BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 5: Revelation 20:1-10

Summary of passage:  An angel bound Satan in chains and threw him into the Abyss (hell) for 1000 years after which time he will be set free for a short time.  John sees thrones where those given authority to judge are seated.  He sees the souls of the martyrs who died for Jesus alive and reigning for 1000 years during the first resurrection.  The rest did not come to life. Blessed are these.  After the 1000 years, Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations and gather Gog and Magog for battle.  There will be a huge number of them. God however threw fire down from heaven to destroy them and threw the devil into the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented for eternity.


11a)  Satan will be bound for 1000 years to keep him from deceiving the nations.  Then Satan will be released for a short time to go out and deceive the nations for the last time.  They surround Jerusalem but God sends fire down to destroy the people and hurl the devil into a lake of burning sulfur for all of eternity.

b)  Scholars presume it is God who throws fire down from heaven and devours all the rebellious people and throws the devil into the lake of burning sulfur forever.

c)  Part personal question.  My answer:  We will live forever and rule with Christ by his side as subordinates.  Complacent is a Latin word meaning “very pleased.”  It means, “marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”  Smug.  Feeling so satisfied with your own abilities or situation that you feel you don’t need to try harder.

To be honest, this passage does the opposite.  I do feel complacent because I know where I’m going.  I think this would be a better question asked in relation to nonbelievers:  how can we not be complacent in relation to the urgency to evangelize.

However, that being said, we shouldn’t be so complacent with our eternal salvation that we fall into sin and have no regard for God, His laws, or His people.  We are still to be godly here on earth as much as humanly possible.  Eternal salvation is not an excuse for sin.

12)  Beautiful and heavenly.  Israel will be the leading nation on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24). Jesus will reign (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:7; Zechariah 14:9) with no war (Isaiah 2:1-5). King David will rule over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5). Israel will be blessed (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 62:2-3) and the temple will be restored (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44). Saints will have jobs Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). God will be number one (Zechariah 13:1-9). There will be no sickness nor disease (Isaiah 29:18).

Christ will reign on earth without opposition, and His kingdom will be characterized by righteousness, peace, and love (Isaiah 2:3-4; 11:3-5; Daniel 7:14; Zechariah 14:9).

Conclusions:  Good questions to sum up the passage.  Question 11c would have been better with my slant.  Am hoping the lecture will bring it all together.  Great passage all Christians should study:  the final defeat of Satan.  We need to keep this in mind when we are under attack and see no way out.  God is there–always–in control and limiting Satan.  Satan will pay the ultimate price for his behavior.  Cling to God.  He never fails.

End Notes:  See End Notes for Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

Conclusions to Lesson 25:  Nothing here below the superficial.  Sad for me.  Really sad.  I started with Isaiah and the difference in substance between then and now (5 years) is overwhelming.  I had hoped BSF would do more of the leg work for me because all of this that you read takes hours and hours on my end.  Which is fine.  But at times it’s frustrating.

I have started skipping lectures because our teaching leader says the same things over and over again.  She drags out a 20 minute lecture to 45 and I’m left surfing the Internet on my phone.  And what she says is all I know because I’ve done all of this work.  Nothing is new.  Even the notes are lackluster.  I expected an in-depth study of eschatology.  Instead, I’ve found an in-depth study of opinion questions and “you” s.  I’m tired of focusing on me.  Can I focus on God please for at least these 2 hours during my BSF class?

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 4: Revelation 20: 7-10

Summary of passage:  After the 1000 years, Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations and gather Gog and Magog for battle.  There will be a huge number of them.  God however threw fire down from heaven to destroy them and threw the devil into the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented for eternity.


9a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He goes out to deceive the nations.  He’s evil, pure and simple.  Man is evil, pure and simple.

b)  God wins.  God destroys all of Satan’s followers and throws Satan into the lake of burning sulfur for eternity.

10a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It doesn’t astonish me.  It doesn’t.

b)  They prefer to sin.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray.  Know God’s word.  Count on God to get me through the day and all the temptations of the world for he doesn’t give me more than I can handle and He always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Conclusions:  Flabbergasted to tell you the truth.  Nothing here worthy of mentioning.  No substance.  Nothing on God and Magog.  Stunned.  My kids are bored with this study and I have started to let them skip classes.  And I am counting down the lessons.  Sad for me.  Truly sad.

Suffering and death is what we deserve.  Hence, Satan’s actions upon the world don’t “astonish” me or anything else.  I follow God.  I tell others.  I don’t worry (Phillippians 4:6).  The rest is up to God.

End Notes:  Why would anyone after 1000 years with Jesus and peace rebel again?  God allows it to show just how corrupt man is.  During Jesus’ reign, people will go through the motions and never have a heart for Jesus.  This will show when Satan returns and gathers too many to count.  Sad.  Very, very sad.

This is the last rebellion before the final judgment.

There will be no one to blame but our own sinful, depraved nature.  In a perfect world, man is not perfect.  Can’t blame your parents, your school, your socioeconomic condition, where you were born, etc.  All will be your responsibility.  And God wants to make that abundantly clear.

The angel is NOT Jesus.  It would say “Jesus” here if it were.  The key represents authority so we can assume Jesus has given the key to the angel to administer his justice.

The rebels will be the children of those who survived the Great Tribulation and live during the Millennium.  Even though Jesus rules because of Free Will all these children will need to accept Christ.  Man must overcome his sinful nature as always.  This could potentially number in the billions once again (“the sand on the seashore”).  If you think of how many survive the Tribulation and they all procreate for 1000 years, that’s a lot.

Who/What are Gog and Magog?  They appear in Ezekiel 38-39 and represent an evil empire that attacks Israel from the north.  Gog is the prince and Magog is the land of Gog, probably in Asia Minor.  Many have tried to identify them as a specific country such as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.  THIS GOG AND MAGOG HERE IS NOT THE SAME AS THE GOG AND MAGOG IN EZEKIEL.  Here, the Bible tells us they are the nations in the four corners of the earth.  In this passage Gog and Magog represent all enemy nations against God and His people.  They are evil personified.  Here are used as symbols for the participants in the final battle with evil.

Best concise explanation of God and Magog with the comparison to Ezekiel HERE

We’ve seen the gathering of kings and beasts against God’s people before (Revelation 19:19: 16:14-16).  And just as before they will be defeated.

God’s people here could be the saints ruling with Jesus from the Tribulation or earth’s inhabitants who have a true heart from Jesus that are alive during the 1000 years.

“The city he loves” is Jerusalem.

Again, we see no battle like in the battle of Armageddon in Revelation 16.  God just wipes out all with heavenly fire.  They will await final judgment at the Great White Throne room in Revelation 20:11-15.

We have Satan, the beast (Antichrist), and the false prophet in the lake of burning sulfur forever (Revelation 19:20).  Jesus speaks of this as well in Matthew 25:41. God is good!

What is hell like?  Here we have some answers in this passage:

  1.  It’s eternal, “forever and ever”.  We see this used to describe the throne of Christ (Hebrews 1:8).  So hell is unending as Christ is unending.
  2. It’s a place of eternal torment. There is no hope, forgiveness, or clemency.
  3. Unbelievers will be cast into the eternal lake of burning sulfur along with Satan and the unrepentant angels.  We see two humans (Antichrist and the false prophet) cast into the lake of fire before Satan (Revelation 19:19-20).

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 3: Revelation 20:4-6

Summary of passage:  John sees thrones where those given authority to judge are seated.  He sees the souls of the martyrs who died for Jesus alive and reigning for 1000 years during the first resurrection.  The rest did not come to life.  Blessed are these.


6a)  “Because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.”  They were raised from the dead and reigned with Christ for 1000 years.

b)  Personal Question that I’m tired of answering:  It doesn’t.

See Lesson 16 Day 4 for repetition.

7a)  Risen from the dead and all believers will share in it.

b)  The second death.

8 )  Priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.  Everything.

Conclusions:  Rich passage.  Strike out the personal questions and add more interpretation especially with the different deaths and resurrections.  This was VERY confusing to me and only after I researched it did I have an idea what John was talking about.  Perhaps the notes will address this but I need to understand NOW not after the lecture.

End Notes:  This passage fulfills Revelation 2:10-11.

Who is sitting on these thrones?  Possibilities:  the twenty-four elders representing the church (Revelation 4:4) or the apostles (Matthew 19:28) or the company of saints as a whole (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).

“Those given authority to judge” are all those who had been redeemed by His blood, resurrected from the grave, and raptured into His presence. These (the saints) will reign as kings and priests with Christ (Revelation 1:5-6; 5:9-10).  Note they reign for the same amount of time Satan is bound.

These beheaded (executed in ancient Greek) ones are the souls we saw under the altar in Revelation 6:9.  More have been added (Revelation 6:11) during the Tribulation.  In essence, all will reign (Revelation 2:26-28, 3:12,22; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3) but the martyrs here are encouraged and specified for all they have suffered.

Scholars debate if this is a bodily resurrection or not.  Some point to Ezekiel 37:12-14 where a nation is described as being resurrected and to Isaiah 26:19 where he is speaking figuratively after Babylon of victory.

The “rest of the dead” are the unbelievers who did not take part in the “first resurrection” with the redeemed and did not accept Jesus as Savior.
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2)
The “first resurrection” refers to the resurrection of the redeemed.  It includes: resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:23; Revelation 1:5), resurrection of the church (the dead in Christ – 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:16); and resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints (Revelation 20:4; Isaiah 26:19; Dan. 12:2). The rest of the dead (unbelievers) will be raised in the second resurrection (Revelation 20:12-13).

The second death, which is referred to in Revelation 20:14-15, is a spiritual death.

In essence, those who suffered death by martyrdom will not suffer spiritual death.  They are promised the first resurrection.  Those who didn’t suffer death by martyrdom will face the second or spiritual death and their resurrection (the second) will be seen in the White Throne room in verses 11-15.

The Bible discusses two “deaths” and two “resurrections”.

The “first death” is the death of the body (Hebrews 9:27).  The “second death” is the eternal death and suffering that only affects unbelievers.  (v.14).  This explains John’s words in verse 6.

There are two “resurrections.”   The word “resurrection” is a Greek word meaning “to make to stand” or “rise up.”  This occurs when the soul reenters the body after the physical death and rises up.  All resurrect because all die.

Believers take part in the “first resurrection” and acquire a new body in the process (Phil.3:20-21; 1 Cor.15:52).  Scholars debate whether the first resurrection will have many parts beginning with Jesus and encompassing the Tribulation martyrs amongst others  (Matt.27:53; 1 Thess.4:16-17; Rev.11:11).  This depends on when you believe the rapture will occur.  Pretribulationists believe it will be in many parts.  Posttribulationists believe it will be one event.
Unbelievers not in Christ take part in the “second resurrection”.   They do not receive a new body and this occurs one time after the Millennium, which explains verse 5.

In John 5:28-29, Jesus mentions these 2 resurrections.  The 2 are separated by 1000 years as believers are raised first and then non-believers.

We see the Fifth Beatitude in verse 6.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 2: Revelation 20:1-3

Summary of passage:  An angel bound Satan in chains and threw him into the Abyss (hell) for 1000 years after which time he will be set free for a short time.


3a)  An angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss.

b)  1000 years and then he’d be set free for a short time.

4)  God is the one who has power over Satan and controls him and limits his actions.

5a)  John says how Satan corrupts people to carry out his desires.  Satan is a murderer and a liar.  2 Corinthians says how Satan has blinded unbelievers so they can’t see the light.  1 Peter says to be alert because Satan prowls around looking to devour people.  In essence, Satan is always lurking, ready to snatch us if we’re not grounded in God.

Note:  We looked up these same verses in Lesson 16 Day 2 Question 4 with almost the exact same question with regards to God’s protection over the pregnant woman.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve had this question many times before.  I know God wins so I have the utmost confidence I am doing His work.

Conclusions:  I like the emphasis on how Satan’s power is limited and we must keep that in mind when bad things happen in this world.  God is the one in control and Satan is under His thumb.  There is a TON here so please keep reading for more insights.

End Notes:  These last 3 chapters of Revelation reflects many of the subjects and themes of the first 3 chapters of Genesis.

This is an unidentified angel.  Thus, it is not Michael, Gabriel, or Jesus.  This speaks volumes to the importance of the devil.  He’s dealt with by you and me.  He holds a key which symbolizes authority and power over the Abyss, presumably given by Jesus since he’s the one in possession of the key (Revelation 1:18).  Chains represent imprisonment and binding.

Note the angel is “coming down” from heaven and Satan is on the earth.  Again, Satan serves God’s purposes.  God is high above, in control.  He conquers Satan, not us.

Jude 6 tells us fallen angels are bound with everlasting chains, awaiting judgment for the great Day.

We first saw the Abyss in Revelation 9:1-3 when either Satan or an angel (good or evil) was given the key and he opens it and releases locusts into the world as part of the Trumpet Judgments.

Satan is bound up and is unable to “deceive the nations anymore.”  This DOES NOT MEAN he’s not deceiving individual humans.  1 Peter 5:8 tells us Satan will continue to deceive us until Christ returns.  In all of Revelation, the Dragon or Satan has been raising up nations to war against Christ and deceive the world.  Daniel 2:44 says the nations or kingdoms will end and this is what we are witnessing here.  Isaiah 14:15 predicts this as well.

Any temptation to sin during the Millennium must come from within those people who are born after the kingdom begins. It’s assumed that all of Satan’s demons or fallen angels are also imprisoned at this time (Isaiah 24:21-23).

God’s word is our most powerful weapon since Satan can no longer deceive the nations with his lies.  Counter lies with Truth.  Always.

Explanation of the Millennium or 1000 years:  Millennium is straight out of Latin:  “mille” means a thousand and “annum” means a year.  It is used 6 times by John in the book of Revelation.  There are many different views of this Millennial period and if it is literal or not.  Here are some arguments made:

Postmillennialists believe the church will bring about a time of peace and prosperity before Christ returns in this age through the preaching of the gospel.  This was a popular 19th century view.  This period will end with Christ returns, the dead are resurrected and final judgment is administered.

Premillennialists believe Christ will return to earth and reign for 1000 years which will be a time of peace and prosperity before the millennial earth.  Satan will be bound up during this time before his final revolt when he is set free.  This is the predominate view of today supported by Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:4-9, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Luke 1:32-33, Matthew 5:18, Luke 19:12-27, among many, many other passages.  Scholars here point to more than 400 verses in more than 20 different passages in the Old Testament which deal with this time when Jesus Christ will rule and reign personally over planet earth.

This view has people left on earth after the rapture and the Great Tribulation who will face judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) and be deemed worthy to enter Jesus’ Millennial kingdom or be sent to Hell for all of eternity.

Amillennialists believe this time period is not literal; it is figurative, a spiritual reign.  Christ is reigning right now in heaven not on earth.  This was the predominant view since Augustine and held by the early Roman Catholic church right up until the Reformation.

What do we know about the Millennium?  Israel will be the leading nation on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24).  Jesus will reign  (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:7; Zechariah 14:9) with no war  (Isaiah 2:1-5). King David will rule over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5).  Israel will be blessed (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 62:2-3) and the temple will be restored (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44).  Saints will have jobs Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). God will be number one (Zechariah 13:1-9).  There will be no sickness nor disease (Isaiah 29:18).

It is also the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:2-3) and David (2 Samuel 7:16) will be fulfilled (Luke 1:31-33; Romans 11:15, 29)

How long is the 1000 years?  No one knows.  Many see these numbers as symbolic and they point to the fact most of Revelation’s numbers are symbolic in nature.  In early Christian writings 1000 years was used figuratively for the eternal blessing of the redeemed.  However, it could be a literal 1000 years where Jesus reigns victoriously and shows a world without Satan and the absolute holiness of God.

In Sum:  Satan will be bound and there will be peace for 1000 years before he is released for “a short time” to do evil once again.  Is this the time of Jesus’ reign on earth? You decide.

Note Satan’s 4 names in verse 2:

1)  Dragon  The persecutor of Christ and his people (Revelation 12:17)

2)  Ancient serpent  (Genesis 3:13)  the one in the garden.

3)  Devil  Slanderer or accuser (Revelation 12:10)

4)  Satan  Adversary.  Enemy of God, God’s people, and God’s creation.

We’ve read this before in Lesson 16:  Revelation 12:9:  “The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.”

Fun Fact:  1000 is 10 to the third power.

What’s important here?  Regardless of the 1000 years interpretation, Jesus will return and Jesus will establish his kingdom here on earth.  The rest is all speculation and ultimately not important.  Jesus is coming!  That’s all we need to know!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 25, Day 5: Numbers 31-36

Summary of passages:  Numbers 31:  The Lord orders Moses to take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites.  Moses orders 1000 men from each tribe.  Phinehas son of Eleazar accompanied the 12,000 men to blow the trumpets.  The wiped out all men from the tribe.  They captured all the women and children and took all of their animals back to the plains of Moab where the Israelites were encamped.

Moses was mad that the women were allowed to live when they were the ones who enticed the Israelites into sexual sin and brought about the plague.  He orders them to kill all the boys and every woman who has slept with a man.  Only the virgin girls are allowed to live.  Then all who had contact with a dead body or killed anyone in battle must cleanse themselves with water or fire and stay outside the camp for 7 days.

The Lord orders the spoils to be divided between the soldiers who fought and the rest of the community, including shares for the Levites.  Not one Israeli soldier died in the battle so they brought the gold they had taken as plunder as atonement to the Lord.

Numbers 32:  The Reubenites and the Gadites, seeing good land for their flocks where they were, asked Moses if they could stay here and not cross over into the Promised Land.  Moses reminds them the last time they refused to enter the Promised Land, the Lord’s anger burned against His people and He punished them by making them wander the desert for 40 years.  If they disobey again, Moses warns, they will be the cause of their destruction.

The Reubenites and the Gadites said they would fight with their brothers and take the land promised by God but that they wanted to stay here in the land on the east of the Jordan River.  Moses agreed but warned them they must keep their promised and fight.  So Moses gave them (including half of the tribe of Manasseh) the land they wanted.  They rebuilt the cities and drove out the Amorites.

Numbers 33:  Moses records the stages in their journey at the Lord’s command from Egypt to where they sit right now, on the Plains of Moab overlooking the Promised Land.  God says to drive out all of the inhabitants of the land, destroy all of their idols, take possession of the land and settle it, dividing it by lot according to size of the tribes.  God warns to carry out all of His commands or they will suffer what God does to the Canaanites.

Numbers 34:  God assigns the boundaries of the Promised Land for the 9 1/2 tribes on the West side of the Jordan River.  The 2 1/2 tribes on the East already have their inheritance.  The Lord appoints leaders from each tribe to assign the inheritance to the Israelites.

Numbers 35:  God commanded Moses to give the Levites towns to live in and pasturelands around the towns.  Six of the 48 Levite towns will be cities of refuge for those who kill someone to flee to so that they may stand trial and not be afraid of revenge killings.  If the person does not flee to the refuge town, then they open themselves up to be killed by relatives.

Numbers 36:  This solves the problem of what happens to the land given to Zelophehad’s daughters when they marry.  Thus God says Zelophehad’s daughters must marry within the clan of their father and this applies to every  daughter who inherits land for every Israelite must keep the inherited land in their family.  No inheritance may pass from tribe to tribe.


9a)  Yes because the Midianite women were the ones who seduced the Israeli men and introduced other gods for them to worship.  They defiled the land and made it unholy, making it impossible to have God occupy it without atonement (Numbers 35:34).  What atones?  Blood.  Thus, blood had to be shed to make it holy for the Lord.

b)  Whole books have been written on this topic.  Honestly, it’s not for us to know God’s reasons for vengeance.  He says attack, the people attack.  He is God and we don’t question His authority over us.  But as a just God, the penalty for sin must be paid and punished.  Here, the punishment is death which is the punishment for all sin.  It is God’s right to mete it out.  We merely do His will.

Common reasons given for the wars in the OT:  The Promised Land was always in God’s plan.  He promised it to Abraham.  The Canaanites were not innocent people.  They had sinned and as punishment the Canaanites would lose their land (Deut 9:5). We’ve read about their sexual sin and sacrifice of children to false gods.  The Canaanites would contaminate the Israelites and thus had to be completely removed (which didn’t happen because the people disobeyed and the Babylonians would punish them for that).  This was about believers and unbelievers.

10a)  They had very large flocks and herds and wanted to settle in land suitable for the livestock.  I would say they are tired of traveling and ready to settle down.  The land they saw was good and saw no reason (besides obeying God) to continue on.  They were willing to help their brothers take the land so were willing to compromise.  However, they were complacent.  They were content with this land.  Complacency is contagious and leads to stagnation.  We should never be complacent in our growth with God.  Little did they know, but God had greater things for them in the land of Canaan if only they had obeyed.

b)  No.  He chastised them and reminded them about what happened the last time the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land and basically said they would be the cause of God’s wrath and responsible for their destruction if they did what they proposed to do.

c)  Compromised.  The Reubenites and the Gadites agreed to help the Israelites fight to take the Promised Land and not return to their homes until every Israelite has received his inheritance.  They would not receive their inheritance on that side of the river, preferring these other lands instead.

11a)  So the Israelites will know from whence they came and the power of God who brought them thus far.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Nothing.  My life is uneventful and not of import.  I would say my everyday living speaks for itself.

12)  In the culture of the day, if someone killed someone, their relatives could take revenge and kill you.  Here, God provides cities of refuge so if the killing was accidental, that person could have a fair trial.  This shows that God is the ultimate judge (who gives that authority to the proper authorities) to take a life and He protects His people from needless bloodshed.  God is the giver and the taker of life.  It is His decision.  He is the protector of His people out of His infinite love for us.

Conclusions:  Long lesson and not looking forward to next week where we are assigned to read the majority of Deuteronomy.  Awesome lessons of God reminding His people before they take over the Promised Land of what is important in their lives and just how far they have come.

End Notes:  Numbers 31:  The Israelites enacted vengeance because God told them to do so.  Today, our governments have been given the authority to enact vengeance by God, not us personally.

Note the priests went into battle with them–a sign of God’s blessing.

The custom was to kill the men and take the rest captive.  However, this was against God’s orders.

The male children had to be killed because at this time boys were raised to take revenge against those who had killed their fathers.  Hence, they were a threat to the Israelites.

Things that don’t seem a threat are what us as Christians stumble over.  That’s why it’s important to pray to God and let Him tell you what to do.  We can learn from the Israelites who didn’t eliminate the threat (the women) what can happen.

Purification was important–that’s why we have the Holy Spirit.

Normally the spoil would just be divided up amongst the warriors.  However, God didn’t want the reason for killing to be only about the spoils.  And a portion had to go to the Levites.  God wants givers and not just takers.

Numbers 32:  They were discouraging the others and saying by their example,”The fight was not worth it.  Let’s just be happy here.”  This should remind us of the 10 spies who discouraged the Israelites to not take the Promised Land the first time around.  Again, wholly following the Lord is not contentment with half of what God has for us.  We can accept others’ contentment except when it influences others.

Numbers 33:  Here we can see exactly how much the Israelites moved in 40 years!  For those of us who have moved a lot, this can be punishment in and of itself since it’s no easy task!

God accomplished two goals with the Israelites:  used them to judge the people of Canaan and gave them land promised long ago.

God’s warning will fall on deaf ears as the Canaanites are not completely destroyed and thus over time infiltrate the Israelites and bring about their destruction.

Numbers 34:  This is land given by God, not earned.  Debate over the “Wadi of Egypt” continues today: is this the Nile or some other stream?  Hence, the fight over the Sinai Peninsula continues.

God chose leaders to end any conflict once the land was split.

Numbers 35:  The Levites were distributed proportionately as well so that God’s people would have enough priests.  This reflects Christ as he went to the people and not just the people come to him.

Revenge killing is not bad per se.  It can work–except in the case of accidents.  This is where God steps in to protect His people.  If you murder someone, then yes you should suffer death as well.  However, accidents happen and God provides for that.  The difference between murder and kill here is important.

These cities were evenly distributed with good roads (Deut 19:3).  These cities were open to all and not just to the Israelites.

If found innocent, the man had to stay within the walls of the city until the death of the high priest.  Otherwise, he could still be killed.

The cities of refuge picture Jesus as he is our refuge.

We can murder someone’s reputation as well.

A murderer cannot buy his way out of proper penalty.

Unjudged murderers defile a land.  Unfortunately, a lot get away.  But God knows and they will face ultimate penalty with Him.

Numbers 36:  A picture of no perfect solutions in life.  If a daughter did choose to marry outside the tribe, she’d forfeit her inheritance.  They married their cousins so the land stayed within the family as well as the tribe.

End of Numbers:  We leave the Israelites about to take their final step into the Promised Land. They have come a long way but the last step is what counts.  Sadly, many Christians become lost in the Wilderness and never step into what God has for them.  Faith has brought them this far, but it will take even more faith to finish the journey.

Map showing division of the Promised Land:

Map of Wilderness Journey up to the Jordan River:

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 25 Day 4: Numbers 28-30

Summary of passages:  Numbers 28:  God tells Moses to review the offerings with the people:  the burnt offerings, the Sabbath offerings, the monthly offerings, the Passover offerings, and the Feast of Weeks offerings.

Numbers 29:  God reviews more laws and regulations with the people, this time the offerings for the Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Numbers 30:  Moses discusses vows made to God and when one vows to the Lord, one must stick by it unless it is made by a daughter and her father or husband forbids it then it is not binding.  Any vow made by a widow or a divorced woman stays.  If a husband says nothing, then the vow stays for the wife but the husband bears the guilt if she doesn’t stick to her vow and he didn’t nullify it.


7a)  It’s always important to review so you don’t forget–it’s what happens in school all the time. Review before a test.  Here, God wants to make sure the new generation knows the offerings to the detail before they entered the Promised Land.  They needed to know the central place atonement has in their lives and without atonement they could not be with God.

b)  God expects His people to remember His laws and regulations and to follow them and abide by them exactly.  In doing so, this shows the people’s reverence for God.  Same for us.  When we worship, it is about Him and honoring Him.  God expects the same from all of His people no matter the point in time at which we live.

8 )  Making a vow before the Lord should be taken seriously.  It is interesting that the man has final say.  This shows protection of the woman just like God protects us.  I wish more women would accept protection of their man instead of fighting it.  Most men yearn to do nothing more than protect their wife, a role God has given them.

Conclusions:  Relatively easy lesson as it is all stuff we have covered before.  I like how God includes this as it’s an important lesson for us all how we must be reminded of things because we easily forget.  The Israelites are about to take the steps that they have been preparing for their entire lives; God wants to make sure they know what’s important (worshipping Him) before they get caught up in the hubbub of moving!

I liked the vows chapter.  Like I said, I wish more women would be receptive to men as their protector as God is our protector.  Someone has to be the final decision maker.  Two people can’t both have the final say.

End Notes:  Numbers 28:  God commands an animal be sacrificed for our sins every morning and night to remind the Israelites of who’s important in their lives.  Every Sabbath an additional lamb was sacrificed in the morning and at night.  The importance of atonement for our sins is here and omnipresent as it should be in our own lives.

Numbers 29:  The Feast of Tabernacles was a celebration of God’s rich provision for the Israelites.  It celebrated God’s faithfulness to His people during the Exodus.

Note the lamb is the most common sacrifice–anyone see Jesus here?  The sacrifices listed here and in Numbers 28 was immense (over 1000 animals) and these are just the sacrifices the priests made for the people.  This does not include the individual sacrifices the people offered.  Can you imagine the expense?  And yet it was never enough!  Only Jesus was/is enough!

I can just picture the priests as this being their primary job–to offer sacrifices for the people and make atonement.  Little time left would have been for the preaching of God’s Word.

Numbers 30:  God takes our vows seriously so we need to be careful what we swear by.  God himself made vows (Luke 1:73, Acts 2:30, Hebrews 3:18, 6:13, 17) as did Jesus (Matthew 26:63-64).

The man was accountable for the woman’s fulfillment of her vow.  Authority always comes with accountability.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 25, Day 3: Numbers 27:12-23

Summary of passage:  The Lord tells Moses it is his time to die for his sins against him (Numbers 20:1-13).  But first he may climb a mountain and see the Promised Land before he dies.  Moses asks for a leader to be appointed to follow him so the people are not leaderless.  God said to appoint Joshua, a man with the Spirit in him, to take his spot through a ceremony performed by Eleazar, the high priest, to pass on Moses’s authority.  He will command the movements of the Israelites.  Moses did as the Lord commanded.


5a)  He allowed Moses to climb a mountain and lay eyes upon the Land.

b)  That someone else be appointed as leader of the people.  His only concern seemed to be the people.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I would pray for peace and faith when I died.  And no pain.  I would spend every waking moment with my family and pour out my heart to them.  I’d pray.  I’d cry.

6)  He had Joshua proclaimed leader in front of the entire community so all would know in the priest’s presence. He had Moses give him some of his authority so the whole community would obey him.  He had to ask the priest, Eleazar who would ask the Urim (see end note for more) for decisions.  He will command when the Israelites move.

He did not receive the fellowship of God like Moses did (no one has).  He did not know God face-to-face nor could he perform miraculous signs and wonders or awesome deeds and power that Moses could.  I wonder if God had been too close to Moses and too hurt by him to be as close to a human again while the human was on earth?

Conclusions:  Just like with Aaron and Eleazar, God laid out a plan of succession for Moses and Joshua since Moses was the only leader the Israelites had ever known in their lives.

I wish we would have read the parallel passages in Numbers with Deuteronomy instead of reading the whole book (almost) by itself and glossing over it (Lesson 26 coming up).  I loved it when we did that in the Study of Matthew last year.  That way we could see the different comparisons and glean more details and more understanding.  I learned a lot by studying just Numbers, but I feel I could have learned more.

End Notes:  Moses does get to step foot in the Promised Land in the Transfiguration (Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9).  God is so gracious!

With the word shepherd here, Moses is previewing Jesus and showing us that Jesus will be the ultimate shepherd.

It is a specific mountain God wants Moses to climb but scholars are not sure which one it was.