BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 5: Genesis 50:22-26

Summary of passage:  Joseph spent his entire life in Egypt and died at the age of 110. Before he died, he reassured his brothers that God will aid them and take them out of Egypt to the Promised Land and requested that his bones be brought out of Egypt.  He was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Questions:

11)  God will aid them and take them up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

12a)  To have his bones moved to the land God promised.  This encouraged the Israelites in their faith in God as they trusted in God’s plan to return them to the Promised Land.

b) Exodus 13:19:  “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him.”

Joshua 24:32:  “And Joseph’s bones which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a 100 pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem.”

13) Personal Question.  My answer:  From this passage:  “God will surely come to your aid and take [your loved one] up out of this land to the land He promised (heaven).”

Other passages are better:  Genesis 50:19-21:  “Don’t be afraid…God intends it for good…He will provide for you and your children.”

Conclusions:  Disappointment reigns.  I think Lesson 30 & 31 should have been combined.

Did you catch the fact that Joseph was never buried?  (I didn’t until I read commentary on this passage.  I had assumed he was buried and then would be dug up for the trip to the Promised Land).  Scholars suggest his bones were left out as a visual reminder to the Israelites that one day Joseph would be buried in the Promised Land.

Joseph’s request was showing great faith in God’s promises.

And so ends the Book of Genesis with God’s chosen people looking forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 4: Genesis 50:15-21

Summary of passage:  With Jacob dead, Joseph’s brothers once again became afraid of retribution from Joseph for what they did to him.  They lied (again), saying Jacob told Joseph to forgive them before he died.  Joseph wept over this.  His brothers humbled themselves before Joseph, offering themselves as slaves.

Joseph told them to not be afraid for God intended good out of the evil they did–to save lives.

Questions:

8a)  They were afraid Joseph would enact revenge and justice upon them now that Jacob was dead.  So they lied that Jacob told him to forgive them.

b)  He spoke kindly to them, telling them God has worked good out of their evil.

c)  Personal Question:  That God has a plan that we cannot see.  Things happen for reasons we cannot know.  We must trust in Him always and learn and grow in our walk of faith no matter the hardships.  For good is right around the corner.  All things work together for my good.

We must also keep in mind that the evils that befall us are not from God; they are from man.  Man enacts evil upon us, not God.  But God will work it for good in our lives.  All for His glory.

9a) He forgives us; He loves us; He protects us; He provides for us; He showers us with grace when we are in no way worthy.

Psalm 103:  “The Lord forgives all your sins…redeems your life…compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love…He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities…for so great is his love for those who fear him.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal gratitude.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Could be better.  Need to be more God-like.

10a)  “To accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”.  To save the seed of the Savior and God’s people.

b)  Matthew 28:18-20:  “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey”

1 Peter 2:9:  “You are a chosen people…that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Acts 1:8:  “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the ends of the earth.”

Conclusions:  Was convicted with 9c.  I need to treat my family better than I do strangers.  I think a lot of struggle with that.  It’s so easy to take them for granted when we cannot.  For God didn’t take us for granted.  For He knows everything about us.

Why did Joseph weep upon hearing this concocted story of forgiveness?  Scholars think probably because his brothers doubted him, his forgiveness, and his character.  That the brothers thought so little of him.

Joseph trusted in who God is and trusted God in His promises.  We have a problem in doing the same.  Trust first in Him.  Then love, forgiveness, and comfort naturally flow outwards.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 3: Genesis 50:7-14

Summary of passage:  So Joseph, all of Pharaoh’s officials, all the members of Joseph’s family, chariots, and horsemen journeyed to Canaan to bury Jacob.  At Atad near the Jordan River, Joseph stopped and mourned 7 days for Jacob.  He was buried and all returned to Egypt.

Questions:

6)  High.  He sent practically all the nobles with Joseph to bury Jacob as well as chariots and horsemen to escort and protect them.

7a)  The mourning at the threshing floor of Atad.

b)  They mourned 7 days for him and buried him in the Promised Land.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not a lot.  Comfort is not the word.  Encouragement, yes.  Comfort, no.

Conclusions:  Overarching theme:  Jacob was greatly revered in Egypt.  7c was out of place.  Again, stretching this lesson.  One question would have been sufficient for this passage.

Fun Fact:  No other burial is recorded in Scripture with such pomp, detail, and honor.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 31, Day 2: Genesis 49:29-50:6

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.

Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept.  He was embalmed and mourned over for 70 days.  Joseph asked Pharaoh for permission to bury his father in Canaan, which Pharaoh granted.

Questions:

3a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Hebrews of course says Jacob had faith.  No.  There is no indication in this passage of fear.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God is the God of the living, not the dead.  So this infers Jacob knew he would live again with God.

4a)  Personal Question.  My answers, which I already knew and didn’t “learn” here:

Hebrews 9:27:  Man is destined to die and face judgement.

Romans 3:23; 6:23:  All have sinned and fell short of the glory of God.  Wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 5:24:  Whoever hears Jesus’ words and believes in God has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

John 8:24:  You will die in your sins if you do not believe in Jesus.

John 11:26:  Whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never die.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure what this has to do with Jacob’s death.  We have read about dozens of people dying in Genesis:  Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Sarah, Rebekah’s nurse, etc.  Why ask this now?

My answer:  I’m not because I firmly believe I have not accomplished God’s work for me yet here on earth so I enjoy living each and every day and not thinking or dwelling on death.  For in the end all we have is this day for we do not know.

And if I die, I’m as “prepared” as we all are.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  So why even worry about it?  That’s God’s job, not mine.

5)  He fulfilled Jacob’s last request by burying him in Canaan.

Conclusions:  I’m assuming the answer to my question of why BSF is asking the death question now is because they have run out of questions to ask.

Question 5 was just dumb.  This is a “duh”.  We all know Joseph is trustworthy from reading Genesis.  That is his character.  So why wouldn’t he be now?

I’m just getting frustrated here with the personal questions.  It’s an indication of stretching out the lesson.  In my opinion, we could have ended this study a few weeks ago instead of answering “filler” and “duh” questions.

This is the second time I’ve noticed recently of being given only one verse that even isn’t a complete sentence to go off of (It was last week DAY 5).  If BSF is going to give us reference passages to look up, let it be the whole passage so we can understand.  Reading a sentence fragment 1) goes against all of my writing background and irks me 2) never gives us the full story.  Please assign more than this.

In this instance, Hebrews 11:28 is so much more richer.  It says just as we are meant to die, “so Christ was..to bring salvation”…  Anytime I am like Christ, I rejoice.  Plus, salvation is near!  Hence, we should in death as well.  I believe this is the more important point.

Sorry to all who believe I have been critical of BSF lately (yes, I’ve noticed it myself) as I’m sure you’ll all comment on it. But I am frustrated and when I am, I will say so.  I cannot change my feelings over the matter.  I just feel like a bunch of this could have been cut out.  Either that or I’m missing the point entirely.

I try to keep in perspective that BSF is also for those who don’t know Jesus and are seeking him and so they write questions to that effect, which is great.  However, it is monotonous to us believers (or maybe just me) and I can’t help but say so.

End Note:  Jacob was mourned just 2 days less than a pharaoh would have been mourned.  This shows us just how revered he was in Egypt.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 31, Day 5: Acts 27-28

Summary of passages:  Acts 27:  Paul and his companions (267 men in total) boarded a ship for Rome.  Julius, a Roman centurion, was in charge.  They landed in Sidon where Paul was allowed to meet his friends and receive supplies from them.  Then they pass Cyprus with heavy winds keeping them from landing and out across the sea to Myra in Lycia.

They switched ships and sailed until Cnidus.  The wind was still blowing hard as they made their way to Fair Havens on the island of Crete.  Much time had been lost and it was now Autumn where winds blew incessantly over the Mediterranean.  Paul advised the centurion to stay in Crete for the winter but he was ignored.

They set sail and a huge northeaster swept down from the island, catching the ship, and pushing it along.  The men had to throw the ship’s cargo and tackle overboard and they drifted for days, losing hope of being saved.

Paul then tells the men to take heart for they will be saved and only the ship and cargo will be lost.  An angel of God stood beside him and told him he and the crew would make it safely to Rome but they would run aground on some island.

After 2 weeks adrift, the men wanted to abandon ship and head to the lifeboats but Paul told the centurion they would die if they did so.  So they stayed with the ship.  Then Paul urged them to eat and he gave thanks to God for the bread.  They were all encouraged.  After eating, they threw the grain over board to lighten the ship.

The next day, they saw land and decided to run the ship aground.  The ship struck a sandbar before making the beach so the soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners so they wouldn’t escape when they swam.  But the centurion wanted to save Paul’s life so no one was killed.  Everyone reached land safely by swimming of floating on pieces of the ship.

Acts 28:  Landing on the island of Malta, Paul and the others were welcomed by the islanders.  Paul got bit by a viper but was able to shake it off to no ill effects, causing the islanders to think him a god.  Paul healed Publius’s father and the rest of the sick on the island.

After 3 months, they procured a ship and set sail for Rome, landing in Syracuse on the island of Sicily and then traveled on up the coast of Italy to Rome.  In Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself while awaiting trial with a soldier to guard him.  [Scholars believe Paul was held for 4 years].

Paul speaks to the leaders of the Jews to explain why he is in chains and the leaders say they have heard nothing bad about Paul and are here to learn about Jesus Christ.  He preached to the Jews from morning till evening all about the kingdom of God and Jesus.  Some were convinced; others were not.  And they argued about it, so much so Paul quoted Isaiah, saying their eyes did not perceive nor their ears understand.  Paul proclaims that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles who will listen.

For 2 years Paul preached the gospel boldly in his home to all those who came.

Questions:

14a)  Calm, trust and faith in God, and belief in what the angel of God who appeared to him said.  He encourages the men to keep up their courage (27:25) and boldly takes command if you will, telling the centurion to stay with the ship in order to be saved (27:31).  He orders them to eat so they will survive (27:33), which encouraged and uplifted the men.  He showed integrity, honesty, sincerity, and caring for the men.

b)  Faith in God.  I’d imagine if I were in that situation that would be the only thing that would keep me calm!  It would also help if an angel spoke to me and told me I’d be okay.

15a)  An angel of God stood beside Paul and told Paul to not be afraid for he would make it to Rome.  This strengthened his faith in God’s word that this would happen and he’d survive.  Paul told the men not to abandon the ship if they wanted to live.  He told them all to eat.  He took the bread and gave thanks to God in front of all the men (what a powerful witness to God’s omnipotence!) and ate.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Well, an angel has never appeared to me but I do know in the midst of the biggest crisis in my life I was calm and knew it would all work out in the end (which it did).  I was distraught and broken-hearted but I didn’t panic or ever doubt God.  He was there just not manifest like an angel.  But He was there in my crisis and held me up as I walked through it.

c)  He healed the sick on the island of Malta and when he arrived in Rome, Paul opened his home and preached “from morning till evening” (verse 23) the gospel and some were convinced.  He now had a powerful testimony of God’s rescue from the seas (amongst all his other experiences).  He had his physical needs provided for by the Romans as a prisoner so he could focus his whole attention on nothing but spreading the Good News.  Paul finally had our most valuable commodity–time–and he used it completely to encourage the church (through his letters) and talk about Jesus.  Wouldn’t we all like to do that?

Conclusions:  This reads like a great suspense novel!  I can visualize the panic and fear onboard and Paul standing in the midst of the men, telling them they will survive.

Why did the men throw the cargo, tackle, and lastly the food overboard?  To lighten the ship.  A heavy cargo makes the ship sit deeper in the water, which is dangerous in shallow water.  So the men threw the cargo overboard so the ship would sit higher in the water in case they were blown near land where their boat would get destroyed on the shallow reefs, rocks, and harbors.  If the bottom of the ship ran aground miles from any shore, they faced the prospect of being tossed into the sea.  Thus, when you are faced with life or death, everything (even the grain) becomes expendable.

Lightening the ship also stabilizes it in rough seas.  If the ship got tossed to one side and became unbalanced, a heavy ship would be more likely to follow the energy and due to inertia (the law where objects in motion want to stay in motion), it would tip over.

Further, throwing cargo overboard makes the ship go faster in case the men wanted to try to outrun the storm.

Great ending!  Paul is brought safely to Rome where God wants him and God gives Paul time to evangelize.

I want to keep going.  I want to find out all Paul taught in his time in Rome and find out the end of him as well.  I want to read Romans and Philemon and all the rest of the NT to find out more!  The story doesn’t end in Acts.  It’s at the good part and I have to keep reading.  Now I have a plan for this summer!

Map of Paul’s Final Leg of the Journey to Rome:  http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/apostle-paul-fourth-missionary-journey-large-map.html