Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Proverbs Twenty Questions

1. What’s the best advice you’ve received in life?

2. What advice would you give a young person today, such as upon their graduation, or when entering their career or marriage?

3. Have you ever seen someone be the victim of not taking their own advice?

4. How can you explain “the fear of the Lord” as a positive thing, and indeed the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7)?

5. Think of people you know who you consider wise and others you regard as foolish.  What characteristics separate them?

6. In what ways is our larger society/culture wise or foolish?

7. What are the benefits of living a life of wisdom, according to Proverbs 3:1-4?

8. What would the world be like if everyone followed Proverbs 3:5-6?

9. What do you find to be most difficult about following Solomon’s guidance to live a life according to wisdom and the fear of the Lord?

10. According to Proverbs 4, how important is wisdom?

11. What does “drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well” refer to in Proverbs 5:15?

12. What lesson does the ant have for the sluggard, according to Proverbs 6:6-8?

13. Proverbs 6 and 7 contain many warnings against adultery with another man’s wife.  If Solomon received such teachings from his father David, why are these words especially poignant?

14. Proverbs 8 and 9 personify Wisdom and Folly.  What can you say about each?

15. Do you find a favorite Proverb or two contained in this book that really resonates with you?

16. Have you ever seen Proverbs 15:1 (“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”) played out in life?

17. What is Solomon’s view on discipline?

18. What is Solomon’s view on debt?

19. Do you consider the proverbs to be promises of God that, if followed faithfully, are guaranteed to produce the outcome described, or general principles of truth that, if lived out, tend to reflect the way that God designed the universe?  Why?

20. What are some of the qualities of a “wife of noble character” in Proverbs 31?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Job 22-42 Twenty Questions

1. What kind of slanderous charges does Eliphaz make against Job in chapter 22?

2. Is Eliphaz correct when he says in Job 22:21: “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you?”

3. How convinced is Job of his own righteousness?

4. What kind of injustices (economic and moral) does Job describe in chapter 24?

5. In Job 27:1-6, what is Job resolute about, and why?

6. What kind of things do people mine for in the depths of the earth, according to Job 28:1-11?

7. What wisdom does God impart to human beings (Job 28:28)?

8. In chapter 29, what does Job cite as evidence of his past righteousness?

9. In chapter 29, what does Job cite as evidence of his wisdom?

10. In chapter 30, how does Job describe his loss of respect?

11. In chapter 30, how does Job describe his physical symptoms and pains?

12. Job gives a stirring defense of his own righteousness as a summation of his argument in chapter 31.  What sins does Job assert he refrained from?

13. Sometimes people profess to “feeling like Job” because of their suffering.  On what grounds would you say that comparison is likely to be faulty?  Name at least two.

14. How does Elihu feel about his wisdom (Job 36:4)?

15. God reviews his dominion over earth, sky, and sea, including the weather, the constellations, and the behavior of wild animals.  Do any of these topics especially provoke a sense of awe and wonder within you?

16. What would you guess Behemoth and Leviathan are?

17. At the end of the book of Job, who is justified: Job or his friends?

18. Who would you say won the “wager” between God and Satan from the beginning of the book of Job?

19. Job receives back double in livestock for all that he had lost (Job 42:12-17), but the same number of children that he had before.  Do you find any significance to this?

20. How do you think Job would feel about the conclusion that “all’s well that ends well?”

Monday, May 18, 2020

Job 1-21 Twenty Questions

1. In chapter 1, on what basis does Satan claim that Job’s righteousness lies?

2. What does God allow Satan to do to Job?

3. In chapter 2, on what basis does Satan claim that Job’s righteousness now lies?

4. What does God extend permission for Satan to do to Job?

5. Make a list of the losses Job suffered.  How do you think you might have fared spiritually if you were in his shoes?

6. Did Job deserve what happened to him?  Why or why not?

7. In the worst season of your life, what friends of yours would you most want to see, and how would you hope that they would encourage you?

8. In chapter 3, Job basically wishes that he had never been born.  Is depression a sin or a sign of weakness in one’s relationship with the Lord?  Why or why not?

9. What is the crux of Eliphaz’s argument to Job in 4:7-8?

10. How confident is Eliphaz in his own wisdom (Job 5:27)?

11. What does Job reveal he is hoping for in 6:8-10?

12. What appears to be Job’s view of life after death based on 7:6-10?

13. What is Bildad implicitly accusing Job of in chapter 8?

14. In chapters 9 and 10, does Job maintain his innocence or admit his wrongdoing?

15. In chapter 11, Zophar feels the need to defend God’s integrity and attack Job for his insistence on his own righteousness.  Do you think God needs human beings to defend Him?  Why or why not?

16. In Job 13, Job earnestly desires to make his case before the Almighty.  How does the expression in 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him,” summarize Job’s attitude?

17. Do you detect any change in Job’s thoughts about an afterlife in 14:7-17?

18. Why does Job feel that his friends are “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2)?

19. Does Job 19:23-27 indicate any evolution in Job’s thinking about life after death?

20. Job 21 seems to ponder the inverse question of the theme of this book (Why do the righteous suffer?) as Job asks, “Why do the wicked prosper?”  His friends have been staunchly maintaining that the opposite is true.  Why is it that we can’t tell the quality of someone’s inner spiritual life based upon their outer material prosperity?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther Twenty Questions

1. What king issued an edict allowing the Jews to return to Judah from their exile?

2. About how many Jews returned to Judah in this wave?

3. What act came first in the return of worship at the Temple?

4. Why were sounds of weeping and sounds of joy both expressed at the laying of the foundation of the second Temple?

5. Under what king was the work of rebuilding the Temple stopped?

6. What king reversed the work stoppage and allowed the second Temple to be completed?

7. What is Ezra’s work or job title most frequently referred to in Ezra 7?

8. What report caused Ezra’s grief in Ezra 9:3?

9. What was done about this situation (Ezra 10:11)?

10. If the Book of Ezra is chiefly about the rebuilding of the Temple and the restoration of the religion of Jerusalem, what is the subject of the Book of Nehemiah’s main building project?

11. What was Nehemiah’s role in the king’s court?

12. What are some examples of opposition that Nehemiah and the builders had to overcome in Nehemiah 4?

13. What kind of defensive measures did Nehemiah and the workers take to physically protect themselves from threats of attack?

14. What was Nehemiah’s opinion of charging interest?

15. How long did the wall rebuilding project take (Nehemiah 6:15)?

16. What holiday was re-celebrated for the first time in a long time in Nehemiah 8?

17. What did Queen Vashti do to get in trouble with the king?

18. What did the king’s advisors suggest should be done to replace the queen?

19. Why did it take bravery for Queen Esther to approach the king unsummoned?

20. Why was it poetic justice for Haman to be killed in the manner he was?

Monday, May 4, 2020

II Chronicles 21-36 Twenty Questions

1. With what physical disease did God afflict King Jehoram on account of his evil deeds?

2. Who took over Judah after King Ahaziah died?

3. Who rescued the child Joash from his murderous grandmother?

4. What role did the priest Jehoiada play in the restoration of the Davidic monarchy?

5. How did Joash raise money for the repair of the Temple?

6. What happened to Joash after Jehoiada died?

7. What is the meaning of the parable of the thistle and cedar in II Chronicles 25:18-19?

8. What caused the downfall of King Uzziah in II Chronicles 26:16?

9. How long did Uzziah suffer from leprosy?

10. To what was King Jotham’s power attributed to in II Chronicles 27:6?

11. In II Chronicles 28, how many prisoners and captives did the northern kingdom of Israel take out of the southern kingdom of Judah?

12. What ended up happening to the captives?

13. What evil things did King Ahaz do toward the end of his reign to try to turn his fortunes around?

14. How did King Hezekiah begin his reign?

15. What Jewish holiday did Hezekiah re-institute?

16. What is the Bible’s verdict on Hezekiah in II Chronicles 31:20-21?

17. This one may take a little cross-referencing: In II Chronicles 32:31, what miraculous event were the Babylonian envoys investigating?

18. What are some of the atrocious things that King Manasseh did in II Chronicles 33?

19. When the book of the Law was found in the Temple, to whom did the priest go to inquire of the Lord (II Chronicles 34:22)?

20. How does the Book of II Chronicles end?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

II Chronicles 1-20 Twenty Questions

1. How did God respond to Solomon’s request for wisdom?

2. How many people did Solomon conscript to work on the Temple?

3. What skilled craftsman did Hiram, king of Tyre, send to Solomon to oversee the work on the Temple?

4. Why do you suppose so much gold was used in the construction of the Temple?

5. What was in the Ark when it was brought into the Temple?

6. Explain why (or why not) you believe the dedication of the Temple represents the high point for the nation of Israel.

7. According to II Chronicles 6:6, what two things has God chosen?

8. What promise did Solomon credit God with keeping in II Chronicles 6:15?

9. Based on Solomon’s requests in II Chronicles 6:19-42, how would you describe the point/purpose or function of the Temple?

10. “His love endures forever” is a refrain we hear frequently in the Bible.  Explain why you agree or disagree.

11. How does II Chronicles 7:13-14 resonate with particular significance today during our present crisis?

12. According to those verses, what should God’s people do?

13. According to those verses, what does God promise to do in response?

14. What historical events do God’s words in II Chronicles 7:19-22 portend?

15. Do you notice anything important about Solomon’s later spiritual life that was recorded in I Kings but is missing in II Chronicles?

16. What was the mistake of King Rehoboam that led to a civil war?

17. Which side did the Levites choose to support?

18. What caused Asa’s reign to end badly, according to II Chronicles 16?

19. What did Jehoshaphat do in II Chronicles 17:7-9 to strengthen his kingdom and its people’s faith?

20. With what evil king of Israel did good king Jehoshaphat ally himself?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I Chronicles Twenty Questions

1. Much of I and II Chronicles circles back and recapitulates earlier material found in the Bible.  What are some good reasons that the Bible repeats information?

2. Something to watch for is that I and II Chronicles generally portray David in a more positive light than I and II Samuel.  When some negative material is omitted (such as David’s sin with Bathsheba), what conclusions might we draw?

3. Where in history does I Chronicles 1:1 begin its story?

4. I Chronicles 4:9-10 tells us about Jabez and his prayer.  What did Jabez pray for?

5. Why do you think I Chronicles devotes so much time and attention to genealogical names?

6. According to I Chronicles 10, why was Saul rejected by the Lord?

7. Based on I Chronicles 15, what was David’s conclusion about why Uzzah was struck down and killed during the transport of the Ark?

8. After David decides he wants to build a house for the Lord, what does the Lord declare he will do for David in I Chronicles 16:10?

9. What bad advice did Hanun son of Nahash of the Ammonites receive in I Chronicles 19?

10. Compare II Samuel 24:1 and I Chronicles 21:1.  Who incited David to take a census?

11. How did Joab conduct the census because the idea was repulsive to him?

12. What does David’s prayer in I Chronicles 21:17 reveal about his heart?

13. How much did David pay to buy the threshing floor of Araunah, where the plague was stopped?

14. What did that site become?

15. What was David’s role in the construction of the Temple?   (I Chronicles 22:5)

16. According to David, why did God choose Solomon rather than David to be the one to build the Temple?

17. In I Chronicles 22:13, David tells Solomon to “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or discouraged.”  Where have we heard this before?

18. How does the role of the Levites change in I Chronicles 23 as Israel adapted from Tabernacle to Temple?

19. What musical instruments are mentioned for use in the worship of the Lord in I Chronicles 25?

20. Where did the gold and silver and precious stones for building the Temple come from, according to I Chronicles 29?