BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 30

Hey all,

As all of these are personal questions, I won’t be posting my answers here.  I’ll just give you all a summary of what I learned for the year.  This will be my Sharing Day so to speak.

I learned that God only desires our faith in Him and obedience.  That’s it.  Later, it’s changed to faith in His son, Jesus Christ.  It’s so simple that most people are tripped up by it.

I learned how truly amazing Moses was.  Everyone knows about Moses but most people just know him as the guy who parted the Red Sea and turned some water into wine (this was my impression at least).  But Moses was so much more.  He was the closest to God a person can be.  He did amazing things for 40 years for millions of people.  He had a heart for God.  He stumbled and paid the price like we all do.  But his life was extraordinary.  It gives courage to those of us who live ordinary lives.

I learned how incredibly stubborn God’s people were and how this explains much of how we are today.  Man’s nature never changes.  Neither does God’s.  Repeatedly, the Israelites fell. Repeatedly, they rebelled.  Repeatedly, they turned away.  Always God picked them up.  Always God forgave them.  Always grace prevailed.  God is amazing and loving and awesome. Compassionate, forgiving, and omnipotent.  Protector.  Provider.  Comforter.  The story of the Israelites journey out of Egypt is a story of grace and God’s goodness.  His will in all.

I learned about the importance of helpers.  How we all need them.  Asking for help is okay. Humbly receiving it is even better.

I learned how God’s grace and judgment are not to be questioned.  We all know His ways are not our ways.  We all deserve death.  Anything we receive in our walk on earth is all by Him.  Every breath is by His grace alone.  One day we will all take our last when He deems it so.  What would happen if we all lived out that truth?

The Study of Moses was a struggle for my kids, especially the giving of the laws.  The first half of Moses they loved.  Full of heroic stories and deeds.  The second half was a drag.  Archaic laws that went over their heads.  But they came and they had fun and I know they got something out of it. Even if they don’t realize it until later on down the road.

Anytime I read God’s word my faith is strengthened.  Moses is a man after God’s own heart. Knowing more about him helps me to know more about what God wants for me.  Moses’s walk was an extraordinary one.  I only hope I can lead one half as well!

Final Link:  Just a little summary in a nutshell of Moses’s life and some important lessons to glean:

http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Moses.html

Thank you all for studying with me, for sharing your thoughts, for being my “group”.  It was amazing.  I can’t wait for Revelation!  Bring it on!  Have a great summer break and God bless!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 5: Deuteronomy 32:44-52

Summary of passage:  After Moses sang the Song, he told the people to take his words to heart and live by them so that they will prosper in the new land.  That same day the Lord told Moses to climb Mount Nebo and view the Holy Land before his death.

Questions:

10a)  To take all of his words to heart.  Moses said to love and serve God with all of your heart and soul.  He said God would circumcise your hearts in order to love Him.  Because the heart is what matters to God.  We all will sin.  But are we truly sorry for our sin.  Do we have a heart for God?  Or do we not truly care about our actions?  God wants our hearts.  Once He has that everything else falls into place.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When you love and serve God, God happens.  Blessings happen.  To you and to others.  Peace happens.  Fulfillment.  God’s plan happens.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God’s words are our life.  His commandments.  His will.  Without God’s word and His Holy Spirit within we have no life.  We are empty shells.  For His word is Him.

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is just.  Moses didn’t physically enter the Promised Land but Moses is in heaven in a much, much better land than here on Earth.  That’s what matters.  Not what happens to Moses down here.  He was probably the most faithful man to ever walk the earth.  It is not for me to judge God’s judgements.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The part of my thinking that is selfish and all about me.  The part of my thinking that is not from God but from Satan.  The thoughts that need to be of God instead of of the world.

Conclusions:  Personal Day here.  12a was redundant.  We were asked before when Moses was first judged by God whether we thought it was just punishment or not.  The only question I liked was the non-personal question (10a).  I liked how we did examine the heart for that is what matters to God.  Whether we desire Him or we are indifferent to Him.  Moses knew what God wanted and he desperately tried to impart that to the people before he left.  Again, a man after God’s own heart who spoke face to face with God.

End Notes:  Moses is to “be gathered to your people”, which was the ancient Israelites way of saying going to heaven before Christ came to allow them to go to heaven.  I’ve posted about what this means before.  You can read HERE if interested.

Others who were “gathered to their people” in the Pentateuch:  Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and Aaron.

Quick Reminder of where Israelites are:  http://www.keyway.ca/gif/nebo.gif

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 2: Deuteronomy 31:1-29

Summary of passage:  Moses, at 120 years old, tells the people Joshua will be their new leader and the Lord will go before them and destroy their enemies. He tells the people to not be afraid for God will never forsake them.  Moses wrote down the law, placed it beside the ark of the covenant, and commanded the people to read it every 7 years so all will know it.

The Lord appeared to Moses and Joshua in a cloud over the Tabernacle and told them that the people would turn from Him and worship other gods.  When the people did this, God would turn His back on His people.  He taught Moses a song to teach the people so they would know why God turned on them.  Moses warned the people of the evil they would do and consequences of the Lord’s anger against them.

Questions:

3a)  He commanded the people to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid or terrified because the Lord goes with them and will never abandon them (the promise).

b)  Joshua had some big shoes to fill so I’m sure leading the people was daunting, challenging, and scary. God wanted to make sure Joshua knew he could do it because He Himself was with him and would never leave him.  God Himself would defeat His enemies, and Joshua had nothing to fear.  He was chosen by God for this task like Moses.  Confidence is what Joshua needed–in himself and in the Lord.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s comforting.  When no one else is there, God is.  He knows my pain, my heartache, my struggles, my passions, my frustrations, my joys, my sorrows, my victories, my failures.  And He shares them.  He works them for His purposes.  And I just need Him and faith.

4a)  God commanded Moses to write down the law and keep it in a safe place and once every 7 years for the law to be read to all the people so they would know God’s laws.  It was a resource for the Levites, who were the spiritual leaders, so they could look back and learn God’s laws as well and teach it accordingly.

b)  It would serve as a warning so the faithful would be aware of what was to come and perhaps spot the temptation and turn away before they sinned.  Perhaps they could warn others and turn them away as well.

Conclusions:  Love how God appeared to Joshua personally to commission him and reassure him that he could do this monumental task and that God would be his strength and his rock.  God’s care for us is unfathomable!  I like how everyone from young to old was gathered to hear the law once every 7 years.  I wonder how many of us read God’s word every 7 years.  Can you imagine our society if we did?

End Notes:  The people needed to know God was with them.  All most of them had ever known was Moses.  The people needed to know God was bigger than one man and God was enough.

God does His work through people–God’s work is the giving of the Promised Land and Joshua would be the one God would use to accomplish His work.

What a blessing Moses is to Joshua!  He encouraged him in his walk.  How many of us have wise counselors to encourage us to do the great things God has in store for us?

The first recorded reading of God’s law to the people is in Nehemiah 8:1-8.  It is recorded three more times in the Bible of the law being read to the people (Joshua 8:30; 2 Chronicles 17:7; 2 Chronicles 34:30).  Between these readings are hundreds of years.  Certainly, the law could have been read and not recorded but scholars say that the fact the reading of the law is recorded with so many years in-between was because it was such a rare event.  Can you imagine how history would be different if the people had obeyed and read the law–like today if we did as well?

Deuteronomy 32 is the song Moses wrote down for God’s people.

Here we see the completion of the first five books of the Bible (also known as the Pentateuch which means five scrolls in Greek or the Torah in the Jewish tradition) in verse 24 written by Moses.  It is assumed by scholars that the last three books of Deuteronomy were written by Joshua (or by a scribe he appointed) to record the end of Moses’ life.

Note how the Ten Commandments is inside the ark but the first five books of the bible is beside the ark. I see this as so it’s readily available to the priests for teaching purposes.

God’s word is also a witness against us.  We often think of the Bible as our helper, which it is. It is also our condemner as well when we don’t read it, don’t follow it, and don’t obey.  For it is right before us and we choose to turn the other way.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 18, Day 3: Numbers 5:1-6:21

Summary of passage:  Numbers 5:  The Lord told Moses to send away those who were unclean with infectious skin disease or otherwise outside camp so they would not defile the camp. Restitution must be made if another man wrongs another says the Lord.  If a man suspects his wife has been unfaithful, he is to bring her to the priest who will perform a ceremony where if she is guilty she will be cursed with barrenness or with miscarriages.  If she is not guilty, she will be free of guilt and will bear children.

Numbers 6:1-21:  If a man or woman wants to make a vow of separation to God, he or she must not drink alcohol, not shave their hair or cut it, and not go near dead bodies.  After his period of separation is over, offerings are made and the hair is shaved off.

Questions:

6a)  He commanded the Israelites to send away anyone with an infectious skin disease, a discharge, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body.  He commanded the Israelites to make full restitution for wrongs committed.  He commanded the Israelites to resolve their marital questions about faithfulness through a mediator (the priest).

b)  It set God’s people apart from the prevailing cultures around them.  The Egyptians who were famous for embalming and worshipping the dead and the Phoenicians who used sex (discharge) in religious ceremonies.

c) It cleared their name if they were suspect and innocent.  In ancient times, women could be killed if suspected of being unfaithful.  This ensured men could not kill their wives–innocent or guilty–because of adultery.

7a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Publicly declaring yourself to God.  Visually being different from those around you so others can see your dedication and your testimony to the One, True God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Every Christian is set apart from others as they walk with the Holy Spirit as their guide.  Yes, as I try to discover God’s will for my life and follow that instead of doing my own thing as prevalent in today’s society.  I try to walk His walk and do His calling.  Currently, my family and I are looking into sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about since the Compassion Experience recently came to my area a few months ago and after that I felt it was His will for my life to do that.  It’s following God’s promptings in all aspects of your life that set you apart–not the big things but the little things.

Conclusions:  No where is the separateness of God’s people from Him more noticeable than here in the pages of Numbers.  As we see Israel’s struggle to become close to God and still never succeeded, those of us in the here and now on this side of heaven should be falling to our knees, praising God for His son, for His way of finally being with Him.  Jesus is the only way to bridge the gap between God and man.  Sometimes in our culture we take that too casually.  Yes, God is approachable and wants to be with us.  Still, reverence He requires and sometimes I think we are too casual with God.  Here, in Numbers, we are reminded of just how privileged we are to be with Him and we need to remember that when we are with Him–in prayer and every day as we follow the Holy Spirit.

End Notes:  Numbers 5:  God dwelled with His people.  He could not tolerate sin.  Hence, these commands to rid the camp of unclean people.

Numbers 5:11-31 was God’s way of dealing with jealousy in a marriage.  This trial is reflective of other “trials of ordeal” common in the Middle East at this time.  This is the only one in the Bible and there is no Biblical record that this was ever performed.  This ceremony was mostly show and to imbibe a guilty conscience if one was cheating on their spouse.  It does demonstrate how God thinks about jealousy:  enough to initiate a ceremony to combat it.  Jealousy in a marriage ends many.  God knows that and wanted us to know that as well.

Chapter 5 speaks to purity:  of heart and with others.  So make restitution today if you need to and be pure all of your days in relationships.

Numbers 6:1-21:  The Hebrew word for Nazirite means “set apart”.  Death is the consequence of sin; hence, the separation during the Nazirite’s vow so he or she would not be near sin.

Samson’s strength came from his vow of separation.  He did drink and touch dead bodies, but it was when his hair was cut by Delilah that he lost his strength. (Judges)

If the vow was broken, then one had to start all over again.

Famous Nazirites:  Samson, John the Baptist, and Paul.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 16, Day 2: Leviticus 16:1-14

Summary of passage:  After Aaron’s two sons died when they approached the Lord unannounced (Leviticus 10), the Lord warns Moses to tell Aaron to not approach the Most Holy Place when he chooses, because He dwells there.  The Lord tells Moses exactly how Aaron is to approach Him:  cleansed and with sacrifices and proper atonement.

Questions:

3)  The Ark holds the laws and commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai.  The atonement cover is the cover of the ark where the Lord dwells here on earth.  The Most Holy Place is an area in the tabernacle where only the High Priest (right now Aaron) may enter and where the Ark is placed where the Lord dwells.

4a)  Well, I would think killing Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10 would be a very clear statement.  But here in Leviticus 16, the Lord lays out specifically how to approach Him and says specifically “not to come whenever he (Aaron) chooses” verse 2.  The whole passage lays out the proper way to approach the Lord.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Well, it should be an example to follow in that when we approach the Lord it should be reverently and with the proper attitude.  It shouldn’t just be “on a whim” or “when we feel like it” or someone dares us to or you’re drunk.  It should be as God’s humble servant.  In my life, I should have the proper fear of the Lord when I speak to Him.  That is all He asks of us.

It should also humble you, knowing that because of Jesus, we can approach God without all of this elaborate ceremony.  Romans 5:1-2 assures us that through faith in Jesus, we have access to God so not just one guy, but all of us.  It increases my gratitude, my reverence, my total reliance on God.

5a)  One goat was to be sacrificed to pay the penalty of man for his sins by dying as a sin offering and through its blood.  The other goat that went into the desert symbolically carried all the sins of the Israelites into the desert.  The word “scapegoat” (escape goat) comes from here and today is used to mean anyone who takes the blame for something someone else or other people did.

This is a picture of Jesus:  one paid the penalty for our sins; the other took our sins away.  Awesome!

b)  Blood is required to make atonement with the Lord and receive His forgiveness.  The blood of the bull was required so Aaron himself could be cleansed and Aaron’s household BEFORE he could make atonement for the Israelites.  He himself had to be cleansed first.

c)  Aaron is to bring the bull and slaughter it to make atonement for his own sin and for his household.  Then he is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain.  There he is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord and the smoke will conceal the atonement cover so that he will not die.  Then he is to sprinkle some of the bull’s blood on the front of the atonement cover.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Again “this” is vague to me and we’re talking about atoning for sin here, not praying, and we’re talking about Aaron so far in this passage, not others.  This passage describes how Aaron is to approach the Lord so he won’t die in His presence and how he must be cleansed first before he can cleanse the people.  I would assume we should come with a clean heart to Jesus before we pray for others?  That would be what this passage implies; yet, with Jesus we can pray any time we like.  Basically, I will pray for others.  That’s what I get out of this.

Conclusions:  I think I was in a foul mood when I did this lesson.  Didn’t like 5c at all and in general I  don’t like these kinds of questions where we have to type up the Bible word-for-word and still not for sure how we get praying for others out of atoning for sin here.

I do get a renewed appreciation for how simple life and God is with Jesus. We don’t have to go through elaborate ceremonies to be with Him.  We have Him (the Holy Spirit) and that is all we need.

End Notes:  The Day of Atonement was the only day the high priest was allowed to call God by “Yahweh”, His True Name.  He was the only one and this was the only time.  He was to pass on the pronunciation of God’s name with his last dying breath to the next High Priest.

In the Old Testament, sin was merely covered over with the sacrificial blood; it was never taken away.  In the New Testament, sin is taken away by Jesus.  So the idea behind the blood being sprinkled on the atonement cover was so when God looked down from above, He’d see the blood instead of the sin, hence making atonement with Him.

The goat is comparable to Jesus.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 11, Day 4: Exodus 32:25-29

Summary of passage:  Moses was not pleased that Aaron had made the Israelites a laughingstock to the world. Moses asks whomever is for God to come to him. The Levites come. God told the Levites to kill everyone else who is not for the Lord and they killed about 3000 that day. They will now be set apart and blessed for their loyalty to God.

Questions:

8a)  They were running wild, not thinking or caring about their sin

b)  Aaron

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am responsible for those in my charge.  I set the environment and if it’s sinful, then all will be infected.  If it’s full of God, all will be filled with God.  I need to be more mindful of what I do.

9a)  He asked, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.”  Those who didn’t come to him, were slaughtered.

b)  As punishment/judgment for their sin for He knew their hearts would never change.  The same reason why He wanted to kill all of them in Exodus 32:10.

c)  They were set apart as disciples (and we know as priests) for the Lord.  They became worthy of the Lord because they put Him above their brothers, sons, and family.

Conclusions:  Like yesterday, another easy day.  We are all responsible for ourselves as well even if we have no one immediate under us or in our care.  We affect everyone we come into contact with.  We either shine the Lord or we don’t.  Which are you?

Again like with Pharaoh who witnessed God firsthand, we see here that some people will never change and will never come to the Lord and we can do nothing about it and neither can God.  In this case, He kills them as their judgment.  Good reminder in our struggles with others to come to God.  We can only do so much.

End Notes:  Other translations say the people were “unrestrained”.  Basically, they had no moral compass and were following whatever made them feel good.  Hence, their hearts were hard and they paid the ultimate price.

The Levites were the only group who decided, acted, and separated for God.  So we must as well.

Stand for God, or you stand for nothing.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 1, Day 3: Exodus 1:22

Summary of passage:  “The Pharaoh gave this order to all his people:  ‘Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.'”

Questions:

6a)  He told everyone to kill every male child and did not leave it up to the midwives to accomplish this goal.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  You are often taken down before you are brought back up.  During our bankruptcy it seemed every time we turned around we lost something else.  But it did get better and my family knew God had a plan.

7)  Genesis 15:13-14:  They are accustomed to suffering.  They know they will suffer but that God is just and will punish their oppressors in His time.  God’s plan is great.  They will be blessed after their suffering.

Isaiah 43:1-4:  God will redeem them after the suffering.  Nothing shall harm them.  They shall be rewarded.

John 16:33:  In God we will have peace during our troubles.  Since God has overcome the world, so we shall overcome our trials.

2 Corinthians 1:4,9:  God comforts us in our troubles and our troubles allows us to rely on Him and not on ourselves.

8a)  It would give them hope and strength and faith to endure the persecution for God’s planned redemption would come.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My current difficulty and frustration right now is my book.  I am facing another whole re-write and no part of me wants to do it.  I am sick of it.  Hence, I am here, doing my blog instead, taking a break.  Still, it gnaws at me as I do believe it to be God’s plan.  But no part of His plan is easy.

Conclusions:  We see Pharaoh’s determination to rid himself of the Israelites by commanding all his people to kill newborn males.  Some scholars say this command also included killing male Egyptian babies as well but some translations just say Hebrew boys.  This point is debated.  Personally, I don’t see Egyptians killing their own for that would end their race as well.  We can tell the conflict between the Egyptians and the Hebrews is about to come to a head.

Key Point:  trust and obey even through suffering as we shall see God’s people do (for the most part–at least until the Wilderness where time takes its toll).

We have all suffered.  It is how we respond to suffering that counts.