Message for my Proverbs 31 Friends visiting Tuesday, November 26th:
If you’re joining us from my Encouragement for Today devotion, I’m so excited you stopped by! We are in the middle of an on-line study, “Who Is God and Why Should I Care?” studying the names of God. This study is nearly complete, but if you would like to join us for future studies, it’s easy to sign up.
To register for future on-line studies (this means you’ll receive an invitation before each study begins), visit my sidebar and click on “Sign up for Wendy’s On-Line Bible Study Updates.” Place your e-mail address in the box and click “subscribe.” This registers you for this study and ensures you will receive invitations for all future studies. If you have registered for an on-line study in the past, you do not need to re-register.
If you would like to receive the weekly lessons for an on-line study in your inbox, visit the side bar again. At the top of this sidebar, you will see “Sign up to receive posts from Wendy Blight.” Place your e-mail address in the box and click “Go.” Be sure to reply to the confirmation e-mail that follows. This ensures you are subscribed to my web site. Each week you will receive an e-mail with the post for the week. It is important to note that to view the video, you will need to visit the web site directly. You may do so by clicking on the title of the post in the e-mail.
One more exciting piece of news. In March 2014 I have a new book coming out with Thomas Nelson, Living So That Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life. It’s now available for pre-order through Proverbs 31, and you can find it by clicking here. If you order it by December 1, we’ll send you a signed copy when it’s released! Also, if you’d like to join Wendy’s Street Team to receive pre-release announcements, participate in fun giveaways and help promote the book, please click here. And most exciting of all, this will be a 2014 P31 On-Line Bible Study!!!!!!
Thank you, thank you for another great week of study and discussion. You girls go deep and continue to bless and challenge me. Heading into this week of Thanksgiving, I’m so very thankful for you! Don’t forget, we won’t meet here again until the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. That gives us over a week to complete our homework. We’ll end our last week with Jehovah Rapha, God our Healer.
Remember, the lessons are divided into days, but you can complete them any way that works best for you.
Also, please don’t forget to send your creations to Heather if you are participating in creating pictures of our names of God. E-mail them to her at email@example.com by the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Looking forward to seeing how Jehovah Nissi inspires you this week. Below are the beautiful images you created for El Roi. Don’t you love them!!! I can’t wait to see what you create next week! Thank you to those of you who sent yours in and thank you, Heather, for putting them together for us.
Below is our Week Three Teaching:
Memory Verse: “Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.” Exodus 17:15 (NIV)
Heavenly Father, Jehovah Nissi, the God who sees me, thank You that Your banner over me is love and that nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from Your love. Thank You that You love me with an everlasting love, and I don’t have to do anything to earn or keep Your love. It makes my heart sing to know that You are always in my midst and that You rejoice over me with gladness; quiet me with Your love, and rejoice over me with singing. As I study Your Word and seek to know You more, let every morning bring me word of Your unfailing love. When the battle seems too hard and the mountain too high, remind me that though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, Your unfailing love for me will not be shaken nor Your covenant of peace removed. Teach me more about Who You are, Jehovah Nissi, as I study another aspect of Your character, my amazing, sovereign God Who is the same yesterday, today and forever. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
1. Read Genesis 49. List the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel).
2. Read Numbers 2:3-16.
God commanded Jacob’s (Israel’s – new name) twelve sons to divide into tribes. When the Israelites settled in the Promised Land, God allotted each tribe a parcel of land, except Levi and Joseph. The Levites did not own land because God set them apart to serve as His priests. God doubled Joseph’s allotment and awarded it to his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. These became the 12 tribes of Israel. Israel’s identity and structure was rooted in these tribes. They camped in tribes; they traveled in tribes, and eventually they settled in tribes.
* God spoke to Moses in Numbers 2:2. How were the Israelites instructed to set up camp?
In the Old Testament, when we read about a banner, it referred to a tribal banner. Standing under a banner identified an individual with a tribe or a family; this was true with the Israelites. Each tribe had its own banner. Some conjecture the banners matched the color of the precious stone in which the name of that tribe was written in the high priest’s ephod. Others believe there was coat of arms painted in each standard, which referenced the blessings of that tribe by Jacob. Others say the name of each tribe was written on its standard. The Israelites were always on the move, so they continually traveled under their banners, with their tents, always setting up and taking down.
* Read Numbers 9:15-23. How did the Israelites know when and where to go?
3. Read Exodus 17:1-7. As the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, their food and water supply ran low on several occasions. Each time they complained to Moses, questioning his motives for bringing them in the desert.
* What is your reaction when things don’t go your way?
* Read Philippians 2:14-16 and 1 Corinthians 10:10. How do these verses speak to the issue of grumbling?
*Why shouldn’t we grumble and complain according to Paul’s words in Philippians?
* What did Moses do when the people grumbled and complained to him? (v. Exodus 17:2-4)
* What was God’s response? (v. 5-6)
*What did Moses use?
4. Read Exodus 17:8-16.
We find the Israelites under attack from the Amalekites (they were the descendants of Jacob’s brother, Esau…remember Jacob and Esau? Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and blessing. Esau hated Jacob for what he did, and his descendants hated Jacob’s descendants, carrying on the family feud. Amalek was Esau’ grandson). The Amalekites pulled a sneak attack on Israel (see Deut. 25:17-19). They wanted to oust the Israelites from the land and claim the territory as their own.
* What did Moses tell Joshua to do?
* What did Joshua do?
* Where did Moses go and who went with him?
*What was in Moses’ hands?
* What happened when Moses raised his hands? lowered his hands?
* What happened when Moses grew weary?
Moses’ friends held his arms up as he prayed, so his hands remained raised until sunset, and Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword!
Do you see how God assigned Moses and Joshua very specific roles: Joshua would fight; Moses would pray? Moses held up the “rod of God”…the miracle working rod which had summoned the plagues of Egypt, parted the Red Sea, and brought water from a rock.” It served as a banner to remind the soldiers…and all God’s people…of the glorious and miraculous feats God had accomplished on their behalf.
5. What did Moses build after they won the battle and what did he call it?
Moses built an altar to forever remind God’s people of what He had done that day on the mountain and in the battle field. It’s no different for us, sweet friend. When we are in the midst of a battle, we must remember the great things God has done for us so that we can persevere through the unknown.
6. What are some great things God has done for you…times where you have experienced His faithfulness and His provision? Write a prayer of gratitude and reflect on how this can help encourage you through a tough time you or another may be going through.
Never forget, sweet friend, our God fights for His people. Anyone who touches, harms, or defies us, touches, harms, and defies the apple of God’s eye, and He will exact justice!
7. Read Zechariah 2:8-10. What does it say?
8. Moses set an example for us. When we face a battle, Moses set forth steps for us to follow:
a. Come Apart and Pray
*How did Moses “come apart?” (Exodus 17:9b)
*Read Habakkuk 2:1. What does it say Habakkuk did when he felt like God was not answering his prayers and had abandoned him and His people?
b. Pray with Authority
* Read Exodus 4:1-5. What went on between God and Moses in this exchange?
The staff represented Moses’ authority, and we have that same authority today. We do not have a staff. We have something better. The Word of God is a powerful weapon in our hands. We must wield it in every battle we encounter. It is our authority against Satan.
c. Invite Friends
* Moses went to the mountain alone. True or False?
* Can you think of another time when a man of God called upon friends to strengthen and pray for him in his time of need? (Matthew 26:36-46)
*What happened in this story?
*What difference would it have made in Jesus’ last hours if His friends had stayed up and prayed with Him?
* Do you have friends to come alongside you in prayer? If not, pray for God to bring some prayer warriors into your life.
* Do you come alongside others in prayer? If you don’t, pray for God to show you people around you for whom you can pray and join together with in prayer.
d. Document What God Has Done
* Read Exodus 17:14. What else did God tell Moses to do?
God wanted Joshua to hear about the prayer. God wanted Joshua to know that he did not win the battle alone. It was won with prayer and might working in tandem. God wanted Joshua to know He was sovereign over this battle and all their enemies.
Just as the staff served as Moses’ banner in his battles, the cross of Christ serves as ours. Through the cross, God reminds us of one very important truth…one I want us to never forget.
9. Read Romans 8:37. Write this verse below.
10. Write this verse in your own words and share what it means in your own life…a past, present or future situation.
Exodus 17 doesn’t simply document the Israelites first battle after crossing the Red Sea. If we believe that, we totally miss the meaning of Exodus and, really, the entire Old Testament. God, through His Holy Spirit, spoke through men like Moses not to give us mere history lessons but that we might understand Him and know the hope that we have in Him.
We engage in battles every day. We have an enemy of our souls. We need to gird ourselves up for battles with the enemy. Jehovah Nissi provides us a banner…the Cross…to prepare our hearts and minds for the battles.
11. Read Ephesians 6:12.
* Who is our enemy?
* What does 1 Peter 5:8 say about our enemy?
* If you see your enemy not as flesh and blood, how can it change how you respond in a battle?
12. Is there someone in your life who you see as “the enemy?” Identify that person and identify what it is that makes him or her your “enemy.”
*How does what we are learning this week speak into this relationship?
* What is one step you can take to resolve your situation with this person and give God the victory and not Satan?
1 Peter 5:8 begins with these words, “Be alert and of sober mind.” The King James Version says, “Be sober, be vigilant.” Sober translates from the Greek word nepho which means “to be free from the influence of intoxicants.” This brings to mind another word with which we are familiar, “sobriety.” Sober speaks of a sober mind. We must be mentally self-controlled.
Vigilant translates from the Greek word gregoreuo and means “to keep awake to watch.” Peter was encouraging the persecuted church to be alert, self-controlled, and vigilant in prayer. We are to watch for and be alert for the devil. The word “satan” means “adversary,” and the word “devil” means “the accuser, the slanderer.” We have an enemy of our souls, and we must be prepared for the lies, accusations, battles, and troubles he (and this world) will send our way.
Satan does not work alone.
13. Who does Ephesians 6:10 say works with Satan?
He is a formidable enemy we must never underestimate. We must be sober and alert and prepare in advance for our battles with him.
14. Read 6:13-18.
* What does Ephesians 6:13 tell us to do to prepare?
* Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. What does it say?
* If we put on every piece of God’s armor in preparation for our battle, read Ephesians 6:13b and explain our standing after the battle.
*Read Ephesians 6:14-17 and list the six pieces of armor.
* Read Ephesians 6:18. What is the last instruction God gives on how to stand firm in a spiritual battle?
15. Read Joshua 5:13-15.
God identified himself to Joshua in Joshua 5:14 as the Commander of the Lord’s Armies. Joshua served as the human commander of the Israelite army. But standing before Joshua in this story was the Divine Commander… the true Commander of not only the Israelites but of all God’s armies! God is the same yesterday, today and forever. So He is our Commander today.
Friends, just as God had His sword drawn for Joshua, He has it drawn for us. The Sword is our Banner. And you hold that weapon in your hand right now. It’s now our weapon. God uses His sword to fight through us…just as He used Moses’ rod and Joshua’s sword to fight through them. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that sword is the Word of God. It is our only offensive weapon. As long as we keep our Bible in our hands and His Word hidden in our hearts, we’ll never be without hope! We will always be more than conquerors!
As children of God, when we pray God’s Word, we fight against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, the mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places, with the full force of the Commander of the Lord’s Armies behind us.
We are more than conquerors through Him!
Take time to review your lesson and prayerfully answer the questions below based on what you have learned from God’ s Word and what God has spoken into your heart throughout your time with Him.
*Who is Jehovah Nissi?
* Why should I care?
Praying Jehovah Nissi makes Himself very real to You as You seek Him this week. Praying God will richly bless the time you spend with Him. I look forward to reading your comments throughout the week! Meet you back here after Thanksgiving.
Blessings to you,