birds www.atozmomm.com

Summer Bible Study: WordGo’s Study of Hebrews: Week 3, Day 6: Hebrews 10:21-22

PASSAGE IN HEBREWS

“…and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings…”

Hebrews 10:21-22

REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR HEBREWS 10:21-22

15) God puts you where He wants you. Opportunities open up, and you walk through them.

16) “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will recevie what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36

CONCLUSIONS TO WEEK 3 OF WORDGO’S STUDY OF HEBREWS

Keep pushing is all I can do. Persevere, and keep faith and hope alive.

penguins www.atozmomm.com

Summer Bible Study: WordGo’s Study of Hebrews: Week 3, Day 5: Hebrews 8-10

REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR HEBREWS 8-10

13) God’s intentions were from the beginning and were/are perfect. His story in the Bible is the story of the world. The Old Covenant was always meant to be temporary until Jesus came.

14) There’s always hope to find Jesus. Once unbelievers find him, all of their sins will be forgiven.

CONCLUSIONS TO WORDGO HEBREWS 8-10

Very powerful chapters showing Jesus as our High Priest, the one and only perfect sacrifice to take away our sins. Love the perseverance part.

devil's tower www.atozmomm.com

Summer Bible Study: WordGo’s Study of Hebrews: Week 2, Day 5: Hebrews 4:14-7

REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR HEBREWS 4:14-7

13) God has everything perfectly planned from the beginning. Jesus has always been the plan, and we can take comfort in that, especially when events in the world happen that we don’t understand.

14) It matters because before Jesus the only way to God was via a priest. Since Jesus is the perfect and permanent priest, we can now have access to God directly.

CONCLUSIONS TO WORDGO HEBREWS 4:14-7

Admittedly, this passage was more relevant to first century Jews than to us. That being said, it still shows us the perfect plan of God and explains how Jesus is the final and only way to Him.

www.atozmomm.com summer bible study online bsf wordgo study of hebrews red rose

Summer Bible Study: WordGo’s Study of Hebrews: Week 1, Day 2: Hebrews 2

SUMMARY OF HEBREWS 2:

The writer of Hebrews warns us to pay attention to what you hear so you don’t drift away from God. The salvation you need to hear by announced by God and confirmed by those that heard him. Plus, there were signs, wonders, and miracles to confirm it.

Everything was put under Jesus, including the angels and subject to him. Jesus is made perfect through suffering.

Jesus was made human so that he could share in their humanity. His death destroyed the devil’s power over them and freed them from the fear of death. Jesus became a merciful high priest to God to atone for humanity’s sins. He can help those who are tempted because Jesus was tempted, too.

QUESTIONS FOR HEBREWS 2:

4) Everything was put under Jesus, including the angels and subject to him. Jesus is made perfect through suffering.

Jesus was made human so that he could share in their humanity. His death destroyed the devil’s power over them and freed them from the fear of death. Jesus became a merciful high priest to God to atone for humanity’s sins. He can help those who are tempted because Jesus was tempted, too.

5) The writer of Hebrews warns us to pay attention to what you hear so you don’t drift away from God. The salvation you need to hear by announced by God and confirmed by those that heard him. Plus, there were signs, wonders, and miracles to confirm it. The consequences could result in punishments.

6) Fear I’ll not have enough time to accomplish God’s role for me here. Jesus has the power to defeat every sin. Trust in him.

CONCLUSIONS TO WORDGO HEBREWS 2

I love the book of Hebrews and am super excited to be reading it again. I love this passage about Jesus being like us for us. He did so much for us. Paying attention to him is what we need to do more of.

www.atozmomm.com summer bible study online bsf wordg butterflyo study of james

Summer Bible Study: WordGo’s Study of James: Week 2, Day 4: James 5:

SUMMARY OF JAMES 5:

James warns the rich that their wealth has rotted and the moths have eaten their clothes. Their gold and silver are corroded. They have lived on earth in luxury and indulgence and condemned and murdered innocent men.

He tells believers to be patient and stand firm for the Lord is coming. Don’t grumble against each other. Be patient like the prophets. Job persevered. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. Don’t swear.

Pray for healing for prayer is powerful. Elijah prayed and the Lord answered. Save those who have wandered.

QUESTIONS FOR JAMES 5:

10) Too many ways to name. Those who are wealthy have power, and they do evil sometimes rather than good.

11) I love his example of Job who had the ultimate faith and perseverance. When I get down, remembering Job and all he suffered makes my sufferings inconsequential.

12) I love the prayer offered in faith and when you are in trouble or sick. God doesn’t answer if you don’t ask.

CONCLUSIONS TO WORDGO JAMES 5

Lots of good nuggets and reminders here about how to live. Patience is one of those. Prayer is the other. Remembering those who came before us can give us perspective when we need it the most.

20 skekels of gold www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

Summary of Genesis 37:12-36:

Joseph’s brothers were sent to graze the flocks near Shechem. Jacob asks Joseph to go and check on his brothers. When Joseph arrived in Shechem, his brothers were no where to be found, so he asked about them. He was told they went to Dothan.

Joseph went to Dothan to find them. As he approached his brothers, they recognized him and plotted to kill him and throw him in a cistern and leave him to die. Reuben, the oldest, said not to kill him, but just throw him in the cistern, probably planning to come and get him once he learned his lesson.

When Joseph arrived, he was stripped of his coat and thrown into the empty cistern. Ironically, they casually sat and ate lunch when a caravan of Ishmaelites strode by on their way to Egypt. Judah suggested not to kill Joseph so they would not have blood on their hands, but to sell him to these approaching Ishmaelities. So they sold Joseph for 20 shekels of silver who took Joseph to Egypt.

Reuben who apparently was not with his brothers returned to rescue Joseph who was not there. Upon not finding him, he tore his clothes. Instead, they killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat into the blood. They took this robe back to Jacob who assumed an animal had tore him to pieces.

Jacob tore his clothes and mourned for many days. Jacob refused to be comforted and said he would mourn till the day he died. Joseph was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, who was the captain of the guard.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

6) I’m assuming Jacob did not trust his sons. Or, because of what happened to Dinah in (Genesis 34), Jacob may still be worried about the neighboring tribes taking their revenge against him and his family.

7) They immediately started to plot against him. I’m assuming anger had been boiling up inside them for quite some time.

8a) They planned to say a wild animal tore him to pieces.

b) God had both Reuben and Judah have a twinge of guilt and not want to kill Joseph.

c) Man is evil through and through to plot to kill your own brother and sell him into slavery for a mere 20 shekels of silver.

9a) Unsure. Most definitely nothing like this.

b) Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

I noticed how they used one of Jacob’s animals, a goat, and killed it to cover their crime. This was not even their animal to kill.

I’m unsure how Joseph’s brothers can sit and eat before they kill him. Joseph had to be screaming and begging for mercy. This shows just how evil man can be.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

map of joseph sold into slavery www.atozmomm.com

Tending sheep and goats is not exactly easy. You are outside in the hot sun all day, every day. You have to defend the animals against wild predators, sleep outside in the elements and on the hard ground, and hardly get any time off. Joseph, on the other hand, stayed at camp, slept in his own bed, and probably did not do much work at all.

Joseph was seen by his brothers probably a mile away due to his multi-colored coat. Here we also see Joseph is a supervisory role, not unlike his sheaves dream.

Dothan was about 10 to 15 mile walk. We see Dothan in the Bible again where God protected Elisha (2 Kings 6:13-17) like God protects Joseph here too.

Since Joseph had reported bad things before, the brothers assumed he would again. Their anger must have been great to make the leap to murder.

Fruitless to Oppose God

Interestingly, the brothers opposed God, not Joseph here. Note we see this repeatedly in the book of Genesis as humans are told God’s plans, perhaps even by God or Jesus himself, and they do everything in their power to thwart God’s plans. God wins anyway. God never fails.

We’ll see Joseph rise to become the 2nd most powerful person in the known world. Only God can do such a thing.

Reuben has a twinge of guilt, probably from God. He proposes to throw Joseph into the cistern without killing him.

Note how Reuben did not want to offend his brothers. Because of this, Joseph is sold into slavery, lost to them in essence. If Reuben had been firm as the oldest brother about returning Joseph to his father, this might not have happened. It’s funny because we all know God meant all of this to happen so Joseph could save God’s chosen family. It’s insanely hard to wrap your mind around.

Jesus in Joseph

All throughout the book of Genesis, we’ll see Jesus in Joseph. Here, we see Joseph being stripped as Jesus was. Note how even though we may lose every material thing, God can never be stripped from us.

The brothers were beyond cruel as Joseph pleaded for his life.  Genesis 42:21 When your heart has turned to evil, it can be insanely hard to break free. The brothers were not only ruining Joseph’s life, and probably killing him in a cruel way from a life of slavery, but they were about to break their father’s heart.

We see Arab traders headed the brothers’ way. Most likely, they were descendants of Ishmael, so very distant relatives.

Money turns many a man’s soul black. The idea stemmed from Judah, Jesus’ relative. However, he will be transformed from this experience.

joseph thrown in cistern www.atozmomm.com

20 Shekels of Silver

20 shekels of silver was not that much money (each shekel was probably equivalent to about $20). We don’t know what words were exchanged between Joseph and his brothers here. Perhaps Joseph was in shock and speechless. Maybe he was crying. Maybe he forgave his brothers then. Maybe the brothers laughed. All we know is what happened.

We see no signs of guilt from the brothers and probably the determination to take their secret to the grave with them. Utter selfishness and evil here.

Was Jacob wrong to mourn so long here? Many Bible scholars say Jacob should have known Jospeh would have eternal life. However, this is before Jesus. Jacob cannot know this.

Egypt at this time was a well-established culture and power. They were wealthy. The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx had been built hundreds of years before Joseph. They had no real enemies. They enjoyed life to the fullest. Joseph was about to enter a whole different world than one of a goat herder.

The Greatness of Joseph’s Story

Joseph’s story is perhaps one of the greatest because we can see the consequences of our actions in what happens to Joseph, as well as how God orchestrates it all. In fact, we can thank Joseph’s sinful brothers for what they did to Joseph for we would not be here otherwise. God’s plan never fails, ever:

  • Joseph is sold into slavery
  • Joseph is bought by Potiphar
  • Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of rape
  • Joseph is thrown into prison
  • Joseph interprets the dreams of two men in prison, Pharaoh’s baker and butler
  • Joseph then interprets Pharaoh’s dreams
  • Joseph is made 2nd in command in Egypt
  • Joseph prepares for the great famine
  • Joseph saves his family
  • Joseph saves the Messiah
jacob flees on camels home www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Summary of Genesis 31:

Laban’s sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. The Lord told Jacob it was time to return to his homeland. Jacob called Rachel and Leah to him and told them how he has worked for Laban despite the wages being constantly changed but God has been with him and has blessed him with their father’s livestock.

Jacob recounts a dream where God acknowledged Laban’s treachery and told Jacob to leave for home at once.  Rachel and Leah agree and say all Jacob has gained from their father should be theirs anyways as an inheritance.  Jacob and his family left Paddan Aram along with all of his livestock and goods for Canaan.  Rachel stole all of her father’s household gods and Jacob left without telling Laban.  They crossed the Euphrates.

Laban found out after three days that Jacob had fled.  He pursued him and caught up with him in Gilead.  God came to Laban in a dream, warning him not to speak to Jacob. Laban, in his infinite wisdom, speaks to Jacob anyways, and asks him why he had fled without saying good bye and why he has stolen the idols.

Jacob replies that he was afraid Laban would take his daughters from him (can’t blame him here) and that if someone has stolen the idols, may they die.

Laban searched and found nothing for Rachel was sitting on them and said she was having her period so she couldn’t stand to greet him.  Laban found nothing.

Jacob is mad at Laban for accusing him of stealing.  He points out how he has worked 20 years for him, 14 for his daughters and 6 for his flocks even though Laban has changed his wages on him 10 times, and God Himself even rebuked Laban for his behavior.

So Laban and Jacob made a covenant, asking Jacob not to mistreat his daughters or take any more wives and neither will cross the other’s “side” to harm each other.  They offered a sacrifice, spent the night, and the next day Laban bid his daughters farewell and left.

Summary of Hebrews 12:3-15:

The Lord disciplines those He loves and punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline for God is treating you as a son.  For if you are not disciplines then you are not sons of God.  Everyone is disciplined.  God disciplines us for our good so we may share in His holiness.

Discipline is never pleasant, but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Make every effort to live in peace and be holy; without holiness, no one sees the Lord. Do not be bitter.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

11) Jacob had noticed that Laban’s sons believed he had stolen Laban’s wealth, and Laban’s attitude towards Jacob had changed, too. But it was God who told Jacob to return.

12a) ) Verse 7 “God has not allowed him (Laban) to harm me.” verse 9 “God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.” Verse 11-13 “I am the God of Bethel” and God made the animals born spotted. verse 42 “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you (Laban) would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” They made a covenant together that resolved the bitterness.

b) Pray and thank God.

13) Verse 3 “And I will be with you.” Verse 42: But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you. It encourages me that all my work is worth it, and God is with me.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Unsure whey we read Hebrews here since we weren’t asked about it. Rachel is most definitely smart in hiding the idols. However, taking them? Not so smart. She has God. She needs nothing else.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

pretty landscape www.atozmomm.com

Just as Rachel is jealous of Leah, Laban’s sons are jealous of Jacob’s wealth. Love does not envy  (1 Corinthians 13:4). Envy is bad; it killed Jesus. (Matthew 27:18).

God is nudging Jacob back home (Genesis 30:25) and encouraging him, too.

God reminds Jacob of his Bethel (Genesis 28:10), where God has spurred him on to find Rachel. It’s good for all of us to remember times and places where God has shown up. This strengthens us and encourages us in times we feel God is far away.

It was important for Jacob to have the support of his wives. After all, they would be leaving their family for the first time ever, taking their kids with them, to an unknown land. Both women agreed for once and were ready to help in any way they could.

One cool detail you might have missed is that Jacob’s entire family road camels. This is like saying everyone drove their own car here in the US. It’s a sign of Jacob’s immense wealth.

Jacob snuck away when he did not need to. God had already told him to go. It’s evident he would be protected. Perhaps Jacob is so mad at Laban at this point he just wanted to leave.

Rachel Steals her Father’s Idols

We are not told why Rachel stole the idols. Obviously, you should not steal, especially from your mother and father (she broke two of God’s ten commandments here yet to be given to Moses). Scholars debate the reasons:

  • She herself secretly worshipped these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to worship these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to catch them through divination
  • Idols were traditionally used as deeds to property
  • She didn’t like her father, so she took something of his to anger him
  • She wanted protection on the long journey

The reason didn’t matter. She stole; this is wrong.

They left Paddan Aram and Haran for Gilead, which is about 300 miles away and close to the sea of Galilee. Since it took 3 days for Laban to notice, the families must have lived a considerable distance away from one another. Note that God cautions Laban to deal fairly with Jacob. Laban was probably angry and did intend to harm him. God’s warning meant “you touch him and you will pay.”

may of jacob's flight from laban www.atozmomm.com

Jacob and Home

Jacob is close to home when Laban catches up. It took Laban 7 days to catch up to Jacob who is now near the Jordan River and very close to home. Laban tried to shame him with a celebration and a chance to say good bye to his family. He threatens harm as well. Jacob fervently denies he stole the idols, not knowing Rachel had.

Jacob let Laban have it, citing all he had done for him in 20 years and showing him how ungrateful he was being. He was angry over it all, maybe even remembering the trickery of Leah. He helped Laban. Jacob replaced any lost animal of Laban’s with his own and tells him that God sent him away.

Note that Jacob does not claim God as his own, only Abraham and Isaac’s.

Mizpah meant God is watching and He will repay you if you sin. Laban still claims everything is his, but says he’ll let Jacob have it. The pillar was a sign of their separation. It appears they still left with much animosity between them. From here on out, Jacob’s family will be separated from everyone else.

Laban will never see his daughters or grandchildren again. He now disappears from Bible history, presumably returning home and living out his life as he always had. The separation between Laban and Jacob had to happen. Like this example shows us, it is not always pretty.

jacob uses selective breeding for spots genesis 30 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Summary of Genesis 30:25-43:

Jacob asks Laban if he may return to his home country with his wife and children and flocks.  But Laban asks him to stay for he knows he has prospered only because of Jacob so he offers Jacob to name his price to stay.  Jacob says he will stay if Laban will give him as wages every speckled or spotted sheep and every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat that is born.  He will separate out the current speckled and spotted and dark-colored animals and those will be cared for by Laban’s sons, which will decrease the odds of these being born.

Laban divided the animals as agreed upon and separated the flocks.  Jacob then placed tree branches in the water troughs so when the flocks came to drink they would mate. Jacob, caring for the solid-colored animals, kept his flocks separate from Laban’s and he only kept the strong ones.  The weak ones went to Laban.  Jacob grew exceedingly prosperous.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

9a) Laban tries to say that he has learned by “divinination” that God has blessed him because of Jacob, which he did not. Jacob agrees with the idea in mind to trick Laban into him getting more sheep and goats by breeding for colors that he thought he could choose. He made separate flocks for him and Laban. Jacob’s grew strong, while Laban’s did not.

b) God, as always

10a) I always ask to myself when these “why did God do something,” why not? God can do what He wants. Why not bless Jacob if He wanted to? Why does/should God bless anyone? None of us deserve it. Genesis 12:1-3 tells us that God has promised to bless Abraham, and since Jacob now has the blessing, God will bless Jacob. Colossians 3:22-25 says we are working for God. 1 Peter 2:18-20 says to submit to your masters even if they are harsh. 1 Peter 3:9 says to repay evil with blessings. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says to give God your worries.

b) God has a plan, and it is good. He will bless you in His time.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Funny how neither one has learned anything as they have gotten older. Both Laban and Jacob are back at scheming again.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Jacob wants to go home, so he asks his master, Laban, for permission. Laban does not want him to go, knowing that he has prospered thanks to God’s blessing on Jacob. Jacob takes the spotted sheep and goats for his flock and intends to keep only the colored ones that are born, leaving Laban with all the others. Laban thinks he is getting a great deal since the spotted ones are rarer. However, he forgot who God is blessing — Jacob, not him.

Jacob cared for Laban’s solid color animals. Laban’s sons cared for the speckled and spotted ones three-days journey away.

Jacob put branches in the troughs to increase the number of spotted animals born so they could be his. He used the modern-day practice of selective breeding to get the characteristics (in this case, spots) that he wanted. We will see in Genesis 31:10-13 that God was behind it all.

God blesses Jacob because of the covenant promise, not because of anything he does/did. We are blessed through Jesus Christ, not anything we have done/did.

We see the example through Jacob of working for others in faith God will bless you, of working hard, and of trusting God to do the rest.

spotted lizard www.atozmomm.com

leah and rachel have more kids genesis 30 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

Summary of Genesis 30:14-24:

Reuben gathered mandrakes for Leah. Rachel asked for some and Leah refused. Rachel told Leah she could sleep with Jacob then that night in exchange for mandraks. Jacob slept with Leah and she had another son named Issachar, meaning “reward.” Zebulon, meaning “honor” was born to Leah next. She also had a daughter named Dinah. God listened to Rachel and gave her a son as well named Joseph, meaning “may he add.”

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

6) We are not told this. This is speculation. As the head of the household, Jacob could end all of this mess at any point. He is weak and does not. I have no empathy for him. The kids we do not know. They are obviously impacted by their respective mother’s strained relationships, but we are not told how. Probably sibling rivalry and jealousy, but that’s common in every household tody.

7a) God listened and opened her womb.

b) God is in control and sovereign.

8 ) I learned early on to depend on God because humans in my life have let me down so often. As my husband starts a new career, we all are depending on God to help make up the shortfall in income.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

We see the desperation of both women here. Leah is still desperate for Jacob to love her, and Rachel is desperate for children. God is the only one we should be desperate for. He is our everything. In Him lies the answers to everything we seek.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

Leviticus 18:18  woudl forbide the marrying of sisters. The Israelites will finally learn here that this is not a good idea.

The mandrake (called love apple in Hebrew) is mentioned in the Bible here and in Song of Songs 7:13. It is common in Israel and often grows as a weed. It is a member of the nightshade family, which contains the tobacco plant, as well as common vegetables, such as potatoes and tomatoes. It resembles a human so it was regarded with superstition in ancient times. It was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to promote fertility, which is why Rachel was willing to trade time with her husband for it. While the mandrake is common in Israel, it is rare in Paddan-Aram where they lived. This shows that both women are relying on a superstitious plant to solve their problems, rather than turning to God.

mandrake plant in bible www.atozmomm.com

We can gather from the text that Jacob had not been sleeping with Leah all that much since she accuses Rachel of stealing her husband. Rachel uses or prostitutes Jacob to get what she wants here. Both are trading sex and love, which should never be done. God is soveign though here again. He gives both women children, the one who gave the mandrake and the one who bargained for them, too.

The Bible warns of believing superstitions in our life. (Ex. 22:18Rev. 22:15)  Do you have any superstitions?

Issachar adn Zebulun are sons nine and ten for Jacob. Leah was done having children at this point.

God is often credited (rightly so) as opening and closing wombs in Old Testament times (Genesis 25:21), (Genesis 29:31), (1 Samuel 1:5).

Finally, Joseph is born to Rachel, Jacob’s 11th son.