BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 10, Day 3: Skim Genesis 6-9

Summary of passages:  Please see previous posts.

Questions:

6a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The judgment was final.  There was no going back once it began.  Once God closed the door to the ark God’s judgment had been complete. So it will be in the End Times for Jesus’s Second Coming.  No one will know when it will happen.  It will just happen.

b)  Believers are spared God’s punishment in terms of punishment.  We are judged for rewards for God has forgiven our sins.  Unbelievers are judged for punishments for their sins have not been forgiven.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am a Christian through faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit indwells my body to guide me in this life.

Conclusion:  Honestly, again, dreading the repetition.  But part b did give me a chance to clarify in my mind the Final Judgment and research the passages for this, which is important in explaining to others why they need to accept Christ.

Great, succinct answer to who is judged and when HERE

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 3: Hebrews 3:1-6

Summary of passage:  The Hebrews writer calls brothers (believers) to fix their thoughts on Jesus who was faithful to God just as Moses was.  But Jesus is greater since he is the builder of the house (us) and not the house itself (Moses).  God built everything and Moses was a servant in God’s house.  Jesus is the son over God’s house.

Questions:

9a)  Praying, confessing sins

b)  When we are tempted, when we have fears, when we fear death, when we have sinned.

10)  According to Webster’s Dictionary, transcendental meditation is “a technique of meditation in which a mantra is changed in order to foster calm, creativity, and spiritual well-being.”  It is based on Hindu traditions.

Christian meditation, according to Wikipedia, is “a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to get in touch with and deliberately reflect upon the revelations of God.  Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God.”

So, Christian meditation is to get closer to God, to learn who He is, to know Him better, to learn to hear God’s voice and listen and obey Him.  The point is to focus on God.

Transcendental mediation is more about the person, you.  It’s selfish.  It’s developing brain activity so you can have clarity in your life, reduce stress, unlock creativity, and calm the mind.  It has nothing to do with God.

Hebrews 12:2:  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning hits shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

11)  Similarities:  Both were called to do God’s work.  Both were sent to save God’s people.  Both lived extraordinary lives because of it.

Differences:  Jesus showed a perfect faithfulness in his ministry.  Moses disobeyed God and took credit for a miracle (Numbers 8-12) and was thus punished and not allowed to see the promised land.  Moses received glory from God but Jesus was transfigured and resurrected.  Moses is part of God’s house but Jesus is the creator.  Moses was never called a son by God.

Conclusions:  I had no clue what transcendental meditation was so of course I had to google it.  I don’t think this question could be answered with just knowledge in the average person’s brain.  In this case, I definitely think going outside the Bible should be allowed when asking a question that the Bible never addresses.

Also, not sure the challenge part of this.  Hebrews 12:2 does use the same expression but what clarification it offers in terms of transcendental meditation is beyond me.

In instances such as these, I wish BSF would just come out and state their opinion on the matter (which they may do in the notes and/or lecture) instead of making it a question on a topic that was irrelevant in the days of Hebrews, the Apostles, and the early Church (transcendental mediation was not invented or popularized until the 1950’s).

The question would be more relevant in comparison to meditating on other gods, Confucius, or Buddha and their teachings, all of whom existed before Jesus and were legitimate threats to the spread of Christianity in the first century AD instead of singling out a “technique” that has only recently come into existence.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 10, Day 3 Isaiah 17-18

Summary of passage: Chapter 17: An oracle warns Israel against allying itself with Damascus, saying Damascus will be ruined and Jerusalem will disappear.  The glory of Jacob will disappear like fat from your body, leaving only a few to remain.  In that day Israel will turn again to their Maker and not to false idols or the fruits of their labor but Aram will not and will hence suffer desolation.  God will rebuke raging nations and they will flee before Him.

Chapter 18:  Isaiah prophesizes against Cush (modern day Ethiopia or Sudan), saying much the same thing as for Damascus.  The Lord will watch from above and remain quiet until His time to act when He will cut off the blooming harvests and leave all for the wild animals to prey upon.  Only then it seems will Cush bring gifts to Mount Zion.

Questions:

6a) Damascus will be in ruins, cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to the flocks who will lie down with no enemies.  Jerusalem will disappear as will power from Damascus.

b) Israel’s glory fades like the fat of the body wastes away.  The reaper will use his arm instead of tools to harvest, leaving some behind (the Remnant).

c) The men will look to their Maker and not to idols, false gods, or foreign altars or to the fruits of their labor.  But Aram’s cities will be desolate because they did not turn to God and their harvest will be nothing.

d) No matter how fierce foreign nations are as soon as God decides their time is up, they will be gone, fleeing for their lives overnight.

e) God watches all and when the time is right (God’s timing) He will act.  Just as things are at their highest (harvest time), He will take it all away and leave it to the animals.  This reminds me of Matt Redman’s song “Blessed Be His Name”, which says “He gives and takes away,” derived from Job 1:21 which says, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”  This passage is a powerful reminder of His sovereignty.

f) Ultimately, the nations will turn to the Lord and bring Him gifts.

7a) Lord Almighty, God of Israel, God your Savior, Holy One of Israel, the Rock, and Maker.  These names emphasize how God is and should be everything.  He is the Maker (the beginning), the Savior (from your sins), the Rock (in your hard times of life), Almighty (can do anything), and Holy (immutable).  It deduces naturally that man-made idols are just that–from man who is sinful, imperfect, at times immoral, and dubious in nature.

b) Other people (celebrities), material things, or even pastors and the institution of churches.  Idols are anything we humans put above and value more than God.

Conclusions:  For such a straight-forward lesson (Turn to me or you will suffer type thing), there are a lot of truths here. God is and should be everything.  He does events according to His timing.  He gives and takes away at will.  We are warned against false idols, which in our culture is not so much the Golden calf type thing but more so what the “fruits of our labor” produces such as material wants and desires or covetous natures.  With the interconnectedness of the planet, we are bombarded with so many other things others have and we don’t that we must guard against putting these things above God.

Side Note:  Incidentally, I do have Matt Redman’s song on my IPod because it’s a good reminder to me that He is the one who gives (not my husband’s job or other people) and He is the one who takes away (not others when bad things happen) because He is the one in control.

I also like being reminded of Job, the guy who lost everything as a test only (not for his own sins) and he passed with flying colors.  It reminds me of how when I lost everything, God was still there and I could lose it all again and God would still be there.  And that’s all that matters.