Lenten Study Guide #1
North Liberty Presbyterian Church
Lenten Soup & Study #1
Ash Wednesday, 2 March 2022
Deuteronomy 2:1 -11 1 “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, 2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the LORD your
God will choose, to make his name to dwell there. 3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’ 4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God.
5 “And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. 7 Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. 9 And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the LORD your God. 11 And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.
LUKE 4:1 – 13: 1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, He was hungry. 3 The devil said to Him,
“If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to Him, “To You I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If You, then, will worship me, it will all be Yours.” 9 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and Him only shall you serve.’”
9 And he took Him to Jerusalem and set Him on the pinnacle of the Temple and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here,  for it is written,
“‘He will command His angels concerning You,
to guard You,’
“‘On their hands they will bear You up,
lest you strike Your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Study Notes & Questions:
Deuteronomy 26 Notes:
∙ Vv. 1 – 4: The Promised Land that Yahweh promised to the Israelites was real, physical, historical and geographical. It was that land that would become the nation Israel. It was also a promised Type & Shadow of the Kingdom of God on Earth. In other words, it was a pre-vision and a down-payment upon the eventual Full Delivery of the Divine Covenant promises made by Yahweh to His Covenant People.
∙ Vv. 5 – 8: The People recognize what it is that Yahweh has given them as a result of their solemn plea and petition. They have cried out to Him in their distress — even if they have not fully remembered Him until Moses’ coming. They are now in a position of understanding such that, they are able to respond to God’s handiwork and are bidden to respond with gratitude as they liturgically cry out in worship: “‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.”
∙ Vv 9 – 11: This is the fullness of their thanksgiving. It is THE REASON for their liturgy. Yahweh has heard their plea AND He has answered them! They offer their Full Thanks & Praise in worship and sacrifice. It has been set down as a statute forever.
AND in the midst of this, there was an eternal embedded command to be aware of their former status: “And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.“
Luke 4 Notes:
∙ Vv. 1 – 2: Jesus fasts and prays for 40 days up in the mountains of the wilderness after His Baptism by John. He is “Led by the Spirit” and Filled with the Holy Spirit”. He is “God’s Man” first and foremost. He will do nothing without being led in that Spirit. In opposition to prophets and priests who have come before Him as “Types & Shadows” by aggrandizing themselves, Jesus instead shows that He will go where He’s sent.
∙ Vv. 3 – 13: Satan now enters the fray. Effectively, having been thwarted from the fullness of victory at the 1st Temptation at The Fall, he is trying again with the Remedy for the Fall. He tries to divert and deflect Jesus from His Call and mission. Jesus’ mission is to “bind the strongman and steal his possessions” (cf. 11:21-2 || which, by the way, aren’t really his to begin with.). Additionally, there is the obvious parallel between Israel’s 40 years and Jesus’ 40 Days. Israel flailed around wandering for 40 years. Jesus is purposeful in His 40 Days.
∙ Vv. 3 – 11: The first temptation is the one covering comfort & needs (think: Maslow’s Heirarchy of needs). Turn these stones into bread. Jesus turns this one on its head effectively by telling Satan, “Hey, God’s word is food enough for me, and the Spirit is my water.”
∙ Satan the challenges Jesus’ own mission and authority by trying to get Him to acknowledge Satan as the lord of the earth by right of war and pillage. This doesn’t go according to spec as Jesus turns to the Father’s univocal and unequivocal headship and authority as God, Creator, Judge and Redeemer.
∙ Satan then tries to appeal to Jesus’ sense of self-worth and vanity by getting Him to assert His authority before His obedience.
∙ Vv 12 – 13: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” The answer to and commentary upon The Shema (“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord with all your heart, soul and might”.
He is preparing Himself to master the challenges that will come to Him. The Promised Land that Yahweh promised to the Israelites was real, physical, historical and geographical. It was that land that would become the nation Israel. It was also a promised Type & Shadow of the Kingdom of God on Earth. In other words, it was a pre-vision and a down-payment upon the eventual Full Delivery of the Divine Covenant promises made by Yahweh to His Covenant People.
1] Who is Represented by the “Wandering Aramean”?
2] What does it mean to leave your offering at the altar?
3] How do you see the three temptations/offerings in your own
4] What does it mean it worship & serve the Lord Alone — especially in today’s climate?
Lenten Study Guide #2
North Liberty Presbyterian Church
Lenten Soup & Study #2
Wednesday, 9 March 2022
Genesis 15:1 – 18: 1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God , what will You give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, You have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord , and He counted it to him as righteousness.
7 And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God , how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring Me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought Him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,. . .
LUKE 13:31 – 35: 31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to Him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill You.” 32 And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Study Notes & Questions:
∙ Vv. 1 – 19:
∙ After Abram’s expression of faith in God’s God’s reward (14:22 – 23), God certifies His promise of physical offspring (Vv 1- 6),and of land (v. 7) by making a Covenant with Abram.
∙ The two night scenes parallel each other (Vv 5 & 17).
∙ God appears and makes a promise in a vision.
∙ Abram asks questions for clarification and assurance.
∙ The Lord “cuts a covenant” with Abram, a visual & physical demonstration of His promise & of its deliverance.
∙ Abram believes and God counts his faith as righteousness.
V. 1: (From: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible) “God assured Abram of safety and happiness; that he should for ever be safe. I am thy shield; or, I am a shield to thee, present with thee, actually caring for thee. The consideration that God himself is, and will be a shield to his people, to secure them from all evils, a shield ready to them, and a shield round about them, should silence all perplexing, tormenting fears.”
∙ Vv 2 – 6: ∙ Though we must never complain about God, yet we may complain to Him; & to tell the reasons for them. This is to ease burdened spirits and openly tell our Faithful & Compassionate Friend. ∙ Abram complains he had no child, is unlikely ever to have any, that this lack is a great a trouble to him and takes because he fears God’s promise is being derailed. For this reason he seeks God’s assurance of the delivery of the promise.
∙ Vv 7 – 11: ∙ Assurance was given to Abram of the land of Canaan for an inheritance. God never promises more than He is able to perform, unlike humans who do so routinely.
∙ Abram did as God commanded him. He cut the sacrificial animals in half in accord with the ceremony used to confirm covenants (in fact, the word “covenant” means “to cut an agreement”. Ex: Jer. 34:18 – 19). ∙ Having prepared the sacrifices, Abram waits for the sign of God’s confirmation of the covenant promises. might give him.
∙ Vv 12 – 16 : ∙ Abram sleeps deeply and a deep and fearful darkness falls upon him. But, even in his deep fear, the Lord’s voice comes to him and several things are promised/foretold:
∙ 1. The suffering state of Abram’s seed for a long time. They shall be strangers. The heirs of heaven are and will be “strangers on earth”. They shall be servants for 400+ years; but Canaanites who have not always treated them well (whose land they will receive by God’s direct redemption), and the Egyptians whom they serve will be under a curse, while the Chosen People will be blessed.
∙ 2. The judgment of the enemies of Abram’s seed: Though God allows persecutors to trample upon and oppress His people for a time, God walks beside His people & will reckon with those tormentors in the end.
∙ 3. That great event, the deliverance of Abram’s seed out of Egypt, is foretold.
∙ 4. The Chosen People will be delivered to the Promised Land in Canaan. ∙ Vv 17 – 18/9 :
∙ The Torch and the Smoking Firepot represent & prophesy God’s abiding presence with and superintendence over His People, even in their oppression, captivity and redemption from slavery. In short, they represent the Pillar of Cloud by Day and of Fire by Night. In short, these symbols represent Yahweh Himself.
∙ As God passes between the cut portions of the sacrifice, they represent the maledictory curse upon those who break faith with a solemn accord. Such sacrifices literally signified the “willingness” of the parties to be torn asunder if they forswear their oaths. In other words, God tells Abram, “Let it be with me as it is with these animals if I fail to keep my promises”, or “Let me no longer be God, if I fail. . .”
∙ Vv. 31 – 35 :
∙ Christ, calls Herod a fox, thus showing his true character. The Jews considered foxes to be both sly and worthless.
∙ Even “the greatest of men” are accountable to God, therefore it became him to call this proud king by his own name; but as a negative example for us.
∙ Jesus is unimpressed by Herod’s reputation or threats. He is also unimpressed by the Pharisees’ desires to keep Him under their watch & control.
∙ He lets them know in a telegraphed fashion that, “I know that I must die very shortly; when I die, I shall be perfected, I shall have completed my purpose.”
∙ The wickedness of people & places who publicly and loudly profess religion and relationship to God while ignoring His demands especially displeases and grieves the Lord Jesus.
∙ The judgment of the great day will convince unbelievers; but let us learn thankfully to welcome, and to profit by all who come in the name of the Lord, to call us to partake of His great salvation.
 What is the abiding promise we find stated by Yahweh in Gen 15:1 that comes up again and again throughout the whole of Scripture? What comfort and hope does that give to us? Why is that so important in times like now?
 What is so important about the double-promise of Offspring and of Land? Where do these promises ultimately lead us? Is our hope still in the physical land we see, or in something else?
 Why is this particular sacrifice so terribly important in the grand scheme of covenant history? What is MOST SIGNIFICANT about how it is administered? What does it promise for the future?
 How does this promise from the last question set us up for what Jesus is saying, doing and preparing in our Luke passage? What does that mean to us as both promise and warning (think about Jesus’ example as well as His words)?