BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 10, Day 5: Romans 4:13-25; Galatians 3:6-9, 16, 29; Hebrews 11:8-19

Summary of passages:  Romans 4:13-25:  Abraham received God’s promise by faith, not by works or by following the law (which didn’t exist or hadn’t been given in Abram’s time).  For if you follow the law, then why would you need faith?

God’s promises are by faith in Him and by His grace to all who believe not just to those who follow the law.  Through hope and faith Abraham believed God when God said he would be a father of nations even though he and Sarah were almost 100 years old and were close to death.

Abraham was strengthened in his faith and gave God the glory when he had a son.  It was through his faith Abraham was righteous and it is the same for all believers who believe Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead for our justification.

We must remember Paul is writing explaining the Christian faith and just got done in Romans 3, saying we are righteous only because of faith in Jesus and nothing else.

Galatians 3:6-9, 16, 29:  Abraham believed God and was thus righteous.  Therefore, those who believe are children of Abraham and are blessed along with him.  The Scriptures say that God justifies the Gentiles though faith as evidenced when God said he would bless all nations through Abraham.

God’s promises apply to all if you belong to Christ.

Hebrews 11:8-19:  Abraham when called obeyed by faith to go to the promised land and make his home there for he was looking forward to the city with foundations (heaven).  Abraham became a father by faith and had descendants as numerous as the stars.

All of these people when they died were living by faith for they did not receive the promises in their lifetime on earth.  They were strangers in this land for their home was in heaven.

Abraham offered his only son Isaac as a sacrifice to God for he had faith that God could and would bring him back from the dead.

Questions:

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It all comes down to faith in God, who He is, what He says, and what He does. We have nothing to worry about if we have God.

10)  Genesis 12:3:  God says “…all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”  Galatians tells us that all who believe are children of Abraham and are thus righteous and blessed as God blessed all through Abraham.

11a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He had unquestioning faith.  He never questioned.  God spoke; Abraham obeyed.  Even when it was scary, uncertain, or painful (like called to sacrifice your only son).  He believed in God’s promises.

b)  Genesis 21:12:  God says, “…it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”  The ultimate blessing is our forgiveness of our sins and salvation through Jesus Christ, a descendant of Isaac and Abraham.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God’s promises have been the same since the Fall.  That He would provide us an eternal home with him.  He would cleanse us of our sins and redeem us.  He would provide the way.  And not only for God’s chosen people, the Israelites, but also for the Gentiles.  All through faith.

Conclusions:  Definitely dreaded this lesson after yesterday’s, especially when I noted nothing from Genesis (or the Old Testament) in the reading AND Hebrews 11 AGAIN!

Interesting how often the Bible does repeat itself or the same idea (like in these passages about Abraham’s faith) just in different ways.  Guess we have to drill it into our heads to get it!

This lesson brought to mind the study of Isaiah where the importance of Israel and the Gentiles was prominent.  Here, I first learned the significance of both and the difference.

Summary of today:  God’s promises are for ALL.  Which includes salvation.

 

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 10, Day 5: Hebrews 4:1-13

Summary of passage:  God promises we will enter His rest if we have faith.  God rested from all His work on the seventh day so there remains a Sabbath-rest for God’s people.  Just as God rested from His work so can we.  Let everyone make every effort to enter this rest.

God’s word is living and active; it penetrates us to our soul; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing is hidden from God’s sight and we must give account to Him for everything.

Questions:

14)  The promise God gives us of rest through faith (a spiritual rest) and the Sabbath-rest is rest from works as a basis for righteousness.  Jesus’ death made us righteous with God.  We no longer need to work to achieve it.

15a)  By faith in God repeatedly.  We must continually rely on God and trust in Him in order to continue to have rest in Him. Otherwise we may fall just as the Israelites did.

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  I would like to think so.  As I get older, I get more and more grounded in my faith.  I know in my heart I have faith in God and completely trust in Him; yet, at times I do get overwhelmed by circumstances and outwardly it can appear not so.  But inwardly in my times of prayer, God knows even if I don’t.  And that’s all that matters.

Conclusions:  I like the faith aspect of the last two days.  Yesterday pointed out how unbelief yields to punishment.  Today pointed out how continual faith results in God’s gift of rest to us–the rewards of belief if you will.  Great juxtaposition of consequences versus rewards.

Again, a reminder of what Jesus’ death did for us:  made us righteous with God so we could rest without having to work for it.

Another great part of this lesson was verses 12 and 13 that BSF did not touch on, which emphasized the power of God’s word and His omniscience. Even when we are so low we can’t hear anything, God’s word is always with us to remind us of His greatness until we are ready again to hear Him.  For God knows our hearts and what we are going through and is there even when we don’t see.

Another great lesson.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 10, Day 5 Isaiah 21-23

Summary of passage: Isaiah 21: Isaiah prophesizes against Babylon, saying Elam and Media (allies of the Assyrians) will attack, Babylon will fall, and all of its images of its gods will be destroyed.  Isaiah sympathizes with their destruction.  Edom and Arabia will fall as well to the Assyrians.

Here’s the best map I could find of Elam.  I like it because it also has Media on there and you can tell that it would be easy for them to join with Assyria and attack Babylon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elam_Map.jpg

Dumah is in the northern part of Edom and Seir is referring to Mount Seir, also in Edom.  In the dark hour there is a respite then another dark hour.  Assyria is the invader.  Historical Note: Kedar falls to Sargon II shortly after the fall of Samaria in 722 BC.

Map of Kedar (Arabia) and you can see Phoenicia as well, where Tyre is located:

http://bibleatlas.org/full/kedar.htm

Isaiah 22: Jerusalem will suffer the same fate at the hands of the Babylonians.  The Lord has a day of tumult, trampling, and terror in store for Jerusalem.  Because they did not ask Him for help, all of their preparations will be useless.  The Lord will remove Shebna, a steward in charge of the palace or a chief assistant for King Hezekiah, from office because he is mocking God by building a tomb, essentially saying I will not be exiled to Babylon when in fact He will.  He personifies Jerusalem’s self-interest by building a magnificent tomb for himself.  The Lord replaces Shebna with Eliakim son of Hilkiah because he is God’s servant.  In this Eliakim prophesizes the Messiah when God gives him the key to the house of David as mentioned in Revelation 3:7.  Eliakim’s family will be blessed as well, a secure peg.  This could also mean all will depend on Jesus and hang on him.

Interpretation taken from:  http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/2322.htm

Isaiah 23: Tyre will be destroyed, left without house or harbor.  Tyre, north of Israel on the Mediterranean Sea, was a huge shipping and trade center during Isaiah’s time.  Tyre was part of Phoenicia.  It had two parts: a city on the coast and a city that sat on a nearby island.  The coastal city was conquered by both the Assyrians and the Babylonians.  The island city was not conquered until Alexander the Great conquered it in 332 BC, using methods never before thought of which was part of his genius as a military conquerer. Egypt will be in anguish at Tyre’s fall.  The Lord planned Tyre’s fall, to humble it.  The merchants and traders prospered because of their skill and because of God’s blessings.  Cyprus, an island nation still in existence but under Tyre’s control during Isaiah’s time, will not be spared.  The Babylonians (who will be brought down) and the Assyrians have made the land a desert and a ruin.  For 70 years Tyre will be forgotten but at the end of 70 years, Tyre will be remembered and will return to its glory (symbolized by the prostitute) but its riches will be for the Lord’s purposes.

I got help in understanding this here:  http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/2323.htm

Tyre and Cyprus have a huge amount of history just on their own.  You could spend hours learning about their role in ancient times.

Questions:

12) Babylon: Elam and Media attack, Babylon falls, all the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground

Edom: First one attack, then a respite, then another attack all by Assyria

Arabia: all the pomp of Kedar will end with few survivors

Tyre: Assyria conquers Tyre as well, destroying the city and leaving no houses or harbor (Tyre was a huge center of trade in Isaiah’s day)

13) A day of tumult, trampling and terror by bows and chariots, battering down of walls, crying out to the mountains, Elam and Kir (probably allies with Babylonians at the time) invade, the defenses of Judah are stripped away.  This is the prophesy of the overthrow of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.  Jerusalem made all of these preparations for the attack except for the one that mattered: turning to God for help.

14a) Personal Question.  My answer: The cruel enemies of Judah will be destroyed and judged by God.   Jerusalem, God’s people, will also be judged because they did not turn to Him for help.  Yet through the example of Eliakim, God always has something better in store for His people, be it Earthly or unearthly.

b) Personal Question.  My answer: Knowing there is hope when life seems hopeless.  God has a plan even though we cannot see it and cannot know it.

Conclusions: I get the message of gloom and doom, but I refuse to live my short life chastising myself for all of my shortcomings and being afraid of the future.  I try to live as much as possible in the present moment, enjoying my husband, kids, and family and the rest of my blessings, helping others along the way and striving to know God better on a personal level.

We are incredibly lucky to be living in a relatively peaceful time unlike Israel and Judah in Isaiah’s time and we also have Jesus. This gives us the luxury of enjoying our Earthly life, being secure in the Lord if we have Jesus, and doing as much as possible for Him while we are here without the fear and trepidation wars and uncertainty bring.  That’s not to say we don’t have our problems (our nation that is) but on an individual level, we can live life secure from war and secure in Him.  I know my eternal destiny and if I keep that in the forefront of my mind, I should have nothing else to fear in this world.

I’m a fairly positive person and Question 14 sets me off.  It’s so hard for me to grasp war in general and its atrocities because I have not lived it so it’s hard for me to picture how I would react, but I can’t imagine I wouldn’t turn to God in those desperate times.  So extrapolating the people of Jerusalem’s mindset is hard so its impact on my life would be little to none.  All I can do is try to bring it to my world and in my world I have hope and faith in God when life sucks.

Maybe I’m missing the point here so any help would be appreciated.