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islandboy
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« on: November 28, 2007, 02:28:07 PM »

In our church's bible study group we watched these DVD's, and recently I ask if I could borrow them to watch at home.
The first of the DVD's  is called On The Promised Land, with teacher & historian Ray Vander Laan, in and about places in Israel.
#1 Tel Gezer----Standing at the Crossroads
#2 Jordan River---Wet Feet
#3 Tel Jericho---First Fruits
#4 Tel Beth Shemesh---Confronting Evil
#5 Tel Azekah----Iron of Culture
Each place is show in living color with maps of the area and most importantly a lesson to be learned. I have found these DVD's to be most informative both in learning the terrain of Israel, as well as, back ground information on the bible history and scriptures. I would guess the best source of theses DVD's would be your local library. I have only seen the first DVD of many in this series, but I will add to this post as I watch more of them. Mr Laan, does an excellent job of making the Bible and the land in Israel easily understood.
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2007, 10:32:30 AM »

I wanted to mention that this series of faith lessons has a study guide that can be used with or without the DVD's, although, watching them brings the message home in a personal way. The title name of one of the study guide books  is Walk as Jesus Walked, making disciples. This series is from "Focus On The Family, and is known in That The World May Know, Ray Vander Laan & Stephen & Amanda Sorenson.
I will add to this topic as I watch the dvd's and use this study guide. I might add I am a person who understand things and places better by visiting or by seeing pictures of the topic in question. I am really excited about this series as I feel it will give me better insight into the Bible, as well as, our countries foreign affairs. The old saying of not really understanding another until you have walked in their shoes, applies here. If I pay attention I may learn something worth sharing with you.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2007, 11:03:31 AM by islandboy » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2007, 11:14:44 AM »

When the idea of first sharing this series with you came about, I thought there was one study guide for the whole series of DVD's. Then when the topic's did not match the study book guide I had, I asked questions and found out that for each DVD, there was a study guide book. And the church had run out of them. I had considered borrowing them from another member, but changed my mind after discovering a little booklet in the front of each DVD. So I am lucky and so are you, for even if you cannot see the DVD's you can study right along with me by reading Bible verses and answering the questions, and adding your comments as a forum discussion in what you have learned by this Bible study lesson.
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2007, 11:38:35 AM »

FAITH  LESSON  # 1 :  Standing At The Crossroads

Read Bible verses:
Genesis 19: 1           Genesis 28: 10-22    Deuteronomy 21: 18-21   Joshua 4: 1-9   

Answer The Following Questions:

1. Why did God choose Israel as the land where the plan of salvation would unfold ?  How is God's intent for believers today similar to God's choice of the land of Israel ?
2. In what ways does God want His people to influence the world ?
3. The "standing stones" that the Israelites erected are testimonies to God's actions in their lives. What specific events did the children of Israel mark with standing stones ?
4. How is your life like a standing stone ?  How does it tell others what God has done for you ?  Who has been a standing stone for you ?  How?
5. The city gate was important in biblical times because it protected a city against invasion. It was also a place where the judges and rulers of the city sat. Give some biblical examples of judges who sat in the gate.
6. How might a Christian "sit in the gate" in our culture?

I will be posting the Bible verses and things I have learned from watching the DVD, and my own answers to these questions. However, I invite you all who want to follow along with this study to do your homework and share with the forum your answers to these questions.
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 09:01:56 PM »

I had hoped someone would join in with me on this study, if not the answers with be put up sometime during this week or next.
Wishing you all a very MERRY  CHRISTMAS !!!!!     Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2007, 11:33:49 AM »

Gen 19:1  And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;


Gen 28:10  And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
Gen 28:11  And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
Gen 28:12  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Gen 28:13  And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
Gen 28:14  And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15  And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Gen 28:16  And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
Gen 28:17  And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
Gen 28:18  And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
Gen 28:19  And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
Gen 28:20  And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Gen 28:21  So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
Gen 28:22  And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.


Deu 21:18  If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
Deu 21:19  Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
Deu 21:20  And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
Deu 21:21  And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.




Jos 4:1  And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
Jos 4:2  Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
Jos 4:3  And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.
Jos 4:4  Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
Jos 4:5  And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
Jos 4:6  That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
Jos 4:7  Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
Jos 4:8  And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.
Jos 4:9  And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.



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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 06:12:12 PM »

In order that you understand this Bible study I have make a map so that as we go along you can understand this region of Israel better.

    EGYPT                                              ISRAEL                                                     MESOPOTAMIA  (Persia,Babylon,Assyria)

                       

                                                             *Mediterranean Sea   
__________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________

  Egypt (west)                                                                * Israel (middle)                                                                   Mesopotamia  (East)

                                                                COASTAL           PLAIN

__________________________________________________________________________ ___________    *Gezer
                                               *VIA MARIS (main international trade route)
                                                 Via Maris also called "way of the sea"




                                                             FLAT      PLAIN                       * Jerusalem                                                                   *Gideon





                                                           LOW-FOOT   HILLS
__________________________________________________________________________ _____________


                                                           JUDAH      MOUNTAINS

__________________________________________________________________________ ______________


                                                                 DEAD      SEA

__________________________________________________________________________ ______________   *JERICHO
                                                        KINGS          HIGHWAY


On the map if you can imagine a straight line from GEZER to JERICHO, that is where the JERICHO  ROAD is located.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 06:19:40 PM by islandboy » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2007, 06:57:50 PM »

Now we come to the first question:

1. a.   Why did God choose Israel as the land where the plan of salvation would unfold?
 By looking at the map outline you can see that Israel, is at the center. The main road Via Maris runs along the coastal plain to Gezer and beyond, and the Jericho Road, meets it at Gezer, goes from Gezer to Jericho, and then through the mountains to meet the Kings Highway.
In a sense God placed the children of Israel at the crossroads of the world, and they were to live there on the coastal plains, in plain view, front and center, so they would control the trade routes and maintain influence on the world. But the Israelites chose not to live where God intended them to be, but gave over the land and control to the Canaanites, and moved into the mountains.

1. b.   How is God's intent for believers today similar to God's choice of the land of Israel?
 My thought on this is that as Christian's we need to live our lives in the front and center, so that through us people may see God. We tend to hide away and on occasion take pot shots at others, but not confront the important issues that are dragging down our country.
We in hide and live as others do and often seem to forget our Christan duties of spreading the gospel of our Lord.

Would you like to share your thoughts on these questions:
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2007, 12:56:31 PM »

First of all I would like to mention that an excellent source for maps as a study guide can be obtained through a free Bible software program called e-Sword by Rick Meyers. It is totally free and is very extensive. It is compatible with almost all computer software and can even be obtained for hand held devices. The maps available cover ancient times as well as current times and it is easy to compare the two. The older maps list a lot of the cities and locations that cannot be found on modern day maps.


To add to what you said on the first question. God has given us all His directions on what He wants us to do. Just like the Israelites, many of us ignore God and do what we want even though it is against His will. It is the human trait that we all have that got Israel into the many troubles that they have endured through the years. We must step up and step out as God has told us to do or we also will suffer the consequences of not doing so.

We see a lot of this here in the U.S. today. The nation as a whole is pulling away from following God and turning more secular. Individual Christians are pulling back into their churches and/or homes being afraid to offend others, keeping our beliefs to ourselves. As a result we are experiencing more and more persecution. We are losing more and more God given freedoms. We will also lose the rewards that the Bible tells us will be ours for doing as He has told us to do.

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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2007, 03:40:14 PM »

Next:

2. In what ways does God want His people to influence the world?
The answer given in one of the study guides is a good example in answering this question.
Our Lord, has asked us to be his disciples, his " talmidim". And in order that we be able to do that, we must learn the Scriptures and know them as He did. We need to have commitment and passion and the desire to be like Him. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He commanded His disciples to go out into the world and make more disciples. One of the places they went was Asia Minor, a sophisticated, prosperous, immoral, perverted, educated, and religious (but pagan) region in the Roman Empire. And through their lives in living out the word and kingdom of God, the disciples made more disciples in Asia Minor. And in a little more than a century that region became predominantly Christian.
In many ways our world is just like Asia Minor was, and God wants us to strife to become like Jesus, and show the world through the way we live, do business, and practice our faith that He is Lord. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might, and to love our neighbors as ourselves, so that through us the world may know that our God is the one true God.

Would you like to add anything?
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2007, 02:27:36 PM »

Next:


3. The "standing stones" that the Israelites erected are testimonies to God's action in their lives. What specific events did the children of Israel mark with standing stones?
Two events are mentioned in the above Bible verses. In Genesis 28: 10--22, Jacob had a dream of ladder extending from the earth up into the heavens with angels coming and going, and the Almighty God standing at the top of the ladder. Jacob had used a stone as his pillow, and when he awoke in the morning, he took that stone and stood it upright, as a testament to God.
In the book of Joshua 4: 1--18, Joshua and the children of Israel were returned to their homelands with priests carrying the ark of the covenant. In order to do so they needed to cross the Jordan River. As soon as the priests stepped into the Jordan River, the water stopped flowing downstream and the priests who were carrying the ark stood in the middle of the river on dry land, so that all of the Israelites crossed the river on dry ground. Then 12 men (1 man out of every tribe), picked out 1 stones from the middle of the river where the priests stood, and carried them across the river to the place they were to stay for the night. The stones were set upright as a message to all  that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, " What mean ye by these stones?" The answer you give them will be " That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters were cut off." And Joshua also laid 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan to mark the place where the priests  had stood. (Joshua 4: 9)  As the feet of the priests stepped out of the bed of the river and onto the bank, the waters of the Jordan began flowing again. (Joshua 4: 18)

Would any care to add other verses from the Bible in reference to "Standing Stones"  ?
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2007, 03:17:35 PM »

Gilgal literally means circle of standing stones. We see this word mentioned in Deuteronomy 11:29-30 as having Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal in front of it. Another place named Gilgal is mentioned by the Books of Samuel as having been included in Samuel's annual circuit, and as the location where he offered sacrifices after Saul was anointed as king, and where he renewed Saul's kingship together with the people (1 Samuel chapters 7 and 11).

Other places we see this word used are Neh 12:29, Hos 4:15; 9:15; 12:11, Amo 4:4; 5:5, and Mic 6:5. It is argued amongst many theologians as to whether these are referencing the same place or not.

At Rachel's grave near Bethlehem (Gen. 35), Jacob set up a standing stone. Jacob erected a standing stone as a monument to the presence and power of God (also in Gen. 35).

God's covenant with Israel through Moses was represented by 12 standing stones or pillars (masseboth) at the foot of Mount Sinai (Ex. 24).

Near the end of his life, Joshua challenged the Israelites to serve the only real God. Their spontaneous response of "we will serve the LORD" (Josh. 24:21) was the occasion for another standing stone: "Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD" (Josh. 24:26).

There are mentions of evil standing stones in the Bible. The Canaanites standing stones were abominations to God, and his covenant with Moses demanded that the Israelites tear down these monuments to evil (Ex. 23:24; Deut. 7:5).

Another standing stone mentioned in the Bible was called a "Stele". The difference between these and the other standing stones was that these would have an inscription on them such as those marking graves.

 
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2007, 03:58:50 PM »

Something else that you may find interesting. To date, 142 independent masseboth sites have been documented in the southern Negev and eastern Sinai ( the deserts the early Israelites traveled ), and the number found continues to increase. Usually these are accompanied by a crude altar of stones and sometimes a stone covered grave is located nearby. These sites contain any where from one to 9 standing stones that are anywhere from twelve inches to 6 feet high. Pairs and triads are most common.

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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2007, 12:18:14 PM »

Next:


4. (a) How is your life like a standing stone?
 My life has had many rocky moments, but God has kept me safe during those times, and I never  lost faith in God. I have tried to live my life following His commandments and believing in the power of prayer. Other's around me have at times become stronger in their faith because of this. I have not been perfect and when younger made some bad choices, but I have always tried to remember to confessed my sins and tried to be a better person because of it.


    (b) How does it tell others what God has done for you?
It tells others that in order for me to still have faith in an unseen, almighty God, throughtout my most trying times, that worship and belief in God must be worth the effort and He must be something special.


    (c) Who has been a standing stone for you?
One of my best friends, who has never let me down, always supportive, kind, and helpful. And a very strong Christan.

Also, the members of this forum.

    (d) How?
She has always given me good advice and been a good listener. I know what she believes and by her life she sets a good example.
By giving me good advice and Bible scriptures, and caring words when I have been worried or depressed by life or other people.

This forum:  Gentle reminders of the testament and love the Lord has for each one of us. In that I was able to pull myself up and continue holding up my life and looking up to God at all times.


Now it is your turn to answer the questions:
« Last Edit: December 27, 2007, 12:21:25 PM by islandboy » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2007, 07:39:36 PM »

Hi Islandboy!  I have been reading and learning from this study,  I haven't posted here yet because I need more time to re-read and absorb the information.

It is an interesting study for me because just before Christmas I was teaching 10-and 11-year olds about the main characters in Genesis.  Jacob is a difficult one to explain due to his duplicity, but while the children had no problem with the story of his dream and the setting up of the stone, I found it difficult to explain to them the meaning of his struggle with the angel.  They couldn't understand why Jacob 'won' and was able to demand a blessing. Do you have any ideas on how I can explain this to them?
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