Sunday School - August 9, 2009

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by illinijag, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Sunday School - August 9, 2009

    Fear becomes sin, if one has been a partaker of God’s miraculous blessings and yet, chooses fear above the proven promises of a faithful God. Such provides true evidence of a faith that resides more in ones own ability, than a faith in the abilities of the one and only true God.

    Hebrews 6:4-6. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    True faith is never found in the willful task of man, for man has not the determining will that prevail. The ultimate will is given only to the providence of the almighty God, a God who lacks fear and does not allow an opposing counsel to usurp that which is His will. Thus, it becomes evident that all true faith must reside in the one and only true God and true faith is made manifest in our obedience to His will; for faith that follows not with obedience is only a stated faith, a faith we falsely proclaim.

    Hebrews 11:6-8. 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. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

    Fear is neither a product nor function of faith but rather, the lack thereof. When fear is chosen in lieu of faith, such renders the useless fruits of doubt and failure and provides an assurance of hopelessness and despair. This confirms the object of fear, to rid one of hope and trust. Hope and trust are the true treasures in life acquired only through faith, a saving faith that produces obedience, a saving faith found only in the one and only true God.

    As Christians, our faith is God’s gift (Ephesians 2:4-9), His one and only Son, the ultimate promised gift of grace, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us not know Him and continue in fear and disobedience toward Him but rather, fear having not the true faith that follows Him.

    Matthew 10:28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    This week's lesson is again from the book of Numbers. For those who follow the International Sunday School Lesson Plan (aka: The Standard Sunday School Lesson), this Sunday's lesson (August 9, 2009) comes from Numbers 14:1-12.

    Moses recently sent spies to the land of Canaan (Numbers 13) to see the land and to make an assessment of that which God had promised them. However, ten of the twelve reports given to Moses yield more in fear of the inhabitance of the land than to the evidence of the true wealth that confirmed the promises stated by God.

    Upon receiving the ill report from the ten faithless spies, the Israelites cried that night and murmured against Moses and Aaron saying, “Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?" (Numbers 14:2-3). One can only wonder how a group could see God’s provisions, protection and blessings in such a miraculous way and yet, loose all faith in His ability to do that which He had promised. This questioned not the ability of God but exposes the lack of faith of those who have been the primary recipients of His miraculous blessings.

    The Israelites desired to make a new leader and return to Egypt. This act is consistent with the irrational fruits of fear, to willfully enter again the hopeless state of bondage instead of embracing hope, which accompany faith (Hebrews 11:1). Upon hearing the complaints, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the congregation in utter frustration. The two spies who offered good reports, Joshua and Caleb, tore their clothes in response to their outrage. Joshua and Caleb confirmed that the land was exceedingly good and that it truly was a land of milk and honey. Unlike the other spies, their faith was strengthened because it resided not in their power and might but in the almighty power of God.

    Numbers 14:8-9. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.

    2 Timothy 1:7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

    Although the congregation had no evidence to refute the statements made by Joshua and Caleb, their fears would not allow them to follow the only path of hope. The stronghold of fear persuaded them to desire a path of imminent bondage to Egypt and not the continued journey of faith guided by the proven God of liberty and prosperity. A dominating fear often moves quickly to harden the heart by sealing one’s fate to doom; this became evident as the Israelites move to stone the faithful four. However, God being the God of grace and mercy thwarted their evil will by appearing before them in the tabernacle of the congregation. For even a fear driven man, must yield to the ultimate fear, the holy manifestation of the almighty God.

    The Lord spoke to Moses concerning the unbelief and disobedience of the Israelites, given all the signs He had done among them. God also stated His will to smite them with a pestilence, disinherit them, and make to Him a greater nation. However, Moses having grown in the wisdom of God, petition God for grace and mercy; God having an abundance of both, granted Moses his request. Today God continue to offer the same to both the faithful and the faithless through Jesus, God’s greatest gift of grace.

    Romans 5:15. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

    If you are not a typical Sunday School attendee, Go and surprise the teacher. If your Church does not follow the Standard Sunday School Lesson and you are not aware of the topic of discussion, take on the attitude of "positive anticipation". I am sure you will like it; there is nothing like reading and discussing God's Word.

    FYI: Sunday School is not just for Kids, it is also for the Humble (those who wish to be rid of fear and disobedience) at heart.

    Good Day and God Bless
  2. I might just add a little more about fear as fear is the opposite of faith and ten of those spies were intinidated by the strength of the enemy and by the fortified towns they found in the land.

    Only two of the spies , like you said , Caleb and Joshua encouraged the people to trust in God " We should go up and take possession of the land , for we can certainly do it ' ( Numbers 13:30 )

    But the fears of the others prevailed . Crying in fright and anguish , the whole congregation was ready to choose other leaders to guide them back to Egypt which you have said , illinijag, Why would they want to go back to a land full of idol worship and slavery instead of pressing opn to the promise that the Lord gave them ?

    Hebrews 3:7-19 tells us of the hardened hearts against God , because of their disobedience and their hearts gripped with fear.

    Today as we reflect upon those happenings way back in the OT we , like Joshua and Caleb are to see our enemies clearly , but are also to have such a clear vision of the Lord that we remember we are well able to overcome them . Having confidence in God , overcomes our fear, and when we obey Him we will find peace and joy that only obedience can provide.

    Will we find rest ? the chioce , and responsibility , is ours and ours alone .

    Thank you for this wonderful study and God Bless.
  3. Dusty,

    I must convey all thanks to God for giving us stories so we don't make the same mistake. However, God did inform us that there is nothing new under the sun...we just repeat that which is old.

    I really don't think they truly wanted to go back to Egypt, I think these were just emotional outbursts, outbursts from faithless cowards wanting to blame others for their personal fear/lack of faith. I can only imagine the frustration the New Leader would have received had he been chosen to lead them back to Egypt. Can you imagine these people showing up before Pharaoh asking to be reinstated as slaves? Even cowards after a cool down period will see how stupid this plan would be.

    Satan instruments of fear succeeds when it lead us away from placing faith in God. Satan will give us no plan to succeed outside of that which God has for us, because he is successful when there is chaos and confusion; such is a common place for fearless cowards.

    Although we may see the Israelites as faithless cowards, we all find ourselves to be so to a certain degree. I am sure many of us have missed opportunities by not stepping out on faith, if so, we too have been faithless and cowards (maybe to a lesser degree). This why I believe God had so much favor with David, although he was hot tempered and a sinner like others, David stepped out on faith and considered God to be his source and resource for all. We all should pray to have such faith.

    It is frustrated reading how faithless these people are after seeing all that God has done for them. However, often I find myself saying “but for the Grace of God, there go I”.

    1 Corinthians 10:12. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

    Good Day and God Bless.

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