BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 25, Day 3: Proverbs 14 and 16

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Summary Proverbs 14:

Here we see words about being wise. Think about your ways. The good man will be rewarded. A wise man fears the Lord. Those who are kind to the needy are blessed. Hard work pays off. Fear of the Lord leads to life. You’ll live longer if you’re wise.

Summary Proverbs 16:

Motives matter to God. Commit to God. God works out everything. You’ll avoid evil if you fear the Lord. Be honest. Trust God, and you’ll be blessed. Be patient. Speak pleasant words.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 25, Day 3: Proverbs 14 and 16:

6) Part personal Question. My answer: The wise build their own house, think about their ways, fear the Lord and shuns evil, and gain knowledge. Thinking about my ways.

7) Part personal Question. My answer: God desires us to have fear of Him, so we can have wisdom, and He’ll be our secure fortress. God is just for He brings down the wicked. God wants us to be kind, think about our ways, and to grow in wisdom with Him. Cultivating wisdom is hard work, and it’s easier to be evil in a sense. I need to be better at going out of my way to be kind to others and think about my ways.

8 ) Part personal Question. My answer: Honesty is valued. Pleasant words are instructive, sweet to the soul of the other person. Our wisdom is shown by what we speak, and by the control we have over the words that come from our mouth.Gossip separates close friends. I need to speak more words that flow from the honeycomb and be more instructive with them.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 25 Day 3: Proverbs 14 and 16:

There is always so much packed into a chapter of Proverbs that it’s hard to take it all in. Proverbs is meant to be read slowly and in small, digestible pieces. It’s hard when we have to cover two chapters to digest it all.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 25, Day 3: Proverbs 14 and 16:

Commentary Proverbs 14:

This is all about the contrast between wisdom and folly.

Wisdom builds; foolish tear down.

The fool deserves the rod of correction (Proverbs 10:13), which is made of the fool’s pride and comes from his own mouth.

Proverbs 14:4: Upheaval and a mess to clear up is the price of growth.

A witness does not lie.

Proverbs 14:6: Scoffer – someone whose pursuit of wisdom and the truth is cynical and superficial.

Proverbs 14:7:  “One cannot increase in knowledge by associating with a fool—nothing comes from nothing.” (Ross)

Proverbs 14:9: Fools mock sin because they don’t fear the LORD (Proverbs 1:29 and 8:13)

Proverbs 14:10: Joys that you have to understand personally, according to Spurgeon:

  • The joy of sin forgiven.
  • The joy of sin conquered.
  • The joy of restored relationship with God.
  • The joy of accepted service.
  • The joy of answered prayer.
  • The joy of usefulness for God.
  • The joy of peace in time of trouble.
  • Highest of all: the joy of communion with God.

Proverbs 14:11: The tent is literally a tent. “The tent is by no means used for any kind of dwelling but refers to a nomadic tent. It is a bell tent, supported in the middle by a wooden pole and composed of several dark, goatskin curtains. It was fastened down to pegs with cords.” (Waltke)

Proverbs 14:12: The way is the path of life a man or woman walks upon. Solomon observed that this way often seems right to a man. However, it can be the way of death. To really know if we are on the way of life (instead of the way of death), we need to fear the LORD and receive His wisdom, especially as revealed in His word.

Image result for proverbs 14The principle of this proverb is so important that God repeated it again at Proverbs 16:25

Proverbs 14:14: The backslider slips in obedience to God.

Proverbs 14:19:  “The Egyptians and Joseph’s brothers bowed before Joseph. The proud Pharaoh and his people bowed before Moses. The saints will judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2).” (Bridges)

Proverbs 14:20: Poor people don’t have many friends; rich people do. This proverb is an example of just a fact of life.

Proverbs 14:22: Plan good, not evil.

Proverbs 14:23: Hard work is rewarded.

Proverbs 14:25: Truth brings light, freedom, blessing, and God.

Proverbs 14:30: When we are sound on the inside, we’re healthy on the outside. Envy corrupts us from within and poisons other aspects of life.

Proverbs 14:31: To oppress the poor is a direct sin against God.

Proverbs 14:32: Righteous go to heaven (with Jesus as accepted Savior).

Proverbs 14:34: Righteousness is to follow God’s will and God’s way.

Proverbs 14:35: The king favours an able minister; his anger is for the incompetent.

Commentary Proverbs 16:

Proverbs 16:1:  “A somewhat obscure proverb which recognizes that man has to exercise his own reason in making his plans, but that he is dependent on the Lord for the answer of the tongue.” (Morgan)

Proverbs 16:3: Solomon tells us to first commit our works, then trust that our thoughts and plans will be established. We usually think of this in reverse.

Proverbs 16:6:  God’s mercy prompted the great sacrifice of Jesus Messiah on the cross, and His truth made it necessary to make atonement in a way that honored the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 16:9: We plan as we can and should, but we should never think our ability to plan makes us lord over our lives. It is the LORD who directs our steps.

Proverbs 16:11: Fair and honest business is God’s business.  “Balance [weights] refers to a stationary balance with beams and bolts, and scale (see Proverbs 11:1) possibly refers to the hand-held balance.” (Waltke)

Image result for proverbs 16Proverbs 16:13: Kings need to hear honesty and wisdom.

Proverbs 16:14: Kings can put people to death when angry, but wisdom will help us to have the right reaction.

Proverbs 16:15: The welcome and approval of a king is like life-giving rain, especially the latter rain which ensured a good harvest.

Proverbs 16:18: God hates pride.

Proverbs 16:20: Obedience to God brings good.

Proverbs 16:21: True wisdom is demonstrated in life. Wise teachers choose their words carefully and in so doing enhance the learning experience for their students.

Proverbs 16:23: Our wisdom is shown by what we speak, and by the control we have over the words that come from our mouth.

Proverbs 16:24: “Jonathan’s eyes brightened when he ate the honeycomb (1 Samuel 14:27); such is the uplifting effect of pleasant words.” (Ross)

Proverbs 16:25: The repetition of this proverb (also at Proverbs 14:12) emphasizes its importance.

Proverbs 16:26: Hunger makes a man work hard.

Proverbs 16:27: An evil man spreads evil.

Proverbs 16:28: Whisperer denotes a malicious gossip.

Proverbs 16:30: Evil men don’t take evil seriously.Image result for proverbs 16

Proverbs 16:31: Value the wisdom of old age of those who walk in righteousness.

Proverbs 16:32: Under God’s wisdom and strength, to rule one’s own spirit is a greater accomplishment than to conquer a city. This is a powerful victory because you have to fight Satan with your own hands.

The Roman emperor Valentinian on his deathbed, that among all his victories one only comforted him:  “I have overcome my worst enemy, mine own naughty heart.”

Proverbs 16:33: To cast the lot was to use some tool of chance to make a choice. The lot was used to divide the land of Israel among the tribes (Numbers 26:55Joshua 14:2) and to arrange the workers for the temple (1 Chronicles 24:5). The disciples used lots to fill the vacancy left by Judas (Acts 1:26).

To cast the lot was a way to commit the decision to God, and when we commit our decisions to Him, God guides us (Proverbs 3:5-6)

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 25, Day 4: Romans 13:12-14

Summary of passage:  Put aside sin (orgies, drunkenness, sexual immorality, debauchery, dissension, jealousy, etc) and put on Jesus (the armor of light).

Questions:

10)  I don’t know about normalized but it’s more ignored.  These behaviors are so widespread now that I think society has given up the fight.  We are so overwhelmed with the prevalence that we can’t handle it so we choose to ignore it.

11)  The opposite of verse 13:  sexual purity, abstinence or moderation in drink, compassionate, helpful, etc.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I do tend to get jealous when others do things I want to do or follow in my footsteps because I like to think I’m unique.  I tend to hold back instead of be forthright and giving.

Conclusions: More ways Paul encourages us to be good people and godly.  Remember our time here is limited.  Avoid sin.  Walk with Jesus.

End Notes:  Putting aside darkness (sin) and putting on light is a metaphor with putting on clothes (which we all do).  Put on Jesus (the armor of light) every morning!

Spurgeon explains this passage: “The rags of sin must come off if we put on the robe of Christ. There must be a taking away of the love of sin, there must be a renouncing of the practices and habits of sin, or else a man cannot be a Christian. It will be an idle attempt to try and wear religion as a sort of celestial overall over the top of old sins.”

The night is the present evil age.  This is a clear teaching of the nearness of the end times (1 Corinthians 7:29; Philippians 4:5; James 5:9, 1 Peter 4:7; 1 John 2:18).  Early Christians did not believe Jesus would return within a few years.  Instead, they saw the death and resurrection of Jesus as the events that began the last days (Hebrews 1:1-2).  “The night is nearly over” is the next great event in God’s plan, which is the Second Coming.  The day is when Jesus does come and ushers in the consummation of the kingdom.

The armor of light allows us to both defend and attack like in battle.

We have to work to not let sin creep into our lives since it is our nature to sin.  This is part of being present so you can stop sin in its tracks!

When we clothe ourselves with Jesus, he becomes our partner and helper and he works through us (not for us) to combat sin.

Fun Fact: God used this passage to show Augustine, the great theologian of the early church, that he really could live the Christian life as empowered by the Holy Spirit – he just had to do it. And so do we.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 25, Day 2: Romans 13:8-10 with Romans 12:9-21; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

Summary of passages:  Romans 13:8-10:  Love others and you will fulfill the law.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

Romans 12:9-21:  Paul offers sage words for living:  Love others.  Honor others above yourselves.  Always serve God.  Be joyful, patience, and faithful.  Share with those who are in need.  Practice hospitality.Bless your enemies.  Be happy with others and sad with others.  Be humble and mindful of others.  Do what is right.  Don’t seek retribution.  Be at peace with all.  Let God handle judgment/revenge.  Be kind to your enemies.  Overcome evil with good.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8:  Everything is meaningless (faith, generosity, speaking in tongues, etc) without love.  Love is patient, kind, protects, trusts, perseveres, and never fails.  It does not envy, boast, be prideful, envious or rude.  It keeps no record of wrongs, it’s not easily angered, and it’s not self-seeking.  Love rejoices in truth and does not delight in evil.

Questions:

3) To love is the one debt that is never paid off.  No matter how much people have loved, they are under obligation to keep on loving. Because out of our selfishness we hurt others instead of love.  Our nature is sin, not love.  We cannot love one another perfectly.  It’s impossible.  Only Jesus can.  Hence, our perpetual need for Christ in our lives.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Legalistic is when you do things because they are the law.  It’s strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.  It’s when you put the law above all else including mercy, compassion, and moral values.  Loving obedience is following the law but with the heart.  Paul says here to let love lead the way with grace and mercy at the forefront.  We see this when even though people break laws they are not punished out of mercy and compassion.  Personally, I do lean towards legalistic.  I like laws and like others to follow them.  However, mercy and grace have a place.  It’s a balance we all need.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Others in general.  It reveals how selfish I truly am.  I’m not in denial of this.  I pray about it and make small steps daily towards the kind of love Jesus is/shows/gives.

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The fulfillment of the law is perfect obedience to God and since love is the greatest commandment and the ultimate test it would fulfill God’s desire for us.  Love is the greatest gift (besides His Son) God has given us.  Imagine how our lives would be if we approached every person, every problem, every sin, everything out of love.  We would be compassionate, generous, forthright, and amazing people like Jesus.

Conclusions:  1 Corinthians 13:1-8 is one of the most famous Bible verses and one of my favorites.  It sums up love beautifully and perfectly.  Paul was definitely a gifted and God-led writer.  I love how BSF brings up the fact we are to love with a heart of grace and mercy and not be such a stickler when it comes to the law.  Remember Jesus came to replace the law which wasn’t working and was imperfect with his perfection.  What did Jesus bring?  Love.  Great stuff here!

End NotesRomans 13:8-10:  The only debt we are to hold (both to others and to God) is to love another.  No, this isn’t against borrowing money as Jesus permitted borrowing in Matthew 5:42.  This is just referencing love.

Paul echoes Jesus’ words as recorded in Matthew 22:36-40. This is one of the two commands upon which hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Love your neighbor means to love the people you actually meet with and deal with every day. It is easy for us to love in the theoretical and the abstract, but God demands that we love real people.

Spurgeon says about this passage:  “No man can compass the ends of life by drawing a little line around himself upon the ground. No man can fulfill his calling as a Christian by seeking the welfare of his wife and family only, for these are only a sort of greater self.”

Love is the fulfillment of the law: It is easy to do all the right religious “things” but to neglect love. Our love is the true measure of our obedience to God.

Mosaic law:  Both moral and social responsibilities.

Romans 12:9-21:  (Taken from Lesson 23 Days 3, 4 & 5)

Other translations say:  “Let love be without hypocrisy”.  This isn’t real love at all.  However, I firmly believe in “fake it till you make it.”  Some people are hard to love, but treating them with dignity and respect can grow into love.

We are to hate evil AND cling to what is good.  Most of time we pick only one to do.

Be affectionate and genuine to one another.

This is simply a call for good manners, right?  A lot of kids nowadays have no manners at all.

We are also called to work hard.

“Spiritual fervor” can be translated as “boiling.”

The call to hope in the Bible usually has in mind the call to our ultimate home with Jesus.  Everything we do must be with an eye towards heaven.  Difficult times and troubles do not excuse us to abandon our hope and love and prayer.  Just because we’re having a bad day doesn’t mean you should make others have a bad day.  Always cling to Jesus and what he offers.  It’s a cause for joy (1 Peter 1:3-9).

Leon Morris explains patient as: “denotes not a passive putting up with things, but an active, steadfast endurance.”  Enduring triumphantly which is necessary for Christians because affliction is our inevitable experience (John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:12)  Tribulation/affliction: “denotes not some minor pinprick, but deep and serious trouble.”

“Faithful in prayer”:  One must not only pray in hard times, but also maintain communion with God through prayer at all times (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

God’s people is sometimes translated as “saints”, which all believers are.  The idea here is practice what you preach. Put into action what you believe.  The ancient Greek word for hospitality is literally translated “love for strangers.” In addition, “given” (translated for us as practice) is a strong word, sometimes translated “persecute” (as in Romans 12:14).  The idea is to “pursue” people you don’t know with hospitality.  This is love in action, not just feelings.

We are not to hate anyone, even our persecutors.  Matthew 5:46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Persecution can be from inside the church as well.  Jesus told us the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service (John 16:2).  Inquisition anyone?  Holocaust?

Be considerate of the feelings of others instead of waiting on them to be considerate towards you.

Conceited here is pride again.  Other translations say “Do not be wise in your own opinion”, which is thinking you are always right.  Again, reminders from Paul to step outside of ourselves and see others before ourselves.

Matthew 5:38-45. We are to love our enemies and treat well those who treat us badly.

Note Paul’s caveat:  If it is possible.  It may not always be possible since we cannot control others.  But he says do your part.

If you trust God, then you know it’s not necessary to avenge.  God will handle it.

Do good to your enemies.  “Heaping burning coals on his head” most likely refers to a “burning conviction” that our kindness places on our enemy.  It may bring about his repentance.  Or, some think it refers to the practice of lending coals from a fire to help a neighbor start their own – an appreciated act of kindness.

Either way we see that we can destroy our enemy by making him our friend.

Great read on God’s vengeance and the heaping coals HERE

1 Corinthians 13:1-8:   The Corinthians were enamored with spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of tongues. Paul reminds them even the gift of tongues is meaningless without love.  It is nothing but empty noise.

The ancient Greek word translated tongues has the simple idea of “languages” in some places (Acts 2:11 and Revelation 5:9). This has led some to say the gift of tongues is simply the ability to communicate the gospel in other languages, or it is the capability of learning languages quickly. But the way tongues is used here shows it can, and usually does, refer to a supernatural language by which a believer communicates to God. There is no other way to understand the reference to tongues of angels.

In Paul’s day, many Jews believed angels had their own language, and by the Spirit, one could speak it. The reference to tongues of angels shows that though the genuine gift of tongues is a legitimate language, it may not be a “living” human language, or may not be a human language at all. Apparently, there are angelic languages men can speak by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Poole has a fascinating comment, suggesting that the tongues of angels answer to how God may speak to us in a non-verbal way: “Angels have no tongues, nor make any articulate audible sounds, by which they understand one another; but yet there is certainly a society or intercourse among angels, which could not be upheld without some way amongst them to communicate their minds and wills to each other. How this is we cannot tell: some of the schoolmen say, it is by way of impression: that way God, indeed, communicates his mind sometimes to his people, making secret impressions of his will upon their minds and understandings.”

Prophecy, knowledge, and faith to do miracles are likewise irrelevant apart from love. Paul, quoting the idea of Jesus, refers to faith which could remove mountains (Matthew 17:20).   Yet even with this kind of faith we are nothing without love.

Excellent commentary on legalism HERE

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 2: Revelation 20:1-3

Summary of passage:  An angel bound Satan in chains and threw him into the Abyss (hell) for 1000 years after which time he will be set free for a short time.

Questions:

3a)  An angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss.

b)  1000 years and then he’d be set free for a short time.

4)  God is the one who has power over Satan and controls him and limits his actions.

5a)  John says how Satan corrupts people to carry out his desires.  Satan is a murderer and a liar.  2 Corinthians says how Satan has blinded unbelievers so they can’t see the light.  1 Peter says to be alert because Satan prowls around looking to devour people.  In essence, Satan is always lurking, ready to snatch us if we’re not grounded in God.

Note:  We looked up these same verses in Lesson 16 Day 2 Question 4 with almost the exact same question with regards to God’s protection over the pregnant woman.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve had this question many times before.  I know God wins so I have the utmost confidence I am doing His work.

Conclusions:  I like the emphasis on how Satan’s power is limited and we must keep that in mind when bad things happen in this world.  God is the one in control and Satan is under His thumb.  There is a TON here so please keep reading for more insights.

End Notes:  These last 3 chapters of Revelation reflects many of the subjects and themes of the first 3 chapters of Genesis.

This is an unidentified angel.  Thus, it is not Michael, Gabriel, or Jesus.  This speaks volumes to the importance of the devil.  He’s dealt with by you and me.  He holds a key which symbolizes authority and power over the Abyss, presumably given by Jesus since he’s the one in possession of the key (Revelation 1:18).  Chains represent imprisonment and binding.

Note the angel is “coming down” from heaven and Satan is on the earth.  Again, Satan serves God’s purposes.  God is high above, in control.  He conquers Satan, not us.

Jude 6 tells us fallen angels are bound with everlasting chains, awaiting judgment for the great Day.

We first saw the Abyss in Revelation 9:1-3 when either Satan or an angel (good or evil) was given the key and he opens it and releases locusts into the world as part of the Trumpet Judgments.

Satan is bound up and is unable to “deceive the nations anymore.”  This DOES NOT MEAN he’s not deceiving individual humans.  1 Peter 5:8 tells us Satan will continue to deceive us until Christ returns.  In all of Revelation, the Dragon or Satan has been raising up nations to war against Christ and deceive the world.  Daniel 2:44 says the nations or kingdoms will end and this is what we are witnessing here.  Isaiah 14:15 predicts this as well.

Any temptation to sin during the Millennium must come from within those people who are born after the kingdom begins. It’s assumed that all of Satan’s demons or fallen angels are also imprisoned at this time (Isaiah 24:21-23).

God’s word is our most powerful weapon since Satan can no longer deceive the nations with his lies.  Counter lies with Truth.  Always.

Explanation of the Millennium or 1000 years:  Millennium is straight out of Latin:  “mille” means a thousand and “annum” means a year.  It is used 6 times by John in the book of Revelation.  There are many different views of this Millennial period and if it is literal or not.  Here are some arguments made:

Postmillennialists believe the church will bring about a time of peace and prosperity before Christ returns in this age through the preaching of the gospel.  This was a popular 19th century view.  This period will end with Christ returns, the dead are resurrected and final judgment is administered.

Premillennialists believe Christ will return to earth and reign for 1000 years which will be a time of peace and prosperity before the millennial earth.  Satan will be bound up during this time before his final revolt when he is set free.  This is the predominate view of today supported by Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:4-9, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Luke 1:32-33, Matthew 5:18, Luke 19:12-27, among many, many other passages.  Scholars here point to more than 400 verses in more than 20 different passages in the Old Testament which deal with this time when Jesus Christ will rule and reign personally over planet earth.

This view has people left on earth after the rapture and the Great Tribulation who will face judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) and be deemed worthy to enter Jesus’ Millennial kingdom or be sent to Hell for all of eternity.

Amillennialists believe this time period is not literal; it is figurative, a spiritual reign.  Christ is reigning right now in heaven not on earth.  This was the predominant view since Augustine and held by the early Roman Catholic church right up until the Reformation.

What do we know about the Millennium?  Israel will be the leading nation on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24).  Jesus will reign  (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:7; Zechariah 14:9) with no war  (Isaiah 2:1-5). King David will rule over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5).  Israel will be blessed (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 62:2-3) and the temple will be restored (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44).  Saints will have jobs Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). God will be number one (Zechariah 13:1-9).  There will be no sickness nor disease (Isaiah 29:18).

It is also the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:2-3) and David (2 Samuel 7:16) will be fulfilled (Luke 1:31-33; Romans 11:15, 29)

How long is the 1000 years?  No one knows.  Many see these numbers as symbolic and they point to the fact most of Revelation’s numbers are symbolic in nature.  In early Christian writings 1000 years was used figuratively for the eternal blessing of the redeemed.  However, it could be a literal 1000 years where Jesus reigns victoriously and shows a world without Satan and the absolute holiness of God.

In Sum:  Satan will be bound and there will be peace for 1000 years before he is released for “a short time” to do evil once again.  Is this the time of Jesus’ reign on earth? You decide.

Note Satan’s 4 names in verse 2:

1)  Dragon  The persecutor of Christ and his people (Revelation 12:17)

2)  Ancient serpent  (Genesis 3:13)  the one in the garden.

3)  Devil  Slanderer or accuser (Revelation 12:10)

4)  Satan  Adversary.  Enemy of God, God’s people, and God’s creation.

We’ve read this before in Lesson 16:  Revelation 12:9:  “The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.”

Fun Fact:  1000 is 10 to the third power.

What’s important here?  Regardless of the 1000 years interpretation, Jesus will return and Jesus will establish his kingdom here on earth.  The rest is all speculation and ultimately not important.  Jesus is coming!  That’s all we need to know!