30 Days to Understanding the Bible Session 2

Faith Church May 1, 2004

Overview:  This session covers the material in Chapters 4-7

 

I.  Creation

Let me ask you to look over what our author has written on pages 33-34.

INPUT - How do these words impact you?

Now, there are four major events in Genesis 1-11.

INPUT:  What are they?

1.  Creation

2.  Fall

3.  Flood

4.  Tower

INPUT:  For each, ask the class members to tell you what they know about each of the four events, and what principles we can learn from each of the events [May want to brainstorm these on the white board].

 

[Show where these events took place in your room that has been converted into a map]

[Have them take Quiz - Self-test on pages 36-38]

 

 

II.  Patriarchs

This era, the “Patriarch Era” = a time of godly men presiding over a growing family

 

INPUT;  Who are the main patriarchs?:  Abraham & Isaac & Jacob & Joseph

A.  Abraham:  Father of the Hebrew people (Genesis 12-23)

Because of Adam’s sin and the fall of man, God attention is now focused on a plan of redemption for mankind.  God wants a people through whom He can work to produce a reflection of Himself, and through whom He can spread the message of redemption to the world.  He chooses Abraham who becomes the father of the Hebrew people.

 

INPUT:  Why did God chose Abraham?

 God said, “I loved you because I loved you”  Deuteronomy 7:7 "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

INPUT:  Why does God love/chose us?   (various answers)

Point:  Not that WE have anything to offer (all our righteousness is as filthy rags – all have sinned and come short of the glory of God) – it’s just that God is that kind of a loving God! Song:  Amazing love, how can it be? That Thou, my God, would die for me?

INPUT:  What do you remember about Abraham? (Hit highlights)

(Promises of God, Gen 12; the failure of Abraham to trust God--Gen 16, Ishmael; The miraculous birth of Isaac –Gen 21; Sacrifice of Isaac—Gen 22; etc.)

 

B.  Isaac:  Second father of promise (Genesis 24-26)

The fact that we even see Isaac in the History books goes to show us that  it doesn’t matter how absurd we think something is, when God makes a promise, He fulfills it!

INPUT:  (Only if you think there is time for this question)  What are some examples of promises God has made and has already kept?(various answers)

 

Notes about Isaac:

Witnesses several miracles during his life

Lives in the land of Abraham (becomes prosperous – part of the “blessing” that was promised)

Dies at an old age after fathering Esau and Jacob

 

C.  Jacob:  Father of the nation of Israel (Genesis 27-35)

INPUT:  What do you know about Jacob?

The promises are passed on to Jacob (Isaac, on his deathbed, blesses Jacob – review the story & “Jacob” means “deceiver”), Jacob begins life as a deceiver ,But through a series of miracles and other encounters with god, he come around and changes his ways, He has 12 sons and the promises of Abraham are passed down to them all as a family, While Abraham is the FATHER OF THE HEBREW PEOPLEJacob is the FATHER OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL (as each of his 12 sons becomes the father of one of the 12 tribes the make up the nation of Israel)

 

D.  Joseph:  Leader in Egypt (Genesis 37-50)

Abraham’s promises are taken more seriously by Jacob’s 11thson – Joseph

Jacob’s sons, for the most part, have very little commitment to God’s call on them as a nation

They sell Joseph as a slave, and he is taken to Egypt! (Some wanted to kill him)

INPUT:    Why were did the other brothers want to kill him?

(Jealous of the way Jacob treated him – the coat of many colors & the dreams that Joseph revealed to his brothers)

INPUT:  Describe some of the trials and victories that Joseph experienced

INPUT:  Describe what we can learn from this (God’s Sovereignty, and personal purity & character God ultimately allows him to rise to be a great leader in Egypt)

 

[Show where these events took place in your room that has been converted into a map]

[Have them take quiz Self-Test on p. 42-43]

 

III.  Exodus

Joseph dies – and Exodus 1:8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

And consequently, the Egyptians fear the great numbers of the Hebrew people so the Egyptians enslaved the Hebrews. 

Now, “Exodus Era” = the mass movement of the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt back to the

Promised Land of Canaan

The basic story line of this period is ”Moses delivers the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt & then gives them the Law”

That was not an EAST thing to do – Why?

Pharoah of Egypt did not want them to go!

Hebrews Provided workers to build Egypt

The “success” of the Pharaoh’s was measured by wealth/buildings

 

INPUT:  The miracles God performed during this time are among the most spectacular recorded in the Bible, can you list some?

10 plagues (Water to blood, Frogs over the Land, Insects, Locusts, Boils, Cattle die, Passover!)

Shepherds rod turned into a serpent

Red Sea parting

Fire wall that held back the Egyptian army

Now, let’s think about this—“What did this Exodus look like?”

Movies/Hollywood – describe it as a band of nomads roaming the desert – small campfires – singing Hebrew songs.   Agree/disagree? 

Numbers:

   600,000 fighting men

   600,000 support people (women, cooks/nurses etc)

1,200,000 (if each family avg. 2 children – Hebrews were known for many children!)

   200,000 too old to fight + their wives

     50,000 Levites (priestly tribe) did not fight + their wives/children

2,650,000

Even if you ½ that = 1,325,000 people!

Point:  Not a small group – but a NATION – God’s nation!

Look at the state of Texas – imagine the city of Dallas beginning to move across the map

Add all the animals taken for food and milk and sacrifices

Instead of a flat spot under a tree to camp – you had to look for a valley 10 miles square!

Lined up to cross the Red Sea:  If 100 side by side (including the animals) The column would stretch approx. 50 miles back into the desert! The Exodus in one of the greatest historical events of the ancient world

 

Now let’s look at the 4 Main Events of this Era

A.  Deliverance     B. The Law     C.   Kadish-Barnea     D.  40 years wandering

 

A.  Deliverance

After 400 years of slavery, the Hebrews call out to God for deliverance

Moses finally approaches the Pharaoh

Q:  How did Pharaoh respond?  NO

Input: Did he face the consequences?  -- YES

Note:  The plagues start out bad and get worse! – Pharaoh and his nation paid a price with the plagues

Result:  Israel was a free nation (for awhile)

Input:  What happened right after they left?

Pharaoh changed his mind – attempts to recapture the Hebrews

They get to the Red Sea – God parts the water – they cross over (on DRY GROUND)

Note:  The Egyptians were held back with that cloud by the angel of God!

When Pharaoh pursues:  The wall of water crashes in on them!

[Read Exodus 14 – great passage if time]

Point:  They were FREE from slavery in Egypt and on their way to the Promised Land of Canaan

Input:  What should have been the Hebrew’s response (anyone’s response) to all these mighty acts of God? (Various answers) + THANKFULNESS --they did build an altar and offer a sacrifice, but . . . Input:  What was their eventual response? (Complained – griped!)

 

B.  The Law:  God’s commandments @ Mt. Sinai

Their identity becomes ISRAEL

From the Red Sea – they go south to the Sinai Peninsula

Moses leaves the people & goes to the top of Mt. Sinai – ALONE!

He received the 10 commandments written in stone tablets by the finger of God!

[Read Exodus 20:1-17, if time]

Moses also receives a full revelation of the Law that is to govern Israel’s national life as well as her relationship to God

Note:  One of the purposes of the Law was to REVEAL our sinfulness (i.e. nobody – except Jesus – could keep the Law – James said, “to offend in one point, you are guilty of the whole law”)  cf. Romans 7:7-10

 

C.  Kadesh Barnea:  Place of rebellion against God (Numbers 10-14)

Israel leaves Mt. Sinai – migrates NORTH to an oasis (southern gateway to the Promised Land)

12 spies sent to investigate (1 from each tribe)

Purpose:  Not to decide IF the land could be taken (God had already promised it) – but rather HOW it was to be taken!!

They found Canaanites in the land!

The spies brought “good news” & “bad news” back from the search

Good” = the land is beautiful/bountiful – flowing with milk and honey!

Bad” = giants and hostile armies dwell in the land

10 spies gave report:  CAN’T

2 spies (Joshua/Caleb) report:  FAITH & OBEY

Q:  Whom did the people believe?  -- The 10!

You want to cry out:  “REMEMER THE RED SEA!”

Bottom line:  They refused to follow Moses’ leadership

Result:  Kadesh Barnea becomes known as a place of rebellion!

 

 

 

D.  Forty Years of Wandering:  Consequences of rebelling against God

Wandered until everyone who was 21 years old or older at that time of rebellion DIES!

Result:  A new generation of leadership (followers)

Application: Stewardship of opportunities!

Moses leads this new generation to north of the Dead Sea, near Jericho

[eastern gateway to the Promised Land]

He gives them additional instructions found in Deut.

Moses DIES!

 

[Show where these events took place in your room that has been converted into a map]

[Have them take Quiz pp. 48-50]

 

IV.  Conquest

Throughout human history God seems to bring men and nations to crossroads.

Points of decision where you have to decide what to do:

Who will you follow?

Will you pay the price or won’t you?

Will you make a commitment or not?

After the Exodus, the circumstances were perilous for the Israelites

They wandered in the wilderness for 40 yrs. because of rebellion.

Now they are at Jericho.

The test was the same!  (full-circle)

Note:  If we don’t learn the lessons God wants us to learn, He tends to repeat the trial again!

The task of leading the people went to Joshua.

Moses, the great leader was dead.

c.f. Joshua 1:1-9 – Read

Q:  Would they follow or rebel again?

Note:  It’s interesting that Joshua was qualified to lead the people.

Remember, he was one of two men who said to “fight” 40 yrs. ago.

Input:  How would most people respond when others reject their advice—especially when the advice was right?

bitter / angry

Not Joshua—he loved God and His people!

It was not Joshua’s place to JUDGE the people.

If God gave them another chance, so would he.

Lesson for us:  Don’t give up on people!

Story Line Summary:  Joshua leads the Conquest of the Promised Land.  “Promised” comes from the promises made to Abraham.

 

Just like there were four main events in the Exodus, we can organize the Conquest into four main events as well:  A.  Jordan,  B. Jericho, C. Conquest, D. Dominion

A.  Jordan:  A miraculous parting of water (Joshua 1-5)

God had selected Joshua to lead the people to victory.

His first challenge:  Cross the Jordan at flood stage!

God commands Joshua to prepare the nation for a ceremonial procession and to begin walking; priests first, toward the Jordan River.

When the priests’ feet touched the water, God would part the water for them.

2ndtime some of these people saw God do this!

The river parts for about 20 miles—they cross without incident--and it begins to flow again.

When you have a God that can CREATE a world—parting a river or sea is no big deal!

If liberals can deny these miracles—they can deny the greatest miracle–the Resurrection!

 

B.  Jericho:  A miraculous conquest of a city (Joshua 6).

The city of Jericho was a small oasis on the west side of the Jordan near the Dead Sea.

It was the Eastern Gateway to the Promised Land

But also a fortified city—a threat to Israel.

Input:  What specific seemingly unrealistic instruction did Joshua get?

1) March around the city once a day for seven days.

2) On the seventh day, march 7 times around the city and the people were to shout and then the walls were to fall.

Point:  What seems impossible to us, is simply an opportunity with God to show His power!

We all face our “Jerichos” or “Goliaths”.

Remember Luke 1:37:  “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.

C.  ”Conquest:  The defeat of Canaan  (Joshua 7-12)

The Canaanites are united in their hatred of Israel,

But divided in their military opposition.

The region is characterized by individual kings.

Each with his own city and surrounding country

Joshua cuts through the mid-section toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Once the land is divided—he begins to conquer from south to north!

Total time:  7 years.

D.  Dominion:  Finalizing dominion (Joshua 13-20)

Each of the 12 tribes is given a land and is responsible for finalizing dominion in that area.

All 12 tribes inhabit the area.

Begin a loose federation (cooperation) with other tribes.

Point:  God keeps His promises!  Land/Seed/Blessing

 

[Show where these events took place in your room that has been converted into a map]

[Have them take quiz on p. 54-56]

 

INPUT:  What do we learn about God during these times?  What do we learn about humans?

Faith Church