Sat 29/2/20

Ephesians 6:10-24 … THE WEAPONS FOR OUR WARFARE IN MINISTRY.

Q.1. What provisions has the Lord made for our success in our battle against the Evil One? – (Eph.6:10-17) =

Q.2. What advice does Paul give about praying? Why is prayer so crucial in our ministries? – (Eph.6:18-20) =

Q.3. How important are fellow workers in ministry? What qualities should we develop in serving? – (Eph.6:21-24) =

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Final Greetings

21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brothers,[a] and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What provisions has the Lord made for our success in our battle against the Evil One? – (Eph.6:10-17) = We have in God’s Word all the protection and guidance we need, in order to recognize the schemes of the evil one, and to stand firm against all his attacks (Eph.6:10-11). Paul reminded the Ephesians that the real battle is not against people. Rather, it has spiritual dimensions –  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph.6:12 c.f. Eph.6:13). We have already embraced the Truth that has brought us peace with God. We also have been declared right in God’s sight (Eph.6:14). Our commission now is to spread the Gospel of peace (Eph.6:15). The enemy opposes our mission, so we must also exercise faith, as we apply the Word of God when under attack. We need to remember that the basis of our salvation is the finished work of Christ on the cross.(Eph.6:16-17). This assures us of triumph over all opposition.

Q.2. What advice did Paul give about praying? Why is prayer so crucial in our ministries? – (Eph.6:18-20) = We must cultivate an attitude of prayer (i.e. pray and petition God at all times). We need to stay on the alert, and to persevere with our prayers and petitions, remembering that God has a different timetable from our own – With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints (Eph.6:18). Paul was especially aware of the need for prayer support for his ministry … as we should be. If Paul asked people to pray for his boldness, how much more should we! (Eph.6:19). The mystery of the gospel is no longer hidden, and was explained by Paul in Ephesians chapter 3. However, he was only too aware of people’s (especially the Jews’) refusal to accept the simple truths of the Gospel.  We need to pray for boldness, and ask God to remove the veil from the eyes of those to whom we witness (Eph.6:20).

Q.3. How important are fellow workers in ministry? What qualities should we develop in serving? – (Eph.6:21-24) = Whenever he wrote his letters, Paul invariably listed his co-labourers (Eph.6:210. No one has all the gifts. Even at best, we may only have a few gifts. Paul trusted – … Tychicus, my beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord … I have sent him for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts (Eph.6:21-22). We need one another, in order for the body of Christ to function effectively. Even though a ministry may start small and healthily, it will eventually grow beyond the ability of one person to build it up. Paul always invested in a team of people. Paul closed with the benediction – Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph.6:24). His last words are precious – Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love (Eph.6:24). Everything else will perish. But God’s love will stand the test of time! (1 Cor.13:13).


(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

Fri 28/2/20

Jeremiah 40:1-16 … GEDALIAH GATHERS A REMNANT TO STAY IN JUDAH.

Q.1. Why was Judah being punished by Babylon? How well did God protect His servant in the midst of calamity? – (Jer.40:1-6) =

Q.2. What governing policies did Gedaliah put in place over the returning remnant of Judah? – (Jer.40:7-12) =

Q.3. Was Gedaliah wise to ignore the warnings of the returning soldiers? – (Jer.40:13-16) =

Jeremiah Remains in Judah

40 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he took him bound in chains along with all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, “The Lord your God pronounced this disaster against this place. The Lord has brought it about, and has done as he said. Because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey his voice, this thing has come upon you. Now, behold, I release you today from the chains on your hands. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you well, but if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, do not come. See, the whole land is before you; go wherever you think it good and right to go. If you remain,[a] then return to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed governor of the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people. Or go wherever you think it right to go.” So the captain of the guard gave him an allowance of food and a present, and let him go. Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah, and lived with him among the people who were left in the land.

When all the captains of the forces in the open country and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land and had committed to him men, women, and children, those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile to Babylon, they went to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, Johanan the son of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, swore to them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. 10 As for me, I will dwell at Mizpah, to represent you before the Chaldeans who will come to us. But as for you, gather wine and summer fruits and oil, and store them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that you have taken.” 11 Likewise, when all the Judeans who were in Moab and among the Ammonites and in Edom and in other lands heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, as governor over them, 12 then all the Judeans returned from all the places to which they had been driven and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah. And they gathered wine and summer fruits in great abundance.

13 Now Johanan the son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah 14 and said to him, “Do you know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam would not believe them. 15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah at Mizpah, “Please let me go and strike down Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life, so that all the Judeans who are gathered about you would be scattered, and the remnant of Judah would perish?” 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, “You shall not do this thing, for you are speaking falsely of Ishmael.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Why was Judah being punished by Babylon? How well did God protect His servant in the midst of calamity? – (Jer.40:1-6) = The following chapters relate the events that occurred before the prophecy of Jeremiah 42:7 (c.f. Jer.40:1). Nebuzaradan, the Babylonian captain, had a very clear understanding of why his nation was executing judgment. He knew that it wasn’t simply about expanding the empire’s influence – Now the captain of the bodyguard had taken Jeremiah and said to him, “The Lord your God promised this calamity against this place; and THE LORD HAS BROUGHT IT ON AND DONE JUST AS HE PROMISED. Because you people sinned against the Lord and did not listen to His voice, therefore this thing has happened to you (Jer.40:2-3). Somehow Nebuchadnezzar’s instruction to protect Jeremiah had been overlooked (c.f. Jer.39:11-12). As soon as he realized his mistake, Nebuzaradan freed Jeremiah and gave him permission to go wherever he pleased (Jer.40:4). He would personally look after the prophet. Alternately, Jeremiah was free to attach himself to Gedaliah, the newly appointed leader in Judah – So the captain of the bodyguard gave him a ration and a gift and let him go (Jer.40:5). Jeremiah went to the watchtower of Mizpah near Ramah, in the tribal lands of Benjamin (Jer.40:6). God looks after His own perfectly. Even though there are trials in this life, our life to come will be one of unceasing joy and peace. (c.f. Mk.10:28-30).

Q.2. What governing policies did Gedaliah put in place over the returning remnant of Judah? – (Jer.40:7-12) = The various tribes of Israel had fled to the surrounding nations, in order to escape the wrath of the Babylonians. When they heard that Gedaliah had been appointed as the head of the survivors, they began to return (Jer.40:7-8). The policy pursued by Gedaliah had the fingerprints of Jeremiah all over it – Then Gedaliah … swore to them and to their men, saying, “Do not be afraid of serving the Chaldeans; stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, that it may go well with you. 10 Now as for me, behold, I am going to stay at Mizpah to stand for you before the Chaldeans who come to us; but as for you, gather in wine and summer fruit and oil and put them in your storage vessels, and live in your cities that you have taken over.” (Jer.40:9-10). Slowly the scattered Jews returned, and joined the poorest people, to farm the land again. Their surrounding neighbours from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and other countries also joined them – Then all the Jews returned from all the places to which they had been driven away and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered in wine and summer fruit in great abundance (Jer.40:12).

Q.3. Was Gedaliah wise to ignore the warnings of the returning soldiers? – (Jer.40:13-16) = Gedaliah was a bit headstrong, and he would pay dearly for his refusal to take good advice from his own countryman, Johanan. He was obviously trying to establish himself in leadership, so did not want to be influenced by rumour (Jer.40:13-16). However, there were plenty of surrounding nations who had a long history of antipathy toward Israel. This should have forewarned him that the reports just may be true. Further civil unrest, plus disregard for God’s Word as given by Jeremiah, would bring total destruction to Jerusalem (Jer.41:1-44:30). God also gave Jeremiah prophecies against the  surrounding nations (Chapters 46-49) and Babylon (Chapter 50-51).


(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 27/2/20

Psalm 88:1-18 … THE PSALMIST CRIES TO GOD FOR DELIVERANCE FROM DEATH.

Q.1. How might some of the descriptions in this Psalm apply to Jesus in His sufferings? – (Ps.88:1-8 & 13-18) =

Q.2. What argument does the Psalmist present in his plea to God for deliverance from his many trials? – (Ps.88:1-6, 9-12) =

I Cry Out Day and Night Before You

A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil[a] of Heman the Ezrahite.

88 Lord, God of my salvation,
    I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah

You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a horror[b] to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O Lord;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
    Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O Lord, cry to you;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.[c]
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dreadful assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
    they close in on me together.
18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
    my companions have become darkness.[d]

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How might some of the descriptions in this Psalm apply to Jesus in His sufferings? – (Ps.88:1-8 & 13-18) = Section 3 of the Psalms (Chapters 73-89) are like Jeremiah’s book of Lamentations. Much of it comes from the time after the exile. Here the Psalmist speaks of being alienated from men and God. Jesus clearly would have identified with this – 7 Your wrath has rested upon me, and You have afflicted me with all Your waves.  You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out. My eye has wasted away because of affliction; I have called upon You every day, O Lord; I have spread out my hands to You (Ps.88:8-9 c.f. Mt.27:46). Jesus experienced being abandoned by God, so could understand the psalmist, who wrote – O Lord, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? … Your burning anger has passed over me; Your terrors have destroyed me (Ps.88:14 & 16 c.f. Ps.22:1). It is crucial to see Christ in all the Scriptures. The psalmist even predicted what Jesus would suffer from His friends and loved ones – You have removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness (Ps.88:18).

Q.2. What argument did the Psalmist present in his plea to God for deliverance from his many trials? – (Ps.88:1-6, 9-12) = The psalmist started his song with a declaration of his faith in God, regardless of his dire circumstances – 1 O Lord, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You. Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry! (Ps.88:1-2). His situation could not have been more perilous. He contemplated his death (Ps.88:3-6). He prayed for God to restore him so that he might again give praise to God – 10 Will You perform wonders for the dead; Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? 11 Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon (i.e. the place of departed spirits)? 12 Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? (Ps.88:10-12). He longed that the Lord would once again answer him, and appear out of His invisibility. That is certainly how we can feel at times.


(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 26/2/20

1 Kings 2:13-46 … EVENTS SURROUNDING THE START OF SOLOMON’S REIGN.

Q.1. Was the execution of Prince Adonijah justified? Why was Abiathar the priest dismissed from serving? – (1 Kgs.2:13-27) =

Q.2. Why was it necessary for King Solomon to have Joab put to death? – (1 Kgs.2:28-34) =

Q.3. In what way was Shimei complacent about the grace he was shown by Solomon? Could this be said of you? – (1 Kgs.2:36-46) =

Solomon’s Reign Established

13 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peacefully?” He said, “Peacefully.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Speak.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign. However, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16 And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Speak.” 17 And he said, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.” 18 Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak for you to the king.”

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” 21 She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, for he is my older brother, and on his side are Abiathar[a] the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah.” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “God do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adonijah his life! 24 Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck him down, and he died.

26 And to Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anathoth, to your estate, for you deserve death. But I will not at this time put you to death, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and because you shared in all my father’s affliction.” 27 So Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling the word of the Lord that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28 When the news came to Joab—for Joab had supported Adonijah although he had not supported Absalom—Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and caught hold of the horns of the altar. 29 And when it was told King Solomon, “Joab has fled to the tent of the Lord, and behold, he is beside the altar,” Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “The king commands, ‘Come out.’” But he said, “No, I will die here.” Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31 The king replied to him, “Do as he has said, strike him down and bury him, and thus take away from me and from my father’s house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord will bring back his bloody deeds on his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself, Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever. But for David and for his descendants and for his house and for his throne there shall be peace from the Lord forevermore.” 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and struck him down and put him to death. And he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.

36 Then the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there to any place whatever. 37 For on the day you go out and cross the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die. Your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 And Shimei said to the king, “What you say is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39 But it happened at the end of three years that two of Shimei’s servants ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. And when it was told Shimei, “Behold, your servants are in Gath,” 40 Shimei arose and saddled a donkey and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants. Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath. 41 And when Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, 42 the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die’? And you said to me, ‘What you say is good; I will obey.’ 43 Why then have you not kept your oath to the Lord and the commandment with which I commanded you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your own heart all the harm that you did to David my father. So the Lord will bring back your harm on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.” 46 Then the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck him down, and he died.

So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Was the execution of Prince Adonijah justified? Why was Abiathar the priest dismissed from serving? – (1 Kgs.2:13-27) = Solomon was the last son born to David. Prince Adonijah was much older (c.f. 2 Sam.3:4; 12:24-25). Therefore, on the surface it may have seemed like a reasonable assumption for Adonijah to put forth his claim to the throne. However, his scheme to ascend the throne without consultation with his highly acclaimed father, and his defiance against God’s call upon Solomon were inexcusable (1 Kgs.2:15). After David died, Adonijah again sought to elevate himself. He asked Solomon,  via his mother, Bathsheba, to give him the hand of King David’s beautiful Shunamite concubine (1 Kgs.2:13-18). Solomon interpreted Adonijah’s request as a claim to prominence, thus making a way for him to become a rival king. Consequently, Adonijah forfeited his life for his treasonous intention (1 Kgs.2:19-25). Solomon saw no future or wisdom in allowing the kingdom to be divided.

Q.2. Why was it necessary for King Solomon to have Joab put to death? – (1 Kgs.2:28-34) = Joab had been a strong leader of David’s army. However, the way he operated was at variance with how David, who trusted in God, wanted. Joab’s jealous treachery in killing his rivals, was also an offence to God – “Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed; he also shed the blood of war in peace … (1 Kgs.2:5). David had a genuine fear that Joab, with his seniority and carnality, would undermine Solomon. Besides, Joab had supported Adonijah’s grab for power (c.f. 1 Kgs.1:7; 2:22). When Adonijah was deposed, Joab fled for refuge to the tent of meeting (1 Kgs.2:28). Solomon sent his army captain, Benaiah, to execute him for his blood thirsty crimes. When Joab refused to leave the tabernacle, Solomon commanded Benaiah to slay him in the tent – that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the blood which Joab shed without cause … so shall their blood return on the head of his descendants forever, but to David and his descendants and his house and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever (1 Kgs.2:31 & 33).

Q.3. In what way was Shimei complacent about the grace he was shown by Solomon? Could this be said of you? – (1 Kgs.2:36-46) = Solomon knew that Shimei, from the former King Saul’s tribe of Benjamin, was a troublemaker. He ordered Shimei to build a home in Jerusalem, so he could keep an eye on him. He further commanded Shimei not to leave the precincts of Jerusalem, or he would pay with his life (1 Kgs.2:36-38). Shimei probably considered himself fortunate to not be executed for his insulting rant against David, Solomon’s father (c.f. 2 Sam.16:5-14). However, three years later he risked death by chasing after two of his servants (1 Kgs.2:39-40). This would prove to be a fatal mistake that would cost him his life (1 Kgs.2:41-46).


(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 25/2/20

Leviticus 10:1-20 … THE PRIESTHOOD LEARNS TO FOLLOW GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS.

Q.1. Why did God slay the firstborn sons of Aaron? What did God want the leaders to learn? – (Lev.10:1-3, 8-11) =

Q.2. Why was the disposal of the bodies and grieving for the sons of Aaron to be done differently? – (Lev.10:4-7) =

Q.3. Why was Moses so careful to ensure that the sacrifices were made as God commanded? – (Lev.10:16-20) =

The Death of Nadab and Abihu

10 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized[a] fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and out of the camp.” So they came near and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said. And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar his sons, “Do not let the hair of your heads hang loose, and do not tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the congregation; but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning that the Lord has kindled. And do not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Moses.

And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 10 You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.”

12 Moses spoke to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his surviving sons: “Take the grain offering that is left of the Lord‘s food offerings, and eat it unleavened beside the altar, for it is most holy. 13 You shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons’ due, from the Lord‘s food offerings, for so I am commanded. 14 But the breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed you shall eat in a clean place, you and your sons and your daughters with you, for they are given as your due and your sons’ due from the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the people of Israel. 15 The thigh that is contributed and the breast that is waved they shall bring with the food offerings of the fat pieces to wave for a wave offering before the Lord, and it shall be yours and your sons’ with you as a due forever, as the Lord has commanded.”

16 Now Moses diligently inquired about the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it was burned up! And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the surviving sons of Aaron, saying, 17 “Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, since it is a thing most holy and has been given to you that you may bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord? 18 Behold, its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary. You certainly ought to have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded.” 19 And Aaron said to Moses, “Behold, today they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, and yet such things as these have happened to me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would the Lord have approved?” 20 And when Moses heard that, he approved.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Why did God slay the firstborn sons of Aaron? What did God want the leaders to learn? – (Lev.10:1-3, 8-11) = God made an example of the firstborn sons of Aaron, to impress on the people the importance of doing everything exactly as He had commanded. There has been much conjecture about what the ‘strange fire’ might have been (Lev.10:1-2). However, the reason for the execution of Nadab and Abihu is clear – Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT DIE (as had occurred with Nadab and Abihu) –it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations – and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses – (Lev.10:9-11). Just as it is illegal to drive a car under the influence of alcohol, so it grieves the Lord, for a person representing Him, to be drunk (c.f. Eph.5:18). It is likely that Nadab & Abihu offered inappropriate fire and incense, as they stumbled drunkenly into the holy presence of God. (c.f. Lev.16:12-13).

Q.2. Why was the disposal of the bodies, and the grieving for the sons of Aaron to be done differently? – (Lev.10:4-7) = Nadab and Abihu had insulted God by failing to give the honour due to His name – By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honoured (Lev.10:3). Their deaths were not normal bereavements, so had to be dealt with differently. Therefore, Moses commanded the sons of Aaron’s uncle to remove the incinerated bodies from the holy place (Lev.10:4-5). Aaron and his other sons were warned not to grieve in the cultural way. This would signify that they understood God’s displeasure of what these men had done, and would prevent any further judgment. God also explained, that since the anointing oil was still on Aaron and his remaining sons, for them to leave the tent at that time, would bring further retribution against them (Lev.10:6-7 c.f. Lev.8:33-35).

Q.3. Why was Moses so careful to ensure that the sacrifices were made as God commanded? – (Lev.10:16-20) = Moses had been in the presence of God, and knew Him face to face. He had a very clear understanding of the glory and holiness of God. God had made generous provision for the priesthood. However, in return, they all needed to be intricately aware of their duties and responsibilities (Lev.10:12-15). When Moses discovered that the scapegoat had been burned up by mistake, he was horrified – Why did you not eat the sin offering in the holy place? For it is most holy, and He gave it to you to bear away the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord (Lev.10:17). Aaron then explained the complexity of the law, in relation to the offerings (Lev.10:19-20). Later on, God gave further instruction to Aaron and his sons, in order to avoid further disaster and – the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they had approached the presence of the Lord and died (Lev.16:1).


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

Mon 24/2/20

Luke 4:1-13 … JESUS DOES BATTLE WITH THE TEMPTER.

Q.1. What makes the circumstance surrounding the temptation of Jesus significant? – (Lk.4:1-3) =

Q.2. What was the Devil trying to achieve? How can this help you to recognize temptations? – (Lk.4:3-8) =

Q.3. How did Jesus resist the temptations of the Tempter? In what way should this fact challenge us? – (Lk.4:4-12) =

Q.4. Will the Devil ever leave us alone? How can overcoming temptation strengthen us? – (Lk.4:13-14) =

The Temptation of Jesus

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
    and him only shall you serve.’”

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    to guard you,’

11 and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What makes the circumstance surrounding the temptation of Jesus significant? – (Lk.4:1-3) = Firstly, Jesus had just been baptized, and the Father had expressed His pleasure in His Son and His mission (c.f. Lk.3:21-22). As the sinless Son, Jesus needed no baptism of repentance or forgiveness for Himself (c.f. Lk.3:3). His baptism signalled that He had realized His identity from the Scriptures, and was willing to identify Himself with sinful men in this way (Mt.3:13-15). After this highlight in His life, the temptation came. We should never be surprised if trials follow times of triumph. Christ’s first challenge following His ‘coronation’, was to resist the Devil head-on – Jesus full of the Holy Spirit … was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness (Lk.4:1). Mark’s Gospel account says –Immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go into the wilderness … after His baptism (Mk.1:12).  Thirdly, the Tempter attacked Jesus when He was physically weak, at the end of a 40 day fast (Lk.4:2). You can be certain that Satan will attack us when we are at our most vulnerable.

Q.2. What was the Devil trying to achieve? How can this help you to recognize temptations? – (Lk.4:3-8) = Though most translations say – If you are the Son of God (Lk.4:3 & 9). It would be better translated – ‘Since you are the Son of God!’ Satan loves to question the very core of our relationship with God, and tempt us to try to reach our goals through earthly and ungodly means. He also tempts us by offering material benefits, fame, and acclaim (c.f. Lk.4:5-8). Mostly, he tries to get us to mistrust God’s plan for the fulfillment of our life purpose. We then do things our way, and not His way, as happened in the Garden of Eden. Any attempt to destroy our dependence on God is a temptation from the Devil. The Devil may even use the Scriptures to lure us into attitudes and actions that are displeasing to God (c.f. Lk.4:9-11).

Q.3. How did Jesus resist the temptations of the Tempter? In what way should this fact challenge us? – (Lk.4:4-12) = It is amazing that Jesus did not say a single thing to repulse the attacks of the Evil One, except to quote the Scriptures! He knew them intimately, and trusted totally in their efficacy. The challenge for the believer is to get to know the Word of God in such a way, that we can clearly evaluate any aspects of life that we may face. We may be accused of being too focused on, or too controlled by what the Bible says. However, the truth is: The Bible is the written Word that leads us to know the Living Word better. People can become easily shipwrecked, if they fail to have a growing knowledge of God through His Word. No decision or wisdom can ever be greater than that gained from dependence on God’s Word. As Jesus confirmed – Man shall not live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Lk.4:4 c.f. Deut.8:3; Mt.4:4).

Q.4. Will the Devil ever leave us alone? How can overcoming temptation strengthen us? – (Lk.4:13-14) = There are times and seasons. God promised Noah after the Flood – While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Gen.8:3). To remind us of His promise, God declared – I set My rainbow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth (Gen.9:13). We can expect seasons of spiritual warfare.  Here, the concentrated temptations against Jesus were completed – until an opportune time (Lk.4:13). Thankfully, every victory will leave us stronger in our fight against temptations, if we keep on learning and depending on God’s Word.


(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 22/2/20

Ephesians 6:1-9 … GUIDELINES FOR FAMILY AND WORK RELATIONSHIPS.

Q.1. How should children treat their parents? What is the rationale behind this? – (Eph.6:1-3) =

Q.2. What is the father’s role? What warning is there for fathers? – (Eph.6:4) =

Q.3. How should we conduct ourselves in our work relationships? Why? – (Eph.6:5-9) =

Children and Parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Bondservants and Masters

Bondservants,[a] obey your earthly masters[b] with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master[c] and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How should children treat their parents? What is the rationale behind this? – (Eph.6:1-3) = Paul predicted that in the last days – difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Tim.3:1-4). The command for children to give honour, respect, and obedience, is therefore even more crucial today. Paul reminded his readers that this is a command that is not just limited to so-called good parents. It comes with a promise – so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth (Eph.6:3). Respect and obedience is presented as a protection for the child, since most parents love their children and make decisions for their good.

Q.2. What is the father’s role? What warning is there for fathers? – (Eph.6:4) = Fathers are commanded to raise their children in the DISCIPLINE & INSTRUCTION of the Lord. This takes time and focus (Eph.6:4). A father must learn to model consistency, both in teaching biblical principles, and in applying the boundaries. This will avoid frustrating and  exasperating the child.

Q.3. How should we conduct ourselves in our work relationships? Why? – (Eph.6:5-9) = Both servants and masters are to remember that God knows our attitudes, actions, and reactions to all circumstances. We are exhorted to work hard. This is good for us when we are working gratefully, with a view to pleasing God (Eph.6:5-6). Without doubt this will also be pleasing to an employer. It is both a creation principle, and one of the Ten Commandments, that we should work for six days out of seven (Gen.2:15; Exo.20:9-11; Deut.5:13-). Ultimately, it is God Who places us in our job – With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free (Eph.6:7-8). Since God is impartial, that is the way a master is to lead … and to do so without threatening or bullying (Eph.6:9).


(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