Wednesday, March 25, 2020

I Samuel

1. Samuel’s birth can be considered a miracle.  Can you recall some other previous examples in the Bible of God providing a child in unusual circumstances?

2. What kind of “reversals” is God credited with in Hannah’s prayer in I Samuel 2?

3. What were the sins of Eli’s sons (2:12-17 and 2:22-25)?

4. What was Eli’s sin (3:13)?

5. How did the Philistines’ war trophy of the ark become a snare to them?

6. What were the sins of Samuel’s sons (8:1-3)?

7. What did Samuel warn the Israelites about what a king would do?

8. Why do the people still want a king (8:19-20)?

9. Why do you think God allowed the people to do something that was not in accord with His will?

10. What is Saul’s first victory as king (11:1-11)?

11. What are the two ways that Saul fell out of favor with the Lord (13:8-14 and 15:10-23)?

12. How had God prepared David for his battle with Goliath (17:34-37)?

13. How did David go from being a hero admired by Saul to being viewed with suspicion and fear by him?

14. What was the covenant made between Jonathan and David in I Samuel 20?

15. What ruse did David employ to be safe in Gath of the Philistines (22:10-15)?

16. What did Saul do to the priests at Nob in revenge for their assistance to David (22:6-23)?

17. When David had the opportunity to kill Saul in I Samuel 24, what did he do instead?

18. When David had a second opportunity to kill Saul in I Samuel 26, what did he do instead?

19. When Saul consults a medium to call up the spirit of Samuel, what does Samuel tell him (30:16-19)?

20. How do Saul and three of his sons die in I Samuel 31?

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Judges and Ruth

1. Joshua was Moses’ successor.  Who was Joshua’s successor? (Note: this may be a trick question!)

2. According to Judges 4:4, what was God’s intention in leaving some enemy nations among Israel’s tribes?

3. According to Judges 4:6, what happened?

4. A. Who is the first Judge raised up in Judges 4:7-11,
B. his lineage,
C. the enemy of Israel (leader and nation) at the time,
D. and how long had Israel been oppressed?

5. A. Who is the second Judge raised up in Judges 4:12-30,
B. his lineage,
C. the enemy of Israel (leader and nation) at the time,
D. and how long had Israel been oppressed?

6. A. Who is the Judge raised up in Judges 5,
B. the enemy of Israel (leader and nation) at the time,
C. and how long had Israel been oppressed?

7. Does the fact that Deborah led Israel in the time of the Judges imply anything about God’s ability to use women in leadership?

8. A. Who is the Judge raised up in Judges 6,
B. his lineage,
C. the enemy of Israel (nation) at the time
D. and how long had Israel been oppressed?

9. What did Gideon do with his fleece in Judges 6, and why is that not an example of putting the Lord to the test?

10. How many fighting men did Gideon start with, and how many did he take into battle?

11. How did Gideon’s gold ephod become a snare to Israel?

12. What does the example of Jephthah teach us about making a rash vow?

13. What does Judges 14:1-4 teach us about God’s plans?

14. What similarities are there between Samson being worn down by the Philistine woman in Judges 14:16-17 and his experience with Delilah later in Judges 16?

15. What is the connection between Samson’s strength being in his hair and his identity as a Nazirite?

16. What are the similarities between the city of Gibeah in Benjamin (an Israelite town!) in Judges 19 and cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19?

17. What were the consequences upon the tribe of Benjamin for what happened in Gibeah?

18. What do you think of the various plans to secure wives for the decimated Benjaminite tribe in Judges 21?

19. What is the consequence of verses like Judges 17:6 and 21:25 where everyone does what is right in their own eyes?

20. What does the story of Ruth and Naomi teach us about God’s providence?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Joshua Twenty Questions

1. What questions do you have about this week’s reading?

2. How many times (and by whom) is Joshua told in chapter 1 to be “strong and courageous”?

3. Being strong and courageous is necessary for Joshua and the Israelites to succeed, while their opponents “melt in fear.”  Have you ever seen fear play a decisive role in the ability to persevere?

4. Based on the story of Rahab in chapter two, what appears to be most important to God: one’s ethnicity, one’s morality, or which side one is on?

5. How does the testimony of Rahab in Joshua 2:8-11 show that God’s reputation is spreading on account of Israel’s experiences?

6. What happened at Gilgal?  (Joshua 4:19-24)

7. Although fear is generally considered a negative in the book of Joshua, why is it recommended that the people fear the Lord?  (Joshua 4:24)

8. Why does the manna stop in Joshua 5?

9. Whose side is the commander of the army of the Lord on?  (Joshua 5:13-15)

10. What were Joshua’s “marching orders”, and how did they result in the fall of Jericho?

11. What caused the army’s failure at Ai?  (Joshua 7:10-12)

12. With what tactic did Joshua conquer Ai?

13. Which scripture is Joshua 8:30-35 a fulfillment of?

14. What was the ruse of the Gibeonites?

15. According to Joshua 11, how faithfully did Joshua follow the orders given by Moses?

16. How many kings did Joshua and the Israelites successfully defeat?

17. In what town was the tent of meeting set up?  (Joshua 18)

18. After establishing towns of refuge and towns for the Levites, how many of God’s promises to Moses could be said to have gone unfulfilled?  (Joshua 21:43-45)

19. Why did the tribes east of the Jordan build an altar at Geliloth?

20. What ultimately happened to Joseph’s bones?

Deuteronomy 18-34 Twenty Questions

1. What questions do you have about this week’s reading?

2. The Bible takes a very negative view of magic and the occult (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).  Are these practices regarded as “hoaxes”, or is there another reason they are forbidden?

3. What is the test of a prophet? (Deut. 18:21-22)

4. Why is God determined that the cities of refuge should be both accessible and sufficient in number? (Deut. 19:6 and 10)

5. According to the Bible in Deut. 19:16-21, what should happen to one found to be a false witness?

6. What are some reasons that a person might be discharged from going up to battle or war?  (Deut. 20:5-9)

7. What is the penalty for a rebellious son?  (Deut. 21:18-21)

8. How is Deuteronomy 22:8 an early example of the concept of “negligence”?

9. The Bible is sometimes attacked for passages like Deuteronomy 22:28-29 which may offend our modern sensibilities.  Given the context of the culture and surrounding material in chapter 22, why might a provision like this have been included in the Law?

10. What examples of mercy and/or compassion can you find in Deuteronomy 24?

11. What is the connection between Deuteronomy 25:5-10 and the story of Ruth in Ruth 4:1-12?

12. What makes the difference between receiving the blessings of Deuteronomy 28:1-14 rather than suffering the curses of 28:15-68?

13. What is the connection between Deuteronomy 28:49-57 and II Kings 6:24-29 as well as Lamentations 2:20 and 4:10?

14. When in history have we seen the prophetic words of Deuteronomy 30:1-5 fulfilled?

15. How stark is the choice that Moses lays out for the people in Deuteronomy 30:15-20?

16. Who is told to be “strong and courageous” in Deuteronomy 31?

17. What did God give the Israelites in Deuteronomy 31:19-22 to be a witness against them when they sinned?

18. Is Moses optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the people in Deuteronomy 31?

19. Has a hymn or song ever seen you through a tough time or called you back to a place of faithfulness?

20. What challenges would Joshua face in succeeding Moses, who the Bible says was a one-of-a-kind prophet?

Deuteronomy 1-17 Twenty Questions

1. What questions do you have about this week’s reading?

2. How is Deuteronomy 1:10 a fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:5?

3. What does Deuteronomy 1 say about the role of fear? (See 1:17, 1:21 and 1:28-29)

4. How can the recitation of Israel’s history of wanderings and warfare give them encouragement for the battles ahead? (Deuteronomy 3:21-22)

5. What was Moses’ consolation prize instead of getting to go into the Holy Land himself?

6. What is God’s hope for Israel revealed in Deuteronomy 4:5-8?

7. Deuteronomy 4:9-10 stresses passing on the faith to the next generation by teaching the children.   Why is this important?

8. According to Deuteronomy 4:35, what was the point of Israel’s experience in Egypt and the wilderness?

9. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is repeated later by Jesus.  What will He say about this teaching?  (Extra Credit: what is the Jewish name for these verses?)

10. What is Moses’ warning about spiritual complacency and satisfaction in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 and 8:10-20?

11. What did God want the people to do regarding the worship of other gods among the peoples they were conquering? (Deuteronomy 7:5)

12. How should we view the discipline of the Lord? (Deuteronomy 8:5 and Hebrews 12:4-13)

13. Would Israel be justified in boasting that its own power or goodness caused God to favor it?  (Deuteronomy 7:7-11 and 9:4-6)

14. What are the similarities between Deuteronomy 10:12-13 and Micah 6:8?

15. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 could be a summary for the book.  What blessings and curses that Moses has described stand out to you?

16. Deuteronomy 12:5-14 is a prophecy of what place?

17. How is Deuteronomy 13 a logical consequence of the First Commandment?

18. What four groups are especially commanded to be remembered in Deuteronomy 14:28-29?

19. Do you think God intends for His people to give generously?  (Deuteronomy 15:7-11)

20. Can you think of any notable kings who did or didn’t follow the guidelines set out in Deuteronomy 17:14-20?

Numbers 19-36 Twenty Questions

1. What questions do you have about this week’s reading?

2. According to Numbers 20 and Numbers 27:12-14, why was Moses not permitted to enter the Promised Land?

3. What is the connection between Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-15?

4. How is the bronze snake on a pole not a violation of the Second Commandment?

5. What do you make of the story of Balaam and the donkey?

6. Why does Numbers 23:1-12 have an almost comical effect?

7. Why or why not do you think Balaam’s fourth prophecy in Numbers 24:15-19 is about Christ?

8. How does the New Testament view the legacy of Balaam?  (II Peter 2:15-16 and Jude 11)

9. Although Balaam was not able to successfully curse Israel, what happens in the next chapter that leads to their corruption?  (See Numbers 31:16 to see who’s behind this.)

10. According to Numbers 27:15-17, how do you think Moses views his role?

11. Why was it important for Moses to have a designated successor?

12. According to Numbers 28:17, the Passover bread is to be made without yeast.  Why?  (See Exodus 12:34 and 39)

13. How is yeast also a metaphor for sin and sinful influences in the Bible?  (See Luke 12:1 and Galatians 5:9)

14. How binding is the vow mentioned in Numbers 30?

15. Why do you think there is a provision for the vows of daughters/ wives to be overruled by their fathers/husbands?

16. Why was Moses angry with the Israelite army leaders in Numbers 31:14?

17. How would you respond to the charge the God orders the genocide of the Midianites and the treatment of their young women as a commodity?

18. What was Moses’ initial reaction to the tribes of Gad and Reuben (and Manasseh) who wanted to stay east of the Jordan and not cross into the Promised Land?

19. What agreement was eventually reached?

20. According to Numbers 33:55-56, what was the risk to Israel if they didn’t cleanse the land of its prior inhabitants?

Numbers 1-18 Twenty Questions

1. What questions do you have about this week’s reading?

2. How many “tribes” are mentioned in Numbers 1?

3. What were the special responsibilities and privileges of the Levites described in Numbers 1?

4. In Numbers 3:5-10, what does Aaron and his sons receive for help in discharging their duties?

5. In Numbers 3:11-13 and 3:39-51, what does God exchange for the Levites?

6. Numbers 5:11-31 prescribes a ritual to determine infidelity on the part of a wife.  What observations would you make about this test?

7. What are the three prohibitions, or acts of separation, which accompany a Nazirite vow (Numbers 6)?

8. How would Moses hear from God, as described in Numbers 7:89?

9. What were the “working years” for the Levites, according to Numbers 8:23-26?

10. Can you discern any spiritual principles from the description of Numbers 9:15-23 and the people’s following of cloud and fire?

11. What did the Hebrews miss about their time in Egypt? (Numbers 11:4-6)

12. Based on Numbers 11, what lesson should we draw about complaining against the Lord?

13. What was Miriam’s punishment for speaking out against Moses?

14. What was the majority and minority report of the twelve spies sent to explore the land of Canaan?

15. What do the people want to do instead of going to the Promised Land?  (Numbers 14:1-10)

16. What does God first want to do to the Israelites for their rebellion, and then what does He ultimately do?  (Numbers 14:11-12 and 14:20-38)

17. How do the people respond when God informed them of God’s punishment?  (Numbers 14:39-45)

18. What is the penalty for gathering wood on Saturday?  (Numbers 15:32-36)

19. What is the point of having tassels on their garments? (Numbers 15:37-41)

20. What three kinds of death resulted from Korah’s rebellion in Numbers 16?