BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 14, Day 2 Isaiah 34:1-7

Summary of passage: Isaiah tells all enemy nations the Lord is angry with them and He will bring his wrath and destruction upon them.  He will throw out their dead bodies to rot, the stars of the heaven will dissolve, and He will bring His sword to destroy them (Isaiah singles out Edom) and the people.  The land and dust will be soaked in blood and fat.

Questions:

3a) All the enemy peoples and enemy nations of God’s people (here Israel and Judah) on Earth.  Everyone and everything need to listen.

b) All enemy nations from the time Isaiah is speaking to the end of the world.

4) He will totally destroy their armies and the slain will be left to rot.  The Lord’s sword will totally destroy the people, Edom, and Bozrah.  Here, Isaiah is using Edom as a representative of the enemy nations and what will happen to them which is ultimately they will all disappear like Edom.

Curious as to where Bozrah was I found a map:  http://www.yeshuatyisrael.com/images/mapboz.jpg

Here’s another one I like:  http://endtimepilgrim.org/bozmap.gif

Bozrah was the capital city of Edom located in modern-day Jordan east of the Dead Sea.  It’s name means sheepfold and was a pastoral city.

Spoiler Alert:  According to Isaiah 63:1-6, the Lord will come from Edom and Bozrah on the day of vengeance and the year of redemption.  Information taken from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bozrah

5) Edom was the homeland of Jacob’s twin brother, Esau.  Esau was also called Edom (which means red) because when Esau was born he was red.  Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew and bread, thinking he was dying at the time.  Jacob took advantage of his brother and deceived him.  Esau (understandably) held a grudge against Jacob because as a result Jacob received his father’s (Isaac) blessing instead of himself.  Jacob is renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28-29).  So, in numbers Edom denies passage to Israel through his land as Moses was leading the Israelites up from Egypt and came against them with an army to enforce his decision.  So Israel had to go around.  The Edomites cheered the sacking of Jerusalem by Babylon and they looted the fleeing refugees.  Therefore, in Obadiah, the Lord promises in that day destruction of Edom because of the violence against his brother Jacob.  The Edomites will be covered with shame and destroyed forever.

6a) Their dead bodies will send up a stench; the mountains will be soaked with their blood.  The sword of the Lord is bathe in blood, it is covered with the fat…fat from the kidneys of rams.

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin is the breaking of God’s laws.  Sin means “to miss the mark” of God’s holy standard or righteousness.  God hates sin because it is what separates us from Him–the thing He never wanted.  He created us to be like Adam and Eve before the Fall–walking with Him fully and as a part of Him.

c) To escape, we must recognize we are sinners, accept Jesus as our Savior from sin, and repent.  Jesus conquered sin and death.  2 Corinthians 7:10-11  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.  See what this Godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, wheat readiness to see justice done…

Luke 13: 3  But unless you repent, you too will all perish.  Acts 17:30-31 …he [God] commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice…

John 14:6-7 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well…

Conclusions:  Great lesson.  I now know the history of Edom and how it all relates back to Jacob and Esau.  It explains at least God’s judgment on Edom in that day.  Question 6 just re-emphasized in my mind how much God does love us:  when we think back to why He originally created us and how much it broke His heart when man Fell that He devised a way to bring us back to Him through His son, Jesus.  It also reminds us how much we should strive to walk in His ways just like our kids want to please us so should we want to please our Father.  John 14:6 just popped into my head in answer to 6c which is one we always need to remember:  “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 10, Day 3 Isaiah 17-18

Summary of passage: Chapter 17: An oracle warns Israel against allying itself with Damascus, saying Damascus will be ruined and Jerusalem will disappear.  The glory of Jacob will disappear like fat from your body, leaving only a few to remain.  In that day Israel will turn again to their Maker and not to false idols or the fruits of their labor but Aram will not and will hence suffer desolation.  God will rebuke raging nations and they will flee before Him.

Chapter 18:  Isaiah prophesizes against Cush (modern day Ethiopia or Sudan), saying much the same thing as for Damascus.  The Lord will watch from above and remain quiet until His time to act when He will cut off the blooming harvests and leave all for the wild animals to prey upon.  Only then it seems will Cush bring gifts to Mount Zion.

Questions:

6a) Damascus will be in ruins, cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to the flocks who will lie down with no enemies.  Jerusalem will disappear as will power from Damascus.

b) Israel’s glory fades like the fat of the body wastes away.  The reaper will use his arm instead of tools to harvest, leaving some behind (the Remnant).

c) The men will look to their Maker and not to idols, false gods, or foreign altars or to the fruits of their labor.  But Aram’s cities will be desolate because they did not turn to God and their harvest will be nothing.

d) No matter how fierce foreign nations are as soon as God decides their time is up, they will be gone, fleeing for their lives overnight.

e) God watches all and when the time is right (God’s timing) He will act.  Just as things are at their highest (harvest time), He will take it all away and leave it to the animals.  This reminds me of Matt Redman’s song “Blessed Be His Name”, which says “He gives and takes away,” derived from Job 1:21 which says, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”  This passage is a powerful reminder of His sovereignty.

f) Ultimately, the nations will turn to the Lord and bring Him gifts.

7a) Lord Almighty, God of Israel, God your Savior, Holy One of Israel, the Rock, and Maker.  These names emphasize how God is and should be everything.  He is the Maker (the beginning), the Savior (from your sins), the Rock (in your hard times of life), Almighty (can do anything), and Holy (immutable).  It deduces naturally that man-made idols are just that–from man who is sinful, imperfect, at times immoral, and dubious in nature.

b) Other people (celebrities), material things, or even pastors and the institution of churches.  Idols are anything we humans put above and value more than God.

Conclusions:  For such a straight-forward lesson (Turn to me or you will suffer type thing), there are a lot of truths here. God is and should be everything.  He does events according to His timing.  He gives and takes away at will.  We are warned against false idols, which in our culture is not so much the Golden calf type thing but more so what the “fruits of our labor” produces such as material wants and desires or covetous natures.  With the interconnectedness of the planet, we are bombarded with so many other things others have and we don’t that we must guard against putting these things above God.

Side Note:  Incidentally, I do have Matt Redman’s song on my IPod because it’s a good reminder to me that He is the one who gives (not my husband’s job or other people) and He is the one who takes away (not others when bad things happen) because He is the one in control.

I also like being reminded of Job, the guy who lost everything as a test only (not for his own sins) and he passed with flying colors.  It reminds me of how when I lost everything, God was still there and I could lose it all again and God would still be there.  And that’s all that matters.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 8, Day 5 Isaiah 12

Summary of passage:  A song of praise to the Lord because He has turned his anger away and comforted his people.  He is their strength and salvation of living waters.  Isaiah says to proclaim His greatness to the world and give thanks.

Questions:

11a) God has turned his anger away and He has comforted his people.  His people will trust and not be afraid.  The Lord is the people’s strength and salvation.

b) Anyone who believes in God/Jesus will have streams of living water flow from within him or her.  Whoever accepts Jesus (drinks the water) will have eternal life/salvation.

12) Proclaim, shout, sing

13) Personal question.  My answer:  I’m not for sure I shout but I am joyful to be walking with the Lord through life.  I do trust but sometimes I’m afraid.  The Lord is my strength and joy.

Conclusions:  It’s good to be reminded He is all things and He should be praised for all His goodness.  Reading songs of praise to Him is comforting, knowing it’s not all gloom and doom 2500 years ago.  So often God just gets our problems but He needs our thanks too.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 7, Day 5 Isaiah 10:28-34

Summary of passage:  A description of the path Assyria takes on its way to Jerusalem.  But the Lord stops them at Nob and Lebanon falls as well.

Here’s some links to two maps I found online so you can get a better grasp of where exactly these towns are located with respect to Jerusalem.  I couldn’t find all the towns listed in the passage but at least these are some.

http://www.bible-history.com/geography/ancient-israel/anathoth.html

http://bibleatlas.org/full/nob.htm

Questions:

11a) Ramah trembles, Gibeah of Saul flees, the people of Madmenah is in flight, people of Gibim take cover but they are stopped at Nob.  It sounds like utter chaos and destruction like war usually is.  I picture a huge army destroying everything in its path and the people fleeing before them for their lives.

b) At the hill at Nob which I picture as overlooking the city and temple.  Because God stopped them.

12a) Personal question.  My answer:  Pride is excessive self-esteem and conceit.  Pride causes you to rely more on yourself than God.  You think you know best and can do best without consulting the Supreme Authority so you turn to God less, do not allow others to help you (something God calls us to do so you deny them God’s calling), and nations believe they can take over other nations without consulting God first.

b) Humbleness.  Proverbs 16:18-19  Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.  Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.  Philippians 2:3-11  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.  James 4:10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  Proverbs 3:34  He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.  Matthew 23:12  For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Conclusions:  God hates pride when it usurps Him.  This is so prevalent a topic in the Bible (pride and humility) that I only listed a few passages here but there are many more so feel free to share your favorites.  This is something I need to work on.  I do think I can do stuff better than most and I get easily offended when offered help.  So I got a lot out of this lesson.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 7, Day 3 Isaiah 10:5-6, 12

Summary of passage:  God sends Assyria against his people who have angered him because they are godless.  Then God will punish Assyria for their willful pride of heart and haughtiness.

Questions:

5) Judah was godless and they angered the Lord.

6a) God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness.  Discipline produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.  We will respect God if He disciplines us.  As our father, He disciplines for our own good to teach us how to live and behave properly.

b) Galatians–understand and forgive others who fail.  Hebrews–discipline comes from love.  If God didn’t love us, He would let us fail and sin and end up in Hell.  Discipline yields respect and is for our good so we may share in his holiness.  It produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.  The quoted passage is Proverbs 3:11,12

c) Personal answer.  My answer:  Hopefully, I’m learning the lessons God is trying to teach me although I may not understand and sometimes I question, I still keep my faith in His goodness, superiority, and plans for me.  For my kids, I discipline them to teach them morals and values.  It’s out of unconditional love and a desire to see them prosper in this world.

Conclusions:  Questions 6a and b are very similar in nature and my answers reflect this.  I had a hard time finding other passages about discipline AND love in the Bible.  Hebrews seems to be the place where God lays it out the clearest.  So feel free to comment on other passages you found.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 6, Day 5 Isaiah 9:8-10:4

Summary of passage: The Lord is angry with Israel because of their pride and arrogance of heart.  They have not returned to him nor have they sought him.  So, the Lord will bring on Israel’s enemies to scorch the land, leaving the people hungry.  Isaiah warns those in power who make unjust laws and oppress the people that nothing shall remain.

Questions:

12a) Repeated phrase:  Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.  Isaiah tells/lists the reasons for the Lord’s anger to explain why He is against Israel.

b) The people have not returned to Him nor have they sought Him.  The people are prideful and arrogant.

13a) God’s angry when His people do not obey Him nor turn to Him, and ignore Him.  God’s wrath is provoked by man’s sin when they turn against Him.

Deuteronomy 29:24-28  “All the nation will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land?  Why this fierce, burning anger?”  And the answer will be:  “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt.  They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them.  Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book.  In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”

Isaiah 13: 6-13  In verse 9 “See, the day of the Lord is coming–a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger–to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners..I will punish the world for its evil..and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty in the day of his burning anger.”

b) Personal answer.  My answer:  Most people discount His wrath and do not think it’s real.  God is so far removed from their lives people believe there are no consequences.  Consequences–They will be judged.  They are not prepared for His return.  They do not understand or accept His grace.  They view God as angry when He’s only angry from His great love for us in our disobedience (like parents to children).

14) God gets angry over our behavior but loves us enough to grant us grace and forgiveness for our transgressions.

Romans 3:21-31  …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus…

Ephesians 2:3-5  “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”

Conclusions:  Wow.  I spent a couple of hours doing this lesson and learned a lot.  I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of finding passages that address God’s wrath and grace.  I gained a much greater understanding of the reasons for God’s behaviors and felt even more loved and privileged by Him.  There are many more passages but I picked the ones I liked the best to share with you.  Feel free to share your favorites in the comment section.  God bless!

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 6, Day 2: Isaiah 8:19-22 & 1 Samuel 28

Summary of Isaiah 8:19-22:  Isaiah tells the people not to consult mediums or spiritists and consult God and His word instead.  If you don’t speak to the truth of His word, you will have no light.  You will be distressed, hungry, and angry at God and, as a result,:  curse Him.  Darkness will reign.

Summary of 1 Samuel 28:  Saul was afraid of the Philistine army so he inquired of the Lord but the Lord did not answer him.  So Saul turns to a medium for answers even though Saul had expelled all mediums as required by Law.  He consults the witch of Endor in hopes of discovering the outcome of the battle.  The witch calls up Samuel who chastises Saul in not consulting the Lord and tells Saul because he hasn’t obeyed the Law and God, he will be handed over to both Israel and the Philistines and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.  Saul was filled with fear.

Questions:

3a) A medium or spiritist is a living person who is said to be a channel of communication between the Earthly world and the world of spirits.  People consult them when they believe God has abandoned them or in distress (like Saul did in 1 Samuel 28) or they are desperate and feel they have no where else to turn.

b) In Moses’ laws, you will be defiled by them (Leviticus 19:31); He will set his face against the person who consults them and cut them off from his people (Leviticus 20:6); Evil in the eyes of the Lord and provokes Him to anger (2 Kings 21:6); detestable things as outlawed in the book in the temple of the Lord (2 Kings 23:24); bring the Egyptians plans to nothing and lose heart since they consult mediums (Isaiah 19:3); do not listen to them as they only prophesy lies that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish (Jeremiah 27:9-10).  Yes since only God knows the future and He is the one in control.  Astrology can only lead you astray.

c) They have no light of dawn.  They will be distressed and hungry and roam through the land and when they are famished, they will become angry and curse God.  They will only be able to see darkness and despair–not His light and truth.

4a) Other people, from societal and cultural norms, strangers, people in authority, leaders, elders, preachers

b) Personal question.  My answer:  doctor, family, God

5) Your mind becomes clouded and darkness takes over.  Your thinking is futile so you become foolish and blame God for your unfaithfulness.  The path is opened for the Devil to step in.

Conclusions:  Tough one today.  Lots of passages to look up but it’s always fascinating to me to see how many times God mentions a subject and voices His opinion on it in multiple ways.  It reveals the importance of the topic to Him, and sometimes (like in this case) a topic I never much think of because I don’t believe in mediums.  It’s interesting to see how much this affects God and the importance of your actions; no matter how small they may seem to you, they can be big to Him.