August 2019 The Great
WEEK 9: 7/30-8/6
...... ...PSALM 9: Thanks
- Thank God for 10 things and 5 turns of history.
- Name one way God is your stronghold.
- Reading Leviticus will provide a framework for reading Hebrews in the New
- As you read about SACRIFICES, remember the power of the
sacrifice was in the blood touching the altar, not in the killing of animals (The Interpreters’ Bible, Volume 2, page 11). The Apostle Paul as well as Christian readers today see a
parallel between the Old Testament blood sacrifice for sin and Jesus giving his blood for us.
- As you read about the various OFFERINGS, The Interpreter’s
Bible, Volume 2, (Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN 1981. Page 12), explains, “A sacrifice was a gift offered by the worshiper to God. When one offers a gift and another receives it, a
relation of friendship is created between them. If two are estranged and the one who has done wrong offers a gift, the offended friend, by receiving that gift, signifies that he also receives
the giver, and that the enmity is put away. The gift, we might say, takes away the enmity. . . . We do great injustice to the sacrificial worship of Israel if we regard it as a form of
primitive magic. Sacrifice is perhaps older than vocal prayer; it is prayer in its simplest and still inarticulate form.”
- “Leviticus” = “pertaining to the Levites” or the priests. Thus this is guidance to
them about how to be holy and worship in holiness.
- As you read, list the offerings, why they are needed, and what is offered.
- Note that the S 3 Sacrifice of Well Being
(Lev. 3) is followed by 4 sins.
Leviticus 1: ATONEMENT
- Why start with general forgiveness before getting into specifics? What benefits are there
in placing confession & forgiveness at the beginning of our worship?
- Why lay hands on the head? (i.e. Why touch? Why the head and not a foot,
- How is Christ our sin offering?
Leviticus 2: GRAIN
Note the use of frankincense, a gift of the magi.
1 Why use choice flour?
2 In what areas do you give God your
Leviticus 3: WELL-BEING
How/when do you give thanks for
Leviticus 4: SIN OFFERING
- Note unintentional does not mean innocent.
- Read the confession in the hymnbook.
Leviticus 5: SILENCE & ASSOCIATIONS
- Why might it be wrong to not speak up?
- Who rubs off on you? How?
Leviticus 6:1-7 DECEIT
Give examples of “intentional deceit”
Leviticus 6: - 8:36: RITUALS to
- What strikes you in the rituals for priests??”
2 7:22-27 Why the “fat” and
3. Why bring the Well Being offering yourself?
Ask a pastor what the rituals at ordination of anointing and laying on of hands and
the stole meant to her/him.
Tues, 8/6 we discuss Ex. 32 – Lev. 8
Sunday, 8/11 we will discuss Exodus after Worship
Week 10 Aug. 6-13: Leviticus 9-18
PSALM 10: The
- How does the writer descry be the wicked?
- Read verse
15. What is you prayer?
Leviticus 9: SACRIFICE & SIN
- How might sacrifices for sin help people feel they can be closer to or more open to God?
- What role does blessing (the benediction) serve in worship?
- Read verses 23-24. How would you respond if there were a sudden dramatic “sign” from
God in church while worshipping?
Leviticus 10: PRIESTS, BE HOLY!
- What might “unholy fire” (verse 1) be?
- Why might Aaron, as a priest, be forbidden to publicly mourn?
- Do people today expect leaders to not show
mourning while leading funerals? Why?
- In what ways might pastors get caught between natural instincts and their call to represent God as “priests”?
- Note that in verses 16-26 Moses and Aaron are not clear which laws of God to follow. Have you ever felt caught between two com-
mands? Give an example.
Leviticus 11: CLEAN & UNCLEAN
- Since God created all animals and He created everything “good”, why declare some animals untouchable or uneatable? Is it about good vs bad, or something
- Based on what we know today about some animals and diseases, what wisdom is there
in not touching some animals or carcasses?
Leviticus 12: CHILD BIRTH
- In a culture where women were listed as property and valued largely for their ability to have children, why protect women from sex
immediately following child birth?
- Why might they need more time after baby
girls If boys were valued more than girls?
Leviticus 13 and 14: SKIN DISEASES &
PURIFYING LEPERS & HOUSES
- What strikes you?
- 14:14—What might touching ear, hand and
Leviticus 15: RE: BODY DISCHARGES
- How would the policies in verses 1-18 slow the spread of STDs in our society?
- Verses 19-30 shed what light on the life of
the woman in Matthew 9:20-22?
Leviticus 16: DAY of ATONEMENT
- Contrast Verses 1 and 2 to Hebrews 10:19-22 and what they say about our access to God.
- Read the Confession & Kyrie in the Lutheran Liturgy (LBW page 15) Note the parallels?
- According to 1 Peter 2, Christians are a nation of priests. Priests represent God to the people and the people to God. As such, should we pray for
- Note the sacrifices did not ask proof of life changes. What might that say about Jesus
as our atonement? (Rom. 3:21-26).
Leviticus 17: BLOOD
- Verses 8-9 are about sacrifices “to other gods”, not about making personal sacrifices.
- What does v.11 say about Holy Communion?
Leviticus 18: SEX LAWS
- List benefits of family sexual boundaries.
- Verses 24-30 shed what light on the reason
for the laws?
Tues, 8/13 we discuss Leviticus
11 8/13-20: Leviticus
- Have you ever wanted to “flee” in some way?
- How does
focusing on God help?
Leviticus 19: BE HOLY
- List 10 things about the lands and customs in which the Israelites find themselves based on what God tells the Israelites not to do?
- Who is protected by these laws?
Leviticus 20: …OR ELSE
- Re: verse 1-5, note that sacrifices to Molech involved using live children as sacrifices.
- Mediums gave messages to people in this world from spirits in “the other.” Who would be included in “mediums” (v. 6)?
- What light does verse 11 shed on Gen. 9:22?
- What cultural factors might make the strict standards in verses 10-16, wise?
- Why use the phrase “uncover nakedness” to
describe sexual intercourse?
Leviticus 21: ABOUT PRIESTS
- In demanding priests who approach God be with-out blemish, what image is being set for
Jesus as our High Priest? (see Hebrews)
Leviticus 22: HOLINESS
- Why such an emphasize holiness?
- What implications might that have for what we offer to God?
- Luther wrestled with unholiness. He felt that he had nothing pure enough to bring to God.
And that led him to the need for grace.
Leviticus 23: FESTIVALS
- List 5 benefits of regular “festivals” to God?
- What about annual longer festivals?
- Any you particularly like?
Leviticus 24: LIGHT & BLASPHEMY
- What does the continual light/candle symbolize about God?
- Why such strict blasphemy laws?
Leviticus 25: SABBATICALS & JUBILEE
- How well do you do at regular sabbatical rest? What keeps you from doing better?
- Verse 54: How would God describe you?
Leviticus 26: To Do and the REWARDS
- How do you reverence the sanctuary (v. 2)?
- Verse 13: How would Christ describe himself and his relationship to you?
- Verse 23: do you agree that adversity turns people back to God? Why? Why not?
- Verses 34-35 Ponder the relationship between our lives and the fate of the “land”.
Leviticus 27: REDEMPTION
- Review verses 1-8. Note that Judas only got 30 pieces of silver for Jesus.
- What if people saw everything we have as the Lord’s and we had to “redeem” it to use
it, what would change?
- Which laws/regulations were a surprise?
- Which sounded like good ideas?
- Which are you glad that we do not follow
Tues 8/20 discuss
Lev. 19-27 + Ps 1-11
Week 12 8/20-27 : Numbers 1-12
PSALM 12: I Am
Also read 1 Ki. 19:10 &
Pray for the
Numbers “numbers” the days in the wilderness.
- The story begins a month after the Israelites finished making the tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai (Ex. 40). Aaron and
his sons had been consecrated to the priesthood (Lev. 8). Yahweh had visited the tabernacle.
- Numbers points out that the ordering of the national life derives, for the priestly writers, not from political grounds, but from the nature and will of
- Thus this book will include more laws, but also events that reveal the nature of God’s
leading and what God expects of followers.
Numbers 1: THE CENSUS
Note that 20 will be the age of responsibility for
entering the promised land.
Numbers 2: CAMP ORDER
How is the community different if the church is
at the center?
Numbers 3: LEVITES
Note the redemption of the first born.
Numbers 4: HANDLING THE HOLY
What do we lose when we cease to treat “holy
things” in a special way?
Numbers 5: UNCLEAN PERSONS
They seemed to be able to select an amount of
time to be “set apart”? Why not shave?
Numbers 6: THE ARONIC BLESSING
Which part of the blessing do you respond to
with “Oh, yes, Lord, please!” Explain.
Numbers 7: THE TABERNACLE’S DONE
In a city of two million people with no place to worship, if we built a church in the middle, how would we celebrate its completion?
Who might we include? .
What rituals would be important?
Numbers 8: RE--LEVITES
How do we “set apart” our spiritual leaders?
Numbers 9: PASSOVER
They carried their tabernacle. How do we
“take God with us”?
Numbers 10: TIME TO GO
What do you pray as you set out to go places?
CHART of DISCONTENT
- Before reading the next chapter, take a separate piece of paper and start a chart. Make 3 columns:
- (1) Preceding the discontent;
- (2) the Problem or Complaint;
- (3) the Consequence.
- Review and list
- Exodus 15:22-27 (bitter waters for episode 1—following the destruction of Pharaoh);
- Exodus 16 for manna;
- Exodus 17—waters at Rephidim;
- Exodus 20 and the 10 commandments followed by the golden calf.
- Continue the chart as you continue to read Numbers.
Numbers 11: COMPLAINTS 7 QUAILS
- How does complaining consume us?
- They complain, “No meat, only quail.” What would be a parallel example for our times?
- How do you respond to the prayer in vv. 10-15? Do you think leaders ever feel this way?
- In vv 16-30 God blesses 2 who don’t come. Are we ever surprised by who God blesses?
- Note in verses 21-23 that Moses doubts. Is there an area where you feel God asks more
than resources make possible?
Numbers 12: JEALOUSY
- How is Moses described in verse 3? What do we look for in leaders?
- Any ideas why only Miriam get’s leprosy?
- What does leprosy as punishment symbolize?
- In verse 9, note the title, “my servant.”
What would you like God to call you?
Tues. 8/27 We discuss Numbers
Week 13: 8/27-9/3 Numbers 13-27
PSALM 13: When You’re
How do songs of faith help when you are
Numbers 13: SPIES in CANAAN
- What are the responses to the new land?
- Do we ever respond the same way to
Numbers 14: WE CAN’T
- How does fear make it impossible for us to claim God’s blessings?
- How is God’s patience (vv. 13-19) and grace among us a sign to others?
- Note that those 20 and up (chapter 1) are held responsible. What do you see as the
age of “responsibility” for spiritual decisions?
Numbers 15: MORE LAWS
- After setting out more rules, Moses talks about unintentional and intentional sin. Why require sacrifice for unintentional offenses? Why is the consequence
of intentional sin much more severe?
- What would you have done if asked to stone a person for collecting sticks on the Sabbath?
- They wore fringes. What helps you
remember to obey God?
Numbers 16: KORAH, DATHAN & ABIRAM
- Korah is punished and also those who follow him. Is that fair? Why? Why not?
- Note the people still blame Moses as if the power belongs to him and not God. What does this tell you about people? About how people treat religious
leaders? About temptations religious leaders face?
- What do Moses and Aaron’s interventions for the people tell you about the role of religious leaders? About Christians as a
nation of priests intervening for the world?
Numbers 17: AARON’S ROD
How do we determine who to listen to when it comes to believing through whom God is speaking?
(Notice the extent to which God goes to establish Aaron’s leadership—Aaron who failed at
Sinai when they got the 10 commandments.)
Numbers 18: PRIESTS & LEVITES
Numbers 19: The RED HEFFER
What is one ritual of worship that is meaningful to you (eg. Lighting candles;
passing peace; kneeling for prayer)?
Numbers 20: MERIBAH-ROCK/WATER
- God brings water out of rock—life giving water out of lifeless rock. What does that tell you about God’s power?
- Moses and Aaron say, “…shall we bring water for you out of the rock?” (v. 10). And for taking credit for what God does, they lose the right to enter the holy
land. Do we ever take credit for what God does? How does that cause us to lose blessing?
- Note verse 24, “Let Aaron be gathered to his people.” God then takes him up the mountain into the cloud, where he dies. Thus, “where are Aaron’s
people?” Note even at this time death is seen as joining those who have died before us and are
Numbers 21 BRONZE SERPENT
- Take a moment to review the situations and the Chart of Discontent and add the situation in verses 1-9. What connection might there be between the action of
the serpent in Genesis 3 and the use of Serpents as an image here?”
- What parallels are there between the serpent on the pole and sin being dealt a death blow on the cross?
- Notice the beginnings of battles in the wilderness. Who or what do you battle in your wildernesses?
Numbers 22-24: BALAAM’S STORY
Balak, king of Moab wanted Balaam, prophet of God to curse Israel.
- What does Balaam do (22:7-14)?
- When they come a 2nd time, what does God tell Balaam to do and not do? (22:15-21)
- Note the preceding chapters have set up the need to be precise in following God’s instructions. What is the difference between what God says in verse 20 and
what Balaam does in 21 that ignites God’s anger in verse 22? (ie. Is he, perhaps, too eager to go?)
- How does the donkey’s interaction with the angel impact your view of animals?
Do you know stories of animals guiding or helping people as if God were guiding them?
- Summarize Balaam’s first message?
- How does Balak respond? Do we ever try to get a message from God to change by changing the picture?
- As Balak keeps trying to get a curse, what happens to the oracles?
- Do we ever pray for a curse on our enemies? How about opposing teams? How should we
Numbers 25: DISASTER AVERTED
- How might a person today who is zealous to serve God and secure the welfare of our nation, use this episode as a justification for killing those whom he/she sees
as overt sinners?
- Why would that or would that not be
justified based on this story?
Numbers 26; A NEW CENSUS
Notice that this census names some women!
This sets the scene for the debate in Chapter
27 over the inheritance of the land.
Numbers 27: DAUGHTERS of ZELOPHEHAD
- Verses 1-11 record the right of women to inherit the land. This is a radical change in Jewish laws about inheritance. Notice that it is God who defends
their right to inherit. What does that tell you about God and women?
- What symbolism do you see in Joshua being commissioned by both Moses and Eleazar the priest in front of the whole congregation?
Tues. 9/3 We discuss Numbers