BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 3, Day 3: Joshua 10:16-43

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Summary of Joshua 10:16-43:

The 5 kings retreated to a cave at Makkedah. Joshua ordered stones to be placed in front of the cave to prevent the men from leaving. He also told the Israelites to pursue the armies and destroy them. Joshua had the 5 kings from Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon brought before him. He humiliated them by placing feet on top of the kings’ necks.

Joshua killed the kings and hung them on trees as signs of what the Lord would do to all the Israelites’ enemies. Later, he threw the kings’ bodies back in the cave.

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Then Joshua took Makkedah and Libnah and humiliated the king in the same way and left no survivors behind. Joshua conquered Lachish, Gezer, Eglon, Hebron, and Debir, humiliating the kings and completely slaughtering the people.

Joshua subdued the whole region from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from Goshen to Gibeon–all in one campaign. The Israelites returned to their base at Gilgal when finished.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 3: Joshua 10:16-43:

6) The Canaanites fortified themselves in their cities. The Israelites attacked while all the surrounding Canaanites hid behind walls. The Canaanites knew they would probably lose against Israel’s God.

7) “Come and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” This is an act of humiliation and showed utter submission. This points toward Jesus (most scholars compare Joshua to Jesus) and the Second Coming when all of Jesus’ enemies (Satan) will be put under his feet.

8 ) Personal Question. My answer: So far, we’ve seen what happens when you have faith. You have faith, and God performs miracles for you. I know God is fighting with me and, at times, for me. Nothing is too big to overcome; thus, I should hand all of my battles over to God.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 3: Joshua 10:16-43:

The penalty for disobeying God is real. And it’s not pretty. Total annihilation. I wish this would be emphasized more at churches today. Healthy fear of the Lord is a good thing. Too many people sweep Him under the rug. Bad idea.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 3: Joshua 10:16-43:

We must remember Joshua is enacting God’s judgment against the nonbelievers by slaughtering them. The Canaanites knew now without a doubt God was with the Israelites–hence the retreat to their fortified cities.

Too many people today see the Church occupied by a cozy, warm, forgiving God–which He is. However, church is the place people should know that if you attend, you will be conquered. Surrendering to God is part of the bargain of redemption.

The Foreshadowing of the False Messiah

The king of Jerusalem, Adoni-Zedek, paints a fascinating picture of the false Anti-Christ to come:

Note the repetition of God promising victory over all your enemies.

What does the Treatment of the 5 Kings Signify?

  • Joshua performed the executions himself, thereby signifying there is absolutely no place in your life for sin.
  • The men were hung alive–again, a brutal symbol meant to tell the world sin would not be abided.

Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures frequently portray the stepping on the neck of a king. This would give the men courage, knowing they could defeat kings with God.

The forthcoming battles mentioned could have taken place over months. All were won, but one a time.

Lessons from Joshua 10:

  • Take every battle in your life one at a timeImage result for caves
  • The battle is one little by little
  • Know which battles to fight and when
  • God fights for us; we walk in His victory

God told Israel in Exodus 23:30 (and Deuteronomy 7:22) that He would drive out the Canaanites little by little. Israel wasn’t ready to take the land all at once, and God gave it to them in portions they could take as long as they trusted and obeyed Him.

God knew which battles to fight and when to fight them. These were not the only Canaanite cities in the region, but they were the military strongholds. God knew what He was doing in selecting which particular battles to fight and when they needed to be fought.

The Significance of Gilgal

  • Israel’s victories always came from Gilgal.
  • Gilgal was the place of total faith, commitment, and fellowship with God
  • Gilgal was the place where Israel had been conquered by God.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 3, Day 3: Romans 5-16

Summary of passage:  When you don’t repent, you are storing up wrath on the day of judgment.  God will give to each person according to what he has done.  Eternal life, honor, peace, and glory to those who do good.  Wrath and anger, trouble and distress to evil-doers.  All will be judged.  Those who obey the law will be declared righteous on the Day of Judgment by Christ.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  God’s wrath.  Good and treasures in heaven I hope.

7a) Eternal life, honor, peace, and glory to those who do good.  Wrath and anger, trouble and distress to evil-doers.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I hope goodness.

8 )  Jesus Christ.

Conclusions:  Terse answers on the personal questions.  It’s hard to judge oneself.  In my eyes and from my limited perspective, I’m doing good.  I’m sure I’m failing though in places in God’s eyes.  The questions would better be worded, “What would a friend say about your heart attitude and storing up for God?”  Or even better if we were asked to pray about what God sees in us and have Him reveal it to us.

End Notes:  Those who condemn sinners are storing up the wrath of God, not merits.  God is the only one who can grant eternal life because none of us are good all the time.  Sin stains us.

Jews are first in line for the gospel (Romans 1:16), first in line for reward (Romans 2:10), and first in line for judgment.

The word indignation comes from the idea of “boiling up,” thus having the sense of a passionate outburst. The word wrath comes from the idea of a swelling which eventually bursts, and applies more to an anger that proceeds from one’s settled nature.

Paul is emphasizing how people are saved by faith not by deeds and if one “persists in doing good” this is proof of genuine faith.

All are equal in God’s eyes.  The word translated partiality in some translations comes from two ancient Greek words put together – to receive and face. It means to judge things on the basis of externals or preconceived notions.

“All who sin apart from the law” refers to the Gentiles.  God judges according to the light available to them.  Gentiles will not be condemned for not obeying a law they did not possess.  Their judgement will be on other grounds.

Some ancient rabbis taught that God favored the Jews.  Paul refutes this.

All that matters is if you’ve obeyed the law.  Hearing the law or knowing the law is not good enough.

Paul clarifies that even if you haven’t heard the law per se, you can be condemned unless you follow the law written on your heart (law for themselves or conscience, which is the law abiding in their hearts).  By nature, man has morals.  But this is not a substitute for God’s laws.

Your conscious is your morals but everyone’s conscious is different and it can become corrupted.  You still need to follow the law to gain righteousness.  Conscious (like God) can still be ignored.

You still will be judged since all of us have a conscious.  No one escapes.  Ignorance is not an excuse.  Jesus is the judge to whom we will all be accountable.  The Jews believe God is the one who will deliver final judgement on the world.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 3, Day 3: John 2:13-17

Summary of passage:  Jesus heads to Jerusalem for Passover.  He sees in the temple courts non-Jews or merchants who were not allowed in the temple selling their wares.  He freaks out, overturning their tables, scattering their money everywhere, and whipping their animals out of the temple.

Questions:

6)  Passover to remember when the Lord passed over the courses of the Israelites when they were enslaved in Egypt when he struck down the first-born of the Egyptians but not the Israelites.  The animals were there to serve as the required sacrifices every Jewish person must make to atone for their sins.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sometimes anger is justified when God has been disrespected and his temple has been defiled.  We must stand up for God in a righteous, just, and loving way.  Furthermore, note Jesus made the whip of cords.  He thought about his actions before letting anger take over.  This was calculated and planned.  It was not a burst of passion.  This is how we should act as well–not in the heat of the moment but after the inciting incident has passed.

8a)  “Zeal for your house will consume me.”  Psalm 69:9 which reads in full:  “For zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.”

b)  Part-personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus will come to prepare the way for the Lord, to purify the people and become the acceptable sacrifice for our sins.  The abundance of his sacrifice is immeasurable.

Conclusions:  Good lesson on justifiable anger and the consequences of blatant disobedience.  We also see the importance of being pure and clean before the Lord and gain a deeper understanding of why Jesus’ sacrifice was so very important.

End Notes:  Almost 2 1/2 million Jews descended on Jerusalem for Passover, a festival where all Jewish men were required to celebrate in Jerusalem (Exodus 12).  Think about that in ancient times.  That’s a ton of people.  With this many people in one place, it attracts those who wish to sell their services as well as some unsavory individuals hoping to make a quick buck.  The moneylenders or moneychangers were there to help Jews pay the temple tax (Exodus 30:11-16) which had to be paid in special coin.  Coins in ancient times were often clipped and made of insufficient metals designed to cheat people.  Hence, the coin had to be a certain type.  The amount was the equivalent of about 2 days wages.

You will see “Passover of the Jews” or “Jewish” used a lot by John.  This was for clarity to Gentiles reading this so they would understand the festivals.

Jesus is displaying authority with the whip, not violence here.

The temple courts was the only place Gentiles could come and worship.

Note this is a different scene than what Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe.  This is at Passover near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  The other time is when Jesus enters Jerusalem on the eve of his death.

We can be sure the money lenders returned after Jesus left.  However, Jesus’ point was clear:  don’t defile the house of the Lord.

First we see Jesus converting water to wine and now cleansing of the temple.  This is how Jesus works:  convert and then cleanse.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 3, Day 3: Revelation 1:4-8

Summary of passage:  John writes to seven churches in Asia, wishing them grace and peace in God’s name, the seven spirits’ name, and in Christ’s name–Christ who had freed us from sin by his blood and made us priests to serve God.  Christ will come with the clouds where all can see.

Questions:

6a)  God always existed (the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the one who is, was, and is to come).  He is the Creator.

b)  He alone is in control and knows the future.

7)  John 3:16-17:  Jesus is God’s only Son, sent to bring eternal life and save the world.

1 Corinthians 15:3:  Christ died for our sins to free us.

1 Corinthians 15:20:  Christ was the first to rise from the dead so that we may follow and rise as well.

Philippians 2:9-11:  Jesus rules the earth as Lord to the glory of God forever.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Christ has freed us from our sins through God’s great love for us.  He will forgive me no matter the gravity of my sins and I will live again in Him and with Him.

9a)  Everyone will witness Jesus’s return including the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  Non-believers are those who have pierced him.  Also, those who condemned Jesus when he was alive.  Non-believers and believers and all nations and all peoples of the earth will mourn.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t have to be in charge.  God is.  God has a plan.  I don’t have to have one.  I don’t have to worry about other people.  All I have to do is share His love for them.  He’ll do the rest.  Everyone will know when Jesus returns.  It won’t be some big secret for the elect.  God wants me with Him.

Conclusions:  We are diving right in with God’s purpose in sending Jesus:  to free us from our sins.

End Notes:  Verse 4:  Here we get our first glimpse into numbers and the importance of Old Testament references.  Notice the number 7 here, which comes from Isaiah 11:2, which describes the 7 aspects of the Holy Spirit.  Because of this, the number 7 is considered the number of completeness and perfection (after all, it took God 7 days to create the universe).  Note there are not 7 different spirits.  One Holy Spirit with 7 characteristics listed here.

Why these churches when there were many more?  As we read Jesus’ words to the different congregations, we’ll begin to get an idea of why they were chosen.  However, because there were 7 of them and 7 is the number of completion, scholars take this to mean Jesus was speaking to all churches.  Therefore, these words are for us (the church) as well.

Verse 5:  Jesus is the faithful witness which is the same Greek word for martyr.

“The firstborn from the dead” means Jesus was the first to rise from the dead AND he’s first amongst the risen (Romans 8:29).  Firstborn is a title, not a literal reference to a birth (Exodus 4:22; Psalm 89:28).

Here, in one greeting, we see the Triune God:  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–separate but the same.

“To him who loves us”.  Here, this is also translated as “loved” past tense.  “Loved” takes us back to the cross where our life began.

Notice the order:  He loved us first, then freed (or washed in some translations).  God loves us first.  No matter what we have done.  Then He cleaned us.  Because He loves us.  He didn’t clean us first then love us.  Powerful.

Also, some translate the washed/freed as “loosed”.  There is only one letter difference in the ancient Greek between washed and loosed.

Verse 6:  Jesus made us kings and priests–something impossible for those in the OT.  It was forbidden to be both.

Power here is also translated as dominion.  We are recognizing God’s glory and dominion over every aspect of our lives–body, soul, and spirit.

Amen means “Yes” in Greek and is the worth for truth or faithfulness in the Hebrew.  So, literally, when you say “Amen” you are saying “it is true”, “so be it”, and “yes” to God’s will.

Verse 7:  John praises Jesus.  He jumps straight away into describing his return.  We are to watch for his return, which will be in clouds.  Every believer in the first century knew Jesus would return in a cloud since he told us he would (Matthew 26:64).  Also, we are described as clouds (Hebrews 12:1) and clouds are associated with God and His presence as we saw last year in our study of Moses (Exodus 13:21-22, 16:10, 19:9, and 24:15-18).

Verse 8:  Now, scholars believe Jesus is speaking since it is after all his revelation.  Some also say it could be God here as well since both claim the title of Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:4; 22:13).

All emphasized the Triune God and the eternal nature of God.  He is in control of everything from Alpha (A in the Greek alphabet) to Omega (Z in the Greek alphabet) and everything in between.

The Greek word “Almighty” here means “the one who has his hand on everything”.  It is used 10 times in the New Testament, 9 times here in the Book of Revelation.

BIG THEME OF REVELATION right here in chapter 1:  God is in control of everything.

Map of Seven Churches John was writing to in the province of Asia (modern-day Turkey):  http://lifehopeandtruth.com/uploads/images/7-churches-of-revelation.gif

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 3, Day 3: Exodus 3:11-22

Summary of passage:  After God calls Moses to go to Egypt and rescue His people, Moses asks “Why me?”  God assures Moses He will be with him and he will return to this mountain again in worship.  Moses, still questioning, asks what should he tell the Israelites about who sent him.  God replies “I am has sent you and the Lord, God of your fathers–Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”.

God says to assemble the elders of Israel and tell them of his commission to bring them up and out of Egypt.  Then take the elders and go to Pharaoh and tell him.  Pharaoh will not let you go but I will strike the Egyptians with all the wonders until they do.  God will turn the Egyptians’ hearts so that they will leave with silver and gold and clothing and plunder.

Questions:

5a)  Moses asks “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”  He asks God what should he say once he tells the Israelites he has been sent by God and they ask who is God?  What is his name?

b)  Verse 12 reassures Moses that God will be with him and a sign will be that Moses will worship God on this same mountain afterwards.  Verse 14 & 15 says that Moses should tell the Israelites that “I am has sent him” and that he is the God of their fathers–Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God is with Moses on his journey because I know God is with me on mine.

6a)  Both Jesus and God call themselves “I am” and both existed before Abraham was born.

b)  Jesus says that he existed like God has existed and they are one and the same “I am”.

Conclusions:  It’s not hard to understand Moses doubt here.  After all, he tried once before 40 years ago to rescue the Israelites and they rejected him so Moses is confused.  He doesn’t quite understand yet that Moses needed God and God’s timing and that he couldn’t rescue the Israelites without God so he asks God “Are you sure you want me?”  God says yes.  He also wants to know what to tell the Israelites once he gets there so he’s not rejected again.

Again, I thought not a lot of meat to these questions.

End Notes:  The Israelites probably number around 3 million people now.  Can you imagine leading 3 million people out of slavery, across desert, to a Promised Land?

I read pages and pages of commentary on the revelation of God’s name here to Moses.  Fascinating.  But for me it came down to one point:  God says “I am” and then you fill in the blank with your need.  “I am the light” when it is dark.  “I am the bread of life” when we are hungry.  “I am your comforter” when you mourn.  God is everything to us and that is what He is saying here when He says “I am.”

Jesus calls himself “I am” as well (John 8:28; 8:24; 8:58; 13:19).

I found it fascinating that God tells Moses first to go to his people (the elders) and then go to Pharaoh.  God often starts with His people first and then the rest of the world.  Like Jesus who revealed the Good News first to the Jews and then the Gentiles.

God promises the people will listen this time around.  This must have been huge encouragement for Moses.  Note too the Israelites probably didn’t desire to leave Egypt.  After 400 years, they probably just wanted to improve their lives but not leave everything they’ve ever known.  All around, Moses did not have an easy task before him and he knew it; hence, his doubts.

Not only will the Israelites follow Moses, they won’t go empty-handed–the Egyptians will shower them with gifts.  This is fitting pay after 400 years of hard labor.  Deuteronomy 15:12-14 says to give slaves gifts when they leave your service.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 3: Matthew 3:1-12

Summary of passage:  John the Baptist came to Judea preaching to the people that the kingdom of heaven is near (i.e. Jesus was coming).  He wore camel hair as clothes and ate locusts and honey.  People came from all over to confess their sins and be baptized by him in the Jordan River.

When the Pharisees and the Sadducees began coming, John warns them to repent for no longer can they hide behind Abraham as their father for Jesus is coming to judge.  He will baptize them with water but after him Jesus will come, baptizing them with the Holy Spirit.  He will clear out the evil-doers, gather his believers, and burn up whoever is left.

Questions:

4a)  Zechariah was a priest so he would have been an ideal choice to teach John the Baptist the laws.  His parents were upright and observed all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.  He was born about 6 months before Jesus and they were cousins.  I wonder if they played together as kids and learned from each other.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I was raised a Christian.  I was raised knowing I had a purpose in this world and I believe I have all the experiences I need in order to fulfill His purpose for my life.

5a)  We are told the advice John gave to those wishing to avoid the fire.  He told those who have more than others to share.  He told tax collectors to not collect extra for themselves.  He told soldiers to not extort people.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The same.  Those who have more should give to those who have less.  We should not collect more from others than we need.  We should be content with what we have.  We should not be greedy and treat others how we want to be treated–Golden Rule.

6a)  Repentance for the forgiveness of sins and preparation for Jesus’ arrival

b)  In essence, John’s job was to tell everyone to ready their hearts for Jesus is about to come and set them free.  Thus, he baptized them with water as they repented (regretted) their sins and asked for forgiveness.  He doesn’t mention accepting Jesus into their hearts but I believe this is implied in believing the Messiah was coming.

7a)  I interpret this passage differently than BSF.  I see John’s job as making the path straight to Jesus and God.  Jesus levels every playing field for all are equal to come to him.  No more Old Testament stipulations of cleansing to come to God, which would be the mountains and the valleys and the hoops you had to perform to get to God.  Only Jesus is the way to Him now.

John’s job was to prepare the way for Jesus.  To tell those to repent and cleanse your hearts to receive him inside–to rid yourself of anything (mountains or valleys) standing in the way of Jesus.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My sins are the rough places but they are not a mountain or valley or rough place to overcome for Jesus had done that for me.  I know when I stumble, God picks me up, and I keep walking His path no matter the obstacles (mountains or valleys) that lay before me.

Conclusions:  Challenging lesson that’s for sure as we were all over the place in the Bible.  I had an “ah-ha!” when I connected the dots in my brain with Elizabeth and Mary. Before, we hadn’t read Luke 1:5-25  just Luke 1:26-38 in Lesson 1 so I hadn’t realized the relationship between Elizabeth and Mary.  I had always heard John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin but had never quite connected the dots.  Yeah, BSF, for making me read those passages TOGETHER!

I definitely had a different take on question 7 and an interpretation of the verse so would be curious to see your all’s answers.  In my life, I don’t see mountains anymore.  I see Jesus.  Plain and simple.

Interesting Notes:  Again, we see God choosing people off of ability, not what they look like.  John the Baptist dressed differently and ate bugs.  Not your ordinary guy in ancient times and not one you’d expect to deliver the life-changing message that the Messiah is coming.  God knows the heart; that is all that matters to Him.

It was commonly believed that if you were Jewish, you couldn’t go to Hell because of Abraham.  John tells them not to rest on their laurels but to be ready for if you are evil and produce bad fruit you will be cut down to Hell.

Begin to notice the predominance of the word “repent” in the New Testament and Jesus’ teachings.  Here, it is the first word recorded that John the Baptist said.  And it is the dominant message of Jesus:  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  Matthew 4:17