God foretold the events of the exile even though God’s people are stubborn so they could not say they were not warned.
God will tell His people of new things, but they will not understand nor hear them. God will delay His warth and not destroy His people. He will refine them for His sake and glory.
God is the first and the last. He teaches His people which way to go and what is best for them. If only they had paid attention, they would not have suffered.
Leave Babylon and be redeemed. There is no peace for the wicked.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 5: Isaiah 48
12a) Verses 4-8
b) Verses 8-11. God knows His people neither hears nor understands Him, yet he delays His wrath and does not destroy His people. Instead, He refines them for his sake.
13a) God teaches His people which way to go and what is best for them. If only they had paid attention, they would not have suffered.
b) Peace and well-being. Prosperity and posterity.
14) Every day of my life. From all the places we have moved over the years to the present moment. At times, I cannot understand, but you just trust. Currently, I would like to move again. But I am abiding here until God says to move. I’m trying to embrace “Bloom where you are planted,” and some days are easier than others. Still, I trust God knows what is best for me and where we shall go.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 5: Isaiah 48
Much easier day! You made it. What a chapter of hope! Despite God’s chastizing, He never quits loving us. Verse 17 is a good one to hold onto in the midst of your troubles.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 5: Isaiah 48
God chastizes Judah, yet shows them mercy. Judah is without excuse since God announced what would happen many times ahead of time. Yet, the people still sinned and rebelled.
God shows mercy for His name’s sake, to glorify Himself, and to further His eternal purpose.
God loves His people and wants what is best for them. He frees them from captivity to praise His name.
We see “There is no peace for the wicked” again in Isaiah 57:21
We’ve seen God promise to deliver His people from captivity and from Cyrus out of His love for His people.
Coming up, Isaiah will focus on the Messiah, the ulitmate deliverer of God’s people.
God tells His people that He is the Maker of all things and the one in control. Jerusalem shall be inhabited and rebuilt. Cyrus is his instrument of justice.
God will go before Cyrus and give him victory so that he will know that God is Lord. God gave him his title for the sake of Jacob and Israel (His people). God will strengthen Cyrus so that all may know that He is God.
Righteousness will flourish, and woe to those who quarrel with Him. God is not to be questioned. He made the earth and the heavens. He will free his people from Cyrus.
Everyone will acknowledge that God is with Cyrus. The makers of idols will be shamed. Isreal will be saved for the ages.
God declares what is right. There is no other god. Turn to Him and be saved. He has sworn by himself. Every knee will bow and every tongue will swear. Everyone will boast in Him.
Idols cannot rescue themselves and are carried around by others, not with their own power.
God will sustain His people. Carry them. Rescue them. God is incomparable. There is no other God. God will bring about His plan.
God will take vengenance on Babylon for their sins. They showed no mercy on His people. They loved pleasure. They were prideful. They engaged in sorcery and spells. They did not trust God; they trusted in themselves.
God promises disaster and calamity will fall on them. Their magic spells, sorceries, and astrologers cannot help them. They cannot save them. There is no one to save them.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 4: Isaiah 44:24-47:15
9a) Cyrus is the king of the Persians who would conquer the Babylonians. God appointed him to be His instrument of justice on Judah, to carry them away to exile in Babylon. God grants him victory so that all may know that He is the Lord and that God is the one behind Cyrus’s power. He also shows some mercy to the Israelites and frees them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild God’s temple.
b) First, it reveals that God is the only God and is omniscient. Second, it reveals that God’s people will flourish. God has a plan. His people will be saved for all of eternity by His son, Jesus Christ.
c) It gives me hope. Gives me a purpose. Allows me to be more God-like in my every day interactions with others.
10a) Babylon showed no mercy to God’s people. They loved pleasure. They were prideful. They engaged in sorcery and spells. They did not trust God; they trusted in themselves.
b) It’s the same reason that knowing that God will punish those who do evil to us. When something bad happens to you, you want justice. There is something inside all of us that demands justice. Justice is God’s and Jesus’ responsibility. So, when we know that God will handle evil, we are comforted knowing they will pay with consequences for the evil they have caused others.
11) The same as 10b. It’s comforting to know that God has it all. I don’t have to worry about what others do and how they will pay. God knows.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 4: Isaiah 44:24-47:15
Another LONG passage, but this one is not as difficult as yesterday’s, so hang in there! The gist: God uses Babylon to show the world that He is in charge; God will then bring justice on Babylon for their treatment of His people. There is no one that can save you EXCEPT God.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 4: Isaiah 44:24-47:15
God, Judah and Israel’s redeemer, prophesizes a future deliverer of Israel, Cyrus, whom He will use to bring consequences to His people for their disobedience.
God calls Cyrus (200 years before the exile will take place) to subdue nations, including Israel. He would allow Cyrus to win, knowing God was behind him. He wanted Cyrus to be king to His people, granting His people the right to return to the Promised Land after the exile.
God is in control, and it’s foolish to resist the Creator of the universe. God will deliver His people, saving them. Idolaters will submit before Him. They are foolish, and He is great.
Look to God and be saved. This verse saved Charles Spurgeon. And, it can save you.
Every knee will bow.
The idols of nations are carried away, powerless to defend themselves.
God is not powerless; He will carry and save His people. God knows everything, and He will bring a deliverer to His people (Jesus).
Babylon will be humbled, and God will be glorified. Babylon will pay for their pride and arrogance, sorceries and enchantments, their treatment of God’s people. The sorcerers cannot save Babylon; only God can save.
Let the idolatrous nations speak. God declares He’s the one who has made all of Creation. The nations tremble. God is with Israel. He strengthens them. God helps His people and redeems them. He will not forsake His people.
He tells the idolaters to present their case, but they can’t because they are false.
God speaks of His servant (Jesus) who will have his Spirit on him. He will establish justice on earth and be a light to the Gentiles. The Lord will be praised, and He will never forsake His people. God calls out to those who are deaf and blind to Him to turn to Him. The pain of life is meant to draw them back to God.
God created us. That we are His. That He is with us. We will not drown nor be burned. For God is our God. We are precious and honored in His sight. He loves us.
Gather the nations to see if their gods are right. God’s people are His witnesses; He’s the only one who can save. God will have revenge on Babylon. He tells Israel to forget their exile, as He will do new things. Their sins will be forgiven.
God tells His people to not be afraid. He will pour out His spirit on us.
There is no other god than Him. Idols are worthless and those who make idols are nothing. They know nothing and see nothing.
God tells Israel to remember He made them. He will not forget them. He has redeemed them.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 3: Isaiah 41:1-44:23
6a) Idols are worthless. They can’t do anything. They are merely creations of mankind. God created mankind, so only He is worthy of worship and belief. When people believe in something other than God, they have nothing — no hope, no strength, no future. God is a jealous God, and when someone worships idols, it angers Him.
b) Anything can be an idol, and people make idols out of others, material possessions, and anything they put above God in their lives.
b) Jesus’ mission is to bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will speak to the deaf and the blind of Israel. He will bring justice to the nations. In him there is hope.
8 ) It’s good to remember that God created us. That we are His. That He is with us. We will not drown nor be burned. For God is our God. We are precious and honored in His sight. He loves us. When we feel unloved or abandoned, remember God’s promises. We are not alone; we never have been. So, hold God tight.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 3: Isaiah 41:1-44:23
LONG passages and lots of reading. The gist: only Jesus and God can save. Idols are worthless.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 3: Isaiah 41:1-44:23
God calls all lands to renew their strength, even those who don’t believe in Him. God asks them who is in charge of human history. God says he has.
The lands are afraid, but they turned away from God, not to Him.
But Judah is God’s servant and should not fear Him. He is with them and will strengthen them. No obstacle is too great with the Lord. God is a God of abundance.
God asks idolaters to present their case, but there is nothing to present. Therefore, idols are worthless.
Fun Fact: This is the only place in the Bible where God uses the title “King of Jacob.” The King of Israel is used 138 times in the Bible.
Fun Fact: God uses the words “I Will” in this chapter 14 times, all in reference to how He will help His people.
God speaks of His servant, Jesus, the Elect One. God delights in Him who will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will hold Jesus’ hand and keep him. He will be the light to the Gentiles.
I am the Lord, that is My name. This is the four letters of God: Y H U H. No one knows how to pronounce it. It is known as the tetragrammaton.
God praises the work of Jesus. All who serve false gods will be punished.
Jesus will heal the deaf and the blind.
God will defend His people.
God tells his people to not fear Him because he has redeemed them. God is with them.
He calls to those who are blind and deaf to Him to prove their case or accept God.
God commissions witnesses for Him. There are no other gods before or after him. Only God can save.
God will judge Babylon for what they did to God’s people. God will make a new path for them.
Even though His people have hard hearts towards Him, He will show mercy and forgive their sins.
The Lord made His people and will pour out His spirit on them. We are God’s. He alone is God.
Those who make idols are useless. They do not know or understand. Idols cannot deliver or redeem.
We should praise God’s greatness and glory. He has redeemed us.
God offers his people comfort after their sin has been paid for. Prepare for the Lord. The Word of God endures forever. The Lord comes with power. He tends his flock. He gathers the lambs and carries them close to his heart. He gently leads them. The nations are nothing before the Lord. God is above everything. He created the stars one by one and knows their names.
The Lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the wearyand increases the power of the weak.
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 2: Isaiah 40
3a) “A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.” That the Israelites exile to Babylon won’t be forever, as the people have paid for their sins.
b) Because God comforts us in all of our troubles. We then can comfort others. Our comfort comes from Christ, too. We are comforted in our sufferings as Christ was comforted during his sufferings. Jesus will save us from our sins, which is comfort in itself.
c) I need God’s comfort in where we are supposed to settle down and God’s comfort for my kids to find their path, too.
40:1-11: God is comfort. He is Almighty. He endures forever. He is all-powerful. He is caring.
40:12-26: God is Creator. God is omniscient. Everything is nothing when compared to God. He is incomparable.
40:27-31: God is everlasting. He never grows tired or weary. He gives us strength.
5) I find God’s strength in His Word, in knowing He is in control, and in knowing He is in charge of this world and everyone on it. I find his strength when I pray, believe, and have faith in what He will do for me.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 2: Isaiah 40
Such a beautiful (and well-known) chapter of Isaiah. I never grow tired of reading it.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 2: Isaiah 40
Isaiah now offers words of comfort and hope to the Israelites (the people of Judah). Their sin has been paid for.
A voice in the wilderness prepares the way for the Lord.
Man is frail, but God’s message stands forever.
See God who will return and be a loving shepherd to His people. He is Lord over all of creation and is the God of wisdom.
God’s greatness surpasses all nations and cannot be compared to others, including idols.
God’s greatness is all around us in all of Creation.
Have faith and believe in God’s power and wisdom over all.
God gives strength to the weak. We rely on His strength as He renews us. He gives us strength to keep moving forward.
If we are worn out, God will give us the strength we need to keep going.
Theme: We see God through Isaiah first warn of judgment then promise deliverance.
Laban’s sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. The Lord told Jacob it was time to return to his homeland. Jacob called Rachel and Leah to him and told them how he has worked for Laban despite the wages being constantly changed but God has been with him and has blessed him with their father’s livestock.
Jacob recounts a dream where God acknowledged Laban’s treachery and told Jacob to leave for home at once. Rachel and Leah agree and say all Jacob has gained from their father should be theirs anyways as an inheritance. Jacob and his family left Paddan Aram along with all of his livestock and goods for Canaan. Rachel stole all of her father’s household gods and Jacob left without telling Laban. They crossed the Euphrates.
Laban found out after three days that Jacob had fled. He pursued him and caught up with him in Gilead. God came to Laban in a dream, warning him not to speak to Jacob. Laban, in his infinite wisdom, speaks to Jacob anyways, and asks him why he had fled without saying good bye and why he has stolen the idols.
Jacob replies that he was afraid Laban would take his daughters from him (can’t blame him here) and that if someone has stolen the idols, may they die.
Laban searched and found nothing for Rachel was sitting on them and said she was having her period so she couldn’t stand to greet him. Laban found nothing.
Jacob is mad at Laban for accusing him of stealing. He points out how he has worked 20 years for him, 14 for his daughters and 6 for his flocks even though Laban has changed his wages on him 10 times, and God Himself even rebuked Laban for his behavior.
So Laban and Jacob made a covenant, asking Jacob not to mistreat his daughters or take any more wives and neither will cross the other’s “side” to harm each other. They offered a sacrifice, spent the night, and the next day Laban bid his daughters farewell and left.
Summary of Hebrews 12:3-15:
The Lord disciplines those He loves and punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline for God is treating you as a son. For if you are not disciplines then you are not sons of God. Everyone is disciplined. God disciplines us for our good so we may share in His holiness.
Discipline is never pleasant, but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Make every effort to live in peace and be holy; without holiness, no one sees the Lord. Do not be bitter.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15
11) Jacob had noticed that Laban’s sons believed he had stolen Laban’s wealth, and Laban’s attitude towards Jacob had changed, too. But it was God who told Jacob to return.
12a) ) Verse 7 “God has not allowed him (Laban) to harm me.” verse 9 “God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.” Verse 11-13 “I am the God of Bethel” and God made the animals born spotted. verse 42 “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you (Laban) would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” They made a covenant together that resolved the bitterness.
b) Pray and thank God.
13) Verse 3 “And I will be with you.” Verse 42: But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you. It encourages me that all my work is worth it, and God is with me.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15
Unsure whey we read Hebrews here since we weren’t asked about it. Rachel is most definitely smart in hiding the idols. However, taking them? Not so smart. She has God. She needs nothing else.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15
Just as Rachel is jealous of Leah, Laban’s sons are jealous of Jacob’s wealth. Love does not envy (1 Corinthians 13:4). Envy is bad; it killed Jesus. (Matthew 27:18).
God is nudging Jacob back home (Genesis 30:25) and encouraging him, too.
God reminds Jacob of his Bethel (Genesis 28:10), where God has spurred him on to find Rachel. It’s good for all of us to remember times and places where God has shown up. This strengthens us and encourages us in times we feel God is far away.
It was important for Jacob to have the support of his wives. After all, they would be leaving their family for the first time ever, taking their kids with them, to an unknown land. Both women agreed for once and were ready to help in any way they could.
One cool detail you might have missed is that Jacob’s entire family road camels. This is like saying everyone drove their own car here in the US. It’s a sign of Jacob’s immense wealth.
Jacob snuck away when he did not need to. God had already told him to go. It’s evident he would be protected. Perhaps Jacob is so mad at Laban at this point he just wanted to leave.
Rachel Steals her Father’s Idols
We are not told why Rachel stole the idols. Obviously, you should not steal, especially from your mother and father (she broke two of God’s ten commandments here yet to be given to Moses). Scholars debate the reasons:
She herself secretly worshipped these idols
She didn’t want her father to worship these idols
She didn’t want her father to catch them through divination
Idols were traditionally used as deeds to property
She didn’t like her father, so she took something of his to anger him
She wanted protection on the long journey
The reason didn’t matter. She stole; this is wrong.
They left Paddan Aram and Haran for Gilead, which is about 300 miles away and close to the sea of Galilee. Since it took 3 days for Laban to notice, the families must have lived a considerable distance away from one another. Note that God cautions Laban to deal fairly with Jacob. Laban was probably angry and did intend to harm him. God’s warning meant “you touch him and you will pay.”
Jacob and Home
Jacob is close to home when Laban catches up. It took Laban 7 days to catch up to Jacob who is now near the Jordan River and very close to home. Laban tried to shame him with a celebration and a chance to say good bye to his family. He threatens harm as well. Jacob fervently denies he stole the idols, not knowing Rachel had.
Jacob let Laban have it, citing all he had done for him in 20 years and showing him how ungrateful he was being. He was angry over it all, maybe even remembering the trickery of Leah. He helped Laban. Jacob replaced any lost animal of Laban’s with his own and tells him that God sent him away.
Note that Jacob does not claim God as his own, only Abraham and Isaac’s.
Mizpah meant God is watching and He will repay you if you sin. Laban still claims everything is his, but says he’ll let Jacob have it. The pillar was a sign of their separation. It appears they still left with much animosity between them. From here on out, Jacob’s family will be separated from everyone else.
Laban will never see his daughters or grandchildren again. He now disappears from Bible history, presumably returning home and living out his life as he always had. The separation between Laban and Jacob had to happen. Like this example shows us, it is not always pretty.
Jacob asks Laban if he may return to his home country with his wife and children and flocks. But Laban asks him to stay for he knows he has prospered only because of Jacob so he offers Jacob to name his price to stay. Jacob says he will stay if Laban will give him as wages every speckled or spotted sheep and every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat that is born. He will separate out the current speckled and spotted and dark-colored animals and those will be cared for by Laban’s sons, which will decrease the odds of these being born.
Laban divided the animals as agreed upon and separated the flocks. Jacob then placed tree branches in the water troughs so when the flocks came to drink they would mate. Jacob, caring for the solid-colored animals, kept his flocks separate from Laban’s and he only kept the strong ones. The weak ones went to Laban. Jacob grew exceedingly prosperous.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43
9a) Laban tries to say that he has learned by “divinination” that God has blessed him because of Jacob, which he did not. Jacob agrees with the idea in mind to trick Laban into him getting more sheep and goats by breeding for colors that he thought he could choose. He made separate flocks for him and Laban. Jacob’s grew strong, while Laban’s did not.
b) God, as always
10a) I always ask to myself when these “why did God do something,” why not? God can do what He wants. Why not bless Jacob if He wanted to? Why does/should God bless anyone? None of us deserve it. Genesis 12:1-3 tells us that God has promised to bless Abraham, and since Jacob now has the blessing, God will bless Jacob. Colossians 3:22-25 says we are working for God. 1 Peter 2:18-20 says to submit to your masters even if they are harsh. 1 Peter 3:9 says to repay evil with blessings. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says to give God your worries.
b) God has a plan, and it is good. He will bless you in His time.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43
Funny how neither one has learned anything as they have gotten older. Both Laban and Jacob are back at scheming again.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43
Jacob wants to go home, so he asks his master, Laban, for permission. Laban does not want him to go, knowing that he has prospered thanks to God’s blessing on Jacob. Jacob takes the spotted sheep and goats for his flock and intends to keep only the colored ones that are born, leaving Laban with all the others. Laban thinks he is getting a great deal since the spotted ones are rarer. However, he forgot who God is blessing — Jacob, not him.
Jacob cared for Laban’s solid color animals. Laban’s sons cared for the speckled and spotted ones three-days journey away.
Jacob put branches in the troughs to increase the number of spotted animals born so they could be his. He used the modern-day practice of selective breeding to get the characteristics (in this case, spots) that he wanted. We will see in Genesis 31:10-13 that God was behind it all.
God blesses Jacob because of the covenant promise, not because of anything he does/did. We are blessed through Jesus Christ, not anything we have done/did.
We see the example through Jacob of working for others in faith God will bless you, of working hard, and of trusting God to do the rest.