BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 5: Joshua 5:1-12

Image result for gibeath haaraloth map

Summary of Joshua 5:1-12:

Upon hearing of God’s bringing of His people across the Jordan River by stopping its flow, all the Amorite king and Canaanite kings lost courage to face the Israelites. God ordered the circumcision of His people at Gibeath Haaraloth. These were the sons of the the wandering Israelites who had not been circumcised on the journey. They remained in camp until they were healed.

The Israelites celebrated the Passover, eating the produce of the land (unleavened bread and roasted grain). The manna stopped after this since the Israelites were now able to produce their own food.

BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 5: Joshua 5:1-12:

11) To circumcise all the Israelites who had not been circumcised previously. God had commanded Abraham that all Israeli males be circumcised as a sign of the covenant made between Abraham and God, which was God’s promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation and receive the gift of the Promised Land. It was also a requirement to be circumcised to take part in the Passover, which is a celebration in remembrance of God sparing the Israelites in his judgment of Egypt, passing over the houses of the children of Israel when He killed the firstborn of man and beast in Egypt.

Deuteronomy tells us also that “God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”

12a) Passover. The passover signifies the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people.

b) God stopped giving manna. This signified to the Israelis that they now would be able to provide for themselves–something all of us wants.

13) Personal Question. My answer:  God has given me a new job, so my husband and I can start getting out of debt and getting on the right path for our lives. It’s a job that grows me and will serve me (and Him) forever in the future. I will thank Him by following Him, giving Him the credit, and loving Him.

Conclusions to BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 5: Joshua 5:1-12:

It’s important to remember our blessings each and every day, which can easily get distracted with our daily struggles and problems. God chose circumcision and Passover for His people. Now, you can choose whatever you wish as a remembrance: just make it something concrete, visible, and meaningful to you.

Watch VIDEO of book of Joshua if you haven’t had a chance yet.

End Notes to BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 5: Joshua 5:1-12:

Related imageSeeing the miracle of the Jordan River parted is only part of the reason the kings cower before the Israelites. The other reason: the Israelites trust in God. Trust is powerful. Think of all the people you trust enough to cross a parted river. Maybe a handful?

Apparently, no one was circumcised in the 40 years of wanderings. It was time to show your outward obedience to God’s commands and get circumcised. Circumcision is a consecration of yourself to God. It’s renouncing yourself and living for God. This had to be done before the conquering began.

Obviously, this was suicidal from a military standpoint.  All the men of fighting age were made completely vulnerable and unable to fight for a period of several days.

If you remember back in Genesis 34:24-25, Simeon and Levi killed all the men in a city after tricking them into having them all circumcised. While the men were unable to fight, they were slaughtered in retaliation, because the prince of that city had raped Dinah, the sister of Simeon and Levi. This could have been the fate of Israel here in Joshua 5.

  • Israel crossed over the Jordan at a militarily undesirable place (right in front of Jericho, the strongest military outpost of the Canaanites),
  • Then the Israelites incapacitated their army for several days.

The Israelites were circumcised because they trusted God.

God, in His infinite compassion, only asked the Israelites to do this AFTER the miracle of the parting of the Jordan River. God gives us strength and courage before he pushes us again. Radical things happen when we trust wholeheartedly in God.

“Rolling away the reproach of Egypt” means the shame of being slaves in Egypt and the underlying sin and rebellion that had caused that punishment. The Israelites needed to stop seeing themselves as helpless slaves and sinners but as conquering warriors of God who were forgiven.

God did not want the Israelites to forget His deliverance of them. God never wants us to forget Jesus’ deliverance of us out of bondage and into freedom.

God didn’t want the Israelites to get lazy; they could provide for themselves. Again, they needed to trust in God’s provision–not in how it was provided.

Gilgal will become a base camp for the Israelites. After battles they will return here. They will remember God’s greatness with the stones and be strengthened and renewed.

Theme of Joshua 5: Trust in God.

Fun Biblical Fact: This is the only time Gibeath Haaraloth is mentioned in the Bible.

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 1, Day 5: Romans 1:16-17

Summary of passage:  The gospel saves those who believe, first the Jew and then the Gentile, bringing righteousness through faith.

Questions:

12)  “It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”  It reveals “a righteousness from God” through faith.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m never ashamed.  However, I do live a cushy life in the United States so I’m sure some of you have a very different experience.  The gospel is for everyone.  All you need is faith.

14)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  I’ve always had faith so it’s hard to me to imagine a life without God by my side. I’ve been blessed indeed.  It’s simple:  with Christ you have life.  Without him you have nothing.  For Paul, realizing that faith in Christ gets him to God changed everything.  He put Christ first.  To him, everything else is garbage.  Christ alone.  That simple.

Conclusions:  You could say this is the crux of the Christian faith, boiled down to two verses.  I love how it’s a faith that has always been there and will always be there.  Awesome!

End Notes:  Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the gospel that saves.  It is power from God.  To have that power all one has to do is believe.

Greeks used here is anyone non-Jewish.

Righteousness is God treating the sinner like he’s not a sinner.  It’s a gift given to those who believe in Christ as God’s Son and Savior.  God’s righteousness, which is the state of being in a right relationship with God.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 1, Day 5: John 1:14-18

Summary of passage:  The Word (Jesus) became flesh and was sent by the Father to us.  John testifies for Jesus, saying Jesus is greater than him.  Jesus is the source of our blessings.  Jesus has made God known to all of us.

Questions:

12a)  God has blessed us out of faith through Jesus.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Way too many to choose but a recent one is God has given me a job to help support my family and continue His financial blessings upon us AND it’s a job He picked for me because it fits me and the people and company I work for are fantastic.

13)  “The law was given through Moses”:  God sent His law (the rules for livings) through Moses.

“Grace came through Jesus Christ”:  Because of Jesus, God gives us grace (forgiveness, etc).

“Truth came through Jesus Christ”:  Jesus brought the Truth which is there’s only one way to God and that’s through him (Jesus).

In essence, this entire phrase together (separated is confusing) means Christ is replacing the law brought by Moses and only Jesus is grace and truth and life.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Incredible and heart-wrenching.

Conclusions:  Based on this first lesson of John, I’m gonna say that BSF has stopped marking questions as challenge questions and personal questions.  Now, BSF provides the reference verses for us to look up (which I think is a good thing especially for new believers who have no clue where to look in the Bible for such things).  And I’m assuming the personal nature of BSF questions is here to stay, especially after Revelation where it seemed every question had a personal twist on it.  I’ll leave it up to you whether you think this is a good thing or not.  I’m ambivalent.  I think it’s a good thing except where it gets repetitive i.e. the same question worded slightly different for each lesson.  We do need to apply the Word (note the pun) to our daily lives and I love that.  However, there’s only so many ways to apply the same subject to my life at any given time.  I just can’t take in big changes.  Small steps and let’s focus on those.

End Notes:  Verse 16 should say:  “Of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace”.  John means here grace is never-ending with God.

Verse 18:  In the Greek, “God” here is missing the definite article which indicates a person.  Here, John is speaking of God’s deity or his nature of being.  “At the Father’s side” is better translated as “who is in the bosom of the Father”.  This is how children are to parents–connected and one.  Jesus and God are one.

“God the One and Only” is Jesus here. “Made him known” can be read as “declared”.  Jesus has declared the nature of the unseen God and IS the unseen God.

Because no one can look upon God and live (Exodus 33:20), God became human and sent Jesus in order to make Him known.

Final Conclusions to Lesson 1:  Admittedly, my Bible had dust on it when I pulled it out after the study of Revelation ended.  I’m so glad BSF has started because I need that push to know God and I need the structure of a bible study to make me do so.  Great opening verses to dive right into God and Jesus and who they are.  This is the essence of the book of John and what he’s trying to convey and what we as believers need to know.  We got a nice introduction to John the Baptist and we’ll see him again next week.  Knowing God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one and have been since before time began and all God asks of us is to believe that statement should lift the heart of any struggling with doubts of worthiness or shame or any other lies from Satan.  We are worthy.  We are His.  And He is ours.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 1, Day 5

Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.

Questions:

11)  Jesus (duh).  Moses wrote about Jesus.  In Deuteronomy, Moses says God will provide another to be the mediator since the people asked for one.

Blog post HERE  and HERE lists all of the parallels with Moses and Jesus and as Moses led his people out of Egypt so Jesus will lead us out of this life and into another.

12a)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus promises that everything that is written in the Word will be fulfilled (Luke), that he will go and prepare a place for us and then come back to bring us with him and dwell with him (John), that Jesus will come with angels and reward each person according to what he has done (Matthew).  I have every confidence this will be fulfilled.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The book of Revelation will come true.  We will be with God.

Conclusions:  Number 12 was weak.  I found the comparisons on the blog posts for number 11 quite interesting.  God is amazing, isn’t He?

Conclusions on Lesson 1:  BSF focused on Lesson 1 on prophecy:  what is it, why is it important, and where is it in the Bible.  Prophecy is relevant to us today.  Although I’m one not to dwell on it, it’s good to know what will happen in the future.  It gives hope and meaning to our lives here on Earth.  It proves God is omnipotent and the One, True God.

I think most of us take each day as it comes because we never know if it’ll be our last.  We’re not doomsday-ers or the like.  We strive to follow God.  And He gave us the book of Revelation so we can better know Him.  As we study, ask yourself, “What does this tell me about Christ, about God, and the real meaning of history?”  A healthy perspective will make this study rewarding and life-changing.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 1, Day 5: Exodus 2:1-10

Summary of passage:  Pharaoh orders all his people to kill newborn Hebrew boys.  A Levite woman gave birth to a boy and hid him for 3 months.  Then she put him in a basket and set him among the reeds of the Nile.  Pharaoh’s daughter went to bathe along the river bank and found the baby.  It was crying and she felt sorry for it so she had a Hebrew woman (the baby’s mother) nurse him until he was old enough to live with her as her son.  She named him Moses, which means “draw out.”

Questions:

11a)  God had Jochebed put Moses in the Nile at the precise time Pharaoh’s daughter would be there.  Moses cried and Pharaoh’s daughter’s heart was moved.  She found a wet nurse right away for the baby.  She did all of this when she was alone and not in view of her father who I am sure would have had the child killed.

b)  I’m assuming there were physical differences between the Hebrews and the Egyptians–maybe skin color or prominent facial features.  The clothing Moses was wearing was probably a give away as well.

c)  She watched over her baby brother to make sure nothing happened to him.  She was caring.  (Hard to get a lot from one line).

12a)  He would have been raised in the faith of God.  No one cares for a child like its own mother so he would have been loved much more than a common caregiver.

b)  He was brought up as royalty as Pharaoh’s daughter’s son.  He was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.  He would have had no wants so would have been healthy and well-fed.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I was placed in a Christian home so I’ve always known God.  I was born an American in a wealthy nation where even if you’re poor, you’re better than most.  I was born in modern times where freedom and comfort are expected.  Prayer of thanks and use what He has given me for His purpose.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  No matter your birth you can do anything.  This is easy for us in the United States as this is our culture.  Other places still have limited freedoms on what you can and can’t do.  Moses rose from a poor boy to one of the most famous people who ever lived.  Faith in God gets you anywhere.

Conclusions:  I liked how yesterday we focused on Moses’ mother’s faith and here we see the results of such faith.  Very encouraging as a parent who often doesn’t see that in her own children.  It can take years to see results of a life lived in faith.  I love how God is at work even though we can’t see it.

Moses was the perfect example of rags to riches and fall to grace.  Anything is possible with God.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 1, Day 5: Matthew 1:18-25

Summary of passage:  Jesus’ mother, Mary was pledged to marry Joseph but before they got married she became pregnant through the Holy Spirit.  Joseph was going to divorce her until an angle of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him that the baby was from God and to not be afraid.  Name him Jesus because he will save his people from sin.

This fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) of a virgin giving birth to a son named Immanuel, “God with us”.  When Joseph awoke he obeyed the angel of the Lord and married Mary but did not sleep with her until she gave birth to Jesus.

Questions:

9a)  Genesis 3:15:  Christ will come from the line of Eve and will crush Satan

Genesis 49:8-12:  The scepter (or the kingship) will not depart from Judah until Christ comes to whom the kingship belongs and al the nations obey him i.e. Christ will come from Judah’s line.

Psalm 2:7:  Here God declares Jesus to be His son.  This whole Psalm is a prophecy of the Messiah.

Isaiah 7:14:  A virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son whose name shall be Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6-7:  A child will be born and given to us (God’s son) and he will rule and be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.  He will bring peace to the nations and reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom with justice and righteousness forever.

b)  Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:23:  Isaiah is quoted, saying a virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son called Immanuel or “God with us”.

10a)  Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My plan it seems is never God’s plan so I have umpteen examples from my life.  I wouldn’t use the word “prove” though; I’d say “reluctantly followed” with much screaming and kicking along the way!  Seriously, with this whole teaching thing.  I believe it’s God’s will and I’m following it even though I never dreamed as a child I’d be a teacher.  Same with writing.  Same with motherhood.  Same with wifehood.  Etc.

11a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Well, adultery was punishable by death in ancient times so Mary was putting her life at risk by carrying God’s child.  She would have been scorned, looked down upon, shunned, etc by all her family and friends with a pregnancy out-of-wedlock.

Same for Joseph.  He was probably shunned as well for taking a wife who was pregnant instead of divorcing her.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The ultimate:  to be Jesus’ parents!  Also, God’s blessing beyond belief.  Eternal life.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t like the word “suffer” here because being faithful to God does not always entail suffering nor do I believe you have to suffer for your faith.  Anytime you are called by God and you are faithful you are rewarded either here or there (heaven), either in things you can see or not see.

It’s very difficult to compare what Joseph and Mary went through to what we go through in the US in the twenty-first century as opposed to the first century.  We live in a very tolerate society and even if we do suffer for our faith it’s not usually a life or death suffering.  It’s more of a quality of life type of suffering.

We should all be encouraged and grateful when we compare our lives to Joseph’s and Mary’s.

Conclusions:  Didn’t like 11c if you couldn’t tell and the more I thought about it the more I didn’t like it.  You don’t have to suffer for your faith.  Suffering is in the mind anyways.  If you look upon your life as a blessing, you won’t suffer despite all the hardships for it’s all a gift from Him.  It’s the victim mentality.  You either choose to be a victim.  Or you choose to be blessed.  It’s up to you.

While I love the time period I have been born into and our tolerate society, we have sacrificed morals and values to be so tolerate.  I watched the movie “42” over the weekend which is the Jackie Robinson story.  The coach of Jackie’s team was suspended for one year because he committed adultery.  You’d never see that in today’s society where it seems to be flaunted instead.  Thus, in some respects, I think you can go too far the other way.

Yearly Tip:  I encourage all of you to read the passages before and after.  In this instance, the entire Psalm 2 passage is a prediction of Jesus Christ.  You get a more complete picture reading the entire Psalm than just reading one verse stuck in the middle.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 1, Day 5: Genesis 1:2

Passage:  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Questions:

11)  Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:2b).  By His breath (Holy Spirit) the skies became fair (Job 26:13).  When you send your Spirit, they (humans) are created, and you renew the face of the earth (Psalm 104:30).

12)  Genesis 6:3:  God’s Spirit will not contend (or remain) with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.

Webster’s says contend means “to struggle; to strive or vie in contest; maintain”.  It could also mean the Spirit will not struggle against man’s sinful nature for more than 120 years.

Ezekiel 36:26-27:  God will put the Spirit in us to move us to follow His decrees and keep His laws.

John 3:8:  The Spirit goes where it wants to and you cannot predict where it will go or where it will come from.

John 7:38-39:  Whoever believes in Christ will have the Spirit flowing within them.

John 14:16-17:  The Spirit was sent by God to be with us and in us; to speak the truth to us and be our Counselor.

John 16:7-8:  Jesus had to die so that the Spirit (or Counselor) could be with man.  It will be the Spirit to convict the world of guilt and bring righteousness.

Romans 8:9:  The Spirit lives in you if you belong to God.  You are controlled by the Spirit, not by your sinful nature.  If you don’t have the Spirit, you don’t belong to God.

2 Corinthians 3:3:  The Spirit is written on our hearts that shows/proves we are God’s.

2 Corinthians 3:6:  We are competent to spread the Good News because we have the Spirit.  The Spirit gives life.  Nothing else such as letters.

2 Corinthians 3:18:  We are being transformed into God’s likeness with ever-increasing glory because we have the Spirit within.  The Spirit allows us to reflect God’s glory wherever we go.

Ephesians 1:13-14:  Once we accepted Christ into our hearts, we were marked by the Holy Spirit as God’s.  We are thus guaranteed our inheritance (everlasting life).

Titus 3:5-6:  God saved us through the Holy Spirit, which Christ brought us through his death.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s a great reminder that no matter what sins we commit, we are saved and forgiven because of the Holy Spirit, which guides all that we do.  I take comfort in knowing I’m not in control but God is and that I am gradually being transformed because of the Spirit into God’s glory.

It gives me hope because it seems I fall short every day of God’s commands.

14a)  Once Christ is accepted, the Holy Spirit comes and fills that person, marks them, and then guides them for the rest of their earthly days.  The Spirit goes where it chooses to go.  But we can help the Spirit choose others by reflecting God’s glory.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes.

Conclusions:  Many people just think of God when they think of Creation.  They picture Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel where he depicts God extending His hand to Adam and imparting life.  But many (including me) forget the intricate role of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in all of this.  Great job by BSF bringing that aspect to light and emphasizing their continued importance in our life today.