BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 17, Day 5: 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43

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Summary 2 Samuel 6:12-23:

David eventually brought the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David. He danced before the Lord while all celebrated. Michal did not like her husband. David put the Ark in the tent and offered sacrifices to God. David blessed the people and fed them. When David returned home after bringing the Ark up to bless his household, he was condemned by Michal for his behavior. David reminded Michal God chose him to rule Israel, and he will celebrate the Lord and be even more humbled before God. As punishment, Michal had no children.

Summary 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43:Image result for 2 samuel 6

David prepares a place for the Ark of the Covenant before moving it this time. He forbade anyone but the Levites to carry it this time. The Levites consecrated themselves and brought up the Ark of God has He had commanded using poles. There was much singing and celebrating and sacrificing as the Ark was transported and upon its arrival in Jerusalem. David joined in the celebrations. Michal despised him in her heart because of this.

David put the Ark of God in the prepared tent and sacrifices were offered. David blessed the people and fed them. He appointed Levites to minister before the Ark, to praise God, and give Him thanks. David sings a psalm of thanks to God. David left many Levites to minister before the Ark and in the tabernacle of the Lord in Gibeon (the old tent that housed the Ark).

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 17, Day 5: 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43:

12) Part personal Question. My answer: David prepares a place for the Ark of the Covenant before moving it this time. He forbade anyone but the Levites to carry it this time. The Levites consecrated themselves and brought up the Ark of God has He had commanded using poles. There was much singing and celebrating and sacrificing as the Ark was transported and upon its arrival in Jerusalem. David joined in the celebrations and danced before God. Michal despised him in her heart because of this.

David put the Ark of God in the prepared tent and sacrifices were offered. David blessed the people and fed them. He appointed Levites to minister before the Ark, to praise God, and give Him thanks. David sings a psalm of thanks to God. David left many Levites to minister before the Ark and in the tabernacle of the Lord in Gibeon (the old tent that housed the Ark).

This was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. This time around David prepares ahead of time for the Ark, follows all of God’s rules for moving the Ark and having the Levites do it all, praises God for his goodness and faithfulness, and attends to the Ark after it has been moved. I learn God desires us to follow His rules just as much as He desires the act be done. God does not reward shortcuts in worshipping and obeying Him.

13) Part personal Question. My answer: David joined in the celebrations and danced before God. He sang God a psalm of praise, thanking Him for all He has done and all He will do. Everything in my life. I celebrate Him, give Him praise for all I do, and thank Him.

14) Part personal Question. My answer: Michael despised David in her heart for his celebrations before the Lord, deeming them inappropriate. David responds by saying He celebrated before the Lord who chose him to lead all of Israel. He will become even more undignified and more humiliating to celebrate God. I love David’s response how he’ll do what he wants to celebrate God without worrying what others think of him. This is a lesson we all can apply in our lives.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 17, Day 4: 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43:

My favorite part was David dancing before the Lord, David telling Michal he didn’t care what she thought about his praising of God, and Michal being duly punished.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 17, Day 4: 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43:

Commentary 2 Samuel 6:12-23:

In the second attempt to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, we see that when worship is according to God, it’s filled with gladness and joy. “Real” worship does not have to be subdued, solemn, or only in a minor key.

Why all the sacrifices for the Ark of the Covenant?

  • This was elaborate, excessive, over-the-top sacrifice to show
  • Atonement
  • Consecration
  • Longing for fellowship.

David didn’t hold back anything in his own expression of worship. He didn’t dance out of obligation but out of heartfelt worship. Emotions need not be repressed when celebrating and worshipping God.

Image result for david wearing ephod dancing

Why was David wearing an Ephod?

It is a mistake to think that David was immodest. 1 Chronicles 15:27 indicates that David was dressed just like all the other priests and Levites in this procession.

From our knowledge of ancient and modern culture, David’s dance wasn’t a solo performance. He probably danced with simple rhythmic steps together with other men in the way one might see Orthodox Jewish men today dance. In this context, David’s linen ephod means he set aside his royal robes and dressed just like everyone else in the procession.

What was Michal’s problem with David’s celebrations?

  • Michal felt it wasn’t dignified for the King of Israel to express his emotions before God in such a way.
  • Michal felt David shouldn’t have worn an ephod like everyone else. After all, he’s the king. Shouldn’t he dress like one?

David’s dancing was for God, not Michal, and he told her so.

Lesson we learn from Michal’s barrenness:

There is often barrenness in the life and ministry of the overly critical.

Commentary 1 Chronicles 15:

1 Chronicles 15:11-15 shows us that David specifically commanded the priests to carry the ark the right way – on their shoulders. We often think that a “new cart” or “strength” or a “friendly” manner is the way to bring the presence and glory of God. But God always wants His presence and glory to come on the shoulders of consecrated, obedient, praising men and women.

Commentary 1 Chronicles 16:

The emblem of God’s presence and glory was set at its proper place in Israel.

These sacrifices were an important part of the ceremony, neglected in the first attempt to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.

“David’s appointment then of Levites to minister in music and praise to God marks a significant advance in the history of Israel’s worship. His previous arrangements for music had been devised for just one occasion; but now a continuing service is envisioned.” (Payne)

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How can we remember what God does for us?

Simply remembering God’s great works is an important and often neglected part of the Christian life. Spurgeon (in his sermon The Recorders) noted several ways that we can help ourselves remember the great things of God:

  • Make an actual record of what God has done, keeping a written journal.
  • Be sure to praise God thoroughly at the time you receive His goodness.
  • Set apart time for meditation on the good things God has done.
  • Talk about His mercy often to other people.
  • Use everything around you as reminders to the goodness of God.
  • Remember your blessings and who gave them to you.

David though the Levites had appointed Heman as the leader of worship (1 Chronicles 15:17), at this time David elevated Asaph to this position.

“No reason is given, though Asaph did represent the senior Levitical clan of Gershon (1 Chronicles 6:39-43). Personal ability may also have been a contributing factor, for Asaph and his descendants are listed as composers for twelve of the inspired Old Testament psalms.” (Payne)

David was known as sweet psalmist of Israel (2 Samuel 23:1), and he specially wrote the following psalm to thank the LORD on the day the ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem.

“The Psalm is found in the Book of Psalms; its first movement (8-22) in Psalm 105:1-15; its second movement (23-33) in Psalm 96:1b-13a; its third movement (34-36) consisting of a quotation of the opening and closing sentences of Psalm 106:1-47 and 48.” (Morgan)

“All three of the canonical psalms that he quoted are anonymous, ‘orphan psalms’ (without title) in the Old Testament Psalter; but on the basis of the king’s use of them here, they should indeed be classed as his.” (Payne)

Image result for 1 chronicles 16The three movements of this psalm

  1. Like many psalms, this one begins with a call to praise, virtually in the form of a commandment. David lists a remarkable number of ways (at least eight) one can praise and glorify God. As will be noted later in the psalm, all creation has a responsibility to praise its Creator; but this is the special responsibility of God’s people.
  2. David will soon begin to sing about the special relationship between the LORD and His covenant people. In this we see that this portion of the psalm is largely meant for teaching.
  3. God protects His people when they were out of the Promised Land.

What covenants did God make with man?

  1. God made a covenant with Abraham regarding a land, a nation, and a particular messianic blessing (Genesis 12:1-3).
  2. God made a covenant with Israel as a nation, regarding a law, sacrifice, and choice of blessing or cursing (Exodus 19:5-8).
  3. God made a covenant with David regarding the specific lineage of the Messiah (2 Samuel 7).
  4. God made a covenant with all who would believe on His Son, the New Covenant through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).

God’s covenant people have a special responsibility to praise Him, but all the earth should also proclaim the good news of His salvation day to day.

David is back to imploring the Israelites to tell everyone of the greatness of God, and His superiority above all gods.

Possibly the first reference to the Second Coming of Christ in the Bible:

Payne on for He is coming to judge the earth: “While earlier messianic prophecies had foretold our Lord’s universal, millennial reign (Genesis 49:10Numbers 24:171 Samuel 2:10), these words – ‘he comes’ – may be the first in all of written Scripture (Job 19:25 may well have been spoken earlier) to set forth the doctrine of the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ.”

This reminds us that the center of sacrifice was still at the tabernacle’s altar at Gibeon. Worship would be divided between the ark at Jerusalem and the altar at Gibeon.

“How long the service at Gibeon was continued we cannot tell; the principle functions were no doubt performed at Jerusalem.” (Clarke)

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 17, Day 5: Romans 10:10-13

Summary of passage:  Everyone who believes in Christ will be saved.

Questions:

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Your heart is where your treasure is.  The Holy Spirit is within the heart and the heart leads to the words you speak.  My heart is growing and expanding in His ways, not mine.  I’m becoming kinder, gentler, and more compassionate to all those around me.

13)  Everyone who trusts in the Lord will be saved and will have their guilt/shame washed away forever.  Salvation is for all those who believe in Christ.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  As a child.  As an adult.  I thank him continually for my saved state and pray for others to find the same.

Conclusions:  Not a lot to work with here.  In essence, believe with all your heart in Christ and what he has done for you and you will be saved.

End Notes:  Belief and confession result in righteousness and salvation.  Paul states once again to be clear:  this is open to all despite nationality.

We must call on Him.  Again, note the emphasis on human responsibility.  From Romans 9 alone we might think that salvation is God’s doing, but from Romans 10 we might think that salvation is man’s doing – together we see the matter from each perspective.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 17, Day 5: John 13:1-30

Summary of passage:  It’s just before Passover and Jesus’ time is limited.  Judas has already betrayed him and now Jesus is sitting down for the Last Supper with his disciples.  He dresses himself as a slave and washed his disciples’ feet. Peter protests and Jesus tells him to let him. When he is finished, he dresses and sits with them. He explains that they need to serve others and no one is greater than they.  Jesus says he knows the hearts of all he has chosen and whoever whoever accepts those in his name (such as the disciples) accepts Jesus and thus accepts God.  Jesus knows Judas will betray him and he indicates this by giving him bread. Judas takes it and Jesus tells him to betray him quickly and Judas leaves.  The disciples (clueless as ever) don’t understand.

Questions:

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus still showed Judas love.  He didn’t condemn him, leaving the final choice up to Judas.  He offered him another chance to not do what he was about to do.  Jesus keeps fighting for you to the end.

11)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  This act revealed the true character of God himself.  In it we see it’s the acceptance of what Jesus did for us and does for us that matters. We have to accept his cleansing or it’s meaningless.  It was a spiritual cleaning, not a physical.  Once we are bathed in Jesus, we still need to seek him and wash in him.  Jesus explained his actions so he was sure they got it. They needed to have the same attitude and service as him. We must wash one another’s feet–do for others. Following Jesus’ example, doing the acts of service leads to blessings.  For me, it’s about helping others and putting others first and being bless by it (either in the moment or later).  It’s loving others as much as Jesus loved us.

Conclusions:  This is like Day 6 questions.  We see the crux of this passage here:  Jesus loves us so much he’ll forgive anything–even an act that leads to his own death!  It’s incomprehensible how deep the Father’s love for us is but this passage gives us at least a little bit more understanding of it.  Great stuff!

End Notes:  Alexander Maclaren wrote of this remarkable section, John 13:1-17: “Nowhere else is His speech at once so simple and so deep. Nowhere else have we the heart of God so unveiled to us…The immortal words which Christ spoke in that upper chamber are His highest self-revelation in speech, even as the Cross to which they led up is His most perfect self-revelation in act.”

John has by far the longest account of the upper room, but he says nothing of the Lord’s Supper. We get most of what Jesus said that night from John.  He devotes 1/3 of his book to the 24 hour period immediately preceding Jesus’ death.  Chapters 13-17 describe the long day and night of the Last Supper.  Nothing else like this exists in the Bible.  We have an intimate portrait of Jesus’ most anguished moments.

John focuses on the emotional currents and not the physical details.  Jesus is direct with the disciples, not speaking in parables but painstakingly answering their questions until they finally seem to get it.  Still, most won’t make sense until later after his death when the Holy Spirit arrives.  John’s purpose is to prove that Jesus is the Son of God.  He handpicks these incidents or signs to make his point.  You either believe he is or he isn’t.  There is no middle ground.

The Greek noun agape (love) and the verb agapao (love) appear only 8 times in John Chapters 1-12 but 31 times in Chapters 13-17. Chapters 13-14 take place at the Last Supper. The discourses in Chapters 15-16 are probably spoken on the way to Gethsemane.

We have a time reference but still scholars disagree if this was on Passover or celebrated the day before when the traditional Passover meal was taken. This affects whether Jesus was crucified on the day of Passover or the day after.

Jesus had less than 24 hours to live. He is preparing his disciples for their work after he is gone.

The cross is not specifically mentioned in this passage, but it hangs in the actions and the words.

Jesus’ love for his own is greater because we have a response back. I picture Jesus holding us close to him.

In this scene we have the thinking of Jesus as well (either he told John or John was more observant than the other writers). Instead of it being all about that person (at the end of your life it can be), Jesus focuses on others and shows his love even though he knows he will be abandoned by them. Jesus never abandons us. Jesus did every part of this act himself–an act in Jewish custom that no one else would ever do.

Luke tells us that the disciples were debating who was the greatest when they entered the room. Jesus showed what true greatness was.

It was customary to wash feet before the meal started. However, this didn’t happen. At that time, the meal was eaten at a low table called a triclinium. It was U-shaped. The higher status guests sat the closest to the host. They leaned on pillows with their feet behind them. The disciples were willing to wash Jesus’ feet but not the others’ because it would put him below them. Hence, no one’s feet got washed–until Jesus did it.

Jesus showed the disciples humility. Scholars see this act as a comparison the cross. Jesus rose from supper (from his throne in heaven). He took off his clothes (he took off his glory). He poured water to clean (he poured out his blood to cleanse us).

This act revealed the true character of God himself. In it we see it’s the acceptance of what Jesus did for us and does for us that matters. We have to accept his cleansing or it’s meaningless. Peter protested out of a misplaced humility and pride. Peter again didn’t get it: it’s receiving Jesus into our lives that matter. It was a spiritual cleaning, not a physical, that Peter needed.

First, Peter says don’t do it. Then he says do more! He’s telling Jesus what to do here.

Once we are bathed in Jesus, we still need to seek him and wash in him.

Jesus explained his actions so he was sure they got it. They needed to have the same attitude and service as him. We must wash one another’s feet–do for others. Following Jesus’ example, doing the acts of service leads to blessings.

Some believe this act was meant to be performed by Christians today. Most scholars agree it’s the message beneath that is important.

Christ washing the disciples’ feet was a favorite amongst painters. My favorite HERE

Jesus is predicting his betrayal for the other disciples’ sake. He doesn’t want their faith to waver in him. Hence, he’s telling him he knew all along Judas would betray him. And Jesus is pointing out rejecting him as the one God sent is rejecting God.

Jesus loves Judas and thus is moved (and probably hurt) by the impending betrayal. By telling all he knows about the betrayal, this shows Jesus is the one in control, not Satan or Judas.

The other disciples are confused because up to this point Judas has been one of them, doing everything and going through the motions of faith like so many do today. They may have even thought Jesus was speaking of an unintended betrayal.

Peter, curious as always, asks John to ask Jesus whom he is speaking to. One can imagine that in Peter’s mind, he’s gonna be the superhero here and stop the betrayal before it happens. This also indicates to scholars that Peter is not sitting next to Jesus or he would have asked him himself.

FUN FACT: This is the first of 4 times John refers to himself as “the one Jesus loved”. The 4 are:

· Here in the upper room (John 13:23)

· At the cross of Jesus (John 19:26)

· At the empty tomb (John 20:2)

· With the risen Jesus at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:20)

All of these are connected with the cross and all indicate that John did not boast of this egotistically but out of the love of Jesus.

SPOILER ALERT FOR ART FANS: The famous paintings you see of the Last Supper are all false (like this one HERE and HERE). At a special or ceremonial meal like this they would lay on their stomachs around a U-shaped table, leaning on their left elbow and eating with their right hand their head towards the table, much like the Romans did at the time. It seems that from John’s position next to Jesus, he could lean back and be close enough to speak quietly to Jesus and still be heard. Bear in mind most of the artwork we associate with the Last Supper was painted 1000 years after the fact. Times change and man for the most part had transitioned to eating sitting up at tables. Hence, the depiction.

Picture this: On each side of Jesus sat a disciple. Spurgeon says it best: “One of them was John the divine, and the other was Judas the devil. One of them was the seer of the Apocalypse, the other was the son of perdition.”

Another scholar, Morris, says this: “The place of honor was to the left of, and thus slightly behind the principal person. The second place was to his right, and the guest there would have his head on the breast of the host. Plainly this was the position occupied by the beloved disciple.

The normal posture at a table was sitting, as rabbinical sources indicate; reclining was the posture reserved for special meals, such as parties, wedding feasts, etc.

Giving of dipped bread is like a toast today. It was a special honor. Jesus is still showing love to Judas even at the last hour. Like he will to many of us at the Second Coming. Jesus is showing how to love your enemies to the last and even offering Judas one last chance to repent.

Judas is in the place of honor and Jesus could speak to him without being overheard. Also, scholars speculate that only John heard Jesus indicate Judas as the betrayer, being on Jesus’ other side. Peter is the man of action, the superhero, and the one to defend Jesus with gusto and bravado and sometimes without thinking (like we’ll see in the Garden). John did nothing to stop Judas from leaving and we are not told why. He could have been shocked or he could have trusted Jesus to have it all under control. We don’t know. All we are told is “no one understood Jesus”.

FUN FACT: This is the only time John uses the name Satan in his Gospel.

Judas rejects Jesus’ final act of love and Satan then completely takes over. It’s a choice of Free Will. And Judas will pay the ultimate price.

With the words “do quickly” Jesus is indicating he’s the one in control. He would die as he directed, not as his opponents determined.

The disciples just thought Judas, as the one in charge of the money, had left to pay the bill or give alms to the poor. Note how even though Jesus and them had little money they still gave what they could. It’s not the amount you give but the heart that matters.

No one is immune from the devil. Judas was one of the 12. He lived with Jesus. He listened to Jesus. He watched Jesus perform miracle after miracle. He was one of the best and still he was lost. Man needs more than an example and good teaching. It’s a turn of the heart. If that doesn’t happen, there is no hope.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 5: Revelation 13:1-18

Summary of passage:  A beast emerges from the sea with 10 horns, 7 heads and 10 crowns on his horns. On each head was a blasphemous name. The beast looked like a leopard, had feet like a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave this beast his power, throne, and great authority. One head had a fatal wound but had been healed. The whole world followed this beast and men worshiped the dragon who had given the beast power. The beast exercised his authority for 42 months (3 1/2 years, the time of the Great Tribulation). He blasphemed God, his name, his dwelling place, and those in heaven.

The beast was given power and authority over the saints and every tribe, people, language, and nation. All non-believers will worship the beast.

Beast #2 comes out of the earth. He has 2 horns but spoke like a dragon. He was under the authority of the first beast (Rev 13:1-10) and made earth’s inhabitants worship Beast #1. He performed miraculous signs and created a false idol in the shape of Beast #1 that earth’s inhabitants worshipped. This idol was given the power to breath and speak and killed those who refused to worship the image. Everyone was forced to receive a mark (the number 666) either on his forehead or right hand.

Questions:

12a)  The dragon is the anti-Father, the beast rising from the sea is the anti-Christ, and the beast rising from the land is the anti-Holy Spirit.

b)  Because Jesus is the Lamb.  This one is imitating Christ as the false prophet in order to deceive Christ-followers into following him.

c)  The Holy Trinity is defined by peace, thankfulness, spiritual growth in love and honor, songs, and wisdom.  The deceptive trinity is characterized by war, death, servitude, fear, threats, and destruction.  The antithesis of God.

13a)  Very similar to question 5a.  Deuteronomy says not to follow false prophets or gods even those who perform miracles.  God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and all  your soul.  Follow and serve God only.  Jesus says in Matthew you will recognize false prophets by the fruit they bear:  bad fruit meaning they will reap evil consequences, not for the good and not godly.  Mark says to be on your guard for false prophets.  John says in 1 John to not believe every spirit but to test the false prophets or spirits to see whether they are from God.  If they do not acknowledge Jesus is not God, then it’s the antichrist.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Very similar to questions 8b & 11c.  I know I am safe and God protects me.  I am marked with the Holy Spirit that guides me when these situations arise.  Identifying falsehoods and telling others is the best way I can share God’s truths.

Conclusions:  Good lesson.  Loved the comparison of the unholy trinity with the holy trinity.  An easy way to identify something is to ask what it’s purpose is:  is it for love, compassion, peace, and helpfulness?  Or is it for deceit, personal gain, malicious intentions, or strife?

End Notes:  See Previous Days:  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4

Lessons from Revelation 13:  Here we see important messages for Christians in today’s world.  First, we must endure our suffering and be faithful for Christ is coming.  Second, we must stand for our beliefs even when the rest of the world is worshiping something other than God.  Third, we see the proliferation of worshiping of false gods.  It’s a danger we all must be careful of.  An idol is anything you put before god.  Purge any in your life.

Conclusions to Lesson 17:  Good analysis of passage.  We’ve studied false prophets & teachings in Lesson 4 Day 2 & Lesson 5 Day 2.  A little repetition in the questions but it’s important to know there are/will be false prophets but God has given us ways to differentiate them.  False idols are everywhere and we must be aware and not check out.

Lesson 18 Preview:  Coming up, we will explore suffering, another interlude in Revelation I am not looking forward to.  We’ve already extensively covered suffering this year (See Lesson 3 Day 4, Lesson 4 Day 2, Lesson 4 Day 5, Lesson 11 Day 2 & Lesson 12 Day 4) and I’m about burnt out on how we all must suffer and will continue to suffer until the Day of the Lord.  I GET IT!  CAN WE MOVE ON?  Dwelling on my suffering is not something I like to do.  I prefer to live in the present and not the past and dwell on the positive aspects of my current situation and circumstances and not the negative.

General observations of the study of Revelation:  Due to the number of repetitious subjects, the number of lessons we have spent outside of Revelation, and the sheer volume of personal questions this year, I’m beginning to think the study of Revelation could have been compacted into half a year and then combine this with something else–another smaller book perhaps or similarly related.  I’m pretty crestfallen about the whole thing and my bubble has definitely burst over this study.  Would love to have your opinions on the matter.

One more side note that may just be me:  I’m not getting a whole lot out of the lectures.  I’ve done so much study on the passages myself that what our Teaching Leader says is nothing new to me.  Oftentimes, the message is not even on the passage but one general theme such as how Christ is our Savior or how we need to “talk” about God to others that I struggle to stay awake because the message is so watered-down.  Other insights on your lectures?

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 17, Day 5: Leviticus 26-27

Summary of passage:  Leviticus 26:  God repeats His rewards for obedience and His promises for His people:  to keep His covenant with them, to provide for them, to give them peace in the land, to defeat their enemies, to increase their numbers, to walk with them.  God warns the people if they don’t obey He will set His face against them, bring on diseases, and be conquered.  God will punish them 7 times over and not give them good harvests.  God will be hostile towards them and lay waste to the land and their cities.  They will eat but never be satisfied.  They will be scattered amongst the nations and God will abhor them.

But if the Israelites confess their sins, God will remember His covenant with Abraham and Isaac and even if they don’t confess their sins, God won’t totally destroy them because of this covenant.

Leviticus 27:  God tells Moses the regulations for those dedicating themselves or others to Him and the values of those people.  He tells the if an animal is dedicated to Him, it becomes holy and if he wishes to substitute the animal, the substitute becomes holy as well.  The Lord gives rules for dedicating houses, land and fields to Him as well.

No one can dedicate the firstborn to Him because it is already His.  Nothing devoted to the Lord may be sold or redeemed because it is now holy to God.  A tithe belongs to the Lord and is holy to Him.

Questions:

10a)  “Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it”.  (Verse 1)  “Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary: (Verse 2)

b)  “I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit” (Verse 4)  “Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land” (Verse 5)

“I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid.  I will remove savage beast from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.” (Verse 6)  “Your enemies will fall by the sword before you” (Verse 8)

“I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers and I will keep my covenant with you.” (Verse 9).  “You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new” (Verse 10).  “I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you” (Verse 11)

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Verse 12).

c)  “I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life.  You will plant see in vain, because your enemies will eat it.” (Verse 16).  “I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you” (Verse 17).

“I will punish you for your sins seven times over” (Verse 18).  “I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze” (Verse 19).  “Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit” (Verse 20).

“I will multiply your afflictions seven times over as your sins deserve” (Verse 21 & 24 & 28)  “I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle, and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted” (Verse 22).

“I will break the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant.  When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you , and you will be given into enemy hands” (Verse 25).  “You will eat but you will not be satisfied” (Verse 26).

“You will eat the flesh of your sons and your daughters” (Verse 29″.  “I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you” (Verse 30).  “I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the please aroma of your offerings” (Verse 31)

“I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled” (Verse 32).  “I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you.  Your land will be laid waste, and you cities will lie in ruins” (Verse 33).

11a)  If the Israelites will confess their sins, then God would remember His covenant with Jacob and Isaac and Abraham and He will remember the land.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Well, no matter what, God will never forget His people. This is encouraging when we sin.  If we confess, we are forgiven.  If we don’t confess, God does not abandon us. I have hope every day that I can be a better person when sometimes it seems I am remaining stagnant in my growth with God.

12a)  Persons (verses 2-8).  Animals (verses 9-13).  House (verses 14-15).  Family land (Verses 16-21).  A field he has bought (verses 22-25).

b)  “Nothing that a man owns and devotes to the Lord–whether man or animal or family land–may be sold or redeemed” (Verse 28).

Conclusions:  On question 10, I stopped at Leviticus 26:35 and left out the remnant because I couldn’t take any more typing so there’s more answers to that question if you are so inclined.

I am ambivalent towards questions that require us to type up whole passages of Scripture.  In one sense it’s good because it forces you to read God’s word closer and dwell upon it more as you type it.  Some people learn better this way anyways rather than just reading it.  Yet, at the same time, it’s redundant and time-consuming.  For this question, you could literally just open the Bible and read all of Leviticus 26 to answer it in class because all of Leviticus 26 is the answer to 10 and 11.

I don’t know about you, but I quaked when I thought of God abhorring me.  Not a pretty picture.

Whooo0-hooo!  Done with Leviticus!  On to Numbers!

End Notes:  Leviticus 26: God’s desire was to show Himself through the Israelites and He was giving them the choice:  either follow my commands and I will bless you beyond measure to show my glory or disobey my commands and I will curse you beyond measure to show my judgments and power.

This chapter very closely follows ancient treaties between peoples and their kings at the time it was made/written.

Here we see God foreshadowing Gideon and Jonathan’s defeat of much larger forces when He promises  verse 8.  The Old Testament is full of examples of these blessings and warnings coming to light.  Another is the Queen of Sheba in 1 Kings 10 where she is overwhelmed by the wealth she sees and she praises God because of it.

Sadly, the disobediences also played out in the Old Testament and even the worst punishments like eating your own son or daughter came to be (2 Kings 6:26-29).

Yet the chapter ends with God’s mercy upon His people to never forsake them.  So even with all this horror there is hope.  And with Jesus, there is no more curses for he bore it all.  With Jesus God’s mercy is complete.

Leviticus 27:  These vows were separate from the priesthood; this was for those who wanted to dedicate themselves to God but was not of the tribe of Levi.  Everyone was assigned a value according to age and usefulness to society and being primarily agricultural, the young men were worth more.

A person could redeem things vowed to the Lord such as animals, houses or land.  One could not redeem those things devoted to the Lord, which included those who were set to be executed for crimes committed.

Fun Fact:  “The Lord said to Moses” occurs more than 60 times in the book of Leviticus.  It is the most words recorded that God spoke personally in the Bible.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 5: Matthew 16:21-28

Summary of passage:  Now Jesus is revealing to his disciples the reason for his being:  that he will die in Jerusalem and suffer for others.  Peter was in denial and told Jesus such.  Jesus rebuked Peter, calling him Satan and a stumbling block to his purpose here on earth.

Jesus tells his disciples that those who come after him must take up their cross and follow him.  People must lose their life in order to save it.  Jesus will reward each person according to what he has done.  Some will not die before the Son of Man comes again.

Questions:

10a)  Peter tells Jesus that he won’t go to the cross and die for our salvation.

b)  Probably for the same reason we don’t want our loved ones to die:  it’s too painful both for Peter who lose his friend and the pain of a crucifixion death that was well-known in ancient times was immense and Peter probably can’t imagine Jesus dying so.

[One commentary I read said Peter did this because he was prideful and having just heard from God about who Jesus truly was in 16:16 that he also thought God was telling him to this as well when it was in fact the devil.  I took the more simplistic, human approach in this one.  I don’t want any of my family to die.  And Jesus was Peter’s family.]

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When sin tempts us, we are all tempted to ignore what Christ did for us.  For me, any sin which is frequent in my life.  However, I have sympathy here for Peter for he knew Jesus in a way we never can.  He walked beside Jesus.  I can imagine he had other motivations for not wanting Jesus to die like we all do for our relatives.

d)  Satan

11a)  To have all of your sins forgiven and to receive the Holy Spirit.  When Christ was crucified he took our sins upon himself and made us righteous and healed us.

b)  He says that “whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

c)  “Lose your life” means you die to sin.  You have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus.  “Take up your cross and follow” Him means the same thing.  You lay down your life (your wants, desires, and sins), surrender yourself to him, to do God’s desires in life.

d)  They will find new life (gain eternal life as well) and be rewarded in heaven for it.

e)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I try to follow God’s will for my life and listen to Him and do His calling and not my own.

12)  This simply means that some people will be alive when Jesus comes again and never have to experience the penalty of death that came about through our sins.

Another interpretation of this is that you will experience glimpses of God’s power and glory as you lead a Christian, new life.  It’s not all about death.

Conclusions:  Anyone else think Question 11 was a repeat?  In fact, it is.  We answered this question on Lesson 11, Day 5 except the question read “how” instead of “explain what” this means. BSF Notes also tell us exactly what this means in Lesson 11 Notes.  I didn’t think the reference passages were all that helpful either in understanding the meaning.

If you have these notes, I would suggest re-reading them here.  I can’t legally quote anything in the notes but the explanation they give is very, very good.

Hopefully, with repetition, we all understand this now:  that Jesus wants us and all of us to follow him in our lives.  To put him first.  To die to our will and live for him.  Period.

End Notes:  So often we focus on Jesus’s death as for our sins.  But the positive way of putting this is how great is God’s love for us.  God loved us so much He sent his son to die for us.  How many of us parents would do the same thing–to allow our sons to die for strangers?  I wouldn’t. Thus, we must remember the cross is the ultimate sign of God’s love for us despite the tragedy that we had to lose Christ to gain him.

We see Peter’s pride at work as he tries to tell Jesus he is wrong.  Peter is to follow as a disciple, not lead. This is important to remember as in our daily lives we may be thinking we are working for God when the devil sneaks in and we’re not.  In Peter’s case, he focused on “the things of men” instead of on God.  This is a hard one to know when we as humans are just so dumb when compared to God.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 17, Day 5: Genesis 21:22-34

Summary of passage:  Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham probably because he doesn’t trust him.  Abraham said that some of Abimelech’s servants had seized a well. Abraham gifted sheep and cattle to Abimelech and set aside 7 ewe lambs to prove he dug the well.  The place was called Beersheba.  Abimelech returned to Philistine and Abraham planted a tree and called upon the name of the Lord.  Abraham stayed here a long time.

Questions:

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Outwardly, Abraham has accomplished things only God could.  He rescued Lot and defeated the 4 kings.  He has prospered materially with all his herds of sheep and cattle and other signs of wealth.  He seems to have dealt with everyone with integrity, which we all admire in people.

And I’m sure when you looked at Abraham you could see a contentment, a peace, a security that only God can bring.  I’m stopping short of saying the Holy Spirit because that was only after Jesus died did we receive the Holy Spirit but something similar I would wager.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Others see whether you live by God or by the world.  Your actions show it.  A God-centered life is abundant indeed.  I learn to be cognizant of this and try to reflect God wherever I go.

13a)  Abraham swore by God.  Abraham offers up lambs as proof of his work so he backs up his words with action.  Abraham planted a tree as a sign he called upon the Lord.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This is a hard one because I don’t trust other people so I’m sure I come off as untrustworthy myself.  And part of me doesn’t care if others trust me or not or even if I am trustworthy because I don’t care what others think most of the time.  But I can pray about it and be more like Jesus.

Conclusions:  Easy lesson with no right or wrong answers since they are all opinion questions.  Abraham got along with his neighbors and treated them fairly and rightly as Jesus would do.  And others recognized this in him.  Seems like something we should all strive for.

End Note:  The Abimelech in Genesis 21 is NOT the same Abimelech in Genesis 20. Abimelech was a generic title for ruler amongst the Canaanites and is not a specific name.

Simple Map of Beersheba:  http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/beersheb.htm

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 17, Day 5: Acts 20:13-21:15

Summary of passage:  From Troas Paul head to Assos, Mitylene, Kios, Samos, and then Miletus.  He avoided Ephesus because he wanted to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost.  But he sent for the elders of Ephesus to come to Miletus to speak with him.

Paul tells them he lived a life of humility and tears as he served the Lord.  He preached helpful words to both Jews and Greeks about having faith in Christ and repenting to God.  Paul is compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem where he knows he will face prison and hardships.  His life is worth nothing to him if only he will finish the race and complete the task set out for him by Lord Jesus.

They won’t see him again so they must keep watch over the church and believers.  They must be on their guard for wolves will lurk and try to hurt the believers.  He commits them to God who can build them up and give them an inheritance.  We must help the weak, work hard, and remember Jesus’ words “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

They Paul prayed.

Then Paul boards a ship to Cos, Rhodes, Patar, Phoenicia, Syria, Tyre (where he stayed to encourage disciples and prayed), Ptolemais, and then Caesarea.  Here, the prophet Agabus bound his own hands and feet in warning to Paul about what will happen to him in Jerusalem.  Paul says he is ready to die for Jesus and his companions finally said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

Finally, Paul arrives in Jerusalem.

Questions:

13)  Paul mentions again how he lived with them, serving the Lord with great humility and tears, and how he had not coveted anyone’s silver, gold, or clothing.  Paul’s own hands supplied his needs and the needs of his companions.  He worked hard to help the weak.  Paul taught the people from house to house.  In every city he faces prison and hardships.

14a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Verse 24 “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”  It’s important to strive every day and stay on track with God’s purpose for your life, which is different for all of us, but is ultimately the same:  testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

Verse 35  “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Important to remember.  God blesses you.  You bless others.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It shows his undying devotion to God’s call on his life.  He is singularly focused on his task.  It shows his love for others and how much others loved him (which is much harder to earn).  Throughout it all he prayed, kept the faith, and once again offered sage advice upon leaving.

15a)  Verse 35:  “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Have a giving attitude.  Remember how everything is from God and you are merely a steward of it all.  Give of yourself, your finances, your time, your energy, and your passions in all areas of life.

Conclusions:  Paul is a great example of how to life your life.  He faces challenges knowing God is with him.  He obviously knows how to treat people since they adore him and beg him to spare himself.  He is always giving advice on how to live a better life and he himself is always striving to be a better person.  He’s a great role model.

I like how finally everyone agrees to “The Lord’s will be done.”  So often we fight against God and His will for us and others that we don’t submit to Him our problems, anxieties, and ultimately our lives.  God is in control but we sometimes try to be. Here Paul is the perfect example of knowing he cannot fight God’s will for his life so he accepts it 100%. This is hard for most of us but something we can always be trying to achieve:  100% committal to God’s will for our lives.

End Note:  My study bible says that the quote “It is more blessed to give than to receive” is the only quote from Jesus not found in the New Testament Gospels.  I found this fascinating.

Map of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey:

http://www.apostlepaulthefilm.com/paul/journey_03.htm

This map shows all of the places mentioned in the passage:

http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/apostle-paul-third-missionary-journey-large-map.html

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 17, Day 5 Isaiah 40:27-31

Summary of passage:  Israel and Jacob (the people of these lands) complain that God has disregarded them during their exile to Babylon.  Isaiah answers that God, the Creator of the Universe is ever-lasting.  He does not grow tired or weary and we (the people) cannot understand his reasoning.  But He gives strength to the weary as long as you hope in the Lord.  You will soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, and walk and not be faint.

Questions:

10a) They think God has abandoned them because of their plight.  They don’t see it as a punishment or if they do as an unfair one.  But after the punishment (time-out) you get to come out of your room, (Babylon) back to the family (Jerusalem).

b) He tells them again God is the Creator of the Universe; He is ever-lasting.  He won’t grow weary; His understanding no one can fathom (basically, He has his reasons).  He will give you strength to endure if you believe in Him.  Those who hope in the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not be faint.

11) Faith and hope in the Lord

12a) God, as Creator of the Universe, never grows tired or weary so He has the power to do the same for you if you have faith and hope.

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  Tired of dealing with public schools.  Stumbling in my relationships.  Sometimes weary of writing books that are relegated to merely word documents on my computer.  But God gives me strength to endure and keep moving, the discernment to see my problems, and the ability to work to correct them.

Conclusions:  It’s all about keeping the faith in this lesson.  Sure, bad things happen and we never understand.  But you must hold strong and believe there is light at the end of the tunnel–His light.  He never gives us more than we can handle and He has the power to do anything.  What is a more inspiring picture than soaring on wings like eagles?