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A Hand to the Plough: Weekly Bible Lesson from Scripture

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Frogman, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

    Jan 15, 2001
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    Dear Brothers and Sisters Lord willing I am going to begin to post our weekly Sunday Morning Bible lesson to this thread.

    This will be the opening thread of this and I have notified the fourm moderators for their approval.

    The first lesson from Genesis will be posted after moderators give me the ok to begin this as a continual thread.

    May God Bless,
    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
  2. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

    Jan 15, 2001
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    Dear Brothers and Sisters,
    I want to begin by saying thanks to the moderators of this forum for permitting my use of it in this way.

    The presentations I will post here are weekly chronological studies of Scripture that I have been presenting to the Adult Bible Study class where I pastor since coming here 1 year ago in October.

    These represent the practical and spiritual lessons as I believe the Lord has blessed in my own study and I hope has worked in them to bless the members I have presented them to, I likewise pray their blessing to be upon you.

    I begin with Genesis 27. This of course is not where I began when first engaging this effort, but it is where we have come to thus far.

    In these presentations you may note I present what I believe to be a primary teaching of the context, try to consider greater context, and then I present some other topics for suggested study.

    Occassionly I will follow these topics in subsequent studies. But it is good to permit people to follow after these things sometimes in their own private devotion and study of God's Word.

    I say that to say to you that I do not present these in the church I serve, nor here on the BB as if they are the last word on these passages. I welcome discussion and insights you may possess as the Lord would bless.

    Now, having said these things, let's go into the Word of God and learn by God's Grace that which He will bless us toward and with that we may be strengthened in spirit and against the flesh, in order that we may become better servants of Him.

    May God Bless,
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
  3. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

    Jan 15, 2001
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    For Sunday 10/27/05

    Genesis 27:1-4

    Isaac’s Request

    Vss. 1-4: vs. 1-2 Isaac’s old age and his preparation for death
    Vs. 3-4 His dying request, what we may see here in glimpsing into this interaction between a father and son.

    Although Esau may represent the unregenerate in despising his birthright (he can hardly be called a representative of a saint who despises his birthright, is this possible, I would think not, although without doubt we sometimes act as though we do despise that which is our inheritance by our birth into the family of God, let us not suppose that it is possible for a redeemed one to entertain thoughts as such), but here let’s see the obedience to the voice of the father as performed by Esau. He was called, and he came into his father’s presence. He no doubt eagerly sought to please his father, perhaps simply because of the perceived blessing, but maybe not, observe a few things in how Isaac’s example ought to provide ourselves with opportunity to learn.

    Isaac has obviously been active in the life of his son—vss. 3 & 4. He possesses knowledge of the vocation of his child and of the great interest with which he pursues that vocation. It is significant that Isaac uses this knowledge in making his request of Esau.

    What Isaac notes and what we should learn:
    1. 1. He recognizes the differences in his children in temperament, interests, concerns, personality and character.

    Parents should likewise be so engaged with their own children that they too are able to recognize these marks of individuality among their children.

    2. 2. He not only takes an interest in the things that Esau pursues but he also expresses his own enjoyment of the blessings and benefits of that pursuit. This serves to: a) encourage the son; and to b) increase his desire to please his father.
    3. 3. Isaac ties Esau’s blessing to the his own interests—this shows us he did not require something of his son that was beyond his natural desire to accomplish in both pleasing his father and receiving his blessing (we are speaking in terms of natural relationships). Our own conversation with our children ought to be in this same manner, we ought to possess the necessary interest in the lives of our children that we are knowledgeable of their separate interests and structure our relationships such that we do not strain their own personalities to enforce our interests upon them.
    We may be certain Esau desired his father’s blessing and equally as certain that he was entitled to that blessing by virtue of his birth, however we see Isaac's wisdom in using Esau’s interests to produce both encouragement and obedience in the son. Why is this significant? It shows to us the very way our heavenly Father operates upon his elect in time to produce in them both encouragement and also obedience to His will while inciting that from an inward heart that is made willing.

    Moving back to our interactions in natural relationships, we see in this interaction a pleasant and mutual respect working out the exhortation of Paul (Eph. 6:4 & Col. 3:21).

    Let us learn the following:

    1. 1. The proper way to approach our children (and this may extend to all relationships) recognizing first that we are dealing with individuals whose interests, concerns and pursuits may be different than our own. We should note that this does not warrant our toleration of disobedience, neither to ourselves nor to the Law of God. We might do good to develop the understanding of our children in knowing that there is truth in the saying they live up or down to our expectations. We should expect obedience and our children will learn that we expect it and they will learn obedience.
    2. 2. Let’s learn to not only recognize these differences but to also learn to use them in our relationships and especially with our children during their youth. In this way we may be instrumental in providing encouragement and cultivation toward that which is good rather than the bad and thereby increase their obedience to ourselves.
    3. 3. Recognizing these individual qualities let’s consistently present the expectation of obedience but not make the attempt to enforce upon our children the image of ‘perfection’ that we may often see in our own personality, characteristics and interests. Interacting with them in this way will only serve to provoke them to anger.

    Topics we may see in these verses:

    1. 1. Parental Duty:
    a. a. To Teach—Deut. 31:13—our children will not learn obedience by themselves.
    b. b. Control of our children in nurturing love not provoking them to anger—
    i. i. 1 Tim. 1:3
    ii. ii. Eph. 6:4
    iii. iii. Titus 2:4
    c. c. Always seeking opportunity to train---Deut. 6:7
    2. 2. Parental Influence:
    a. a. Jeremiah 9:14---following after sin according to how their fathers taught them
    b. b. Ezekiel 20:18

    i. i. Kings 9:4; 2 Chronicles 17:3; 26:4---provides a pattern of life
    ii. ii. 2 Timothy 1:5---Source of Encouragement throughout their lives

    Duties and Responsibilities Because:

    1. 1. Children are a gift from God—Ps. 113:9—He causes the barren to conceive and rejoice
    2. 2. Ps. 127:3---children are His heritage and reward
    3. 3. To be Esteemed highly---
    a. a. In the home and family--Ps. 127:4&5
    b. b. In the Church—Matt. 19:14
    We cannot change their personalities nor their nature, but we may hope by the Lord’s help to influence them toward the true way depending upon our own life example:


    4. 4. Commands to children
    a. a. to hear and hearken to instruction—Ps. 34:11
    b. b. follow after good things—20:11
    c. c. obey parents—Ephesians 6:1-3

    Why is this important?
    1. 1. Children are depraved already—Ps. 51:5
    2. 2. A child learns attitudes—Proverbs 17:6
    3. 3. Without active, engaged parents the child is certain to cause grieve—Proverbs 17:21; 19:13, 26; 28:7 & 29:3
    4. 4. Psalms 27:10 (KJV) When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

    We continued in Gen. 27 another time and it follows in the next post.

    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
  4. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

    Jan 15, 2001
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    Genesis 27:5-25

    Rebekah overhears Isaac’s request of Esau. We do not know whether she conceives the plan of deception at this moment, if not, it must have been soon after according to the surprise of Isaac when Jacob posing as Esau so quickly appeared back in his presence. It does not seem she was eavesdropping, but instead was in the presence of her husband and son during their conversation, there would be no reason to question her presence. (Related to vss. 1-4, we see the obedience of Esau to the request of his father).

    We already know Rebekah has knowledge of the prophecy concerning her sons (Gen. 25:23) and we already know that she favors Jacob (Gen. 25:28). While we cannot say the specific time Rebekah began to plan to deceive Isaac, we do know it must have been very shortly after Esau’s departure that she spoke these things to Jacob (vss. 6-7).

    Some things we may note being acted upon here:
    1. Rebekah’s partiality toward Jacob
    2. Rebekah’s knowledge of the prophecy concerning Jacob.
    3. 3. No doubt she knows Isaac’s partiality toward Esau, because of the venison (Ch. 25:28).
    4. 4. She acts upon these things to ultimately do a few things:
    a. a. Undermine the authority of God
    b. b. Undermine the authority of her husband
    c. c. Deceive her husband and Esau

    We might comment upon her misplaced zeal, she no doubt was viewing from the word of God that promise concerning Jacob, ‘the elder shall serve the younger’ however, zeal misplaced is never a good thing. She evidently knew God’s word but being overzealous erred herself and also drew Jacob into her sin, note:

    1. 1. Sin can never be committed without affecting others in one way or the other, and often will seek for company for comfort sake.
    2. 2. Deception will operate from the premise of God’s Word and promise, but will only cloak itself in these and only enough to provide encouragement, self-justification and strength of mind and purpose to devise a plan, encourage others in to join its ranks and likewise encourage them.

    We should learn that deception is far from a proper means for the people of God to engage under any pretense or circumstance. Learn our own willingness to sin affects those around us:

    1. 1. Jacob is drawn into the deception and encouraged, vs. 5, 13
    2. 2. The beginnings of deception may come from one who knows the word of God and His promises as easily as it may come from one who does not, vs. 5

    Vs. 8-17:

    The plan of deception:
    All deception, to be successful must certainly operate upon a plan of action. Notice how in-depth the plan is, notice how the conception of it is founded upon God’s Word, notice how well prepared, detailed, and purposed the plan is.

    Note from vss. 5-10: Rebekah knew the purpose of Isaac to bless Esau, thus the grounds for her conniving. She knew the kind of plan she must devise in order to deceive Isaac and to win the blessing for Jacob.

    This is why deception often works so well.
    a. a. The word is known (vs. 1-4, 5-7)
    b. b. The purpose or desired outcome is known (vs. 7, ‘that I may…bless thee before the Lord before my death’).

    Deception operates upon knowledge of the truth, if the deceiver did not know the truth, his/her job would be nearly impossible as it is under the appearance of truth that the deceiver invokes a false authority, vs. 9 & 10; (Even as Rebekah shows her disrespect for Isaac in undermining his authority, and thus shows a lack of proper respect for God, having disdained his order and lacking faith in His Word to be fulfilled without aid of his creature).

    Deception will assign its own authority, vs. 8. Rebekah should have remained submissive to the authority of Isaac and especially because of her knowing the will of God, but instead and because of the misplaced zeal, she claimed a false authority disregarding Isaac’s word and that of God.

    1. 1. This shows a lack of spiritual discernment—despite knowing the prophecy her spirituality was weak enough to permit the flesh to introduce and manufacture deception.
    2. 2. Shows lack of respect to her place in the order of the family.
    3. 3. Lack of Respect for her husband—especially that she not only engages to deceive him herself, but encourages and comforts their son in the same act, vs. 13.
    4. 4. Lack of respect to the Word of God as the proper respect would have taught her that God’s purpose would be fulfilled without the need of such foolishness.

    Let us search ourselves with the following question, ‘Do we stand in a like situation as Rebekah? Do we respect our role God has given us in our family? Do we respect our Spouse? Children? Or do we use their various abilities to undermine the respect and authority of our Spouse?

    Vs. 11-13: Jacob is being drawn into the deception. He first has doubts and is unsure and is strong enough to voice these doubts. All to no good, however and his mother having fallen herself so deeply into the pit of deception no doubt used her false authority and her knowledge of the word of God to provide encouragement and comfort to Jacob. Note the boldness with which she speaks, although folly, vs. 13 it must certainly have been instrumental in strengthening Jacob toward the task, note her use of her false authority in the same passage.

    Learn that deception, when being brought forth will seek to it’s benefit the best most sound means to comfort those who are by conscience made to doubt of the work. Note how that Jacob is obedient to his mother, though in league with her deception, he too is being deceived. Her words of encouragement no doubt remained his thoughts as he went about the work he was assigned in gathering the meat for her. By her encouragement she teaches him deeper degrees of lying deceit. Notably, that of self-justification, boldness in speech, all designed to enlist the determination of Jacob to the task.

    Perhaps these thoughts served him well and did provide comfort to his fearful heart and restless mind soothing both his conscience and its voice.

    We ought to note the particular care given to detail by Rebekah, deception, if to be successful requires such minute planning of every detail, not one thing can be left unplanned for—vs. 14, 15 & 17.

    These passages are difficult to divide except by the topic of deception and then perhaps to divide further by the particular sins that one would engage in pursuing deception. Deception is the primary topic, a key passage may be in vs. 13 as this passage perhaps encouraged Jacob to also enter into the deception.

    Vs. 13 shows his fear, his reservation, but also the depth to which Rebekah has fallen into the sin that she speaks boldly yet foolishly, ‘Upon me be thy curse…’ and then to immediately invoke the natural authority and sway she would hold over Jacob.

    Under the heading of deception we might see the following natural divisions:

    1. 1. Conception including all the planning necessary as well as the necessary knowledge, vs. 5-7
    2. 2. Engaging/Active in carrying out the deception and bringing others into the sin as well, vs. 8-10.
    3. 3. Increased boldness due to self-claimed authority, wisdom of God’s Word, operating to encourage, strengthen and comfort those engaged, vs. 11-17. This increased boldness disregards the soundness of opposition, vs. 11 & 12

    Note the personal nature of deception, how the encouragement to the task is very important because of the personal nature of the deception, the offender seems to be supplied with a sense of self-justification, a Machiavellian defense urges onward to the task. The offender must be strengthened to the task because the nearness of the deceived, vs. 15-21; 22-25.

    1. 1. Deception
    2. 2. Misapplied Truth
    3. 3. Destructive Zeal
    4. 4. Usurped Authority
    5. 5. Family Relationships
    a. Parental Partiality

    Forgive my poor formatting. Future posts will be better.

    After this we continued to follow the scriptural warnings in relation to Deception.

    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
  5. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

    Jan 15, 2001
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    Genesis 28:1-22
    Overview : this morning’s lesson is from Genesis 28. Below I give an overview of suggested topics from these passages, then I give the particular topics related to vss. 1-9 which I presented this morning.

    I presented a lesson on ‘Waiting upon the Lord’. I usually list various topics that may be seen in the passages under consideration, I do this hoping to encourage further Bible study at home on those topics.

    I will post the general outline of our primary lesson next. Generally there is no particular outline. I usually work from a topical survey and study what I believe to be prominent subjects. This is another reason I provide a list of suggested topics from the passages.

    I think the primary topic from vss. 1-9 is that of the everlasting covenant confirmed to Jacob as the intended blessing of God upon Jacob according to His word in Gen. 25:22-27. In this topic may be seen the inheritance, the separation of the saint as a stranger in the world, etc. This is also how I developed the topic of our Waiting upon the Lord. I compared Jacob and Rebekah’s actions in ch. 27 with this call and blessing and made comparisons briefly of how the former speaks of walking according to the flesh, while the patience to wait upon the Lord would work to increase faith and thereby the growth of the Spiritual life and walk. This patience to wait upon the Lord will increase the assurance of the believer as the faithfulness of God is witnessed (another wonderful topic found here—see also vs. 15).

    Overview of Gen. 28:1-22
    Jacob’s call, blessing, and charge, with particular instructions relating to that charge. Vss. 1-5
    Esaus’ acknowledgement, and reaction in halfhearted obedience—vss. 6-9
    Jacob’s departure, route and dream vss. 10-15
    Jacob’s reaction to the dream and his vow to worship and serve God—vss. 16-22

    Primary topics that we may find according to the above divisions:
    1.vss. 1-5: Fulfillment of the Prophecy that the promised seed would be in Jacob (see Gen. 25:22-26)
    Confirmation of the Eternal Covenant with Jacob: vss. 3 & 4

    Compare here to the previous efforts of Rebekah and Jacob that required deception to this fulfillment of the word of God; the former, worked by the flesh requires disobedience against the revealed will of God. The latter requires faith to keep an eye on the promise of God and to His faithfulness in fulfilling that promise (Hebrews 6:12; 10:36) Patience is a perfect work and a perfecting work in the saints of God.

    More suggested topics and Related topics:

    Waiting upon the Lord to see:
    His Faithfulness
    Personal Assurance
    His Salvation
    His strengthening
    His will vs. 1-5

    Marriage vss 1 & 2
    Blessings vs. 1
    Inheritance (especeailly as it relates to the eternal inheritance, but according to this context not only that but also the temporal blessings that we may receive.
    Stranger (separation from the world vs. 4
    Family (seen in the multitude vs. 3
    And also national)
    Charge—Biblical commands vs. 1

    Vss. 6-9 Suggested topics:
    Half-hearted obedience; Esau acknowledges the error of his way (previous marriages), but still we see this is half-hearted because his heart does not really change. Let us learn how the choices in life we do make can and sometimes do affect the service we are able to give to God. We should keep this in mind as we follow the course of our lives. (In the case of Esau, he began walking after the flesh and continues even here in taking to himself as a wife, a daughter of Ishmael.) This act shows he is still bound to the carnal (the descendant of the bondwoman’s son). See then that our choices still may keep us in bondage to serve the flesh, let us search our hearts that we may find a true desire born of God to seek to be subject to him that we may have an assurance of our bondservice to Him. (Romans 6:13-23).

    Vs. 6-9 also shows to us the inability to please God in the flesh as Esau certainly acknowledged his error and sought to correct it, still his eye was upon the carnal things and not an eye of faith.

    I will post the general outline of the topic I followed this morning in the next post.

    May God Bless,
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
  6. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

    Jan 15, 2001
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    Lu 9:62 (KJV) And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

    Genesis 29:1-35

    1. Verses 1-12: Jacob arrives in Haran; Meets the men of the place tending the flocks at the well; and is introduced to Rachel and identifies himself

    Topics we may find in Genesis 29:

    A. Haran
    B. The Children of the East
    C. Duty/Responsibility…Tending the flock
    D. Following/Trusting God (in Context of Chapter 28…The revelation of God to Jacob and his resultant vow.
    E. Family Relationships

    There are perhaps many more that I have not seen, but these seem to be primary topics available. Let us consider the topic of Haran:

    Haran is the city to which Abram and Terah migrated to (Gen. 11:31) and also is the place out of which Abram continues by divine command into the promised land (Gen. 12:1) at the death of Terah. We may note that Haran seems to represent weakness in faith, observe:

    1. Abram having been called out of the land of the Chaldees travels only to Haran and stops, but not without blessing for the presence of God is ever with His people (Genesis 11:31 shows an unfulfilled obedience to the command to enter into Canaan as they stopped short in Haran; at the same time note how that God did bless Abram Genesis 12:1-5).
    2. Secondly note that it is to this same area that Jacob goes, certainly he is sent to seek a wife, (Gen. 28:1-2, 10), but the underlying cause of his departure is to escape the wrath of his brother (Genesis 27:43 {44-46}.

    Let us learn the importance of our faith and our faithfulness.

    Why was Jacob leaving his father’s house? There are two reasons:

    1. First, though unknown seemingly to Isaac, is that of fleeing from the face of his brother’s wrath. We know this wrath is the result of Jacob’s engaging to deceive both Isaac and Esau and thereby stealing the blessing.
    a. He had his eye upon the blessing of God that was promised him by the Word of God to his mother
    b. Walking by flesh he sought along with his mother to obtain that blessing wrongfully.
    c. His actions caused hurt, distrust, anger, even hatred.

    2. It is secondary to this, although primary to the purpose of God, that Jacob is sent to Haran for a wife. He is previously commanded to not seek a wife among the daughters of Canaan, but rather from his mother’s kinsman.

    There is much that perhaps can be seen here, but let us note a little further relating to the experience of a child of God.

    Jacob has certainly been visited of the Lord: Genesis 28:11-15

    Jacob certainly recognized the voice of God: Gen. 28:16&17

    Jacob certainly responds to the Presence and Promise of God: Gen. 28:18-22

    Let us note here that the purpose of taking a wife from the daughters of Laban is not to be doubted a blessed purpose of God; but at the same time let us note the weakness of faith that forced Jacob from his home; that weakness that led him to deceive is now leading him to flee the face of the adversary in fear. This weakness does not prohibit or prevent the blessing of God. We see above that God certainly did purpose to Bless Jacob’s way, this shows us the faithfulness of God in working the preservation of His children despite their sins for this is exactly what Jacob’s weak faith is and is likewise exactly what our own weak faith will lead us into (Romans 14:23).

    Let us daily seek to increase our faith that we might enjoy the full rest and peace we have with God through Christ (Matthew 11:28; Romans 5:1).

    Let us not only seek for the increase of our faith, but note also the faithfulness of God in bringing us by a way we ‘knew’ not. For our way, even as a believer is a way of the flesh and must always be a way that leans toward and upon the flesh except that we learn by the Spirit to see the hand of God in our lives (Philippians 1:16).

    Let us be mindful of His mercy and grace extended to us that we may be able to walk in the peace of Christ having reason and ability to say ‘though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death’ we shall fear no evil (Ps. 23). For it is in our weakness, in our times of trouble that we lose sight of the promise of God (Hebrews 4:1).

    Before we leave the topic of Haran and how that it represents a backslidden position through weakness of faith, let’s consider a historical point regarding the place.

    We have already noted the following: Haran is the city to which Abram and Terah migrated to (Gen. 11:31) and also is the place out of which Abram continues by divine command into the promised land (Gen. 12:1) at the death of Terah. We may note that Haran seems to represent weakness in faith in the experience of a child of God, observe

    Haran is known in Assyro-Babalonian as Charran, which means "road"; possibly because here the trade route from Damascus joined that from Nineveh to Carchemish. It is mentioned in the prism inscription of Tiglath-pileser I.

    It was a seat of the worship of Sin, the moon-god, from very ancient times. A temple was built by Shalmaneser II. Haran seems to have shared in the rebellion of Assur (763 BC, the year of the solar eclipse, June 15). The privileges then lost were restored by Sargon II. The temple, which had been destroyed, was rebuilt by Ashurbanipal, who was here crowned with the crown of Sin. Haran and the temple suffered much damage in the invasion of the Umman-Manda (the Medes). Nabuna`id restored temple and city, adorning them on a lavish scale. Near Haran the Parthians defeated and slew Crassus (53 BC), and here Caracalla was assassinated (217 AD). In the 4th century it was the seat of a bishopric; but the cult of the moon persisted far into the Christian centuries. The chief temple was the scene of heathen worship until the 11th century, and was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

    Heb haran, i.e., "parched;" or probably from the Accadian charana, meaning "a road." A celebrated city of Western Asia, now Harran, where Abram remained, after he left Ur of the Chaldees, till his father Terah died (Ge 11:31-32), when he continued his journey into the land of Canaan. It is called "Charran" in the LXX. and in Ac 7:2. It is called the "city of Nahor" (Ge 24:10), and Jacob resided here with Laban (Ge 30:43). It stood on the river Belik, an affluent of the Euphrates, about 70 miles above where it joins that river in Upper Mesopotamia or Padan-aram, and about 600 miles northwest of Ur in a direct line. It was on the caravan route between the east and west. It is afterwards mentioned among the towns taken by the king of Assyria (2Ki 19:12; Isa 37:12). (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)

    If taken to mean ‘parched’ we may understand Haran to be a dry place; in this way it would certainly represent the individual who having tasted of the waters of life and in their journey does travel through dry lands. Note that Haran may also mean ‘road’ and in this is along the ancient caravan routes between East and West. In this we see the believer engaging in the things of the world. The Christian experience is often called a way (Heb. 9:8 and 10:20). When that way is along the major trade routes of the world it becomes muddled and the traveler will be bogged down in the mire;

    We may see further in the experience of Jacob in leaving Haran, his command to his household to put away all the false gods among them (Gen. 35:2, 5).

    Let us learn when we begin to walk according to the flesh we begin to place strange gods between ourselves and God our Savior.

    Let us seek the old paths

    These have been restored unto us:

    Isa 58:1-14

    Let us seek for them:

    Jeremiah 6:13-19

    May God Bless,
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
  7. Frogman

    Frogman <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr

    Jan 15, 2001
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    Here is a Bible Study a little away from Genesis; but I felt particularly blessed in studying it out and presenting it to the church several said they likewise were blessed by it, hope the Lord will use it to bless your hearts and that it will help to strengthen you as you serve Him,

    Bro. Dallas

    Faith Establishing and Prospering God’s Children
    Primary Reading:
    2 Chronicles 20:20

    2Ch 20:20 (KJV) And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

    Some Things we may see from this passage:

    1. Believe in the Lord your God,...-Faith is a duty commanded upon the people of God

    a. Faith is indispensable in worship of God-
    Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    b. Faith is essential in Prayer-James 1:5-6
    If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

    c. Faith is a means of defense---Perhaps the most popular:
    Ephesians 6:16---Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

    i. Helps us to walk daily in this world according to our calling-1 Thessalonians 5:8: But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
    1. faith is united to love
    2. faith guards the inward-it is a breastplate-protecting the inward man from the evils of this world.
    3. along with this, the hope of salvation becomes the helmet, guarding the thoughts (the mind of the believer).
    i. And Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the substance is speaking of the assurance of that hope, it literally means the concrete assurance of things hoped for.
    a. Through faith our hope is increased, our assurance is increased, our safety is increased and our love is increased, all through the operation of our faith.
    4. Faith should be united with Love---1 Thessalonians 5:8, but also 1 John 3:23:
    And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

    5. Faith prevents the shipwreck of our lives-
    a. 1 Timothy 1:19---Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

    i. We are to hold faith
    ii. We are to hold a good conscience

    b. We are to fight the Good fight of faith-1 Timothy 6:12: Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses

    i. Increase in faith increases assurance of your hope
    j. Encourages in your hope

    Finally, Faith makes you victorious:

    2Ch 20:20 (KJV) And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

    2. Going forth into the wilderness to battle, yet their eyes were upon the Lord---Ch. 20:12---They were victorious before they ever met the enemy.
    So shall ye be established-Let us take courage from God's Word-That as our eyes are more on him we too shall be victorious-we too shall be established.

    c. Note also---Believe His prophets, we have not said much in the way of this, but this is speaking of our faith in His Word, whether written or witnessed---Our prosperity is tied to this, and this is a Message in Itself---Mt. 17:20---Our Faith in His Word also renders us victorious.

    Quotes: All the strength and force of man comes from his faith in things unseen. He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions. -Clarke

    Little faith will bring your soul to heaven; great faith will bring heaven to your soul. -Spurgeon