BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 12, Day 3: Romans 7:7-13

Summary of passage: The law reveals what sin is as man’s natural tendency is to break the law.  The law defined sin and therefore gave birth to sin and with sin the consequence of death ensued.

Questions:

6)  The law reveals what sin is as man’s natural tendency is to break the law.  The law defined sin and therefore gave birth to sin and with sin the consequence of death ensued.  Sin uses the law to cause us to rebel more.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All sin is harmful, period.  In short, sin draws me away from God.  That’s the most potent consequence.  The rest is varied based on the sin.  You can both spiritually and emotionally harm your body, mind, and emotions.  Sin reveals what God is not and does not want and magnifies His holiness.  I respond by obeying Him with reverent awe.

Conclusions:  2 questions on some of the most key verses in all of the Bible.

End Notes:  Paul is now answering the question raised, “Well if the law is bad, is the law sin?”  Paul says, “No.  The law is good because it reveals sin to us.”  Sin, however, corrupts the law because of our natural tendency to break what is forbidden to us.  The desire is awakened by the prohibition.  Look at Prohibition in the United States.  Once a law is instituted we want to break it.

The word opportunity in the original is a military term meaning a base of operations where sin is awaiting a chance to spring from.

The weakness isn’t the law–it’s us.  We took something good–God’s law–and turned it to evil.

Paul was once alive because he didn’t know or understand the law like children.  He had not been put to death yet because of the law.  With the knowledge of law, it excited our rebellion, bringing sin and death.  Paul is either referring to the time before his bar mitzvah or before his conversion where the true rigor of the law became clear to him (Luke 18:20-21; Philippians 3:6).

The law does not deceive us.  It’s the sin that uses the law to cause us to rebel.  The truth sets us free from the deception of the law (John 8:32).

Sin kills us.  Satan tries to twist this by making sin seem like a good thing that God merely wants to deprive us of (Eve, anyone?)

There is nothing wrong with the law.  The law is holy.  The problem lies within man.  However, because of man’s nature, sin ends up corrupting the law so we must die to both (Romans 6:2; 7:4).

The law, however, is good because it makes our sin more pronounced so we recognize it!

Sin becomes utterly sinful by hiding within God’s good laws.

Explanation on BSF’s note (Romans 7:13-25):  Whether Paul is describing a Christian or non-Christian experience here has been hotly debated through the centuries.

Argument supporting non-Christian life:

  1. The use of the phrases such as “sold as a slave to sin”, “I know that good itself does not dwell in me” and “What a wretched man I am” which do not seem to describe a Christian experience
  2. the contrast between chapters 7 & 8, making it difficult for the other view to be credible
  3. the problem of the value of conversion if one ends up in spiritual misery.

Argument supporting Christian life:

  1. the use of the present tense throughout the passage
  2. Paul’s humble opinion of himself (vs 18)
  3. his high regard for God’s law (vs 14, 16)
  4. the location of this passage in the section of Romans where Paul is dealing with sanctification–the growth of the Christian in holiness.
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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 3, Day 4: John 2:18-22

Summary of passage:  After the turning over the moneylenders’ tables, Jesus was asked for a sign by the Jews of his authority.  Jesus told them to destroy this temple and he would raise it again in 3 days.  The Jews thought he meant the Temple in Jerusalem but Jesus meant his body as a temple and that he would rise again in 3 days.  Only after his death was Jesus’ words understood.

Questions:

9a)  Jesus just proved he had the authority to drive the moneylenders out of the temple by doing it.  Here, the people demanded a sign, they didn’t ask for one.  Only prophets could do so; hence, they doubted Jesus as the Messiah.  The proof was in the act itself.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’ve asked for a sign in terms of making a decision but never a sign to confirm His authority over me.

10a)  Jesus points to his resurrection as proof of his authority, which the people did not understand until after the fact.    They believe he is speaking of the physical temple in Jerusalem where God dwells.  He completely ignored their request and instead offered a challenge:  Destroy me and I’ll rise again.  In essence telling them they can’t destroy him for he is God.

b)  Witnesses claimed Jesus had said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in 3 days.”  Jesus actually said was if you destroy the temple (himself), he will rise again in 3 days.  They twisted the usage of the word temple and added the pronoun “I”.  Jesus would not destroy anything; the people themselves are the destroyers.

Conclusions:  Good dissection of the passage.  Not much to add except in 9a.  No one knew Jesus because this is at the beginning of his ministry.  It’s not wrong to ask for a sign nor is it rebellious.  I think Jews were genuinely confused by Jesus’ behavior, given only the magistrates had such authority to drive people from the temple.  It’s right to question those who claim they are prophets.  What went wrong here is 1) they demanded a sign instead of asked for one  2) the people missed the fact that by Jesus doing what he did (something incredible and the mere execution of it proved he had a divine commission) he had just proved himself with this miracle.  So the people are asking for a miracle on top of a miracle.  That is where the rebellion piece kicks in.  They are doubting Jesus as the Messiah.

End Notes:  Jesus claimed the power to raise Himself from the dead, and He repeated the claim in John 10:18.  The New Testament also claims that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 6:4 and Galatians 1:1), and that the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead (Romans 1:4 and 8:11).  The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a work of each Person of the Trinity, each working together as One–The Triune God.  Cool!

Jesus purposely avoids answering the question and instead answers with another statement which he explains to his disciples is frequent in the book of John.  It’s also classic rhetoric in ancient Greek society to answer a question with a question made popular by the ancient philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato.

“The Scripture” the disciples believed is Psalm 16:10:  “…because you will not abandon me to the grave nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”

After Jesus’ death, it became clear how the physical body is a temple when inhabited by the Holy Spirit.  We see this in Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5, and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.  Another example of how God reveals us things when He is ready, and how there are things we do not and cannot understand–only God does.

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 5: Revelation 1:9-20

Summary of passage: John was exiled to the island of Patmos because of his beliefs in Jesus. He heard a voice tell him to write down and send to the seven churches a message. The 7 churches were: Ephesus Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

John saw 7 golden lamp stands and Jesus dressed in a robe and a golden sash. He held 7 stars in his right hand and a sword came out of his mouth. Jesus put his hand on John and told him he is God and he holds the keys of death and Hades. He commands John to write what he has seen, including how the 7 stars represent the angels of the 7 churches and the 7 lamp stands are the 7 churches.

Questions:

12)  Verse 20 tells us:  “The seven lamp stands are the seven churches” previously mentioned:  Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

13)  Jesus is the Son of Man.  He is dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  His head and hair were white like wool and snow and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.  His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

[Side Note:  The “Ancient of Days” in Daniel is God, harking back to God at the beginning, the Alpha.  In Daniel 7:22, the “Ancient of Days” is Jesus.  All are one as the Triune God.]

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  [BSF is assuming John is the Apostle John.  Seems to be BSF’s belief here.  The question is referring to John the Apostle.  John of Revelation or John of Patmos NEVER states he knew Jesus personally or was a “close friend”.]  John was overwhelmed seeing Jesus in his heavenly glory.  This teaches me not to judge others as they may cloak their true personas.  In worship, Jesus deserves all the glory for who he is.  Falling at someone’s feet is a sign of great respect and awe in the Bible.  I would imagine he was dumbfounded and speechless as I would be!

Conclusions:  I am a bit bothered that BSF doesn’t even mention that John of Revelation may not be John the Apostle.  I believe if we are to study the Word then we cannot ignore some facts (like John of Revelation may not be John the Apostle because in the Word John never identifies himself as such).  That needs to be made clear.  It’s fine if BSF wants to assume this is John the Apostle as most scholars agree with this.  However, it needs to be stated up front that this is their assumption for the rest of the study.  It is presented here as fact when doubt exists.

More and more scholars merely refer to John here as John of Patmos.  All we know for sure is he was a prophet (being given a vision by God/Jesus) and he was known to the churches he was writing to.  He was on the Island of Patmos (which the reasons exactly why are unclear besides “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus”).  And the text probably dates between 90-100 AD although some scholars say earlier in the 60’s AD.  See more thorough discussion HERE

There is a TON here and BSF has barely touched on this passage as it deserves to be studied. Please see End Notes below for a more thorough analysis.

End Notes:  This is an analysis of verses 12-20 only.  See Previous Post for an analysis of verses 9-11.

Verse 12:  We see the 7 lamp stands 7 times in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 1:12, 13, 20; 2:1, 5; and 11:4).

Jesus is still speaking here.  Note John saw the lamp stands first then Jesus.  These are not menorahs or candles stands.  These are free-standing and held the lamps on top.

THIS IS IMPORTANT AND CRUCIAL:  In the Old Testament in the Tabernacle, there was one lamp stand with 7 candles (Exodus 25:31-37).  Here there is 7 lamp stands.  As BSF asked us, the lamp stands represent the church.  In the Old Covenant, there was ONE church–the Jews.  In the New Covenant there are many churches (here 7)–signifying the Gentiles.  God’s people are now one.  Awesome!!

Light does not come from the lamp stands–it comes from the lamp on the lamp stand.  The church does not create the light (God does as the Light); the church merely displays it for all to see.

Verses 13-16:  The Son of Man is standing in his glory amongst all the lamp stands–Jesus is standing amongst all the churches.  This is a title all readers and listeners of these words would have understood.  Jesus used the title “Son of Man” about 90 times in the Gospels.  It was first used by Daniel in 7:13 to introduce the Messiah.  Remember, ancient Christians had much more of the Bible committed to memory than we do today merely because they couldn’t read and had to have it memorized.

His clothes are significant; they signify authority and royalty.  Only those who didn’t perform manual labor could wear long robes that would have hindered work to others.  The golden sash is something only the rich could afford.  The priests in the temple wore a sash with gold threads (Exodus 39:1-5).  Jesus’ is pure gold!

Jesus here is the high priest, our intercessor! (Exodus 28:2-4; Hebrews 4:14-16)

The high priest tended the lamp stands in the temple; so Jesus tends us.

White hair spoke of age; age spoke of wisdom in ancient times.  Also, snow is pure (Isaiah 1:18).  Also, Daniel 7:9 has the Ancient of Days with “clothing as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.”  The Ancient of Days (God) is Jesus as well.

Fire represents judgment (Matthew 5:22, 2 Peter 3:7).

Bronze is a very strong metal and is what the sacrificial altar was made of (Exodus 27:1-6).

Verse 16:  The 7 stars represent the leaders of the 7 churches here.  7 is the number of completion; therefore, Jesus is holding the entire church in his hands.  Cool!

The double-edged sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth is the Word–Jesus’ weapon. The Greek word for sword here is a heavy, battle sword used to kill and destroy.

Jesus had the same glory as in the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2).  Here is the real Jesus.

Fun Fact:  This is the only physical description given of Jesus in the Bible.  Isaiah 53:2 is vague in comparison.

Verses 17-18:  This is the first time John sees Jesus in all his glory.  Jesus’ touches him and comforts him.  He identifies himself 3 times–He is Lord of time–past, present and future.  Lord over resurrection.  Lord over death.  Only God and Jesus can determine life and death.  The devil has no power here.

Verse 17:  The First and the Last is God (Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12).  This is one of the few places in the Bible where Jesus identifies himself as God himself.

Verses 19-20:  Second time John is commanded to write (Revelation 1:11 is the first) what he sees in the past, present, and future.

Revelation 1:  Past

Revelation 2-3:  Present

Revelation 4-22:  Future

Jesus tells us the 7 stars are angels.  Some scholars say the 7 stars are the pastors of the 7 churches.  The Greek word used here means “messenger”.  Some take it literally and say they are 7 guardian angels of the churches.  Some take it figuratively and say the 7 angels are the spirit of each church. What’s important here is they are representatives of the body of Christ.

Note Location:  Right Hand of Jesus.  We will see this in the next chapter as well.  In Jesus’ right hand, rests safety and strength–exactly where we want to be.

Remember–John is on the island of Patmos–maybe a prisoner.  Jesus is there in our sufferings and trials and we can know him and see him and trust him right where we are.

Conclusions to Lesson 3:  We learned the book of Revelation is all about Jesus and God’s plan for the future of His people–all peoples with the 7 churches.  There is so much here in Revelation that BSF does a good job of focusing the most important pieces and I hope the lectures will bring out more we don’t discuss.

I would encourage all of you to read my End Notes as they will bring out more BSF just can’t do in such a limited amount of time as well as do your own extra reading and analysis of Revelation. Commentaries will be most beneficial.

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 Revelation Lesson 3, Day 2: Revelation 1:1-3

Summary of passage:  An angel appeared to John to deliver and bear witness the revelation of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, which was given by God.

Questions:

3a)  Jesus Christ

b)  An angel gave the revelation to John to reveal what must soon take place in order to bless the listeners.

4)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  The definition of bless according to Webster’s Dictionary is:  “to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word; to invoke divine care for; to confer prosperity or happiness upon”.  Basically, blessed in the religious sense describes the favorable circumstance granted by God to a person.  I anticipate furthering my knowledge of God’s word, of His character, of what is to come, and increasing my closeness to God.

5)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  To take to heart means to take something seriously and to internalize or live according to something.  Personally, it means to live like Jesus is coming at any moment.  Live in God’s ways.

Conclusions:  I liked the message to truly live out what is written.  It’s different to know something than do something.  That is the crux of good and wrong.

End Notes:  Revelation has a two-fold meaning.  Jesus is the one revealed, but he also is the one doing the revealing.

Note God gave this to us (believers) to know the future.  He gave us what we need to know.

This is predictive prophecy meaning it will come to pass.  Why are we studying prophecy?  Because it’s in the Bible.  If God deemed we should know it, then we should know it and try to figure out why He wants us to know it.  It also is proclaiming the word of God; hence, we need to know what God says/commands/ instructs.

Five keys parts here:  1)  Revelation  2)  Given by God  3)  To us  4)  Given to John  5)  John is witness

In the original Greek, what is translated here as soon is supposed to be shortly.  This word doesn’t mean it will happen soon.  It means when it does happen, it will be sudden.  “Time is near” is also soon to God for His time is not our time.

“He made it known” was originally translated as “signified”.  This word is rooted in signs.  Revelation is a book of signs.  These signs are from heaven and trying to put them into earthly words requires such means.  Paul says his message from heaven is “inexpressible” (2 Corinthians 12:4).  Can you see the difficulty?  Don’t worry.  We’ll all get it when we get to heaven.

Last year, in the study of Moses, we were asked repeatedly, “Why study the Old Testament?”  I asked myself this as well especially in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  Because 70% of the Book of Revelation is rooted in the Old Testament.  It contains more than 500 allusions to the OT and out of 404 verses in the Book, 278 refer to the OT.  Worth your time, yeah?

Many of the signs and visions are from an angel to John in the Book of Revelation.

We’ve already discussed extensively who John is (See my post HERE and BSF’s Lesson 2, Day 3)

Here, we receive the first of seven beatitudes in the book of Revelation.  This first blessing (“blessed are those who read, hear, and take to heart what is written”) also gives credence to the fact Revelation is meant to be holy scripture since blessings weren’t given to ordinary works.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 3, Day 4: Exodus 4:1-17

Summary of passage:  Moses, still doubting God and asking what happens if the people don’t believe him, is given three signs by God to use to show the people that God indeed appeared to him.  These signs are:  Moses’ staff turning into a snake when he throws it on the ground, his hand becoming leprous and then healing in his cloak, and Nile River water turning into blood.

Moses still says he is not eloquent enough to lead.  God says He will help him speak and teach.  Moses asks God finally to choose someone else as a rescuer of his people.  God got angry with Moses for his lack of faith and doubting him.  God tells Moses his brother Aaron will come and help him and God will help both to speak and lead but Moses will be the one in charge.

Questions:

7a)  The people would not believe or listen to him when he told them God appeared to him and that he isn’t eloquent enough to lead and that he doesn’t want to do it.

b)  God gave Moses miraculous signs to show the people (staff turning to a snake–verse 3, his hand turning leprous and then miraculously healing–verses6-7, Nile River water turning to blood–verse 9).  When Moses said he wasn’t eloquent enough, God said He would help Moses speak and teach–verse 12.  When Moses said he doesn’t want to go, God told him his brother, Aaron, would help Moses and God would help both of them to speak and teach–verses 14-16.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He closes the door when I veer off the path.  Sometimes when I insist on doing it anyways, the door slams harder!  God lets me do it, but then it closes anyways and I learn it wasn’t for me.

Conclusions:  I can almost hear the Lord’s frustration at Moses.  It’s ok to question God but I think when He answers you should believe and not keep doubting as Moses does.  We finally learn Moses doesn’t really want to go and God punishes him for it.  How many times have we said “not me” to God and we end up paying the price?  Nice short lesson.

End Notes:  Moses doubts God and “buts” Him.  Severe lack of faith.

God uses what you have (a staff in your hand).

The tail of the snake is the most dangerous place to pick a snake up.  Here, Moses has faith in what God is saying.

The first two signs (staff and leprosy) has to do with transformation from good to bad and back to good.  The third sign is the sign of judgment–the water turns to blood and stays that way.  Either you turn to God and are transformed or you are judged.

Still, Moses protests.  He doesn’t believe in himself anymore that he can do the job.

Finally, Moses just says he doesn’t want to go.  “Send someone else,” Moses says.  He is unwilling to answer God’s call.  The other reasons were merely excuses.  Truly, Moses doesn’t want to go.

God brings Aaron as a punishment rather than help.  He will cause trouble for Moses the entire trip to the Promised Land.  This is God’s judgement for Moses’ unwillingness to go.