BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 2: Joshua 1:1-18

Summary of Joshua 1:1-18:

God commissions Joshua upon Moses’ death to lead His people into the Promised Land, which extends from the desert to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean (Great Sea) Sea. God prompts Joshua 3 times to “be strong and courageous” and to meditate on the Book of the Law (the Bible as it existed at that time so sin the New Testament) and Joshua would be successful.

So Joshua goes and tells the people the moment has come that God is going to fulfill His promise and give them the Promised Land (can you imagine the excitement!). However, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh is to stay in the part of the Promised Land they are in except the fighting men are to go and help the rest of God’s people take possession of the rest of the Promised Land.Image result for map banks of jordan river

The people whole-heartedly support Joshua in this mission set forth by God.

BSF’s Study Questions Lesson 1, Day 2: Joshua 1:1-18:

3) Part personal question. My answer: God commissioned Joshua to lead His people into the Promised Land and to take possession of it. He tells Joshua to be strong and courageous and that He will never forsake him. God tells Joshua to follow the law and never to turn from it. For me, that God will never forsake Joshua.

4a) God commanded Joshua to take His people across the Jordan River. God sets out the boundaries of the Promised Land (desert to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea (Great Sea). God tells Joshua 3 times to be strong and courageous. He tells him to obey all the law Moses gave them and never turn from it. He tells him to meditate on His word day and night.

b) Part personal Question. My answer: Joshua did everything God asked him to do. He went to the people and told them to ready themselves to take the Promised Land, and he laid out a plan of how he was going to accomplish it. In essence, move when God says to move and don’t hesitate.  This is something we can apply in our lives daily. I need to apply this when God nudges me and not wait until He pushes me!

5)  Joshua told the tribes that the fighting men would have to journey with them and help them take over the rest of the Promised Land that had to be fought for. The tribes respond with unhesitating agreement. They plead allegiance to Joshua like they had Moses, pray for Joshua for God to be with him in the same way as Moses, and even say whoever disagrees, should be put to death (a bit over-reactive but effective!). This must have been hugely encouraging as this was Joshua’s first act after Moses died and as leader of the Israelites (Moses had just died in Deuteronomy 34). God was definitely behind Joshua!

Conclusions to BSF’s People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 2:

What a great way to start this study off! This book is one of the most encouraging books in all of liturgy because it shows what can happen in your life when you obey God’s commands. We see Joshua commanded to take the people and he immediately does it. We see the people back Joshua, which is huge in accomplishing such an underdog mission.

Joshua is a great example of acting on God’s commands immediately and seeing results–an encouragement to us all when we don’t understand God’s timing.

Just a reminder: All of the notes and questions are now available online. You just have to set up an account HERE and voila! Yeah, BSF, for listening to the attendees and taking action (much like Joshua!).

Please watch the 8 minute video above. It is an excellent run-down of the Book of Joshua with cool illustrations!

End Notes to BSF’s People of the Promised Land 1: Joshua 1:

God speaks through history to give an example of our deliverance from the bondage of sin (as Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 10:11). In the New Testament, the central act of redemption is the work of Jesus on the cross. In the Old Testament, the central act of redemption is the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

As Israel wandered in the Sinai wilderness, the people experienced supernatural providence such as the supply of manna, water from rocks, the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, and Divine revelation: the Mosaic Law, which set forth God’s holy standard

The Promised Land represents heaven. We are brought out of sin so that we might be brought in to abundant life. The wilderness is never God’s permanent destination for us. Like those who never saw the Promised Land and died in those 40 years of wandering (including Moses), Christians today die in the dryness of spiritual experience, never walking in the fullness of what God has for them.

Remember that the Greek name Jesus simply translates the Hebrew name Joshua. Their names are identical. Whatever Israel received in the Promised Land, they received through the hand of Joshua; whatever we receive from God we receive through Jesus Christ, our Joshua.

Faithful in the little things, Joshua now is ready for something great: the leadership of Israel into the Promised Land.

Why did God not give the Israelites the Promised Land?

God made the Israelites fight for the Promised Land as we fight for God–to be with Him, to obey Him, to fight for Him.

As God’s chosen representative, Joshua had to speak God’s law, live God’s law, and meditate on God’s law. He needed to be bold for God. Success is guaranteed if we do so because God is with us.

Three days is waiting for God.

The tribe of Manasseh promises to help their brethren as we all must do–unity is important in battle.

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 1, Day 2: Romans 1:1-7

Summary of passage:  Paul greets the people of the early Roman church, identifying himself as a servant of Jesus and an apostle of God’s Word, which was promised long ago.  Jesus is the Son of God as declared by his resurrection.  Through Jesus Paul and others call the Gentiles to Jesus.  You (the early Christian church in Rome made up mostly of Jewish converts) are called to Jesus as well.

Questions:

3)  He’s “a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God.”  In Acts is the story of Paul’s conversion.  Jesus appeared to him and called him to convert the Gentiles as Jesus told Ananias.  Paul preached in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.  Paul explains to Timothy that he was the worst of sinners, but through God’s mercy and grace Paul was given the task to save sinners.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus is the Son of God and we are called to belong to him.  It is good cause we are forever granted eternal life by God’s side.  Just being a Christian is goodness defined no matter your circumstances.  Living in the dark is a terrible place to be.  Having Jesus by my side every second of every day is a blessing with no words.  In all aspects of my life, good and bad, He is good.  I am blessed beyond words.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  They are called to belong to Jesus through grace and are called to apostleship as well.  They are loved by God and called to be saints.  He offered them grace and peace.  We are all loved and called by God’s grace alone to be His.  We are also called to tell others the good news.  It reminds me I am loved and cherished and I need to show grace and mercy and Him to others.

Conclusions:  Great introduction by Paul, summing up who he is and pouring out love to the Romans.  Reading Paul’s conversion right off the bat reminds us all how Paul was the ultimate sinner until God called him.  He did terrible, terrible things and was on his way to do more terrible, terrible things when God intervened.  So there’s always hope.  For you or a loved one.  God knows.  His timing is perfect.  Trust in Him.

End Notes:  Background on the writing of Romans:  The life and ministry of Paul (previously known as Saul of Tarsus) is in Acts chapters 8 through 28, Galatians 1 and 2, and 2 Corinthians 11 and 12.

In ancient times writers put their names at the beginning of letters.  Almost all scholars agree Paul wrote Romans from the city of Corinth as he wintered there on his third missionary journey as described in Acts 20:2-3. This is based on Romans 16:1, 23 and 1 Corinthians 1:14.   The book is dated from 53 to 58 AD.

When Paul wrote the Book of Romans, he had been a Christian preacher for some 20 years. On his way to Jerusalem, he had three months in Corinth without any pressing duties. He perhaps thought this was a good time to write ahead to the Christians in Rome, a church he planned to visit after the trip to Jerusalem.

However, as Paul endeavored to go to Rome, the Holy Spirit warned him about the peril awaiting him in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-14). What if he were unable to make it to Rome? Then he must write them a letter so comprehensive that the Christians in Rome had the gospel Paul preached, even if Paul himself were not able to visit them.

Because of all this, Romans is different than many of the other letters Paul wrote churches. Other New Testament letters focus more on the church and its challenges and problems. The Letter to the Romans focuses more on God and His great plan of redemption.

Romans 1:1-7:  Paul is first a servant of Jesus and then an apostle.  This order is important.  The Greek word used here is complete and utter devotion.  Next, Paul is an apostle or messenger of God, which means it’s God’s words, not his.

Romans is all about God.

Fun Fact:  The word “God” occurs 153 times in Romans; an average of once every 46 words – this is more frequent than any other New Testament book. In comparison, note the frequency of other words used in Romans: law (72), Christ (65), sin (48), Lord (43), and faith (40).  Romans deals with many different themes but as much as a book can be, it is a book about God.

The gospel is not new, Paul says.  It’s been around since the prophets.

Christianity centers on Jesus, who is both human and divine.  Period.

Our Lord signifies deity and God.

History of First Christian Church in Rome:  Paul had never been to Rome, and he did not found the Roman church.  Most of Paul’s letters were to churches he founded.  Acts 2:10 describes how there were people from Rome among the Jews present at the Day of Pentecost; so when they returned home, Christians needed a place to worship.  Furthermore, being the center of the known world at that time in history, Christians continually migrated to Rome from all parts of the Empire.  It shouldn’t surprise us that a church started there spontaneously, without being directly planted by an apostle.  Moreover, there is no Biblical or historical evidence that the Apostle Peter founded the church in Rome.

Even so, through mutual acquaintances or through his travels, Paul knew many of the Christians in Rome by name because he mentions them in Romans 16.  Hence, he knew two things about them and every true Christian:  they were beloved of God and saints.

The Christians became saints through the calling.  “to be” is added by translators.  All Christians are holy since they are set apart to God and have the Holy Spirit within.

This greeting is used by both Paul and Peter in all their letters.  It combines the traditional Greek greetings with Hebrew.  The greeting is echoed in the conclusions, serving as an apostolic benediction on those addressed.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 1, Day 2: John 1:1-5

Summary of passage:  The Word (Jesus Christ) was in existence from the beginning with God and is God.  All things are made through him and he contains life.  He shines to unbelievers who do not understand him.

Questions:

3)  1)  “In the beginning was the Word”.  The Word is Jesus.  This means he has always existed.

2)  “the Word was with God”.  Jesus is always with the Father (God).

3)  “the Word was God”.  This means Jesus and God are one and the same, referring to the Triune God where God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One entity.

4)  Genesis 1:1:  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Jesus has always existed so Jesus was there in the beginning and he created the heavens and the earth since he and God are one and the same.

Colossians 1:15-17:  Jesus is the image of God and was first in creation.  Jesus created all things and all things are created for him.  He is above all things and he holds all things together.

Hebrews 1:2-3:  The universe was created through Christ.  Jesus is the world’s light and the sustainer of this world (creation).  Jesus and God are equally responsible for this world, for Creation, and for its ongoing perpetuity.  They are in ultimate control of everything.

5)  We are told even thrones, powers, rulers, and authorities were created by Jesus and for Jesus.  All things on heaven and earth.  God is in control of us and our flourishing upon this earth and in heaven.  God is responsible for our life and therefore is at the center of a fulfilling life and should be the center of my fulfillment in life.

6)  Part personal question.  My answer:  Light is God/Jesus.  Darkness is Satan/devil.  Figuratively, light is also believers and darkness is unbelievers and evildoers.  Too many examples to list.  Light is all the good people do for others.  The aiding in disasters and in daily life.  Missionary work.  Even just bringing a meal to a sick neighbor.  That is light.  Darkness unfortunately is everywhere.  Terrorism.  War.  Senseless deaths and violence humans wreck upon each other.  Very, very sad.

Conclusions:  I’m SO excited to begin the study of John.  After Revelation last year, I’m looking forward to something more clear-cut, easy to understand, and Jesus’s words to us.  My kids struggled last year due to the nature of Revelation so I’m praying they love this study and look forward to BSF every week.

Good lesson on the Word and light and darkness, which is frequently used by John in this book.  If we understand nothing else in this study, understand the first line:  God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one in the same and have been since before time existed.  Life is in the belief in Jesus.  Period.

End Notes:  John deliberately opens his book with a parallel to Genesis 1:1.  There, God speaks creation into existence.  Here, God through John speaks salvation into existence by announcing Jesus’ presence in the world.  Everything is spoken.  Jesus speaks the Word of God and is the Word of God.

In Greek, word is logos.  Jews referred to God himself as “word of God.”  The ancient Greeks used the word logos as meaning turning chaos into order.  John uses the concept of word to speak to everyone:  the word is God–always has and always will be.  He lays out from the first sentence the Trinity so all can understand.

The Word created all things, meaning the Word himself is an uncreated being.  In the Word is the source of all life–physical and spiritual.  The Word is the life of all men.  Without Jesus we are dead and in darkness.  Most of us have a natural fear of darkness because of this fact.

The Greeks also used logos to mean the unspoken word as well that lingers in the mind–reason.

Life is Christ’s gift and is central to this Gospel for Christ is life (John 14:6).

Light is also Christ (John 8:12), who illuminates all spiritually–prominent in the Book of John as well.  Psalm 36:9 holds the connection to the Old Testament:  “in your light we see light.”  We see Jesus.

In verse 5, understand can also be overcome.  Essentially, darkness cannot overcome light.  The devil cannot defeat God.  The Greek word is difficult to translate here, meaning laying hold onto something to make its own.  In Genesis 1:2, the earth was dark until God called into light.  Until God decided to banish darkness with his light and gift us all with life.

Fun Fact:  The Greek word “life” is used 36 times by John while no other New Testament book uses it more than 17 times.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 1, Day 2

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

3)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Visit psychics, witchcraft.  From the past we picture rituals such as reading the entrails of animals, cauldrons and potions, the heavens, stars, sun, and moon, and crystal balls.  In fantasy we see “seers” scrying the future, vampires with the gift of sight (Twilight, anyone?), oracle at Delphi, clairvoyants, and of course Nostradamus.  Tarot cards, ESP, dreams, and palm reading.  You name it, it’s been done in the millennia humans have walked this planet.

4)  Prophecy is from God carried along by the Holy Spirit.  Man has nothing to do with prophecy. Because what God says will happen, will happen. What man says will happen, will not.  God is in control, not man.  We can only be certain of prophecy if it’s from God.

5)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  The foretelling of the future does two things:  1) increases our faith in God  2) reveals God to be true.  When future events come true that were predicted ahead of time, it results in belief and conversion.  God wants believers to be stronger in faith and He wants unbelievers to believe.  When we see prophecy come to pass, our faith is strengthened and we become witnesses to others.

Conclusions:  I am excited that we are not diving right into Revelation, but this day didn’t do it for me.  In modern times, most of us are aware of the quacks out there.  Most of us don’t believe those who claim to predict the future.  Most of us know the future is unknown except by God.  However, the point BSF is making here is good:  God is the only one who does know the future and we can trust in Him when what He says comes to pass.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 1, Day 2: Exodus 1:1-21

Summary of passage:  We pick up where Genesis left off.  All of Jacob’s family moves to Egypt where Joseph already is.  Their generation dies but they leave behind many who are fruitful and multiply and fill the land.  A new Pharaoh comes to power who does not know Joseph.  He is afraid that the Israelites are becoming too many and may join with his enemies to overthrow him so he makes them all slaves.

But Pharaoh’s plan backfires:  the more they are oppressed, the more they multiply.  Hence, they were oppressed more with a life of hard labor.

Plan #2 to rid Egypt of the Israelites:  Pharaoh tells the midwives of the Israelites to kill all baby boys who are born.  However, the midwives feared God more than Pharaoh and they disobey.  They tell Pharaoh that the babies are born before they arrive.  Hence, God blessed His people even more as well as the midwives.

Questions:

3)  Genesis 15 tells us that part of Egypt was part of the Promised Land.  Genesis 45 tells us that it is God’s plan to save His people during the famine that they go and live near Joseph who will provide them grain during the famine.  God says He will make them into a great nation while in Egypt.

4a)  Pharaoh feared that the Israelites would join with his enemies and fight against him and leave the country.

b)  To oppress them by making them slaves and giving them heavy labor to perform.

c)  They only multiplied and spread.

d)  Pharaoh wanted the Israelite midwives to kill every male child born.

5a)  They risked their own lives by disobeying Pharaoh but they feared God more than Pharaoh.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If you do His will instead of others, you will be blessed and rewarded both on earth and in heaven.  Do what is right for He is always with you.

Conclusions:  Who else is glad to be back??  Great lesson.  Right off the bat things are going to get interesting.  Great beginning to one of the great stories of the Bible.  Loved how the midwives were named instead of being kept anonymous. Shows just what an important job and risk they did take by following God.  Awesome!

End Notes:  Note Pharaoh was not named, which is why the exact time frame of history is unsure here.  Contrast this with the women who were named and this is a Bible anomaly and a historical anomaly where important men were usually always named and women were insignificant.

350 years are summed up in a few verses in chapter one of Exodus and the Bible will devote most of Exodus to just a single year and focus on one man.  This emphasizes the importance of these events and this man.

In the original Hebrew language, the first word of Exodus is ‘and’.  This further notes the continuation of the book of Genesis.

As Joseph died, so did all of his privileges and special treatments.

The Hebrew verbs from Genesis 1:21,22 and repeated in Exodus for emphasis:  “fruitful, swarmed, became numerous”.

God started with one man and 4 woman (Abraham and his wives).  Now, they are a nation.

The enemies of the Egyptians at the time were the Hittites in the north.

If we remember in Genesis, a problem for the Israelites was they were surrounded by pagan people who wanted to intermarry with them.  So God brought them to Egypt, a place where they believed themselves to be a superior race and felt it beneath them to marry non-Egyptians so that they could grow into a strong nation, which would have been impossible in Canaan.  So when they were ready, God brought them to the Promised Land.  All in God’s timing.

We see the theme of suffering and persecution only growing faith in God and Christianity.  Here, the Israelites grow.  After Christ’s death, Christianity grew.

Shiphrah and Puah mean beauty and splendor.

We can see Pharaoh’s order as Satan’s attempt to eliminate the Seed of the Woman (Jesus) who will crush him. Genesis 3:15

Great example of obeying God first over the government and man when we are called to do something against God’s word (Romans 13:1-5).

The midwives may or may not have been lying with their answer to Pharaoh about why the male children still live.  This is debated by scholars.

Usually midwives were chosen because they couldn’t have children so God blessed them with children.

Key point:  God over man and He will bless you out of his goodness.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 1, Day 2: Matthew 1:1-17

Summary of passage:  A listing of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.  There were 14 generations in all from Abraham to David and 14 from David to the exile in Babylon and then 14 more to Christ.

Questions:

3a)  Tamar married Er, Judah’s firstborn son; but Er was put to death by the Lord because he was wicked.  By law, Tamar was given to Er’s brother, Onan, in order to bear children.  However, Onan refused to have children with her so he was put to death as well.

Judah was afraid his final son, Shelah, would die as well so he sent Tamar away.  Tamar, tired of waiting and understanding she’d never have Shelah, tricked Judah into sleeping with her.  She became pregnant and bore twins, Perez and Zerah–Perez being an ancestor of Jesus.

Rahab–After Moses died, Joshua was hand-picked by God to lead His people into the Promised Land and in order to do so, they had to defeat those already living there. Joshua sends two spies to scout the land before they attack.  They end up staying with Rahab, a prostitute and a Gentile.  The King of Jericho tells Rahab to send the spies to him.  She told the King that the spies had left the city when in fact she had hidden them in her roof.  In return, Rahab asks that she and her family be spared from God’s wrath.  She helped the spies escape and told them where to hide.  In the end, Rahab and her family were the only ones spared when Joshua conquered Jericho.

Ruth–Ruth was a Moabite woman (a Gentile) who had married a man from Bethlehem, a Jew, who had traveled to Moab along with his mother during a famine.  He died and Naomi, the mother, desired to return to her homeland.  She freed her daughters-in-law to return to their people but Ruth refused, her love so strong for Naomi, saying she goes where Naomi goes.

So they return to Bethlehem where Ruth meets Boaz, a distant relative of Naomi’s.  Ruth works in Boaz’s fields, collecting the leftover grain from the harvest in order to care for Naomi.  This garners the attention of Boaz who ultimately takes her as his wife.

“Wife of Uriah”—  Better known as Bathsheba, she is coveted by King David who commits adultery with her and she then conceives.  Hoping to cover-up the affair, David calls Uriah the Hittite home who out of duty does not sleep with Bathsheba.  Therefore, David puts Uriah up front in battle and he is killed, leaving him free to marry Bathsheba.  There’s only one problem:  God knows David’s sin and God is not happy.  Thus, God punishes David by killing the child.  David worships the Lord despite his hardship and the Lord grants him another child, Solomon.

Mary–The Virgin Mother of Jesus whom God chose to bear His son.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It show’s God’s ability to work with all sorts of people–and to work through sin.  There is no criteria one must meet in order to be chosen by God and do His works.  Jesus was not from a pure aristocratic line.  Also, it shows God’s love of all of His people, including women, who were at this time considered mere objects and property.  Some Jewish men at that time prayed to God every day and thanked Him that they were not born a woman.

By using Gentiles and woman in Jesus’ line, we see that the New Covenant is meant for all.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Firstly, Rahab for she risked her life to save strangers–all because they followed God.  Secondly, Ruth who left her homeland for hardship to stay by Naomi’s side.  Thirdly, Tamar albeit she used deceit, she was following God’s law at the time and calling Judah out.  Bathsheba and Mary I would say no.  David took Bathsheba.  I don’t think she had much of a choice in the matter.  Mary accepted, also accepting God’s will.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I believe I’m called to teach so I applied for teaching jobs.

4a)  The prophets foretold that the Messiah would be a king and therefore Jesus must come from kings as kingship is usually hereditary.  It validates Jesus as the Messiah so he wouldn’t be considered just some charlatan or imposter.

The Messiah would come from the line of Abraham:  Genesis 22:17-18:  “Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.”  Genesis 12:3 says the same.

2 Samuel 7:16:  God’s promise to David: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”

2 Samuel 7:12-13:  God’s promise to David”  “…I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

Isaiah 9:7  “He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom…from that time on and forever.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus must come from God’s people (the Jews).  Genesis 3:15 God says to the devil “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”  It’s important to establish who Jesus is and what his job is here on earth.

To convince the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah.  Jesus had to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies or they would never believe.

Conclusions:  Great start to the year!  Challenging questions which establish the importance of Jesus.  I liked reading about the women.  It’s a great refresher and also some of the best stories in the Bible.

The Jewish people of Jesus’ time looked to the Old Testament for their Messiah and in the Old Testament the prophets foretold how the people would recognize the Messiah when he arrived.  Known as the Messianic prophecies, there are 44 specific things to look for.   This website had a complete list of prophecies from the Old Testament and their fulfillment in the New:

http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm

End Note:  Matthew’s list is not the complete genealogy.  There are glaring people left out, namely Jehoiakim (2 Chronicles 36:5-8), who was such a wicked king of Israel that God promised through Jeremiah that a descendant of his would not sit on the throne (Jeremiah 36:30-31).  This posed a problem and this is where Luke’s genealogy comes into play.  Jehoiakim is a relative of Joseph but since Jesus was not a blood son of Joseph the curse does not apply to him.

Mary’s line, the true blood line of Jesus, goes through a different son of David namely Nathan (Luke 3:31), thus exempting Jesus from Johoiakim’s curse.

Why did Matthew leave out people in his listing?  Scholars say it was typical of Jewish custom to skip generations in their recordings.  Also, it was easier to memorize with 14, 14, 14.  Matthew’s goal may have been to get the most important (in his view) listed and skip the rest.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 1, Day 2: Genesis 1

Introductory Note:  Hey all!  It’s great to be back.  Just some information up front. The answers will be found under BSF Genesis on the side bar.  It might take a couple of weeks for it to show up since the side bar is determined by popularity so be patient! Until then, you can use the search in the side bar or scroll down to find the answers.

Summary of passage:  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was formless and void but the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

1st Day:  God made light and He saw it was good.  He separated light from dark.  He called light “day” and dark “night.”

2nd Day:  God separated the waters to create sky.

3rd Day:  He let the dry ground appear, which He named “land” and the gathered waters he called “seas”.  Then the land produced vegetation–all of which God saw was good.

4th Day:  God made the sun, moon, and stars to be used as signs to mark the seasons, days, and years; to give light on the earth; to govern the day and the night; and to separate light from darkness.  God saw that it was good.

5th Day:  God created the great creatures of the sea as well as every winged bird.  He blessed them to multiply and fill the earth.  He saw it was good.

6th Day:  God created living creatures on the land and all the wild animals and He saw it was good.  He made man in His own image to rule over all the earth and its creatures.  God blessed them and told them to be fruitful and rule.  He gave man every green plant for food and everything that has the breath of life in it.  God saw that it was very good.

Questions:

3a)  God is the subject of most sentences followed by an action verb (said, saw, created, called, made, set, blessed).  It’s all about God.  His name is used 30 times in Chapter 1.  He’s the center.  Nothing happens in this chapter without Him.  It’s true now.  He’s the center and nothing happens in this world without Him.

b)  The word let is very common in English.  I sense no pompousness here or a great booming voice–just God casually (yet purposefully) creating all.  Let means “to cause to or make” according to Webster’s Dictionary.  God is causing or making all.

Another meaning of let in Webster’s Dictionary is the imperative (command) form here, meaning to introduce a request or proposal.  It’s a command yet it’s gentle.

“It was so” means everything God spoke was.  He is omnipotent and Chapter 1 of Genesis shows this clearly.

4)  He saw that all He had made was very good (verse 31)

5a)  Jeremiah 10:12:  God made everything by His power, wisdom, and understanding

Acts 17:24-25:  God made the world and is therefore Lord and He does not need anything because He’s the ultimate (and the first) giver.

Romans 1:18-20:  Since God is the Creator His eternal and divine qualities are in everything.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This is a stupid question.  Why doesn’t BSF just come out and say the word “evolution” instead of tip-toeing around it?  Obviously, if you are a believer, then you believe in the Creation and not in Evolution.  It’s the first words of the Bible.  This alone speaks to its significance.

Conclusions:  I felt silly summarizing Genesis 1, the most popular and probably well-known chapter in the entire Bible. But I had never listed out each individual day before so I learned the sequence of Creation.

I think we must be careful not to get too comfortable with this study.  Most of us know the stories in Genesis like the back of our hand.  But do we know the significance of the stories?

I know I don’t.  This is why I am doing this study.

Some fun facts I already learned:  The Bible would not make much sense without the book of Genesis.  Almost every fundamental doctrine begins here:  sin, redemption, the power of God, the purpose of Jesus Christ, and justification.

Moses is believed to have written the book of Genesis (Luke 24:27, 44).

Genesis is quoted in the New Testament over 150 times.

I pray everyone has a deep and meaningful study in the book of Genesis and that perhaps you glean something here.