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”.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 19:15-38

Summary of passage:  The angels are urging Lot to hurry to leave Sodom with his family before it’s too late.  Lot hesitated so the angels had to pull Lot and his family out of the city since the Lord was merciful.  The angels warned them to flee to the mountains and not to look back or they would be swept away.

Lot pleads to flee to the small town of Zoar at least instead of the mountains and this request is granted.  The Lord rained down sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot’s wife disobeyed God and looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.  The next morning Abraham saw smoke but God remembered Abraham and saved Lot because of him.

Lot and his daughters left Zoar out of fear and settled in the mountains after all.  They lived in a cave.  The older daughter convinced her sister to get Lot drunk and sleep with him so that they could conceive since there was no other man around.  They did so unbeknownst to Lot and both became pregnant.

They boar two sons named Moab and Ben-Ammi, who became the father of the Moabites and the Ammonites respectively.  These cities fought with Israel for centuries.

Questions:

13)  Everything.  The wife died.  They didn’t take any of their wealth or livestock with them–only the clothes on their backs it seems.  They lost their moral compass with the incest.  Tragic.

14a)  He rescued Lot. He had the angels pull Lot out of the city and then God agreed to let them move to Zoar.

b)  What Lot built up did not survive the fire test.  Nothing he built survived.  He suffered loss and Lot will be saved but only as one escaping through the flames.  In other words, Lot has no works to show for his faith.  Lot has done nothing worthy with his life. (Please read from 1 Corinthians 3:10 to understand the passage.  We also discussed this passage last year.  Click HERE to review especially question 8b).

15)  Moab and Ammon.  While the Israelites are wandering the desert, God instruct Moses to not harass the Moabites because He has given them Ar and to not harass the Ammonites for God has given them land.  However, the Moabites and the Ammonites did not help the Israelites when they were passing through their land out of Egypt and instead pronounced a curse upon the Israelites.  As a result, God banned them from entering the assembly of the Lord and forbade the Israelites to be friends or allies with them.  God also turned the curse into a blessing.

Jesus was descended from Ruth who was a Moabite.

Conclusions:  Interesting to me how sin leads to curses and blessings.  How the Moabites and the Ammonites were sworn enemies to the Israelites for most of history; yet, God chose Ruth to be in the line of Jesus.  God can turn the hearts of individuals despite the sin of their ancestors.  Man can overcome his inherit sin and his circumstances and culture and environment to do God’s will.  Encouragement for us all that indeed good can come out of evil.

Interesting how God blessed the Moabites and the Ammonites with land even though they are sinful and ungrateful and treat their relatives, the Israelites, horrible.  God blesses them but then He punishes them when they don’t turn from their ways (Zephaniah 2:8-11).  God will turn their land into a wasteland and take back His blessings (the land) and give it to the Israelites.

Interesting Thought:  Some scholars believe Sodom and Gomorrah lie at the bottom of the Red Sea.  However, the Red Sea has receded in modern times and archaeologists are not convinced of this.  Some even claim to have found Lot’s cave, Zoar, Sodom, and Gomorrah on dry ground.  Google if interested to find this research.

Map Work:

Good maps of Sodom, Gomorrah, and Zoar were hard to find.  This is the clearest I could find:

http://www.wyattnewsletters.com/sodom/PICS/sodom.gif

Another one:  http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/sodom-and-gomorrah.html#Map%20of%20Possible%20Locations

This one shows where the Moabites and Ammonites were eventually located in addition to Sodom, Gomorrah, and Zoar.  This site also goes over the passage.  You have to scroll a bit to see this one:

http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/sodom-and-gomorrah.html

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 16, Day 4: Genesis 19:1-14

Summary of passage:  The angels of the Lord who had been with Abraham now arrived at Sodom and Lot was sitting at the gateway at the time (an indication he was now one of the leaders of Sodom).  Lot recognized them as angels and bowed to them.  He acted as Abraham did, inviting them to his house to wash their feet and spend the night.

At first, the angels refused but Lot insisted so they obliged.  Lot fed them.  At nighttime, all the men of Sodom came to Lot’s house and demanded that he hand over his guests so they could have sex with them.  Lot went out and offered his daughters instead, refusing to hand over the angels who were his guests.

They pushed him aside and told him he would be treated worse than the angels.  The men tried to break in but the angels pulled Lot inside and blinded the men so they could not find the door.

Then the angels tell Lot to get his family for they are going to destroy Sodom because the outcry against the city is so strong.  Lot ran to his son-in-laws and told them what was happening but they didn’t believe him.  They laughed in his face.

Questions:

11a)  Lot tried to reason with the men to not take the angels to sodomize them (verses 6-8) but the men pushed him aside, called him an alien, and threatened Lot as well (verse 9).  In verse 14 Lot’s son-in-laws laugh at Lot when he tells them the city is about to be destroyed and refuse to come.

These verses don’t show Lot’s influence on his wife but verse 26 describes how Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt because she didn’t want to leave Sodom.

b)  I would have thought when Lot got kidnapped by the four kings and he lost all his possessions and Abraham had to rescue him would have been a big clue to leave Sodom (Genesis 14:12-16).  But I think because Lot regained all that was taken due to God’s goodness Lot didn’t take the warning seriously.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God often warns us and tries to re-direct our path when we are not following His will but our own.  He does this in many ways that often aren’t as dramatic as a kidnapping such as losing a job, a car accident, a death or illness in the family, or any other hiccup in your path that you know deep down inside is God.

The lesson is to heed these warnings and not to ignore them before it is too late and something irrevocable happens.

12)  He could have moved his family at any time away from the filth of Sodom to a more Godly environment.  Lot was rich enough he could have taken his flocks elsewhere and not suffered financially.  Instead, he was blinded by Sodom’s temptations and chose to stay.  He ignored God’s warnings and in the end paid the ultimate price:  degradation and loss of his family.

Conclusions:  God will keep trying to get our attention to move us to His path instead of ours.  If He has to take out our family in order to do it (like He did with Lot’s wife), He will.  Luckily, I think this is on the extreme side of God’s will for us.  But it happens.  We must remember God is in control and when we try to take control back from Him, we are in danger of being grasped by the devil and pulled under.

The key to understanding Lot is this:  he compromised his beliefs.  Yes, he was a believer. And he is in heaven today.  But he wanted to live in the world and enjoy life’s pleasures. So he allowed his family to be around evil-doers who unduly influenced them.  As Paul says, we must be careful our actions do not become a stumbling block for others who are weaker in the faith (1 Corinthians 8:9-13).  Children are undoubtedly weaker.

Lot was in such a bad situation that he felt he had to offer up his daughters to be raped to protect his guests (unjustifiable in any case but we see just how bad Sodom is).  He definitely wasn’t acting in his kids’ best interest when he moved to Sodom.

Lot was selfish.  He wanted pleasure now.  He wanted treasure on earth rather than in heaven.  As a result, he hurt (and eventually lost) those around him.

The same is for us.  We must heed God’s word and not compromise God’s truths.  For the sake of others around us if not for ourselves.  Otherwise, our life could mirror Lot’s.  Not exactly a role model I admire or want to emulate to say the least.

Life is not about us.  It’s about Him.  We would do well to remember that.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 9, Day 4: Genesis 11:1-9 & Acts 2

Summary of passages:  Genesis 11:1-9:  A bit after the world had been repopulated some people moved eastward and settled on the plain of Shinar (Babylonia).  They used bricks and tar to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

The Lord saw what the men were doing.  He confused their language as punishment to prevent more un-Godly actions.  God scattered them over the earth.  Babel sounds like the Hebrew word for confused; hence the name “Tower of Babel.”

Acts 2:

On the day of Pentecost the 120 were all in one place (presumably praying still and waiting for the gift).  A sound like a blowing violent wind came from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting.  They saw tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A lot of people in Jerusalem heard this sound and came together to see what was happening.  They were bewildered because each was speaking in his own language.  They asked, “Aren’t these all Galileans?  How is it we hear them in our own language?  What does this mean?”

Some made fun of them and said they were drunk.

Peter stood up the with the Eleven Apostles and told the confused crowd: we (the 120 and them) are not drunk.  Listen to Joel’s words:  God will pour out His Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, the young men will see visions, old men will dream, the servants will prophesy and have the Spirit as well.  Wonders will appear in the heaven and signs will appear on earth such as blood, fire, and smoke.  The sun will be dark and the moon to blood before the day of the Lord when everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.

Peter is still speaking to the crowd that has gathered on the day of Pentecost.  “Jesus who performed miracles was handed over to you for God’s pre-ordained purpose.  You killed him by nailing him to a cross.  But God has raised him from the dead.  David himself prophesied Jesus’ resurrection when he said he saw the ‘Holy One’ at the Lord’s right hand and raised him from the dead.”

It’s as if Peter is shouting, “Even though you idiots killed Jesus He is alive!”

Peter says that Jesus now sits at the right hand of God and pours out what we now see and hear.  He has received the promised Holy Spirit.  David did not ascend to heaven (for a detailed explanation of this see my previous post here.  David is in heaven now but not at the time of his death).  God has made Jesus Lord and Christ.

The people asked what should they do and Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus to be forgiven of your sins and receive the Holy Spirit.  Everyone of you can receive such a gift.  3000 chose to be baptized that day.

These people were considered the first church.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of the bread, and prayer.  They gave to everyone as needed.  They continued to meet and eat together and praise God.  The Lord grew their numbers daily.

Questions:

7a)  He confused their language.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Just like in Biblical times, God is in control of everything.  He’ll put a leader in power He wants to accomplish His goals.  He gives, He takes, He rescues, He allows Free Will.  Nothing happens without God.

8 )  That person doesn’t approach others in a loving manner.  Anger may rule over conciliation.  Right won’t win out over wrong like in government.

9a)  Speaking different languages can divide or bring together people.  Speaking in a different language but with the heart for God can convert others.  In Shinar, it divided.  In Acts, it converted and brought together.

As long as the heart is in the right place, the words you speak should not matter–especially if God and the Holy Spirit are behind them.  Others will understand.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The heart is what matters, not the words.  If you love others, your actions should speak louder.

Conclusions:  As someone who’s lived in many foreign countries that speak different languages, I know the difficulty it can be to communicate and get what you need to survive.  Yet most often when I encountered a native who realized I couldn’t express myself, I was met with nothing but helpful intentions.

I often hear the phrase “language is a barrier”.  But it’s not.  Because love is stronger.

Throughout history with all the conquerings and movement of people, you will notice an overarching theme:  integration and assimilation.  The native language mixed with the new language.  It changed.  Just look at English.  Over half of our words are Latin origin. Another 1/3 have Greek roots.  The rest is Old English, which is a mix of Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, and the mixture of Celtic, Welsh, and Scottish languages.

Even today, look at the number of foreign words we have adopted from French to Spanish to Italian to Russian.  You’ll find it in Webster’s Dictionary.

Man adapts.

Language can be a divider.  When God wants it to be like in the Tower of Babel.  Or when man chooses to let it be.

But with the right heart and Spirit, it’s a uniter.  Love conquers all.  As does God’s will.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 8, Day 3: Genesis 9:1-7

Summary of passage:  God blessed Noah and his sons and told them to be fruitful and fill the earth. All animals will fear and dread you and God placed them in man’s hands. God gave everything that lives and moves now as food for man as well as the plants.

Man must not eat meat that has lifeblood still in it.  God will demand an accounting from every animal and from every man and accounting for the life of his fellow man.  “Whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed for in the image of God has God made man.”

Questions:

5)  God told both Noah and Adam to be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.  God allowed Noah to eat the animals and not Adam.  God told Noah not to eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it (same for Adam).  God blessed both of them.  God told both Noah and Adam to rule over the earth and its inhabitants but for Noah he made the animals afraid of man.  God told Noah He will hold man accountable for every animal and for the life of his fellow man.  This was unnecessary in Eden since man was sinless at the time.

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Because the life of every creature is in its blood and it was the blood of animals that gave man atonement for their sins before Jesus came.  Thus it was sacred, reserved for this very important purpose in man’s life.

7a)  “Whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed (death); for in the image of God has God made man.”  Basically, murderers attack the image of God and must therefore give an accounting.

b)  No.  God knows man’s heart and how evil his tendencies are.  It’s like an eye for an eye.  It seems to me to be God’s reckoning.  God knows some people can become so evil that they need to be punished so they can’t hurt others.  That’s why all throughout the Old and New Testament God lays down laws for the death penalty (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).  Murderers pollute God’s earth.

Numbers 35:33:  “Do not pollute the land where you are.  Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.  Do not defile the land…”

Murder is against the law and it is government’s job (granted by God) to institute judgment and penalty (Romans 13:1-5).

Conclusions:  Here we see God’s laws again in action.  First, He forbade man from eating from the tree of knowledge.  Now, He forbids man from eating meat with lifeblood.  I find it interesting how the forbidding list just gets longer and longer.  In Eden, it was only one:  no fruit from that tree.  After Noah, the list just grows and grows.

It’s like the laws of countries (and most noticeably in the United States lately).  There are so many laws enacted cause of one stupid person that no one can even count.  Sin just seems to never stop and keeps growing.

I did like the capital punishment study.  I’ve never looked at it in the Bible.  Good to know when talking to people about it.  I like the idea of how it’s attacking God’s image. Never thought of it like that.  Attacking God’s creation.  In a way, attacking God himself, especially if the Holy Spirit is indwelt.

I also like the image of how spilt blood pollutes and defiles the land.  For all the talk of “pollution” in this world, you never hear it referenced in terms of the pollution murder does.  Another emphasis on how all life is sacred and only God has the right to take it.  How sacred and precious is ALL His creations including the land we walk upon.

BSF Study Questions Lesson 8, Day 2: Genesis 8:20-22

Summary of passage:  Noah built an altar after he left the ark and sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord. The Lord said he would never again curse the ground because of man even though his heart is evil from childhood and destroy living creatures.

Questions:

3a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It was the first thing Noah did after more than a year aboard the Ark.  He gave God thanks through worship for all God’s goodness to him.  He also sacrificed animals (a BIG deal since there weren’t really any to spare).  This one act brought about God’s resolve to never destroy the earth again–because there is goodness in man despite the evil inclinations of the heart.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Great question because I really don’t have a daily time of worship with my family.  It’s something we’ve fallen out of and it ends up being usually on Sundays only.  Something to work on and pray about!

c)  It’s hard to say since details on sacrifices to God from Adam to Noah are not recorded.  We know Abel killed animals for God and these were accepted.  I believe burnt (animal) offerings were around since Abel’s time and that Noah had probably done them before.  In this case after the Ark, however, I believe God did not order Noah to sacrifice to him and He was pleasantly surprised by Noah’s act of sacrifice–hence, God’s determination to never destroy man or the earth again.

Since Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9) I believe he knew how to please and praise our Lord.  Hence, I believe Noah offered this sacrifice to God of his own free will, knowing the cleansing power of blood over sin.

4a)  Psalm 27:6:  Sacrifice with shouts of joy; sing and make music to the Lord

Psalm 51:17:  A broken spirit, a broken and contrite (penitent) heart–come with a penitent heart, truly sorry for sins

Romans 12:1:  Your bodies

Ephesians 5:2:  Live a life of love like Jesus

Philippians 4:18:  Gifts to others in this case Paul is speaking of monetary aid

Hebrews 13:15-17:  Praise to God, do good and share with others; obey your leaders

1 Peter 2:5:  Spiritual sacrifices (ourselves) to God

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  All in a sense because 1) I need to work on all and 2) because they all cost me something like God sacrificed Jesus at such a high cost.

Conclusions:  Great lesson on how we can and should sacrifice to God and how we are even if we don’t recognize it as such.  My take-away was the daily time as a family with God.  I do my lesson alone in the wee hours of the morning.  I need to model this for my kids so they see what I do.  I do help them with their lesson but we do it Sunday night.

We had a daily time with God during homeschool but we have gotten away from that due to the busyness of our lives.  Been convicted of that one.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 7, Day 5: Genesis 8:1-19

Summary of passage:  God sends a wind to recede the waters and at the end of 150 days the ark came to a rest in the mountains of Ararat.  The waters still hadn’t finished receding.  In 73 more days the tops of the mountains became visible.  40 more days Noah opened a window and sent a raven to seek dry land.  Then he sent a dove still with no luck.

He waited 7 more days and sent the dove out again.  The dove returned with an olive leaf.  Then Noah knew the water had receded.  After waiting one more week he sent the dove out and it did not return.

Finally, when Noah was 601 years old, the earth had dried up.  God told Noah to come out and bring every living creature so they can multiply.  Noah obeyed and all exited.

Questions:

11)  God turned His attention back to Noah.  God never forgets as this implies.  During the flooded earth God was probably active in other areas and then turned back to mankind when the time was right.

12a)  Around one year or perhaps a bit more.  We are told Noah was 600 years old when the flood waters came (Genesis 7:6) and he’s 601 when the waters dry up.  Doing the math, we are close to a year but the Bible skips some specific days (like the raven and the dove flying around).

b)  God told them to come out.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure.  It’s been a challenging week of little things that I hope I do God’s way.  That’s the prayer and desire of my heart at least.

Conclusions:  Not sure how question 13 has to do with Noah floating around in the ark.  It’s just thrown in there.

I like how it wasn’t the dove that many of us think of as the sign it was okay to leave the ark.  It was God telling Noah (going back to yesterday’s lesson of how God helped Noah) it was okay to leave and bring the animals with him several weeks after the dove brought the olive branch back.  Again, God is in control; He cares for us and Noah; He will never lead us astray.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 7, Day 4: Genesis 6:7-7:24 with Matthew 24:36-42 & Luke 17:26-27

Summary of passages:  Genesis 6:7-7:24:  God said He will wipe mankind and everything He has created from the face of the earth for He is grieved He made them.  Except for Noah and his family.  He tells Noah He is going to destroy the world and he needs to build an ark.  God enters a covenant with Noah.  He tells Noah he will need to bring in two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive and every kind of food for him and for the animals.

Noah did everything God commanded.

Genesis 7:  God tells Noah to enter the ark with the animals for in seven days He will send rain for 40 days and nights.  Noah obeys.  Noah was 600 years old when the flood happened.  All the animals came to him.  Then the Lord shut them in and the waters came.  Everything perished.  After the rain stopped, the earth remained flooded for 150 days.

Matthew 24:36-42:  Jesus says to keep watch because even he (only the Father) knows when the Second Coming will be.  Jesus compares his Second Coming to the days before the flood where everyone was living their life like they always had and no one suspected they were about to die.  Jesus says only half will be saved for every two men and women only one each will be left.

Luke 17:26-27:  Same speech but recorded by Luke.  Jesus says here the days of the Son of Man will be just like in the days of Noah.  People were going about their daily lives up until Noah entered the ark.  Then the flood destroyed them all.

Questions:

9a)  He spared Noah and his family from His judgment of the world.  He spoke directly to Noah and told him what He was going to do.  He gave him detailed instructions about what to do and what will happen.  He reminded Noah to bring food. He gave Noah a week’s warning before He sent the flood.  The Lord shut them in the ark.  Only Noah was left and God cared for him, giving him everything he needed in order to survive.

b)  God told Noah the exact size to make the ark to fit everything.  God brought the animals to Noah.  Noah didn’t have to track them all down.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God has always kept me safe when I’ve done stupid stunts and provided for my every need.  I’ve never been homeless or hungry.  I’m always had food, clothing, and shelter.  He has forgiven me for all my sins, even the ones I repeatedly make.  He has given me a purpose to do for Him.  In every aspect of my life, God is there whether I acknowledge Him or not or what Him there or not.  Deep down I know this.  And so does He.

10a)  Genesis tells us the people  were evil and every inclination of their hearts were evil; they were corrupt and violent.  Matthew and Luke tells us the people were eating, drinking, and marrying up until the day the flood happened and they knew nothing about their impending death.

It’s hard to interpret Matthew and Luke with so little detail given.  I see this as people living their daily lives up until the flood and I see this as Jesus’ point:  you must be ready for no one knows when I will come.  You must lead godly lives for any day I could show up and judge you.  You could read this as “partying” but that’s pure speculation.

Genesis however leaves no doubt the people were evil; hence, God’s judgment.

Fascinating.  In all the movies you see all the people mocking Noah for building an ark and laughing at him.  No where is this recorded in scripture (that I can find at least).  I would say the people were so evil in Genesis that they probably didn’t care what some guy named Noah was doing.  They were too busy doing the devil’s work.

b)  Prayer and God.

c)  That he could come at any time so you must be ready.

d)  Just that scoffers will come who follow their own evil desires to cast doubt on the End Times.  All it takes is one word from God and it is done.

I see nothing special here.  This applied in Peter’s time (1st century AD) as it does in the 21st century AD.  There will always be scoffers, doubters, people of the devil.

Conclusions:  God’s message is timeless and it doesn’t change despite the days that have passed since Jesus:  Jesus is coming so be ready.  There are evil people who won’t make the cut.  Do not be lured in by the ways of the world.  God’s grace is sufficient.  He provides all our needs.  We require nor lack anything if we have Him.  Hold onto that truth and reject the lies of the world.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 7, Day 3: Genesis 6:7-7:24 with Hebrews 11:7

Summary of passages:  Genesis 6:7-7:24:  God said He will wipe mankind and everything He has created from the face of the earth for He is grieved He made them.  Except for Noah and his family.  He tells Noah He is going to destroy the world and he needs to build an ark.  God enters a covenant with Noah.  He tells Noah he will need to bring in two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive and every kind of food for him and for the animals.

Noah did everything God commanded.

Genesis 7:  God tells Noah to enter the ark with the animals for in seven days He will send rain for 40 days and nights.  Noah obeys.  Noah was 600 years old when the flood happened.  All the animals came to him.  Then the Lord shut them in and the waters came.  Everything perished.  After the rain stopped, the earth remained flooded for 150 days.

Hebrews 11:7:  By faith Noah obeyed God and built the ark, becoming heir of the righteous.

Questions:

6a)  Noah was righteous, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Personally, I’ve never found this very hard.  I don’t really care what others think of me and I do my own thing.  I don’t keep up with the Jones’ (nor do I read about them).  Don’t be of this world but of God’s world.  Put God as your center and He will do the rest.

7)  God told Noah he was going to end all people and destroy the world.  He told Noah to make an ark to exact specifications.  He told Noah how He was going to destroy the world (through a flood).  But He promised to establish His covenant with him and He will save him and his family along with two of every living creature.  He instructed Noah to bring along food for both him and the animals.

8a)  The Bible says all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered (7:19). Every living thing on the earth perished, which would have to be a worldwide flood.  An ark would be unnecessary if Noah could have merely traveled to a different location.

b)  If you read ancient myths from every culture, almost every culture has a flood myth (from the Ancient Egyptians to the Babylonians to the Native Americans).  Before writing, myths were passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation so somewhere this flood happened.

Since the beginning of written records there have been writings by the ancients of an ark (or an ancient ship) found.  Various people have claimed to have found and/or seen the ark on the mount of Ararat and elsewhere.

Many people believe fossils are a result of the flood.  Did you know there is actually a branch of geology called flood geology?  These people write books and spend their time researching and searching the earth for evidence of a massive flood.  Fascinating.  There is definitely evidence in the fossil record of a flood.

c)  I don’t see any phrases that support upheavals of the earth’s crust or tsunamis (notice the word probably in the question).  All I see is the rain and how for 40 days it kept coming down and the mountains were covered.  In my mind, that’s all that happened.  Water covered everything.  The ark floated.  I see no mention of earthquakes which cause tsunamis anywhere.

Conclusions:  Baffled by the last question, its significance, and what it has to do with the flood.  God created the land as He wanted it.  I see no reason He would change its landscape.  He just wanted to rid the world of the inhabitants.

Not sure why Hebrews was stuck in here either.  The questions did not refer to it (except maybe how Noah was faithful in building the ark) but Genesis tells us that.  If you obey God, you have faith.

I have to admit I have read most of these ancient flood myths to my kids when we study these cultures and they are all strikingly similar to the account of the flood in Genesis.  In my mind, that’s the strongest evidence of all since these stories are the heart of how ancient people preserved their history and explained the world around them.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 7, Day 2: Genesis 6:1-12 with 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:4-9; 3:1-10 & Jude 5-7

Summary of passages:  Genesis 6:1-12:  The sons of God married any daughters they chose.  The Lord said His Spirit will not contend with (be with) man forever for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.  The Nephilim were the heroes of old, men of renown and were on earth during this time when the sons of God were as well.

God saw how men’s hearts had become only evil and He was filled with pain.  God said he would wipe mankind from the face of the earth for He is grieved (regretted) He created them.  Except for Noah who was a righteous man and walked with God.  Noah had 3 sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

The earth was corrupt and the people were violent.

1 Peter 3:20:  God only saved 8 people in the ark.  He waited patiently while the ark was being built for others to repent but none did.

2 Peter 2:4-9:  God punished the wicked:  He sent angels to hell when they sinned.  He brought the flood but saved Noah.  He burned Sodom and Gomorrah but rescued Lot, a righteous man.  The Lord rescues godly men but condemned the unrighteous.

2 Peter 3:1-10:  The writer is imploring the people to wholesome thinking.  In the last days, scoffers will come, skeptical and evil, questioning God, forgetting the creation.  The world was destroyed in the flood and the day of judgment will come when the world will be destroyed by fire.

The Lord’s time is not our time; He is patient, giving everyone a chance to repent.  But the Day of Judgment will come and everything will be destroyed.

Jude 5-7:  The Lord delivered His people out of Egypt but later destroyed those who didn’t believe.  He bound angels who did not keep their positions of authority.  Sodom and Gomorrah were burned as punishment for sin.

Questions:

3)  There are two main ideas about who the sons of God and the daughters of men were.  Some say the sons of God were from the line of Seth and the daughters of men were from the line of Cain, which would represent a mixing of godly with ungodly which the Bible later does not permit (Deuteronomy 7:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 6:14).

The more popular theory is the sons of God are fallen angels or demons or demon-possessed men and the daughters of men are human women.  This is supported by other passages in the Old Testament that refer to the sons of God as angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7).

Jude seems to support this claim as well, saying the angels in a similar way committed sexual immorality and thus God kept them in darkness and bounded them in chains.

1 Peter 18-20 tells us Jesus went and preached to these spirits in prison.

Scholars refute this angel idea with Matthew 22:30 where Jesus says angels do not marry.  However, he is speaking of obeying angels not disobeying/Fallen angels.

The idea is Satan tried to thwart God’s plan for the Messiah by polluting the Seed of the woman where the Savior will come from (Genesis 3:15).  This could be a reason for the flood.  Man was so corrupt and polluted God had to start over with Noah.

4a)  Morals are the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.

How great man’s wickedness had become and how every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil.

b)  Well, if you believe the sons of God are demons and they mixed with humans than the flood succeeds in purifying the human race again.  God started over with Noah, ridding the world of all the violence and beginning anew.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God will punish evil and evil-doers but He will show grace to the righteous.

5a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin.  Every sin I commit causes God grief and pain.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Speculation since God hasn’t spoken to me directly but I believe I have found favor by seeking Him, repenting from sin, asking for forgiveness, striving to be more like Jesus every day, learning from my mistakes, reading God’s word, doing His call on my life, praying, putting Him center, following His commandments, etc.

Conclusions:  The Nephilim were believed to be the offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men.  Of course, this is debated as well, depending upon which theory you believe the sons of God to be.  So they are either the offspring of Seth or of angels.  You can read a good explanation of both theories HERE

If you did the study of Isaiah, you will remember me saying how the whole book was how bad and evil man was and how God was going to judge all.  And it was depressing due to man’s sin.

Here, we see God again (as we see Him often in the Old Testament) judging the evils of man and exercising punishment.  But we also see God’s goodness in preserving a remnant with Noah.  Preserving the righteous.  In rewarding those who do good.

God could have wiped us all out and been done with man.  Fed up with us and given up. Ended His grief and pain over His creation.  But He didn’t.

God is always good even when He is exercising justice in this world.

All sin grieves God.  I saw no need to be specific in 5a.  We all know what we do to cause God grief as He knows.  The key is recognizing it, repenting, asking for forgiveness, accepting His forgiveness, and making changes in your life to do better.  That’s all Fallen Man can do.

Remember when we fall, God will pick us up.  Again and again and again.