Sat 9/1/21

1 Timothy 6:1-10 … GIVING A PROPER PLACE TO GODLINESS AND MONEY.

Q.1. Why were slaves to serve their masters with due honour? – (1 Tim.6:1-2) =

Q.2. In what way is godliness more than mere talk? What attitude should be cultivated for godliness to benefit the believers? – (1 Tim.6:3-6) =

Q.3. What perspective should we keep toward the basic necessities and earthly riches? – (1 Tim.6:7-10) =

Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants[a] regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

False Teachers and True Contentment

Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound[b] words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and[c] we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Why were slaves to serve their masters with due honour? – (1 Tim.6:1-2) = Paul instructed all slaves to honour and obey their masters – that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoke against (1 Tim.6:1). He advised them to serve their masters faithfully, especially those who were Christian. This was so that their success would benefit other believers (through their giving), and promote the advance of the Gospel (1 Tim.6:2).

Q.2. In what way is godliness more than mere talk? What attitude should be cultivated, in order for godliness to benefit the believers? – (1 Tim.6:3-6) =  People debate about the extremes of legalism and licentiousness. Paul said that those who wrangle about such things, vainly imagine that their words advance their reputation (1 Tim.6:3-5). Paul warned  that we must practice what we preach about holiness. Furthermore – godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment (1 Tim.6:6). The benefits of godliness far outweigh the value of prosperity.

Q.3. What perspective should we keep toward the basic necessities and earthly riches? – (1 Tim.6:7-10) = The over-riding attitude we must cultivate, is to keep reminding ourselves that just as we had nothing when we arrived, we will leave in the same state – with nothing! That is a sobering truth, and a reality check as we go through life (1 Tim.6:7). Wealth can deceive us, and increase the temptation to satisfy foolish and harmful desires that lead to destruction (1 Tim.6:9). Paul warned – For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Tim.6:10). The wise man, Agur, kept the balance right – 7 Two things I asked of You: Do not refuse me before I die: 8 Keep deception and lies far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion 9 that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal and profane the name of my God (Prov. 30:7-9).


(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 8/1/21

Ezekiel 24:1-27 … EZEKIEL’S RESPONSE TO PERSONAL TRAGEDY IS A SIGN TO JUDAH.

Q.1. What was the message of the boiling pot? Why would God not reverse His judgment of Judah? – (Ezk.24:1-14) =

Q.2. Why was Ezekiel to refrain from grieving for the loss of his wife? How was the prophet to be a sign to Judah? – (Ezk.24:15-27) =

The Siege of Jerusalem

24 In the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. And utter a parable to the rebellious house and say to them, Thus says the Lord God:

“Set on the pot, set it on;
    pour in water also;
put in it the pieces of meat,
    all the good pieces, the thigh and the shoulder;
    fill it with choice bones.
Take the choicest one of the flock;
    pile the logs[a] under it;
boil it well;
    seethe also its bones in it.

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose corrosion is in it, and whose corrosion has not gone out of it! Take out of it piece after piece, without making any choice.[b] For the blood she has shed is in her midst; she put it on the bare rock; she did not pour it out on the ground to cover it with dust. To rouse my wrath, to take vengeance, I have set on the bare rock the blood she has shed, that it may not be covered. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Woe to the bloody city! I also will make the pile great. 10 Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil the meat well, mix in the spices,[c] and let the bones be burned up. 11 Then set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn, that its uncleanness may be melted in it, its corrosion consumed. 12 She has wearied herself with toil;[d] its abundant corrosion does not go out of it. Into the fire with its corrosion! 13 On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, you shall not be cleansed anymore till I have satisfied my fury upon you. 14 I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.”

Ezekiel’s Wife Dies

15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. 17 Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.” 18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded.

19 And the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things mean for us, that you are acting thus?” 20 Then I said to them, “The word of the Lord came to me: 21 ‘Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the yearning of your soul, and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. 22 And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. 23 Your turbans shall be on your heads and your shoes on your feet; you shall not mourn or weep, but you shall rot away in your iniquities and groan to one another. 24 Thus shall Ezekiel be to you a sign; according to all that he has done you shall do. When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord God.’

25 “As for you, son of man, surely on the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes and their soul’s desire, and also their sons and daughters, 26 on that day a fugitive will come to you to report to you the news. 27 On that day your mouth will be opened to the fugitive, and you shall speak and be no longer mute. So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What was the message of the boiling pot? Why would God not reverse His judgment of Judah? – (Ezk.24:1-14) = God’s timing is very different from ours. This can cause people to ridicule those who deliver the Word of the Lord, as with Ezekiel. Ezekiel himself disliked the message he was instructed to give. However, any delay made him appear like a liar. Here God told Ezekiel – Son of man, write the name of the day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day (Ezk.24:2). This was to be a fateful day. Ezekiel was to boil a pot of the choicest of the flock, to signify that – I, the Lord, have spoken; it is coming and I will act. I will not relent, and I will not pity and I will not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I will judge you,” declares the Lord God (Ezk.24:14).

Q.2. Why was Ezekiel to refrain from grieving for the loss of his wife? How was the prophet to be a sign to Judah? – (Ezk.24:15-27) = It can be hard to be a prophet of God. Ezekiel loved his companion for life, who was described as – the desire of your eyes (Ezk.24:16). However,  on this same day, his wife would die. That would be indescribably hard, plus there was a further test – “Son of man, behold, I am about to take from you the desire of your eyes with a blow; but you shall not mourn and you shall not weep, and your tears shall not come (Ezk.24: 16). This was a massive blow. Not only did Ezekiel lose his life’s companion, but he was to grieve without the normal display of sorrow. All this was to be a sign to the nation who despised God’s messages. We read that the faithful prophet – did what he was commanded (Ezk.24:18). This was so noticeable, that the people inquired – Will you not tell us what these things that you are doing mean for us? (Ezk.24:19). Then came the message of doom – `Speak to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God, `Behold, I am about to profane My sanctuary, the pride of your power, the desire of your eyes and the delight of your soul; and your sons and your daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword (Ezk.24:21). It would lead the people to realize – when it comes, then you will know that I am the Lord God (Ezk.24:24).


(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 Community Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Thurs 7/1/21

Psalm 116:1-19 & 117:1-2 … PRAISE FOR GOD’S CHARACTER AND DELIVERANCE.

Q.1. What prompted the psalmist to give praise to God? What did God’s intervention reveal about God? – (Ps.116:1-11) =

Q.2. How did the psalmist wish to respond to God’s goodness? What do disasters and death reveal about God? – (Ps.116:12-19) =

Q.3. Why is the Lord God to be praised among all the nations? – (Ps.117:1-2) =

I Love the Lord

116 I love the Lord, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
    the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
    I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I believed, even when[a] I spoke:
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 I said in my alarm,
    “All mankind are liars.”

12 What shall I render to the Lord
    for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his saints.
16 Lord, I am your servant;
    I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
    You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
    in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

The Lord‘s Faithfulness Endures Forever

117 Praise the Lord, all nations!
    Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What prompted the Psalmist to give praise to God? What did God’s intervention reveal about Himself? – (Ps.116:1-11) = The Psalmist had felt forsaken by his friends, and by God.  He was at the point of death, and had been given false hope by others (all men are liars – Ps.116:11). However, he had not been abandoned by the Lord. He cried out in his distress – 1 I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. 2 Because He has inclined His ear to me. Therefore, I shall call upon Him as long as I live … 5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate. 6 The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me (Ps.116:1-2 & 5-6).

Q.2. How did the Psalmist wish to respond to God’s goodness? What do disasters and death reveal about God? – (Ps.116:12-19) = The chorus of this Psalm (song) answers the question of how we should respond to all of God’s benefits to us (Ps.116)12). He would raise the cup of salvation in honour of the Lord – I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people (Ps.116:14 &18). Moreover, he wanted it to be a public declaration – In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord! (Ps.116:19). His near-death experience had underscored the preciousness of life, in the eyes of the Lord – Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones (Ps.116:15).

Q.3. Why is the Lord God to be praised among all the nations? – (Ps.117:1-2) = There are two unshakable principles upon which this world revolves – For His lovingkindness is great toward us — and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord! (Ps.117:2). This is true for all people, regardless of nationality. God’s lovingkindness and truth apply to all the nations (Ps.117:1). For that reason, all should lift their voice in praise to God.


(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 Community Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Wed 6/1/21

2 Kings 22:1-20 … JOSIAH HUMBLES HIMSELF BEFORE GOD AFTER READING THE LOST BOOK.

Q.1. What were the circumstances surrounding the finding of the lost book of the law? – (2 Kgs.22:1-10) =

Q.2. How did King Josiah respond to the warnings of the book of the law? – (2 Kgs.22:11-14) =

Q.3. Why was God about to execute judgment on Judah? What message of comfort was delivered to Josiah? – (2 Kgs.22:14-20) =

Josiah Reigns in Judah

22 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.

Josiah Repairs the Temple

In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people. And let it be given into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord, and let them give it to the workmen who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house (that is, to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons), and let them use it for buying timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.”

Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law

And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.

11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”

14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter), and they talked with her. 15 And she said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, 19 because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place.’” And they brought back word to the king.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What were the circumstances surrounding the finding of the lost book of the law? – (2 Kgs.22:1-10) = The worst king of Judah was Manasseh. His son, Amon, wasn’t far behind him in wickedness (c.f. 2 Kgs.21:2-15; 20-22). It is astounding that Amon’s son, Josiah was arguably the godliest king after King David (2 Kgs.22:2). His mother, Jedidah, lived up to her name, ‘beloved’ (2 Kgs.22:1). When he was just eighteen, Josiah had it in his heart to renovate the temple and have it functioning again. (2 Kgs.22:3-7). In the process Hilkiah, the high priest, found the Book of the Law – which was almost certainly Deuteronomy, with its promises of blessing and warnings of judgment (2 Kgs.22:8-13 c.f. Dt.Chpts.27-30).

Q.2. How did King Josiah respond to the warnings in the Book of the Law? – (2 Kgs.22:11-14) = Shaphan, the Scribe, read the Book aloud in the presence of the king. The section that increased his fear of God and brought deep contrition, was the warnings. Josiah knew that almost all the sins highlighted in the Law, were regularly occurring in his kingdom. The king then commanded his chief advisers to seek God, via the prophetess, Huldah – Go, inquire of the Lord for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us (2 Kgs.22:13). Josiah came to the conclusion that the nation was in deep trouble, and that the wrath of God would be burning against them.

Q.3. Why was God about to execute judgment on Judah? What message of comfort was delivered to Josiah? – (2 Kgs.22:14-20) = Huldah confirmed the worst fears of the king – 16 thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I bring evil on this place and on its inhabitants, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods that they might provoke Me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore My wrath burns against this place, and it shall not be quenched’ (2 Kgs.22:16-17). However, Josiah earned a gracious reprieve – 19 “because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the Lord. 20 “Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place” (2 Kgs.22:19-20). God used one young humble man to change the fortunes of the nation (c.f. 1 Tim.4:12).


(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 Community Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Tues 5/1/21

Numbers 16:1-24 … ISRAEL REBELS AGAINST THE LEADERSHIP OF MOSES.

Q.1. What motivated the attack on the leadership of Moses? How significant was their threat? – (Num.16:1-4) =

Q.2. Why did the sons of Korah rise up against Moses? How was the leadership issue to be resolved? – (Num.16:5-11) =

Q.3. What was the complaint of Dathan & Abiram against Moses? How did God react to the rebellion? What do we learn from Moses? – (Num.16:12-24) =

Korah’s Rebellion

16 Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the Lord will show who is his,[a] and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him. Do this: take censers, Korah and all his company; put fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. You have gone too far, sons of Levi!” And Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, 10 and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also? 11 Therefore it is against the Lord that you and all your company have gathered together. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?”

12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up. 13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? 14 Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.” 15 And Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them.”

16 And Moses said to Korah, “Be present, you and all your company, before the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. 17 And let every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the Lord his censer, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.” 18 So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.

20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” 22 And they fell on their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?” 23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What motivated the attack on the leadership of Moses? How significant was the  threat? – (Num.16:1-4) = Moses previously had been challenged by Miriam, Aaron, and the people (c.f. Num.12:1-8; 14:1-4). It appears here, that Korah and his family despised Moses for giving them, as Levites, a less glamorous role. Korah’s father, Izhar, was the next brother of Amram, the father of Moses & Aaron. (c.f. Ex.6:18, 20-21, 24). He claimed that there was nothing special about the Aaronic priesthood who were assigned to deal with the Tabernacle ceremonies,  since they were all related to their grandfather, Kohath.  Dathan & Abiram were from the tribe of Jacob’s firstborn, Reuben. Perhaps they carried a deep-seated resentment at being passed over as the descendants of the oldest brother (Num.16:1-3). To have an uprising from so many was a real threat, there being – … two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of renown (Num.16:2).

Q.2. Why did the sons of Korah rise up against Moses? How was the leadership issue to be resolved? – (Num.16:5-11) = The sons of Korah were Levites from the line of the Kohathites, as were Moses and Aaron (Ex. 6:18-24). However, God had given them a menial role. Their role was to support the line of Aaron, as they dealt with the sacrifices and offerings of the Israelites (c.f. Num.3:1-4:49). The Levites were not to approach the most holy things. This instruction was under a threat of death (Num.4:15-20; 18:2-3). It seems that there was a simmering jealousy under the surface. Their argument – … all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?… seemed to be reasonable. It gained widespread popular appeal (Num.16:3). Moses ordered a contest which was to be decided by God – Do this: take censers for yourselves, Korah and all your company, and put fire in them, and lay incense upon them in the presence of the Lord tomorrow; and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the one who is holy. You have gone far enough, you sons of Levi! (Num.16:6-7).

Q.3. What was the complaint of Dathan & Abiram against Moses? How did God react to the rebellion? What do we learn from Moses? – (Num.16:12-24) = The descendants of Reuben accused Moses of bad leadership. God had assigned Moses the responsibility to lead the nation to a land flowing with milk and honey. However, here they were in a barren   wilderness (Num.16:12-14).  When Moses called on them to join in the contest, they refused his direction. Initially this brought an angry response from Moses (Num.16:15). However, to his great credit, he quickly regained his composure. God told Moses and Aaron to – 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” 22 But they fell on their faces and said, “O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?” (Num.16:21-22). The Lord then told Moses to separate the people from the dwellings of the rebels. Few would respond as Moses did (Num.16:24). As a godly leader, Moses placed the interests of his people above his own glory and success. That is real leadership.


(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 Community Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Mon 4/1/21

Luke 20:1-26 … GROWING OPPOSITION TO THE CLAIMS OF JESUS.

Q.1. How did Jesus outwit the religious leaders? Why didn’t He give them a direct answer? – (Lk.20:1-8) =

Q.2. What message did the parable of Jesus imply to His hearers? What does Jesus prophecy about the future? – (Lk.20:9-18) =

Q.3. How did the religious leaders try to trap Jesus? What does the incident teach us about our responsibilities to God and the authorities? – (Lk.20:19-26) =

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

20 One day, as Jesus[a] was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant[b] to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone’?[c]

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

Paying Taxes to Caesar

19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20 So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality,[d] but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius.[e] Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How did Jesus outwit the religious leaders? Why didn’t He give them a direct answer? – (Lk.20:1-8) = Once again the Scribes and Pharisees challenged the authority of Jesus. He knew that John’s call to repent and be baptised had been widely accepted by the people, but rejected by the leaders. He used this knowledge to expose their hypocrisy. He asked a simple question: Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men? (Lk.20:4). A response either way would have them in trouble. They were caught out, so refused to answer Christ’s question (Lk.20:5-7). The source of His authority was obvious (Lk.20:8).

Q.2. What message did this parable of Jesus imply to His hearers? What did Jesus prophecy about the future? – (Lk.20:9-18) = This parable of Jesus revealed the brilliance and insight you would expect from God alone. (c.f. Lk.20:2 & 8). In the story, He alluded to the shameful way the nation of Israel had treated God’s servants (Lk.20:9-12). God’s answer to the rejection of His servants was to send His beloved Son (Lk.20:13). Jesus predicted their response in the allegory – This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours. So, they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him … (Lk.20:14-15).  He gave a clear prediction about Himself, by quoting a well-known Psalm about the Messiah. He warned them – 17 … “What then is this that is written: `The stone which the builders rejected this became the chief corner stone’? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” (Lk.20:17-18 c.f. Ps.118:22 & 23). Jesus  knew what was to happen to Him, because of what had been written in the Scriptures.

Q.3. How did the religious leaders try to trap Jesus? What does the incident teach us about our responsibilities to God and the authorities? – (Lk.20:19-26) = The leaders understood that the rebellious vine-growers in the story represented Israel. They knew this story  applied to them – 19 … for they understood that He spoke this parable against them. 20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor (Lk.20:19-20 c.f. Is. 5:1-7). The stage was set for a contest. They had to gain  evidence of Christ’s opposition to Caesar, even though they hated everything for which Rome stood. They approached Jesus with flattery and a trick question – Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? (Lk.20:22). Jesus asked for a coin. He outsmarted their treachery, when He told them – Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s (Lk.20:25). Jesus’ amazing way of handling these questions was more evidence that He is God.


(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 Community Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Sat 2/1/21

Revelation 20:11-15 & 21:1-8 … THE FINAL JUDGMENT BEFORE THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH COME.

Q.1. What major events precede the Great White Throne judgment? On what basis are people condemned? Is this judgment reversable? – (Mt.25:31-46; Jn.3:16-18; 5:24-29; Rev.20:1-15)

Q.2. What follows the final judgment of the living and the dead? How glorious is our heavenly home? Will we still retain our uniqueness? – (2 Pet.3:10-13; Rev.Chpts.21 & 22) =

Judgment Before the Great White Throne

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What major events precede the Great White Throne judgment? On what basis are people condemned? Is this judgment reversable? – (Mt.25:31-46; Jn.3:16-18; 5:24-29; Rev.20:1-15)

  1. The Great White Throne Judgment is the final division between the saved and unsaved of all ages (Mt.24:29-31; 25:31-46; Jn.5:21-29). It comes after the battle of Gog and Magog when Christ has defeated all His enemies (Rev.20:7-10).
  2. All the living and dead of all ages will be judged from the books: The small and great will be judged according to their works and the Lamb’s book of life – if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev.20:12-15 c.f. Rev.13:8; 21:27).
  3. No one can be justified before a holy God by his own works. We can only be declared righteous through faith in the merits of Jesus (Jn.3:16-18; Rom.3:21-26; Gal.2:16).
  4. The second death pronounced at the Great White Throne Judgment is final and irreversible (Rev.20:5-6, 15).

Q.2. What follows the final judgment of the living and the dead? How glorious is our heavenly home? Will we still retain our uniqueness? – (2 Pet.3:10-13; Rev.Chpts.21 & 22) =

  1. The apostle John was shown a new heaven and new earth complete with – the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev.21:1-2). This follows the Great White Throne Judgment that has removed Satan, his hosts, and unbelieving sinners (Rev.20:10-15).
  2. The new heaven and new earth will be completely new (Rev.21:5-7).
  3. There will be a constant experience of perfect love, joy, and peace (Rev.21:1-7). It will be a place of song and gladness (Rev.5:9; 14:3). The new Jerusalem will be glorious beyond imagination … John did the best to describe the brilliance of the heavenly city (Rev.21:10-27). There is nothing artificial about the place and, though there is no salt sea, there is an abundance of water, vegetation, and fruit trees (Rev.21:1; 22:1-2). It will be a place of life, refreshing water, and light (Rev.21:6, 22-23; 22:1-5).
  4. Jerusalem was identified by John (Rev.21:2-3). The twelve tribes of the sons of Israel and the twelve apostles of the Lamb still feature (Mt.19:27-29; Rev.21:12-14). We will still have a nationality and kings will rule (Rev.21:24-26). Best of all, the servants of Christ will see Him, serve Him, and reign with Him (Rev.21:6-7; 22:3-5).
  5. When the Queen of Sheba saw the greatness of Solomon she responded – … until I came and my eyes had seen it. Behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard (1 Kgs.10:7 c.f. Mt.12:42).
  6. What the scriptures reveal about our future is beyond our wildest dreams – No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit (1 Cor.2:9-10).

(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 Community Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009