Fri 1/1/21

Revelation 20:1-10 … WHY CHRIST MUST REIGN FOR A THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE ETERNITY.

Q.1. Has the promise of Christ’s rule ever happened? Why should Israel be given a privileged place? Will earth still be the same? – (Isa.2:2-5; 4:2-6; 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Ezk.Chpts.40-48; 47:1-12; Zech.14:4-9; Rev.16:17-21) =

Q.2. When does the millennium take place? What is the purpose of the Millennial Reign of Christ? Who will feature in it? How does it differ from the eternal state? – (Isa.65:17-25; 2 Thes.1:4-10; 2 Pet.3:3-7; Rev.19:7-9, 11-16; 20:1-9) =

The Thousand Years

20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit[a] and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

The Defeat of Satan

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven[b] and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Has the promise of Christ’s rule ever happened? Why should Israel be given a privileged place? How does the church differ from Israel? – (Is.2:2-5; 4:2-6; 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Ezk.Chpts.40-48; 47:1-12; Zech.14:4-9; Rom.9:1-5; 11:1-24) =

  1. There are many specific prophecies given about Christ’s reign over Israel that have never been fulfilled (Is.2:2-5; 4:2-6; 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Ezk.Chpts.40-48; 47:1-12; Zech.14:4-9).
  2. Israel has a special place in the purposes of God for Planet Earth and the gospel was offered to the Jew first (Dt.4:5-8; 7:6-8; 28:1-14; Mt.10:6; 15:24; Rom.1:16; 2:9-10; 9:1-5; 11:1-24; 2 Pet.1:20-21).
  3. Though Israel rejected and had Jesus crucified, the foundation of the church was Jewish (Mt.27:25; Acts 1:4-8; 2:41-47; Eph.2:11-20).
  4. From the call of Abraham, Israel has been promised a land. The Christian believer’s citizenship is in heaven (Gen.15:1-21; 17:1-8; Phil.3:20-21).

Q.2. When does the millennium take place? Will earth be the same as now? What is the purpose of the Millennial Reign of Christ? Who will feature in it? How does it differ from the eternal state? – (Is.65:17-25; 2 Thes.1:4-10; 2 Pet.3:3-7; Rev.16:17-21; 19:7-9, 11-16; 20:1-9) =

  1. The Great Tribulation will be concluded with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to earth with His saints (Zech.14:1-9; Mt.24:21-22, 29-31; 2 Thes.1:7-10; 2:8; Rev.19:11-16). The Millennial Reign of Christ will follow the return of Jesus Christ to earth (Rev.20:1-10).
  2. There is good reason to believe the Rapture is very soon. Just as God rested on the seventh day after the six days of creation, it suggests that the thousand-year reign of Christ will follow the prior six millennia (Gen.2:1-3; 2 Pet.3:8). The genealogies of the Bible reveal there have been about four thousand years before Christ and we are nearing two thousand years since the birth of the church. The beginning of the Millennial Reign of Christ following the seven year Great Tribulation would then be around 2033 years. Paul wrote – … in future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Tim.4:8).
  3. Both the destruction of the Great Tribulation and the description of the millennial kingdom make it clear that Planet Earth will be completely changed and re-landscaped (Is.2:2-5; 4:2-6; 11:1-9; Ezk.47:1-14; Zech.14:4-9; Rev.6:12-17; 16:17-21).
  4. During the millennium, Christ will rule in justice and righteousness (Is.9:6-7; 11:1-5; Rev.20:1-3). It will be a time when the nations will come under God’s perfect rule. No one will be able to blame their circumstances or Satan for their rebellion. Christian believers will reign with Christ (Zech.14:16-19; Rev.20:4-9).
  5. The nations can refuse to worship King Jesus and, after Satan is released toward the end of the thousand years, the nations will turn on Christ and His people proving that man’s real problem flows from his sinful nature ((Mal.14:16-19; Rev.20:7-10).
  6. No rebels will gain entrance into the new heaven and new earth (Rev.21:1, 8; 22:11, 15, 18-19).

(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Thurs 31/12/20

Zechariah 12:10-14 & 13:1-9 … GOD’S PROMISE TO CHASTEN, FORGIVE, AND RESTORE ISRAEL.

Q.1. Did God know Israel would break their covenant? To whom was the new covenant promised? How dependable is God’s promise? – (Deut.30:1-14; 31:14-14-16; Jer.31:31-37; 33:14-26; Ezk.36:22-29; 37:24-28) =

Q.2. Has God’s promise for a remnant of Israel to be restored and live in peace be fulfilled? Can Israel be saved apart from repentance and faith in Jesus?  – (Jer.16:14-15; 23:5-8; Zech.12:10-13:1, 7-9; Rom.11:25-25; Heb.8:8-12; Rev.7:9 & 14:1) =

Him Whom They Have Pierced

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, each family[a] by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.

13 “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

Idolatry Cut Off

“And on that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more. And also I will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness. And if anyone again prophesies, his father and mother who bore him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the Lord.’ And his father and mother who bore him shall pierce him through when he prophesies.

“On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies. He will not put on a hairy cloak in order to deceive, but he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a worker of the soil, for a man sold me in my youth.’[b] And if one asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your back?’[c] he will say, ‘The wounds I received in the house of my friends.’

The Shepherd Struck

“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
    against the man who stands next to me,”
declares the Lord of hosts.

“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
    I will turn my hand against the little ones.
In the whole land, declares the Lord,
    two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
    and one third shall be left alive.
And I will put this third into the fire,
    and refine them as one refines silver,
    and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
    and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
    and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Did God know Israel would break their covenant? To whom was the new covenant promised? How dependable is God’s promise? – (Dt.30:1-14; 31:14-14-16; Jer.31:31-37; 33:14-26; Ezk.36:22-29; 37:24-28) =

  1. God has a plan that spans the ages and so is able to accurately declare the future (Is.46:9-11; Eph.3:3-11).
  2. He already knew when He made His covenant with Israel that they would not only break it and be removed from the land of Canaan even before they possessed the land (Dt.30:1-14; 31:14-16).
  3. He also promised to chasten, forgive, and restore Israel to the land before they were even exiled (Jer.31:31-37; 33:14-26; Ezk.36:22-29; 37:24-28).

Q.2. Has God’s promise for a remnant of Israel to be restored and live in peace be fulfilled? Can Israel be saved apart from repentance and faith in Jesus?  – (Jer.16:14-15; 23:5-8; Zech.12:10-13:1, 7-9; Rom.11:25-25; Heb.8:8-12; Rev.7:9 & 14:1) =

  1. The promise for Israel to live safely and securely in the land under Messiah the King has never been fulfilled (Is.11:1-9; Mic.4:1-5).
  2. Even before Israel was removed from the Promised Land the Lord promised to bring a change of heart, to forgive, and restore them to the land (Jer.16:14-15; 23:5-8; Zech.12:10-13:1, 7-9; Rom.11:25-25; Heb.8:8-12; Rev.7:9 & 14:1).
  3. There will be great mourning when Israel finally acknowledges their Messiah is Jesus.

(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Wed 30/12/20

Daniel 9:1-27 … DANIEL’S INSIGHT OF MESSIAH AND ISRAEL’S SEVENTIETH WEEK.

Q.1. What does Daniel teach us about interpreting the scriptures? How did he respond to its challenge? Why was he given further insights into the future? – (Dan.9:1-6, 20-23) =

Q.2. Which nation did the prophecy apply to? What is promised at the end of the Seventy weeks (of years)? How long will unbelief characterize Israel? –(Dan.9:24; Rom.11:7-16, 25-29) =

Q.3. How does the coming Messiah the Prince end the sixty-ninth week? How is the final week described and identifiable? Who is the other ‘prince’? – (Dan.9:24-27; 12:1; Acts 2:22-24; 3:13-15; 5:29-32; 2 Thes.2:3-4; Rev.11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5) =

Daniel’s Prayer for His People

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us,[a] by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

16 “O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord,[b] make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”

Gabriel Brings an Answer

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God, 21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. 23 At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.

The Seventy Weeks

24 “Seventy weeks[c] are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.[d] 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again[e] with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its[f] end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week,[g] and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What does Daniel teach us about interpreting the scriptures? How did he respond to its challenge? Why was he given further insights into the future? – (Dan.9:1-6, 20-23) =

  1. Jeremiah had sent a prophecy regarding seventy years of exile followed by a restoration to the land (Jer.29:10-14).
  2. Daniel expected that this prophecy would be literally fulfilled and it shaped his prayer focus (Dan.9:1-6). He accepted that Israel’s captivity fulfilled the prophecies of Moses (Dan.9:11-14 c.f. Dt.27:11-26).
  3. Because of his regard for the scriptures God sent His angel Gabriel to give him further insights and understanding of the purposes of God (Dan.9:20-23). As Jesus told His disciples that He spoke in parables and visions – To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have in abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him (Mt.13:11-12; 25:29).
  4. God gives greater clarity to those who read and heed His Word (Rev.1:3).

Q.2. Which nation did the prophecy apply to? What is promised at the end of the Seventy weeks (of years)? How long will unbelief characterize Israel? –(Dan.9:24; Rom.11:7-16, 25-29) =

  1. God gave Daniel a blueprint for the future of ‘his’ people, Israel (Dan.9:24).
  2. He was told that – seventy weeks (a week is made up of 7 so the prophecy is understood to speak of 70 x 7 = 490 years that (c.f. Gen.29:27) have been decreed for your people and your holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the holy place (Dan.9:24 c.f. Rev.5:1-5).
  3. The seventy years of Israel’s transgression will finish with the atonement of the remnant of Israel (Zech.12:10-13:1).

Q.3. How does the coming Messiah the Prince end the sixty-ninth week? How is the final week described and identifiable? Who is the other ‘prince’? – (Dan.9:24-27; 12:1; Acts 2:22-24; 3:13-15; 5:29-32; 2 Thes.2:3-4; Rev.11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5) =

  1. The exact date of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is pinpointed with great accuracy in Daniel 9:23-27. Sir Robert Anderson, theologian and Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard (1888-1901) wrote an excellent book, “The Coming Prince”, which has become one of the most important books on Bible Eschatology (Doctrine of End Times).
  2. The angel Gabriel foretold the exact date when Jesus Christ, the anticipated Messiah, would present Himself as King in JerusalemKnow therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. Then after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself (Dan.9:25-26 c.f. Mt.21:4-9).
  3. Dr Anderson calculated that …
  • The decree of Daniel 9:25 took place on March 14th 445 BC (recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8).
  • The sixty-nine weeks of seven years equals 483 years, or 173,880 days (using 360-day prophetic years).
  • This leads to April 6th , A.D.32, the date of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
  • This is checked by noting that 445 BC to AD 32 is 476 years, and 476 times 365.24219 days per year equals 173,855 days.
  • Adding 25 days for the difference between March 14th  and April 6th  gives 173,880 days.
  • It should be noted that the Babylonians used a 360-day calendar, which must be converted to our current Solar Years, of 365 days.
  • These 360 day-years are commonly called prophetic years.
  • Thus, the exact day when the Messiah would come to Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, was predicted by Gabriel to the very day!
  1. Daniel was also given the details of the events of the Great Tribulation that follows the Rapture of the saints …
  • Gabriel told Daniel the history of his people would encompass seven + sixty-two weeks = sixty-nine weeks from the rebuilding of the temple after the exile and the presentation of Jesus as King at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Dan.9:25). This leaves a week of the seventy to be completed (Dan.9:24).
  • Daniel was also told that – after the (seven and) sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing … (Dan.9:26). This points to the death of the Messiah Jesus in Jerusalem.
  • The other prince mentioned is the Antichrist who – will make a firm covenant with the many for one week. But in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering  (Dan.9:26-27 c.f. 2 Thes.2:3-9; Rev.13:5).
  • The Antichrist will himself be completely destroyed (Dan.9:27 c.f. Rev.19:20; 20:10).
  1. John concluded his prophecy – He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly’. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus (Rev.22:20).

(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Tues 29/12/20

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 … THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS AND THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.

Q.1. How does the Feast of Trumpets connect to the Rapture of the saints? How does the Rapture differ from the Second Coming of Christ? – (1 Cor.15:52; 1 Thes.4:16; Rev.19:11-16) =

Q.2. Should Christian believer’s expect tribulations? How do we know that the true church will not experience the Great Tribulation? – (Mt.24:6-8, 21; Jn.15:18-21; 16:33; 1 Thes.5:9; Rev.Chpts.1-3; 22) =

The Coming of the Lord

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[a] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How can we identify the Feast of Trumpets to the Rapture of the saints? How does the Rapture differ from the Second Coming of Christ? – (1 Cor.15:52-52; 1 Thes.4:13-17; Rev.19:11-16) =

  1. The description of Christ’s return in Revelation does not include trumpets (Rev.19:11-16 c.f. 2 Thes.1:6-10; 2:8).
  2. The apostle John, representing believers, saw an open door in heaven and heard a trumpet beckoning him – Come up here … (Rev.4:1). What follows is a vision of the awesome events of the tribulation. The apostle Paul wrote that the Rapture unfolds – a mystery i.e. we shall not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead in Christ will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed (1 Cor.15:51-52 c.f. 1 Thes.4:13-18).
  3. This is the next great event revealed by the seven festivals of Israel.

Q.2. Should Christian believer’s expect tribulations? How do we know that the true church will not experience the Great Tribulation? – (Mt.24:6-8, 21; Jn.15:18-21; 16:33; 1 Thes.5:9; Rev.Chpts.1-3; 22) =

  1. All Christians must expect trials and tribulations since even the perfect Jesus suffered tribulation (Jn.15:18-21; 16:33; Acts 14:22; Heb.12:5-11; 1 Pet.4:12). However – God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes.5:9).
  2. This is supported by the fact that though the church is mentioned in the first three chapters of Revelation, it does not feature again until the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev.1:1-4:1; 19:7-9).
  3. But what John describes after the Rapture does specifically describe the twelve tribes of Israel during the Great Tribulation (Jer.30:7; Dan.9:25; 12:1; Mt.24:21; Rev.7:4-8; 14:1 c.f. Rev.Chpts.6-19).
  4. John wrote the book of Revelation decades after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. So the Great Tribulation has not happened yet.

(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Mon 28/12/20

Leviticus 23:1-44 … ISRAEL’S FESTIVALS POINT TO CHRIST AND FUTURE EVENTS.

Q.1.  What are the seven Festivals God gave to Israel? Why were they given? What did the feasts signify to Israel? – (Lev.23:1-44; Exo.12:14-17, 21-27) =

Q.2. How do we know that these feasts also pointed to Christ and His church? Why did they highlight key events? – (Mt.26:1-2, 26-28; Acts 2::1; 1 Cor.5:6-8; 15:20-23) =

Q.3. Have all these feasts been fulfilled? Which festivals still point to future events? In what way are they prophetic? – (Lev.23:23-44)  =

Feasts of the Lord

23 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.

The Sabbath

“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.

The Passover

“These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight,[a] is the Lord‘s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

The Feast of Firstfruits

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah[b] of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin.[c] 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

The Feast of Weeks

15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”

The Feast of Trumpets

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.”

The Day of Atonement

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves[d] and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted[e] on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”

The Feast of Booths

33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths[f] to the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 36 For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.

37 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, 38 besides the Lord‘s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.

39 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

44 Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the Lord.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1.  What are the seven Festivals God gave to Israel? Why were they given? What did the feasts signify to Israel? – (Lev.23:1-44; Exo.12:14-17, 21-27) =

  1. All the Feasts or Festivals of Israel were national gatherings of God’s people and were to be treated like weekly Sabbaths (c.f. Gen.2:1-3; Ex.20:8-11; Dt.5:12-15).

2.These religious festivals kept the focus on the covenant relationship that Israel had entered into with the Lord.

  1. It was to remind the nation that they were dependent on God for their pardon, provision, and protection.

(I) THE PASSOVER: This commemorated the redemption of Israel out of slavery in Egypt as the angel of death passed over all families protected by the blood of a perfect lamb (Ex.12:11-14, 21-23). God made it the beginning of months for Israel and was celebrated in spring (March/April – Ex.12:2; Lev.23:5; Num.28:16).

(II) FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD: This followed the Passover and signified the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt (Ex.12:17; Lev.23:6-8; Num.28:17; Dt.16:3). The unleavened bread was eaten with bitter herbs signifying the bitterness of Israel’s slavery (Ex.12:8; Num.9:11). Israel ate unleavened bread until God provided Manna from heaven (Ex.16:1-4).

(III) FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS: This was closely associated with the Passover and marked the beginning of the barley harvest (Lev.23:9-14; Num.28:26). It was an offering brought before the harvest and expressed the nation’s confidence that the Lord would bring a bountiful harvest when they gave Him the first of the fruit of the ground.

(IV) FEAST OF WEEKS (Greek: PENTECOST): This took place early summer seven weeks after the Feast of Firstfruits and celebrated the completion of the Wheat harvest (Lev.23:15-22; Num.28:26).

(V) FEAST OF TRUMPETS: This commenced the last three festivals in autumn and heralded the coming the Day of Atonement (Lev.23:8-10; Num.29:1). It called Israelites to humble themselves in preparation for God’s gracious provision of atonement.

(VI) THE DAY OF ATONEMENT: This was a solemn event, – a permanent statute to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once a year (Lev.16:34 c.f. Lev.16:29-34; 23:26-32). The high priest sprinkled the blood of the perfect sacrificial goat on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies while the other sin-bearing scapegoat (i.e. ‘escape goat’) was set free (Lev.16:5-10, 14-15).

(VII) THE FEAST OF INGATHERING (TABERNACLES or BOOTHS): Israel was commanded to live in leafy huts or booths – so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt … (Lev.23:43 c.f. 34-43; Num.29:12-38; Dt.16:13-17). It was a time of celebration and was also known as the Feast of Ingathering because it marked the completion of their labours for the grains, grapes and olive harvest.

Q.2. How do we know that these feasts also pointed to Christ and His church? Why did they highlight key events? – (Mt.26:1-2, 26-28; Acts 2:1; 1 Cor.5:6-8; 15:20-23) =

  1. Each of the festivals are also prophetic and celebrate key events in the order they were commemorated by Israel. They are specifically connected to Christ and His church by the New Testament writers.

(I) PASSOVER: Jesus took the Passover to transform it into the Lord’s Supper when believers celebrate the atoning sacrifice of Jesus with emblems of bread and wine (Mt:26:1-2, 26-29; Lk.22:14-20). These signify His broken body and shed blood for sinners (1 Cor.11:23-26). He died as the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world at the very time the Passover lambs were killed in Jerusalem (Jn.1:29; 18::28; 19:14, 31).

(II) UNLEAVENED BREAD: This feast was connected to the Passover and is applied to the sanctification of believers by the removal of sin from the lives  – Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed (1 Cor.5:7 c.f. 1 Cor.5:6-8).

(III) FIRSTFRUITS: Just as this feast foreshadowed a coming harvest, so Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee of a mighty harvest of souls. Paul explains this in his teaching on the resurrection – Now Christ has been raised the Firstfruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Cor.15:20-23).

(IV) PENTECOST: The Holy Spirit was poured out on the church as promised by Jesus – when the day of Pentecost had come … (Literally: was fulfilled – Acts 2:1 c.f. Jn.14:16-18; Acts 1:4-8). That very day there was an ingathering of 3,000 souls in response to the preaching of the gospel (Acts 2:14-41).

Q.3. Have all these feasts been fulfilled? Which festivals still point to future events? In what way are they prophetic? – (Lev.23:23-44; Zech.14:16-19; 1 Cor.15:52; 1 Thes.4:16)  =

The other three festivals are yet to be fulfilled in future – The Feast of TRUMPETS, the Day of ATONEMENT, and the Feast of TABERNACLES or BOOTHS.

(V) Feast of TRUMPETS: The description of the Rapture of the saints which is accompanied by trumpets identifies this feast with this next event on the prophetic calendar (1 Cor.15:52; 1 Thes.4:16; Rev.4:1).

(VI) The Day of ATONEMENT: Paul wrote to the church at Rome not to misunderstand Israel’s current blindness since – the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable (Rom.11:29 c.f. 2 Cor.3:12-15). God hasn’t finished with Israel yet and they are special to God and should be to us (Rom.9:1-5; 11:11-23). God plans to save the surviving remnant of Israel after they repent and acknowledge Jesus as their Saviour (Jer.33:14-26; Zech.12:10-13:1, 7-9; 14:4-9).

(VII) The Feast of TABERNACLES or BOOTHS: God promised that Israel’s temporary dwellings will be replaced by a permanent experience of safety and blessedness (Ezk.34:1-16, 23-31; Mic.4:1-5; Zech.14:16-19). This will take place when Christ establishes His millennial reign on the earth (Is.2:2-11; 4:2-6; 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Rev.20:1-9). This will be a unique and first time in history when Christ will personally dwell with people in the world.


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Sat 26/12/20

1 Timothy 5:17-25 … THE SUPPORT AND DISCIPLINE OF ELDERS IN THE CHURCH.

Q.1. What principle was to be applied to the support of the church’s leaders? – (1 Tim.5:17-18) =

Q.2. How was discipline to be applied to the leaders of the church? – (1 Tim.5:19-21) =

Q.3. What caution is given in appointing elders? Why should leaders be chosen carefully? – (1 Tim.5:22-25) =

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What principle was to be applied to the support of the church’s leaders? – (1 Tim.5:17-18) = Even working animals were to receive sustaining feed. How much more should God’s servants. Paul detailed this by drawing attention to those who ruled well, and those who worked hard at preaching and teaching (1 Tim.5:17). To do that faithfully requires personal preparation and diligent study, so that God’s people will be built up in their faith (c.f. 1 Tim.4:16; 2 Tim.2:15).

Q.2. How was discipline to be applied to the leaders of the church? – (1 Tim.5:19-21) = As we have seen at times, immense damage can be done to the testimony of Christ and His church, by the sins of leaders (1 Tim.5:20). Nevertheless, justice should prevail.  Accusations made against those appointed to leadership had to be well founded.  (1 Tim.5:19. Public exposure and rebuke had to be applied without bias (1 Tim.5:21).

Q.3. What caution was given to those appointing elders? Why should leaders be chosen carefully? – (1 Tim.5:22-25) =  Prospective leaders should be carefully scrutinized, and have a track-record of faithfulness, before appointment (1 Tim.5:22). While it is true that the character of these people is usually quite evident, some indications of potential problems may not be easily seen (1 Tim.5:24-25). Caution is appropriate. Though Paul had the gift of healing, this was not used to heal Timothy’s ailment (1 Tim.5:23).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Fri 25/12/20

Ezekiel 23:22-49 … ISRAEL WILL BE PUNISHED AND PURGED OF IDOLATRY.

Q.1. What was God going to do to Oholibah? Why? What transformation would judgment achieve? – (Ezk.23:22-35) =

Q.2. How debased had Judah become? What was God’s intention in punishing the nation? – (Ezk.23:36-49) =

22 Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will stir up against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side: 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses. 24 And they shall come against you from the north[a] with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples. They shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet; and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25 And I will direct my jealousy against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. 26 They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. 27 Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your whoring begun in the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.

28 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust, 29 and they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring 30 have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. 31 You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. 32 Thus says the Lord God:

“You shall drink your sister’s cup
    that is deep and large;
you shall be laughed at and held in derision,
    for it contains much;
33 you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow.
A cup of horror and desolation,
    the cup of your sister Samaria;
34 you shall drink it and drain it out,
    and gnaw its shards,
    and tear your breasts;

for I have spoken, declares the Lord God. 35 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, you yourself must bear the consequences of your lewdness and whoring.”

36 The Lord said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Declare to them their abominations. 37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even offered up[b] to them for food the children whom they had borne to me. 38 Moreover, this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my Sabbaths. 39 For when they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And behold, this is what they did in my house. 40 They even sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and behold, they came. For them you bathed yourself, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments. 41 You sat on a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil. 42 The sound of a carefree multitude was with her; and with men of the common sort, drunkards[c] were brought from the wilderness; and they put bracelets on the hands of the women, and beautiful crowns on their heads.

43 “Then I said of her who was worn out by adultery, ‘Now they will continue to use her for a whore, even her!’[d] 44 For they have gone in to her, as men go in to a prostitute. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, lewd women! 45 But righteous men shall pass judgment on them with the sentence of adulteresses, and with the sentence of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.”

46 For thus says the Lord God: “Bring up a vast host against them, and make them an object of terror and a plunder. 47 And the host shall stone them and cut them down with their swords. They shall kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses. 48 Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done. 49 And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and you shall know that I am the Lord God.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What was God going to do to Oholibah? Why? What transformation would judgment achieve? – (Ezk.23:22-35) = Oholibah, capital of Judah was in God’s sights. The very heathen nations that they copied, would be used by the Lord to exact His jealous rage against her for all her treachery. From Egypt to that day, Judah had followed the worst of the nations, and had outstripped the northern kingdom in wickedness. Now their sins would be exposed (Ezk.23:22-35). The end result would be a purging of Judah – Thus I will make your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt to cease from you … (Ezk.23:27).

Q.2. How debased had Judah become? What was God’s intention in punishing the nation? – (Ezk.23:36-49) = Ezekiel had been called to declare their unbelievable abominations – 38 Again, they have done this to Me: they have defiled My sanctuary on the same day and have profaned My sabbaths. 39 For when they had slaughtered their children for their idols, they entered My sanctuary on the same day to profane it; and lo, thus they did within My house (Ezk.23:38-39). They deserved to be exposed and punished for their terrible bloodshed of their own children. They had descended into worse evil than that of those whom God was raising up to destroy them (Ezk.23:44-47). Wickedness would then cease in the land, and they would know that it was God Who was in control, and that He alone is God! (Ezk.23:48-49).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Thurs 24/12/20

Proverbs 19:11-20 … OBSERVATIONS ABOUT ATTITUDES TO LIFE.

Q.1. What advice are we given about responses and reactions? – (Prov.19:11, 16, 19-20) =

Q.2. What insights does Solomon share about family life? – (Prov.19:13-15, 18, 20) =

Q.3. What does Solomon say about the place and use of wealth? – (Prov.19:14-15, 17) =

Good sense makes one slow to anger,
    and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
12 A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A foolish son is ruin to his father,
    and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
    but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep,
    and an idle person will suffer hunger.
16 Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life;
    he who despises his ways will die.
17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will repay him for his deed.
18 Discipline your son, for there is hope;
    do not set your heart on putting him to death.
19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,
    for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
    that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What advice were we given about responses and reactions? – (Prov.19:11, 16, 19-20) = We need to become like Christ. This means we should be slow to become angry, and willing to overlook faults (Prov.19:11 & 19). We should take special note of God’s principles and wise counsel, in order to enjoy a fulfilled life (Prov.19:16 & 20).

Q.2. What insights did Solomon share about family life? – (Prov.19:13-15, 18, 20) = When children go astray, this can drain the time and resources of their parents (Prov.19:13). Parents should discipline their children in their formative years, while there is still time. Failure to do this may shorten their lives (Prov.19:18). We should develop a good work ethic, and then the inheritance from our parents is a bonus to be enjoyed (Prov.19:14 & 20).

Q.3. What did Solomon say about the place and use of wealth? – (Prov.19:14-15, 17) = As the apostle Paul wrote – if anyone is not willing to work, then neither should he eat (c.f. 2 Thes.3:10). A prudent wife contributes to the efficiency of the home (Prov.19:14). Giving to (God’s work) and the needy will lead to God’s blessing. [The tithe sets up a pattern of budgeting with the assurance of God’s blessing]. If we are generous towards  the poor, this will result in blessing from the Lord (Prov.19:14, 17).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Wed 23/12/20

2 Kings 21:1-26 … JUDAH BACKSLIDES UNDER KINGS MANASSEH AND AMON.

Q.1. Why is it surprising that Manasseh turned to other gods? How did his religiosity lead him to offend God more than the heathen nations? – (2 Kgs.21:1-9) =

Q.2. In what ways did God try to turn Manasseh from his backsliding? What warning did God give to Manasseh and the people? – (2 Kgs.21:10-18) =

Q.3. Does it surprise you that Judah experienced instability after Manasseh and under Amon? – (2 Kgs.21:19-26) =

Manasseh Reigns in Judah

21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he burned his son as an offering[a] and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the Lord said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that my servant Moses commanded them.” But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.

Manasseh’s Idolatry Denounced

10 And the Lord said by his servants the prophets, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, 12 therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster[b] that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 And I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, 15 because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.”

16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place.

Amon Reigns in Judah

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. 21 He walked in all the way in which his father walked and served the idols that his father served and worshiped them. 22 He abandoned the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him and put the king to death in his house. 24 But the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 26 And he was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son reigned in his place.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Why is it surprising that Manasseh turned to other gods? How did his religiosity lead him to offend God, more than the heathen nations did? – (2 Kgs.21:1-9) = We would not expect the son of Hezekiah to backslide so far from God. His mother’s name, Hephzibah, was used later by God, when He promised that ‘His delight is in her,’ whom He had ‘forsaken’ (c.f. Isa.62:4). Manasseh reversed all the decisions of his father, so thus led  the nation astray – … he seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel (2 Kgs.21:2 & 9). Manasseh built idols and altars to the hosts of heaven – He made his sons pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft, used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord provoking Him to anger (2 Kgs.21:6).God had promised to place His name forever in Jerusalem – if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them … (2 Kgs21:7 & 4).

Q.2. In what ways did God try to turn Manasseh from his backsliding? What warning did God give to Manasseh and the people? – (2 Kgs.21:10-18) = God sent Manasseh prophets to warn him – 10 Now the Lord spoke through His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, having done wickedly more than all the Amorites did who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols; 12 therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, `Behold, I am bringing such calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle (2 Kgs.21:10-12). It appears that anyone who warned him became a target for his bloodshed – Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another (2 Kgs.21:16). Chronicles does record the repentance and partial restoration of Manasseh (2 Kgs.21:17 c.f. 2 Chron.33:12-13).

Q.3. Does it surprise you that Judah experienced instability after Manasseh and under Amon? – (2 Kgs.21:19-26) = Manasseh’s son, Amon was a wicked king who forsook the Lord. He lasted only two years before he was assassinated (2 Kgs.21:19-23). In turn his murderers were also put to death (2 Kgs.21:24). The price of evil brought terrible instability to the families of Judah. Sin never pays, and is always a disgrace to a nation (Prov. 14:34). Surprisingly, Amon’s son Josiah would prove to be a godly king.


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Tues 22/12/20

Numbers 15:1-41 … APPLYING VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF THE LAW TO ISRAEL.

Q.1. Why were the directions for Israelites to bring offerings to God encouraging at this point in the journey? – (Num.15:1-16) =

Q.2. What provision did God make for the failings of His people? Did this apply to those that acted defiantly against God? – (Num.15:17-31) =

Q.3. What happened to the man that disregarded the Sabbath day? How were God’s people reminded to keep the commandments? – (Num.15:32-41) =

Laws About Sacrifices

15 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving you, and you offer to the Lord from the herd or from the flock a food offering[a] or a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering or at your appointed feasts, to make a pleasing aroma to the Lord, then he who brings his offering shall offer to the Lord a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah[b] of fine flour, mixed with a quarter of a hin[c] of oil; and you shall offer with the burnt offering, or for the sacrifice, a quarter of a hin of wine for the drink offering for each lamb. Or for a ram, you shall offer for a grain offering two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil. And for the drink offering you shall offer a third of a hin of wine, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. And when you offer a bull as a burnt offering or sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or for peace offerings to the Lord, then one shall offer with the bull a grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour, mixed with half a hin of oil. 10 And you shall offer for the drink offering half a hin of wine, as a food offering, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

11 “Thus it shall be done for each bull or ram, or for each lamb or young goat. 12 As many as you offer, so shall you do with each one, as many as there are. 13 Every native Israelite shall do these things in this way, in offering a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 14 And if a stranger is sojourning with you, or anyone is living permanently among you, and he wishes to offer a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord, he shall do as you do. 15 For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord. 16 One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”

17 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land to which I bring you 19 and when you eat of the bread of the land, you shall present a contribution to the Lord. 20 Of the first of your dough you shall present a loaf as a contribution; like a contribution from the threshing floor, so shall you present it. 21 Some of the first of your dough you shall give to the Lord as a contribution throughout your generations.

Laws About Unintentional Sins

22 “But if you sin unintentionally,[d] and do not observe all these commandments that the Lord has spoken to Moses, 23 all that the Lord has commanded you by Moses, from the day that the Lord gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations, 24 then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the congregation, all the congregation shall offer one bull from the herd for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma to the Lord, with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the rule, and one male goat for a sin offering. 25 And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven, because it was a mistake, and they have brought their offering, a food offering to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord for their mistake. 26 And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the mistake.

27 “If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. 28 And the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. 29 You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them. 30 But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.”

A Sabbathbreaker Executed

32 While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34 They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35 And the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.

Tassels on Garments

37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. 39 And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow[e] after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. 40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Why were the directions for Israelites to bring offerings to God encouraging at this point in the journey? – (Num.15:1-16) = The Israelites had grumbled against God and rebelled against His appointed leader. In response, God condemned the adults to a life that would end in the wilderness. Nevertheless, He promised to keep His promises to a future generation – … When you enter the land where you are to live, which I am giving you (Num.15:2). In spite of their failure, God’s people could still please Him, and – make a soothing aroma to Him (Num.15:3, 7, 10, 13). This reminds us that sinners can be have  their relationship with our holy God restored.. The provision was extended even to foreigners in their midst – there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations … (Num.15:15).

Q.2. What provision did God make for the failings of His people? Did this apply to those who acted defiantly against God? – (Num.15:17-31) = They were to offer proportionately to their increase in the Promised Land (Num.15:17-21). God made provision that covered those who sinned unwittingly and unintentionally (Num.15:22-24). The priest was responsible to make a ruling – so all the congregation of the sons of Israel will be forgiven, with the alien who sojourns among them, for it happened to all the people through error (Num.15:25-30). This cover did not extend to those who deliberately acted defiantly against God’s commandments (Num.15:30-31).

Q.3. What happened to the man who disregarded the Sabbath day? How were God’s people reminded to keep the commandments? – (Num.15:32-41) = The Scriptures record an immediate defiant violation. An Israelite man gathered wood on the Sabbath. He was taken into custody, so Moses could seek the Lord for a ruling (Num.15:32-34). Afterwards, the man was stoned to death at God’s command (Num.15:35-36). God also ordered the Israelites to make tassels for the corners of their garments – 40 so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord your God (Num.15:40-41).


(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com  or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email paulh@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009