Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dwelling Among Men {Bible Study}

God's Word absolutely amazes me. There's nothing more I can say except that. Some days I just sit absorbing it, and for no reason at all am overwhelmed. Maybe it's the Spirit of the Word ministering to my spirit in a way I cannot comprehend or grasp. Maybe it's a whispering taking place between my God and my soul that penetrates on a level my mind cannot wrap itself around, yet my senses are completely aware of and stimulated by.

Have you ever experienced the Word penetrate and pierce your innermost being, but have no mental perception of what's occurring? You know there's a stirring, and you want to seize it, guard it, and then enlighten everyone else with it. But you can't. Because you have no concrete understanding of what's taking place.

I crave and savor these moments with this living and powerful Word that pierces even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The things the Word does within us, no one can understand. And it's the jewels of the Word that leave me awestruck, humbled, and not only craving more, but longing to share with you. Treasures! And who doesn't enjoy a good treasure hunt?

Here are a few of previously dug up gems that I hope to somehow impart to you! Grab your map, detective cloak and hat, and a magnifying glass and let's get diggin! You may also want writing utensils for taking notes. J

In the book of Exodus we observe God calling Moses to the top of Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:20). Here He gave him the Ten Commandments and numerous other laws concerning servants, animals, property, feasts, etc.  In chapter 25, God gets more personal in His instructions.

Read Exodus 25:8.
What did God command they make?__________________________________

According to this same verse, what was the purpose behind this construction? _______________________________________________________________________

Prior to God giving Moses these instructions, what do we find the Israelite children repeatedly doing?
Read Exodus 14:10-12 _______________________________________________
Read Exodus 15:22-24 _______________________________________________
Read Exodus 16:1-3 _________________________________________________
Read Exodus 17:1-4 _________________________________________________

Do all of your answers have a similar response? This multitude indeed was a stiff-necked people! Who could possibly please them? And why would God desire to meet personally with them? Not only did He want to meet with them, Exodus 25:8 tells us He wanted to dwell among them. This Hebrew word dwell is shakan and literally means to lodge, settle down, abide with, reside with.

Did He fully understand how truly wicked these people were. Maybe after calling Moses upon the Mount, He came to His senses and changed His mind. After all, they did fashion and worship a golden calf, proclaiming "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!" (Exodus 32:4). Sisters, our God is a God of covenants and promises; the same God that ministered to Abraham's mistress in her distress (Genesis 21) and forgave an adulterous woman (John 8:11) caught in the act of sin. God knew exactly what He was getting Himself into desiring to dwell among sinful men.

Is there something keeping you from dwelling with God? Even following such acts of idolatry and wickedness God still desired to live among His people. No matter who you are or what act you have committed, nothing can separate you from God's love, and His desire to be with you. Jesus left throne and glory to meet with wretched men and women. What is keeping you from Him? Seek God's magnificent face. Ask Him to search you and know you, to see if there is any wicked way in you, and to lead you in confession and cleanse you with forgiveness. Write out your prayer and confession to Him now. __________________________________________________________________________

Now Read Exodus 25:1-9.
When God met with Moses, He gave him precise instructions on constructing the tabernacle. Within these commands were clear, specific details regarding design, size, colors, materials, and placement. He even declared who would be responsible for what concerning carving, sewing, and building. The tabernacle would not be a simple tent.

According to verse 2, where did the materials come from that would be used to construct the tabernacle?

Read Exodus 12:35-36
After four-hundred and thirty years of bondage, God loosed His people from slavery (Ex 12:40). According to these verses, what did the children do on their way out of captivity? 

What kinds of gifts did God grant His beloved, yet stiff-necked children?
Exodus 28:3 __________________________________________________________
Exodus 35:30-35 ______________________________________________________
Psalm 105:37 _________________________________________________________

What has God given us who call on His Name today?
Ephesians 1:3 ________________________________________________________
Psalm 112:3 _________________________________________________________
Proverbs 3:16 ________________________________________________________

These gifts were not limited to physical items stored on shelves and fingers. God's gifts are also given as talents and skills. And the Gift Giver continues to shower these gifts upon us today. The Bestower of gifts is in the business of blessing His beloved bride.

Besides the ones listed above, what are some other gifts God commits to His children?                                                                                                             
Romans 12:6-8 _____________________________________________________
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 _______________________________________________
1 Corinthians 12:28 _________________________________________________
Ephesian 4:11 ______________________________________________________

To be loosed from the bondage of this world and become a slave to the Perfect Master is another study for another day, but know this- Just as the Israelites were released from the oppression of Pharaoh and Egypt, so God liberates His people from the bondage of sin and death. And with this liberation comes treasures and riches only a King can bestow.

What did the Israelites do with the riches God gave them?
Exodus 32:2-4 ______________________________________________________
Exodus 35:5,21 _____________________________________________________

God blessed the Israelites abundantly as they danced out of Egypt with Egyptian jewels and gems. Casting off their yoke of oppression, they replaced it with another burden: golden rings and glistening riches. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights. We have choices to make with these gifts, ladies: bless God by using them for His purpose and glory, or waste them through fulfilling our own selfish lusts and desires. 

What are four purposes God has for bestowing Gifts to His people?
Matthew 7:11 ______________________________________________________
1 Corinthians 12:7, 14:12 ____________________________________________
1 Peter 4:10-11 _____________________________________________________
Exodus 25:2-8 ______________________________________________________

God grants His children riches and precious gifts most importantly, because it pleases Him. It is His character to give good things to those He loves; it is His nature to bestow blessings on His precious children. He showers us with gifts so that we may Glorify Him, edify one another and the entire body of Christ, and offer them back to Him for the purpose of meeting Him face to face.

What specific gifts has the Father of lights given you? Don't be general here ladies, but give precise answers. Some of your gifts will replicate another's, but God gives each one as He sees fit- you being the eye, while your sister is the hand, and your daughter the ear (Romans 12). List your numerous and unique God given gifts here: 

Now, dear sister, what are you using these gifts for? Spend some time seeking God and asking Him bluntly. Are you using them for any of the four reasons listed above, or are you selfishly wasting them on your own pleasure and gratification? 

God gave Aaron a gift of leadership. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I believe He also bestowed on him an artistic gift. How else could you throw gold into a fire and miraculously get a golden calf out of the deal (Exodus 32:24)? This man had talent! However, Aaron used His unique gifts to lead thousands into idolatry and wicked rebellion. Oh that we use God's gifts for their intended purpose! Search them out, sisters, and use them to Christ's satisfaction! Because the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable! You never know, God may meet you face to face through your obedient usage of His bestowed gift!

Still hungry for God's bread? Thirsty for His Living water? Go here and be fed! Allow yourself to be washed in His Word.

(Ok, this is my first 'bible study format' post. Please give some useful critique and feedback. Also, please, even if you already know everything there is to know in the Word, take the time to go through these scriptures and answer the questions. You may be surprised at what God through His Holy Spirit shows you! And then please, please, please come back and share!)

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