Fact:  No other burial is recorded in Scripture with such pomp, detail, and honor.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 2: Genesis 49:29-50:6

Summary of passage:  Jacob gave each son the appropriate blessing.  He requests to be buried in the same tomb as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah.  Then he died.

Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept.  He was embalmed and mourned over for 70 days.  Joseph asked Pharaoh for permission to bury his father in Canaan, which Pharaoh granted.

Questions:

3a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Hebrews of course says Jacob had faith.  No.  There is no indication in this passage of fear.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God is the God of the living, not the dead.  So this infers Jacob knew he would live again with God.

4a)  Personal Question.  My answers, which I already knew and didn’t “learn” here:

Hebrews 9:27:  Man is destined to die and face judgement.

Romans 3:23; 6:23:  All have sinned and fell short of the glory of God.  Wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 5:24:  Whoever hears Jesus’ words and believes in God has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

John 8:24:  You will die in your sins if you do not believe in Jesus.

John 11:26:  Whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never die.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure what this has to do with Jacob’s death.  We have read about dozens of people dying in Genesis:  Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Sarah, Rebekah’s nurse, etc.  Why ask this now?

My answer:  I’m not because I firmly believe I have not accomplished God’s work for me yet here on earth so I enjoy living each and every day and not thinking or dwelling on death.  For in the end all we have is this day for we do not know.

And if I die, I’m as “prepared” as we all are.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  So why even worry about it?  That’s God’s job, not mine.

5)  He fulfilled Jacob’s last request by burying him in Canaan.

Conclusions:  I’m assuming the answer to my question of why BSF is asking the death question now is because they have run out of questions to ask.

Question 5 was just dumb.  This is a “duh”.  We all know Joseph is trustworthy from reading Genesis.  That is his character.  So why wouldn’t he be now?

I’m just getting frustrated here with the personal questions.  It’s an indication of stretching out the lesson.  In my opinion, we could have ended this study a few weeks ago instead of answering “filler” and “duh” questions.

This is the second time I’ve noticed recently of being given only one verse that even isn’t a complete sentence to go off of (It was last week DAY 5).  If BSF is going to give us reference passages to look up, let it be the whole passage so we can understand.  Reading a sentence fragment 1) goes against all of my writing background and irks me 2) never gives us the full story.  Please assign more than this.

In this instance, Hebrews 11:28 is so much more richer.  It says just as we are meant to die, “so Christ was..to bring salvation”…  Anytime I am like Christ, I rejoice.  Plus, salvation is near!  Hence, we should in death as well.  I believe this is the more important point.

Sorry to all who believe I have been critical of BSF lately (yes, I’ve noticed it myself) as I’m sure you’ll all comment on it. But I am frustrated and when I am, I will say so.  I cannot change my feelings over the matter.  I just feel like a bunch of this could have been cut out.  Either that or I’m missing the point entirely.

I try to keep in perspective that BSF is also for those who don’t know Jesus and are seeking him and so they write questions to that effect, which is great.  However, it is monotonous to us believers (or maybe just me) and I can’t help but say so.

End Note:  Jacob was mourned just 2 days less than a pharaoh would have been mourned.  This shows us just how revered he was in Egypt.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 5: Genesis 49:28-33

Summary of passage:  Jacob gave each son the appropriate blessing.  He requests to be buried in the same tomb as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah.  Then he died.

Questions:

13)  He requests to be buried in the Promised Land where God brought him and his people.

14)  Acts 20:35:  Through hard work and helping the weak and giving you will be blessed.

Romans 4:7-8:  Must have faith in Jesus Christ to be blessed and have all sins forgiven and not counted against him.

Ephesians 1:3: Believe in Christ and you will be blessed with every spiritual blessing

Titus 2:13:  If we say not to ungodliness and worldly passions and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives and wait on Jesus then we will be redeemed from all wickedness and purified.  [Please read the entire sentence and not just the middle as suggested by BSF–verses 12-14 for a deeper meaning].

James 1:12:  “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he had stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

1 Peter 3:9:  “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Revelation 1:3:  “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it.”  I would expand this to say blessed are those who live by God’s word and instill it in your heart for all time.

Conclusions:  Not sure why this passage is singled out as significant except for maybe question 13 which to me is intuitive.  Will continue to believe this lesson was too drawn out as exhibited by question 14, which had nothing to do with Jacob’s death.

James 1:12 is a great memory verse.  My goal for the week!

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 4: Genesis 49:22-27

Summary of passage:  Joseph is a fruitful vine that overflows.  Enemies attack but Joseph remains steady because of God who blesses him.  His blessings rest on him, the “prince among his brothers”.

Benjamin devours and plunders.

Questions:

10)  Joseph is a fruitful vine:  Joseph prospered in Potiphar’s house (Genesis 39:2). Joseph prospers in jail (Genesis 39:21).  God elevates Joseph to second in command in Egypt (Genesis 41:41).

Archers attack him:  His brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37).  Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses Joseph (Genesis 39:14).

He remains steady because God helps him:  He is falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife but God is with him (Genesis 39:21, 23).

11)  The Lord blesses his land with dew from heaven, the deep waters, and the sun and the moon, the choicest gifts of the mountains, the fruitfulness of the hills, the best gifts of earth and God’s favor.  He will gore the nations.

12)  God shields Benjamin all day and God loves him and can rest secure in Him.

Conclusions:  Will echo yesterday’s sentiments:  didn’t like this lesson either.  I’ll leave it at that.

End Notes:  The idea of verses 24-25 is that God’s hands are on Joseph’s hands, helping him to hold his bow steady and defeat his enemies.  Just as God’s hands are on our hands as well.  Even when we don’t know it.

The tribe of Benjamin was known for its fierceness (devours and plunders).  See Judges 19 & 20.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 3: Genesis 49:8-21

Summary of passage:  Judah’s brothers will praise him and bow down to him.  The scepter will not leave Judah’s hand until it comes to whom it belongs and obedience is his (reference to Jesus).  His (Jesus) robes will be washed in blood, his eyes darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.

Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships.  Issachar will submit to forced labor.  Dan will provide justice for his people.  Gad will be attacked but he will attack back.  Asher will have rich food.  Naphtali is free.

Questions:

5)  “Your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you.  You are a lion’s cub; you return from the prey…like a lioness who dares to rouse him?”

“The scepter will not depart form Judah nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”

6a)  The obedience of the nations is his.  His colt is the choicest branch.  His robes will be washed in blood.  His eyes will be darker than wine.  His teeth whiter than milk.

b)  Revelation 5:5 “The Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed.”

c)  Personal question that has nothing to do with this passage.  My answer:  He is my Lord and Savior.  I am unworthy.  He is ruler over all and in control of all things.

7)  Zebulun lay by the sea and the lake along the Jordan.  It settled between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea so Zebulun could see both seas.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Issachar was the third largest tribe (Numbers 26).  Hence, they were often targets for the enemy.  Eventually, they were put into servitude.

9)  Two possibilities:  Samson (Judges 13) or Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:26-33).  Some scholars believe the “serpent by the roadside” might even be referring to the Antichrist coming from the tribe of Dan (Daniel 11:37; Jeremiah 8:16).  Of course, we are not sure who Jacob is referring to here.

Conclusions:  Didn’t like this lesson.  Feel like Genesis 49 is being drawn out for filler purposes.

Most people would not know the answer to these questions unless they used a commentary (which is what I did).  This is what irks me about BSF.  They ask these questions that only someone intimately familiar with the Bible (which is not me) would know and then they tell us not to use outside sources.  Ridiculous.  And borderline hypocritical to me.  Don’t ask if 95 % of us will miss it.  It only creates doubts about the level of our faith and whether or not we should know this.  It does nothing for our understanding of the Bible UNLESS we do use outside sources.

Map of 12 Tribes Showing Zebulun’s Location:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:12_Tribes_of_Israel_Map.svg

End Note:  “He will tether his donkey to a vine” emphasizes the richness of Judah’s land as well.  They were wine growers.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 2: Genesis 49:1-7

Summary of passage:  Jacob calls his sons together to bless them and tell them their future before he dies.  He tells Reuben he will no longer excel because of his defilement of his father’s bed.  Simeon and Levi will be scattered in Israel.  They will no longer be leaders as punishment for the slaughter at Shechem.

Questions:

3a)  “You are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.”  “You will no longer excel.”

b)  Matthew says if your eyes are bad then your whole body is full of darkness–basically saying one bad deed or body part corrupts the whole body.  James says if you doubt the Lord when you ask then you will not receive.  Because of Reuben’s one act, he has corrupted himself and therefore his inheritance.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s the old saying:  it takes 1000 praises to make up for one bad comment.  Same here.  It only takes one sin to completely change your life or corrupt yourself.  Some are extreme like drunk driving and killing people.  Some are not so extreme but life altering like teen pregnancy.

Some sins like greed or stealing may not seem so big but are in God’s eyes.  I’m sure Reuben didn’t think sleeping with his father concubine, Bilpah, was a big deal.  The Bible only devotes one verse to it (Genesis 35:22).  But that one verse was enough.  We cannot hide from God our sins no matter how small we might believe them to be.

We must constantly strive to be like Jesus or the devil will win.  I must have control over my heart and mind and fill it with God and the Truth; otherwise, evil will invade and cause irreparable damage around me.  We must guard against the world and focus on our home–heaven.  All it takes is one act.

4a)  “I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.”

b)  Slaughtering Shechem

c)  The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord and to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name.  They have no inheritance because the Lord is their inheritance.  [So Deuteronomy reveals the why. Their inheritance they have lost has been replaced by God Himself.  So God had a plan for Levi.]

The Levites are the priests who watch over God’s word and guards the covenant and who teaches the law to the Israelites.

Exodus 32:26-29 gives us another reason why God elevated the Levites:  They were faithful during the golden calf debacle.  Hence, they became a blessing and received the Lord as their inheritance (Joshua 13:33).

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The comfort I receive is Romans 8:28–that all things work together for my good.  God takes the sin and uses it to help others.

Conclusions:  Another nice, short lesson.  I used quotes for some of the answers.  I liked the emphasis on consequences for our sins.  Nowadays, there are no consequences for our kids it seems.  Parents bail them out every time they are in trouble.  Kids don’t move out of their parents’ house until their late 20’s or even 30’s.  Excuses abound for unruly behavior.

Yet the example of the Levites is encouraging.  No matter what you did in the past, there is hope.  God in His grace saves, forgives, and elevates us despite our downfalls.

I need this encouragement.  It’s good to know hope exists when at times it seems to not be so.

God sees all.  Our good and our bad.  My prayer is that there is more good than bad in my life for Him to see.

Fun Fact:  This is the first prophecy in the Bible pronounced by a man.  The first real prophecy that is clear.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 29, Day 5: Genesis 47:28-48:22

Summary of passage:  Israel requested to be buried in the Promised Land.  When Jacob was old, Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, went to visit him.  Jacob repeated God’s promise to him and he reckons Joseph’s two sons as his to share in this blessing and inheritance.  Jacob blesses the two boys, giving the firstborn blessings to the younger.

Joseph was displeased that Jacob blessed the younger son over the older son but Jacob insisted, saying he will be greater than his brother.  Thus Ephraim was put ahead of Manasseh.

Jacob says God will take him soon back to the Promised Land and he gives Joseph the land he took from the Amorites.

Questions:

10a)  Joseph obtained the rights of the firstborn when Reuben defiled his father’s marriage bed.  Then Jacob substitutes Joseph for his two sons, thus giving Joseph double the inheritance.

b)  Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Reuben

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To be honest, none stand out.

12)  God

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Verse 19 where Jacob clearly says the younger will be greater than the older. Talk about setting up sibling rivalry.

14)  He asks to be buried in the Promised Land (47:30).  He repeats God’s covenant (48:4).  He says Joseph’s two sons will inherit the territory from God (48:6).  He tells Joseph that God will take him back to the Promised Land ( 48:21) and gives him some land he conquered there (48:22).

Conclusions:  Didn’t get much out of this besides the fact Jacob finally believed God, which we found out a while back.  Great example of how life isn’t fair and just because you are born first doesn’t mean you are automatically granted privileges.  You have to earn it and all the aforementioned first-borns forfeited theirs.

Thus, we can think of the firstborn more as the first position and not necessarily birth order as we’ve seen throughout Genesis.

With this adoption, there are actually 13 tribes/sons of Israel as Joseph’s inheritance is now divided into two.

I wish the Bible said why Jacob gave Joseph’s two sons the inheritance when he did this for no other.  I’m assuming because Joseph is his favorite and as the favorite you are accorded special privileges.  Not saying this is right but this is the way of the world.

We know that the right hand is the favored position as exhibited the best by Jesus sitting at the right hand of God.

The story of Joseph is a great parallel to Jesus’s and I wish BSF would have spent more time drawing that comparison out in the questions.

End Notes:  Luz is another name for Bethel.

Fun Search:  Do research on the number 12 in the Bible.  12 is special to God as seen with 12 sons and 12 disciples, etc.

Fun Fact:  This is the first mention in the Bible of God as a shepherd to His people (Genesis 48:15).