Those who teach hold more responsbility than those that don’t. They will be judged more strictly. Although the tongue is small, it can do great damage like a spark to a forest fire. The tongue has lots of control like a bit in a horse’s mouth. No man can tame the tongue. We all say things we don’t mean. We praise God and then curse our brothers. This should not be.
You show wisdom by your good deeds. Envy and selfishness are of the devil. Heaven’s wisdom is pure, peace-loving, submissive, merciful, impartial, and sincere. Peacemakers sow righteousness.
QUESTIONS FOR JAMES 3:
Our speech reveals our hearts. It shows if we have God or not.
2) The closer I am to God, the more uplifting words come out of my mouth. When I’m mad, not so helpful words come forth. The closer I am to Him, the better I speak.
3) I always seek to be a better parent and more positive in my interactions with others, rather than negative. That does no one any good. By doing God’s will for my life rather than my own, I hope to find wisdom
CONCLUSIONS TO WORDGO JAMES 3:
Good passage. Like our walk with God, we always have to be cognizant of our tongue or we can slip and say something we don’t mean or is hurtful. It’s a constant battle, just like the battle against sin. By listening more as James told us to do in James 1:19, our speech will be better, too.
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR JAMES 1-2:
15) This is a hard one. Just to be more like Jesus. Here, it’s to do good works, not just works. That’s hard for me.
16) Another tough one. I fear I’m no help today. You can either adopt the “poor is me” attitude, or you can keep moving forward. I prefer to keep moving forward. Just try to do more for those around me.
CONCLUSIONS TO WEEK 1 OF WORDGO’S STUDY OF JAMES
A challenging day, but one to make you think. See ya next week!
13) Unsure about “already” changed my thoughts and actions as I believe change — especially Godly change — takes time. Powerful chapters about perseverence, listening to others, and not playing favorites, as well as showing your faith through deeds. Remembering these is the key for me, and I try to every day.
14) Not much. I have studied this passage before so I understand you must put your beliefs into actions. Of course, this is easier said than done, so I strive to do so a little bit more each day.
CONCLUSIONS TO WEEK 1 OF WORDGO’S STUDY OF JAMES
James seems like a very, very wise man whom I wish we had more of his writings. But what we do have are cherished nuggets to hold onto. That is my prayer for you all.
See ya next week for Week 2 of WordGo’s Study of James!
Faith requires deeds, or for you to live out the teachings of the Bible through your actions. It does not good to wish someone to be well fed if they have no food. Abraham’s faith was shown in his willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, when asked to by God. Abraham was credited as righteous.
Rahab was credited as righteous when she sent the spies away. Faith without deeds is dead.
QUESTIONS FOR JAMES 2:14-26:
10) Since Christians are held to a higher standard, we are called to help others. You show your faith through your actions. Great reminder to be looking for ways to show God’s love always.
11) You can believe that God is real, but if you don’t show you believe it, it’s pointless. True faith is living as if Jesus will come again. Intellectural faith is where you don’t quite believe this in your heart.
12) I personally like the example of the brother or sister without food. We are called to help those in need, and this is a perfect example of how to help.
CONCLUSIONS TO WORDGO JAMES 2:14-26:
This is a popular bible passage to study, and BSF has referred to it in many of their studies. Basically, live out your faith. Don’t just call yourself a Christian; show you have God’s heart for others.
Jacob’s sons propose the Shechemites be circumcised to have Dinah as Shechem’s wife. They agree, and they convince the townspeople to become circumcised as well with the idea that then everything Jacob owns (livestock and property) will be theirs. Two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, slaughter all of the men in the town when they are still recovering from circumcision and are weak. They kill Hamor and his son, Shechem. They take Dinah back, looted the city of its wealth, and took all of the women and children as plunder.
Jacob chastized his sons (not for killing, mind you), but for now making them a target for other groups of people who may be afraid of Jacob or who may enact revenge as well. The sons uphold that they could not let the crime against Dinah go unpunished.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
6a) Their motivation was revenge, plain and simple.
b) Obviously, innocent people were killed, lives were ruined, families were destroyed. Simeon and Levi have lost credibility as leaders with this action. Their tribes will be scattered. In fact, Simeon’s tribe ceases to exist, being absorbed completely in Judah. Levi’s tribe is scattered as well, but because of their faithfulness with the golden calf (Exodus 32:26-28), they would be a blessing to all of Israel.
7a) Negative ways are with violence against others, most of whom are innocent, by looting, pillaging, setting buildings on fire, etc. Positive ways are finding ways to change so it doesn’t happen again.
b) God is the one who will enact revenge for evil deeds, not you. Instead, overcome evil with good. Love your enemy and feed them. Live at peace with the enemy, and do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
c) You pray about it. You ask yourself if your actions are in accordance with what the Bible says. You ask yourself if you are responding out of love or hate. You find peace with your actions.
8 ) Listen to God and do what He says. Don’t enact your own revenge. Don’t let anger get the best of you. Do what is right.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
Now, Jacob had impetus to do what God says and return to Bethel because now they can’t stay there. I also find it interesting that Levi does this. His line is the one chosen by God for the priesthood. Ironic, isn’t it? The sons has this all planned out. They weren’t going to let the marriage take place, so they tricked them into circumcision so they would be easier to kill. This I find to be the worst part.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
There is a reason that circumcison is performed on babies: it’s infinitely easier to recover from when you are a baby than when you are an adult. The procedure is more complicated and the recovery time is much longer. The area may remain swollen afterwards for 2-3 weeks, and it can take up to six weeks for full recovery.
Jacob’s sons had this planned from the beginning. They used Dinah and God’s sacred sign of circumcision and defiled it to enact revenge and evil.
Obviously, wealth was the reason Shechem and Hamor agree, and they use wealth to convince the other men.
Circumcision is painful, especially in adulthood. Odds are, the men are all recovering in their homes, lying around, letting time do its thing, when they are attacked.
Simeon and Levi commit a worse crime than Shechem did. They kill all the men, plunder the city, and take the women and children. Pretty sure God is not happy right now.
Not Jacob is called Jacob here, not Israel. Jacob is only concerned with what will happen to him, not at all about what his sons did.
Tragic scene with no remorse shown for annihilated an entire culture. I wonder what Dinah thinks of all this? She was obviously used, and although the brothers use her reputation as a reason for all this, it’s obvious they don’t care about her feelings. Maybe she did like Shechem. Now he’s dead. She goes from being raped back to Shechem and now back to Jacob. Her life is pretty much ruined after all this. In these times, women were objects, and no one cared what they thought or how they were treated, as seen here. Although we see the women of the Bible as strong, they are still second to men, and sometimes, they are not seen at all, as Dinah is here.
FUN FACTS ABOUT DINAH
Dinah is the only mentioned daughter of Jacob in the Bible
Jacob asks for Rachel’s hand once his 7 years is up. Laban throws a feast, but when evening came he substitued Leah for Rachel. He gave Leah a servant named Zilpah. When morning came, Jacob realized he had been tricked. When he confronts Laban, Laban says the custom is to take the older daughter first. Jacob agrees to keep Leah as his wife, but he then marries Rachel in exchange for 7 more years of labor. Rachel’s servant is Bilhah.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 4: Genesis 29:21-30
9) Laban may have been worried no one would marry Leah is she was uncomely. He also knew he could get free labor from Jacob basically for another 7 years. When he confronts Laban, Laban says the custom is to take the older daughter first.
10) Leah is now married to someone who does not love her. Rachel is favored. Rachel has to share her husband. No one trusts Laban.
11) Jacob deceived Esau out of the blessing, and he pretends to be Esau to receive Isaac’s blessing. Galatians says that Jacob sowed a sinful nature and reaped destruction because of it.
12) Just because you are forgiven does not mean you can change what happened. You cannot undo anything in this world. Actions reap other actions. You are responsible for your choices.
13) Unsure. It’s hard to see this from my eyes.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 4: Genesis 29:21-30
I’m wondering how this went down and how both women felt about this. Leah was forced to marry someone who did not want her. Rachel was forced to allow her sister to take her place that night. I’m wondering too how Jacob did not notice this before he slept with her. Assuming there was no light, and no one said anything or Jacob would have recognized her voice. Still, the logistics of this deceit baffle me. You would think someone would know here.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 4: Genesis 29:21-30
Leah would have been veiled until they were alone together and with no artificial light….still….
Neither girl had a say in this deceit. It was all Laban. Leah may have been happy, sad, angry. We just don’t know.
The morning must have been a shock. Everyone was angry probably — all because of original sin — Jacob’s.
Many Bible scholars believe that Laban’s excuse was made up and was no custom or law at that time.
Polygamy was a sin of ignorance in Abraham’s day. The example was Adam and Eve, but there was no law against more than one wife. Here Jacob is forced to have 2 wives in order to save Leah from a life of solitude, but it is still a sin.
Jacob most definitely reaped what he had sown, and while Jacob was the younger chosen by God to receive the blessing, he married the older instead.
God disciplined Jacob by allowing this to happen as a consequence of his previous sins. Still, Laban is guilty of sin as well. He used his own daughters for free labor and to ensure Leah was married.
The second 7 years was probably a lot tougher than the first. This was definitely a harder pill to swallow, especially considering Jacob’s age.
Laban gets what he wants initially, but, like always, he’ll get his later. God gives people what they want even when they use sin as a means, but they still have consequences.
In this time, Leah was not defiled and could not be married to another. Jacob was obligated to keep her. That being said, I don’t see how he was obligated to sleep with her and have children with her, especially if he didn’t love her EXCEPT for God’s mandate to be fruitful and multiply. Still, I don’t see how he continued doing this.
Having multiple wives was not uncommon in this culture at that time.
Jacob awakes the next day, declaring that this place is the house of God. He poured oil on top of the stone he was sleeping on and called the place Bethel, which means House of God. Jacob vows the Lord will be his God if God is with him and watches over him and gives him food and clothes so that he can return safely home. He declares he will give God a tenth as well.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22
12) It’s as if Jacob finally realized that God is with him here. I don’t like how it seems like God will be God to Jacob only if God is with him and watches over him and gives him food and clothes so that he can return safely home. It seems like Jacob’s promise is conditional; whereas, God’s promises are not.
13) Every day.
14) Just to trust that I am where I need to be at this time in my life and doing what He wants me to do even though I’d like to be doing something else.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22
I like how Jacob has completely changed after this encounter with God. So it is for Christians, but we need to hold onto that when life does get us down.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22
Fun Fact: Bethel is mentioned more times in the Old Testament than any other place except Jerusalem.
God grasps its significance to Jacob by calling himself the God of Bethel. (Genesis 31:13).
You can translate this as “Since God is will be with me.” However, most Bible scholars believe if is accurate. Jacob is still not confident God will be with him, which is why he puts condition on God being His God. He had to see God do what he said he would before he would believe. Sadly, many are like this instead of just believing God. (Philippians 4:19) (Nahum 1:7).
Laban will help teach Jacob submission.
God did not back down from His promises despite Jacob’s response. He still is the God of Jacob (Exodus 3:6).
God’s promises were not good enough for Jacob. Are His promises good enough for you?
Esau returns, saying the same words as Jacob, asking his father to sit up, eat, and bless him. Isaac realizes he had been tricked with Esau’s arrival. Esau wants his father’s blessing, but Isaac says it is too late.
Esau is angry how Jacob tricked him into taking his birthright and his blessing. Isaac tells Esau that Jacob will be lord over him and everything and then tells him the future that he will dwell away from the earth’s riches and the dew of the heavens. He will live by the sword and serve his brother. But he will throw off his yoke. Esau plans to murder Jacob once Isaac has passed.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41
10) Esau does not respect the birthright by giving it to Jacob for a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:31). He marries pagan women who were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 26:35). Esau is angry and keeps demanding Isaac’s blessing in Genesis 27, which truly only God can give.
11a) Regret means,”feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).” You wish you had not done whatever you are regretting. Repentance means, “the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.” You look at your actions and feel regret for what you did wrong. According to Wikipedia, repetance means: Repentance is the activity of reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to and actual actions that show and prove a change for the better. In Judaism and Christianity it is often defined as an action, turning away from self-serving activities and turning to God, to walk in his ways.
b) Esau shows regret over selling his birthright and missing out on the blessing (Genesis 27:36). Isaac shows regret that he blessed Jacob instead of Esau (Genesis 27:33), but repentance when he realizes that God’s will is done (Genesis 27:37-40).
2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
12) Everything works together for my good (Romans 8:28). That God is in control. He has this; I don’t. It is as God has meant it to be.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41
Esau reacts out of anger and vows to kill Jacob instead of accepting God’s ulimate authority and will. Isaac realizes God’s will has been done, and he accepts it.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41
Isaac’s trembling could be because he realizes that God is in control no matter what he tries to do. He also realizes he was wrong in trying to circumvent God and does not try to retract his blessing. He knows God’s will has been done and tells Esau this as well.
Esau is angry (rightfully so). However, he knows God’s words from His revelation to Rebekah, yet he fights against them. Now that he’s older, he understands that the birthright brings material advantages as well. Here, he cares about it for the first time and wants it back, blaming Jacob when God had already chosen.
Esau wept not out of a sense of wrongdoing or repentance, but out of sense of what he had lost in material wealth and privilege. (Hebrews 12:15-17) shows how Esau was rejected despite his tears and plea here.
Isaac Blesses Esau
These comforting words from Isaac about Esau’s future were not bad and could be considered a blessing. Many Bible scholars believe that “your dwelling will be away from the earth’s presence” should read “from” without the away. This means he will be a nomad, he will have to fight to live, but he won’t be under Jacob his entire life.
We’ll see later that Esau was blessed, indeed. (Genesis 33:9)
Esau was jealous of Jacob and wanted to kill him when Isaac died. Little did he know this would be decades down the road.
The angel of the Lord calls to Abraham a second time from heaven with a message from God, saying that because of his obedience, God will bless Abraham and make his descendants numerous. They will take possession of the cities of their enemies and all nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience. Abraham set off for his home in Beersheba.
We are told the sons of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, because Rebekah, Isaac’s future wife, is in this lineage.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 14, Day 4: Genesis 22:15-24
11) Why not swear by himself? God can do what he wants. Bible scholars think this may be Jesus so God is swearing by Jesus/Himself. Also, this emphasizes that the covenant is all one way — God is making the promise with nothing from Abraham. God is making it abundantly clear by swearing on His own perfect character. Hebrews 6:13-19: “When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater to swear by, he swore by himself.”
12a) God will bless Abraham and make his descendants numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. They will take possession of the cities of their enemies and all nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.
b) Everyone is heirs to this promise and been blessed. Jesus wil also come from Abraham’s descendants.
13a) Personal Question. My answer: We all have Abraham and our ancestors to thank for the life we lead right now and for knowing God. Everything is connected, and God’s blessing is passed down from generation to generation.
b) Luke 1:37: “For nothing is impossible with God.”
Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 14, Day 4: Genesis 22:15-24
Love God’s reward here and His repeated reiteration of it.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 14, Day 4: Genesis 22:15-24
Many Bible scholars believe the angel of the Lord here is Jesus.
We should always take note when the Bible repeats something. Here, we see once again that Isaac is called Abraham’s only son Genesis 22:2 and 22:12 like Jesus was God’s only son. God repeats his covenant to point out the greatness of Abraham’s obedience.
Scientists believe that the number of stars in the sky is about equivalent to the number of grains of sand on the seashore.
Why mention Nahor’s sons?
Because one of the grandkids of Nahor is Rebekah, who will become Isaac’s wife. Again, we are being shown the entire lineage of Christ.
Here the bible mentions concubines for the first time. Having more than one wife was something almost every ancient culture did. As we’ve seen, concubines only cause family’s trouble in the Bible, and this was never how God meant marriages to be.