BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 14, Day 5: Revelation 8-9

Summary of Revelation 8: Jesus opens the 7th seal and heaven becomes silent. 7 angels who stand before God were given 7 trumpets. Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar and offered up prayers with incense for all the saints. The prayers and smoke went up to God. The angel took the censer, filled it with fire, and threw it at earth, causing thunder, rumblings, lightning, and earthquakes.

The 1st angel sounded his trumpet, unleashing hail and fire mixed with blood upon the earth. One third of the trees and earth was burned up and all the green grass burned.

The 2nd angel sounded his trumpet, unleashing a mountain on fire into the seas. One third of the sea turned to blood, one-third of the sea creatures died, and one-third of the ships were destroyed.

The 3rd angel sounded his trumpet, unleashing a burning star (named Wormwood or Bitterness), which fell from the sky onto a third of the rivers and springs, turning the waters bitter and killing people who drank the water.

The 4th angel sounded his trumpet, striking one-third of the sun, moon, and stars, turning them dark, eliminating one-third of the day and night.

Then an eagle flew over the earth, calling out to the inhabitants warnings that the last three angels were about to sound their trumpets.

Summary of Revelation 9: The 5th angel sounded his trumpet and a star that had fallen to the earth opened the Abyss from which smoke rose which darkened the sky and unleashed locusts who tortured those without the seal of God on their foreheads. They suffered severe agony–so much so they wished for death but were not granted it.

The locusts had human faces, wore crowns, had hair and lions’ teeth. They wore breastplates and their wings were loud. They had tails like scorpions and tortured people with them for 5 months. Their king was Abandon or Apollyon or Destroyer.

The 6th angel sounded his trumpet, releasing 4 angels who were bound at the Euphrates and killed 1/3 of mankind. Troops came forth with breastplates. The horses had lions’ heads and they spewed fire, smoke, and sulfur. They had snakes’ tails.

The rest of mankind who survived this still did not repent.

Questions:

12a)  Trumpets are associated with the theophany at Sinai (Exod 19:13-19; 20:18). The first trumpet judgment is similar to Exodus 9:13-25, hail and fire fell upon the Egyptians. The third trumpet resembles the plague of the freshwater in Exodus 7:20, except that there the waters turned to blood.  The locust in Rev 9:3 is an apocalyptic version of the eighth plague (Exod 10:12-20).  The fourth trumpet and the ninth plague both use darkness on the earth.

b)  The obvious difference is the number:  10 in Egypt and 7 here.  Egypt’s Plagues:  Nile to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, firstborn.  Revelation:  Hail and fire mixed with blood, mountain thrown into the sea, bitter water, darkness as well, demons unleashed for torture, demons unleashed for death, and a dragon unleashed.  The Exodus plagues are mostly using God’s creations on earth to send a warning.  The Revelation judgments are using supernatural forces such as demons and are bent on destruction.  All initiate from heaven.  The Exodus judgments are perpetrated by Moses and are of the earth.

God is saying, “This is it, guys.  Take heed or forever pay the penalty.”

c)   Pharaoh of the Exodus refused to repent (Ex. Ex. 7:13, Ex. 7:23; Ex. 8:15, Ex. 8:19, Ex. 8:22; Ex. 9:34), the earth dwellers will refuse to repent during the Tribulation (Rev. Rev. 2:21+; Rev. 6:16-17+; Rev. 9:20+; Rev. 16:9+, Rev. 16:11+, Rev. 16:21+)

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Don’t like the wording of this question.  I don’t believe my heart was “hard” to begin with so therefore it hasn’t softened.  I have, however, grown in my relationship with Him as my knowledge of the End Times has increased and my love for Him and others has increased.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Flippant words, hasty actions, selfishness

Conclusions:  Not the best lesson.  Could have done without question 13.  Admittedly, I was lazy on Question 12.  I just didn’t feel like doing it myself, so I googled the answer.

End Notes:  See HERE and HERE for Revelation 8 and 9 respectively.

Full comparison of the plagues of Egypt with all of Revelation HERE

The Plagues Compared
Plague Egypt Tribulation
#1 – Water becomes blood. Ex. Ex. 7:20; Ps. Ps. 105:29 Rev. Rev. 8:8-9+; Rev. 11:6+; Rev. 16:3-6+
#2 – Frogs Ex. Ex. 8:6; Ps. Ps. 105:30 Rev. Rev. 16:13+3
#3 – Lice Ex. Ex. 8:24; Ps. Ps. 105:31 Rev. Rev. 11:6+?4
#4 – Flies Ex. Ex. 9:6 Rev. Rev. 11:6+?5
#5 – Food source (livestock) destroyed Ex. Ex. 9:6 Rev. Rev. 8:9+6
#6 – Boils Ex. Ex. 9:10 Rev. Rev. 16:2+
#7 – Hail Ex. Ex. 9:23; Ps. Ps. 105:32 Rev. Rev. 8:7+; Rev. 16:21+
#8 – Locusts Ex. Ex. 10:13; Ps. Ps. 105:34 Rev. Rev. 9:3+
#9 – Darkness Ex. Ex. 10:22; Ps. Ps. 105:32 Rev. Rev. 8:12+; Rev. 9:2+; Rev. 16:10+
#10 – Death of Firstborn Ex. Ex. 12:29; Ps. Ps. 105:36 –

Taken from http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/revelation/introduction/the-plagues-of-egypt-and-the-tribulation.html

Conclusions  to Lesson 14:  We see God’s mercy.  He has the right to destroy us for our sin; yet, He never gives up and keeps trying to bring back his creation.  We see God’s wrath as justice and judgment must come.  Yet God preserves the faithful and gives us hope in the midst of destruction.

Overall, good questions.  Would have like to have seen more questions in Revelation 9 on the angels, the star, the army, the locusts, and more possible meanings thrown in.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 14, Day 5: Leviticus 17-20

Introductory Note:  Leviticus 16 is studied in Lesson 16.  I’m unsure why we are skipping it here but am sure once we get there it will be clear.

Summary of passage:  Leviticus 17:  The Lord tells Moses that anyone who sacrifices an animal away from the Tent of Meeting is to be cut off from his people because these are pagan sacrifices. The Lord says no one is to eat blood of a creature for life is in the blood which is what makes atonement for one’s sins.  Any animal hunted for food must be drained of blood before eating. Anyone eating a dead animal will be considered unclean and must be cleansed.

Leviticus 18:  The Lord says to not follow the Egyptians or the people in the land of Canaan.  To follow His laws only.  God says no one is to have sexual relations with any close relative:  mother, father, sisters, brothers, in-laws, aunts, uncles, etc.  Do not offer your children as sacrifices to other gods.  Do not have sexual relations with animals or with the same sex.  Do not defile yourselves as other nations have.  If you do, you will be cut off from their people.  Even the land was defiled and punished.

Leviticus 19:  A list of laws, many of which have been repeated such as honor the Sabbath, keep God’s name holy, honor your father and mother, etc.  Other notable laws:  leave gleanings in the field for the poor, love your neighbor as yourself, and treat others fairly.

Leviticus 20:  God lays out the punishments for sins and for disobeying his decrees, most of which is death.  He orders not to offer child sacrifices to other gods, not to sleep with close relatives (much of which is said in Leviticus 18), and not to see mediums or spiritists.  God wants His people to be separate from other nations and to be holy because He is holy.

Questions:

10)  Because the life of the creature is in the blood and it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life and sins.

11a)  That it is defiling, dishonoring, and detestable and requires being cut off from your people if done.

b)  Part personal question:  Because this is how the nations that God is going to drive out before His people became defiled and God wants His people to be separate and good.  My response is God’s laws and reasonings are good.  We all know having babies with close relatives results often in inherited diseases and deformations and having sex with close relatives causes strife among families plus having indiscriminate sex promotes the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and an impure heart and mind.  Everything God does is for our good.

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  I have a hard time with this one cause I’m so inherently selfish.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If you sin, you pay the consequences.  Nowadays, it most likely won’t be a physical death, but it could be a spiritual death.  If you keep God’s laws, you will live–both physically and spiritually.  You will blossom and lead productive lives.  If you choose to live in sin always and not change your ways, you will perish.  We are to lead lives different from those around us because we are His and we are holy.

Conclusions:  I like how all of God’s laws cover every facet of life.  Nothing is separate.  Nothing is sacred.  God is in charge of every aspect of our lives and He makes that clear.  Hence, we cannot hide anything from Him or justify any sin by saying “But God doesn’t say anything about this.”  God is concerned about it all–politics, life, economics, diet, family, friends.  He wants us to be like Jesus in all ways and here in the Old Testament He is preparing His people for just such a thing.

End Notes:  Laid out in the Old Testament are just over 600 laws for the entire nation to live by. That’s it!  Think of the millions of laws the US has and try to figure all that out!  The laws are brief and simple (as opposed to say ObamaCare).  Life should be simple.  Right and wrong are simple. God wanted compassionate, consistent, fair-minded, and loving people.  If His people possessed such characteristics, everything else would fall into place.

Leviticus 17:  Pagan cultures and even the early patriarchs built altars and offered sacrifices to their gods or our God wherever they pleased.  Here God is saying “No longer”.  He wants all the sacrifices brought to Him.  Again, setting the Israelites apart from their neighbors.

Besides the life being in the blood, many pagan cultures drank blood.  Again, setting His people apart.

Leviticus 18:  We are God’s, and thus we must follow His laws.  Old translations of “sexual relations”, which is mentioned 17 times in this chapter read “uncover nakedness”, which scholars say is broad enough to cover anything inappropriate from sex to inappropriate fondling.  Thus, it doesn’t necessarily have to be consummation.

These laws emphasize the importance of protecting the sanctity of marriage of which sex is only to occur within those covenant boundaries.

God’s laws here are simple and clear:  homosexuality is wrong.  Adultery is wrong.  Sex with animals is wrong.  Incest is wrong.  It is a defilement against yourself as well as the other party.

We must remember one of the reasons God chose Canaan to give to the Israelites was as a punishment against the people who were living there who were engaging in sin among which was sexual sin.  God does judge and execute punishments for sin.

God made it clear sexual sin was immoral and one paid a big price in the eyes of society if engaged in.  So different from today’s world of “do what feels good” instead of “do what God commands.”

Leviticus 19:  Read “separate” when you read “holy” and you’ll see what God is driving at. Just like God is separate from God, He wants His people separate from others since we are called to be like God and be with Him.

The word for idol means “nothing”.  Israel will continue to struggle with idols for the next 800 years until they are punished and sent to exile in Babylon.  There, their idols switch from a physical representation to a lifestyle one–riches, power, control, etc.

The best example of gleaning the fields in the Bible was Ruth.

A slanderer is a gossiper as well.  Just gossip is a nicer word these days.

A lot of these regulations was specifically against pagan cultures and their worship as verse 19 demonstrates.  God wanted to make sure His people did nothing the other peoples did.

Letting trees become mature before picking the fruit allowed them to bear more fruit in the future.

“I am the Lord” appears 15 times in this chapter.  If you think on medieval times, the lord of the castle was obligated to care for his people who farmed his fields.  In return the people worked for him and cared for him.  So it goes both ways as it does today with God.  He cares for us.  We care for Him.

Leviticus 20:  We tend to skip over the worship of Molech but this was a HUGE problem for the Israelites and continued to be up to their Babylonian exile.  King Solomon built a temple to Molech (1 Kings 11:7) and King Ahaz sacrificed his own son to Molech (2 Kings 16:3).  To think that God Himself has been warning about Molech for centuries and His people keep forgetting and sinning.  What a merciful God we have!

Most of these penalties had to be carried out by the court of law.  Once accused you had to be tried and convicted just like today before put to death for any sin.  Still, rarely were people executed in ancient Israel.  But unlike today the ancient culture condemned the act.

God is judging the peoples of Canaan for their sins by driving them out.  Unfortunately, He judges His own people as well and drives them out too.

God gave all of these laws in an effort to keep His people separate, holy, and out of sin.  So very, very sad that we as humans still disappoint and fall into the same old habits–even when explicitly outlawed.