BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 2, Day 5: Joshua 9

 

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Summary of Joshua 9:

Hearing of Israel’s complete destruction of Ai, the peoples West of the Jordan decide to come together and take the offensive against Israel. Yet, when the people of Gibeon heard about Joshua’s exploits of Jericho and Ai, they decided to perform a trick on the Israelites in hopes their lives would be spared.

The Gibeonites dressed as if they had been on a long journey. They packed moldy food and old wineskins. They approached Joshua at camp and asked for a treaty. Joshua attempted to discern by himself the truth, but in the end, he agreed to the treaty because he did not inquire of the Lord.

Upon learning of the deception, Joshua is forced to abide by his sworn word by the Lord, but he deemed the Gibeonites be woodcutters and water carriers their entire lives.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 5: Joshua 9:

12) The surrounding nations joined forces against the invading Israelites. The Gibeonites, knowing the Israelites would totally destroy them (see Deuteronomy 7:2) if conquered, decided to resort to a ruse: their idea was to trick the Israelites into making a peace treaty with them so they would survive.

13)  Joshua should have inquired of the Lord and because he swore an oath by the Lord, they had to abide by their word. God had warned the Israelites not to make treaties with the people in Exodus 34:12, 15 because their pagan ways will corrupt the Israelites. Numbers 30:2 states clearly that when you make a vow to the Lord or take an oath to obligate yourself by the pledge, you cannot break your word and must abide by the conditions you swore.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 5: Joshua 9:

I love how Joshua tells the good and the bad. Good means the Israelites obey the Lord and they win. Bad means they disobey the Lord and love. However, we also see that God likes to be consulted and lead us down the right path. When He’s not consulted, bad things happen and His people are taken advantage of. How often have you been in a similar situation where you didn’t ask God and someone took advantage of you?

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 5: Joshua 9:

The Israelites were allowed to make treaties with foreign nations, just not with the Canaanites.Image result for joshua 9

How do the Gibeonites Deceive the Israelites?

  • Clever (crafty)
  • Pretended (misrepresented selves)
  • Lied
  • Gave false evidence (moldy bread and ragged clothes)

Consequences of Not Inquiring of the Lord

What did the Israelites do wrong? They did not inquire of the Lord. Consequently, they had to let the Gibeonites live and not take their land. Now, the Gibeonites were relegated to slavery; however, they often caused trouble for the people of Israel.

This shows how much trouble you can gain when you rely on your own instincts instead of on God’s.

It is a mark of godliness to hold to an oath, even when it is difficult. But he honors those who fear the LORD; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change. (Psalm 15:4)

It is quite refreshing to see the Israelites didn’t even doubt about keeping their word.

Later, King Saul broke this vow to the Gibeonites and his sin brought famine upon Israel in the days of David (2 Samuel 21:1-9).

What do We Learn from the Gibeonites?

  • The Gibeonites’ actions were all done because they feared the Lord. Joshua 10:2 tells us that Gibeon was full of “good fighters.”
  • The Gibeonites never complain. Here we see David’s Psalm 84:10: “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
  • The Gibeonites value their life over their work. The alternative was death. Which would you choose?

What do the Gibeonites and Rahab have in Common?

  •  The Gibeonites and Rahab (Joshua 2) found salvation in God.
  •  Both Rahab and the Gibeonites came to God as sinners and liars
  • Both Rahab and the Gibeonites abandoned their former lives to be counted among God’s people. Gibeon faced a backlash from its neighbors (Joshua 10:4,) and were attacked.
  •  Both Rahab and the Gibeonites found salvation through God and had a rich history.

What happened to the Gibeonites?

  • The Gibeonites became servants at the tabernacle just as Joshua had commanded.
  •  Gibeon becomes a priestly city; the Ark of the Covenant stayed at Gibeon often in the days of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 16:39-40 and 21:29).
  • At least one of David’s mighty men was a Gibeonite (1 Chronicles 12:4).
  •  God spoke to Solomon at Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4).
  •  Gibeonites were among those who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 3:7 and 7:25).
  •  Prophets such as Hananiah the son of Azur came from Gibeon (Jeremiah 28:1).

Themes of Joshua 9:

  1. God does great things from repentant sinners.
  2. God desperately wants us to seek Him always in everything.
  3. We keep our word no matter the consequences.
  4. We are ever vigilant for Satan’s tricks.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 2, Day 5: Romans 1:28-32

Summary of passage:  God allowed man to do his will and sin as part of His divine judgment against him.  Man is full of very kind of evil.  Man continues to sin and approves of those who do so as well.

Questions:

12)  I discussed this word YESTERDAY but in essence man didn’t want to know God.  Man chose to dismiss Him (not worthwhile to retain the knowledge of Him) so God allowed the evil inside of man to thrive and take over (depraved).  Webster’s says depraved means “marked by corruption or evil; perverted”.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I know homosexuality is wrong, not sure if I ever approved of it.  I’m unsure if I ever approved of any sin.  Yes, we all do it (especially gossip, envy, deceit, disobeying parents, etc).  But there’s a difference of approving of something.  When I sin, I know it’s wrong.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I know.  I’m just too weak to do anything about it.  Then I repent.  I’m not okay with sin.  Those with depraved minds are.

Conclusions:  If you re-read the sample list of sins Paul includes, you’ll see yourself.  Paul’s point here, however, is those who deliberately turn their back on God are given up to His judgment, which includes a depraved or evil mind that continues to sin and approve of sin.  As a Christian, we still sin, but it’s not willful.  It’s because we are weak and we Fall to temptation from our Enemy.  AND it’s not continuous.  We repent usually immediately, we are forgiven, and we are stronger for it.  We grow more and more like Jesus (free from sin); whereas, those who turn from Him drift more and more towards Satan, away from God, and sin snowballs.

End Notes:  Paul includes “socially acceptable sins” such as covetousness, pride, gossip, and envy along with the horrible sins such as murder.

Envy or covetousness means the itch for more.

Whisperers or gossip is those who secretly accuse and blast their neighbor’s reputation.

Why envy you say?  Envy is so powerful that there is a sense in which it put Jesus on the cross. Pilate knew that they had handed Him over because of envy (Matthew 27:18).

Small sins lead to bigger sins.  How many times has envy grown into a passion that lead to murder?  Sin is powerful. Very powerful.  We must remember no sin is good and dismiss our little sins as “no big deal”.  All sin is evil in God’s eyes.

Pride:   Clarke says this: “They who are continually exalting themselves and depressing others; magnifying themselves at the expense of their neighbours; and wishing all men to receive their sayings as oracles.”

We are all deserving of sin, Paul concludes.  Every last one of us.  Sinners and approvers of sin.

All this sin comes from man choosing to abandon the knowledge of God (rebel against Him) and the state of society shows God’s judgment upon them.

The extreme of sin is applauding, rather than regretting, the sins of others (Psalm 1:1; 1 Corinthians 15:33).

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 2, Day 5: John 1:43-51

Summary of passage:  Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael as disciples in Galilee.  Philip is called first and he tells Nathanael who wonders if anything good can come from Nazareth.  Jesus knows Nathanael instantly and tells all that they will see heaven open and the angels of God ascend and descend on him.

Questions:

10)  John the Baptist, Andrew, and Philip.  Their faith, their strength of character, their heart for God, their commitment and perseverance for Christ.

11a)  Nathanael upon hearing that Jesus was from Nazareth wondered how anything good could come from Nazareth.  This is an honest and a prejudice response.  Nathanael, however, keeps an open mind and does follow Philip to come and see.  Nathanael asked Jesus how he knew him and we’re told Jesus saw Nathanael meditating on Scripture under the fig tree.  So he knows all about Jesus and asks questions.  And Nathanael declares Jesus truthfully who he is:  The Son of God and the King of Israel.

Thus, Nathanael does not allow prejudice to get in his way.  He investigates until he has his answer.  He thinks for himself.  Imagine if Nathanael hadn’t of followed Philip.  He would have missed Jesus!  Don’t let that happen to you!

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I think and question a lot.  I’m pretty honest.  We’re all born prejudiced in terms of making judgments on others.  It’s something we work our whole lives at to overcome.

12)  The stairway that linked heaven and earth was made possible by Jesus, who is the bridge (or the ladder) between heaven and earth.  This is what Jesus is referring to when he declares he’ll be the one in the middle, “the way, the truth the life” (John 14:6).  Heaven open means the disciples will see heaven’s testimony about Jesus as plainly as if they heard an announcement from heaven.

Conclusions:  The testimonies and the different ways people come to Jesus is prominent here.  All of our paths are different and all of our journeys are different.  As long as the path leads to Jesus, none of it matters.

Great example of overcoming prejudice and thinking and investigating for ourselves.  Our minds make unconscious judgements but we can consciously override them and see people for who they truly are.  Great lesson!

End Notes:  Philip, Andrew, and Peter were all from Bethsaida.  Undoubtedly, they all knew each other as 2000 years ago villages were small and close-knit.  This is not the first time Jesus has met Philip.  He’s met them before but here John is recorded the formal invitation by Jesus to Philip to follow him.  This we know from the other gospel accounts of this incident.

Nazareth was a town of ill-repute in the ancient world.  It was small and dinky.  Could anything good come from such a place?  This is how God works.  He takes the unexpected and makes it big.  Great analysis of this scene HERE

The Greek verb follow here has the sense of perpetuity.  “Keep on following….”

Bethsaida means “House of the fisherman” or “Fishertown.”  It’s very close to where the Jordan River enters the Lake of Galilee.  See map of Bethsaida in relation to Nazareth HERE.

Philip declares Jesus the one Moses wrote about in the law.

Rabbi is the Hebrew word for teacher.

Nathanael is the same person as Bartholomew.

Jesus compliments Nathanael by saying there is nothing false or no deceit within him.

“Under the fig tree” was a phrase Rabbis used when meditating on Scripture.  Hence, most likely Jesus saw Nathanael in prayer.  He could have been under an actual fig tree as well.

Then Nathanael recognizes Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus says there is greater things to come.  This applies to us today.  Do you believe it?  Do you believe there are much greater things to come with Jesus?

Why does Jesus quote Genesis here and reference Jacob’s dream?  Perhaps this was the very Scripture Nathanael had been meditating on under the fig tree.

Jesus calls himself many times the Son of Man.  This references Daniel 7:13-14 where the King of Glory who will judge the world is called the Son of Man, a messianic title.  It is Jesus’ favorite self-designation.  It is used 81 times in the Gospels and never used by anyone else but Jesus here.

Fun Fact:  “Truly I tell you” occurs more in their Gospel than in any other Gospel and nowhere else in the New Testament.  John is the only one who prefaces the phrase with “very” a total of 25 times.

Conclusions to Lesson 2:  Here we see 4 ways to come to Jesus:

  1. Andrew by the preaching of John the Baptist.
  2. Peter because of his brother.
  3. Philip who was called directly by Jesus
  4. Nathanael who personally encountered Jesus

We also see 4 different testimonies to the identity of Jesus:

  1.  John the Baptist testified Jesus is eternal, the man uniquely anointed with the Holy Spirit, the Lamb of God, and the unique Son of God.
  2. Andrew testified Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ.
  3.  Phillip testified Jesus is the One prophesied in the Old Testament.
  4.  Nathaniel testified Jesus is the Son of God and the King of Israel.

We see all of Jesus’ titles in one chapter in the Bible.  Do you still doubt who Jesus is?

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 2, Day 5: Revelation’s Content: Eternal Hope

Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.

Questions:

8a)  “I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!  I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It means we will rise again with him and live forever.  It helps me to keep an eternal perspective in our transient world.

9a)  I could write pages and pages to answer this question.  Murder, abuse, rape, incest, untimely or needless death, hard financial times, broken dreams, death of a loved one, war, famine, fights with friends, guilt, physical disabilities and struggles, etc

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I should have an eternal perspective and not worry over trivialities.  My reward is in heaven, not here.  Here is merely for Him, not me.  Live for Him.  Live to the fullest.  Let the trivialities fall away.  Pray for the fallen and broken.  Leave the world to Him.

Conclusions:  Like yesterday, lackluster.  Maybe it’s my mood.  Didn’t like 9a.  I could go on forever.  Some questions are just depressing.  This is one.  Admittedly, I answered 9b before I looked up the passages.  The passages merely state Christ is coming back (like the question does).

Conclusions on Lesson 2:  We once again spent another week looking at the Book of Revelation as a whole before we begin to study the passages.  Days 2, 4, & 5 all point to hope.  We will all once again be with God here on Earth.  God will defeat all evil.

Day 3 was the most useful in my opinion.  Understanding who John was writing to is critical in trying to interpret the text.  Putting ourselves back 2000 years is hard enough.  What we can’t reproduce is the mindset, perspective, and the knowledge the average first century Christian had.  This is partly why understanding Revelation is beyond so many of us and why it is so confounding and why we’ll never have 100% answers.

Keep in mind:  In this study, there will be variances amongst all of our answers and that is to be expected and to be the norm.  Some of us will be guessing.  Some of us will have our own beliefs.  Some of us will have no clue.  Some of us will have a lot of knowledge.  Wherever you fall on the continuum, that is okay. We are all here to learn from each other.  It should be a great ride!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 2, Day 5: Exodus 2:23-25

Summary of passage:  The Pharaoh died and the Israelites continued to suffer under oppression.  God heard their cries and was concerned.

Questions:

10a)  By preparing Moses and by bringing the Israelites to a point of total dependence on God–to the point of hardship beyond bearing because in the desert they will have to have total faith in God to survive.

b)  Cried out to God

11a)  Heard, remembered, looked, concerned

b)  They tell us just what the verbs mean:  That God heard his people, remembered them, looked on the, and was concerned.  His people are important to Him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes

Conclusions:  Again, thought the last three days should have been combined into one.  I’m not a fan of “yes” or “no” personal questions.  I just don’t get a lot out of those.  Thought Question 9d and 10a should have been together as both have the same answer of relying totally on God.

End Notes:  We must remember God remembered his people and turned his attention to His people because of the covenant with Abraham and not because of any other reason (like suffering or the people deserved it).  If it not for Abraham, God would probably have let the people suffer in Egypt.  But because of God’s goodness and love and because he chose Israel, He rescued them.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 2, Day 5: Psalm 91 & Review Matthew 2

Summary of passages:  Psalm 91:  He who dwells with God, rests with God.  He is my refuge and my fortress.  He will save you from death.  He will shelter you.  His faithfulness will be your shield.  You will not fear.  A thousand may die beside you but you will be spared as you will see the punishment of the wicked.

If God is your dwelling and refuge, no harm will befall you.  His angels will guard you in all ways.  You will trample evil.  All because you love God and acknowledge Him.  God will answer you and be with you in times of trouble.

Matthew 2:

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Magi (or Three Wise Men) came to Jerusalem to inquire where the king of the Jews was born at so they may worship him.  King Herod was disturbed by this news.  He asked all the chief priest’s where the Messiah was to be born and they responded with the words of the prophet Micah:  In Bethlehem in Judah.

Herod called the Magi to him secretly and asked them for the exact time of the appearance of the star.  He then sent them to Bethlehem to search for the child and then to report back to him so that he too may go and worship the child.

The wise men leave Herod and continue their journey in search of Christ, using the star as their guide.  They arrived at Jesus’s house and bowed down and worshipped him.  They gave the child gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh.  Then they returned home a different way to avoid Herod.

An angel of the Lord warns Joseph to flee Bethlehem for Egypt because Herod is going to try to kill the child.  So Mary, Joseph, and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod died, returning to fulfill another prophecy in Hosea 11:1.

When Herod realizes the magi have escaped him, he orders all boys in Bethlehem under the age of two killed, fulfilling Jeremiah’s prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15.

Once Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to return to Israel with Mary and Jesus.  Joseph obeyed but settled in a town called Nazareth in Galilee out of fear of Archelaus who was reigning in Judea. This fulfilled what the prophets said that Jesus would be a Nazarene.

Questions:

10a)  God was faithful to all in Matthew 2 because they loved God and acknowledged God and obeyed Him.  The Magi were protected from Herod because of God.  Joseph and his family was saved from evil because of God.

b)  Those who accept God, love God, and acknowledge God.  Verse 1:  “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High”  Verse 9:  “If you make the Most High your dwelling”  Verse 14:  “Because he loves me”, meaning those who love God.  and “he acknowledges my name”.  Verse 15:  “He will call upon me”.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All ways (at least I hope and pray I do).  I trust God to lead me to what He wants me to do with my life.  I pray for my husband’s job to provide for us.  I pray for guidance in all things from leading me to the right dog to the right home–the big and the small (well, not so small in the case of my dog) things all require God’s guidance.

11a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Those who obey God when called (the Magi, Joseph, Mary) are rewarded and protected (the Magi from Herod and Joseph from Herod) and provided for and guided to where they need to be (Joseph to Nazareth).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Many throughout childhood as He has led me all over the world into some pretty dodgy circumstances.  I feel primarily my role has been in the home (remember I said I led a sheltered life on Day 3) and He has protected me in that sense through obedience to Him.  And as I now feel I am called elsewhere, out in the world, I feel He will protect me as I continue to shine His light wherever I go.

Conclusions:  Great day of review of the lesson through one of the most powerful Psalms.  If you love God and accept Him, then no harm will befall you.  Plain and simple.

As I was typing this, one of my cats jumped onto my lap.   Just like God cares for us, we care for His creatures (recall the study of Genesis)–even the unwanted ones like my cat who was a rescue.  Pets never question where their next meal will come from, where they will move next or if they will be loved the next day.  They have faith they will have a home, have food, and have you to take care of them.  And they love you unconditionally for it.  Similarly, so we must have the same simple faith in God and His ability and desire to care for us in all of our needs.  If we love Him unconditionally.