This post is updated daily until completed. These are my answers – not necessarily the right answers. I primarily use the Amplified version of the Bible. copyright 1987
1. Implement Psalm 1: 1 – 2 = Happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable
- Avoid following the advise, plans and purposes of the ungodly.
- Avoid standing [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk.
- Avoid hanging out with mockers.
- Delight and desire to follow the advice, plans, and purposes of God.
- Make it my habit to ponder and study the teachings of God day and night.
2. Last week’s lesson was all about the priorities that govern our choices. Those choices ultimately determine the course of our lives. Choices have consequences – either good or bad. It reminds me of a song about the upside down kingdom of God. Abram gave up his right to choose first by allowing Lot to go first. His giving resulted in a much greater reward. Lot lost everything, and Abram gained the blessing of family, wealth, and significance during his lifetime. He also gained the blessing of land promised to his vast offspring forever and eternal salvation for the entire world.
By focusing on present, unpleasant circumstances, we are tempted to put ourselves first. This invariably leads to self-pity.
- Amraphel of Shinar
- Arioch of Ellasar
- Chedorlaomer of Elam
- Tidal of Goiim
- Bera of Sodom
- Birsha of Gomorrah
- Shinab of Admah
- Shemeber of Zeboiim
- King of Bela (Zoar)
- Called Valley of Siddim in Gen. 14: 3
- In Gen. 11:2-9 – Valley in the land of Shinar – the same valley where the city and tower named Babel were built.
a. This valley near Sodom, was the place Lot chose to live. In the past when I read this passage, I pictured Lot as having a small house in the city. I never thought about why he was carted off.
Now it seems likely he was a prominent citizen due to his wealth. He may have built an ostentatious home and/or his wealth was well known.
Perhaps Lot’s wealth and his lack of discretion induced the attack. (i.e. Hezekiah)
Was it only God’s mercy that prevented the marauders from killing Lot instead of taking him? Did they expect him to be an asset in some way? Did they know of Lot’s connection with Abraham and planned to demand a ransom for his return?
b. This should have been designated as Personal. Anyone else notice that this year less questions are marked as “personal” or “challenge” when they should be?
At the moment, I have a choice of going back to bed (what I would like to do) or staying up and dealing with contractors making a mess in my house. Again.
I will come back to this question.
Okay, I’m back.
- Choosing from among the many demands on my time.
- Prioritizing the resulting list.
Brian Hardin of Daily Audio Bible underwent huge changes in his life when he began asking, “what should my life look like?”
- Abram had an army of trained servants. 318 of them, born into his household.
- He was a nation within a nation.
- He bravely led the army himself.
- He implemented a great strategy – dividing his forces under the cover of darkness
- God, in Christ always leads us in triumph.
- Abram was strong in the Lord.
- Abram’s troops were already trained and prepared.
- Abram’s troops took on the rulers of wicked cities.
- Abram’s troops were on the “right” side.
- Abram’s troops were alert when the enemy was sleeping.
- Abram’s troops stood up against the strategies of the evil kings.
- Abram’s troops fought on behalf of Lot and his family. Not out of his own interests.
- Our strategies and weapons are supernatural.
- Our strength and power come from our union with Christ.
- We have spiritual armor available to protect us.
- Our armor enables us to contend, resist, and stand our ground.
- We have the belt of truth.
- We have the breastplate of integrity and right standing with God.
- We have shoes that make us prepared to spread the good news of peace.
- We have the shield soaked in faith which quenches the flaming arrows of the evil one.
- We have the helmet of salvation. Everything the accuser of the brethren throws at us, we can just say, “forgiven.”
- We have the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
- We have the ability to pray in the Spirit at any and all times.
c. I’ve changed my answer three times.
- First answer: it was praying in the Spirit. Is that one of the pieces of armor? If not, it should be. The enemy can’t comprehend our heavenly language. And it strengthens our spirit.
- Second answer: Shield of faith. A shield keeps us from retreating and keeps fear at bay.
- Third answer: Sword of the spirit. The word of God. It was Jesus’ weapon of choice when He was tempted. I’m going with this one.
- Challenge: to spread the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere I go.
- Comfort: Christ always leads us in triumph as trophies of Christ’s victory.
- Abram killed Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.
- The King of Salem displayed generosity by bringing our bread and wine to refresh Abram and his men. The king also blessed him, giving praise to God Most High for the victory. Abram responded by giving him 10% of the bounty.
- The King of Sodom asked for all the people Abram had reclaimed from their captors. As a side note, when the angelic visitors were in Lot’s house, the men of Sodom were clamoring for Lot to send them out. They weren’t clamoring for his treasures. Also, perhaps the loss of soldiers during battle was great. I’m still a bit perplexed about why they took Lot and all of his household. Usually taking people was a matter of subjecting them to servitude, but the purpose here is not specified.
- Abram instead offered the goods because he had made a vow to God. He also did not want the King to claim he made him (Abram) rich.
9. a. The Lord promised to be Abram’s shield and promised that his reward would be exceedingly great.
b. Abram needed these promises because the King of Sodom had expressed an interest in Abram’s nephew, his family, and servants. God let Abram know he had no reason to fear an attack.
10. Abram was faced with two “voices” after his victory. He and his men were most certainly weary and vulnerable. Abram made the right choice by responding favorably to the king who gave praise to God. Abram did not succumb to the temptation to be greedy. He remained loyal to Lot and his family.
a. Christ the Messiah is the subject of Ps 110. Matthew 26:64b Jesus said, “You will in the future see the son of man seated at the right hand of the Almighty and coming in the clouds of the sky.” AMP
b. Priest after the manner and order of Melchizedek.
Gen 14:18b says “he was a priest of God Most High.” Jesus is called our high priest at least five times in Hebrews. (2:17, 3:1, 4:14, 4:15, 7:26)
- He brought bread and wine – the same elements used in communion.
- He offered appropriate and well-timed help.
- He fed Abram and his men – Jesus fed the multitudes on at least two occasions.
- He blessed Abram and gave the glory for the victory to God. Jesus blessed others and gave glory to God. John 8:54 is one example.
- No genealogy is given for Melchizedek. This is a type of Christ who is the alpha and omega – the beginning and the end.
12. a. When Jesus took our sins on Himself, He lost His close fellowship with God for a short time. When God the Father forsook Him, He endured the painful result of sin.
He was also despised and rejected by men. (Isaiah 53:3)
God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; Ps 86:6a
The scripture references associated with this section, primarily refer to the suffering that accompanies temptation, in my view. After reading the references three times, perhaps the question is in reference to the broader concept that because of the humanity of Jesus, He understood all of our weaknesses.
Although, now that I think about it, discouragement certainly begins as a temptation. It is the result of a lack of faith and a lack of fellowship with God.
However, if I was feeling lonely or depressed, I would not appreciate someone telling me I was sinning.
b. Jesus became like us “in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God…” AMP He was also tempted and tried and vulnerable, so He is able to run to the cry of those who are being tempted. He understands.
We can confidently draw near to the throne of His unmerited favor to us even when we have sinned, that we may receive mercy and forgiveness. He is gentle with us because He understands.
Jesus overcame sin, death, and the grave, ascending to the Father, promising to intercede for us.
c. Growing up in churches that seemed to major on the law and condemnation, I always need the reminder of the mercy and grace of the good news. Jesus was and is our high priest. Not a scary, far away you’d-better-crawl-on-your-hands-and-knees-to-approach-me kind of high priest. He is a crawl-up-on-my-lap-and-tell-me-what’s-bothering-you kind of high priest. He is an I’ll-speak-to-my-father-about-this-for-you kind of high priest.