Thought I’d just offer up some book of Matthew commentaries for you!
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2a) How incredibly blessed we all are by God’s grace and Jesus’s sacrifice for our undeserving souls. It gives me a deeper appreciation for what Jesus did for me on the cross and hopefully I can convey that better both with my actions and with others.
b) Jesus’s grace, his inclusion of all people, including women, his compassion on all people no matter who they were, his desire to always do God’s will no matter where he went.
3) There are so many it’s hard to choose. Right now in these uncertain times, we can have faith that God is in control. As the economy changes every day, we can have faith that God will provide. As events happen that we don’t understand, we can have faith that God has a purpose. Jesus prayed in the Garden for strength; so should we during these times. Perseverence, strength, and will to keep moving forward, one day at a time.
4) I did not have children in the program
5) The chance to pray for one another.
6) Good question. I am unsure. Immediately, it’s to be strong in faith for my family and to remind them of all that Jesus teaches.
7a) It’s given me such a deeper understanding of God’s grace and my undeserving nature of Jesus’s sacrifice.
b) I know that God’s plans are not my plans, so I pray for His will to be done. I know that I am here for a reason, so I try to remember that each and every day.
b) Dear Lord. I thank you for the blessings you have given me, for the life I lead, for my incredible family and their health and happiness, and for your will to be done in my life. I take each day as a blessing and try to do your work. I pray others see you through me, and I pray you continue to guide me in this life. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Well, we made it. I usually just do one post for Lesson 30 since they are all personal questions. Plus, since I just lost my cat, I’m having a really hard time doing anything right now.
For me, I was impacted by how God can do anything he wants, from choosing who he wants to his punishments and consequences of sin. Unsure of his will for me. I just keep plugging along, hoping it is God’s will.
I always have loved Joseph. He faced so many challenges and struggles in his life, yet God had a plan to save the world (and us) through him. It’s one of the most hopeful stories in the Bible. If you can believe that God has a plan for your life and everything works together for your good, then life will be infintely easier.
I hate these questions. I don’t know. I always hope I’m a better person, but it’s truly hard to see that in my life.
Same as Day 3. I’m truly uncertain.
Keep on shining God’s light as best as I can as a flawed human. That’s all I can do.
Summary of passage: Jacob gave each son the appropriate blessing. He requests to be buried in the same tomb as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah. Then he died.
13) He requests to be buried in the Promised Land where God brought him and his people.
14) Acts 20:35: Through hard work and helping the weak and giving you will be blessed.
Romans 4:7-8: Must have faith in Jesus Christ to be blessed and have all sins forgiven and not counted against him.
Ephesians 1:3: Believe in Christ and you will be blessed with every spiritual blessing
Titus 2:13: If we say not to ungodliness and worldly passions and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives and wait on Jesus then we will be redeemed from all wickedness and purified. [Please read the entire sentence and not just the middle as suggested by BSF–verses 12-14 for a deeper meaning].
James 1:12: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he had stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
1 Peter 3:9: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
Revelation 1:3: “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it.” I would expand this to say blessed are those who live by God’s word and instill it in your heart for all time.
Conclusions: Not sure why this passage is singled out as significant except for maybe question 13 which to me is intuitive. Will continue to believe this lesson was too drawn out as exhibited by question 14, which had nothing to do with Jacob’s death.
James 1:12 is a great memory verse. My goal for the week!
Summary of passage: Joseph is a fruitful vine that overflows. Enemies attack but Joseph remains steady because of God who blesses him. His blessings rest on him, the “prince among his brothers”.
Benjamin devours and plunders.
10) Joseph is a fruitful vine: Joseph prospered in Potiphar’s house (Genesis 39:2). Joseph prospers in jail (Genesis 39:21). God elevates Joseph to second in command in Egypt (Genesis 41:41).
Archers attack him: His brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37). Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses Joseph (Genesis 39:14).
He remains steady because God helps him: He is falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife but God is with him (Genesis 39:21, 23).
11) The Lord blesses his land with dew from heaven, the deep waters, and the sun and the moon, the choicest gifts of the mountains, the fruitfulness of the hills, the best gifts of earth and God’s favor. He will gore the nations.
12) God shields Benjamin all day and God loves him and can rest secure in Him.
Conclusions: Will echo yesterday’s sentiments: didn’t like this lesson either. I’ll leave it at that.
End Notes: The idea of verses 24-25 is that God’s hands are on Joseph’s hands, helping him to hold his bow steady and defeat his enemies. Just as God’s hands are on our hands as well. Even when we don’t know it.
The tribe of Benjamin was known for its fierceness (devours and plunders). See Judges 19 & 20.
Summary of passage: Judah’s brothers will praise him and bow down to him. The scepter will not leave Judah’s hand until it comes to whom it belongs and obedience is his (reference to Jesus). His (Jesus) robes will be washed in blood, his eyes darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.
Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships. Issachar will submit to forced labor. Dan will provide justice for his people. Gad will be attacked but he will attack back. Asher will have rich food. Naphtali is free.
5) “Your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. You are a lion’s cub; you return from the prey…like a lioness who dares to rouse him?”
“The scepter will not depart form Judah nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”
6a) The obedience of the nations is his. His colt is the choicest branch. His robes will be washed in blood. His eyes will be darker than wine. His teeth whiter than milk.
b) Revelation 5:5 “The Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed.”
c) Personal question that has nothing to do with this passage. My answer: He is my Lord and Savior. I am unworthy. He is ruler over all and in control of all things.
7) Zebulun lay by the sea and the lake along the Jordan. It settled between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea so Zebulun could see both seas.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: Issachar was the third largest tribe (Numbers 26). Hence, they were often targets for the enemy. Eventually, they were put into servitude.
9) Two possibilities: Samson (Judges 13) or Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:26-33). Some scholars believe the “serpent by the roadside” might even be referring to the Antichrist coming from the tribe of Dan (Daniel 11:37; Jeremiah 8:16). Of course, we are not sure who Jacob is referring to here.
Conclusions: Didn’t like this lesson. Feel like Genesis 49 is being drawn out for filler purposes.
Most people would not know the answer to these questions unless they used a commentary (which is what I did). This is what irks me about BSF. They ask these questions that only someone intimately familiar with the Bible (which is not me) would know and then they tell us not to use outside sources. Ridiculous. And borderline hypocritical to me. Don’t ask if 95 % of us will miss it. It only creates doubts about the level of our faith and whether or not we should know this. It does nothing for our understanding of the Bible UNLESS we do use outside sources.
Map of 12 Tribes Showing Zebulun’s Location: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:12_Tribes_of_Israel_Map.svg
End Note: “He will tether his donkey to a vine” emphasizes the richness of Judah’s land as well. They were wine growers.
Summary of passage: Jacob calls his sons together to bless them and tell them their future before he dies. He tells Reuben he will no longer excel because of his defilement of his father’s bed. Simeon and Levi will be scattered in Israel. They will no longer be leaders as punishment for the slaughter at Shechem.
3a) “You are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.” “You will no longer excel.”
b) Matthew says if your eyes are bad then your whole body is full of darkness–basically saying one bad deed or body part corrupts the whole body. James says if you doubt the Lord when you ask then you will not receive. Because of Reuben’s one act, he has corrupted himself and therefore his inheritance.
c) Personal Question. My answer: It’s the old saying: it takes 1000 praises to make up for one bad comment. Same here. It only takes one sin to completely change your life or corrupt yourself. Some are extreme like drunk driving and killing people. Some are not so extreme but life altering like teen pregnancy.
Some sins like greed or stealing may not seem so big but are in God’s eyes. I’m sure Reuben didn’t think sleeping with his father concubine, Bilpah, was a big deal. The Bible only devotes one verse to it (Genesis 35:22). But that one verse was enough. We cannot hide from God our sins no matter how small we might believe them to be.
We must constantly strive to be like Jesus or the devil will win. I must have control over my heart and mind and fill it with God and the Truth; otherwise, evil will invade and cause irreparable damage around me. We must guard against the world and focus on our home–heaven. All it takes is one act.
4a) “I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.”
b) Slaughtering Shechem
c) The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord and to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name. They have no inheritance because the Lord is their inheritance. [So Deuteronomy reveals the why. Their inheritance they have lost has been replaced by God Himself. So God had a plan for Levi.]
The Levites are the priests who watch over God’s word and guards the covenant and who teaches the law to the Israelites.
Exodus 32:26-29 gives us another reason why God elevated the Levites: They were faithful during the golden calf debacle. Hence, they became a blessing and received the Lord as their inheritance (Joshua 13:33).
d) Personal Question. My answer: The comfort I receive is Romans 8:28–that all things work together for my good. God takes the sin and uses it to help others.
Conclusions: Another nice, short lesson. I used quotes for some of the answers. I liked the emphasis on consequences for our sins. Nowadays, there are no consequences for our kids it seems. Parents bail them out every time they are in trouble. Kids don’t move out of their parents’ house until their late 20’s or even 30’s. Excuses abound for unruly behavior.
Yet the example of the Levites is encouraging. No matter what you did in the past, there is hope. God in His grace saves, forgives, and elevates us despite our downfalls.
I need this encouragement. It’s good to know hope exists when at times it seems to not be so.
God sees all. Our good and our bad. My prayer is that there is more good than bad in my life for Him to see.
Fun Fact: This is the first prophecy in the Bible pronounced by a man. The first real prophecy that is clear.