BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 3: 1 Samuel 19 with Psalm 59

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Summary 1 Samuel 19:

Since the plan with the Philistines didn’t work, Saul would take matters into his own hands and call for David’s death. He asked his son and attendants to kill David. Jonathan warned David his life was in danger and told him to go into hiding.

Jonathan reasons with his father, Saul, who took an oath not to put David to death. David and Saul’s relationship is mended. Once again, the Philistines attack, and David defeated them again.

Saul once again threw his spear at David. This time, David flees after his wife warns him, and she puts an idol (why does she even have one?) in the bed to be David. When Saul confronts her as to her role in David’s escape, she claims David threatened her life.

David flees to Samuel’s home of Ramah for protection. Saul sends men after David, but God protects David and makes the men prophesy. Eventually, Saul goes to Ramah himself to get David, and God makes him prophesy as well.

Summary of Psalm 59:

David prays to God to protect him from his enemies (in this case, Saul). He’s done no wrong, yet he is attacked. David knows God will go before him and take care of his enemies for His glory. David will praise God always for He is his fortress and refuge.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 12, Day 3: 1 Samuel 19 with Psalm 59:

6) They risked everything, even death, to save David, since Saul has been prodded by an evil spirit who will kill at a moment’s notice.

7) Personal Question. My answer: Every day in small sacrifices that could cause me harm or risk my job or relationships, such as standing up for what I believe, calling people out when they twist God’s words or writing what I believe.

8 ) Personal Question. My answer: David’s faith is unshakable. He knows God will take care of him and his enemies and do it all for His glory. He knows God will answer his prayers. He knows he is in God’s hands. David’s faith gives him the strength and courage to go on, fighting for God, when all he probably wants to do is flee and go live a cushy life somewhere.

9) Remembering God and who He is and what He is capable of strengthens us as well as we are facing our own enemies in this world. It will give us the courage to fight another day and strengthen our faith as we allow God to be in charge and lead us in His ways. We walk differently and act differently when we don’t worry, knowing God is in control.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 3: 1 Samuel 19 with Psalm 59:

I like reading David’s thoughts and prayers along with the action of the Old Testament. It’s like a movie or book, having inside knowledge of what the character is thinking. It puts a personal touch to all the battles and jealousy and hiding. David’s life shows us what a life full of hardships looks like and how it can be used by God for good. Very encouraging.

See this great summary video of the book of 1 Samuel HERE

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 12, Day 3: 1 Samuel 19 with Psalm 59:

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1 Samuel 19:

Saul put everyone in a difficult spot, forcing them to choose obedience to a king or obedience to THE KING.

Jonathan loved David, and God made a wonderful bond of friendship between them, sealed by a covenant (1 Samuel 18:1-4). Jonathan knew David was destined to be the next king of Israel, even though Jonathan was officially the crown prince. At the same time, his father and king told him to kill David.

The servants all loved David (1 Samuel 18:5) yet they are commanded by their king to kill David.

Sin is never excused, even when ordered by a higher authority.

We are under authority and commanded to submit to God’s order of authority in many different arenas. There is a Biblical submission from children to their parents, from citizens to their government, from employees to their employers, from Christians to their church leadership, and from wives to their husbands. But in all these relationships, we are never excused from sin because we obeyed an authority that told us to sin. In this case, it would be wrong for Jonathan to obey his father and kill David.

Jonathan stood for what was right AND took action to prevent a wrong by warning David. He did not stand idly by and allow a sin to take place. Putting his own life on the line, Jonathan defended David to his father AND told his father his jealousy is a sin.

Saul’s mind had twisted all the facts from the past and had put David as being selfish about killing Goliath and doing everything for fame instead of for the Lord. Jonathan tells him how it is — something we all need in our lives.

God used Jonathan, but it wasn’t the work of Jonathan. It was the work of the LORD, and Saul recognized this by declaring this oath.

Why did Saul break his oath to not kill David?

  • Saul was in a spiritual battle — a battle he was unprepared for.
  • At the end of 1 Samuel 19:7 there was a truce in the spiritual war involving David and Saul. But whenever we are at a time of cease-fire in the spiritual war, we know the battle will begin again before long.
  • Saul was unprepared to handle temptation, unprepared to handle spiritual attack, and had the opportunity to sin close at hand. Most of us will trip up under those circumstances.

Fun Fact: David never returns to the palace until he is the king of Israel – some 20 years later. From now until the day Saul dies, David lives as a fugitive.

For the second time, Saul breaks his oath (1 Samuel 19:6). not to kill David and sends men after him.

David’s wife, Michal, helps him escape

Michal acts according to the principle of Genesis 2:24Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. The former family loyalties and obligations take a back seat to the loyalty and obligation to the new family.

During this night, when men watched his house and David escaped, he composed a song unto the LORD found in Psalm 59. David sings in times of trouble.

Why does Michal have an idol?

  • The idol was a teraphim, a figurine used as a household idol or as a fertility and good luck charm. In ancient Israel, teraphim were intended as aids in worshipping the true God. The Israelites didn’t think of the teraphim as other gods, but as representing the God of Israel — which Exodus expressly forbids.
  • The teraphim shows the slow deterioration of Israel even during these good times.
  • The idol shows that Michal didn’t have the kind of relationship with God she should have. This weak relationship with God will reveal itself in Michal as the story of David’s life unfolds (2 Samuel 6:16-23).

Saul’s hatred of David shines through

  • Saul wants to kill David himself
  • Saul calls David his enemy. These are the saddest words in this passage.

You can imagine David’s confusion. So what does he do? Flees to safety, reassurance, and support — Samuel.

The word Naioth comes from the Hebrew word for residence. This spoke of Samuel’s home (which may have had “Naioth” title itself), or it may have been some landmark or specific place in Ramah. Whenever Naioth is mentioned, it is associated with Ramah.

Why are the Israelites prophesying?

  • Prophesying doesn’t necessarily mean the Israelites are all seeing the future. The Hebrew word simply has the idea of speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They probably all gave spontaneous and inspired praise to God.
  • This was God’s way of protecting David. This was an unusual work of the Holy Spirit – to come upon men who did not seek after God, who did not long to be filled with the Spirit prophesying.
  • This kept happening. Saul didn’t get the message.

Why did Saul take off his robes?

  • Saul would not humble himself before God, and so God will find a way to humble him.
  • It is unlikely – though possible – that Saul stripped himself bare. The Hebrew word for naked can indicate just stripping down to the undergarments. Saul probably took off all the royal robes that said “prestige” and “royalty,” and laid himself out bare before the LORD in his plain linen undergarments, stripped of all his royalty and glory.
  • A person can be affected by the power of God (resulting in amazing experiences), but not surrendered to the power of God, which results in a changed life. This was Saul.

Saul is among the prophets appeared in  1 Samuel 10:10-12, and it expressed astonishment that someone became a religious enthusiast.

Psalm 59:

This Psalm is about 1 Samuel 19:11-12, which was when the murderous intent of King Saul against David was openly revealed, and David began his time living as a fugitive and in hiding.

David faced many perils and enemies and many of his Psalms begin with this thought. This is common and to be expected when you lead a Godly-life. The man after God’s heart, Israel’s greatest earthly king, had many enemies — as did the Son of David.

Through this Psalm David declared his close and personal connection with God:

Praying for deliverance

Defend me is an ancient Hebrew word, meaning to lift up, as into a safe and defended place. It says, “Lift me up to Your high tower where I am even higher above those who rise up against me.” This idea is repeated three more times in the Psalm (59:9, 16, 17).

The word protect (defend 59:1) like the kindred word ‘fortress’ (defense) (59:9, 16, 17), contains the thought of what is set high up, out of reach.

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Like the best movies of today, David was the target of a focused assassination plot that came from the highest levels of Israel’s government. Many felt they could advance their favor before King Saul by killing David. Knowing the danger, David looked to God for rescue and defense.

David looked to God for help. He didn’t make a claim to sinless perfection. He simply told God there was no justified reason for Saul to send bloodthirsty assassins against him.

Appealing to God

David appealed to God with a variety of His names and titles:

  • Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel (LORD)
  • Elohim Sabaoth, the commander of heavenly armies (God of hosts)
  • Elohi Israel, the God of His chosen people (God of Israel)

The men sent to watch David’s house and kill him were determined. They didn’t give up quickly, and they growled like dangerous dogs.

One bible commentator explains growl: “There is some uncertainty over the word growl, which is the expression used for the Israelites’ ‘murmuring’ — one might almost say ‘whining’ in the wilderness.”

The word belch: ‘Belch’ means to gush out, and is found in a good sense in Psalms 19:1. Here it may perhaps be taken as meaning ‘foam,’. The root idea is of bubbling up and bursting out; so in terms of dogs, ‘See how they slaver at the mouth’.

All who opposed God would be held in derision.

The word defense has the idea of a high tower or fortress. David believed that God was like a strong, high tower for him. It seemed impossible for David to survive against such a powerful conspiracy against him, but God would be his defense, his high tower.

This verse reminds me of the song Strong Tower by Kutless.

My God of mercy. David knew that God would be merciful to him and that God would meet him, even lead him, in his need.

“The word meet (59:10a) is based on the idea of what is ‘in front’ of someone, usually in the sense of confronting them by coming to meet them, as in the beautiful phrase of Psalm 21:13. But it can alternatively imply going in front to lead the way.”

Three titles for God:

  1. My God of mercy
  2. My defense (high tower)
  3. Strength

Spurgeon on “My desire”:  “Observe that the words, ‘my desire,‘ are not in the original. From the Hebrew we are taught that David expected to see his enemies without fear. God will enable his servant to gaze steadily upon the foe without trepidation; he shall be calm, and self possessed, in the hour of peril.” (Spurgeon)

Lessons from praying about defeating enemies

  • David didn’t only want the defeat of his enemies. He wanted them defeated in a way that would do the most good for God’s people. If those enemies were kept alive but scattered, the lesson would last longer.
  • Whenever David prayed for the destruction of his enemies (and sometimes he prayed quite severely), he had in mind not only his personal deliverance, but also what the display of Divine justice would teach God’s people.

David repeated the prayer consume them twice for emphasis.

Let them know that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth: These words are very similar to what David said to Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:46.

The line from Psalm 59:6 is repeated for emphasis.

Wandering the streets is like hungry dogs do, looking for food.

David’s heart was filled with songs of praise instead of dark fears. He started the Psalm asking God for His defense (Psalm 59:1); at the end of the Psalm, he was so confident in God that he could sing about it.

David’s life as a fugitive begins

For the next perhaps 10 to 15 years (and the rest of the book of 1 Samuel), David had to live as a fugitive, constantly in danger of his life. It’s interesting to note that David entered the period singing praises and was still singing praises at the end of his fugitive years (2 Samuel 1:17-27).

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 12, Day 3: Romans 7:7-13

Summary of passage: The law reveals what sin is as man’s natural tendency is to break the law.  The law defined sin and therefore gave birth to sin and with sin the consequence of death ensued.

Questions:

6)  The law reveals what sin is as man’s natural tendency is to break the law.  The law defined sin and therefore gave birth to sin and with sin the consequence of death ensued.  Sin uses the law to cause us to rebel more.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All sin is harmful, period.  In short, sin draws me away from God.  That’s the most potent consequence.  The rest is varied based on the sin.  You can both spiritually and emotionally harm your body, mind, and emotions.  Sin reveals what God is not and does not want and magnifies His holiness.  I respond by obeying Him with reverent awe.

Conclusions:  2 questions on some of the most key verses in all of the Bible.

End Notes:  Paul is now answering the question raised, “Well if the law is bad, is the law sin?”  Paul says, “No.  The law is good because it reveals sin to us.”  Sin, however, corrupts the law because of our natural tendency to break what is forbidden to us.  The desire is awakened by the prohibition.  Look at Prohibition in the United States.  Once a law is instituted we want to break it.

The word opportunity in the original is a military term meaning a base of operations where sin is awaiting a chance to spring from.

The weakness isn’t the law–it’s us.  We took something good–God’s law–and turned it to evil.

Paul was once alive because he didn’t know or understand the law like children.  He had not been put to death yet because of the law.  With the knowledge of law, it excited our rebellion, bringing sin and death.  Paul is either referring to the time before his bar mitzvah or before his conversion where the true rigor of the law became clear to him (Luke 18:20-21; Philippians 3:6).

The law does not deceive us.  It’s the sin that uses the law to cause us to rebel.  The truth sets us free from the deception of the law (John 8:32).

Sin kills us.  Satan tries to twist this by making sin seem like a good thing that God merely wants to deprive us of (Eve, anyone?)

There is nothing wrong with the law.  The law is holy.  The problem lies within man.  However, because of man’s nature, sin ends up corrupting the law so we must die to both (Romans 6:2; 7:4).

The law, however, is good because it makes our sin more pronounced so we recognize it!

Sin becomes utterly sinful by hiding within God’s good laws.

Explanation on BSF’s note (Romans 7:13-25):  Whether Paul is describing a Christian or non-Christian experience here has been hotly debated through the centuries.

Argument supporting non-Christian life:

  1. The use of the phrases such as “sold as a slave to sin”, “I know that good itself does not dwell in me” and “What a wretched man I am” which do not seem to describe a Christian experience
  2. the contrast between chapters 7 & 8, making it difficult for the other view to be credible
  3. the problem of the value of conversion if one ends up in spiritual misery.

Argument supporting Christian life:

  1. the use of the present tense throughout the passage
  2. Paul’s humble opinion of himself (vs 18)
  3. his high regard for God’s law (vs 14, 16)
  4. the location of this passage in the section of Romans where Paul is dealing with sanctification–the growth of the Christian in holiness.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 12, Day 3: John 8:12-30

Summary of passage:  Jesus announces he is the light of the world and whoever follows him will have the light of life.  The Pharisees say he cannot testify for himself.  Jesus says he can (well, duh, he’s God!). Jesus judges righteously.  The Father also testifies for him.  Jesus says again he is going away and they cannot come because they do not know him and thus will die in their sins.  Jesus says when he dies, then they will understand that he is from the Father and does his will.

Questions:

6a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  Jesus says he knows where he came from and where he’s going.  He judges justly and the Father is his witness.  Jesus is the One (along with God).  Without him/Him, I am nothing.

b)  He testifies for himself as does the Father.  Jesus needs no one to testify for him.

7a)  Jesus is sinless and will not die in sin.  He is from heaven and if no one believes in him, they will die in sin and dwell in hell forever.

b)  God never leaves Jesus and Jesus only does what pleases God.  They are the epitome of a Father/Son relationship–so close they are inseparable.  Because Jesus is God, if you know Jesus you know God.  The Father is known through the Son and to know the one is to know the other.

8 )  Dying on the cross and being resurrected.  It is what gives believers eternal life.  It’s Jesus purpose from God.  It’s all God’s plan.  It’s the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan here on earth.  It is the supreme example of doing the will of the Father.  It is our salvation.  Period

Conclusions:  It’s plain as day:  know the Son, know the Father.  Don’t know the Son, don’t know the Father.  It’s the difference between life and death.  Permanently.  Some will see this; some won’t.  Light versus dark.  Which shall win?

End Notes:  Assuming the placement of the woman caught in adultery is correct, Jesus was interrupted teaching at the temple and now he begins again.

Light is an important symbol in the Old Testament.  God is light and we are light as followers of Jesus.  At the Feast of Tabernacles, candles were lit to remember the pillar of light that lighted the way for the Israelites during the Exodus.  Darkness is Satan and sin.

The 2nd of Jesus’ 7 “I am” statements.

Jesus makes 2 points:  1) He is qualified to bear testimony for himself; whereas the Pharisees were not.  He knew both his origin and destination; again, the Pharisees did not.  They were blinded and could not see Jesus’ light.  He judged righteously; the Pharisees did not.  Furthermore, only Jesus (and God) are truly qualified to bear witness to who he is.  He is God after all.  He is absolutely secure in who he is.  Shouldn’t we all be?

2)  His testimony is not unsupported.  The Father is with him.  So he and the Father are the two witnesses required by law.  Jesus believed he was enough.  But, catering to us stupid humans, he provided another witness:  God himself.

The Pharisees couldn’t prove one way or another if Jesus was the Messiah.  So they hoped to intimidate him and discredit him.  They bring up his birth to try to suggest it wasn’t a miracle but a scandal.  Jesus then points out how they don’t know him or God.

John makes it clear the Word (Jesus) was with God and was God and revealed God.  The Father is known through the Son and to know the one is to know the other.

Jesus is still on the temple–a very public place–declaring himself God and the Pharisees fools.

Jesus knew the Pharisees were going to hell and said so.  They tried to twist his words into making it seem as if Jesus was saying he was going to kill himself.  According to Jewish law, the depths of Hades was where those who committed suicide dwelled.

It makes sense:  If you follow Jesus here on earth, you follow him to heaven.  If you don’t follow him here on earth, you don’t follow him to heaven and you end up in hell.

Jesus tells them they have a limited time to turn.  We are all born in sin.  If you don’t deal with sin on this side of heaven, you will dwell in sin forever.

The Pharisees intent is malicious.  They kept asking Jesus who he was, hoping to get an answer to use again him.  With the right heart, Jesus will answer our questions of who he is gladly.  And the results will be amazing.

Jesus has no new answers for them.  There’s only so many human ways to say the same thing.  And they still didn’t understand and would not–for the darkness blinded them.

“Lifted up” here refers to the cross, not exalted or anything.  The Pharisees do not challenge Jesus here.  It is evident that God is with him and will not abandon him and he’s doing the Father’s will.

Many believed Jesus who heard him speak despite the opposition of the religious leaders.  I can imagine looking upon Jesus would convince most.  His heart would be transparent and it would be evident he was God.  He walked the talk unlike the Pharisees.  He had no sin.  He was perfect.  And many believed it to be so.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 12, Day 3: Revelation 6:1-8

Summary of passage: Jesus opened the first seal and a white horse with a rider appeared. The rider was given a crown and rode off. The second seal was opened and a red horse appeared. Its rider was given power to take peace from earth and to make men kill each other. He was given a sword. The third seal unleashed a black horse and its rider held a pair of scales, used to measure out food as payment for a day’s wages.  The fourth seal released a pale horse whose rider was named Death and Hades. They were given power to kill by sword, famine, plague, and by the wild beasts a fourth of the earth.

Questions:

6)  The rider of the black horse was holding a pair of scales.  The voice of the living creatures said, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages and do not damage the oil and the wine.”  The scales the Black Rider holds shows the approaching famine and economic downturn. Food will be rationed. The prices mentioned here are astronomical: one day’s wages for the ingredients of bread essentially. Yet, the rich will still have oil and wine.

7)  Hades was the Greek god of the underworld (Romans called him Pluto) where souls went when they died. Hades today refers to hell.  Here, it represents the grave and he is gathering up his victims of death, famine, and destruction.

8a)  Both passages have colored horses.  In Revelation, the colors are significant.  In Zechariah they’re not.  Zechariah calls the horses “the four spirits of heaven” and are sent out into the world with no effect. In Revelation, the release of the horses bring disasters upon the earth.  In Zechariah the horses are important as they patrol the earth; in Revelation the riders are more important.

In Matthew 24, Christ warns of the Anti-Christ, which is the white horse rider in Revelation.  Jesus says there will be wars, famines, and earthquakes and death (Matthew 24:9).  The red, black, and pale riders are war, famine, and death.  [Side Note:  The rest of Matthew 24 parallels Revelation 6 as well.]

This is important since all passages are a warning to us about what is to come.  It shows us how God is Lord of history and how the prophesies here will come true.  It increases our faith.

b)  Same answer as above:  Christ warns of the Antichrist, wars, famines, earthquakes, death, and destruction to mankind.

Conclusions:  In reading about Revelation 6, I read all about Matthew 24 and Zechariah 6 and I’m surprised BSF chose to bring both of those in because I wasn’t going to go in depth in my analysis.  Good job by simplifying the comparisons and bringing out what’s important here because the interpretations can be heavy.  God is amazing in all his connectivity and fluidity.  Awesome!

End Notes:  See yesterday’s lesson HERE since both days cover the same passage.

Homework Tip:  Revelation is becoming harder as more and more symbols and interpretations appear.  Spend the time to understand the meanings here.  On today’s lesson and yesterday’s I did them together, flipping back and forth as a question was asked and something else was jogged in my mind.  I read the passage, answer the questions, read commentary, then go back and re-do my questions.  Sometimes I change an answer or add to it.  Sometimes I don’t.  But whatever the case, I definitely get more out of the questions the second time around.

Set aside the time to do these lessons.  God will reward you immensely if you do.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 12, Day 3: Exodus 33:12-23

Summary of passage:  Moses is speaking with God and beseeches to know Him better.  God says His Presence will go with Moses on his journey.  Moses says if God’s Presence doesn’t accompany them, then he doesn’t want to go and nothing will distinguish God’s people if God doesn’t.  God grants Moses request and when Moses asks God to show him His glory God says His goodness will pass in front of Moses for no one living can see God’s face.

Questions:

5a)  To know Him better.  To learn more about God so he can better lead and have more confidence.  To be closer to God.  To know God approves of him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To be honest, I’ve never really asked God to know Him better.  But I just did!

c)  That God remember that these people are His people, that they are distinct from the rest of the world because of God’s favor upon them, and thus God had to go with them so that all others will know these are God’s people.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I pray more and more for others but never really thought of it as leading to my personal growth.  Sounds a bit selfish to me if that’s the only reason you are praying is to grow personally.  Others first, then you.  Like Jesus did.

6)  Confidence in their course, freedom from worry, desire to help others and do what’s right in God’s mind, an inner peace in their lives, compassion on others, living God’s way not the world’s.

7a)  God Himself, but I’m not for sure Moses knew exactly what he expected.  After all, it is God and God’s ways are not ours.  Moses just wanted to be close to God so badly that he asked to see God and I believe Moses didn’t really care here if he saw God or not.  He only wanted to be as close to God as humanly possible and I think Moses achieved that more than any other person besides Jesus while on Earth.

b)  “Do the very thing you [Moses] have asked”, which is to go personally with the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land because God had said in Exodus 33:3 that He wouldn’t due to His anger over the golden calf.  He also promised to show Moses His goodness and proclaim His name in front of Moses.  He will have compassion on who He has compassion and mercy on whom He will have mercy on.  He will cover Moses until His glory has passed and Moses will see God’s back but not His face.

c)  No one can see God’s face and live.

Conclusions:  I do need to ask God to know Him more, and I need to pray for others not for me but for them as they need mercy more than I do.  I would like to be seen as someone who knows God, but I fear when people look at me, they don’t see God but me.  Something to pray about.

End Notes:  What makes the Promised Land special is God.  Without God, the land is nothing.  Hence, Moses begs God to go with them.  The word “know” is repeated here.  We need to know God and desire to know God like Moses did.

Moses was bold here, pressing God and using grace as his reasoning.  God responds.  Great example for us as well.  Delicate balance of Godly-fear with the right heart.

Moses wanted more and more and kept asking.  God granted.  So must we.

God’s glory lies in His goodness.  That is the first thing we must know about God–that He is good.  To understand God, we must understand His goodness.  This is the essence behind God’s glory.

Elijah may have met God in this exact same rock cleft (1 Kings 19:8-18).

Here we see the hymn Rock of Ages:  Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.

I would expect to sing this hymn when we do this lesson in BSF.

Take away:  If you seek Him, you will be rewarded beyond your imaginings.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 3: Matthew 11:20-30

Summary of passage:  Jesus began to denounce the cities who witnesses his miracles and still did not believe or repent:  Korazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.  Jesus praises God for revealing himself to the little children instead of the wise.  No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son.  Jesus invites all to come to him the weary and the burdened and find rest in him.  Jesus’ yoke is easy to bear and his burden is light.

Questions:

6a)  He condemns the cities in Galilee (Korazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum) because they did not believe after he performs miracles and Jesus says if he had performed the same feats in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented (verse 21) and it will be more bearable for them on the day of judgment (verse 22).  The city of Capernaum will go to Hell and if Jesus had performed the miracles in Sodom, Sodom would still be standing today (verse23) but it will be more bearable for Sodom than Capernaum on the day of judgment (verse 24).

b)  The ancient cities did not understand Jesus’ role.  They only knew if they sinned, God would judge them and enact punishment for their sins.  They had no hope of ever being truly righteous before God.

The people of Korazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum were told a Savior would be sent to save them from their sins and this Savior would be God’s son and he would fulfill the prophecies as to his identity (be born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, heal the blind and deaf, etc).

Personally, I’m not sure even if the people in Jesus’ time understood his role for the disciples themselves were confused at times.  I don’t think they got it until after Jesus’ death.  There was so much confusion about what the Savior would be and do that it would be hard to know back then.

c)  We know the significance of Jesus’ death and what it means:  that we are now sinless before God and get to dwell with Him in heaven forever.  The people of Jesus’ time did not truly understand this.  We can see God’s perfect plan from OT times through to modern times.  We have 2000 years after Jesus’ death to understand its significance.  We have the advantage of scholars from throughout time to explain it to us.

It seems to me Jesus had high expectations of people in his time.  Yet, you would think witnesses all the miracles Jesus performed would be more than adequate.  Yet, they were a superstitious people.  It’s hard to put ourselves in their shoes when the world has altered so much in 2000 years.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God has chosen us to reveal Himself to out of His grace and pleasure alone and not because we ever did anything deserving of it.  We are the recipient of God’s favor:  He chose us to reveal Himself and His Son to.  For this, we should be ever worshipful and grateful and humble before God.

8a)  All who are weary and burdened

b)  He will give them rest

c)  “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me”

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This is one of my favorite Bible verses for often I am weary and feel burdened in this world with so many obligations and responsibilities.  But I know in Him there is rest.  And if I just learn more about Him my yoke will be easier to bear in this world and my burdens light.  They encourage me to press on through it all and to keep going to BSF and church and to keep striving to learn more about Him so that I can receive the promised rest.

With Jesus, your yoke and burdens are light.  Without him, they will be heavy.  So which is yours?

Conclusions:  It’s interesting to see the high expectations Jesus had for his people and how let down and hurt Jesus was when they STILL rejected him.  This tells me that Jesus expects a lot from me and I need to work even harder to meet and even exceed those expectations.  Also, towards my kids.  I expect a lot from them and sometimes I wonder if it’s too much.  It’s good to see how Christians are expected to be at a level higher than others.  It motivates me to do better and be better.  Simply put:  Greater light, greater responsibility.

Everything (including God) is a gift from God and our lives will be easier the more we imbibe this truth in our lives.  And we do that through learning about Him.

End Notes:  We are given clues here in this passage to the End Times.  Saying it will be “more tolerable” seems to imply there will be varying degrees of judgment meted out, depending on God’s expectations for believers and non-believers.

We see the love here between the Father and the Son and learn that no one knows each other better.  And Jesus extends this invitation to us:  to know him better so he can walk by our sides all the days of our lives.

Because Jesus was so frustrated that people “weren’t getting it”, we will start to see him rely more and more on parables instead of miracles as he continues his teachings.

Amazing pictures of the remains of Korazin and Bethsaida as well as historical background information here:

http://www.welcometohosanna.com/LIFE_OF_JESUS/027_Ministry7KorazinBethsaida.htm

Fun Fact taken from this site:  Bethsaida is mentioned in the Gospels more often than any other town except Jerusalem and Capernaum.

Map of Korazin (or Chorazin) and Bethsaida, both very close to the Sea of Galilee:

http://www.keyway.ca/htm2003/20030612.htm

Map of Tyre and Sidon, both in Phoenicia and very wealthy port cities, as well as Korazin and Bethsaida:

http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/biblemaps/11

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 13:5-13

Summary of passage:  Lot, Abram’s nephew, was traveling with Abram until he had to separate because their herds of animals were growing too big to support both flocks. This caused quarrels between the two groups.  The Canaanites and Perizzites were living there as well so it was crowded.

Abram approached Lot and suggested they separate, giving Lot the choice of which lands he wanted.  Lot chose the plain of the Jordan which was well watered and they parted, leaving Abram in Canaan and Lot near Sodom.  Sodom was wicked and sinning greatly against the Lord.

Questions:

5a)  Verses 10 & 11:  “Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar…so Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan…”

b)  People live places because it looks good, it appeals to the eyes and not to the heart.  People live places for the climate and the beauty and for what the place can provide them.

c)  Verse 12 & 13:  “Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom”, which was “wicked and sinful against the Lord.”

d)  Lot got caught up in a neighboring war and him and his possessions were seized, causing Abram to rescue him (Genesis 14). Lot became entrenched in the society of Sodom for he was “sitting in the gateway of the city” (Genesis 19:1), a place reserved for city leaders.  He calls the people of Sodom “friends” when he tells them they cannot have the angels (Genesis 19:7).  Then Lot and his family did not want to leave Sodom when the angels warned him it was about to be destroyed (Genesis 19:16) and it seems they had to be forcefully pulled.

When told not to look back, Lot’s wife did and was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).  Then his daughters got him drunk and lay with him, committing incest, and became pregnant, spawning the Moabites and Ammonites who throughout the Bible fought and tempted Israel into sin (Genesis 19:34-38).

Shows how even living near sin can infect your family who may fall into the world.  Lot’s wife died, his daughters committed incest, and Lot’s heart was not on God.  Reminds me of Paul’s warning (1 Corinthians 5:9; 15:33 & 2 Corinthians 6:14-17) to not associate with sinners and to be careful of the company you keep.  This is especially true when you have little kids who are very impressionable.

6)  John 14:27:  You will not have the peace Jesus gives.  You will have troubled hearts and be afraid.  Jesus brings peace.

Ephesians 4:17-20: You will have  hardened heart, live in darkness, and have no understanding.  You will have no sensitivity and indulge in every kind of impurity and lust.  You will develop a moral insensitivity, which will silence your conscience and harden your heart.

James 4:4:  You will be an enemy of God and will have hatred towards Him.

1 John 2:15-17:  If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything of the world comes from the world, not the Father.  The world and its desires fade away but the will of God lives forever.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This is a very tough question since it’s always hard to make self-assessments.  I would say no.  I try to pray before I make decisions.  I try to follow His guidance, where I think He is leading me.  I try to surrender.  And as I study His word and learn more about Him, I become less and less attached to this world.  It’s like a mother weaning her baby.  I feel I am being weaned from this world the closer I get to God.

Conclusions:  This lesson shows us that if you make choices based on your desires and wants, you will put yourself in risk of Falling.  From the moment Lot chose his piece of land, he declined–dramatically–and he became more and more attached to this world.  I think he was only spared because he was Abram’s nephew to be honest (Genesis 19:29).

I thought James 4:4 was powerful.  “Whoever chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God and shows him hatred.”  Those are strong words.  Think about it.  Who’s the arch-enemy of God?  The devil.  And here we are being equated with the devil.

And shows Him hatred.  I don’t hate anyone in my life and definitely not God.  But the world does.  And choosing the world means you hate God as well.

Powerful words to ponder as we examine our selves and our decisions and what’s important in this world.

God first.  Everything else a distant second.  This is my prayer for us all.