Rhyming Sermon Notes: BSF Week 1 “Genesis – Malachi”

We had the first regular study this week for People of the Promised Land 2, which will be studying from the time of Solomon through the prophets, until the end of the Hebrew (Old) testament. The study for this week was more of an introduction and overview study to get things going.

The way BSF structures the study has four parts:

  1. Study on your own during the week, to focus first on the Bible, with questions to guide your study.
  2. Discuss the passages and questions with others who have also been studying.
  3. Listen to a lecture to bring together the passage(s) from the week.
  4. Read notes (like a commentary) on the passages from the week.

Repeat as we work our way through the Biblical book or books that we are studying that year (30 weeks).

For more about BSF or to find a group near you, go to www.bsfinternational.org.

The following are my notes from the first week. They are set to rhyme to help me pay attention and process while listening to the lecture, and to make for a fun review later and to share with my family.


2022/09/19  BSF Week 1 – Cary Michalak – Genesis – Malachi

Don’t go to seminary and lose your faith.
Facts are good, Heart is great.

Israel many inventions has, Immigrants more per capita than any land.
The Holy Land, small and quite obscure, but great things come from this small, rugged band.

God chose Israel, his people to be
Jesus Messiah, from them, to set the world free

Israel’s part in God’s plan matters to believers today. [AIM]
This is true, no matter what men may say.

God reveals himself in two ways: General, Creation, and Special, the Son.
God’s special was varied, to the people and prophets he knew each one.

God doesn’t just want us to know figures and facts,
But to know him in person and to see his loving acts.

The Bible is God’s filter for our minds he has given.
It’s the way we can know, and be open with him living.

God reveals himself so we can know him. [Principle 1]
But why choose Israel if he knew we would fail him.

Why not just send, Jesus straight out?
It’s a continual story, of restoration, no doubt.

Why people? Why Israel? Why you and me?
When we sinned and rebelled, why not just cut us free?

God made a way, to bring us all back.
Promised to crush the head of the serpent’s attack.

God in his grace chose Noah, Abraham, Moses.
Through Israel to all bring the gospel. Let them all know this.

Those of faith, of all Abraham’s sons.
Blessed by God, through them, his purpose still runs.

How did God bring it? Through Israel come?
A Savior, new Israel, God’s one true son.

Jesus repeated Israel’s time.
Egypt, wilderness, tempted, He came out just fine.

Jesus fulfilled, obeyed God all the way.
He came to bring grace, not just law to obey.

Why the law? What’s the purpose? Why did God send?
To point to our sin. Our knees in repentance to bend.

On our own we’re unable to trust and obey.
The law shows us God and our weakness each day.

The Law cannot save us. Only Christ can.
He sent us a Savior, Christ the perfect God-man.

The church continues the mission, though doesn’t replace.
We’re not seen by our blood line, but the blood on his face.

The church to point to him, to know and obey.
Our purpose in life to yield and to worship each day.

Other purposes lacking, they always fall short.
They can distract us, but in the end fall apart.

As we know him and follow, he redeems us from sin.
God redeems the world so we can be with him. [Principle 2]


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Praying Scripture: Psalm 33

Today is September 3, 2022, this makes our Psalm readings for the day Psalm 3, Psalm 33, Psalm 63, Psalm 93 & Psalm 123. (To turn that into an IQ test, what would the next Psalm be… if it existed?)

Today’s readings come at a time when I have much on my mind and in my prayers for difficult situations and decisions that our family is making, turbulence in our country and in our world. As I started reading this morning, I prayed that God would speak through his living Word to give direction, to give peace in him, to help me to focus on him and know that he is in complete control and he is good, sovereign over the nations and our lives.

He gave me Psalm 33. It started strong and as I was reading I would think about things it would be great if it addressed… and there it was… and again… and again. God thank you for your word and for your living presence in our lives.

The Psalms cry out as prayers and to be our prayers, so here is my prayer today as I read Psalm 33. (Note: Writing this prayer went beyond Sept. 3.)

If you are unsure how to pray, or seem stuck in a rut of mindless prayers, it may help to consider praying through Scripture. The Psalms are a great place to start… and to stay for a while. :o)


Psalm 33

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

Prayers

  • Lord, help me to rejoice in you!
  • Help me to stop being so distracted with the choices and difficulties in life.
  • Help me to have my focus on you, the one who created all things and holds all things together.
  • Help me to rest in your care, love and power.
  • Thank you for the gift of music that you have given our home this year. Please help us to play and sing for your glory, with joy!

4 For the word of the Lord is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Prayers

  • Lord, thank you that all your “work is done in truth”. You see the truth of what is happening in our lives and in the world.
  • At the same time, you see the truth of my dark and sinful heart. Thank you for your grace and please help me to live entirely for you. This is only by your strength and work in my life. 
  • Lord help me to live a righteous life, but all the more, thank you that you have taken my sin and given me your righteousness.
  • Thank you that you love justice and that justice will be done on the earth.
  • Even when things seem dark, it is powerful to know that the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. We can see that in your creation. In this world of sin, help me to focus on you, trust in you, and live boldly for you in faith, not fear.
  • Lord, give me not just a commitment to reading your word, but a delight in meditating on your word and a hunger to have time with you.

6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.

Prayers:

  • Lord, you made the heavens and the earth. All of the happenings that press down and overwhelm are as nothing to you. Help me to see the world, all that is in it, and all that happens as being entirely under your loving control, for your glory and for the good of your people.
  • Help me Lord to fear you, to not fear the world, but to fear you, with a fear of respect and awe.
  • Lord, let your glory fill the earth, that all the inhabitants of the world would stand in awe of you. May your Spirit and Word go out and draw your people to yourself from every nation, tongue and tribe.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

Prayers:

  • Lord, thank you for these words of comfort in changing and uncertain times.
  • This reminds me of Psalm 2, and I am comforted by your complete control. You laugh at the foolishness of those who plot and scheme against you, your plans and your people. You will judge the wicked. You will turn their own plans against them.
  • Your plans stand forever, and they are good.
  • You have chosen your people as your own inheritance.

13 The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
14 From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
15 He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.

Prayers:

  • Lord, you see! You see me. You see my sin. You see my darkness. You see the work your Spirit is doing in my life. You see me in public and you see me in private. You see and you know! Lord, my heart, like all others, does not seek you or follow you. Lord, give me a new heart, a soft and broken heart to follow you.
  • Lord, you see! You see the evil in the world. You see those who would seek to destroy your people and ultimately seek to destroy you!
  • Lord you see, and you direct the hearts of all people. Help me and your people to trust and follow you and know that you see!

16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for safety;
Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.

Prayers:

  • Lord, help me to depend solely and only on you!
  • Help me not depend on my own wisdom and power. 
  • Whether it be preparing for food shortages, for rising crime, for financial collapse, or all of the other “wars and rumors of wars”, help me to trust in you, and not my own strength.
  • At the same time, help me to follow you in being and doing exactly what you would have me to do. Help me to continue have my strength in you, even as I do prepare for these things. Help me not to depend on them, or put my trust in them, but also help me to know just how to prepare.
  • This mix of working, yet trusting not in our work but in yours, is so hard to know. Lord, you know my heart, and you “fashion our heart individually”. Help me to have a heart to follow you and depend solely on you.
  • At the same time, help me not to fear those who seem to have all of the weapons, be it an army or a horse, or the finances and media to control. Help me to know that just as human power can not save, human power is also powerless to persecute. Everything is through your perfect will (even when I don’t understand).

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
19 To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.

Prayers:

  • Lord help me to fear you, and help me to have you and your mercy as my hope.
  • All else will fail. Thank you for difficult times that help me to depend on you.
  • Thank you that you are the one who provides, whether it be in famine, or other problems.
  • Thank you that ultimately, our soul is what matters. This life is so short. Help me to count my days, to see that I am but a mist and this life is short. Help me to live for you, but your strength.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.

Prayers:

  • Lord, I am so prone to push ahead with my own plans. Help me to wait on you. Help me to seek not only your help and blessing for my plans, but to seek you and your plans, to wait on you and to obey your will.
  • You are our help and shield.  My prayer recently has been that as a good Father and Bridegroom of your church, that you would provide, protect and lead. You know the many choices and situations that we are facing and I continue to pray that you would provide for our needs and direction, protect from outside influences as well as from ourselves and our own decisions, and to lead us in your path and your ways.
  • Help me not to worry, but to rejoice in you. Help me to truly trust in your holy name, not only in words, but in actions.
  • Lord, on our own we can do no good things. “Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us”

The following are related posts, dealing with how to study and meditate on the Bible without the use of study books, commentaries or other outside resources.