A Little Weekend Homework Assignment

UPDATE: I was floored by how many of you jumped into the classroom and participated in this assignment! (As of noon Monday, several hundred have yet to be moderated but you’ll see them posted soon.) Your papers were FABULOUS. You did exactly what we hoped. You gave the assignment thought and authenticity. My tremendously busy weekend only afforded me a perusal but I look so forward to getting deeper into the stack. You are amazing women. You blow my mind over and over. I wish so much you could all have been at staff prayer today because each coworker brought her homework for us to discuss. We also had a particularly fun and unique translation addition (remember how you were to check 3 translations?)  because I asked Melissa if she’d read it to us in Hebrew. We got such a charge out of it. It truly was beautiful. To me, one of the most intriguing insights from many of your papers was the varied forms fleeing can take. Those differences were also articulated in our staff circle today. Running takes all sorts of forms, doesn’t it, Sisters? Here’s what we can know: Only when we’re fleeing from God can the enemy catch us. And even then, if we’re in Christ, he cannot have us. Nor can he keep us. Our God be praised. Gotta get back to work! Bible study tomorrow night! I love you, Sisters! And I think about you daily. THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING!!

 

 

Happy Friday, you wonderful things!

As soon as I push publish on this post, I’ll be heading out the door to the airport. I have a Life Today taping this weekend for the Wednesday program. (Two sessions tonight. Two in the morning.) Please pray for Jesus to fill us, teach us, heal us, and thrill us and that the group will be greatly responsive. Thank you! I do not know where I’d be without prayer. What I’m asking for in this Bible study ministry as a whole is something only Jesus can do. I need Him so much.

OK! So, this morning God impressed something on me in prayer time that I became convinced over the next hour He wanted me to share also with you. It’s coming in the way of a homework assignment I want to offer to any of you who’d like to participate. I have to be sparing in my words this morning because I have very little time but my heart is tremendously enlarged over it.

Here’s the ground rule: Please complete your assignment without reading any of the comments. Let’s resist any comparison or competition. Everybody who participates gets an A+. So you’re not tempted and so that you don’t get well into the assignment and lose your connection and your work, do it first on a Word document or the equivalent and then copy and paste it into your comment. I’m not looking for smart or scholarly sounding responses or ones that demonstrate impressive and great Spiritual prowess. I’m just looking for thought-out answers that are real.

You game? Me, too! OK, here goes. You do not need to include the questions or instructions in your answers but, for the sake of organization, please do list them by number. (1-6)

1. Please go to a website like Bible Gateway or to your Bible software if you have it and look up Isaiah 30:15-18. Please read it thoroughly in 3 different translations. In your response to this first exercise, please tell me what 3 translations you read then copy and paste the one that spoke the most blatantly to you. (In your answer you will have the abbreviations to three translations and then the full text in one of them. Make sense?)

2. Look up the word “threat” in any good English dictionary and write the full definition. After you write the definition, please share how it hits you and how you feel most threatened in this season, if at all. Keep in mind that nothing trips the switch on our insecurity like feeling threatened. Be careful as always in this community not to over-share by telling things about other people who wouldn’t necessarily appreciate it.

3. What does “fleeing” tend to look like in your life? In other words, how are you most prone to flee? And, are you in fleeing mode right now?

4. Compare or contrast the Isaiah text (30:15-18)  to 1 Peter 5:8-10 and James 4:7.

5. One of my translations this morning for this text was The Message. Here it is on the card I wrote out.

Do you perchance need to hear the words “settle down!” as much as I do? If so, why?

6. Finish your assignment with any particular personal insight you gained from it and, most of all, what you discern God is saying to you through it.

I love this kind of thing! If you don’t, I still love YOU. I will look so forward to reading many of your “papers.” Girl, I do dearly relish a classroom, and from both sides of the desk. Lindsee will be in town moderating your comments then I will start looking at them as soon as I finish up in Dallas.

PRAY FOR US! I LOVE YOU!!!

 

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590 Responses to “A Little Weekend Homework Assignment”

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Comments:

  1. 551
    Charissa May-Riley says:

    1. NLT, NIV, The Message
    The Message
    15-17 GOD, the Master, The Holy of Israel,
    has this solemn counsel:
    “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me
    and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
    Your strength will come from settling down
    in complete dependence on me—
    The very thing
    you’ve been unwilling to do.
    You’ve said, ‘Nothing doing! We’ll rush off on horseback!’
    You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough!
    You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’
    Do you think your pursuers ride old nags?
    Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker.
    Before a mere five you’ll all run off.
    There’ll be nothing left of you—
    a flagpole on a hill with no flag,
    a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.”
    18 But GOD’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
    He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
    GOD takes the time to do everything right—everything.
    Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

    2. Threat – an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage; one that threatens; an indication of something impending; I feel overwhelmed as a mother. I feel like I am doing a bad job daily.
    3. Fleeing – immersing myself in work; yes
    4. The devil is the cause of my overwhelming feelings of failure. I am not alone. Instead of telling God how big my problems are, I need to tell my problems how big my God is.
    5. Yes – I need to be reminded that this is just a bad season and it will pass.
    6. It’s comforting to know that God will place me on a firm foundation.

  2. 552
    Sheri says:

    1 – NIV RSV The Message(below)

    God, the Master, The Holy of Israel,
    has this solemn counsel:
    “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me
    and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
    Your strength will come from settling down
    in complete dependence on me—
    The very thing
    you’ve been unwilling to do.
    You’ve said, ‘Nothing doing! We’ll rush off on horseback!’
    You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough!
    You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’
    Do you think your pursuers ride old nags?
    Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker.
    Before a mere five you’ll all run off.
    There’ll be nothing left of you—
    a flagpole on a hill with no flag,
    a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.”
    18 But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
    He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
    God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
    Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

    2 Threat -an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage. 2. : one that threatens. 3. : an indication of something impending A threat is an act of coercion wherein an act is proposed to elicit a negative response. It is a communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course
    I don’t feel anything this strongly in my life from someone on earth. I should feel this way about Satan because he does want to damage my relationship with Christ but I truly do not feel this in an urgent way.

    3 No. Not fleeing right now.

    4 I really did not read ahead when I wrote my previous responses. I should be alert to Satan prowling around just looking for ways to trip me up. I can only resist Satan with God’s strength!!

    5 Settle down and completely depend on God- yes! I am to “busy” filling my time with urgent things instead of the truly important ones. That is how Satan is threatening my relationship with God! Thanks for the wakeup call!

    6 I need to live life more intentionally and not so nonchalantly.

  3. 553
    Robin Spaan says:

    Robin from Orange City, Psalm 40:3 “He put a new song in my mouth;a hymn of praise to our God, Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Ps. 40:3 NIV

  4. 554
    Katie Davis says:

    1. NIV; MSG; CEB – God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me- The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. You’ve said, ‘Nothing doing! We’ll rush off on horseback!’ You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough! You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’ Do you think your pursuers ride old nags? Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker. Before a mere five you’ll all run off. There’ll be nothing left of you – a flagpole on a hill with no flag, a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.” But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right – everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

    2.Threat- A statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not…: “the family has received death threats” ; A menace of bodily harm, such as may restrain a person’s freedom of action.

    3.Fleeing in my life tends to be me acting shy and always giving an excuse as to why I should not do something. Some of the times I am in fleeing mode like when I say oh no I don’t need to go visit because I am just too busy when I go home and sit there…. Right now I am not in fleeing mode…but there have been many times that I am! I am on a high because with Gods gracious guidance I helped lead someone to Christ last night/this morning.

    4.P.S. – I did not “enjoy” reading Isaiah 30:15-18 verse 15 just slapped me in the face! So, reading Isaiah 30:15-18 I realize that: “Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me” – The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do – I do not settle because I do not want to turn from some of the worldly things that I depend on.

    But then 1 Peter 5:8-10 helped me to realize that I am not the only one fleeing from the Gods wondrous grace. I need to keep my guard up so that when the thoughts of I am not worthy of His grace enters I can say … STOP fleeing and run to my Lord Jesus Christ. God’s grace is made for YOU! It’s not going be easy or perfect but oh if I persevere: “The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ – eternal and glorious plans they are! – will have you put together and on your feet for good.”

    James 4:7 reassures me that if I do as I have said above that the devil will SCAMPER AWAY! Hallelujah!!

    5.“Settle down” jumps out at me because that’s what I am fleeing from doing. I am fleeing from being a God fearing woman.

    6.God is reminding me of a Model prayer that was read to me this past Sunday and it is in Ruth 1:16-18. Naomi is telling her daughter-in-law to return to her family that she no longer would be able to provide her a husband and Ruth say “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you did I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” This is my prayer today that I will have this type of devotion to God! That I will not separate myself from him in ANY way or for ANY reason! WOW Thanks for helping me dig deep!

  5. 555

    1. NIV, 1984; ESV; The Message, Isaiah 30:15-18
    The Message (MSG)
    15-17 God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me—The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. You’ve said, ‘Nothing doing! We’ll rush off on horseback!’ You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough! You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’ Do you think your pursuers ride old nags? Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker. Before a mere five you’ll all run off. There’ll be nothing left of you—a flagpole on a hill with no flag, a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.” 18 But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

    2. Threat: an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage (Merriam Webster). This reminds me that the enemy is always looking to see my weak points … to hit me with them. I am being threatened right now … as my grandmother is in a nursing home 2-1/2 hours from me. I feel totally helpless to aid her the way I need to/want to. I find myself crying in my pillow before falling asleep. And God showed me this morning that the enemy would love to use this to send me spiraling down. It is up to me to trust God … will I trust Him? So I am meditating on “You are my hiding place”- Psalm 32:7.

    3.When I flee, I tend to retreat away from others. I cry. I think on the situation at hand too much, instead of meditating on God. I guess I tend to make it an idol.

    4.Instead of feeling down-hearted, I need to be on guard. Instead of letting the arrow shoot me in the heart and fall victim, I need to put up my shield. I wrote a manuscript on surviving hardships back in 2007 … and God brought it to my heart this morning … that I need to “do the thing” … do the very thing to survive … trust God. Let God use this. God works everything for good … trust in the Lord with all your heart …

    5.Yes, I needed to hear those words “settle down.” As I woke up crying this morning, I heard that. Then I read your assignment. I missed this assignment because we were out of town, and then visiting my grandmother. God is saying, “Stand firm … dry your eyes … I can do something wonderful through this situation.”

    6.I have survived some difficult hardships … infertility, daughter had cancer (and more) … but this situation with my grandmother’s health has really broken me. I can see how people could sink. And it is a huge reminder to me to meditate on God’s Word, on His promises. I can’t always choose my circumstances, but I can choose what I meditate on. That is the key. Sink or stand … and I’m choosing to stand on the promises of God. I don’t want there to be nothing left of me … I want to be the lucky one! I have a choice! Praise You, God! I just have to remember. And I don’t want to do what the enemy expects or hopes I’ll do … I don’t want to rush off in fear, but stand and trust.

  6. 556
    Kelly says:

    Late to the party, but as is typical with God… His timing is perfect! :)

    1)
    NIV
    KJV
    ESV
    NASB
    15 For thus the Lord [p]God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
    “In [q]repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,
16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses,”
Therefore you shall flee!
“And we will ride on swift horses,”
Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one man;
You will flee at the threat of five,
Until you are left as a [r]flag on a mountain top
And as a signal on a hill.
    18 Therefore the Lord [s]longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He [t]waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who [u]long for Him.
    2)
    threat – a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course; menace: He confessed under the threat of imprisonment.
    What strikes me here is the word “determination”. A person being determined to hurt me just does not compute. I can’t imagine being determined to inflict punishment on anyone (aside from my children for disciplinary purposes), but maybe I haven’t been threatened to the point of needing to threaten others. After all, isn’t that often what precipitates a threat. Because someone else is being threatened? At this season in my life, I don’t think I am threatened by much… maybe I should be? Though having just finished “So Long, Insecurity”, maybe not. And that’s probably a good thing. :)
    3)
    In my life, “fleeing” takes the form of avoidance. I am currently wanting to flee from a relationship, not because of a threat, but because of a trust issue. And I really don’t want to confront the other party about her lying to me. I just want to never see her again.
    4)
    1 Peter 5:8-10:
    compare: strength and salvation are available; we have enemies
    contrast: we need to resist the devil and stand firm; do not flee
    James 4:7:
    compare: submission to God is the key
    contrast: we need to resist the temptation to flee; if we stand firm, He will support us
    5)
    I am settled right now, but it IS a good reminder…
    6)
    I need to just do the hard thing and stand firm. Fleeing will not work.

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