Acts 4;13

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 4: Acts 4:1-22

Summary of Acts 4:1-22:

The priests and the Sadducees arrest Peter and John because they were teaching people Jesus rose from the dead.  But many heard and more were converted.

The next day the pair was brought before the Sanhedrin (a group resembling the group Jesus was brought before) and asked by what power they healed.  Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks the truth, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ whom you killed that this man is healed.  Salvation is found only in Jesus.

The learned men were astonished these so-called unschooled, ordinary men could heal.  They could do nothing since everyone had seen the man healed.  The Sanhedrin want to stop them from speaking in Jesus’ name but when they asked Peter and John to stop, they refused. Reluctantly, the two were let go since they could not deny a miracle had taken place.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 4: Acts 4:1-22

10) Peter proclaimed that Jesus alone has the power to raise the dead and that salvation is found in no one else but Jesus. It makes a difference if you are saved and go to heaven or not. Believers are saved; unbelievers in Jesus Christ as the Savior are not.

11a) Even more people believed, now numbering 5000. Those who arrested them took note as well of Jesus’ power. All the people were praising God for what had happened so they were set free.

b) Personal Question. My answer: The power of Jesus can overcome anything so give my troubles to him.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 4: Acts 4:1-22

When we did Acts before, Lesson 3 covered Acts 3-7. I’m wondering where we’re going this year. It’s cool to see how the authorities can’t do anything because they can’t refute the power of Jesus.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 4: Acts 4:1-22

The captain of the temple is the police force of the temple. Boice says that the emphasis in the original indicates that they stopped and seized Peter and John suddenly.

The Sadducees were disturbed that Peter and John taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead; they did not believe in the afterlife or the resurrection at all.

This was a scare tactic on the part of the authorities to get Peter and John to stop preaching about Jesus. Acts 4:21 mentions further threats.  Boice notes that Acts 4:1-6 lists no less than 11 different groups or individuals opposing these followers of Jesus.

This was a scene of power and intimidation. This same group of leaders had recently condemned Jesus to death, and they wanted them to know that they had the power to do the same thing to Peter and John.

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Peter’s logic was piercing – why are we on trial for a good deed?

The quotation from Psalm 118:22 was appropriate. Jesus was rejected by men – by those leaders – but was exalted by His Father.

God uses both educated and uneducated men for His purpose. It’s just as wrong to think that formal education disqualifies someone for effective service as it is to think that it automatically qualifies someone for effective service.

It is interesting to note what the Jewish leaders did not do: they did not make any attempt to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. If it were possible to do, this was the time to do it; yet they could not.

Luke probably found out what the Sanhedrin discussed among themselves because a member of that Sanhedrin later became a Christian: Saul of Tarsus. Acts 26:10 gives us reason to believe Paul (Saul) was a member of the Sanhedrin to cast his vote against the early Christians.

If this is true, then Peter and John had no idea they were preaching to a future apostle and the greatest missionary the church would ever see. We have no idea how greatly God can use us.

How God Uses Bad Situations for Good

  • 2,000 more people came to believe in Jesus
  • Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit again
  • Peter preached Jesus to the leaders of the Jews
  • Hostile examiners and unbelievers confirmed a miraculous healing
  • The enemies of Jesus were confused
  • Peter and John were bolder for Jesus than ever before
  • God was glorified

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 3, Day 5: Joshua 12

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Image result for joshua 12Summary of Joshua 12:

Joshua 12 lists the kings of the land the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over. Included is the list of tribes Moses conquered (the land given to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh) and the list Joshua conquered on the west side of the Jordan River.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 5: Joshua 12:

12) These are real events, not a fairy tale or made up. This is a way for the Israelites to remember the great things God did for them, and to make it clear that the land belongs to Israel. God keeps His word and His promises to His people.

13) Personal Question. My answer: I love how Joshua is human. He succeeds. He fails. He obeys. He missteps. He disobeys. Yet in the end, he has a heart for God, which I hope to have as well.

14) Personal Question. My answer: Being nicer to people. Watching my words. Speaking less. Listening more. Obeying more. Praying more.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 5: Joshua 12:

Even though God does not have to prove His existence and His omnipotence to man, He does with lists like this that match up with historical facts. Just another example of God’s grace to us who don’t deserve it, and another example of God’s relentless pursuit of His people and nonbelievers to become His people.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 5: Joshua 12:

Moses’ lands he conquered were on the East side of the Jordan River.

Although these lists mean little to us over 3000 years after the fact, this was important so all knew what land was theirs and the boundaries.

Half of the Israelite tribe of Manasseh lived on the East side of the Jordan River. The other half lived on the West side of the Jordan River.

Why List the Defeated Kings?

  • These are real events, not a fairy tale or made up. This is history and specifics are important.
  • A way for the Israelites to remember the great things God did for the them.
  • To make it clear that the land belongs to Israel.

Themes of Joshua 12:

We must remember the great things God does for us and the little things God does for us each and every day.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 3, Day 4: Joshua 11

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Summary of Joshua 11:

When the Northern Kings heard of the complete destruction of the Southern kingdoms, they joined forces against the Israelites and met at the Waters of Merom to fight against Israel. They were as numerous as the sands on the seashore. They also had a large number of horses and chariots.Image result for joshua 11 map of cities northern

Again, God encourages Joshua and tells him not to be afraid for He will deliver them, slain, into his hands. God tells the Israelites to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.

So the Israelites attack this huge army and defeated them. They chased them and slain all of them and hobbled their horses as the Lord directed.

Joshua returned to the city of Hazor and slaughtered everyone there as their king was the instigator of this attack upon Israel. He then totally destroyed all of the cities and kings that came against him as Moses had commanded. They did not burn any of the cities on their mounds. However, Joshua did all that Moses directed and killed everyone. All the plunder and livestock the Israelites kept for themselves.

Joshua continued the conquest of the Promised Land, taking the entire hill region, the Negev, Goshen, and more. All the kings and peoples were attacked and killed except for those living in Gibeon. The Lord had hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel so that they may face punishment.

Joshua took the entire land the Lord had promised, divided it up according to tribes, and rested from war.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 4: Joshua 11:

9) “Do not be afraid of them” and “hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” Joshua needed encouragement and direction from God (as we all do). The enemies were more advanced than the Israelites in terms of warfare since they had horses and chariots. So to ensure they wouldn’t fight them again, the horses were hobbled and chariots destroyed. God keeps His word and directs the Israelites exactly as needed.

10) The Anakalites were the reason the Israelites hadn’t entered the Promised Land sooner and were relegated to wandering the desert for 40 years. The Hebrews thought them to be descendants of the Nephilim, a powerful race who dominated the pre-Flood world (Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33). When the twelve Israelite spies returned from exploring the Promised Land, they gave a frightening report of “people great and tall” whom they identified as the sons of Anak (Deuteronomy 9:2). The Israelites had finally conquered them.

11) Personal Question. My answer: None really. We all deserve death, and it’s only by God’s grace that we are still breathing today and saved by His Son, Jesus Christ. This is an evil world full of evil, violent people. God uses the sin that entered through Adam to punish His enemies. That is His prerogative, and we are to accept it without question. Furthermore, God has a reason for everything He does that is beyond our understanding.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 4: Joshua 11:

I love how God is always encouraging and always instructing His people. I love how even the impossible (the defeat of the Anakites) is possible through Him.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 4: Joshua 11:

The Israelites are now the target due to their success. The same applies to our success on this side of heaven. There’s always someone jealous of you who’s looking to take you down.

The challenges facing the Israelites are increasing with a gigantic foe and superior weaponry. Same for us: we often find that the challenges facing us in our Christian life increase at each step. God uses each previous victory as a springboard for what we face in the future.

Fear was an issue for Joshua and the Israelites; hence, God’s encouragement.

Again, we see Joshua’s military boldness as he initiates the attack once again. I’m sure an army that size would expect the Israelites to high-tail it out of there, not attack.

What is Hamstringing and Why did God tell the Israelites to use It?

Hamstringing is just what it sounds like: cutting the hamstring muscle in the leg, hindering proper movement and effectively hobbling the animal. This was common on animals and on humans in ancient times. It was also extremely painful.

  • Hamstringing rendered the animals useless, so they couldn’t come against the Israelites again.
  • Horses and chariots were an advanced weapons of war that the Israelites would not master for hundreds of years. It was far easier to effectively erase the threat than learn how to use the threat.
  • This showed complete trust and faith in God as the Israelites did what God told them to do, and didn’t try to use the enemies’ tools for themselves.

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What do we learn from the complete annihilation of the Enemy?

  • Israelites had complete faith and obedience in God.
  • Judgement was complete.
  • Canaanites were completely and totally unable to be redeemed and thus deserving of just punishment.

What is the “hardening of the hearts”?

The hardening of men’s hearts is when God gives man up to the sin that is in his heart (Romans 1:24-28). There was no grace shown to the Canaanites.

Who were the Anakites?

The last tribe to be defeated by the Israelites, the Anakites had prevented Israel from entering the Promised Land 40 years prior. They fall easily. God saves them for last as the Israelites needed supreme confidence to defeat them.

What do we Learn from the Anakites?

  • God knows how to manage the battles in our life.
  • Total surrender to God’s will is our response. Sometimes we have to fight last what we think is first.

Fun Fact of the Bible:

The giant Goliath is an Anakite from the descendants of the Nephilim. Goliath comes from the city of Gath some five hundred years later (1 Samuel 17:4).

Similarities between Judges 1 and Joshua 1-11

Judges 1 summarizes the incidents recorded in Joshua, but from a different point of view. Joshua presents the campaign as highly successful; Judges shows that many military goals were never achieved. One possible explanation: Joshua presented the wars as a series of raids on territory and did not include the “mopping up” and settlement process. Judges shows that, after the Israelites divided up the land, they proved fall less successful in the second phase of conquest.

This ends section 1 of the Book of Joshua as mission has been accomplished with the defeat and occupation of the Promised Land. Obviously, not every town and city had been conquered. That was left up to the individual tribes to accomplish within their individual territories.

Theme of Joshua 11:

Same with Jesus: he defeated the enemy, but we still must claim what is ours.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 3, Day 2: Joshua 10:1-15

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Summary of Joshua 10:1-15:

The King of Jerusalem, Adoni-Zedek, heard about the Israelites’ conquering of Ai and Jericho and the peace treaty it had made with Gibeon. He gathered together 4 more kings of the Amorites–Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon– and attacked Gibeon, which was an important and large city.

The Gibeonites, now subjects of Israel, appealed to Joshua for help. He came up with his best fighting men from Gilgal. The Lord promised to deliver them into his hands. After marching all night, Joshua took the kings by surprise. The kings retreated and Joshua pursued them all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.

The Lord brought hail that killed many of the retreating army. Joshua asked for the sun to stand still and the moon to stop. God fulfilled Joshua’s prayer as a sign He was with Israel.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 2: Joshua 10:1-15:

3) Joshua took his entire army, his best fighting men included, and marched overnight to surprise the kings of the Amorites. God told Joshua “Do not be afraid; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.

4)  “The Lord threw them into [the Amorites] into confusion before Israel.” “The Lord hurled down large hailstorms down on them from the sky, killing more than swords.” God stopped the sun on the request of Joshua so the conquest would be complete. God is good. God keeps His promises. God wants His glory to be known. God fights for us. God has His ways and uses various methods to achieve His history.

5) Personal Question. My answer: If you pray, God is there, and He will guide and lead you. God will work miracles to help you if you have faith. Definition of integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness; the state of being whole and undivided.

I love the second definition of integrity. When Israel is together, of one mind and united in a cause, they are unbeatable. They act as one unit and are much stronger and a more formidable opponent. Also, the Israelites defend the Gibeonites because they do have a treaty. They are honoring their commitment to others.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 2: Joshua 10:1-15:

I love how the Lord doesn’t hold anything against Joshua; he is totally forgiven for his mistakes. We just saw Joshua disobey an order from God: don’t make treaties with the Canaanites. Now, when Joshua is called upon by the Gibeonites to help, he honors his word and God honors Joshua’s word as well as Joshua seeks the Lord here.

If God can let go of the past so easily, why can’t we?

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 2: Joshua 10:1-15:

Why the Military Coalition of the Southern Kings?

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The Israelites had brought the unique judgment of God against the Canaanites (Jericho and Ai) and did not take any plunder or profit from the cities. An Israelite army fighting for the glory of God and as a unique instrument of God’s judgment made everyone shake in their boots.

The previous victories across the middle of Canaan effectively separated Canaan between north and south. “Israel controlled the Benjaminite plateau, the crossroads between the hill country and the Judean wilderness. It provided access to the coastal plain and lowlands to the west via the Beth Horon pass.” (Hess)

“It has been conjectured that the Canaanitish kings assumed this name in imitation of that of the ancient patriarchal king of this city, Melchizedek, whose name signifies king of righteousness, or my righteous king: a supposition that is not improbable.” (Clarke)

Remember the Gibeonites surrendered because they honored the God of Israel, not because they couldn’t defend themselves.

The Southern Kings gathered forces much as Satan does today. The enemy will use all he has against us.

It was only the Southern kings because the northern kings were already occupied by Israel.  “Jerusalem’s leader wrote at least five letters to the Pharaoh regarding his town and its security. These letters, part of the collection known as the Armana letters, are longer and more literate than the contemporary missives of other Palestinian town leaders.” (Hess)

Jerusalem, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, and Hebron were important cities either for their location or for the trade routes associated with them.

Afraid to attack Israel directly, the kings attacked the Israelites’ subjects, the Gibeonites.

Why are the Israelites still at Gilgal?

  • Gilgal was the place of memorial (Joshua 4:20).
  • Gilgal was the place of radical obedience (Joshua 5:2-3).
  • Gilgal was the place where reproach was removed (Joshua 5:9).
  • Gilgal was the place of obedience and the remembrance of salvation (Joshua 5:10).
  • Gilgal was the place where the manna stopped, and they began to live off what the Promised Land provided (Joshua 5:11-12).
  • Gilgal was the place where they met Jesus Christ in a dramatic way, as commander of the LORD’s armies – and took of their sandals in reverence to holy ground (Joshua 5:13-15).

What Lessons do we Learn from the Gibeonites?

  • It’s okay to call for help. God is our protector. Cry out to Him.
  • God commanded Joshua not to fear because He would deliver. Fear is a sign of unbelief in God doing what He says He’ll do.

Allowing these Canaanite kings to wipe out the Gibeonites would have been a convenient way to get out of a vow that should not have been made, but they will have none of it.

We should have the same sense of honor. Though Joshua was only bound to not kill the Gibeonites himself (Joshua 9:15), he also felt obliged to fulfill the spirit of the vow he made to the Gibeonites.

Why were the Southern Kings taken by Surprise?

The Southern Kings didn’t believe the march was possible in that short of a time. The march from Gilgal to Gibeon involved a climb of 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) over a distance of about 20 miles (32 kilometers). This was eight to ten hours of hard marching all through the night.

God does His work, but He draws us into working with Him. Often God waits to see our initiative, our willingness to be a partner with Him before He does what only He can do.

This is not the idea that “God helps those who help themselves.” The idea is “God wants to draw His people into partnership with Him in seeing His work done.”

What Did the Hailstorm Signify?

  • God’s hand in the battle.Image result for joshua 10 hailstorm
  • For the Amorites who worshipped nature, they must have thought their gods had abandoned them.
  • In Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky suggested that this rain of hailstones was actually a sustained meteor show, the train of a comet. He also theorized that the passing of the comet was related to the next amazing work of God for Israel and Joshua.
  • God’s work is greater than man (Joshua’s) work.

Why Did Joshua Ask for the Sun to Stand Still?

  • Joshua wanted a complete victory and needed more time.
  • God would be glorified.
  •  God would be obeyed.
  •  God’s work would be continued without hindrance.
  •  God’s people would triumph.

How did the Sun Stand Still?

Beyond the reason, “Because God said so,” here are various scientific ideas:

  • A slowing of the earth’s rotation.
  • A tilting of the earth’s axis
  • A miracle of reflection of light
  • Simply the presence of God manifested in light.

In Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky suggested that the long day was caused by the near pass of a comet, that was powerful enough to tilt the axis of the earth. “The tilting of the axis could produce the visual effect of a retrogressing or arrested sun; a greater tilting, a multiple day or night.” [385] He also noted that there are records among the ancient Americans that speak of an extraordinarily long night in the same approximate time.

Fun Battle Fact of the Bible:

This is the first time in Joshua of a counterattack – the enemy initiating a battle against Israel. “Here for the first time Israel does not initiate the aggression but responds to an ally’s appeal.” (Hess)

What Does Joshua 10 Teach Us?

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