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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 2, Day 5: Matthew 2:19-23

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 2:19-23

An angel of the Lord appeared again to Joseph after Herod had died and told them to return to Israel. Archelaus, Herod’s son, followed Herod on the throne of Judea. Joseph was afraid to return. Joseph was warned in a dream so he went to Galilee to a town called Nazareth, fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus being called a Nazarene.

BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 4: MATTHEW 2:13-18

13 ) Archelaus, Herod’s son, followed Herod on the throne of Judea. Joseph was afraid to return. Consequently, Joseph was warned in a dream so he went to Galilee to a town called Nazareth, fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus being called a Nazarene.

14a ) The Bible foretold the King would come from Nazareth.

b ) In truth, all of us come from unexpected places since no place is truly more significant than another. Anything good can come from anywhere.

15 ) In every way. God has always guided me and protected me throughout all of the events of my life.

CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 4: MATTHEW 2:13-18

God draws us to Him one step at a time. The journey of our faith doesn’t happen by leaps and bounds; it’s in the little faithful doings when we say “Yes, Lord” when we grow until one day, we are His.

END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 4: MATTHEW 2:13-18

map of ancient galilee and egypt www.atozomm.comAgain, we see “child” mentioned first in reference to this event, emphasizing Jesus’s importance over others.

Archelaus, Herod’s son, was just as cruel as his father, which is why Joseph was hesitant to return. He killed indisciminantly, too. He ended up being replaced as ruler because of his incompetency.

God directs Joseph to settle in Galilee in the town of Nazareth, knowing that those people would need Jesus. Nazareth was an insignificant little town that has a not-so-stellar reputation. Here, Jesus, the King of the World, would come forth. Jesus who stood for the everyman and was for every man would be raised as no one special. That means that we all can start from nowhere and achieve great things with God.

God and Jesus’s glory will never be snuffed out. If you continue on God’s path, yours won’t either. Take his hand, and walk with him today!

Contact me with questions today!

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 2, Day 4: Matthew 2:13-18

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 2:13-18

An angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and tells him to go to Egypt for Herod is searching for Jesus to kill him.  Mary, Joseph, and Jesus all fled in the middle of the night. They stayed there until Herod died. Herod had all of the boys in Bethlehem and the surrounding area under the age of 2 killed in an effort to kill Jesus. Hosea prophesied this.

BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 4: MATTHEW 2:13-18

9 ) The threat to his crown

10a ) God sends an angel of the Lord to protect Jesus and his family. Joseph obeyed immediately, fleeing in the middle of the night. When God calls, you answer. There is no room for hesitancy.

b ) God’s people frequently flees to Egypt for protection, like during the famine. This is for protection and survival. Jesus will redeed us from sin like Moses did the ancient Israelites when he led them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Hosea predicted this so this shows the legitimacy of the Bible.

11a ) Killing innocent children.

b ) Proverbs 21:30 “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.” The insecurity of my future. Nothing happens without God and it being in his plan.

12 ) Matthew uses this verse to portray Rachel weeping over Herod’s slaughter of all baby boys in Bethlehem. But God answers, showing He is there and is planning redemption.

CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 4: MATTHEW 2:13-18

I don’t remember this either. It amazes me to what lengths mankind will go to to try to circumvent God. They lose every time.

Great book on angels!

END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 4: MATTHEW 2:13-18

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fled 225 miles to Egypt at God’s warning. In ancient times, a lot of Jews lived in Egypt, and Herod had no control there. Bible scholars believe this was right after the Magis left. This was a long journey in ancient times, which shows again that God doesn’t usually take the easy way. In fact, God often uses ordinary means.

We can only guess at how long the family stays in Egypt; we are not told. Some say months; others say years.

Herod’s fear turns to murdering children. God weeps for them.

We should expect opposition too as we follow Jesus. Instead of lamenting it, use God’s strength to grow stronger in faith and overcome. The prophecy from Hosea 11:1 is fulfilled here, as God calls his son out of Egypt to save the world.

Ordering the death of innocent children was completely in line with Herod as a cruel leader that we know him to be. At that time, there would not have been many children tpu to death since Bethlehem was a small town. In ancient times, whole towns and peoples would be wiped out on a regular basis due to war, which may explain why this event is not recorded elsewhere in history. In truth, this was an everyday occurence, so there was nothing special about it.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 2, Day 3: Matthew 2:9-12

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 2:9-12

The Magi went on their way after talking to King Herod. They followed the star until they saw where it had stopped over the place where Jesus was. They saw Jesus with Mary and worshipped him. The Magi gave Jesus gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh. They did not report back to Herod (having been warned in a dream), so they returned home a different way.

BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 3: MATTHEW 2:9-12

6 ) The Magi followed the star until they saw where it had stopped over the place where Jesus was. God wanted to make it clear who the real King was to them. God is gracious, indeed.

7a ) You should go to great lengths to worship Jesus and God. The Magis traveled very far on a long journey to see this King and give him gifts and worship. You and I, too, should go to great lengths to worship him.

7b ) Remembering all that Jesus did for me, all of my blessings, and praising him for those blessings and my life.

8 ) The Magi were warned in a dream to not to go back to Herod. This ensured Herod would not find Jesus and kill him.

CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 3: MATTHEW 2:9-12

This is a great example of ignoring what your leaders tell you when it puts others in harm’s way. The Magi did not trust Herod, and since they were from another country, they were not obligated to follow his orders. Also, this is a great example of going out of your way to worship the One, True King.

END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 3: MATTHEW 2:9-12

The star continually guided the Magi. This indicates that it was obviously from a supernatural power (God himself). It shows God’s care for them. And, it gives us hope that God will guide us with signs, too.

Bible scholars debate is this is where the idea of the halo comes from with the star’s light falling upon Jesus’s head.

Jesus is a child here, so at least six months old. Matthew mentions Jesus first, as fitting a king (which breaks with ancient tradition). And, note that Joseph is no where to be found. This was so that Magis would not think Joseph was the father of the child.

The fact that the Magi offered three gifts gave rise to the notion of three Magi.

Even though the Magi gave the gifts to Jesus, the parents would use them — and indeed they did. It wasn’t cheap to flee to Egypt (coming up). God provides all that we need, when we need it.

When compared to the shepherds’ visit (Luke 2:15-20), you’ll see that they offered what they could — their hearts — instead of expensive gifts. We need to offer what we can.

Note God’s control over the entire situation (every situation, in fact), as well as his control over Herod. He guides the Magi to the precise location of Jesus. Moreover, they worship him with expensive gifts. God sends a dream (one of five dreams in Matthew 1-2) that will protect Jesus from the Enemy.

The Magi themselves relentlessly pursued Jesus and worshipped him when they arrived. So must we.

God is great and actively working in your life. Seek Him today!

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

Summary of Genesis 37:1-11:

Joseph was Israel’s/Jacob’s favorite son, being the oldest son of Rachel. At age 17, he attended the flocks. He was given a rich robe as his father’s favorite, which made all of his brothers hate him. Joseph had a prophetic dream where his sheave of grain rose up and his brothers’ sheaves gathered around him and bowed down to it.  This angered his brothers who understood the meaning and said he would never rule over them. Joseph had another dream where the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowed down to him. He told his brothers this dream and his father who rebuked him, saying that does he expect his mother, him and his brothers to bow down to him? His brothers again grew jealous, but Jacob knew it was from God and remembered it.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

3) His dreams

4a) God planned for Joseph to be the leader of Egypt.

b) God is good and great.

5) Jacob knew this dream was from God.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

Joseph is my absolute favorite person in the Bible (after Jesus, of course). I love this story!

Unsure why Joseph would tell his brothers his dreams, especially his second dream. Either 1) he was bragging or 2) he was utterly clueless how everyone hated him. Then again, he is a teenager. He has A LOT to learn about the world and how it works.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

We immediately notice that the family of Jacob is dysfunctional with kids from four different women, Jacob playing favorites amongst his kids and his wives, and the brothers murdering a whole town over the reputation of their sister. Yet, the story of Jospeh, Jacob, and Abraham is about God’s triumph over sin. He uses all of us despite our sins.

Joseph tattled on his brothers, which did not help his case.

The coat of many colors was probably not a work coat but one meant to show privilege.

Joseph’s First Dream

The first dream of Joseph conveyed the fact that he would rule over his brothers with the sheaves bowing down to him. Note the symbolism of the sheaves since Joseph will meet his brothers in Egypt when they come for grain during the famine.

Joseph’s Second Dream

Joseph’s second dream revealed that Joseph would be over his father and mother, as well as his brothers. This made everyone angry. This illustrates that sometimes keeping information to yourself, even if it’s from God, is best for all involved.

Note that here Rachel seems to still be alive Genesis 35:16-20,. This shows that Genesis is not in chronological order, probably to keep the story of Joseph as one whole here.

Note that most likely Jacob is ending his tale here and Joseph is picking it up so Joseph is telling his remembrances. Genesis 37:2This is the genealogy of Jacob. You’ll see these transitions elsewhere in the book of Genesis Genesis 5:16:9 and 25:19.

The sun, moon, and stars represents those from Jacob. We see this again in Revelation 12:1 as we Jesus coming from Israe.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 2, Day 4: Genesis 1:20-25

Summary of passage:  God created living creatures in the water and birds to fly in the skies.  He saw that it was good and blessed them to multiply and fill the earth–the fifth day.

Sixth day:  God created living creatures (both domestic and wild) to fill the land.  He saw that it was good.

Questions:

8a)  Orderly process.  He fills the seas with living creatures and the sky with birds  (He separated these first so He fills these first).  The He populates the land with creatures, which follows since He separated dry land after He separated out the sky.

b)  Here BSF mentions evolution but does nothing to explain the the term.  BSF assumes everyone knows what evolution is which I can tell you right now my kids have no clue what evolution is.  They kind of do from all the dinosaur books we read but could not explain the theory.

Evolution is a complicated theory and even scientists have different definitions.  There is also the evolution of the universe and biological evolution (the evolution of life forms).

So this question I think would be best answered keeping it as general and as simple as possible.  Since we are talking about life forms on the fifth and sixth day of creation, we will stick with biological here.

Biological evolution is the process that results in changes in a population spread over many generations.

To me, I define evolution as the idea that all life evolved from a single-celled microorganism over billions of years.  Obviously, Genesis states God created every kind of plant and animal–nothing evolved over time.

God created; not time.

9a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Ephesians tells us to be filled with the Spirit.  I don’t think me life is right now.  It’s pretty chaotic around here.  So much going on: caring for and teaching my kids, running my household, kids activities, meeting husband’s needs, working out, carving out a niche of time to be with God (bible study) and do His will (my novel).  This is my typical day.

I need to pray more.  Give more.  Reflect God more.  Love more.

b)  Personal question.  My answer:  He has reinforced old ideas and desires, not necessarily new.  Refocused I guess.  I gotta get my query letter done and get it out to agents.  I gotta quit cussing.  I gotta be more grateful and thankful for all that I have.  I gotta be a life-giver, not a life-drainer.

c)  Personal question.  My answer:  Watching my tongue more.  Being more encouraging.  Praying more and thanking more.  Caring for others more than myself.

Conclusions:  To be honest, I didn’t really like this lesson.  8b seems obvious if you are a believer what the answer should be.  But it just seems out of place and presumptuous–to throw in the theory of evolution without discussing it first.  It’s like assuming everyone knows what “pop” is.

Question 9 is a good reminder of what I should be doing.  But I don’t have any new ideas. God’s word is timeless.  How you should live has not changed and never will change.  Nothing should be “new” unless you just learned it.  I know how I should be filling my life and I’m not.  I guess that’s why I don’t like it.  I don’t want to change.  But I know it’s time.  And re-prioritizing is never easy.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 2, Day 3: Genesis 1:3-19

Summary of passage:  God made light and separated it from the darkness.  He called the light “day” and the dark “night”. God made an expanse between the waters to separate them, creating “sky”.  He gathered the waters to create dry ground, which He named “land.”  The water was called “seas”.  Then God made vegetation on the land.  And God saw all this was good.

God made lights to separate the day and night and so they would serve as signs to mark the seasons, days, and years and to give light on earth.  These lights were the sun and the moon and the stars and God saw that it was good.

Questions:

5)  God himself is light so the light on the first day is God.  You could also say it’s God bringing his light or knowledge of himself to the world and into our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).  Light is Truth.

The lights on the fourth day are the sun (the greater light to govern the day) and the moon (the lesser light to govern the night) and the stars (which could include the constellations)–literal objects to provide light.  Both were made to separate the light from the darkness.

6a)  The main purpose of all is to separate out night and day, light from dark.  The sun’s main purpose is to govern the day and serve as signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.  The moon’s purpose is the same:  to give light at night just not as much.  The stars give light as well.  All govern the night and the day.

b)  Psalm 8:3-4:  The glory of God (got this from verse 1).  The love of a God who can create such marvels, yet He still cares for such lowly beings as man.

Psalm 19:1-6:  The glory of God; the work of His hands.  They pour forth knowledge of God, proclaiming His divinity so that all will know Him (much like Romans 1:18-20).

Jeremiah 8:7:  Literally, as signals for the birds of the world to migrate.  Broadly, as signs for all animals in their life cycle such as when to migrate, hibernate, breed, etc.

Matthew 2:2:  As a sign of Jesus Christ’s coming

Acts 2:19-20; Revelation 8:12:  As signs of the end times when the sun will be turned to dark and the moon to blood and other wonders in the heavens above.

7a)  Miraculously.  He designed everything perfectly.  Orderly.  He starts with light, separated it from the darkness.  Separated the seas to make the sky.  Made dry ground.  Produced vegetation on this dry ground.  Made the moon and the stars for light at night.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To my new home, to my life without my first dog, to getting back in the routine of school after our move.

Conclusions:  This lesson was a bit tricky.  I had to go back and re-read the first day where God created light and analyze it (initially, I got it wrong). It’s hard for us humans because light to us means the sun.  Sun gives life.  Without it we can’t survive.  Plants won’t grow.  We need sunlight to be healthy.  It’s essential to life on earth for earth cannot exist without the sun.

What we miss and what we commonly don’t connect is that God made the sun to give life. He is the ultimate giver.  He gave us life and created a light source to sustain us while we are here on earth.

Yes, we cannot exist without the sun.  But the sun cannot exist without God.  Therefore we cannot exist without God.

It’s that math common math problem:  If a needs b and b needs c, then a must need c.  Or another way:

If a equals b and b equals c, then a must equal c.

Wish more non-believers would see it this way…

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 2, Day 2: Genesis 1:3-5

Passage:  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”  And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.

Questions:

3)  Genesis 1:3-5:  By creating it and separating it from the darkness for us, giving us morning and evening so we could see since our eyes do not see without light

Psalm 18:28:  He keeps my lamp burning and turns my darkness into light–both literally and figuratively by keeping the devil at bay through His strength

Psalm 36:9:  God is the fountain of life and in His light we see light, meaning in His light (under his loving influence) we see and understand His love in all that surrounds us.

Psalm 119:105,130:  God’s word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (so we can see where we are going.  Hopefully it’s His way and His path).

His word gives light and understanding to the simple.  We understand better when we read God’s word.

John 1:4-8:  God gave life, which is the light of men.  This light shines in the darkness and the darkness (devil) does not understand it.  John (the Baptist) was sent from God as a witness to the light so that all men might believe.

Here, they are speaking of Jesus as the light of the world.  Through Jesus God gives us light.

John 3:19-21:  Light is here but men still chose darkness.  These people hate the light because the light exposes those evil deeds.  Whoever lives by the truth (God’s word and laws) comes into the light and shows all the evil doers that what you have done is through God.

Light exposes evil.  Light overshadows the evil when we do good.

John 8:12:  Jesus says he is the light of the world and whoever follows him will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6:  God has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of Jesus.  God made His light (Jesus) shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

We know God through Jesus, the light.

1 Peter 2:9:  God’s chosen people were called out of darkness into His light (knowledge of Him).  Light serving as a beacon.

1 John 1:7-10:  Please start reading at verse 5:  Verse 5 declares outright God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we walk in the light (in Jesus and with Jesus and God) we have fellowship with one another, with Jesus, and we are purified of our sins.

4a)  Having Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the faith, the belief of Jesus in your heart gives you light; whereas, non-believers do not have this light.  We shine this light wherever we go.  It should be evident in our actions that we have Jesus.  If we do evil and walk in darkness, we are not living by the truth (and probably don’t have Jesus).  1 John 1:5-7.

Matthew 6:22-23:  The eye (where we see light) is our lamp.  If we are good, we will be full of light.  If your eyes are bad (if you are evil or you shine evil or you do evil), you will be full of darkness.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17:  Light cannot exist with darkness (remember in God there is no darkness).  Thus, do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  Today this would read “don’t hang out with unbelievers”.  For their beliefs will influence yours.  Choose your friends wisely.

Unbelievers are in the dark.  Believers are in the light.  They cannot co-mingle.

[If you did the study of Acts last year, this discussion will be familiar.  It’s not to say not to talk or shun unbelievers or share the light with them.  It is to say don’t spend all your free time with unbelievers who could unduly influence you.]

Ephesians 5:8, 11-12:  Reflects 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 exactly.  Live as children of light.  Ephesians 5 speaks to avoiding darkness and do what pleases the Lord.  Do not be partners with those who are disobedient for God’s wrath will be upon them.

Be imitators of God; be careful how you live; speak words of psalms and praise to each other and not obscene language.  Speak of gratitude and thanksgiving from your tongue.  Always give thanks to the Lord.

Philippians 2:15:  We (believers) shine like the stars in the universe when we embrace the word of life (Jesus and God) and obey His commands.  God will work in you to do His good purpose (Philippians 2:13).

Revelation 21:23-27:  In the final days, there will be no darkness for darkness does not exist with God.  The moon and the sun will no longer be needed for the glory of God will light the entire city/world as Jesus is the lamp.  The nations will follow God’s laws (His light).  Only those saved will exist there for no evil will enter.

Isaiah 60:19:  “The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My potty mouth, my bitterness, my anger.  I need to hold my tongue more.  Not release my wrath to others and give it to God.

Conclusions:  Wow!  Exactly what I needed this morning.  A study on how I am good even though I never think so.  A review of some of my favorite passages from last year’s study of Acts.  I am reminded of how I am supposed to reflect God’s light everywhere I go and how I am supposed to be an imitator of God, giving Him praise and thanksgiving as much as possible every day all day long.  How I must speak words of love to all around me.

Gives me something to work on.  I admit I had become complacent this summer in terms of my growth.  I have had so much going on (trying to buy a house, dog dying, moving, school getting started again, finishing my novel) that I have neglected God’s word.  BSF reminds me every fall how I need to stay in it.  Even if only for 5 minutes a day.

Explanation of light:  All light is white light.  The sun is actually shining white light, but the white light is actually all the colors of the rainbow put together except for black.  We only see color because each light beam is a different wavelength and when these individual beams bounce off of things, we see what is left.  The rest of the lights are absorbed by the object.  You see the color that has bounced.

The sky is blue because of our atmosphere.  Our atmosphere absorbs a huge amount of light and what you see is the blue light waves that have bounced off of it.

Our eyes are designed to see with light.  Without our eyes to see the color and our brains to interpret it, we wouldn’t see anything.  Even at night, there is some light somewhere in the house or from the moon so we can see.  Otherwise, it would be pitch black.  Objects are black because they absorb all the colors of light.

God designed us this way.  Some animals can see in the dark.  Their eyes are designed and shaped differently than ours.  But there is still light.  These animals just need much less than we do.

Hence, you could say by itself light is invisible.  Everything is invisible until light strikes it and bends around it.  Then we see color.

Black is not a color for no light bounces off of black.  It absorbs all of the light.  The color of the devil and what we are most afraid of is nothing.  Fascinating, isn’t it?

Explanation summarized from my kids’ Astronomy textbook entitled Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright P.20-23.

Side Note on the passage John 1:4-8:  I am deeply surprised that BSF did not make us read the John 1:1-8.  Here is the crux of the matter, where we are told Jesus was there from the beginning, that Jesus is the Word, Jesus was with God, Jesus is God, and Jesus was there from the beginning.

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Notice God “created”.  He didn’t “speak”.  I had always pictured God as speaking the heavens and the earth but now I see Him as merely doing it.

This brings into the discussion of did God know man was to Fall and Jesus was planned from the beginning?  Or did Jesus just always exist (yes, He did) but God was hoping He wouldn’t have to send him?  It’s the question of Free Will and how much does man control his own destiny and does God know it all.  See previous post HERE

I believe God knows what we are going to do before we do it, that He does know all.  So He knew we’d Fall.  He’d sacrifice His only Son.  Yet He did it ANYWAYS!!!  That’s the depth of His love for us.

So the question becomes:  Would you?

Advice to all:  When given all these different passages to look up, take the time to read before and after it.  Especially this time there was a ton more listed before that was relevant to the subject of light.  You have to understand the context of these passages in order to divine its meaning.  Otherwise a verse here and there can seem completely irrelevant.

I know it’s time-consuming.  But anything worth doing takes time.  You just have to prioritize.  The study of God’s word is not the place to cut corners.  Watching less TV, reading one less chapter in your engrossing book, or giving up sleep (this is how I do this) are some places to cut.

Here’s a great verse by verse explanation on John 1:  http://www.fridaystudy.org/html/john/john1.htm