Tues 26/5/20

Leviticus 20:1-27 … LAWS TO PROTECT ISRAEL FROM BEING SENT FROM THEIR LAND.

Q.1. How did the severe punishment for violating God’s laws reflect His character? –(Lev.20:1-21) =

Q.2. Why had God removed the previous inhabitants from Canaan? How did God protect His people from being removed from the Promised Land? – (Lev.20:22-26) =

Punishment for Child Sacrifice

20 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.

“If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you. For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.

Punishments for Sexual Immorality

10 “If a man commits adultery with the wife of[a] his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 If a man lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. 12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed perversion; their blood is upon them. 13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. 14 If a man takes a woman and her mother also, it is depravity; he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no depravity among you. 15 If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. 16 If a woman approaches any animal and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

17 “If a man takes his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his mother, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace, and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness, and he shall bear his iniquity. 18 If a man lies with a woman during her menstrual period and uncovers her nakedness, he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister or of your father’s sister, for that is to make naked one’s relative; they shall bear their iniquity. 20 If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness; they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21 If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is impurity.[b] He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

You Shall Be Holy

22 “You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. 24 But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25 You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. 26 You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

27 “A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How did the severe punishment for violating God’s laws reflect God’s character? –(Lev.20:1-21) = Israel was not to follow the evil practices of the Canaanites. The reason that God gave the laws, was to promote godly, clean and  healthy living, and to reflect Israel’s relationship with Him – You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you … 26 Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine (Lev.20:7-8, 26). . The severe punishment was to stop the spread of evil in the midst of His people.  Anything that undermined the solidarity of the family, and brought jealousy into marriage, was to be shunned. The sacrificing of their children to Molech was punishable by death. God would judge Israel if they failed to apply capital punishment to evil doers (Lev.20:2-5). Mediums and spiritists were also banned (Lev.20:6 & 27). Details were given in order to preserve the sanctity of marriage. All other practices of adultery, fornication, incest (literally ‘confusion’), homosexuality, bestiality, and lustful practices were outlawed in Israel (Lev.20:9-21).

Q.2. Why had God removed the previous inhabitants from Canaan? How did God protect His people from being removed from the Promised Land? – (Lev.20:22-26) = God made it abundantly clear that Israel was not to follow the ways of the nations they had displaced – 22 ‘You are therefore to keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out. 23 Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them (Lev.20:22-23). By identifying the reason for the removal of the nations, God also identified the sins they were to avoid. By making the rite of circumcision the sign of His covenant with Israel, this would make them different. Since He was the uniquely holy God – I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine (Lev.20:26). God always knew, that to marry close relatives or to eat unclean animals, increases  the risk of defects and diseases.


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 25/5/20

Luke 8:1-15 … THE COMPANIONS OF JESUS AND THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING PARABLES.

Q.1. What interesting insight does Luke share about the band of followers that surrounded Jesus? – (Lk.8:1-3) =

Q.2. To whom did Jesus explain the parable of the sower? Why did Jesus speak in parables? – (Lk.8:4-10) =

Q.3. What did Jesus mean to convey by the parable? How can the parable help you to faithfully discharge your ministry? – (Lk.8:11-15) =

Women Accompanying Jesus

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them[a] out of their means.

The Parable of the Sower

And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

The Purpose of the Parables

And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What interesting insight did Luke share about the band of followers who surrounded Jesus? – (Lk.8:1-3) = Jesus had an itinerant ministry. He moved – from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God (Lk.8:1). Though Jesus chose twelve men to be the apostles, He also had a loyal group of women who travelled with Him. They contributed to His welfare, and that of His disciples. In fact, it is obvious that some of the woman were well off – and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means (Lk.8:3). These women played their part even more faithfully than did some of the more notable men. They were there at the crucifixion when most of the disciples had fled. They were there at His burial with their spices, so that they might anoint Him (Mk.15:40-41, 47-16:1). In many ways this community resembled any small healthy church.

Q.2. To whom did Jesus explain the parable of the sower? Why did Jesus speak in parables? – (Lk.8:4-10) = Jesus shared what is often called the ‘Parable of the Sower’ with the whole crowd. However, it was to His own disciples that He explained its meaning.  Jesus told them – 10 And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand (Lk.8:10). As is generally the case, a parable is an interesting story to the crowds. However, for Jesus’ followers, it requires further investigation, so that we might discover its true meaning.

Q.3. What did Jesus mean to convey by the parable? How can the parable help you to faithfully discharge your ministry? – (Lk.8:11-15) = The parables were stories that highlighted the principles of the kingdom of God. The parable of the Sower is about the Seed and the Soil. Jesus explained that – … the seed is the Word of God (Lk.8:11). The parable revealed the reasons why some seed germinates and produces a harvest, and why lots of other seed fails to achieve that purpose (Lk.8:15). Indifference and hard- heartedness, distractions and diversions, trials and losses, and the attractions and prosperity of the world, can easily prevent fruitfulness in a person’s life (Lk.8:11-14). It is God Himself Who causes the seed to take root and grow.  By warning us that many seeds will not produce fruit, Jesus helps us to not take rejection personally. Instead, He encourages us to remain faithful, regardless of the response.


(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 23/5/20

Colossians 1:15-23 … RECONCILED TO GOD BY THE INCOMPARABLE CHRIST.

Q.1. How does Paul describe the Saviour? What special place does Christ have in the universe? In what way is He the head of the church? – (Col.1:15-19) =

Q.2. How did Christ reconcile rebels to Himself? What is God’s ultimate intention for us? – (Col.1:20-23) =

The Preeminence of Christ

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[b] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How did Paul describe the Saviour? What special place does Christ have in the universe? In what way is He the head of the church? – (Col.1:15-19) = God chose to fully reveal Himself through the Person of His Son so that, what is unknown might be seen – for it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him (Col.1:19 c.f. Col.1:15-16). This includes all that has been created – … both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him (Col.1:16). As the Co-Creator, Jesus is first in rank before all else … and in Him all things hold together (Col.1:17). He reserves first place as the Head of the Church which is His visible body.  He achieved this pre-eminence, by being the only One to be permanently raised to life after dying (Col.1:18).

Q.2. How did Christ reconcile rebels to Himself? What is God’s ultimate intention for us? – (Col.1:20-23) = Jesus made peace for sinners before a holy God – through the blood of His cross (Col.1:20). His reconciliation through His death is for all believers, on earth and in heaven, who have trusted in God’s provision of salvation, before or after the cross. Paul told the Colossians that God’s overarching plan is – … to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach (Col.1:23). The proof of real faith is shown when our former hostility to God is removed, and we continue steadfastly in the hope of the Gospel (Col.1:21 & 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 22/5/20

Jeremiah 51:33-64 … THE FUTURE DESTRUCTION OF THE BABYLONIAN EMPIRE.

Q.1. Why will God exact His full vengeance on the Babylonians? – (Jer.51:33-44) =

Q.2. How do you reconcile God’s call to leave Babylon when previously Israel was to accept exile there? – (Jer.51:45-58 c.f. Jer.29:1-14) =

Q.3. What unique way was the prophecy of Babylon’s future destruction to be communicated? – (Jer.51:59-64) =

For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor
    at the time when it is trodden;
yet a little while
    and the time of her harvest will come.”

34 “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me;
    he has crushed me;
he has made me an empty vessel;
    he has swallowed me like a monster;
he has filled his stomach with my delicacies;
    he has rinsed me out.[a]
35 The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,”
    let the inhabitant of Zion say.
“My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”
    let Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will plead your cause
    and take vengeance for you.
I will dry up her sea
    and make her fountain dry,
37 and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins,
    the haunt of jackals,
a horror and a hissing,
    without inhabitant.

38 “They shall roar together like lions;
    they shall growl like lions’ cubs.
39 While they are inflamed I will prepare them a feast
    and make them drunk, that they may become merry,
then sleep a perpetual sleep
    and not wake, declares the Lord.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
    like rams and male goats.

41 “How Babylon[b] is taken,
    the praise of the whole earth seized!
How Babylon has become
    a horror among the nations!
42 The sea has come up on Babylon;
    she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
43 Her cities have become a horror,
    a land of drought and a desert,
a land in which no one dwells,
    and through which no son of man passes.
44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon,
    and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed.
The nations shall no longer flow to him;
    the wall of Babylon has fallen.

45 “Go out of the midst of her, my people!
    Let every one save his life
    from the fierce anger of the Lord!
46 Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful
    at the report heard in the land,
when a report comes in one year
    and afterward a report in another year,
and violence is in the land,
    and ruler is against ruler.

47 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming
    when I will punish the images of Babylon;
her whole land shall be put to shame,
    and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heavens and the earth,
    and all that is in them,
shall sing for joy over Babylon,
    for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north,
declares the Lord.
49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,
    just as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.

50 “You who have escaped from the sword,
    go, do not stand still!
Remember the Lord from far away,
    and let Jerusalem come into your mind:
51 ‘We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach;
    dishonor has covered our face,
for foreigners have come
    into the holy places of the Lord‘s house.’

52 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will execute judgment upon her images,
and through all her land
    the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven,
    and though she should fortify her strong height,
yet destroyers would come from me against her,
    declares the Lord.

54 “A voice! A cry from Babylon!
    The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
55 For the Lord is laying Babylon waste
    and stilling her mighty voice.
Their waves roar like many waters;
    the noise of their voice is raised,
56 for a destroyer has come upon her,
    upon Babylon;
her warriors are taken;
    their bows are broken in pieces,
for the Lord is a God of recompense;
    he will surely repay.
57 I will make drunk her officials and her wise men,
    her governors, her commanders, and her warriors;
they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake,
    declares the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
The broad wall of Babylon
    shall be leveled to the ground,
and her high gates
    shall be burned with fire.
The peoples labor for nothing,
    and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”

59 The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah king of Judah to Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60 Jeremiah wrote in a book all the disaster that should come upon Babylon, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62 and say, ‘O Lord, you have said concerning this place that you will cut it off, so that nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this book, tie a stone to it and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates, 64 and say, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, and they shall become exhausted.’”

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Why will God exact His full vengeance on the Babylonians? – (Jer.51:33-44) = Babylon had executed judgment without restraint against Judah. Trials and trouble will either make people angry with God, or will drive His children closer to Him. Consequently, the inhabitants of Zion will cry out to God – May the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon (Jer.51:34). Though God frequently uses others to discipline us, nonetheless they will not be exonerated, if they have failed to show mercy. Will God hear the cries of His erring children? Absolutely! – Behold, I am going to plead your case and exact full vengeance for you (Jer.51:35).

Q.2. How do you reconcile God’s call to leave Babylon, when previously Israel was to accept exile there? – (Jer.51:45-58 c.f. Jer.29:1-14) = The ministry of Jeremiah spanned five decades, from the reign of the good king Josiah, to beyond the defeat of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 B.C (c.f. Jer.1:1-3). There is a good case for believing that Jeremiah lived long years, in order to pen the book’s closing scene. Previously, Jeremiah had addressed the exiles, including the prophet Daniel, who had been taken captive to Babylon (c.f. Jer.29:1-14). The latter part of Jeremiah’s prophecies related to the destruction of Babylon, and alluded to the ultimate destruction of Babylon, which the apostle John described in Revelation chapters 17 & 18. Here God informed Jeremiah – Come forth from her midst, My people, and each of you save yourselves from the fierce anger of the Lord … Babylon is to fall for the slain of Israel … Depart! Do not stay! Remember the Lord from afar, and let Jerusalem be on your mind (Jer.51:45, 49-50 c.f. Rev.18:4-5). In fact, the Jews settled in various parts of the world and established synagogues to preserve their heritage. The apostle Paul was able to minister in these synagogues, when he spread the Gospel in the Roman Empire as recorded in Acts.

Q.3. In what unique way was the prophecy of Babylon’s future destruction to be communicated? – (Jer.51:59-64) = Jeremiah closed his ministry by writing about the fall and destruction of Babylon (Jer.51:64). Seraiah was to recite the contents of the scroll out loud when he arrived in Babylon – You, O Lord, have promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation (Jer.51:62). He was then instructed to take the scroll, tie it around a heavy stone, and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates. No doubt, all the Chaldeans who heard the message in Hebrew thought Seraiah was a fool. However, he was to respond – ‘Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become exhausted (Jer.51:64). That vision of the plunging scroll would foreshadow the future destruction of the godless Babylonian system – Then a strong angel took up a stone like a millstone and threw it into the sea saying, ‘So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence and will not be found any longer’ (Rev.18:21).


(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 21/5/20

Psalm 96:1-13 … A CALL FOR ALL NATIONS TO WORSHIP GOD NOW AND IN FUTURE.

Q.1. Why is God to be praised above all others? To whom was the good tidings to be shared? Why? – (Ps.96:1-10) =

Q.2. What does God’s reign apply? Why does the Psalmist want all people to factor in a future judgment? –(Ps.96:10-13) =

Worship in the Splendor of Holiness

96 Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
    tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;[a]
    tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
    Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
    let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12     let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13     before the Lord, for he comes,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
    and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. Why is God to be praised above all others? With whom were the good tidings to be shared? Why? – (Ps.96:1-10) = We should sing to the Lord a fresh new song that comes out of the meditation of our hearts (Ps.96:1). The psalmist credited God with wonderful deeds. He claimed that – the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods (Ps.96.4). This is so because all the gods of the surrounding nations are mere man-made idols – … but the Lord made the heavens (Ps.96:5). The good tidings of the greatness and His salvation should be proclaimed each day – among the nations (Ps.96:2-3). All the earth should tremble at His majesty and splendour (Ps.96:9). The task of the righteous is to – say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns’. Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity (Ps.96:10). The psalmist took this task seriously.

Q.2. To what does God’s reign apply? Why did the Psalmist want all people to factor in a future judgment? –(Ps.96:10-13) = The Psalmist reflected on God’s role in this life … and beyond this life. We should factor in the hereafter, because God’s reign is eternal over all He has created. We are wise to remember that … He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness (Ps.96:13). Every week that passes by reminds us that there is much injustice and inequality in the world. This inequity necessitates God’s faithfulness and intervention (Ps.96:10). If God ignored man’s inhumanity toward man, He would neither be just nor faithful. However – … He is coming. He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness (Ps.96:13). Wise are those who give greater consideration to the distant future, than they give to the immediate future. This should not fill us with fear. The anticipation of Christ’s future coming and reign, filled the psalmist with joy (Ps.96:11-12).


(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 Real Life Group leader or email paulh@cityreach.com.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009

Wed 20/5/20

1 Kings 13:1-34 … GOD WARNS JEROBOAM THROUGH A YOUNG MAN OF GOD.

Q.1. What is remarkable about the intervention of the man of God? How did Jeroboam respond? – (1 Kgs.13:1-10) =

Q.2. Why did God have to kill the man of God after he was misled by a backslidden prophet? – (1 Kgs.13:11-32) =

Q.3. What does the story tell us about King Jeroboam? What would happen to Jeroboam? – (1 Kgs.13:1-10, 33-34) =

A Man of God Confronts Jeroboam

13 And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the Lord to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make offerings. And the man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’” And he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign that the Lord has spoken: ‘Behold, the altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.’” And when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him.” And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. The altar also was torn down, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. And the king said to the man of God, “Entreat now the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” And the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it was before. And the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.” And the man of God said to the king, “If you give me half your house, I will not go in with you. And I will not eat bread or drink water in this place, for so was it commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall neither eat bread nor drink water nor return by the way that you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way that he came to Bethel.

The Prophet’s Disobedience

11 Now an old prophet lived in Bethel. And his sons[a] came and told him all that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. They also told to their father the words that he had spoken to the king. 12 And their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him the way that the man of God who came from Judah had gone. 13 And he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him and he mounted it. 14 And he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak. And he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.” 15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.” 16 And he said, “I may not return with you, or go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place, 17 for it was said to me by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.’” 18 And he said to him, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him. 19 So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water.

20 And as they sat at the table, the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back. 21 And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord and have not kept the command that the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’” 23 And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 And as he went away a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his body was thrown in the road, and the donkey stood beside it; the lion also stood beside the body. 25 And behold, men passed by and saw the body thrown in the road and the lion standing by the body. And they came and told it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 And when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who disobeyed the word of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word that the Lord spoke to him.” 27 And he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it. 28 And he went and found his body thrown in the road, and the donkey and the lion standing beside the body. The lion had not eaten the body or torn the donkey. 29 And the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back to the city[b] to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid the body in his own grave. And they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” 31 And after he had buried him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the saying that he called out by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places that are in the cities of Samaria shall surely come to pass.”

33 After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places. 34 And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth.

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. What was remarkable about the intervention of the man of God? How did Jeroboam respond? – (1 Kgs.13:1-10) = It took great courage for anyone to cross over from Judah,  with a prophecy against the northern kingdom of Israel: (i) It was amazing that the Lord revealed the name of King Josiah, and the judgment of the false prophets on the altar at Bethel, three hundred years before the event (1 Kgs.13:1-2 c.f. 2 Kgs. 23:15-18). (ii) He added a sign that the altar would be split, and the ashes poured out … and it came to pass (1 Kgs.13:3 & 5). (iii) Nowhere in Scripture are we given this prophet’s name. When Jeroboam ordered the prophet’s arrest, his arm was frozen. He immediately asked the man of God to plead for healing … and it was so! (1 Kgs.13:4 & 6). Jeroboam was grateful to the prophet, and offered him rich rewards. The prophet refused his offer because – So it was commanded me by the word of the Lord saying, ‘You shall eat no bread nor drink water, nor return by the way you came’ (1 Kgs.13:9). He then turned and left Bethel a different way.

Q.2. Why did God have to kill the man of God after he was misled by a backslidden prophet? – (1 Kgs.13:11-32) = The confrontation between the prophet and the king had been very public. It made a great impact, particularly upon an old prophet. The first prophet’s declaration that God had commanded him not to delay in Israel, but to go home another route was explicit (1 Kgs.13:8-10). However, he was deceived by the backslidden older prophet, who claimed that – … “I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him … he disobeyed God (1 Kgs.13:18 c.f. Gal.1:8). If God had allowed the younger prophet to get away with disobedience, then all leaders from Jeroboam onwards would have had a precedent to disregard God’s commands, and ignore His prophecies. This was God’s judgment for his disobedience (1 Kgs.13:24). Nevertheless, the young prophet was given a proper burial and would eventually be honoured many generations later (1 Kgs.23:17-18).

Q.3. What did the story tell us about King Jeroboam? What would happen to Jeroboam? – (1 Kgs.13:1-10, 33-34) = God had extended lavish grace on Jeroboam, namely, a promise of a lasting dynasty like David’s (c.f. 1 Kgs.11:29-38). However, God’s warning, plus the sign against him at Bethel, and the unusual death of the man of God, failed to deter Jeroboam from rebellion. This was the reason God determined to destroy the house of Jeroboam, and blot it from the face of the earth (1 Kgs.13:34). King Jeroboam stands out in history as one of the biggest fools of all time. He had a cast iron promise of a lasting dynasty, but forfeited it all by his wicked disobedience. Instead of trusting God to establish his name and his kingdom, Jeroboam used carnal strategies to shore up that which would have happened, had he just believed God’s promises, and obeyed Him. His attempt to buy the services of, and to corrupt the man of God revealed a sinister view of power, and of his own importance. What more did God have to do to appeal to his heart? History recorded that Jeroboam was the one who caused Israel to sin.


(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 19/5/20

Leviticus 19:1-37 … HOW ISRAEL WAS TO REFLECT THE CHARACTER OF GOD.

Q.1. How does God describe Himself? In what way was Israel to show God’s holiness? How was He profaned? – (Lev.19:1-8) =

Q.2. What guiding principle did God give so that the Israelites lived in harmony with one another? – (Lev.19:9-18) =

Q.3. How were God’s people to be distinct from the surrounding nations? Does this still apply? – (Lev.19:26-37) =

The Lord Is Holy

19 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.

“When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire. If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted, and everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned what is holy to the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from his people.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life[a] of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

You Shall Keep My Statutes

19 “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.

20 “If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free; 21 but he shall bring his compensation to the Lord, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. 22 And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the Lord for his sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven for the sin that he has committed.

23 “When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, then you shall regard its fruit as forbidden.[b] Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it must not be eaten. 24 And in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat of its fruit, to increase its yield for you: I am the Lord your God.

26 “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. 27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.

29 “Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity. 30 You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

31 “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.

32 “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

35 “You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin:[c] I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the Lord.”

Suggested Answers:

Q.1. How did God describe Himself? In what way was Israel to acknowledge God’s holiness? How was He profaned? – (Lev.19:1-8) = Before all else, God is to be revered as   holy – You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy (Lev.19:2). The way Israel was to express this in their lives, was to respect their parents and to celebrate the Sabbath – Every one of you shall reverence his mother and father, and you shall keep My sabbath’s; I am the Lord your God (Lev.19:3). Your respect for God will flow on to respect for your parents, and for all others in authority. They were also to shun idols (Lev.19:4). Since they were sinners, there was a need for sacrificial offerings. These were to be made by the priesthood in the prescribed way, because God is holy (Lev.19:5-8). Israel belonged to God. They were to be distinctly different.

Q.2. What guiding principle did God give so that the Israelites would live in harmony with one another? – (Lev.19:9-18) = Since God had created and chosen the Israelites, He was the Lord their God (Lev.19:4, 10, 12, 14, 16).  Their uniqueness was to be seen in the way they related to one another in interpersonal relationships. This included the way they treated the needy, the foreigner, and defenceless (Lev.19:9-18). The guiding principle for all Israelites was – you shall love your neighbour as yourself; I am the Lord (Lev.19:18). They should be different, not just out of fear of punishment, but because He was their Lord. This conduct was also required by all believers in the New Testament, because it sums up all the other commandments (c.f. Rom.13:9; Gal.5:14 also Mt.19:19; Mk.12:31; Lk.10:27). It was known as the royal law (Jms.2:8).

Q.3. How were God’s people to be distinct from the surrounding nations? Does this still apply? – (Lev.19:26-37) = The surrounding nations placed few limits on satisfying their own desires (Lev.19:20-21; 29). However, Israel’s Lord was holy, so any breach of His commands required them to offer – … a ram for a guilt offering. The priest shall make atonement for him … before the Lord for his sin he has committed, and the sin which he has committed will be forgiven him (Lev.19:21-22). The other nations did not have the wise precepts of the Scriptures to give instructions regarding their agricultural pursuits, or honesty in business practices (Lev.19:19, 23-25, 35-37). They did all kinds of hideous things, which were denounced by God, to their bodies – You shall not make cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord (Lev.19:28). The people of Israel were to refrain from consulting anyone but the Lord for guidance (Lev.19:26, 31). Their society was to show respect for the aged (Lev.19:32). Foreigners were to be treated with dignity and – You shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt … (Lev.19:34). Paul urged Timothy to – be diligent to present yourself approved by God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (2 Tim.2:15). Jesus warned about the Last Days, that – many will fall away … and – because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold (Mt.24:10 & 12). In keeping these laws, Israel was to reflect the holiness of God. The more ignorant people are of the teaching of the whole Bible, the less they will be distinct from the ungodly of 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@oakdenbaptist.org.au

©PaulHoogenraad2009