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Welcome to Read the Bible together in 2020!

Job 15 - 24
PSALM 109 - 115

Synopsis: In this second round of speeches, the three accusers all play variations on a single theme—the present torment and final fate of the wicked. Job’s responses show faint glimpses of hope, which are dashed by the others, so he points out finally that the wicked do not always suffer.
How to Read the Bible Book by Book (p. 126). 


1. What is  Eliphaz's line of argument in refuting and attacking Job? Chap. 15
2. While Job had not lost his faith what has he lost and how does he defend himself? Chap. 16, 17.
3. What is the main point of Bildad's speech? Chap. 18
4. While suffering, in what three things does Job affirm his faith? (19:25-29)
5. In response to Zophar, what does Job say about the wicked? (21:7-26)
6. What does Eliphaz accuse Job of saying? (22:13-14) And yet what does Job feel God has done to him? (23:26)

Job 3 - 14
PSALM 102 - 109

Synopsis: The book of Job is one of the literary treasures of the world. The central issue is the struggle over the ways of God, especially his justice when the godly suffer not from human hands but from “acts of God.” At the same time, the author raises the question, “Where is wisdom found” which in the end is powerfully answered in terms of God alone, as each of the participants—the three friends, the younger Elihu, and Job himself—in turn is silenced before the ultimate wisdom of God.
How to Read the Bible Book by Book (p. 121).


1:1–2:13 Prologue
3:1–26 Job’s Lament
4:1–14:22 First Cycle of Speeches

1. How does the prologue set the stage for the book of Job and what are the principle elements?
2. What boundaries do you see in Job's lament, specifically his bitterness and his anger toward God? Does he cross any lines? 
3.  What is Eliphaz's main point and how does Job respond?
4.  What is Bildad's main point and how does Job respond?
5. What is Zophar's main point and how does Job respond?
6. How are you responding to the difficult things in your life?

Esther 4 - Job 2
PSALM 96 - 101

Synopsis: The Plot Unfolds: Mordecai and Esther, Haman and Xerxes Again Mordecai turns to Esther for help, this time urging that she has “come to royal position for such a time as this” (4:14). Note especially the literary skill of the author in chapters 5–7, where he encloses the irony of Mordecai’s and Haman’s reversals, including Xerxes’ sleepless night and the recall of the matter in 2:21–23, within the framework of Esther’s two banquets. At the end of the second banquet, the ultimate irony is narrated: Haman is hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai!
How to Read the Bible Book by Book (p. 117). 

1. Where is God when bad things happen? The book of Esther doesn’t mention God. Why do you think that might be the case?
2.  1 Peter 5:6 (NIV) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” How do we see the truth of this verse in Esther?
3.  How does the story of Esther, Mordecai, and Haman help us understand the injustices we see in our world today? How can we respond where God has placed us today?
4. Chap. 9 Just because the Bible describes a historic event doesn’t mean it prescribes it for us today. What parts of Esther do you think are descriptive and what parts of Esther do you think are prescriptive?
-Jonathan Romig
Extra: click to see
Esther overview

Nehemiah 10 - Esther 3:15
PSALM 88 - 95

Synopsis: As with the book of Ruth, Esther appears among the Writings in the Hebrew Bible, but in the Septuagint it was placed in its basic historical setting, although after Ezra-Nehemiah. With a marvelous display of wit and irony, and with obvious literary skill, the author tells the story of how Jews in the Persian Empire were saved from genocide instigated by a member of the royal court, who may himself have been a non-Persian—possibly an Amalekite who carried with him their ancient hatred for God’s people.
How to Read the Bible Book by Book (p. 114). 

1. What does it mean to live faithfully in a post-Christian culture? Esther had to struggle with what it means to live faithfully in a pagan culture.
2.  By the end of the chapter 2 Esther is queen and Mordecai has saved the king’s life. By all outward appearances they are safe and secure. How often do you find yourself trusting in your circumstances instead of in God?
3.  Proverbs 29:29 (NIV) says, “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” How do we see this truth in this passage? What can we do about it in our culture?
4. How does James’ New Testament warning help explain the pathway Haman takes from pride to mass genocide? How does it warn us today? How can sin grow and gain power in our own lives?
-Johathan Romig
Extra: click to see
Esther overview

Nehemiah 1-9
PSALM 81-87

Synopsis: Nehemiah, a prominent court figure, secured the king’s permission and authority to return to Jerusalem (as governor, you learn in 5:14) to rebuild the walls (chs. 1–2). Chapter 3 describes in detail the who and the where of the participants in the project, while chapter 4 describes the opposition (thus recalling Ezra 4:6–23) and their rebuff.
The interlude of chapter 5 relates Nehemiah’s handling a conflict related to Jerusalem’s poor—by reinstituting the “no usury” clause from the Mosaic Law (Exod 22:25; Deut 23:19–20). Further opposition and the completion of the project are recounted in Nehemiah 6:1–7:3. Finally, a renewal of the covenant comes from an understanding of God's Law, (Ezra teaches) and this leads to repentance and change.
How to Read the Bible Book by Book (p. 112). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.

1. Chap. 1-2 How does Nehemiah respond to the news from Jerusalem? What steps does he take and how do these reflect good leadership?
What are you doing to prepare yourself to be used by God?
2.  Chap. 3-4 How does Nehemiah share the work and share the credit? What obstacles are laid before Nehemiah and how does he overcome them?
3. Chap. 5-6 What did Nehemiah do with the injustice he discovered around him?
How does Nehemiah response to this second round of persecution? What is God's role in all of this according to Nehemiah?
4.  Chap. 7-9 What impact do you see in the teaching and explaining of the word of God? What are the internal and external result of following God's word?
 

Ezra 1-10
PSALM 74-80

Synopsis: “Regardless of one’s view of the authorship of Ezra-Nehemiah and its relationship to Chronicles, the theological viewpoint of the whole collection is essentially the same. The message is addressed to the postexilic community of Jews who wonder if there is any hope of political and religious restoration. Its central thrust is that there indeed is hope but that hope must be incarnated in the rebuilding of the Temple, the cultus, and the priesthood. Only as the remnant people became the theocratic nation, founded on and faithful to the covenant Yahweh made with their fathers, could they revive the Davidic house and anticipate the resumption of their mediatorial role among the nations of the earth. Ezra and Nehemiah are therefore burdened to clarify (1) the Person and works of God, (2) Israel’s own identity and function as a covenant people, and (3) the nature of that covenant in postexilic times.”  Eugene Merrill, A Theology of Ezra-Nehemiah and Esther,” in A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, p. 190.
1. Chap. 1-2 Why did Cyrus treat the people of Judah so favorably?
Who really decided that the people of Judah go back to the land and rebuild the temple?
What can we learn about God’s character from these verses?
2.  Chap. 3-6 Who were these “enemies” mentioned, chapter 4:1?
Do you think they were genuine in their desire to help build the temple and follow God? Why or why not?
What are some of the most common causes for disunity then and now?
4. Chap, 9-10 What problem was told to Ezra soon after they arrived in the land?
Why was it a problem that they had married some people in the land?
Where had been commanded them about this? Why did God forbid them to intermarry with other peoples? What result would intermarriage bring?
While Ezra was praying there, what was happening around him?
What can we learn about leadership from this?
Extra: click to see
• Ezra overview

2 Chronicles 25-36
PSALM 67 - 73

Synopsis: This week the pattern of bad kings and good kings continues. Observe especially that this series ends with Ahaz’s shutting the doors of Yahweh’s temple (28:24). Then comes Hezekiah, whose story concentrates on the temple purification.
By this retelling of the story of God’s people, Chronicles reminds us of the central role of worship; for the readers of the New Testament, it also points forward to the one whose own “cleansing” of the temple and death and resurrection replace the temple as the place of God’s presence (John 2:19–22).
How to Read the Bible Book by Book (p. 107).
1. What elements led to the rise and fall of Amaziah and Uzziah?
2.  How is Ahaz conforming to the world around him? How might we see hints of this in our day?
3. What observations can you make of Hezekiah's leadership? Why was the temple so important?
4. Hezekiah gives a bold and comforting statement in 2 Chr. 32:7-8. How might this encourage the people? How would their faith be tested after this?
5. Describe the turning point for Manasseh, King of Judah?
Describe Josiah's accomplishments.
6. How does the book end and why? (Hint: watch the Bible Project overview video linked below.)

2 Chronicles 10-24
PSALM 60 - 66

Synopsis: The rest of the story is about the kings who succeed Solomon. Besides continuing all the themes of the narrative to this point (“all Israel”; the Davidic dynasty; the central place of the temple), here the Chronicler also puts special emphasis on God’s direct intervention for blessing and judgment on the basis either of the kings’ “seeking” or “humbling themselves before” Yahweh or of their “abandoning” or “forsaking” Yahweh.
How to Read the Bible Book by Book (p. 105). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
1. What observations can you make concerning Rehoboam's choice of counselors?  What of Jeroboam's decisions? What does this say of leadership?
2. Chapters 14-16 highlight Asa's reign, what patterns of God-reliance and self-reliance do you find?
3. What contrasts do you find between Jehoshaphat and Ahab?
It's been said, "Flirtation with those in apostasy is flirtation with catastrophe." How do you see this in these chapters 17-18?
4. Pick a Psalm this week and describe something that impressed you.

2 Chronicles 1-9
PSALM 46 - 52

Synopsis: Note two things in particular as you read this section. First, all of the ambiguity toward Solomon found in 2 Kings has been removed since he serves for our author as exhibit A of devotion to Yahweh at the one essential point—faithfulness to the temple as the place of true worship. Therefore, second, the bulk of this section is its centerpiece (2 Chr 2–7)—the preparations for and the building and dedication of the temple.
(How to Read the Bible Book by Book)
1. One of Solomon's first official acts was to worship God, vv. 3.  Why is this important?
2. Of all the things Solomon could ask of God, he asked for wisdom. How might the the question, "What is the wise thing to do?"  make a difference in your life?
3. What do chapters 3 & 4 tell us about God's attention to detail and his gift to his people?
4. What principles can we derive from 2 Chron. 7:14 for our lives ?
5. Pick a Psalm this week and describe something that impressed you.

I Chronicles 20 - 29
PSALM 53 - 59

Synopsis: In this week’s reading, the material in this section serves for what is essential to the transition between David and Solomon. The larger central section (chaps. 23–27) deals with David’s preparations of the Levites for worship in the temple. These are framed by three speeches of David (chs. 22; 28; 29), which get at the heart of the author’s concerns.
(How to Read the Bible Book by Book)
1. What was the sin David committed by numbering his people chap. 21?
2. How did David respond to his sin? What does vv. 16,18 say about his response?
3. In David's personal gifts for building the temple (I Chron. 29:3), what can we learn about stewardship?
4. What strikes you about David's understanding of possessions in his prayer I Chron. 29:10-13?
5. Pick a Psalm this week and describe something that impressed you.

I Chronicles 9 - 19
PSALM 39 - 45

Synopsis: In this week’s reading, watch for the Chronicler’s concerns as they emerge in this section, noting his arrangement and emphases. He begins (ch. 10) with the death of the failed king (Saul) in order to introduce the great king (David) by way of contrast. (How to Read the Bible Book by Book)
1. What contrasts is the Chronicler making between Saul and David and why?
2. In I Chronicles 11:17-19 David pours out water sacrificial gathered for him. What 2 or 3 observations of David's humility do you find in his actions?
3. In Chronicles 17 David has a powerful prayer before the Lord. What strikes you about that prayer?
4. In Psalm 42, 43 can you identify David's struggles of loneliness, lostness and lies?
5. The Psalmist exhorts himself 3 times to “put his hope in God”, Ps. 42:5, Ps. 42:11, Ps. 43:5.  What is his goal by doing this?

2 Kings 23:36- I Chronicles 8
PSALM 32 - 38

Synopsis: In this week’s reading, Kings ends with Judah in exile, but the release of Jehoiachin presents the reader with a ray of hope regarding “the lamp of David,” even at the end. I Chronicles begins with the Chronicler taking the line of descent all the way back to Adam, while concentrating finally on Judah and the Levites (which is where his narrative interests lie).
1. King Josiah renewed the covenant and removed the false items of worship. How might we renew are commitment to the Lord? What might be those idols in our lives that need to be removed?
2. What do you think the Chronicler wants the postexilic community to understand by writing this genealogy?
3. Psalm 32:3-5 What does this say about holding on to sin and confession?
4. Psalm 37 What stands out to you in this psalm?  What does it say about God's sovereignty and your journey of faith?

2 Kings 1 - 12
PSALM 18 - 24

Synopsis: In this week’s reading, God graciously keeps his promise to continue David’s kingly line, while Elisha takes over as God’s messenger to Israel. Seven more psalms of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel (2 Samuel 23:1).
1. Make a list of God’s sovereign actions / interventions in the first twelve chapters of 2 Kings.
2. The prophet performs several miracles in this section. What do you think are God’s purposes through the miracles?
3. In what ways do these chapters in 2 Kings point to Jesus?
4. Psalm 22 is a messianic psalm. As you read it, make a list of the prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus.

1 Kings 14 - 22
PSALM 11 - 17

Synopsis: In last weeks’ reading we saw the division of the kingdom. This week we read of the succession of kings (mostly evil ones) in both the northern and southern kingdoms. The prophet Elijah is introduced as a godly influence to counter the rule of wicked kings. Seven psalms of David reveal a parallel struggle between wicked men and the righteous who trust in God.
1. What do you believe led Rehoboam (and other successive kings) to make such a major departure from the ways of his father and king, Solomon and his grandfather King David?
2. How do we see the Lord God at work in the last half of 1 Kings, and in what ways do we see the affirmation of His Word through the prophet Elijah?
3. Write a list of all the metaphors about God found in these seven psalms. Choose one or two that most touch your heart and use them as you pray to God this week.

1 Kings 1 - 13
PSALM 4 - 10

Synopsis: After David, the monarchy continues with the first eleven chapters of 1 Kings mainly devoted to David’s son, Solomon. The Israelites wanted a king like the other nations, spurning God’s rule over them. David’s psalms direct our attention to the divine kingship: “my King and my God” (Psalm 5:2).
1. In what ways did Solomon depend on God to reign righteously as king? What things caused him to act independently from God?
2. As you read about the details of the construction of the temple, try to observe images and references to the Garden of Eden. What is the significance to our relationship with God?
3. The Psalms is the prayer book of God’s people. Choose a favorite psalm from 4-10 and pray it back to God.

2 SAMUEL 19 - 24
PROVERBS 29 - 31
PSALM 1 - 3

Synopsis: This week we read about the end of David’s life and explore the revealing contrast between the righteous and the wicked.
1. The end of 2 Samuel closes out the story of King David with an epilogue. As you read, look for instances of God’s grace in David’s life and also take note of how an individual’s sin affects a larger community of people.
2. Proverbs 29 addresses justice that should be prevalent in a community. Choose a verse and pray through it for your home country.
3. Psalm 1 & 2 form an introduction for the rest of the psalms. Just from those two psalms, what are one or two themes that are presented?
Extra: click to see
Proverbs overview
•2 Samuel overview

2 Samuel 5-18
Proverbs 23-28

Synopsis: This week we see the heights of worship and the depths of sin. We meet wise and questionable decisions and the effects of both. Pay attention to David's decisions, his motivations and how he responds to the impact of those choices.
1. In each passage think about how each person is motivated by love of God or self. How do you see yourself in each passage?
2. How do you see grace and/or judgment in each passage?
3. Proverbs is full of wise sayings. Which ones are you connecting with this week?
Extra: click to see
Proverbs overview
•2 Samuel overview

1 Samuel 26- 2 Samuel 4
Proverbs 17-22

Synopsis: This week David continues to display confidence in God while Saul consistently lives out of fear.  Watch for grace & godly grieving contrast with deceitful schemes & murder. Pay attention to how David patiently waits as God brings His anointing to reality in David's life.
1. As you read this week, watch for how David's trust in God leads him to some decisions that others seem to question. How do you see this work out in your own life?
2.    Grace and fear are two driving forces in the reading this week. How do you see them motivating decisions? How do you see them operating in your life?
3.       Proverbs is full of wise sayings. Which ones are you connecting with this week?
Extra: click to see
Proverbs overview
•2 Samuel overview

Samuel 13-25
Proverbs 11-16

Synopsis: This week we see Saul begin to reign as Israel’s first king, we see Jonathan's bravery, and the deep friendship between him and David. Watch for how people try to use God for their own ends, His response to that, and how God accomplishes things Himself, fighting on behalf of those who trust Him. Watch for how women are depicted this week.
1. As you read this week, watch for decisions that come from fear and decisions that come from faith. How do you see this work out in your own life?
2.       There are many relationships in this week’s reading. Which ones bring life and which ones bring death? How do you bring life to the relationships in your life?
3.       A recurring motif is a foolish life set against a life of wisdom. How are each displayed and what difference does it make in your life?
4.       This section of Proverbs is packed with pithy nuggets of wisdom. Which ones can you apply to your life this week?
Extra: click to see
Proverbs overview
I Samuel overview

 I Samuel 1-12
Proverbs 5-10

Synopsis: In Samuel we are introduced to Hannah's pain, Eli's faults, Samuel's integrity, and Saul's transformation. We are shown a God who will not be used to accomplish our ends, but who displays His mercy and power through normal people.
1. How is God honored or dishonored by the individuals we meet?
2. What traits and attributes is God teaching Israel (and us) about Himself through the narrative?
3. What do we learn in each chapter of Proverbs about living skillfully (wisdom) in the areas of relationships and work?
Extra: click to see
Proverbs overview
I Samuel overview

 Ruth 1-4
Psalm 148-Provebs. 4:27

Synopsis: The book of Ruth is a bright ray of hope during the darkness of the days of the judges. While most of the nation of Israel was doing what was right in their own eyes, there were still a few who were faithful to God. And God showed Himself faithful to them, too. He not only provided a male heir for Naomi, but this became the line of King David and, eventually, the Messiah Jesus!
1. How does knowing that this took place "when the judges ruled" impact how you think about the events?
2. What is meant by the term 'guardian-redeemer' or 'kinsman-redeemer'?
3. What sacrifices do Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz make in being faithful to the Lord? In what ways does the Lord bless them in their faithfulness?
4. How does the preamble of Proverbs (1:1-7) set the reader up for how to read the book?
Extra: click to see
•Advice: Reading Ruth
Fee and Stuart

 JUDGES 9-21
Psalm 141-147

Synopsis: This week we finish the book of Judges. The moral decay of Israel is on full display. Two main points arise in the story. Who is the true God? Who is Israel's king?
1. In what ways do you see Israel adopting foreign gods in these narratives?
2. What are other specific ways that Israel is breaking the covenant with God?
2. What happens to a nation when it does what is right in its own eyes?
3. What is something you learned about the character of God from this week's readings in the book of Psalms?
Joshua Overview: Bible Project

Extra: click to see
•Advice for reading Judges
Fee and Stuart

 JUDGES 1-8
Psalm 134-140

Synopsis: The book of Judges shows the downward spiral of the nation of Israel. This week's reading will cover the first 8 chapters. In them we find that the Israelites did not drive out the Canaanites like God told them to, which led to them serving the gods of the Canaanites. God showed Himself faithful both by judging His people according to the covenant and by showing them mercy when they cried out to Him.
1. What cycle do you see repeated in the narrative?
2. Many people view the story of Gideon's fleece as a way to discern God's will. In reading the whole story of Gideon, do you see a different point being made?
3. What do you notice is the key element present on the rare occasions when things go well for Israel?
4. What is something you learned about the character of God from this week's readings in the book of Psalms?
Extra: click to see
Advice for reading Judges:
Fee and Stuart

 Joshua 13-24
Psalm 127-133

Synopsis: The last half of the book of Joshua begins with a reminder of what still needs to be done (13:1-7). Then there is a long account of the distribution of the land to the twelve tribes of Israel. The book ends with Israel renewing the covenant with God.
1. Why would the telling of the allotment of land to the twelve tribes be significant for the people of Israel? How does it connect to God's faithfulness?
2. The order and the amount of space given to certain parts of the narrative communicate what the author considers to be important. --What do you observe about this?
3. What themes do you see in Joshua's speeches in chapters 23 and 24? How do they reemphasize the concerns of Deuteronomy?
4. What is something you learned about the character of God from this week's readings in the Psalms?
Extra: click to see
Advice for reading Joshua:
Fee and Stuart
Joshua Map
Joshua Outline
Joshua Overview: Bible Project

 Joshua 1-12
Psalm 120-126

The book of Joshua tells the story of how the Israelites entered and conquered (partially) the Promised Land. Joshua, whose name means "Yahweh is salvation", is now leading the people after the death of Moses. As you read this section, pay special attention to what the Lord asks the Israelites to do and to what the Lord says He will do for them.
1. As Joshua takes over leadership of the people, what are the Lord's instructions for him? Compare Joshua 1:8 with Psalm 1:2-3.
2. Observe how closely linked the two stories of Jericho and Ai are. What do you notice as you compare and contrast them?What about when you compare and contrast Rahab and Achan?
3. What did Joshua and the people do wrong in his dealings with the Gibeonites?
4. What is something you learned about the character of God from this week's readings in the Psalms?
Extra: click to see
Advice for reading Joshua:
Fee and Stuart
Joshua Map
Joshua Outline

DEUTERONOMY 27-34
Psalm 113-119

This final section of Deuteronomy focuses on ratifying the covenant, the blessings associated with its keeping and curses resulting from disobeying God’s commands. Moses entrusts the book of the law to the elders and priests before reciting a prophetic song, blessing the 12 tribes, commissioning Joshua as the new leader and dying on Mt. Nebo.
1. How does the heart help one to love God and keep his commandments (30:11-20)?
2. What future predictions about the nation of Israel are made in these chapters?
3. What does this section say about Moses? What makes him unique as a prophet (34:10)?
4. Which passages in the Psalms encouraged you the most this week?
Extra: click to see
Advice for reading Deuteronomy:
Fee and Stuart

DEUTERONOMY 14:3-26:19
Psalm 106-112

The reading this week begins by reviewing the law which was previously given at Mt. Sinai. It elaborates on the release of debtors and slaves, the 3 required yearly feasts, the need for legal justice, standards for true prophets, purity in worship, guidelines for kings,  the care of the weak and defenseless and the tithes and offerings God expects.
1. What do these commands tell you about God’s concern for the poor and the weak?
2. How would following these laws make the Israelites distinct from the people around them?
3. How is knowing they were once slaves in Egypt supposed to motivate the Israelites to obey these rules?
4. How were you encouraged by the Psalms this week?
Extra: click to see
Advice for reading Deuteronomy:
Fee and Stuart

Deuteronomy 2-14:2
Psalm 99-105

This section recalls how God  provided victories over Og and Sihon, but refused to allow Moses to enter the Promised Land. It includes an admonition not to change God’s law, warnings against idolatry, the command to love God with all of one’s being, not to adopt pagan practices of other peoples and to worship God only in places which he designated.
1. What reasons did God give the Israelites for keeping his commandments?
2. How does idolatry keep one from wholeheartedly loving God (Deut 6:5-9)?
3. Why were the Israelites only to offer sacrifice in places designated by God?
4. Which of the Psalms encouraged you the most this week?
Extra: click to see
Advice for reading Deuteronomy:
Fee and Stuart

This section recalls how God  provided victories over Og and Sihon, but refused to allow Moses to enter the Promised Land. It includes an admonition not to change God’s law, warnings against idolatry, the command to love God with all of one’s being, not to adopt pagan practices of other peoples and to worship God only in places which he designated.

Numbers 28-36; Deuteronomy 1
Psalm 91-98

The final chapters of Numbers describe various offerings, vows to God, the division of plunder after Midian’s conquest, and the settling of the tribes east of the Jordan. The establishing of borders and refuge cities signals a looming entry into the Promised Land.
1. What lessons should the Israelites have learned on their journey so far?
2. Why was Moses concerned about the tribes who wanted to settle east of the Jordan?
3. What is the significance of the cities of refuge?
4. How were you encouraged by your reading in the Psalms?
Extra: click to see
Advice for reading Deuteronomy:
Fee and Stuart

NUMBERS 16-27
PSALMS 85-90

This week’s reading starts with a rebellion against God’s chosen leaders of Moses and Aaron. The Edomites then block the Israelites’ journey, the kings of Arad, Sihon, and Og are defeated by Israel, and Balaam blesses Israel. Israel is corrupted by sin in Moab, the fighting men in Israel are numbered, and Joshua is confirmed as Moses’s successor.
1.     What does this section say about the kind of leaders that God chooses and uses?
2.     What factors lead to Israel’s military successes?
3.    What kind of trouble does Israel fall into on their journey? How does God deal with their sin?
4. How were you encouraged by your reading in the Psalms this week?
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Advice for reading NumbersFee and Stuart
Bible Project overview of Numbers

NUMBERS 5-15
PSALMS 78-84

This week Numbers begins with a series of purity laws, gifts to the Tabernacle and the departure from Mt. Sinai. However, things quickly go wrong as the Israelites complain about their circumstances, rebel against Moses and are fearful after spying out the promise land.
1. How do chapters 5-9 speak to the presence and worship of God?
2. What do you think is the driving force behind Israel's complaining in chapter 11? How is 11:24-30 a picture of our pride?
3. How could two groups of people see such a different future in the promise land, chap. 13-14?  What were the consequences?
4. What thought from the Psalms encouraged you this week?
Extra: click to see
Advice for reading Numbers: Fee and Douglas
Bible Project overview of Numbers

LEVITICUS 24:10-NUMBERS 4;
PSALMS 71-77

Leviticus gives instruction on how to be holy. Numbers is a book of divine discipline and shows the nation of Israel going through a painful process of testing and maturing.
1. What observations can you make in Leviticus 26 about the results of obedience and disobedience and the role of confession?
2. What does Lev. 27 teach us about the cost of consecration?
3. Watch the Bible Project overview of Numbers. What did you learn from the overview?
4. What thought from the Psalms encouraged you this week?

LEVITICUS 11-24:9; PSALMS 64-70

In between the laws of clean and unclean, and the holiness code is the important instructions concerning the Day of Atonement. An amazing ceremony sometimes called a five-act drama.
1. In Leviticus 16 we find the Day of Atonement instructions. Can you identify the five acts to this drama?
2. If you had been in the crowd on the Day of Atonement, what would have impressed you the most? Compare this to what Jesus did.
3. What would you have felt if you had been in the crowd on the Day of Atonement when the goat disappears over the horizon?
4. What thought from the Psalms encouraged you this week?
Extra: click to see
Five act drama chart!

LEVITICUS 1-10; PSALMS 57-63

God desires to live with Israel, but even Moses is unable to enter the Tabernacle. How can Israel, with all their moral corruption, become God's covenant partners to bless the nations? Leviticus answers this questions in three surprising ways. (Bible Project)
1. How do you see the offerings to God reflecting His holiness?
2. What are the main differences between the offerings in chapters 1-3 and the offerings made in chapters 4-6
3. What lessons can be learned from the failure of Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu chap. 10?
4. What thought from the Psalms encouraged you this week?

EXODUS 34-40; PSALMS 50-56

This week we find Moses ascending the Mountain of God for a second set of tablets to be made because he broke the first. Moses' face glows bright upon his descent and many people contribute in the making of the Tabernacle. The book ends with the glory of the Lord filling the Tabernacle and Moses unable to enter into it.
1. What does this week's reading reveal about the nature of God?
2. How would you explain Moses' radiant face? Compare with 2 Corin. 3:7-18
3. What did you find interesting about the process of building the Tabernacle?
4. What is the significance of Moses no longer able to enter the Tabernacle in chapter 40?

EXODUS 21-33; PSALMS 43-49

The giving of the law with its centerpiece of the Ten Commandments (ch. 20), followed by the Book of the Covenant (chs. 21–24). These laws together focus on Israel’s relationship with God and with one another, the latter as an expression of their living out God’s character in those relationships. (How to Read the Bible Book by Book)
1. Chapters 21-23 contain forty-two judgments, what was the purpose of these laws?
2. Chapter 24 is the ratification of the Covenant with God. How did the people respond? What was Moses' role, what did he do and why?
3. What was the purpose of the Tabernacle and the purpose of its elements?
4. While Moses is atop Sinai receiving instructions for the place of Yahweh’s dwelling among them, his brother is below, leading the people in constructing and worshiping idols (32:1–26). How does this happen? How might this become a paradigm for the future life of Israel?

EXODUS 10-20; PSALMS 36-42

Last week we closed the book of Genesis and opened the book of Exodus. After 400 years of slavery, Israel cries to the Lord and he hears their cry and sends a deliverer to rescue them. The journey out of Egypt is filled with drama, expectation, disappointment, complaint and provision.
1. What do the plagues teach us about Pharaoh's heart and God's plan?
2. What did the various elements of the Passover meal mean and why was this important for the Israelites to remember?
3. How could your disappointments in life be God's divine appointments?
4. What role were the Ten Commandments to play in the people of Israel's lives?

Fun Fact: Did you know the same Hebrew word for slave also means to serve and to worship?
Israel served Pharaoh, but would soon be freed so serve/worship Yahweh.


GENESIS 49 - EXODUS 9:35
PSALMS 29-35

The story of Joseph ends with his death in Egypt and the book of Exodus begins with an echo of God's blessing to be fruitful and multiply. This first part highlights Israel's need for deliverance from Egypt and God's preparing a deliverer.
1. How is God's past dealings with Israel going to be important in their present situation?
2. The Hebrew women did not obey Pharaoh's command of death.  How do you reconcile obeying those in authority with what the midwives did?
3. Why did Moses, in chapter 2, the deliverer of the story, fail so miserably?
4. What are some excuses we make to avoid following God's call? How were Moses' excuses overcome?
Fun Fact: Did you know that each of the 9 plagues corresponded to an Egyptian god?
Click here to see chart

GENESIS 36-48; PSALMS 22-28

The story of Joseph continues the theme of God's blessing in the births and prosperity in Egypt; and the themes of good and evil come to a firm conclusion in the outworking of this story.
1. Where do you find God's people complicating his program by their failure, or refusal to fulfill their responsibilities?
2. How is Joseph's temptation and resistance to it in chap. 39 instructive for believers today?
3. What role does faith play in the midst of difficult and discouraging circumstances?
4. How does one avoid abandoning their faith when they find success?
Bonus: Name the three sets of dreams that are symbolic, and the four sets of parallel relationships involving Joseph?
Answers: 
Three sets of dreams: 1. Joseph's. 2. Cupbearer's and the baker's 3. Pharaoh's
Four parallel relationships:
1. Joseph and his family
2. Joseph and Potiphar's house
3. Joseph and the prisoners
4. Joseph and Pharaoh's household

Genesis 24-35; Psalms 15-21

God promises to bless the world through Abraham's family, despite their repeated failure.
Welcome to Read the Bible together 2020!
To help you get the most out of your reading, we have provided some questions you may like to use. Also, keep in mind these three simple steps.
1. Read
2. Reflect
3. Respond
1. What are the repeated failures in the family of Isaac?
2. In what way does Jacob's life of deception come back to affect him?
3. What was the significance of Jacob's wrestling match in chapter 32?
4. God initiates the wrestling match while Jacob was alone
-When's the last time you were really alone?
-How can being alone help you more clearly hear the voice of God?

Genesis 13 - 23; Psalms 8-15

This week we are introduced to Abraham, to whom God promises to restore humanity to a place of divine blessing, somehow, through this family. God even makes a covenant with Abraham to make it clear he will not go back on his word. This week, we will learn more about Abraham and the early descendants of his family line.
Welcome to Read the Bible together 2020!
To help you get the most out of your reading, we have provided some questions you may like to use. Also, keep in mind these three simple steps.
1. Read
2. Reflect
3. Respond
1. What repeated patterns of faith testing do you find in week 2?
2. What are the significance steps in Lot's move toward Sodom?
3.  In what ways do you find it hard to trust God for the future?

Genesis 1-12; Psalms 1-7

God creates a good world and commissions humans to rule it, but they choose rebellion again and again.
Welcome to Read the Bible together 2020!
To help you get the most out of your reading, we have provided some questions you may like to use. Also, keep in mind these three simple steps.
1. Read
2. Reflect
3. Respond
1. What repeated themes did you observe?
2. What does it mean to be made in God's image ?
3. Where is God's grace found?
4. In what ways do you find it still hard to trust God as the first humans did?