BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 25, Day 3: Romans 13:11-12

Summary of passage:  The Second Coming will be here soon so walk right with God now, fully awake and cognizant of what you are doing for Him.  Set aside sin and put on Jesus!

Questions:

7)  The Second Coming is almost here where we will be with Jesus forever.  To live in the present moment and not just numbly go through the motions of life because Jesus could come any day!  Every day matters and all that you do matters.  Don’t dismiss your actions as frivolous.

8 )  Galatians 1:4:  “present evil age”.  Luke 19:44:  “the time of God’s coming to you.”  See also Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 13:33-37; Luke 21:36; Philippians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:6,8; Titus 2:11-14; James 5:7-11; 2 Peter 3:11-14; 1 John 2:28; 3:2-3

9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  People get stuck in the mundaneness of life and just go through the motions. They get complacent with their life and next thing they know 20 years has gone by with nothing to show for it.  I get this way at times as well.  Luckily, I’m an active person and I’m out in the world, trying to figure out what to do with my life.  Still, I get complacent about attending church, reading the Word, praying.  All things I need to remember–namely God and Jesus–first.  THEN everything else.

Conclusions:  Paul has a very good point:  stay present and remember life could be over any second.  Don’t take one moment for granted.  Make it about Him always.

End Notes:  In essence, be in the presence moment and don’t just go through the motions of life.

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.

One of my favorite songs that speaks to Paul’s theme:

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 5: Revelation 20:1-10

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.  John sees thrones where those given authority to judge are seated.  He sees the souls of the martyrs who died for Jesus alive and reigning for 1000 years during the first resurrection.  The rest did not come to life. Blessed are these.  After the 1000 years, Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations and gather Gog and Magog for battle.  There will be a huge number of them. God however threw fire down from heaven to destroy them and threw the devil into the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented for eternity.

Questions:

11a)  Satan will be bound for 1000 years to keep him from deceiving the nations.  Then Satan will be released for a short time to go out and deceive the nations for the last time.  They surround Jerusalem but God sends fire down to destroy the people and hurl the devil into a lake of burning sulfur for all of eternity.

b)  Scholars presume it is God who throws fire down from heaven and devours all the rebellious people and throws the devil into the lake of burning sulfur forever.

c)  Part personal question.  My answer:  We will live forever and rule with Christ by his side as subordinates.  Complacent is a Latin word meaning “very pleased.”  It means, “marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”  Smug.  Feeling so satisfied with your own abilities or situation that you feel you don’t need to try harder.

To be honest, this passage does the opposite.  I do feel complacent because I know where I’m going.  I think this would be a better question asked in relation to nonbelievers:  how can we not be complacent in relation to the urgency to evangelize.

However, that being said, we shouldn’t be so complacent with our eternal salvation that we fall into sin and have no regard for God, His laws, or His people.  We are still to be godly here on earth as much as humanly possible.  Eternal salvation is not an excuse for sin.

12)  Beautiful and heavenly.  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).

Christ will reign on earth without opposition, and His kingdom will be characterized by righteousness, peace, and love (Isaiah 2:3-4; 11:3-5; Daniel 7:14; Zechariah 14:9).

Conclusions:  Good questions to sum up the passage.  Question 11c would have been better with my slant.  Am hoping the lecture will bring it all together.  Great passage all Christians should study:  the final defeat of Satan.  We need to keep this in mind when we are under attack and see no way out.  God is there–always–in control and limiting Satan.  Satan will pay the ultimate price for his behavior.  Cling to God.  He never fails.

End Notes:  See End Notes for Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

Conclusions to Lesson 25:  Nothing here below the superficial.  Sad for me.  Really sad.  I started with Isaiah and the difference in substance between then and now (5 years) is overwhelming.  I had hoped BSF would do more of the leg work for me because all of this that you read takes hours and hours on my end.  Which is fine.  But at times it’s frustrating.

I have started skipping lectures because our teaching leader says the same things over and over again.  She drags out a 20 minute lecture to 45 and I’m left surfing the Internet on my phone.  And what she says is all I know because I’ve done all of this work.  Nothing is new.  Even the notes are lackluster.  I expected an in-depth study of eschatology.  Instead, I’ve found an in-depth study of opinion questions and “you” s.  I’m tired of focusing on me.  Can I focus on God please for at least these 2 hours during my BSF class?

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 25, Day 2: Numbers 26:1-27:11

Summary of passage:  Numbers 26:  Another census was ordered by God of the men who were over 20 years of age by family.  Reuben numbered 43, 730.  Simeon numbered 22,200 including the line of Korah which didn’t die out.  Gad numbered 40,500.  Judah numbered 76,500.  Issachar numbered 64,300.  Zebulun numbered 60,500.  Manasseh numbered 52,700.  Ephraim numbered 32,500.  Benjamin numbered 45,600.  Dan numbered 64,400.  Asher numbered 53,400.  Naphtali numbered 45,400.  Total number of men:  601,730.

God ordered that each inheritance of land was to be distributed by lot and according to numbers so larger clans would get more land and smaller clans smaller plots.

The Levites numbered 23,000 but were counted separately because they would receive no inheritance of land since they were the priests.

All those counted had previously not been counted in the Desert of Sinai for they all died except for Caleb and Joshua.

Numbers 27:  Zelophehad’s daughters approached Moses and Eleazar and asked for their father’s inheritance since he had died and had left no sons as an heir.  Moses brought the case to the Lord who established a lasting ordinance which said if there are no sons, then the property goes to the daughters or the nearest living male relative.

Questions:

3a)  They were last counted in the Desert of Sinai about a year after they left Egypt.  So it’s been 38 years.

b)  In the first census there were 603,550.  In the second census there were 601,730.  A difference of only 1820 men.

c)  All had died–603,548–except two men–Caleb and Joshua.

d)  For the same reasons the first census was taken:  First, because God said to do it.  Second, to find out how many men they had able to fight for the Promised Land.

4)  They had courage to approach Moses and Eleazar as women in this culture.  But they believed they were right in having property for their families, which God agreed as well.  They understood God would provide for them and they asked in faith.  However, greater faith is shown here in that they asked God BEFORE they had reached the Promised Land about land they did not yet possess.

This shows they believed God’s words that they would inherit the land–something which we have seen time and time again with the Israelites that they didn’t have faith enough to take the Promised Land.  The new generation has grown in faith, haven’t they?  And God uses women here to tell us so!  Awesome!

Conclusions:  Fascinating how the numbers are almost identical.  God had completely replaced his people with the next generation like the human body replaces every cell every few years.  I wonder what Caleb and Joshua were thinking as the only “old guys” to make it.  How humbling!

Great story to include of the girls asking for their rightful inheritance.  Note how they stood as one–something we women need to do more of instead of fighting against each other. God is so just and merciful and loving of all His people–men and women alike.  Great example of stepping out in faith and asking God for what you believe is your right and in instances where God has told you is your right.

Loved this lesson.  We see God’s will and love everywhere and no more clearer here–in the numbers of the people and in his care for the daughters of Zelophehad (an obscure guy who was probably overlooked by his cohorts but not by God who cares for all His people equally).  God rewards faithfulness and it is displayed prominently in Numbers 26 & 27.  God is good!

End Notes:  Numbers 26:  Reuben’s tribe lost 2,770 men since the first census (6%).  Note that Dathan and Abiram came from here.  Scholars speculate that part of Dathan’s and Abiram’s resentment towards Moses was because Moses was descended from a younger son, Levi.  Both Dathan and Abiram were from Reuben, the first-born from Jacob.  They were a warning sign.

Differences in Population by Tribe in 38 years:

Reuben lost 2,770 (6%).

Simeon lost 37,100 men (63%).

Gad lost 5,150 (11%).

Judah gained 1,900 (3%).

Issachar gained 9,900 (18%).

Zebulun gained 3,100 (5%).

Manasseh gained 20,500 (64%).

Ephraim lost 8,000 (20%).

Benjamin gained 10,200 (29%).

Dan gained 1,700 (3%).

Asher gained 11,900 (29%).

Naphtali lost 8,000 (15%).

Total:  A loss of 1,820 or a .3% decline.

Analysis of the numbers:  This is fascinating.  Most populations grow over time.  However, note the Israelites stayed the same.  They were wandering around the desert, doing nothing, accomplishing nothing, waiting.  They were stagnant.  Nothing produced.  No further advancement in society or civilization.  God was probably very, very sad.

[Side Note:  I’m sure all you mathematicians LOVED this lesson!!]

Yet hope is seen:  The tribes who undoubtedly grew in faith, grew in numbers.  The tribes who undoubtedly sinned and grew away from God lost numbers.  God rewards the faithful and punishes the unfaithful.

Don’t forget God ordered the Levites not to receive any property in Numbers 18:20 because their inheritance (God Himself) is much greater.

Numbers 27:  Daughters did receive a dowry when married so they weren’t completely forgotten before this new law instituted by God.

Note what Moses did:  Sought God for the answer.  A great example for us.

We will see Zelophehad’s daughters again in Numbers 36 because this rule now posed a problem when the daughters married.  Numbers 36 lays out for laws for this situation given once again by God Himself.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 25, Day 2 Isaiah 54

Summary of passage:  Sing, O barren woman (those who have never borne a child) because there are more children of desolate woman than otherwise  (you are not alone in your shame).  Enlarge your tent for you will spread out (God will prosper you) and your descendants will dispossess nations and settle desolate cities.

Do not be afraid nor fear disgrace for you will not suffer nor be humiliated.  You will forget the shame of your youth (exile) and remember no more the reproach of widowhood (shameful back then).  The Maker is your husband, the Lord Almighty, Holy One, Redeemer.  He will be there when you are rejected, deserted, or distressed in spirit.

God says in anger I hid my face from you but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you.  I have sworn not to be angry with you nor rebuke you again.  His unfailing love for us will not be shaken nor will his covenant of peace be removed.

The Lord will build you (Israel) with precious stones and strength your walls and battlements.  He will teach all of our sons and they will have peace.  He will establish us in righteousness and remove terror and tyranny.  Those who attack you will surrender to you.

I created you and the destroyer.  Therefore, no weapon will prevail nor any tongue will accuse you.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.

Questions:

3)  A barren woman (one who has never borne a child) who can now sing because now there are more children of desolate woman than of married woman (those who are unfortunate and shamed from the exile), a deserted wife or a young married one who has been rejected (God will rescue Israel from shame as widowhood brought back then and be as a husband–a greater husband than an earthly husband can be), and an afflicted city lashed by storms and not comforted (to those who feel beaten, afflicted, and uncomforted God promises riches and strength).

4)  54:1-3:  Israel will be released from the shame, embarrassment, and humiliation of captivity and exile (like a barren woman felt in Isaiah’s time) because there are more desolate children than happy children.  God will prosper Israel–they will have to enlarge their tents and spread out–both in number of descendants and in prosperity.  The descendants will dispossess nations and settle in desolate cities.

54:4-10:  Do not be afraid nor fear disgrace; Israel will not suffer shame or humiliation like a widow felt. For God is Israel’s husband, the Holy One, the Redeemer and He will call Israel back to their lands and be all things to His people.  The people felt abandoned and angry but God will bring them back with kindness and compassion.  God swears not to be angry with them or rebuke them again.  His unfailing love for Israel will not be shaken nor his covenant of peace be removed.

54:11-17:  God will build His people with riches (those who feel afflicted, lashed, and uncomforted).  All Israel’s sons will be taught by the Lord and will have peace.  Israel will be established in righteousness, tyranny will be far away, terror be removed, and fear vanquished.  Those who attack you will surrender to you.  No weapon forged against the Lord’s servants nor any tongue that accuses them shall prevail as God made both man and the destroyer.  Nothing will defeat His people.

Revelation 21:10, 18-21:  In the New Jerusalem the city will be built of pure gold and precious stones.  It will be made new and be indestructible to the Devil.

5a)  God will never be angry nor rebuke Israel again.  He will never remove his unfailing love nor his covenant of peace.  He will remove the people’s shame, embarrassment and humiliation and replace it with strength and riches.  He is our husband, the Holy One, the Redeemer.  God is all things to us and for us.  He will establish us in righteousness.  No weapon nor tongue forged will come against His people.  He will defeat all enemies (including the Devil) since He created all things.  He showers us with compassion, prosperity, and everlasting kindness.  God is faithful to His promises and to His people.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.

What does God not reveal in this passage?  Does it get any better than His words here?

b) I see a change in attitude from the previous chapters of Isaiah where God was so angry at His people He sent them into exile.  But given the fact He plans to reconcile all of His people (this is looking at it from God’s point of view before He sent Jesus), how can He remain mad at His people?  It’s like a parent when after their kid accidentally burned the house down (extreme example of misbehavior), the parent forgives and his or her love does not vanish for the child.

In Isaiah 52:13-53:12, God is describing His servant whom He sent to save man from his sins.  This is the greatest act God has and ever will done for man (by sacrificing His son for our sins so we can be with God).  This is the greatest act of love for all of mankind.  In Isaiah 54, God is outpouring His love and compassion on His people, promising to be as a husband to them, to prosper them, and to vanquish those who come against His people.

So, considering how God was so angry for disobedience He exiled His people to Him revealing His biggest act of love yet (Jesus’s death for His people) only shows to me how much God loved Israel at the time and now and how He can’t stay angry at them long (just like I can’t with my kids and their puppy-dog eyes).

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God’s promise to never be angry nor rebuke His people again gives me great hope, especially when I fail as a human in the course of my life.  That no matter what I do God is there and He loves me even if I sin over and over again.  God will protect me against all things (human and the Devil) and no tongue nor weapon will prevail.  God will be my husband.  As a woman, this one is profound for me.  I usually think of God as a father, not as a husband, which is completely different.  I loved this.  God will be with me as one as my husband is.  Profound and requires deeper pondering.

Conclusions:  Does BSF get any better than this?  Powerful lesson.  Great words from God through Isaiah.

Many times in my earthly marriage (past and occasionally in the present) I do feel distressed in spirit.  Now, I have comfort that God can fill those voids that my husband can’t.  I can see God in a new way that I just didn’t before.

I initially misunderstood question 5b.  The question is not as clear as it should be.  I think BSF is asking this, “Considering God’s reconciliation through His son Jesus (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), why would God have such a drastic change in attitude toward His people in light of the previous chapters where God warned and warned His people and in the end had to resort to punishment and judgment? This is how I’m interpreting the question.

But the underlying message is the same regardless:  God loves us so much He sent His son and promises to protect us always.  God punished his people and exiled them out of His incredible love.  He sent His son our of the same love.

After all the gloom and doom of the many months we endured of Isaiah telling us how horrible we all are, this passage was a breath of fresh air.  Despite all the bad man does and will do, God still loves us.  Always has.  Always will.  Even if we don’t feel that love or we think He had hidden his face from us.

I am grateful for Enduring Word for explaining this passage so I can understand it:

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/2354.htm