BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37

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Summary 1 Samuel 25:14-44:

Abigail got wind of David’s request and how good he had been to them, guarding the sheep. Abigail decides to give David food without telling Nabal. She rides out to greet them as David is still seething over Nabal’s denial of his food request and is preparing to slaughter Nabal’s men.

Abigail prostrates herself before David, begging him to put the blame on her instead because her husband is a fool. She reasons with him to not kill them because then he’d have innocent bloodshed on his hands. David blesses her, saying she has saved him from killing all of Nabal’s men. Nabal dies. David marries Abigail. He had married Ahinoam of Jezreel as well but Michal had been given to another man.

Summary Psalm 37:

Don’t worry over evil people. Trust in God and He will give you the desires of your heart. Wait for the Lord. Refrain from evil. The Lord laughs at the wicked. The wicked will vanish and perish. Do good and the Lord will not forsake you. He will bless you.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

6) Part Personal Question. My answer: Abigail is intelligent and beautiful. She is selfless, willing to take on Nabal’s punishment. She cares for her employees to save them. She is humble, brave, and courageous. She is sacrificial. I’d like to be more caring, humble, and more sacrificial as well.

7) Part Personal Question. My answer: God sent Abigail to prevent David from doing something he’d regret and from sinning. Every day God extends mercy to me as I fail and am flippant with others, impatient, and mean sometimes.

8 ) Part personal question. My answer: God blesses the good and condemns the evil in His time. I need to be more patient with God and allow Him to give me the desires of my heart.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

Leave it to a woman to diffuse a male ego. Abigail, knowing something bad is going to happen, goes to David and makes peace. David realizes how wrong he was and then marries Abigail, probably recognizing her intelligence, courage, and selflessness.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

Nabal’s servants read the handwriting on the wall. They knew that David would not take such an insult (theft, actually) lying down. For their own sake and for the sake of the household. they asked Abigail to do something, knowing Nabal would not (Proverbs 17:12).

The fact that Abigail was able to gather so much food so quickly shows how wealthy Nabal was. If this much food was on hand, it makes Nabal’s ungenerous reply to David all the worse.

In his angry, agitated state, something unexpected made David and his whole company come to an immediate stop: a great procession of gifts, and at the head of that procession, a beautiful woman bowing down before David. This had to make a startling impression on David.

What did Abigail do that saved her men?

  • Abigail came as a humble servant, not as a superior (as the beautiful, rich, and privileged often do).Image result for 1 samuel 25
  • Abigail acted quickly
  • Abigail took the blame on herself, knowing as a woman, David would punish her differently than Nabal
  • Abigail asked David’s permission to speak
  • Abigail told David he was about to make a mistake
  • Abigail brought gifts
  • Abigail asked for forgiveness
  • Abigail compliments David
  • Abigail told David to look at the bigger picture of what God has for him
  • Abigail tells David to act like a man close to God

What did Abigail do wrong in her interaction with David?

  • Abigail went to David without her husband’s consent
  • Abigail called her husband names and criticized him to others
  • Abigail insinuated Nabal should be killed
  • Abigail asked David to remember her
  • Abigail was not outstandingly submissive or respectful to her husband, Nabal.

Though there is no explanation in the Bible, perhaps Abigail’s behavior was justified because this was a life-or-death situation. If Abigail didn’t do what she did, then Nabal and scores of innocent men would die. But the point of the passage is how submissive and respectful Abigail is towards David, not Nabal.

The beauty of Abigail’s speech

  • Abigail focused David’s attention from Nabal back to God who could easily kill all of David’s enemies with a sling, referencing Goliath here.
  • Abigail lifted David up instead of beating him down. David was clearly in the wrong, and Abigail wanted to guide him into the right. But she didn’t do it by being negative, by emphasizing to David how wrong and angry and stupid he was – though in fact he was. Instead, Abigail emphasized David’s glorious calling and destiny, and the general integrity of his life, and simply asked him to consider if what his present course of action was consistent with that destiny and integrity.
  • Abigail is a marvelous model of “sweetly speaking submission.” Many Christian wives have the idea of “silent submission.” They say, “I know my husband is wrong, but I won’t tell him. Submission means I should shut up.” That is wrong, and they should look to Abigail as an example. Other Christian wives have the idea of “sharply speaking submission.” They say, “I know my husband is wrong, and God has appointed me to tell him. And boy, will I!” That is wrong, and they should look to Abigail as an example. Abigail gives the right example – submission that speaks, but speaks sweetly instead of sharply.
  • Abigail’s submission to Nabal was not outstanding but her submission to David was. And David’s submission to the Lord was equally outstanding; by giving up the fight, he had to trust God to take care of Nabal.

What do we learn from Abigail?

  • Our hurt feelings never justify disobedience. When others sin against us, we may feel justified in sinning against them, but we are never justified by disobeying.
  • It is a great blessing when we are kept from sin.

David knew God sent Abigail and was speaking through her. How many Abigails do we have in our lives?

Abigail reminded David of his destiny – to reign over Israel in righteousness and integrity. If David had slaughtered Nabal and his household, it would forever be a black mark against David among Israelites. They would forever wonder if they could really trust him. It might also seal his doom before Saul, because for the first time David would have given Saul a legitimate reason to hunt him down as a criminal.

Note Abigail also paid David what he was owed.

What do we learn from Nabal?

  • Nabal is a picture of the sinner who goes on rejecting God without regard to God’s coming judgment. It is certain that God will judge the sinner who continues to reject Him in His timing.
  • David did not need to avenge himself with his own hand; God was more than able to do it.

Jesus may have had Nabal in mind when He taught the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:15-21). That parable describes a man who dies with everything – and nothing.

Wasn’t David already married when he marries Abigail?

No. David was not married to Michal because Saul had taken her away and given her to another man to spite David (David will get Michal back in 2 Samuel 3:13-16).

David never followed God’s will in his marriage life, causing him some of his greatest trials. Although God did not forbid multiple wives, it is not God’s ideal for men and women and His plan for oneness. David had many passions, one of them being women. He was never blessed by God because, in this respect, he was not a man after God’s own heart.

Commentary Psalm 37:

Verse 25 tells us that the author is David in his older years, giving wisdom in the pattern of a song. This Psalm is roughly acrostic in arrangement with the lines arranged with Hebrew sentences that begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In style this is a wisdom psalm, directed not to man but to God, teaching after the manner of the Book of Proverbs.

Why do the wicked prosper?

Many people “fret” or are jealous of the wicked who proper despite their evil. Asaph was bothered by this problem in Psalm 73. Here’s what Bible commentators have to say about the matter:

  • “The words ‘do not fret’ literally mean ‘do not get heated,’ which is also how we might express it. Or we might Image result for psalm 37say, ‘Don’t get all worked up.’ Or even, ‘Be cool.’” (Boice)
  • “To fret is to worry, to have the heart–burn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law–breakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire.” (Spurgeon)
  • Morgan wrote of this worry, this fret: “It is wrong; it is harmful; it is needless. Let the trusting wait. Events will justify the action.”
  • “It is as foolish as it is wicked to repine or be envious at the prosperity of others. Whether they are godly or ungodly, it is God who is the dispenser of the bounty they enjoy; and, most assuredly, he has a right to do what he will with his own. To be envious in such a case, is to arraign the providence of God.” (Clarke)

David gives the same answer Asaph came to in Psalm 73: any prosperity experienced by the workers of iniquity was only temporary.

“In the Middle East the lush spring vegetation may lose its beauty in a few days after a hot, dry desert wind (hamsin) has parched the land.” (VanGemeren)

We think of a wicked man eating a magnificent dinner while a godly man goes hungry. The wicked man eats anything and everything he wants, and his table is loaded as he enjoys his meal. Then we see the bigger picture: he eats his last meal on death row and in a moment will face terrible judgment.

How do we not worry about what evildoers are doing?

  • Trust God and do good for His glory. We can get distracted by looking at the prosperity of the wicked.
  • Enjoy the blessings God has given you.
  • Delight in the Lord, and God will give you the desires of your heart
  • Wait on the Lord
  • Do not be angry
  • Our reward is eternal; the wicked’s reward is temporary

“The Hebrew for commit is literally ‘roll’, as though getting rid of a burden ( Joshua 5:9). But it comes to be used simply as a synonym for ‘entrust’ (Proverbs 16:3) or ‘trust’; cfPsalm 22:8.” (Kidner)

All evildoers shall be cut off, and the blessed shall inherit the world.

Jesus quoted verse 11 in the Sermon on the Mount, in the third beatitude (Matthew 5:5). “It is right to say that Psalm 37 is an exposition of the third beatitude, even though it was written a thousand years before Jesus began his public ministry. It unfolds the character of the meek or trusting person in the face of the apparent prosperity of the wicked.” (Boice)

Why do the wicked plot against the just?

The wicked gnash their teeth, which shows the depth of their anger and hatred.

“If God can laugh at the wicked, shouldn’t we be able at least to refrain from being agitated by them?” (Boice)

The wicked will be broken; the righteous will be held by God.

Adam Clarke noted that some ancient manuscripts render verse 20 differently. “If we follow the Hebrew, it intimates that they shall consume as the fat of lambs. That is, as the fat is wholly consumed in sacrifices by the fire on the altar, so shall they consume away in the fire of God’s wrath.”

The wicked take; the righteous give.

The promise of earth-inheritance is repeated a three times.

How are the righteous rewarded?

  • God guides our steps
  • God delights in us (Romans 5:1-2).
  • God holds us up so we don’t fall

As we seek the Lord and delight in Him, we find our lives are the perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

Geber is the original word for good, and it properly signifies a strong man, a conqueror or hero; and it appears to be used here to show that even the most powerful must be supported by the Lord.

God provides for His people

This was David’s testimony after many years. He saw God’s faithfulness to His people and wanted a younger generation to also trust in Him, learning from David’s wisdom.

David knew that among his ancestors were some who left Israel, fearful in a time of famine (Ruth 1). When they returned after several disastrous years in Moab, they found the people of Bethlehem in Israel provided for. God knew how to take care of those who trusted in Him in times of famine, and has done so since then.

One way that God provides for the righteous and their descendants is through the ethic of hard work that belongs to the redeemed, who know that all things should be done heartily, as unto the LORD – including working for a living.

Image result for psalm 37Do Godly men and women have to beg?

This Psalm is a wisdom psalm very much like Proverbs. In the Bible’s wisdom literature often times general principles are presented in the absolute.

We also note that David simply wrote of his experience. That being said, God provides no matter what and one must ask if you are begging, are your exercising every option available to you.

God’s judgments descend to posterity, not just His mercies.

We see the repetition of the same promise in the same terms throughout verses 9, 11, 22, 29, 34. This is a reference to the new heavens and the new earth of Isaiah 66:172 Peter 3:13.

What character traits do the righteous possess?

  • Wisdom and just words
  • Knowledge and love of God’s word  (Jeremiah 31:33)

FUN FACT: For the fifth time in this Psalm, David promised the people of God that they would inherit the land. For the sixth time in this Psalm, David promised that the wicked would be cut off or cut down in some sense. Their coming doom was just as certain as the coming blessing and security of the righteous.

David used a green tree as a picture of the wicked in their prosperity. Psalm 1 uses a flourishing tree as a picture of the righteous. “Here it is used in reverse, the wicked being compared to a green tree which flourishes for a time but soon passes away and is seen no more.” (Boice)

Final thought from David: Trust in God.

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 14, Day 3: Romans 8:19-22

Summary of passage:  All of creation (everything outside of man like earth and the animals) awaits Jesus’s Second Coming (the liberation of the bondage man created with the First Sin and the glorious freedom promised).

Questions:

6)  Creation is everything outside of man like the earth and the animals.

7)  Everything is subject to death (the plants and animals).

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus’s Second Coming.  No where does this passage talk about “proper creation care”, “idolizing nature”, or “trusting in people’s efforts to renew the planet” which wasn’t a concern 2000 years ago when Paul wrote these words.  This question does not make sense to me (so if it does to you, please leave a comment) and in my opinion has nothing to do with this passage.  In my life, I have little time to worry about renewing the planet or the few who idolize nature.  Frankly, it’s none of my concern.  I have way too much going on in my own little world to worry about others and their problems.

Conclusions:  I have no clue how BSF got question 8 from this passage besides out of nowhere.  Paul is simply saying everything will be renewed when Christ comes again.  Period.  None of this other stuff.  Baffled to say the least.  The rest of the questions on this lesson as well don’t make much sense.  Worst Lesson of this study so far for me.

End Notes:  Isaiah 11:6-9 describes what will happen in that day as the lion lays with the lamb.

Was subjected to frustration refers to Genesis 3:17-19 and God subjects creation in hope refers to Genesis 3:15.

The physical universe is not destined for destruction (annihilation) but for renewal.  Living things will no longer be subject to death and decay as they are today under the Fallen World.  I think this is BSF’s intended point in Question 8 is to get us to come to this conclusion (basically not to believe the doomsdayers who say the world is going to end–it’s not) but the way BSF went about it was convoluted, befuddled, and confounding.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 14, Day 3: John 10:1-13 & Ezekiel 34:1-16; 30-31

Summary of passages:  John 10:1-13: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.

Jesus explains he is the gate and whoever enters through him will be saved and have life.  The thief comes to steal and kill.  Jesus explains he is the good shepherd.  He knows his sheep and they know him. A hired hand cares nothing for his sheep.  He runs when a wolf attacks.

Ezekiel 34:1-16; 30-31:  Ezekiel prophesies that the shepherds of the Lord (here the rulers as well as the priests) have not taken care of their sheep.  They have not healed the wounded or brought back the strays.  So they were scattered and became food for wild animals.  Because God’s sheep has no shepherd He is against them and He will look for His sheep and care for them and bring them to Him.  God declares His people His sheep and He is their Lord.

Questions:

5a)  The false shepherds in Ezekiel do not care for their sheep.  They take everything from the sheep (curds, wool, and meat).  They do not heal the wounded or the sick.  They do not bring back the strays.  They rule the sheep harshly and brutally.  So they were scattered and eaten by wild animals.  The false shepherds in John come to steal, kill, and destroy.  The hired hand abandons the flock and allows it to be scattered.  He runs away and cares nothing for the sheep.

b)  He will search for His sheep and look after them.  He will rescue them from the places they were scattered.  He will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries and bring them into their own land.  He will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.  He will tend them in a good pasture and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land.  They will lie down there and graze in rich pasture.  He will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.  He will shepherd with justice.  They will know He is their Lord and they are His sheep.

6)  Those who believe in him as the Son of God and Savior will have eternal life.

7a)  Personal Question.  My answers:  Be armed with the armor of God:  His word, His promises, a personal relationship with the Son, prayer, strong faith, the Holy Spirit, the belt of Truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-20).  Know God’s/Jesus’ voice and follow it.  Know Him!

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am so blessed I don’t know where to begin.  My life, my family, my ease, my freedoms, my relationship with Jesus and God, eternal life, everything.  In this season of thanksgiving, I feel very thankful.

Conclusions:  Great to read God as shepherd and Jesus as shepherd.  Reinforces the Trinity and how God cares for His people.

End Notes: John 10:1-13:  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

In sheep pens of the time, there was only one entrance or gate.  Shepherds would sleep in front of the gate at night to protect the sheep.  Hence, the shepherd is the gate.

“All who came before” are the religious leaders Jesus spoke of in John 8:43:47–those whose father is the devil.

Jesus’ followers did not listen to the thieves and robbers.

“Come in and go out” is the common O.T. expression to denote the free activity of daily life. Jeremiah 37:4, Psalm 121:8, Deuteronomy 28:6.

“Abundant” in the Greek denotes a surplus.  Abundant life is a contented life.  It’s not an easy life or comfortable life but one of peace in Jesus.

“I am the Good Shepherd”  (Another I am statement–the 4th of 7 that are unique to John’s Gospel and point to Jesus’ unique, divine identity and purpose) is clear to the Jews–He is the one to care for them.

“Lays down his life” is perpetually.  Jesus is always giving us life.

In sum, the Good Shepherd: gives his life, knows his sheep, and is known by his sheep. This analogy applies to church leaders and pastors today.

Ezekiel 34:1-16, 30-31:  God promises the removal of the false shepherds and the promise of the Good Shepherd (Jesus).  The shepherds here are more rulers and their officials than the priests.  Remember David was the first ruler and he was shepherd.  This is deliberate.  To call a king a shepherd was common in the East at this time.  The disciples were fishermen whose job was to catch fish (men) for God.

Fun Fact:  The image of God as a shepherd begins with Jacob (Genesis 48:15) and end with Revelation 7:17.  Ezekiel developed the image of God as shepherd in more detail than any other author in the Bible.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 14, Day 3: Revelation 8:6-13

Summary of passage:  The first 4 trumpets.

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:

6)  First Trumpet: unleashes 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.

Second Trumpet:  unleashes 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.

Third Trumpet:  unleashes 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.

Fourth Trumpet:  strikes one-third of the sun, moon, and stars, turning them dark, eliminating one-third of the day and night.

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer: God shows mercy by only striking 1/3 of the resources. These are partial judgments (Zechariah 13:8-9).  God is warning people to turn to Him before it’s too late, offering up another undeserved chance at repentance.  This shows me God’s love and compassion and mercy and grace for and to mankind.  Awesome!

8a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Love, compassion, mercy, grace.  We see His omnipotence, His total control over everything.  We see His goodness.  We see His judgments and justness in punishing sin.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Profound gratitude.  Depth of love for Him.  My desire to do His will instead of mine grows more each day, pushing a bit more selfishness away.  Worship in awe and wonder.

Conclusions:  8 repeated 7 and made it personal.  In the immediate sense, my worship of God has not changed.  As I take in and absorb the book of Revelation and learn more about God’s goodness and grace my worship should become more meaningful and deeper.

Number of times asked in this study how our worship is affected:  Total of 7:  Once in Lessons 2, 3 & 10, Twice in Lessons 9 & now twice in this lesson.

End Notes:  Same as yesterday’s.  See HERE.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 14, Day 3: Leviticus 2-7

Summary of passage:  Leviticus 2 describes the procedure for bringing a grain offering to the Lord.  Leviticus 3 describes the procedure for bringing the fellowship offering to the Lord.  Leviticus 4 describes the procedure for bringing the sin offering to the Lord.

Leviticus 5 lists various specific reasons people can sin either knowingly or unknowingly and once he becomes aware of his sin, he is considered guilty and must make atonement for his sin.

Leviticus 6 continues the list of Leviticus 5 with the same consequences and then repeats much of Leviticus 1-4.  Leviticus 7 repeats Leviticus 3 & 5 and describes the priestly portions.

Questions:

6)  The Grain Offering:  The grain offering was to be of fine flour with oil and incense poured on it and taken to Aaron’s sons.  Aaron’s sons would burn a portion of this and keep a portion for themselves.  It’s purpose was for the Lord as an expression of thanks for all He has provided.  Note this offering was the only one prepared at home and then brought.

The Fellowship Offering (or Peace Offering):  An animal without defect to the Lord was offered. The person is to lay his hand on the animal and slaughter it.  Aaron’s sons will sprinkle the blood on the altar.  Aaron’s sons will burn the fat to the Lord.  It’s purpose was to honor the Lord and represent peace and fellowship with Him and brings the person closer to Him.  The meat was shared–the priest received a portion and the person ate the rest as a fellowship meal with God.

The Sin Offering:  A young bull without defect was offered.  He is to lay his hand on the animal and slaughter it.  The blood will be sprinkled by Aaron’s son on the altar and on the ground.  The fat will be burned for the Lord. The rest of the bull must be taken outside the camp and burned on a wood fire.  This purpose was to atone for any sin done unintentionally or anything done that is forbidden by the Lord’s commands.

Leviticus 5 gives specific occasions for a sin offering as well:  not telling the truth or standing for the truth, becoming ceremonially unclean, or swearing a false oath (not keeping a promise is another way to think of this).

The Guilt Offering:  A ram without defect is to be offered.  It is to be slaughtered and its blood sprinkled  on the altar.  Its fat is to be burned but some can be eaten by a male in the priest’s family.  The person must also make restitution and bring one-fifth of the value of what was damaged to the priest. The purpose was to make restitution and atonement for what the person has failed to do in violation of the Lord’s holy things and sins committed unintentionally.

7a)  The definition of atonement according to Webster’s Dictionary is “reconciliation; reparation for an offense or injury.”

b)  Jesus made atonement for all of our sin through faith in his blood.  The sacrifices here tell a similar story.  The blood covered up the Israelites’ sins in God’s eyes.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Romans says offer your body.  Ephesians says to live a life of love.  Philippians says money if you read around it.  Hebrews the better verse is 16 which says to do good, share with others, and praise Him.  I try to sacrifice my wants and desires for others and live a Godly-life.  I try to give generously and praise Him and offer up my body as a holy temple.  I know I fall short.  But I pray to be closer every day.

Conclusions:  Ugh!  This was boring to say the least so in my summaries I tried to sum it up.  I am not looking forward to Leviticus.  After the excitement of Exodus, Leviticus is like the arrival home after an intense adventure.  Question 7c added insult to injury with MORE reading.  Good thing our break is coming cause we’ll need it!

I would recommend reading the Notes and attending the lectures as much as possible in order to glean more out of these chapters because it will be too easy to dismiss these as antiquated and not get anything out of it with just a cursory read or study.

End Notes:  Leviticus 2:  The ancient Jew thought of the word “leaven” as we would think of the word “sin.”  It could corrupt.  Honey was a common sacrifice to pagan deities and God did not want to be associated with the pagan gods.  Also, note how leaven and honey are additives.  God does not want additives.  He wants us pure as we are.

Salt represented this purity.  It preserves just as is.  It was also costly.  We will see salt again in Numbers.

Leviticus 3:  The fat is considered to be the best portion of the animal.  Hence, it was the part of the animal burned and offered to God.

“The entire fat tail closest to the backbone” is where the best meat of the animal lies.

The fat (our best) and the blood (our life) belonged to God.

Scholars say the eating of fat and blood was prohibited to keep the Israelites healthy and free from disease and parasites.

Leviticus 4:  The sin offering was for those who believed in God and sinned.  It wasn’t for those whose hearts were hard and didn’t care if they sinned or not.  It was for God’s people who were truly sorry, repented, and needed cleansing.

Note the priest had to atone for his sin with the same sacrifice as that of the whole community (verses 13-14).  This shows the priests were held to a higher standard and also was a forerunner of what Christ would do for us.

Note with the sin offering none could be kept unless it was for the priest from another individual. Hence, you couldn’t bring the offering because you wanted some of the meat.  It was fully to atone for sins and be right with the Lord.

The only difference between the offering for the ruler and the people was the ruler’s offering had to be male.

Leviticus 5:  God obligated anyone who knew the truth to tell it.  All were responsible for keeping each accountable to His laws.

Confession of guilt and making amends still applies today.  Ignorance is no excuse for sinning.  It is your responsibility to know the laws (just like today) and follow them.  Otherwise, face the consequences.

Leviticus 6:  Sinning against a neighbor required restitution as well.  Get right with God and others.  Commit a crime against someone else and you committed it against God as well.  But God promises all sin will be covered here no matter what it is.

The burnt offering burned for a long time on the altar.  Priests could have a portion of the grain offering and the sin offering if it wasn’t for the whole community.

Leviticus 7:  Peace or fellowship offerings were voluntary as a way to be closer with God.  The meat did have to be eaten within three days.  To eat of it the person had to be clean–to be with God, you must be clean.

Interesting facts:  Why don’t the Jews then make sacrifices still today?  They substitute good works instead of sacrifices and believe this is sufficient to be right with God.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 3: Matthew 13:44-46

Summary of passage:  Jesus told a parable comparing the kingdom of heaven to treasure hidden in a field and that once found man will sell everything to have heaven.  He also compared heaven to a merchant who sold everything he had to buy heaven.

Questions:

5a)  The treasure is God and having knowledge and wisdom of God/Jesus.  A man will sell everything he has to know God.

b)  We, humans, are God’s treasure.  So this interpretations would be God gave up everything He had/valued (namely Jesus) for us, his treasure.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I like a better because we need God; God doesn’t need us.  It’s God-centric and not man-centric.  Part b is man’s ego coming out.   Not that it’s not true (it is) but it’s just a bit egotistical and I believe Jesus meant more us giving it all up for God.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That we love God so much we should be willing to give up everything for Him and vice versa.  It’s encouraging to think that we are God’s treasure especially when we feel no more useful than dirt.

6a)  Jesus Christ or believers

b)  Jesus Christ or believers

c)  Giving up everything to follow Jesus or God sacrificing Jesus for us

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t think I have any new understanding.  It merely re-inforces the idea of how precious we are to God and how God should be equally as precious to us.  How sacrifice is the ultimate form of love in action.  How we are God’s most treasured possession and how He is the same for us.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I think he wanted the double meaning of God’s love for us and our love for Him.  Plus, the message is simple so Jesus might have thought we didn’t need it interpreted and that once we had Jesus we would understand it.  Furthermore, Jesus told these before he had died on the cross so the meaning wouldn’t have been totally clear until afterwards and explaining it to his disciples who were in denial about Jesus dying would have been fruitless.  He knew we’d get it in the end.

Conclusions:  I like the treasure parables since mankind in general is very materialistic in nature, it speaks to his desire for Jesus as a treasure and God’s desire for us.  It’s a good analogy.  More straight-forward than yesterday’s.

Parable of the Hidden Treasure:  Scholars say the field represents the world and that the man is Jesus who gave all to buy us back for God.  The reason the man bought the field first is because whatever was found in the land in ancient times belonged to the owner of the land no matter who found it, which I believe is the same today on private property at least.  The treasure is us so Jesus gave up everything to buy us.

Parable of the Pearl:  Again, Jesus is the merchant and we are the pearls that Jesus sold everything to buy.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 14, Day 3: Genesis 15:1-11

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.

Again, Abram questions God, asking for reassurances of this promise.  God tells Abram to bring him a heifer, goat, ram, dove, and a pigeon.  Abram cut these in half (except the birds).  As Abram awaits God’s arrival, birds of prey come to feed on the carcasses so Abram drives them away.

Questions:

5a)  In 12:7 the Lord tells Abram He will give this land to Abram’s offspring.  In 15:2-3, Abram asks God where is this promised offspring because without one his servant will be his heir.

b)  God clarifies to Abram that indeed he will have an heir from his own body and tells Abram that one day his offspring will be as numerous as the stars.  God reiterates again that He is the Lord who will give this land to Abram. (Don’t you just want to hit Abram over the head here?  God probably does!)

6)  That Abram knew (and rejoiced) that Jesus would come, that this day (the day Jesus is walking the earth) would come, and Jesus would be the promised Messiah.  And Abraham was glad!  This shows that Abram had faith in God’s words and believed in the promised Messiah!

7a)  Righteousness is by faith alone–always has been and always will be.  If you believe the Lord and believe in Him you are righteous.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Faith is believing in what you cannot see and righteousness is being right with God through faith in Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross.  In believing Jesus is your Savior, you are wiped clean of sin and only when we are free of sin can we be with God and stand before Him–hence, we are “righteous” or right before Him.

c)  He finally believed he would have a son when God told him (again) and he finally believed his descendants would possess the land as God made a covenant (again) with him.

Some might say Abram made a covenant with the Lord when he cut the animals and God passed between them.  I would say no because in verse 18 we are told “the Lord made a covenant with Abram”.  Abram didn’t do anything but receive.  It’s a covenant God made alone with man out of His infinite love and grace for us piddly humans.  God even told Abram to go and get the animals.  It wasn’t even Abram’s idea!

Hence Abram didn’t “do” anything with regards to this covenant to prove his faith.  He merely received.

Conclusions:  This shows that even Abram, a man scholars would argue is the epitome of faith in the Bible, needed reassurance and signs from God in his life.  This applies to us as well.  God helps us even when we don’t know it.  He is there always even when we push Him away.  He picks us up and gives us a push in the right direction (His, NOT ours).

This also shows that it’s okay to question God.  For we, as humans, cannot understand Him and His ways.  It’s okay to ask Him for more clarification, for a sign, for confirmation, for direction, and for help.  Abram wasn’t for sure if the promised seed would be natural born or an adoptee so he asked God for clarification.  Abram wasn’t sure if he would possess the Promised Land and God told him he wouldn’t but his descendants would.

Throughout the Bible, prophets and others have questioned God and He has always answered.

He still answers.  And all we must do is have faith He will.