soar on the wings of eagles people of the promise kingdom divided lesson 20

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 5: Isaiah 48


God foretold the events of the exile even though God’s people are stubborn so they could not say they were not warned.

God will tell His people of new things, but they will not understand nor hear them. God will delay His warth and not destroy His people. He will refine them for His sake and glory.

God is the first and the last. He teaches His people which way to go and what is best for them. If only they had paid attention, they would not have suffered.

Leave Babylon and be redeemed. There is no peace for the wicked.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 5: Isaiah 48

12a) Verses 4-8

b)  Verses 8-11. God knows His people neither hears nor understands Him, yet he delays His wrath and does not destroy His people. Instead, He refines them for his sake.

13a) God teaches His people which way to go and what is best for them. If only they had paid attention, they would not have suffered.

b) Peace and well-being. Prosperity and posterity.

14) Every day of my life. From all the places we have moved over the years to the present moment. At times, I cannot understand, but you just trust. Currently, I would like to move again. But I am abiding here until God says to move. I’m trying to embrace “Bloom where you are planted,” and some days are easier than others. Still, I trust God knows what is best for me and where we shall go.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 5: Isaiah 48

Much easier day! You made it. What a chapter of hope! Despite God’s chastizing, He never quits loving us. Verse 17 is a good one to hold onto in the midst of your troubles.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 20, Day 5: Isaiah 48

God chastizes Judah, yet shows them mercy. Judah is without excuse since God announced what would happen many times ahead of time. Yet, the people still sinned and rebelled.

God shows mercy for His name’s sake, to glorify Himself, and to further His eternal purpose.

God loves His people and wants what is best for them. He frees them from captivity to praise His name.

We see “There is no peace for the wicked” again in Isaiah 57:21

We’ve seen God promise to deliver His people from captivity and from Cyrus out of His love for His people.

Coming up, Isaiah will focus on the Messiah, the ulitmate deliverer of God’s people.

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give up your treasure on earth to follow jesus matthew 19

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 5: Matthew 19:16-30


A rich man asks Jesus what he must do to reach eternal life. Jesus said to obey the commandments. The man asked which commandments and Jesus answered, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

The man says he has done that, but what does he lack? Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions, give the money to the poor, and then follow him to have treasure in heaven. The man went away sad as he wasn’t going to do this.

Jesus said it’s hard for a rich man to enter heaven. The disciples ask who then can enter heaven. Jesus said with God all things are possible. Peter asks Jesus what the disciples will receive. Jesus says they will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel when he sits on his throne. Those who have left everything for Jesus will inherit eternal life and receive 100 times as much. But many who are first will be last and vice versa.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 5: Matthew 19:16-30

13) Heaven cannot be earned. By pointing out what matters most — the treasures you build in heaven not the treasures you build in your own life are what matter.

14a) That it’s not about possessions — it’s about following Jesus first with your heart. He has to put God first and be willing to sacrifice everything for Jesus and God.

b) Money and his possessions

c) It’s clear-cut what you must do to get to heaven. The rules apply to everyone across the board. Everyone is equal in God’s eyes.

15a) You must be willing to give up everything you own to follow Jesus and enter God’s kingdom.

b) Everyone can be saved who leaves everything for him.

c) Those who have left everything for Jesus will inherit eternal life and receive 100 times as much. But many who are first will be last and vice versa.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 5: Matthew 19:16-30

It’s quite simple to get to heaven but people complicate it — be willing to give everything up and put Jesus first in your heart to receive eternal life. Period.

Great read!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 5: Matthew 19:16-30

Note you can’t earn eternal life as the rich man thinks — it is freely given.

All three gospels are clear that this man was rich, which is the point of the story. Luke says he was a ruler.

Jesus is called good by the man, but Jesus says the only good one is God. So if Jesus is good, then he is God. God requires perfect obedience, which only Jesus was able to keep.

Mark  Mark 10:21 tells us that Jesus had compassion on the man because he could see his heart did not follow him 100%. He was concerned with earning heaven, not with accepting Jesus’s gift of grace and love.

Jesus lists 5 of the 10 Commandments found in Exodus 20:1-17. These are the easiest to follow and relate to how we should treat others.

The man knew something was lacking (sacrifice), but could not identify it. So many of us need someone else to tell us important things, too. An outside perspective can help.

The man thought he had to do something; all he had to do was accept Jesus’s doing — the cross.

The Meaning of The Rich Young Man

The message is clear:

  • We are to put God first in everything and be willing to give up everything in order to do so. For the rich man, his riches were the obstacle to God. Jesus calls him to be his disciple  (Matthew 4:198:229:9Mark 2:14); the man cannot get over his pile of riches.
  • Note this command is not for everyone; it’s for this man whose riches were his hindrance to God, his idol. Many who are rich do God’s work with their money.
  • Everyone’s hindrance to God is different. Yours is what you must give up.

Riches are a hold up for many because they make us happy in this life; we need to be happy in eternal life.

The camel analogy was immediately known to the disciples and those of that time as being obviously impossible.

Wealth was seen as God’s blessing upon you, so the disciples were shocked that Jesus was saying to give that up.

The rich still enter heaven since everything is possible with God. God can turn a person’s heart from riches to Him.

Again, Peter’s heart is in the right spot, but he bumbles over it. Yes, the disciples will have a special place in heaven, but doing things for God for the sole purpose of that right spot is not what God wants. The disciples helped build the church, too. (Ephesians 2:20). We’ll all have a home  (Revelation 21:14).

Everyone who sacrifices for Jesus will be rewarded here and in heaven richly. This is different for everyone, from riches to contentment and happiness.

Rewards include:

  1. Blessings here in this life
  2. Future rewards in heaven
  3. Eternal life

We will be surprised by who is first in rewards in heaven, Jesus says.

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jacob flees on camels home

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Summary of Genesis 31:

Laban’s sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. The Lord told Jacob it was time to return to his homeland. Jacob called Rachel and Leah to him and told them how he has worked for Laban despite the wages being constantly changed but God has been with him and has blessed him with their father’s livestock.

Jacob recounts a dream where God acknowledged Laban’s treachery and told Jacob to leave for home at once.  Rachel and Leah agree and say all Jacob has gained from their father should be theirs anyways as an inheritance.  Jacob and his family left Paddan Aram along with all of his livestock and goods for Canaan.  Rachel stole all of her father’s household gods and Jacob left without telling Laban.  They crossed the Euphrates.

Laban found out after three days that Jacob had fled.  He pursued him and caught up with him in Gilead.  God came to Laban in a dream, warning him not to speak to Jacob. Laban, in his infinite wisdom, speaks to Jacob anyways, and asks him why he had fled without saying good bye and why he has stolen the idols.

Jacob replies that he was afraid Laban would take his daughters from him (can’t blame him here) and that if someone has stolen the idols, may they die.

Laban searched and found nothing for Rachel was sitting on them and said she was having her period so she couldn’t stand to greet him.  Laban found nothing.

Jacob is mad at Laban for accusing him of stealing.  He points out how he has worked 20 years for him, 14 for his daughters and 6 for his flocks even though Laban has changed his wages on him 10 times, and God Himself even rebuked Laban for his behavior.

So Laban and Jacob made a covenant, asking Jacob not to mistreat his daughters or take any more wives and neither will cross the other’s “side” to harm each other.  They offered a sacrifice, spent the night, and the next day Laban bid his daughters farewell and left.

Summary of Hebrews 12:3-15:

The Lord disciplines those He loves and punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline for God is treating you as a son.  For if you are not disciplines then you are not sons of God.  Everyone is disciplined.  God disciplines us for our good so we may share in His holiness.

Discipline is never pleasant, but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Make every effort to live in peace and be holy; without holiness, no one sees the Lord. Do not be bitter.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

11) Jacob had noticed that Laban’s sons believed he had stolen Laban’s wealth, and Laban’s attitude towards Jacob had changed, too. But it was God who told Jacob to return.

12a) ) Verse 7 “God has not allowed him (Laban) to harm me.” verse 9 “God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.” Verse 11-13 “I am the God of Bethel” and God made the animals born spotted. verse 42 “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you (Laban) would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” They made a covenant together that resolved the bitterness.

b) Pray and thank God.

13) Verse 3 “And I will be with you.” Verse 42: But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you. It encourages me that all my work is worth it, and God is with me.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Unsure whey we read Hebrews here since we weren’t asked about it. Rachel is most definitely smart in hiding the idols. However, taking them? Not so smart. She has God. She needs nothing else.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

pretty landscape

Just as Rachel is jealous of Leah, Laban’s sons are jealous of Jacob’s wealth. Love does not envy  (1 Corinthians 13:4). Envy is bad; it killed Jesus. (Matthew 27:18).

God is nudging Jacob back home (Genesis 30:25) and encouraging him, too.

God reminds Jacob of his Bethel (Genesis 28:10), where God has spurred him on to find Rachel. It’s good for all of us to remember times and places where God has shown up. This strengthens us and encourages us in times we feel God is far away.

It was important for Jacob to have the support of his wives. After all, they would be leaving their family for the first time ever, taking their kids with them, to an unknown land. Both women agreed for once and were ready to help in any way they could.

One cool detail you might have missed is that Jacob’s entire family road camels. This is like saying everyone drove their own car here in the US. It’s a sign of Jacob’s immense wealth.

Jacob snuck away when he did not need to. God had already told him to go. It’s evident he would be protected. Perhaps Jacob is so mad at Laban at this point he just wanted to leave.

Rachel Steals her Father’s Idols

We are not told why Rachel stole the idols. Obviously, you should not steal, especially from your mother and father (she broke two of God’s ten commandments here yet to be given to Moses). Scholars debate the reasons:

  • She herself secretly worshipped these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to worship these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to catch them through divination
  • Idols were traditionally used as deeds to property
  • She didn’t like her father, so she took something of his to anger him
  • She wanted protection on the long journey

The reason didn’t matter. She stole; this is wrong.

They left Paddan Aram and Haran for Gilead, which is about 300 miles away and close to the sea of Galilee. Since it took 3 days for Laban to notice, the families must have lived a considerable distance away from one another. Note that God cautions Laban to deal fairly with Jacob. Laban was probably angry and did intend to harm him. God’s warning meant “you touch him and you will pay.”

may of jacob's flight from laban

Jacob and Home

Jacob is close to home when Laban catches up. It took Laban 7 days to catch up to Jacob who is now near the Jordan River and very close to home. Laban tried to shame him with a celebration and a chance to say good bye to his family. He threatens harm as well. Jacob fervently denies he stole the idols, not knowing Rachel had.

Jacob let Laban have it, citing all he had done for him in 20 years and showing him how ungrateful he was being. He was angry over it all, maybe even remembering the trickery of Leah. He helped Laban. Jacob replaced any lost animal of Laban’s with his own and tells him that God sent him away.

Note that Jacob does not claim God as his own, only Abraham and Isaac’s.

Mizpah meant God is watching and He will repay you if you sin. Laban still claims everything is his, but says he’ll let Jacob have it. The pillar was a sign of their separation. It appears they still left with much animosity between them. From here on out, Jacob’s family will be separated from everyone else.

Laban will never see his daughters or grandchildren again. He now disappears from Bible history, presumably returning home and living out his life as he always had. The separation between Laban and Jacob had to happen. Like this example shows us, it is not always pretty.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 20, Day 5: Review Genesis 27:1-28:9

Summary of passage:  Isaac, now old and blind, asks Esau to hunt him some wild game and prepare him a meal at which he will give him his blessing.  Rebekah overheard Isaac tell Esau this so she told Jacob to go and bring her some young goats to prepare for him so that Jacob can go and receive Isaac’s blessing.  Jacob wonders though if Isaac touches him what to do because Esau is hairy and he is not.  His mother said not to worry.

Rebekah prepared the food and then dressed up Jacob in Esau’s clothes.  She covered his hands and neck with goatskins and sent him in to Isaac.  Jacob says he is Esau and bids his father to eat.  Isaac wonders how he found the game so quickly.  Jacob says the Lord granted him success.

Isaac suspects a trick and asks to touch Jacob.  He knows Jacob’s voice but falls for the goatskin trick.  Isaac blessed Jacob but is still unsure if he is Esau or not.  Jacob lies again, saying he is.  Isaac ate of the game and then kissed his son.  He smelled Esau’s clothes and concluded this was Esau.

Isaac blessed Jacob, asking God to give him abundance and have the nations serve him and bow to him, have him be lord over his brothers and have those who curse him be cursed and those who bless him be blessed.

Esau returned from hunting and brought in the food to Isaac.  Isaac realizes he had been tricked by Jacob.  But it was too late.  Isaac cannot bless both.  He did not reserve another blessing.  Esau wept and held a grudge against Jacob and planned to kill him once Isaac died.

Rebekah hears Esau’s plans and sends Jacob to live with her brother Laban in Haran until Esau’s temper cools. She tells Isaac she doesn’t want Jacob to marry a Hittite woman so Isaac blesses him and commands him to go to Paddan Aram to the house of his mother’s father Bethuel and take a wife from the daughters of Laban.  He blessed him again with fruitfulness and with the blessing given to Abraham.

Esau learned what had happened and he took a wife from Ishmael’s line in an effort to please his father.


11)  When God told Rebekah that two nations were in her womb and the older will serve the younger.

12a)  He called Esau to him privately and was going to bless him without others around or tell anyone else.

b)  Isaac knew Jacob was the chosen one but he was going to bless Esau instead (his favorite).  But once he was tricked, he blessed Jacob willingly.  He realized that God’s will would prevail, not his.

13a)  Isaac definitely had a heart for God.  He willingly submitted to being a sacrifice.  He trusted God to bring him Rebekah as his wife.  He dealt kindly with Abimelech when the disputes arose over the wells.  The Lord appeared to him (Genesis 26:24) to reassure him of his covenant.  His weakness was that he favored Esau over Jacob and tried to circumvent God’s will with the blessing.  But God prevented that as well.  He played favorites with his kids.  In the end, Isaac does bless Jacob for he realizes God’s will after the trick.

Isaac is like most Christians I think.  Has a heart for God but is human with faults and mistakes.  But eventually he corrects them and comes back to God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To always seek and trust God.  He is in control.  He will bless those who follow Him.  To deal kindly with unbelievers.  To not judge.  To shine Christ as best as humanly possible.  Even when you fall, Isaac showed you get right back on God’s path.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To not play favorites (which is hard with multiple kids).  To treat all equally.  To pray and follow God.  It is useless to fight God for He will win every time.  His will not mine.

Conclusions:  God’s will prevails no matter what man does to circumvent it.  So why do we fight it so?

End Note:  Interestingly, even if Esau had received Isaac’s blessing, it wouldn’t have mattered.  Only God can truly bestow the blessing and in God’s eyes it would have been invalid.