Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday Night Women's Bible Study

Well... tonight was the first night of the actual bible study.  (last week we got to know each other and I shared my testimony)  I have to tell you all, after pouring myself out last week, I was VERY anxious to get into the meat of the study this week with the women.  And I was nothing short of overflowing once we finished!

I don't want to get too "preachy" on here.... although I just might  ;-)   But I do want to share with you all a few things that I have LEARNED already and a few of the points of discussion that came up.  Feel free to share your opinions too!!!  I love talking and sharing these things... it always thrills me to get other people's points of view regarding these topics.

Sooooo... anyway....  here we go.

The topic of the study is "A woman's heart:  God's Dwelling Place"
The essential meat of the study that we are getting to is the story of the Israelites building the tabernacle in the wilderness.
This week's lessons are designed to give us the back story... the foundation if you will before we begin the actual story of the building of the tabernacle.

We went all the way back to Genesis.

NOW - I will tell you myself...I can not even COUNT the times that I have started that "read your bible in a year" thing......and you start with Genesis....chapter 1, 2, 3, 4....5.........6..............ummmm 7?  Yeah, that's how it always goes for me.  Start with SUCH diligence, then fade off into the great blue yonder... LOL  So - the point I'm making is....I have read the story of creation about 1700 times!  :)   But that didn't stop me.  I did my reading assignments just as instructed (just like a good Leader should!  HA!)

Here are the daily lessons and the interesting points that came from each:

1. An Empty Garden
This included the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden.  We all know it.  A serpant came to Eve and "tempted her" and told her that if she ate of the tree she would be just like God.  She ate.  She shared with Adam.  After this....they realized they were naked.  They were ashamed.  And they hid.  (Just as in life with us now... we are tempted by sin, we fall for it, and after its committed, we know we are wrong, and we are ashamed)  In the Garden, God shows up and calls for Adam and Eve and they hide... They know they have done wrong.  Just as today, you feel the voice of God calling at your heart... and what do we do???  Most of the time.......we run!!  WHY?!  Because running and "hiding" from God makes our sin MUCH easier to deal with.  If you aren't running with God, then who do you have to answer to for the wrong that you do?

Interesting point from this lesson....
  • If eating from this tree was a sin, and it had the potential to separate us from God, WHY did God even make this Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?  Is THIS where we first realize that God gave us free will? 
2. A Perfect Heart
(this might have been my favorite reading)  The question is posed at the beginning of this section:  "Who am I?"  "Why am I here?"  And is answered by:  You are here for His pleasure and His glory.  Period.  We were created not because God needed us, but because he WANTED us.  Have you EVER thought about the difference between "need" and "want"?!!  I have always said this in relation to a man, that I want to be WANTED not NEEDED... well I mean ultimately you want both... but I'm just saying, you don't want to be with someone just because they NEED you to get by... you ALWAYS want to be wanted.  I never thought about this in relation to God.  God doesn't just LOVE us, but he LIKES us too!   Do you know how hard that is for us as humans??  I love my son, but there are some days when I don't LIKE him very much.  ha ha  God does both.  ALWAYS.  no exceptions.  Now go back and think of the story of Adam and Eve.  Think of God's feelings for man that he created.. and how seeing them hiding in the garden must have broken his heart.  When you love/like someone THAT much and they disappoint you.... how bad does that hurt!!??

Interesting point from this lesson....
  • I have read the story of Adam and Eve and heard it told a million times, NEVER did I realize how truly SAD it is... and how we must break God's heart EVERY day. 
Another thing that is pointed out in this lesson sin is not the product of our haves and have-nots (as we so often like to tell ourselves...."if only i had this", "if only he hadn't said this", "if only I made this much money") it is instead a product of the heart.  And the "heart is more deceitful than anything else" (Jeremiah 17:9).  Nothing is more misleading than an unsanctified heart.  Hearts easily buy into Satan's lies, which is why God wants us to love him and give him our WHOLE heart.

Interesting point from this lesson....
  • My example of this is just last week, after the very first night of bible study, Satan spent DAYS convincing my heart that I wasn't good enough to be "teaching" a bible study.  Satan filled me with doubt...and uncertainty... and fear.  I could not shake that until I gave my WHOLE heart to God and knew that I was in His will and nothing Satan could say or do could change that  :)
And finally at the end of this lesson, we are introduced to Noah.  Who is living in a time completely different from the time of Adam and Eve.  In Noah's time, the world is filled with sin and wickedness.  Yet Noah made right choices because he walked with God.  So God used him.  He saved Noah and his family and the chosen animals and destroyed everything else.  Then he made a covenant that he would never flood and destroy the earth again.

3.  A People for His Name
 This lesson tells how Noah and his family were instructed to go forth and be fruitful and multiply; replenish the earth.  They did.  But then a group of people began building a tower.  They were building the tower to heaven to glorify themselves.  When God saw this, he came down and caused them to speak different languages and he scattered them across the earth.  Thus comes the term "Tower of Babel."
God has a divine plan for each and every one of us.  It is far easier to cooperate with God than to try to fight what he has in store for us.  "We can either be part of the program or part of the problem, but one way or another God will perform His will.

Interesting point from this lesson....
  • "God's breathing a soul into Adam signed His precious Son's death certificate.  The moment the decision was made to create humankind, Christ was, in simple terms, as good as dead.  We had to have a Redeemer.  Although God grieved over people's sin, He was not surprised."  *It is amazing to me that even in creation, God had a plan.  
  • Also - have you ever noticed that God often requires us to leave our comfort zones to answer our calling?  I think this is because in situations where you are uncomfortable and scared, its the EASIEST time to just give it to God.  I will honestly tell you, that teaching this class and being so open about my relationship with Christ, has caused me to open my bible and have a closer relationship with Him than I have had in a LONG time..........ALL OUTSIDE MY COMFORT ZONE!!!!!
Think of a time when you cooperated with God by denying your will.  How were you blessed?
Favorite Quote from this lesson:   If you consider yourself a Christian, consider yourself CALLED! 

4.  The Original Love Story
This is the story of Abraham and Issac.  For those of you who don't know the story, God asks Abraham to pack up his son and go to give a sacrifice.  When Issac realizes that they have no lamb or animal to offer for sacrifice, he asks his father "Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" and Abraham simply replies "God will provide himself a lamb."  This is a PERFECT example of putting your faith in God and trusting him.  This is putting your trust in THY will.... not I will...  That is SucH a hard concept.  We always want what WE want, and rarely listen to what GOD wants.  
But Abraham obeyed... all the way to the point of putting his ONLY son on an alter.  (could you do that?  if God asked you?  I have an only son... and man.... I can't imagine)
BUT in the end, after seeing Abraham's faith in Him, God told Abraham to take Issac off and he provided them a ram.  The ram is caught up in a thicket by its horns.

Interesting point from this lesson....
  • This event in the Old Testament foreshadows so much about Jesus coming to die on the cross in our place.... as a reconciliation for all of our sin.  I NEVER realized all of the foreshadowing in the Old Testament that is literally linked to verses in the New Testament.  I must say that Beth Moore does an excellent job of pointing all of this out.  (I have learned sooo much already)

5.  On the Move
The story of Moses.  This lesson again was VERY interesting to me because I again learned something I didn't know.
This story of Moses prepares us finally to get to the point where God calls Moses to build the tabernacle.  We start with the family tree.  Abraham had Isaac.  Isaac had Jacob (whom God calls Israel).  Jacob had 12 sons (one of which is Joseph) and these 12 sons are who the 12 tribes of Israel are named after.  Then came Moses.  Moses was born a Hebrew, but he was born in Egypt in a time when Pharoah had ordered all baby Hebrew boys to be killed.  So Moses' mother puts him in a basket and places him so that Pharoah's daughter will find him.  Which she does and can not kill him.  She instead orders that someone be found to nurse the child... conveniently Moses' mother is chosen to do this.  Once Moses is older, he is taken in by Pharoah's daughter and raised as an Egyptian

Interesting point from this lesson....
  • Moses grows up and is out one day and sees an Egyptian making fun of/harassing a Hebrew man.  He kills the Egyptian and buries him.   The very next day he is approached by Egyptians and asked about this incident.  Pharoah puts an order out to kill Moses so THIS is where  Moses flees the land.  I had NOOOOOOOOO idea that Moses killed someone?  HOW MANY times have I read/heard this story and I didn't realize he killed someone.   AND GOD STILL USED MOSES!!!!  Do you understand what I'm saying here??  Moses KILLED someone and God still used him!  (I'm not condoning murder here guys!  LOL)  But....HOW could we EVER think we are not good enough for God to use us????  No one is TOO good that God can't break you - and NO ONE is not good enough that God can't USE you!!!  =)   How comforting  =)
The story goes on to talk about the calling of Moses to eventually come back and lead the Israelites, it talks about the 10 plagues, the 40 year wandering in the wilderness to the promised land, Moses' calling on the Mount and the 10 commandments and finally the ordering of the building of the tabernacle.

I have learned soooooo much already and we are only in the first week.  I can't wait to get into week 2.

Do you realize the price humanity paid for a taste of forbidden fruit?
We will not fully realize sin's cost until we sit at His feet. 
There had to be a ministry of reconciliation; thus Christ died on the cross for our sins.
It also became necessary for a tabernacle/sanctuary to be built to have a relationship with God.  In the old testament, this tabernacle was where God would dwell with his people.  I think this is why the bible study we are doing spoke to me......because I see that MY HEART is a tabernacle for God  :)   If I can't free my heart from hate and sin and unGodly things... how can I expect God to reside there?

If you made it all the way through this post (I'm proud of you!) - I'm curious......did you learn anything?  Did anything speak to you??


Brittney said...

Once again thanks for posting this!!! I didnt know Moses killed any one either... lol I have too tried to read the whole Bible.. I never make it past the Old Testament though.. I try!! I look forward to reading more :)

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I don't know why, but I've always disliked the story of Adam and Eve- but I do appreciate the points you brought up. It's always nice to get a fresh perspective.

Stacey said...

I didn't know Moses killed anybody either. I have tried to read the Bible, but I don't get very far either. I do love to talk about God though.

Anonymous said...

One year on vacation I read the book of Genesis--I could not believe what I read-people living to 900 years of age and such.