BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 14, Day 2: Romans 8:17-18

Summary of passage:  Since we are God’s children, we are heirs of God and Christ and share in his sufferings and glory.  Our sufferings are miniscule compared to the glory that awaits us.

Questions:

3)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Paul suffered terribly as we all know.  He was imprisoned and murdered by the Romans.  He was tortured and beaten, robbed and stoned.  He was scared for his earthly life most of the time and on the run from persecutors.  He was shipwrecked and starving.  This does not affect my understanding of these verses in any measurable way.  When I suffer, it’s nothing compared to Paul or any other 1st century human.  It’s hard to compare apples to oranges.  All I know is my suffering is miniscule to Paul’s and I try not to complain about it.

That being said disregarding Paul who lived 2000 years ago, Paul’s words are encouraging because in my suffering there is hope and a glory that is unseen.  Suffering is fleeting; glory is forever.  And when you think you have nothing you really have everything.

4a)  The definition of glory according to Webster’s Dictionary is “praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent: renown.  worshipful praise, honor and thanksgiving.  great beauty and splendor; magnificence.”  According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, glory is “Great honor or praise; used especially of God’s majestic splendor; weight, burden, wealth, magnificence, honor.  The glory of God is the worthiness of God or the presence of God in the fullness of his attributes in some place or everywhere.”

b)  2 Corinthians 3:18:  “We all reflect the Lord’s glory and are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Philippians 3:20-21:  Our bodies will be transformed into Jesus’s glorious body.

Colossians 1:27:  Christ in us is the hope of glory and a glorious mystery.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14:  We were called and chosen by God to share in Christ’s glory.

Hebrews 2:10:  Jesus brought us to glory through his suffering and death. (read Hebrews 2:9)

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Suffering and glory go hand in hand.  You can’t have one without the other.  Christ suffered; we suffer.  Christ has glory; we have glory.  You have to suffer in order to have glory.  Suffering is a part of life.  It’s something we have to walk through.  It doesn’t last forever–heaven and Jesus are forever.  In heaven, our glory will shine.  Keeping a heavenly perspective through suffering and keeping faith in Christ gives us/me hope during the trials and tribulations of life and will go a long way towards us getting through suffering here on this side of heaven.  Glory outshines the suffering.

Conclusions:  Every question is outside of this passage.

End Notes:  Our sharing in Christ’s suffering is a condition of our future glorification.

Without a heavenly hope, Paul considered the Christian life foolish and tragic (1 Corinthians 15:19). Yet in light of eternity it is the wisest and best choice anyone can make.

This coming glory will not only be revealed to us, but it will actually be revealed in us.

God has put this glory into the believer right now. In heaven the glory will simply be revealed.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 14, Day 2: John 10:1-6

Summary of passage:  Jesus uses the metaphor of a shepherd and his sheep to explain himself and believers.  The only way into the pen is through him (the gate).  The one who enters through the gate is the leader (Jesus).  The sheep (believers) follow him and only him and know his voice.  They will not follow a stranger.  They flee from strangers.

Questions:

3a)  The thieves are unbelievers or evil people or imposters or those who are spiritually blind like the Pharisees from Chapter 9.  The true shepherd is Jesus.  The true shepherd’s sheep are believers are those who believe in and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.

b)  All people fit in one of these categories.  They either believe in him (the sheep) or they don’t (the thieves and robbers).

4a)  The sheep know the shepherd’s voice and they follow only the shepherd.  They are not deceived by others and they flee from the false shepherds.  The sheep depend on the shepherd for their lives–to feed them and care for them.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I got a full-time job to help my family.  I’m listening to Jesus to know  how long to stay in that role.  I’m continuing his work for me.  I’m raising my kids.  I’m trying to be a good wife and mother and employee.  I’m trying to return to regular church attendance as well.

Conclusions:  This is one of my favorite analogies of Jesus and believers.  They didn’t understand at the time, but they will.  It’s a consolation to all of us who don’t understand God’s will at the time but we follow anyways.  One day it will be clear to us–even if that day is on the other side of heaven.

End Notes:  So right after Jesus healed the blind man and the religious leaders threw a fit cause it was on the Sabbath and didn’t believe Jesus did it, Jesus talks about actually caring for people instead of caring more for legalities and rules.

In OT times and ancient Near Eastern culture, the shepherd symbolized the royal caretaker of God’s people.  God himself was called the “Shepherd of Israel” (Psalm 80:1, 23:1; Isaiah 40:10-11; Ezekiel 34:11-16, Zechariah 10:2) and he had given great responsibility to the leaders (shepherds) of Israel, which they failed to respect.  God denounced these false shepherds (Isaiah 56:9-12; Ezekiel 34) and promised to provide the true Shepherd, the Messiah, to care for the sheep (Ezekiel 34:23).

“I tell you the truth” is common in John’s Gospel and indicates a solemn assertion about Jesus and/or his ministry.

Political and spiritual leaders were often called shepherds in the ancient world (Isaiah 56:11, Jeremiah 31:5).  Jesus explained that not everyone among the sheep is a true shepherd; some are like thieves and robbers.  One way to tell the difference is how they gain entry among the sheep.

The idea is that there is a door (a gate), a proper way to gain entry. Not everyone who stands among the sheep comes that way.  Some climb up some other way.

The religious leaders Jesus is speaking about gained their place among God’s people (the sheep) through personal and political connections, ambition, manipulation, and corruption.

A true shepherd comes through love, calling, care, and sacrificial service.

God wants His people to be led, fed, and protected by those who come in love.

The watchman knows the true shepherd.  Towns of that time would have a watchman who watched over all the people’s sheep at night.

A shepherd knows all of his sheep and they know him.  A shepherd may even name the sheep and the sheep may even know their name.  He calls them and they follow.

According to Adam Clarke, there are 6 marks of a true shepherd in these verses:

· He has a proper entrance into the ministry

· He sees the Holy Spirit open his way as a doorkeeper to God’s sheep

· He sees that the sheep respond to his voice in teaching and leadership

· He is well acquainted with his flock

· He leads the flock and does not drive them or lord it over them

· He goes before the sheep as an example

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 14, Day 2: Revelation 8:1-13

Summary of passage:  Jesus opens the 7th seal and heaven becomes silent.  7 angels who stand before God were given 7 trumpets.  Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar and offered up prayers with incense for all the saints.  The prayers and smoke went up to God.  The angel took the censer, filled it with fire, and threw it at earth, causing thunder, rumblings, lightning, and earthquakes.

The 1st angel sounded his trumpet, unleashing hail and fire mixed with blood upon the earth.  One third of the trees and earth was burned up and all the green grass burned.

The 2nd angel sounded his trumpet, unleashing a mountain on fire into the seas.  One third of the sea turned to blood, one-third of the sea creatures died, and one-third of the ships were destroyed.

The 3rd angel sounded his trumpet, unleashing a burning star (named Wormwood or Bitterness), which fell from the sky onto a third of the rivers and springs, turning the waters bitter and killing people who drank the water.

The 4th angel sounded his trumpet, striking one-third of the sun, moon, and stars, turning them dark, eliminating one-third of the day and night.

Then an eagle flew over the earth, calling out to the inhabitants warnings that the last three angels were about to sound their trumpets.

Questions:

3a)  “There was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

b)  Scholars speculate the silence is so the prayers of the saints can be heard, maybe even the prayers of the martyrs from Rev 6:9-11.  Overall, the silence is to emphasize it’s importance.  How all must pay attention to Jesus’ judgments.

In the Old Testament, silence was called when God was about to act (Habakkuk 2 and Zechariah 2:13).

c)  They are accepted and judgment is rendered by the angel taking the censer, filling it with fire from the altar, and hurling it to earth, resulting in thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake (all symbols of God’s judgment).  God is answering their cries in Chapter 6 here.

4a)  Joel 2:1:  The day of the Lord, the final judgment

Exodus 19:14-17:  God’s presence

Numbers 10:2:  Moses used them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out when ready to move.

Joshua 6:2-5: As a signal for God to come and administer judgment by bringing the walls of Jericho down.

1 Thessalonians 4:16:  Signals God coming down from heaven after the judgments to raise the dead in Christ to live again.

In general, trumpets in OT times were used to announce important events and as signals in war.

b)  Coming judgments on earth and mankind.  God’s battle alarm during the Great Tribulation.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When Jesus comes, the judgment and destruction will be quick but not immediate to all.  No one knows when this time will come.  Our time is limited here and every moment is precious to accomplish His work.  I have to persevere in His work and not let the devil distract me or discourage me.  I pray for my time to be stretched.

Conclusions: Love how we see the number 7, the number of completion, here and everywhere in the bible.  Love how God is so faithful up the end, giving everyone time to come to Him, giving unmerited warning after warning.  God is so good!  Revelation is heating up!

End Notes:  The first four trumpets are in Revelation 8.

The first 6 seals were opened one by one beginning in Revelation 5.  Then we paused in Revelation 7 to introduce the 144,000 sealed and the great multitude.  So there was a pause in the Bible before the 7th seal was opened by John and now a pause in heaven for the 7th seal.

30 minutes is a long time when the prayers never cease in heaven (Rev 4:8).

In the Old Testament, trumpets sounded the alarm for war and threw the enemy into a panic, or they called an assembly of God’s people.

“The” 7 angels probably refers to specific angels who surround the throne of God, or archangels as scholars say.  2 are named in the Bible, Michael (Jude 9) and Gabriel (Luke 1:19).

Some see the “other angel” as Jesus, referring to Jesus being referred to as the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament.  However, the Greek word used here means “another of the same kind” so most scholars agree this is another angel.

We talked a lot about the censer (picture HERE) last year in the study of the Life of Moses as it was used extensively by God’s people, the Israelites, in Old Testament days.  A censer is a container in which incense is burned typically during a religious ceremony.  Also known as a thurible (rooted in the Greek word meaning “to sacrifice”), it is still used in Christian ceremonies including used by Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, some Lutheran and Anglican churches, and others.

Prayer and incense are closely associated in the Bible.  The aroma of incense was pleasing to God.  The idea is as the smoke drifts to heaven, so do our prayers.  Here, before anything happens, the prayers of God’s people are heard.  Similar to David’s cries in Psalms 18:6-8, 12-13.

Note how the prayers of God’s people set in motion the consummation of history.  Our prayers are powerful and we should pray for Jesus to come (Rev 22:20) as Peter suggests our conduct as well may hasten his arrival (2 Peter 3:10-12).

Scholars say the prayers are accepted and God is responding to the saints’s prayers with the censer being hurled back to earth.  God in action is depicted as thunder, lightning, and rumblings (Exodus 19:16-19).

The sense is that the saints’ prayers are thrown back to earth with God’s judgment.

The 7 seals bring the 7 trumpets.  God’s judgment was not immediate.  Some believe John is describing the same judgments just using different images.  Some believe the judgments are listed in order.  What’s important is the judgments will happen.

1st Trumpet:  We don’t know if the hail and fire were red or red was the result of the burning.  Hail and fire are common in God’s judgments (Exodus 9:22-25; Ezekiel 38:22).  Sodom and Gomorrah experienced this.

2nd Trumpet:  Not a literal mountain.  Something LIKE a mountain.  A meteor is suggested here.  Again, the blood may either be the cause or the effect.

Here, the sea is the Mediterranean Sea.  In the first century AD, the known world was what the Mediterranean Sea touched.  China was a far off, distant place but no seas were associated with it.  America was 1400 years from discovery.

We see the Nile turned to blood as well in Exodus 7:20-21.

In Daniel 2 we see a rock striking a statue that became a huge mountain (Dan 2:35), representing God’s kingdom (Dan 2:44-45).

Is the mountain a symbol for nations?  (Jeremiah 51:25, 51:27, 51:30) Probably not.  Here, this passage is literal.

3rd Trumpet:  This could be a comet or meteor or something else altogether at God’s will.  Again, some say the star represents Attila and the Huns or the Vandals sacking Rome or any other nation destroyer.  For me, it’s literal again.

Wormwood was a plant with a bitter taste common in Palestine.  We see it in Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15).  The suffering will be bitter.  Most Israelites got their water from the springs.

4th Trumpet:  Matthew 24 appears again:  Jesus says “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”  Again, this is indicative of the Great Tribulation as only 1/3 of the earth will be affected.  We know in the final judgment all will be affected (Rev 6:12-14).

In the next 3 trumpets one-third of the earth’s population will die.

Note the 3 repetitions of the word “woe”.  This same word was used by Jesus in Matthew 23 in the 7 woes.  It is used as an exclamation of profound grief.  The 3 woes correspond to the 3 remaining judgments to come in Chapters 9 and 11.  The 7 bowls judgment is the 3rd woe in chapters 15-16.

Note “inhabitants of the earth”.  These are the unbelievers as the believers are called “saints”.  This is used extensively in Revelation for those hostile to God (Rev 3:10; 8:13: 11:10; 13:8; 12, 17:2,8).

The word translated as “midair” is used only in Revelation.  Scholars say it is used to signify a specific location, a view of the entire earth from heaven.

Some translations have “angel” here instead of “eagle.”  The Greek words for angel and eagle are very similar in spelling.

An eagle is a harbinger of doom in the Bible (Deut 28:49-50).  Ezekiel 17 has the eagle being Babylon, bringing destruction to Jerusalem.

People on earth will know these events are from God and not merely natural disasters (Revelation 16:9, and 16:11, Revelation 19:19).

The first 4 judgments reveal God’s severity of judgment.  He takes out man’s subsistence (food and water) and routine (day and night).  Yet, He shows mercy by only striking 1/3 of the resources.  These are partial judgments (Zechariah 13:8-9).  Again, God is warning people to turn to Him before it’s too late, offering up another undeserved chance at repentance.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 14, Day 2: Exodus 40:34-35; Leviticus 1

Introductory Note:  We are spending all of January on Leviticus and unlike Exodus where a ton of action happens, this is mostly legalities and rituals and laws God institutes among His people.  Thus, the reading will be frankly boring.  The details here are unimportant.  Try to read with a big picture view as to what kind of people God wanted and how he wanted them to live.  How would these laws have set them apart from the nations around them and made them His?

Summary of passage:  Exodus 40:34-35:  The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and God’s glory filled the tabernacle and Moses could not enter.

Leviticus 1:  Lord speaks to Moses about the kinds of offerings He wants brought.  If it’s from the herd or the flock, it must be a male without defect.  It is to be slaughtered and the blood sprinkled on the altar.  It is to be cut in pieces and burnt.  If it be a bird, it is to be a dove or young pigeon, head wrung, and blood drained on the altar and then burned.

Questions:

3a)  The Lord had just inhabited the tabernacle with His glory.

b)  The whole purpose of the tabernacle was to offer sacrifices to the Lord and now that it was complete and the Lord’s presence was there, it only made sense to begin offering sacrifices to God and to atone for their sins.  Up until now, sacrifices had been made but haphazardly with no clear direction.  Here, God makes it clear what He wants.

4a)  A male without defect from the herd or flock (cows or sheep or goats) or a dove or young pigeon.

b)  Present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. The person is to lay his hands on the head of the burnt offering and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.  Then he is to slaughter it before the Lord.

c)  It was killed, its blood was sprinkled on the altar.  It was skinned and cut into pieces, placed on the altar by Aaron or his sons and burnt.  It was to atone for sins and honor God with an aroma pleasing to Him.

5a)  God dwells with His people through the indwelt Holy Spirit inside of us, given to us when Christ sacrificed himself for our sins.

b)  Thank you, Lord, for sending your Son to die for me.  For gifting us with the Holy Spirit and for being so near.  Words are insufficient.  Amen.

Conclusions:  What I like about reading these passages in the Old Testament is they give me an appreciation of how lucky I am to live on this side of heaven and not have to do daily, ritual sacrifices.  I get a new sense of gratitude and humbleness of God’s grace and majesty.

End Notes:  Israel is still encamped at the base of Mount Sinai where they will remain throughout all of Leviticus.  Chapters 1-5 of Leviticus deal with personal offerings.  Chapters 6-7 deal with priest offerings.  Thus, the first 7 chapters of Leviticus are all about offerings.

Sacrifices had to be made for sin.  Offering sacrifices has been around since the beginning of time.  Now, God just formalizes it.

The sacrifices had to be domesticated animals.  They had to cost the person something.  They had to be freely offered.  They had to be male because the males were thought stronger and more valuable.  They had to be perfect like Jesus was perfect.

With the placing of the hand on the animal, the person is transferring their sin to the animal to die in his place and accepting the sacrifice in place of his own–just like we must accept Jesus as our Savior.

The Hebrew word for atonement means to cover but this is different in the Old Testament than in the New Testament.  In the Old Testament, that was all that was possible–to cover up one’s sins.  With Jesus, sin is eliminated ‘at-one-ment.’

The point of all of these regulations was to surrender all to God and to do it His way, not yours.  To do it with the right heart.

Fun Fact:  Atonement appears over 50 times in the book of Leviticus.

Fun Fact:  The phrase “before the Lord” is used more than 60 times in the book of Leviticus, more than in any other book of the Bible.

Interesting Fact:  The word “holocaust” which means burnt whole comes from this practice of the Israelites of offering up the entire animal to God.  The Jews themselves began referring to Hitler’s mass destruction of them by the gas chambers and ovens as “the Holocaust.”

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 14, Day 2: Genesis 15:1-7

Summary of passage:  Abram received the word of the Lord in a vision:  Do not be afraid for I am your shield and your very great reward.

Abram questions God as to where is this promised heir.  God assures Abram he will have a son from his own body and his offspring will be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. God also reiterates to Abram that He brought him from Ur to give him this land.

Questions:

3a)  A shield is a broad piece of defensive armor carried on the arm; one that protects or defends.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  the devil.  The world.  Things of the world.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God shields me.  He bestows glory on my head and lifts me up.  He surrounds me with His favor and blesses me.  I am joyful because of Him and His shield.  He helps me and gives me hope.  He is faithful and under Him I find refuge.  I find hope in His word.

4a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Money or prizes.  Rich, fertile land.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Nothing monetary that I know of but definitely turning down personal praise and pride and giving Him the glory, not me.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure.  I just don’t see this as an invitation from God for me to ask Him for something.  God is giving us Him as His great reward and there is nothing higher.  This is a declarative sentence, not an imperative.  God is not saying, “Hey, you!  What do you want as a reward?”

Not sure what the point of this question is and where the extrapolation is coming from.

Conclusions:  Well, you probably know what I’m going to say by now:  Didn’t like this lesson.  All of this save 3a should be marked personal.  When asked, “What do you ____” that’s personal, don’t you think?

I liked 3c where we looked up how many times God says He is our shield or He is described as our shield.  That was interesting.  The rest I could have done without, especially 4c where I don’t see how God telling me He is my reward can be turned around and interpreted as Him inviting me to ask Him for something.  Just because Abram was confused about what this meant doesn’t mean I am.

It just is amazing to me how much man doubts and even when God himself talks to someone he or she STILL doubts the words.  We have such an amazing, patient God who gently repeats himself over and over again until finally we get it.

It’s here at this point that I can’t wait to ask God why He created us with such doubts, apprehensions, and questioning minds.  God could have created us however He wanted and sometimes all I see in the Bible is fickleness, selfishness, and overpowering pridefulness.

It all comes down to faith and that is the greatest test of all.

He is truly a Father, correcting us, guiding us, punishing us, and kissing our owies as He picks us up. Amazing!

Fun Fact:  This is the first time believe and righteousness appear in the Bible and hopefully we will explore this tomorrow and what it means for us!

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 14, Day 2: Acts 15:36-16:10

Summary of passage:  Paul wanted Barnabas and him to go back and visit all the brothers he had preached the word of the Lord to on his first missionary journey.  Barnabas wanted to take John (Mark) along but Paul refused, citing his desertion the first time around as his reason.  They fought over it, resulting in Barnabas going with Mark to Cyprus and Paul taking Silas through Syria and Cilicia.

Paul met Timothy in Lystra and wanted to take him along with him.  Timothy (who was half-Jew and half-Greek) was circumcised because of all the Jews around them.  They delivered the decisions reached by the elders in Jerusalem and the church grew.

They headed out through Phrygia and Galatia, avoiding Asia and Bithynia because the Holy Spirit told them no.  They headed to Troas and then to Macedonia after Paul had a vision he should preach there.

Questions:

3a)  They parted ways which allowed them to cover more ground for Christ and reach more people.

b)  Paul was right because past behavior is a predictor of future behavior.  Yet Barnabas was right to have faith in a young man who can (and did) change.  Mark eventually became an assistant to Paul and wrote the book that now bears his name (Mark) with the help of Peter as they journeyed together throughout Rome.  Barnabas took Mark under his wing to mentor and train while Paul pushed forward with his divine work.

4)  Silas (verse 15:40), Timothy (verse 16:3), Luke (verse 16:10) as indicated by the “we” since Luke is the author of Acts

5)  Timothy was circumcised so he would be a credible witness for God amongst the Jews whom he was preaching to and so the Jews would trust him more.  The Greeks were part of the ruling class who had subjugated the Jews in the past so most Jews did not trust/like Greeks.  He did this to avoid a potential conflict and ultimately to fit in more with the crowd he was preaching to.

For Titus, it was important to show that God accepted all no matter what the external appearance may be as decided at the Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15).  His role was in converting Gentiles, not so much in converting Jews.  He would have calmed some fears by his example, which showed you didn’t have to be circumcised to be a Christ-follower and a believer.

Further, Timothy was part Jew; whereas Titus was full Greek.  Jews were supposed to be circumcised.

6a)  The Holy Spirit guided them (verses 6, 7, and 9).  Paul’s goal is to hit the major cities but he remains open to divine guidance as this passage indicates and goes where God leads him to accomplish his mission.

b)  God will guide you if you listen.  God teaches what is best for us and directs us if we only would pay attention to His commands.  We’d have peace and righteousness.

This reminded me of the post I recently did on The Chronicles of Narnia and how man is great at hearing only growlings and not God’s voice.  You can see the post HERE.

It also reminds me of Jeremy Riddle’s Full Attention song, which says, “May your voice be louder, May your voice be clearer, Than all the others”.  A great prayer in itself.

We must learn to hear God’s voice clearer than all the others in our head.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes.

Conclusions:  It took a minute to jump back into Acts right where we left off after a month on Hebrews and jump right back to the circumcision argument again.  I liked the example of Mark on how we all can change (especially when we’re young and do stupid things) and how the Holy Spirit guided Paul on his journeys.  He set out with complete faith, having no itinerary in mind.  Great example for us in life!  I think most of us have experienced this.  I know I am no where near what I had envisioned for my life so far.

End Notes:  Great simple explanation on Timothy and Titus:  http://www.songtime.com/bb/bb1106.htm

Map of Paul’s Second Missionary Journey:  http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/apostle-paul-second-missionary-journey-large-map.html

My favorite map as it’s interactive and moves along the path Paul took:  http://www.apostlepaulthefilm.com/paul/journey_02.htm

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 14, Day 2 Isaiah 34:1-7

Summary of passage: Isaiah tells all enemy nations the Lord is angry with them and He will bring his wrath and destruction upon them.  He will throw out their dead bodies to rot, the stars of the heaven will dissolve, and He will bring His sword to destroy them (Isaiah singles out Edom) and the people.  The land and dust will be soaked in blood and fat.

Questions:

3a) All the enemy peoples and enemy nations of God’s people (here Israel and Judah) on Earth.  Everyone and everything need to listen.

b) All enemy nations from the time Isaiah is speaking to the end of the world.

4) He will totally destroy their armies and the slain will be left to rot.  The Lord’s sword will totally destroy the people, Edom, and Bozrah.  Here, Isaiah is using Edom as a representative of the enemy nations and what will happen to them which is ultimately they will all disappear like Edom.

Curious as to where Bozrah was I found a map:  http://www.yeshuatyisrael.com/images/mapboz.jpg

Here’s another one I like:  http://endtimepilgrim.org/bozmap.gif

Bozrah was the capital city of Edom located in modern-day Jordan east of the Dead Sea.  It’s name means sheepfold and was a pastoral city.

Spoiler Alert:  According to Isaiah 63:1-6, the Lord will come from Edom and Bozrah on the day of vengeance and the year of redemption.  Information taken from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bozrah

5) Edom was the homeland of Jacob’s twin brother, Esau.  Esau was also called Edom (which means red) because when Esau was born he was red.  Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew and bread, thinking he was dying at the time.  Jacob took advantage of his brother and deceived him.  Esau (understandably) held a grudge against Jacob because as a result Jacob received his father’s (Isaac) blessing instead of himself.  Jacob is renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28-29).  So, in numbers Edom denies passage to Israel through his land as Moses was leading the Israelites up from Egypt and came against them with an army to enforce his decision.  So Israel had to go around.  The Edomites cheered the sacking of Jerusalem by Babylon and they looted the fleeing refugees.  Therefore, in Obadiah, the Lord promises in that day destruction of Edom because of the violence against his brother Jacob.  The Edomites will be covered with shame and destroyed forever.

6a) Their dead bodies will send up a stench; the mountains will be soaked with their blood.  The sword of the Lord is bathe in blood, it is covered with the fat…fat from the kidneys of rams.

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin is the breaking of God’s laws.  Sin means “to miss the mark” of God’s holy standard or righteousness.  God hates sin because it is what separates us from Him–the thing He never wanted.  He created us to be like Adam and Eve before the Fall–walking with Him fully and as a part of Him.

c) To escape, we must recognize we are sinners, accept Jesus as our Savior from sin, and repent.  Jesus conquered sin and death.  2 Corinthians 7:10-11  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.  See what this Godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, wheat readiness to see justice done…

Luke 13: 3  But unless you repent, you too will all perish.  Acts 17:30-31 …he [God] commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice…

John 14:6-7 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well…

Conclusions:  Great lesson.  I now know the history of Edom and how it all relates back to Jacob and Esau.  It explains at least God’s judgment on Edom in that day.  Question 6 just re-emphasized in my mind how much God does love us:  when we think back to why He originally created us and how much it broke His heart when man Fell that He devised a way to bring us back to Him through His son, Jesus.  It also reminds us how much we should strive to walk in His ways just like our kids want to please us so should we want to please our Father.  John 14:6 just popped into my head in answer to 6c which is one we always need to remember:  “I am the way and the truth and the life.”