BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13

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Summary 1 Samuel 25:1-13:

Samuel died, and David moved to the Desert of Maon. There, a wealthy man named Nabal and his wife, Abigail, lived. His men were shearing sheep when David asked him to give him whatever he could. Nabal refused, so David prepared to fight.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:

3) Part Personal Question. My answer: Nabal is “surly and mean in his dealings.” He is also greedy, ungenerous, and skeptical. I’m the same. I don’t believe people most of the time nor do I give out random things to people I don’t know. I bet Nabal got a lot of people begging from him, so he didn’t care who David was, the answer was no.

4) David immediately gets angry after a simple no. It seems David has gotten used to getting what he wants because of who he is since he identifies himself. He and his men put on their swords, seemingly with the intention to kill Nabal’s men and/or his livestock.

5) Personal Question. My answer: Those around me. Anger affects those closest to us. I need to be better when I don’t get my way. It all depends on what it is and how bad I want something. Still, we can’t have everything we want as David shows us here. We need to react calmly, not overreact, and move on with our lives.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:

David does act impulsively, believing he is owed something by a man he had no agreement with. Maybe he and his men are starving. Still, that’s no reason to go and fight. It also seems like Samuel died unceremoniously. I’m sure he was remembered, but the writer here doesn’t care to go into it.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 2: 1 Samuel 25:1-13:

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Samuel seemed to be unappreciated by Israel during his life (1 Samuel 8:1-7) but at least he was honored in his death. 1 Chronicles 9:22 suggests he organized the Levites in the service of the sanctuary which was completed by David and Solomon. 1 Chronicles 26:27-28 says Samuel began collecting treasures for building the temple in Solomon’s day. 2 Chronicles 35:18 reports that Samuel remembered the Passover and kept Israel in remembrance of God’s great deliverance. Psalm 99:6 and Jeremiah 15:1 commemorate Samuel as a man of great intercession. Hebrews 11:33 puts Samuel among God’s “Heroes of Faith.”

What are the 4 kinds of riches?

  1. What you have
  2. What you do
  3. What you know
  4. What you are

Nabal only was wealthy in what he had.

This was the “harvest time” for a sheep rancher, which was a time of lavish hospitality towards others.

“Sheep-shearing was traditionally celebrated by feasting with enough to spare.” (Baldwin)

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The name Nabal means fool. In ancient Israel, names were often connected with a person’s character. He was of the house of Caleb, which means dog. This was no compliment.

FUN FACT: Only Rachel (Genesis 29:17) and Esther (Esther 2:7) are described with the same Hebrew word as the one here that describes Abigail as beautiful.

Why was Abigail with Nabal?

  • We can understand it in that day of arranged marriages — a noble woman with a surly man. “It is remarkable how many Abigails get married to Nabals. God-fearing women, tender and gentle in the sensibilities, high-minded and noble in their ideals, become tied in an indissoluble union with men for whom they can have no true affinity, even if they have not an unconquerable repugnance.” (Meyer)

David believed because he protected Nabal’s sheep of his own accord that Nabal owed him compensation. How often do we do this?

Nabal had to have known who David was, because David was famous throughout all Israel (1 Samuel 18:5-7). Nabal said this as a direct insult to David – knowing who he was but refusing to recognize him. In our modern way of speaking, Nabal said, “Who does he think he is?”

Nabal looked at all of his material blessings as his instead of as God’s.

What do we learn by David’s overreaction?

This is not a high moment for David. He doesn’t respond the way God would have him respond to an insult.  We are supposed to bear insults with love and kindness, returning their evil with our good.  Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. (Matthew 5:38-39)

This is striking since we just saw in the previous chapter how David responds to Saul. David was able to be kind to Saul, but it seems to have been harder to do it towards someone he perceived as his equal or lower than himself. Often, this is true measure of our character – not how we treat our superiors, but how we treat our equals or those “beneath” us in some way or another.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!