Introduction: Assume that you have a child you have never met. You
have the opportunity to contact that child through a letter. What
would you tell that child? How would you go about deciding what is
most important to say? Would you use language that is easy to
understand? Would you worry that your child might not understand the
context of your writing? These are considerations that God faced when
He inspired the Bible. Perhaps proving that a letter alone is not
enough, He sent His Son to help us to better understand. Let’s plunge
into our study of the Bible to better understand God’s thinking in
giving us the Bible!

  1. The Goal

    1. Read 2 Timothy 3:16. When you consider the words
      “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training” what common
      element comes to mind? (Growth and change.)

      1. What does that teach us about God’s intention for His
        letter to humans?

      2. What assumptions does it make about humans? (God
        intended the Bible to bring about a change in humans.
        We need to correct our course and to learn more about
        God’s goal for our life.)

    2. Read 2 Timothy 3:17. What is God’s goal for our life? (To
      do good works and to do them competently.)

      1. Notice the phrase “thoroughly equipped.” How do you
        feel when you are creating or fixing something and
        you do not have the correct tool?

        1. Have you considered that God wants to give you
          the best tools for doing good? A better
          understanding of the Bible makes us more

      2. How does that inform our belief in righteousness by
        grace alone? (God clearly aspires to have us do good
        works and to do them well. Our actions matter to

    3. Read Deuteronomy 32:46. We looked at this text recently.
      What is one of the most important works for us? (To teach
      our children the will of God.)

      1. How do we do this? One of the most Godly men in my
        life has a son who, I think it is fair to say, is an
        enemy of the gospel. His grandchildren seem to have
        slipped even further away from God.

        1. After the death of this Godly man, I decided to
          “fix” this. I determined to convert this son. I
          failed miserably! The son went from being
          neutral about me to hating me. I think I lacked
          the right tools. What do you think?

      2. Many parents paid a lot of money to send their
        children to church school. The result for a
        percentage of them is rebellion against the church.
        What went wrong? What can we learn from this?

    4. Read Deuteronomy 32:47. What is at stake in teaching our
      children Biblical principles? (It affects their lives here
      and it is critical to eternal life.)

      1. One of the complaints about church school is that it
        enforced many arbitrary rules. If the goal of
        teaching our children is to help them have a better
        life, should we test our rules by asking whether the
        rule is important to right living? Is this an area
        in which we need better “tools?” Let’s turn to that

  2. Teaching Attitude?

    1. Read 1 Kings 3:5-6. What attitude does Solomon say that
      God had towards David? (God was kind.)

      1. How important is it to teach kindness to our

        1. If you are a parent, what are you doing to
          teach kindness to your children?

      2. How did God teach this to King David? (When we
        consider the life of David, kindness is not the first
        word that comes to mind.)

        1. How do you explain this – that David’s life
          does not reflect the kindness of God? (Two
          possible answers come to mind. First, that
          God’s kindness tolerated some bad behavior on
          David’s part. Second, we might not have a
          correct understanding of David.)

    2. Look again at 1 Kings 3:6. Solomon does not call his
      father “kind,” but he describes David as “righteous and
      upright in heart.” Does that seem correct to you?

      1. Is there a difference between our actions and what is
        in our heart? (Consider Romans 8:5.)

      2. Should we be teaching our children heart lessons? If
        so, how do we do that?

    3. Read Numbers 6:22-23. Who are Aaron and his sons? (The
      priests. Those who were the intermediaries between the
      people and God.)

    4. Read Numbers 6:24-26. What is God saying to His people?

      1. What positive attitudes should result from this
        blessing? (Trust that God will “keep” us.
        Encouragement that God will smile (“face shine”) at
        us and be kind to us. Confidence that God is looking
        at us so that He knows everything that happens in our

        1. Is this your view of God? Are these attitudes
          reflected in your life? Have you taught your
          children that this is His attitude towards

          1. Notice that the last thing mentioned is
            “peace.” If you understood the previous
            things said about God’s attitude toward
            you, would the natural result be that you
            would be at peace?

      2. Are these attitudes “tools” that better equip us to
        teach our children heart lessons?

      3. What do you think was God’s goal in writing about
        these attitudes?

    5. Read Numbers 6:27. What does it mean to put God’s name on
      the Israelites? (I think it means they will reflect God’s
      character, which will result in blessings to them.)

  3. Notice This

    1. Read Genesis 1:26-27. What concept is repeated three times
      in these verses? (Two things are repeated. First, we are
      made in God’s image. Second, God made us, He “created”

      1. Why are these repeated? Is Moses a writer who simply
        cannot get to the point? (Repetition is a way Bible
        writers place emphasis on something.)

      2. What is God teaching us by this emphasis? (God
        intended us to be like Him! Humans are unique in that
        they have the ability to create things through their
        higher reasoning ability.)

        1. What does that suggest about the way that we
          should live?

    2. Let’s go back and read Genesis 1:25. Consider the three
      verses here: Genesis 1:25-27. Is there something in the
      way that these three verses are ordered that teaches us
      more than what is written? (The context shows us
      relationships. Humans have more God-like qualities than
      animals, and therefore have a higher place in the world.
      God only made humans in his “likeness,” therefore we have
      a special status, but it is below that of God.)

      1. What significance do you place on the statement that
        God created “male and female?” Is God making a point
        about His creation? Is there a lesson to be learned
        from the context?(This is God’s master design.)

      2. I’ve been a vegetarian all my adult life. I believe
        the Bible teaches us to be kind to animals. See
        Exodus 20:10. There is a view among some
        vegans/vegetarians that animals should not be eaten
        or treated differently than humans. Is this
        consistent with God’s master design? What attitude
        should we have towards fellow humans? (Humans are
        made in the image of God, animals are not. We need to
        understand this order of things because without it we
        do not properly respect our fellow humans.)

    3. Friend, do you have a better understanding of God’s
      message to you? Have you the desire to acquire better
      tools to advance the Kingdom of God? Why not invite the
      Holy Spirit to help you move forward in reflecting God’s

  4. Next week: Creation: Genesis as Foundation – Part 1.