Jesus says that the only reason for divorce is unfaithfulness. Otherwise, if you divorce, if you remarry, you will be committing adultery. Jesus says there is not a need for an oath at all since your word should be strong enough.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 4: Matthew 5:31-37
9a) Jesus says that the only reason for divorce is unfaithfulness. Otherwise, if you divorce, if you remarry, you will be committing adultery. Mark adds that Moses permitted divorce and a certificate of divorce because their hearts were hard.
b ) Believers can work hard to not divorce for frivolous reasons such as “irreconcilable differences.” However, divorce is a part of this broken world, and supporting others who have been through it is crucial. It is not for us to judge; it’s for us to love.
10a) You do not need to swear an oath ever.
b ) Society has developed white lies in order to spare people’s feelings. It’s important to do this; however, it’s important to be truthful in serious situations.
c ) God.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 4: Matthew 5:31-37
Jesus makes it clear that man and woman were supposed to stay together forever. However, there are legitimate reasons to divorce. Jesus says only for unfaithfulness. I believe abuse is another reason. Either way, divorce is a result of this broken world and broken people, and we all are broken. I remember the times when BSF would not allow a divorced woman to be a leader. I’m glad they changed this rule. This, in and of itself, was judgement. If you have a heart for God and want to share it, do so, whether you are divorced or not.
Great book to help you through tough times.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 4: Matthew 5:31-37
The certificate of divorce is found here (Deuteronomy 24:1). Many men were divorcing their wives for frivolous reasons. Deuteronomy says that you may divorce if one is unclean. People were streteching this interpretation at this time. Jesus clarifies that “unclean” means committing adultery.
Remember the times Jesus lived in. It was common for the Romans to be unfaithful outside their marriage with no repercussions.
John the Baptist baptizes Jesus who came from Galilee to the Jordan River. John said that Jesus needed to baptize him, not the other way around. Jesus told him he needed to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. When Jesus was baptized, heaven opened up and the Spirit of God came down upon him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 5: MATTHEW 3:13-17
12 ) Jesus came to earth as a human partly to show others how to live. He was baptized to show that Christians should be baptized as well.
13a) That the Spirit would come down from heaven as a dove and remain, baptizing with the Holy Spirit.
b) He was praying.
14 ) We are here only because of God. We are here to do His will, not ours. If we were doing our will, we’d all be sinners, doing whatever we pleased in utter chaos. Instead, we work to please our God, our Creator, as a form or worship and honor for what He has given us and done for us.
15) It is important as Jesus showed us how to live and what to do. Baptism is a special day when you accept Christ into your life publically. If Jesus did it, we should, too. Here, Jesus being baptized also legitimizes John’s baptisms of the people since it was outside of Jewish tradition.
CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 5: MATTHEW 3:13-17
I love how God opens up the heavens, showing his pleasure. God gives us many signs of how to live, as well as signs of reassurance that we are walking with Him. God does so much just for us. Try to digest that thought today. Great stuff!
END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 5: MATTHEW 3:13-17
John questions Jesus because Jesus had no sin so therefore had nothing to repent of. Yet, Jesus knew this was the right thing to do. This one act allowed Jesus to identify with mankind. This is the official beginning of Jesus’s ministry. It’s an important sign to all that Jesus is here.
God showed all sinners that Jesus was identifying with them, not being cleansed of any sin. It was important that God show everyone this was His Son and that Jesus was different, so he sent the physical sign of the dove for all to see. Jesus now has the power of God (he always did, since he is God, but this is official for humans, like a ceremony). It was also important that John the Baptist, now hugely popular with the people, recognize Jesus as the Savior. John 1:32-33
Note Noah sent a dove that returned with an olive branch from the ark. Doves in the Bible represent peace, love, gentleness, and hope for a better future.
God set his stamp of approval upon Jesus. Here, we see the Holy Trinity together in the Bible: God in heaven, Jesus on earth, the Holy Spirit coming down between the two. Beautiful picture, isn’t it?
John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea, saying repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. He quoted Isaiah, saying to prepare the way for the Lord. He wore clothes of camel’s hair, had a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.
BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 2: MATTHEW 3:1-4
3a) Jesus identifies John the Baptist as the one predicted by Malachi in Matthew 11:14; 17:9-13.
Luke 1:17 repeats almost exactly that verse, saying he will go before the Lord in the spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of the father to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
2 Kings 1:8 says that he was a man with a garment of hair and a leather belt around his waist.
Mark 1:6 repeats Matthew, saying John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
Matthew 17:9-13: Jesus says that Elijah has already come but no one recognized him as such.
b) John identified himself as the voice calling in the desert for God’s glorious arrival, preparing the way for repentance from sin and turning to Jesus.
4) Nothing happens without God’s will and way. God uses people and others to carry out His will. It’s all perfection.
5a) God has been extremely good. He has given me this forum and the knowledge to share with you all. He has always provided for me and my family, and I try to do His will and help others, too. It all comes together in God’s perfect plan for your life and mine.
b) Tell others that Jesus is coming. Pray for others. Prepare myself and my family.
CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 2: MATTHEW 3:1-4
Matthew skips over all of Jesus’s youth. We go from the baby Jesus to Jesus’s baptism. It jarred me a bit, but then I love a good story. I also love how Jesus is not alone in his task to save humanity. God has given him help, guidance, and companions. Great stuff!
END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 3, DAY 2: MATTHEW 3:1-4
John the Baptist is son to Zacharias and Elizabeth, whom we met in Luke and how the couple had John by God’s miracle, too. John’s purpose is to prepare the hearts of God’s people for Jesus by telling them to turn to God.
Note the importance of the word “repent.”
We see it here in John the Baptist’s message to the people.
John wanted everyone to know that the Messiah was coming so be ready!
Note that kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God is used interchangeably in the Bible. Both refer to God’s kingdome. Scholars believe that kingdom of heaven was used by Matthew since he was writing to Jews who did not like direct references to God. You’ll see kingdom of God used more in Mark and Luke.
It is super important to prepare for Jesus, which is why you all are here in Bible Study Fellowship’s study of Matthew! We must learn about Jesus, draw closer to him, and prepare for his Second Coming. Thus, John’s work is huge for believers.
A straight path to Jesus makes sense. Truthfully, is there any other way?
WHAT’S UP WITH THE CAMEL HAIR AND LEATHER BELT?
It doesn’t matter what John the Baptist wears; the point of this is that it was predicted that someone looking like John the Baptist would arise and point the way to the Messiah. Secondary is the fact that John the Baptist led a very simple life, and he made a powerful impact. We can do the same, too. We don’t need a lot to shine God’s light to the world. Contact me with questions!
Joseph was sent to the prison where the king’s prisoners were held after Potiphar’s wife claimed he tried to seduce her. God does not abandon Joseph here either. God granted Joseph favor with the prison warden. Joseph was put in charge of all those held in prison and all the happenings there, allowing the warden the ability to not do anything either, like Potiphar.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 3: Genesis 39:19-23
7) God granted Joseph favor with the prison warden. Joseph was put in charge of all those held in prison and all the happenings there, allowing the warden the ability to not do anything either, like Potiphar.
8 ) God was with Joseph, and God gave Joseph success in everything he did and on those around Joseph. God uses us to bless others and uses our situation to do so, no matter how dreadful it is.
9a) See Genesis 50:20: “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Psalm 119:50: My comfort in my suffering is that your promise preserves my life.
John 16:33: Jesus has overcome the world. You can have peace in this world.
Romans 8:28-29: God works in all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
2 Corinthians 4:17: “Our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
1 Peter 6-7: Your suffering, grief, and trials are so that your faith may be proved genuine, and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus is revealed.
and Revelation 21:4: The old order will pass away and so will grief, death, mourning, crying, or pain.
b) Our suffering grows our faith. We suffer because Jesus suffered. Suffering is only on this side of heaven. This is encouraging.
10) Wisdom, patience, waiting on God, depending on God, plus he had years of practice managing households and the jail so he was prepared to manage the country.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 3: Genesis 39:19-23
I love how God never leaves Joseph. However, I am also wondering because Joseph saw how he was blessed at Potiphar’s if he knew God would bless him wherever he went? Or, he expected it? Or, if you have that mindset that God will do great things always, life and trials would be infinitely easier.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 3: Genesis 39:19-23
Spurgeon noted that Joseph’s silence was eloquent, saying nothing when your reputation and character are at stake. This is a prime example of letting your actions speak for themselves.
Bible scholars believe Potiphar was angry at his wife because he probably knew this was a false accusation, but Potiphar was forced to punish Joseph because he was a slave and for his wife’s reputation. Now, Potiphar will have a lot more work to do himself without Joseph running his affairs.
We know this was God’s plan as always so Joseph could get in front of Pharaoh. Yet, it was an odd plan. Joseph could have gotten to be 2nd in command of Egypt without going to prison just from his reputation at Potiphar’s house. God’s plans and ways are not ours. Perhaps Joseph needed one more lesson along the way of rising and falling and being faithful throughout.
The Lord was with Joseph and blessed him all throughout his life (Genesis 39:2; 3; 5; 21:23)
Tamar was desperate and knew Shelah would not be her husband. So she disguised herself to go and meet her father-in-law, Judah, at Enaim on the road to Timnah. Judah thought she was a prostitute so he offered her a young goat as payment to sleep with her. She asked for a pledge since he did not have the goat with him. He gave her his seal, cord, and staff. She slept with him and became pregnant.
Judah could not find her again to give her the goat. When he found out though that Tamar was pregnant, he ordered her death, thinking she sinned as a prostitute. She presented him with her pledge and Judah had to admit he was wrong not to give her Shelah. She had twin boys named Perez and Zerah.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 5: Genesis 38:13-30
13a) Tamar was desperate and knew Shelah would not be her husband. So she disguised herself to go and meet her father-in-law, Judah, at Enaim on the road to Timnah. She then tricked him into sleeping with her in order to have kids.
b) Too many ways to begin.
c) Judah at first was angry, but then he realized he was the one who sinned against her.
14) Jesus came from Tamar’s son, Perez, and Judah
15) It challenges me to do what is right, but not to use deceit to do so. Although, in Tamar’s defense, this was ancient times, and she didn’t have a lot of rights or say in any matter.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 5: Genesis 38:13-30
Now I see the significance of this story! I had forgotten about this until I read it again. Great stuff!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 5: Genesis 38:13-30
Tamar did not have a lot of options. It’s hard to blame her here. Judah was solely in charge if she would marry again, and it was painfully obvious he would not give her his last son.
God’s plan once again in action.
Judah fails to see his sin until he is confronted with it by Tamar. Wisely, he recognizes it for what it is.
Note this is another example of how God grants grace to sinners and how Jesus does not come from perfect examples of humanity (of which there are none). God can make all things work for the good of those who trust him (Romans 8:28), and for His redemptive plan.
Judah left the family and went up to Adullam. He got married and had three sons. Judah got a wife for his firstborn, Er, but he was wicked so God put him to death. Onan, Er’s brother, was then to lie with Er’s wife, but he refused to have kids with her so he was put to death. The widow Tamar was sent to live with her father until Shelah, Judah’s final son, was of age. Judah’s wife died, and he went to Timnah.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 4: Genesis 38:1-12
10) He married a Canaanite woman and so too did his sons.
11a) Er was wicked in the eyes of the Lord (that is all we are told). Onan refused to have children with Er’s widow, which violated Deuteronomy 25:5-10
b) God does not tolerate wickedness, and He enacts justice.
12) It helps me to not stray from God’s path, to remember Him, and hopefully to not sin as much.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 4: Genesis 38:1-12
I really don’t remember this chapter in Genesis. It seems out of place to me, especially if this is Joseph’s remembrances.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 4: Genesis 38:1-12
It seems strange to me that Judah did this. Perhaps he is reminded daily of his sin against his father when he sees him so he leaves. Yet, he violates God’s wishes by marrying a Canaanite woman, which we see a lot in Genesis. (Genesis 24:3, 28:1, 28:8
Being required to marry the widow of your brother was one of God’s ways to care for widows. Widows would probably have lived the rest of their lives struggling if not provided for. Onan refused to have kids with Tamar because they would not be his (they would be considered kids of the one who died, in this case Er). Thus, only obeying God half-way is still a sin.
Judah was afraid his last son would face God’s judgement too so he sent Tamar away.
Joseph’s brothers were sent to graze the flocks near Shechem. Jacob asks Joseph to go and check on his brothers. When Joseph arrived in Shechem, his brothers were no where to be found, so he asked about them. He was told they went to Dothan.
Joseph went to Dothan to find them. As he approached his brothers, they recognized him and plotted to kill him and throw him in a cistern and leave him to die. Reuben, the oldest, said not to kill him, but just throw him in the cistern, probably planning to come and get him once he learned his lesson.
When Joseph arrived, he was stripped of his coat and thrown into the empty cistern. Ironically, they casually sat and ate lunch when a caravan of Ishmaelites strode by on their way to Egypt. Judah suggested not to kill Joseph so they would not have blood on their hands, but to sell him to these approaching Ishmaelities. So they sold Joseph for 20 shekels of silver who took Joseph to Egypt.
Reuben who apparently was not with his brothers returned to rescue Joseph who was not there. Upon not finding him, he tore his clothes. Instead, they killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat into the blood. They took this robe back to Jacob who assumed an animal had tore him to pieces.
Jacob tore his clothes and mourned for many days. Jacob refused to be comforted and said he would mourn till the day he died. Joseph was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, who was the captain of the guard.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36
6) I’m assuming Jacob did not trust his sons. Or, because of what happened to Dinah in (Genesis 34), Jacob may still be worried about the neighboring tribes taking their revenge against him and his family.
7) They immediately started to plot against him. I’m assuming anger had been boiling up inside them for quite some time.
8a) They planned to say a wild animal tore him to pieces.
b) God had both Reuben and Judah have a twinge of guilt and not want to kill Joseph.
c) Man is evil through and through to plot to kill your own brother and sell him into slavery for a mere 20 shekels of silver.
9a) Unsure. Most definitely nothing like this.
b) Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36
I noticed how they used one of Jacob’s animals, a goat, and killed it to cover their crime. This was not even their animal to kill.
I’m unsure how Joseph’s brothers can sit and eat before they kill him. Joseph had to be screaming and begging for mercy. This shows just how evil man can be.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36
Tending sheep and goats is not exactly easy. You are outside in the hot sun all day, every day. You have to defend the animals against wild predators, sleep outside in the elements and on the hard ground, and hardly get any time off. Joseph, on the other hand, stayed at camp, slept in his own bed, and probably did not do much work at all.
Joseph was seen by his brothers probably a mile away due to his multi-colored coat. Here we also see Joseph is a supervisory role, not unlike his sheaves dream.
Dothan was about 10 to 15 mile walk. We see Dothan in the Bible again where God protected Elisha (2 Kings 6:13-17) like God protects Joseph here too.
Since Joseph had reported bad things before, the brothers assumed he would again. Their anger must have been great to make the leap to murder.
Fruitless to Oppose God
Interestingly, the brothers opposed God, not Joseph here. Note we see this repeatedly in the book of Genesis as humans are told God’s plans, perhaps even by God or Jesus himself, and they do everything in their power to thwart God’s plans. God wins anyway. God never fails.
We’ll see Joseph rise to become the 2nd most powerful person in the known world. Only God can do such a thing.
Reuben has a twinge of guilt, probably from God. He proposes to throw Joseph into the cistern without killing him.
Note how Reuben did not want to offend his brothers. Because of this, Joseph is sold into slavery, lost to them in essence. If Reuben had been firm as the oldest brother about returning Joseph to his father, this might not have happened. It’s funny because we all know God meant all of this to happen so Joseph could save God’s chosen family. It’s insanely hard to wrap your mind around.
Jesus in Joseph
All throughout the book of Genesis, we’ll see Jesus in Joseph. Here, we see Joseph being stripped as Jesus was. Note how even though we may lose every material thing, God can never be stripped from us.
The brothers were beyond cruel as Joseph pleaded for his life. Genesis 42:21 When your heart has turned to evil, it can be insanely hard to break free. The brothers were not only ruining Joseph’s life, and probably killing him in a cruel way from a life of slavery, but they were about to break their father’s heart.
We see Arab traders headed the brothers’ way. Most likely, they were descendants of Ishmael, so very distant relatives.
Money turns many a man’s soul black. The idea stemmed from Judah, Jesus’ relative. However, he will be transformed from this experience.
20 Shekels of Silver
20 shekels of silver was not that much money (each shekel was probably equivalent to about $20). We don’t know what words were exchanged between Joseph and his brothers here. Perhaps Joseph was in shock and speechless. Maybe he was crying. Maybe he forgave his brothers then. Maybe the brothers laughed. All we know is what happened.
We see no signs of guilt from the brothers and probably the determination to take their secret to the grave with them. Utter selfishness and evil here.
Was Jacob wrong to mourn so long here? Many Bible scholars say Jacob should have known Jospeh would have eternal life. However, this is before Jesus. Jacob cannot know this.
Egypt at this time was a well-established culture and power. They were wealthy. The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx had been built hundreds of years before Joseph. They had no real enemies. They enjoyed life to the fullest. Joseph was about to enter a whole different world than one of a goat herder.
The Greatness of Joseph’s Story
Joseph’s story is perhaps one of the greatest because we can see the consequences of our actions in what happens to Joseph, as well as how God orchestrates it all. In fact, we can thank Joseph’s sinful brothers for what they did to Joseph for we would not be here otherwise. God’s plan never fails, ever:
Joseph is sold into slavery
Joseph is bought by Potiphar
Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of rape
Joseph is thrown into prison
Joseph interprets the dreams of two men in prison, Pharaoh’s baker and butler
Esau moved to a land some distance from Jacob because the land could not support both of their livestocks. Esau settled in Seir.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 5: Genesis 36
13) Esau intermarried with Canaanite women. God still blessed him as he had to move away from Jacob because their livestock were too great in number. Esau was the father of the Edomites.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 5: Genesis 36
Esau was important enough in God’s eyes to have all of his descendants listed in the Bible. He was loved despite his sins and blessed beyond what was deserved. God is faithful even when we aren’t! Can you imagine the blessings He has in store for those who are faithful?
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 5: Genesis 36
Genesis lists the families not in the line of Messiah first. After this, we’ll hear no more of Esau and his line; it will be all about Jacob’s line.
Seir is the land south of the Dead Sea.
God blessed Esau because he was Abraham’s descendant and not for what he did. Again, God can do what He likes, even if we don’t agree with it. Kings came from Esau.
Fun Fact: Edom is mentioned more than 130 times in the Bible.
(Numbers 20:21). Edomites made Moses and the Israelites go around their land.
Dinah, daughter of Jacob, decided to go visit the women of the land (unsure why). Shechem, the son of the ruler of the area, Hamor, took her and raped her. He fell in love with her. Jacob and his sons were angry over this. Hamor asked Jacob for Dinah’s hand in marriage for his son, Shechem, and invited them to intermarry with them, trade, and own property in the land.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12
3) “They were filled with grief and fury.” Who wouldn’t be angry that their sister had been raped? Plus, Dinah would not be able to marry not being a virgin in that time.
4a) Shechem wanted to marry Dinah. Hamor offered Jacob and his family to settle among them, marry their daughters, live in the land, trade in it, and own property.
b) God’s people were called to not intermarry with the pagan cultures around them because then they will turn away from God to other gods.
5a) All cruelty bothers me.
b) Definitely pray about it. It can be overwhelming the sheer amount of evil in the world, but knowing God’s god it gives me peace. Help those I can.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12
Unsure why Dinah went to town in the first place, and it sounds like she went by herself so she violated that rule/culture at the time. Now, they had little choice but to let Dinah get married.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12
This story is used to prove the verity of the Bible. After all, who would record such evil deeds except God?
God had called Jacob to Bethel (Genesis 31:13), not Shechem. Inevitably, when you disobey God, bad things can happen.
It falls on Jacob for allowing Dinah to go unsupervised to the city. Yet, nothing is mentioned of that fact. In those times, it seems unsupervised women were raped. Dinah, as a teen, did rebellious things that have consequences as most teenagers do.
Was it love since Shechem raped Dinah? This was probably more a desire to have something more so than love.
Jacob’s sons are more angry than Jacob himself it seems. Jacob should have done something. Instead, the sons felt obligated to, and their choice was infinitely worse without guidance from the head of the family. In ancient times, however, the revenge of the brothers was commonplace.
The marriage proposal threatened God’s plan for all of humanity. God did not want intermarriage of his people, wanting them distinct from other cultures. The fix proposed by Shechem was not a fix at all. It would set a dangerous precedent.
They thought money could erase what happened. Imagine how Dinah felt. Being raped is one of the most vile crimes on this planet, leaving a lifetime full of sorrow and pain. Dinah probably wanted nothing to do with Shechem.