Elisha instructs his servant to feed the company of prophets. The servant collects a wild vine’s gourds and cooked it in the stew. The men could not eat it because it tasted of death. Elisha put some flour in the stew to neutralize the bad ingredients.
Elisha feeds 100 men with 20 loaves of barley bread and some heads of new grain. The Lord had said the men would eat and have some left over.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 9, Day 4: 2 Kings 4:38-44
8 ) The needs are the basic need to eat.
9a) God is showing how he cares to meet our basic needs.
10) It’s encouraging because sometimes it is the little things or the basic things that can be the most meaningful to others.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 9, Day 4: 2 Kings 4:38-44
More great miracles I had forgotten. Immediately upon reading Elisha feeding the 100, you think of Jesus feeding the 5,000. How great the Lord is to show his people precursors to Jesus.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 9, Day 4: 2 Kings 4:38-44
The famine mentioned in verse 38 may be the seven-year famine alluded to in 2 Kings 8:1-3
Elisha feels he has to fix the food since it was his servant that mistakenly prepared a bad food to eat. Some Bible scholars think it was a gourd known as colocynth that grows near the Dead Sea. It can be fatal, and it tastes extremely bitter. God purified the pot; not the flour.
Normally, firstfruits were reserved for God (Leviticus 23:20) and the Levitical priests (Numbers 18:13; Deuteronomy 18:4-5). Because the religion in the Northern Kingdom was apostate, the loaves of bread were brought to the most religious person.
The widow spoke to Elisha, saying her husband, a believer, is dead and now her boys are about to be enslaved to pay his debts. Elisha asked her what she had in her house. She said oil. He told her to gather empty jars from her neighbors and then to pour oil into all of them. The oil did not stop flowing until all the jars were filled. Elisha told her to sell the oil to pay her debts and live off the rest.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 9, Day 2: 2 Kings 4:1-7
3a) The widow’s boys are about to be enslaved to pay the debts of her dead husband. Then, there would be no one to care for her, too.
b) Why did her husband, a believer, have to die? Why did her sons have to pay the price of her husband’s debt? How were they all to live now? What would happen to them? Why must she and her sons suffer?
c) Through Elisha, He told the widow what to do and gave her a way to pay her debts and still have money to live. God provided everything she could need.
4a) God always cares for His people. He cares for those who ask Him for things and who are willing to obey Him and take action on their own behalf. God always has a way if only we’ll listen.
b) Many times. Financially many times. Friendships. Granting me the longings of my heart.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 9, Day 2: 2 Kings 4:1-7
I don’t remember this story, and it’s such a cool one! Great stuff about God’s provision for His people!
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided Lesson 9, Day 2: 2 Kings 4:1-7
There was no bankruptcy in ancient times. The debt had to be paid, and that usually meant with slave labor, even children.
She poured her one jar of oil out in faith, and the other jars were filled with oil. Note the woman had to take action and follow God’s directions in faith — as well all should.
Note the number of jars determined the blessing. The oil would not stop flowing till all the jars she had gathered were filled.
The world is full of suffering, and God allows it often to grow our faith in Him. Suffering tests our faith.
Elisha asked the simple question of “How can I help?” This is a question we all should ask others around us who are suffering.
God provided faithfully and abundantly in the widow’s life. He wants to do the same in ours.
Jesus gets in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee when a storm arises. Jesus is sleeping, so his disciples go to wake him. The waves are crashing. The disciples think they will drown. Jesus tells them they have little faith. Jesus calmed the sea, amazing his disciples.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 4: Matthew 8:23-27
10) He calms the storm so his disciples won’t be afraid. As noted by the disciples, the fact that he can command the waves and the wind shows his deity. We also see Jesus needs sleep, too, just like humans.
11a) That they had no faith in him because they were afraid.
b) That he cared for them enough to allay their fears.
12a) Unsure about storm. I’m trying to find a new day job. I’m also looking to maybe move again in the future.
b) I need to have faith in Jesus to calm the storms and sort them all out, sheltering me the entire way.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 4: Matthew 8:23-27
This is one of the best stories about Jesus. Jesus calms the storm for his disciples’ sake, and he shows his power. Plus, I love the whole idea of Jesus calming my storms. Fabulous!
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 4: Matthew 8:23-27
The Sea of Galilee frequently has heavy storms. Capernaum lies on its coast.
Jesus slept through the storm. This shows what rest we can have when we have complete faith in the Father to provide us with what we need and to protect us from the world’s evils.
When you have complete trust in the Father, there is no room for fear. This is why Jesus rebukes his disciples, not for having woken him. If you have the Savior of the World in your boat, you should feel secure. Plus, they had just seen Jesus heal people miraculously. Where was their faith?
Rebuke is stronger than calm. Rebuke means, “to express sharp disapproval or criticism of someone or someone’s behaviors.” Thus, some Bible scholars think Satan may have sent the storm to drown Jesus and his disciples.
Here, the disciples see Jesus as fully man and fully God for the first time. This is why they marveled. Powerful stuff!
Jesus crossed over the lake (Sea of Galilee) in order to escape the crowds. A teacher of the law told Jesus he would follow him wherever he went. Another said he would follow him after he buried his father. Jesus said to follow him and bury your dead later.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 3: Matthew 8:18-22
7) The first follower may be in a honeymoon stage, so Jesus tells him it’s not all fun and games. The second follower loves Jesus, but puts his human father first. He is a reluctant follower.
8a) The cost for the first man is giving up everything and living a very simple life with no real home.
b) The cost for the second man is putting him first above his human family and giving his whole heart to Jesus.
9a) People only follow Jesus when it’s convenient for them. The second it gets hard or they have to sacrifice, they bail.
b) You have to do what God wants you to do, not what others want you to do. You have to put God first always, and sometimes that can cause friction between family members. I’ve had to end some relationships with friends over following Jesus’s path for my life.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 3: Matthew 8:18-22
I love how simple Jesus is so that we simple humans can grasp his meaning. It’s simple: follow him completely and totally above all others.
Cool art decor here.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 3: Matthew 8:18-22
Jesus needed a break from the crowds. He did not seek notarity. Many were attracted to following Jesus because they were mesmerized by his miracles. But these two did not have the heart Jesus was seeking.
Jesus is blunt by saying that he truly did not have a home. He lived a very simple life, and by telling the man this, he hoped to not lead him astray about what his ministry was really all about. This is a great lesson for pastors of today.
Fun Fact: “The Son of Man” is used 81 times in the gospels. Jesus referred to himself as this many times, or you’ll see it when someone in the Bible quotes him. It evokes power and glory as seen here (Daniel 7:13-14) and the humility (Psalm 8:4).
What modern readers miss here is that the father of the second man is not dead; if he was, the man would have said something along the lines of digging a grave. Thus, the man wanted to care for his ailing father, which could have been years for all we know. This man was a disciple, but not with the heart of the 12 disciples who were all in. Jesus wants those who are all in for him.
Jesus clearly states that although family is important, he is more so. He is very forthright and honest in his ministry as we should be.
Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him. The king of Sodom came out to meet him. Then Melchizedek king of Salem (or Jerusalem) and a priest of God brought out bread and wine. He blessed Abram and Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
The king of Sodom asked Abram for his people back that had been carried away by Kedorlaomer but told Abram he could keep the goods. Abram said he has sworn to God that he will accept nothing from him so that he could not say he had made Abram rich. He will only accept what they have eaten and what the men who accompanied him want.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 5: Genesis 14:17-24
14) Well, first off, the king of Salem is a believer in God. He brought out food and wine and blessed Abram, so Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom came empty-handing, asking for things back.
15) Isaiah 2:3 says that the word of the Lord will go out from Jerusalem (where Melchizedek is from). Isaiah 9:6-7 says
Hebrews 2:17-18: Jesus had to be made like his brothers (flesh and blood) so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and to be able to make atonement for man’s sins.
Hebrews 4:14-5:10: Jesus is our great high priest who has gone through the heavens who can sympathize with our weaknesses for he has been tempted in every way just as we are–and remain without sin. Let us hold firmly to our faith, approach God with confidence so we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
Every high priest is selected among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for our sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray and offer sacrifices for our sins.
Priests must be called by God. Jesus was called to be a High Priest by God in the order of Melchizedek. Jesus prayed to God and he was heard because of his submission. He was obedient and made perfect for our eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Hebrews 6:18-7:28: God swore promises to us by Himself so that we may have hope and encouragement. This hope anchors our soul and enters the inner sanctuary where Jesus has entered on our behalf. Jesus is a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews Chapter 7: This Melchizedek was king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest of the God Most High. He met and blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. His name means “king of righteousness” and king of Salem means “king of peace”. He remains a priest forever without the proper lineage.
Just think how great he must have been for Abraham to give him a tenth of the plunder! The law requires the descendants of Levi to collect a tenth from the people. Melchizedek was not a Levite. One could deduce that Levi collects the tenth through Abraham because Levi (who is Abraham’s descendant) hadn’t been born yet when Melchizedek collected. Hence we have Levites paying tithes to Melchizedek, making Melchizedek greater than the Levites (or Abraham in this instance since the Levites are through Abraham). Since the lesser is blessed by the greater, Melchizedek is greater than Abraham.
Perfection could not be attained through the Levites so there was need for a priest in the order of Melchizedek (the mere fact that a priest in the order of Melchizedek shows up should be a clue that there is a need for something better than the Levites). If the priests change, then so must the law. The old law was weak and useless for it made nothing perfect and a better hope was introduced by God (Jesus!).
Through an oath Jesus became a priest and the author of a better covenant. Jesus lives forever so his priesthood is forever; therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.
Jesus meets our needs as holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens with one sacrifice of himself who has been made perfect forever.
16a) “Creator of heaven and earth and who delivered your enemies into Abram’s hands.”
b) Personal Question. My answer: My former and present pastors. My BSF leader who prays and anyone else who prays for me. I will pray and thank God and do my best to live a Godly-life as called in thanks.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 5: Genesis 14:17-24
A difficult passage, indeed, with Melchizedek. We spent one whole day on this last go around with BSF’s Study of Genesis, including Psalm 110:
Psalm 110: The Lord told my Lord (David’s Lord who is Jesus) to sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool. God will extend Jesus’s scepter and rule in the midst of enemies. On the day of battle your troops will be arrayed in holy majesty.
The Lord calls Jesus a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. He will crush kings on the day of his wrath, judge the nations, and heap up the dead.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 5: Genesis 14:17-24
This Melchizedek appears out of nowhere like a genie in a bottle. He has no history, and Bible scholars know nothing about him. His name means “king of righteousness.”. We are told he was a priest and a king (which Jesus will be). This was highly unusual in the ancient world. In the future, God will forbid this. In 2 Chronicles 26:16-23, King Uzziah tries to do this, and God strikes him with leprosy.
He did worship the One, True God. Many Bible scholars note the bread and wine as symbolic of the Passover and the Lord’s Supper.
Melchizedek blessed Abram and God.
Psalm 110:4 notes that the priesthood of the Messiah is not from Aaron, but from Melchizedek.
Hebrews 7:3 describes Melchizedek as without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. This leads Bible Scholars to think he may have been Jesus.
Other Bible Scholars speculate he was Shem, Noah’s son, Job, or an angel. All of this, even the idea of Jesus, is speculation. We’ll find out when we get to heaven.
Abram refuses the plunder because he wants all of the credit of his wealth to go to God. The rest of the kings could divide up the spoils. Abram also uses “God Most High” after our pal, Melchizedek, uses it.
At this time, wars were going on. Basically, the Babylonians attacked a group of peoples living in the Siddim Valley who had been under their control but had rebelled. The Babylonians defeated or re-conquered them and took even more territory. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah went out to fight the Babylonians to defend their territory, but they lost. The Babylonians sacked Sodom and Gomorrah, which included Lot and his possessions since he was living in Sodom. One escaped and told Abram that his nephew had been captured. Abram, who was allied with his neighbors, called out all 318 trained men to go with him to rescue Lot. Abram launched a night attack near the city of Dan, routed them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. Abram recovered all the stolen goods, women, and others, and rescued Lot and his possessions, whom he brought back with him.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 4: Genesis 14:1-16
11) It was a rebellion since for 12 years, these kings had been subject to the other kings. They fought.
12) Abram had allies to call upon and that he easily defeated a superior army and rescued his relative, Lot.
Abram is allied with his neighbors so he has diplomacy skills. He spares no expense, requiring all his trained men to fight for Lot; he has some military training (or guidance from God) for Abram divided his men and attacked.
This shows the extent of God’s blessings to Abram in terms of his wealth. Abram had his own trained army to fight for him. This is NOT cheap, especially in ancient times. Metals and weapons (shields, swords, and armor) were expensive–way more expensive than I would say 90% of the population at the time could afford in their LIFETIME.
13a) Abram was decisive. It’s hard here cause no details are truly given. He has diplomatic skills. He has fighting skills and a trained army. Unsure about the king of Sodom. Abram also knew God was with him and nothing would harm him because of God’s promises. This shows he was probably fearless.
b) Personal Question. My answer: determined, upright, do what’s right for others, lay down self for others’ needs.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 4: Genesis 14:1-16
This is typical history at this time. People fought all the time over squabbles, land, and other things. People were subjected and rebelled. Thre is nothing different here in terms of warring peoples; it just so happens Lot was involved, so it ended up in the Bible.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 4: Genesis 14:1-16
Lot was in the wrong place at the wrong time; luckily, he had powerful relatives who fought for him.
Fun Fact: This is the first use of the word “Hebrew” in the Bible. It means “passed over.” Thus, Abram “passed over” the Euphrates into the land of Canaan.
Abram was rich, indeed. An army of over 300 fighting men, all trained, would be an astronomical cost. It’s interesting that Abram has an army despite God’s promises of protection. I’d say this is what God wants; just because we have faith God will do something in our lives doesn’t mean we can just lie back and take no action towards that goal. Abram knew he’d have to fight to get Canaan. This is why he had an army.
The pursuit lasted a bit. Abram wanted to make sure the kings did not come back.
Abram was forced from Egypt after Pharaoh found out he had been sleeping with his wife, Sarai. He leaves Egypt a very wealthy man, along with Lot. He travels to Negev to Bethel, where he had first built an altar to God. He stops to call on God’s name. Lot’s possessions had grown as well. The land could not support both of their livestock and quarrels arose amongst the camps. Abram proposes a split and lets Lot choose his way. Lot chose towards Zoar because it was well watered like Egypt. Lot settled near Sodom.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 2: Genesis 13:1-13
3) Lot’s possessions had grown as well. The land could not support both of their livestock and quarrels arose amongst the camps.
4) Abram lets Lot choose, so he is humble and generous. Lot chooses the one that looks the best, so he is selfish and greedy.
5) Romans 14:19-21 tells us to give up food and drink if it bothers someone else. 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 says appoint someone to decide your quarrels. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 says that you should make yourself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible (be courteous). Ephesians 4:1-3 says to be humble, gentle, patient, bear with each other in love, and make every effort to keep the unity of the peace. Basically, put others first.
6) Personal Question. My answer: Because we want to believe we are right, and it’s hard to put others first even when we know they are wrong, or they have hurt us. I pray and try to forgive. That’s about all I can do.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 2: Genesis 13:1-13
Great example of solving problems when they arise amicably and letting others choose. God will bless you no matter what.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 2: Genesis 13:1-13
The main trade route through this land was north to south and passed through Bethel, Hebron, Shechem, and Beersheba. You’ll see these names again and again in God’s story because it was were they traveled all the time.
Abram returns to Canaan with Lot a richer man than before. He worships God. Note he does not beat himself up over sin. He moves forward as we all are to do.
Remember that Abram brought Lot along against God’s will (Genesis 12:1). There are always consequences for disobedience, even slight ones. Here, there is conflict, which is from the devil. Expect attacks from the devil when you do the right thing.
Since they were in a land of unbelievers, it was important not to quarrel and to set an example. This quarrel had to be solved.
We can see Abram’s growth in faith in this offer to Lot. He knew now God would take care of him, so he offers Lot the decision even though it was Abram’s right to choose since God had given him the land, not Lot’s. Note how Abram lays down his rights for another. When we do this, God is glorified like with Paul (1 Corinthians 9:14-18) and Jesus (Philippians 2:5-11).
Lot chooses by what he can see; with God, faith is unseen (2 Corinthians 5:7). This reveals that Lot’s heart was already in trouble. However, I think Lot was not gone. He could still follow God, but he chooses not to once he gets to Sodom.
Take Away: Remember, all is never lost. You always have a choice to obey. It’s everyday choices that matter the most.
Summary of passage: Genealogy of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Noah’s sons).
The sons of Japheth were maritime peoples and spread out with their own language.
Cush was the son of Ham who was the father of Nimrod who grew to be a mighty warrior and hunter on earth. The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Erech, Akkad, and Calneh in Shinar. Then Cush went to Assyria to build Ninevah, Rehoboth, Ir, Calah, and Resen.
Later, the Canaanites scattered, pushing out the borders from Sidon to Gaza and Lasha.
Shem’s ancestors lived in the eastern hill country from Mesha to Sephar.
10a) Cush was Nimrod’s father and Nimrod’s grandfather was Ham. He was a mighty warrior and hunter on earth. He ruled a kingdom that included Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh. He then conquered Assyria and established more cities.
Fun fact: Nimrod’s name means “let us rebel”.
b) Bad. “The mighty hunter before the Lord” is not a hunter of animals but of humans. This is not a compliment. This is also the first use of the word “kingdom” in the bible, which implies he consolidated the peoples and probably in a ruthless manner. Ultimately, he relied on his own strength instead of God’s.
11) “because in his time the earth was divided”
12) Uz and Jobab. Job came from the region of Uz and Jobab may be the one we know as Job.
13) Like most lists of names and genealogies in the Bible, it is used to chronicle the line of Jesus and collaborate God’s words to man (who always seems to need evidence). Also, it explains how the world was re-populated after the flood and who and how founded the nations of the earth.
Conclusions: Keep in mind the distribution of peoples: Japheth was the father of the western Europeans, the Medes, and the Greeks. Ham was the father of Africans (Egypt and Ethiopia) and the far East (including Babylon and Canaan). Shem was the father of the Persians, the Assyrians, the Hebrews (Abram), and Asia Minor.
Summary of passages: Genesis 11:1-9: A bit after the world had been repopulated some people moved eastward and settled on the plain of Shinar (Babylonia). They used bricks and tar to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.
The Lord saw what the men were doing. He confused their language as punishment to prevent more un-Godly actions. God scattered them over the earth. Babel sounds like the Hebrew word for confused; hence the name “Tower of Babel.”
Psalm 2: Why do people conspire and plot against the Lord and the Anointed One? It is all in vain. Man fights against God who merely laughs. God rebukes and terrifies them. David tells other kings to be wise and serve the Lord with fear and joy for God’s anger can flare in a moment. Blessed are those who take refuge in Him.
Ask God and He will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. With God you will rule.
5a) Both try to self-aggrandize and put themselves above God. It is useless to plot and conspire against God and Jesus. We are nothing in comparison. Yet man tries through ambition and pride. And every time he is vanquished, defeated, chastized, rebuked, or punished by God. You’d think we learn. But we never do.
b) Personal Question. My answer: We deliberately disobey God and think His laws don’t apply to us. In the end, we end up suffering because of it. It teaches me to obey God as much as my sinful nature can. To submit for He is King. To recognize my weakness and beg for His mercy. To follow Him till the end of my days. This is my prayer.
6a) Both verses say belief in Jesus and what Jesus did for us.
b) In the passage, literally through a tower. Today, through works, prayer, obedience, His word.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Through Jesus.
Be careful not to interpret this as “drawing near to God”. I think the point of the question is that the only way to God is Jesus and anyway else is false.
Conclusions: Have you noticed this theme in the questions, comparing people in Biblical times and in our times? Like I concluded yesterday, man never changes. His nature is the same. He sins. Repeatedly. Since the Fall–the beginning of time. This will never change.
It’s why we need Jesus. God knew this. He knows we have no hope without Christ. And that’s what the entire Bible is trying to tell each and every one of us. And that’s why it’s our job to tell others. So they can be saved.