Bible Study Notes: El Elyon & El Roi

OPENING QUESTION

This week we studied the God who sees: Where is the prettiest place you’ve been?   Or where is your most favorite place to go in God’s creation?

INTRO

Last week we talked about God as Elohim: Creator!

Today we are talking about God as El Elyon & El Roi: God Most High & the God Who Sees

These two go hand-in-hand in my mind because God cannot be sovereign if he cannot see what is happening here on earth. Also, what good is it if He sees everything that happens here on earth, but has no power to control it?

We learned last week our purpose in being created by Elohim.

Can anyone remember what we learned about why we were created?

Recap: We were created to glorify God. We defined that as living in such a way as to give others the correct opinion or estimate of God. We spent the majority of our time talking about the people who drive us nuts and knowing that God created them just as fearfully and wonderfully as He did each of us. We also talked about how we must love these people as God loves them. That is the only way to give them a correct opinion or estimate of God.

 

Today we are going to talk about the sovereign God who sees all.   El Elyon, El Roi.

We are going to learn how we can respond in the difficult situations in life. In your homework you looked at the story of Job. In our teaching today we will look at another possibly familiar story, but we are going to look at it thru the lens of considering God as El Elyon & El Roi! So before we get there, let’s take a few minutes to talk about what you learned this week.

 

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

Chapter 3 (pg 27): 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8

Chapter 4 (pg 34): 2, 3, 5

 

TEACHING

On page 15, Kay opens with Daniel 4:34 & 35. Can some read that please?

34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.

35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

But He does according to His will in the host of heaven

And among the inhabitants of earth;

And no one can ward off His hand

Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

 

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel%204&version=NASB>

For us to really understand the amazing statement this is, we must understand who Nebuchadnezzar really is. So today, we are going to look at Daniel chapter 3.   Just one chapter before the verses we read in our study this week.

 

So let’s turn there now: Daniel Chapter 3. If you are following along online and don’t have a bible with you, click here.

 

Daniel chapter 3 is the story of three young men that most of us know as Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego.

 

We first meet them in Daniel 1. Let’s start by reading Daniel 1:1-7.

 

So here we have some amazing young men who have been taken out of their country, what does the scripture say happened to these three men?

Name changed

Learned a new language

Learned Babylonian literature

Served the Babylonian king: Nebuchadnezzar

NOT BY CHOICE!

God in His Sovereignty allowed this to happen.

 

So these men have already been taken from the comforts of home and are living in a foreign land.

Now let’s jump over to chapter 3 and see what is happening in this land, we will learn more about King Nebuchadnezzar & these three stellar men.

 

Read chapter 3

 

Recap:

What happened?

What stands out to about these men?

 

      1. They know their God. He is a jealous God who says in the 10 commandments, “You shall have no other god’s before me.”
      2. They have integrity. Even when everyone else bowed down they did not. This tells me that they understand God as El Roi. They understand that God sees all.
      3. They know God as El Elyon. They understand that it is NOT Nebuchadnezzar who will determine their future, but it is El Elyon who writes down each of days in His book before one of them comes to be. (Psalm 139:16)
      4. They live their life based on the truth they know, rather than the circumstances they don’t understand.

 

Let’s break each of these points down a little bit.

1. They know their God.

      Just as we saw in the story of Job in your homework, we see here again the importance of knowing who God is.       That is one of the many reasons I am so glad you are in this study! God will honor the sacrifices you are making to be here and to study His word. Knowing Him is the only way I know how to make it through the everyday trials of life, and the upheavals that come our way.

 

2. They have integrity.

      These young men knew that their lives were not hidden from God. They knew just as David knew in Psalm 139:7-12 when David penned the words we looked at last week:

 

Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

    if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

    your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

    and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

    the night will shine like the day,

    for darkness is as light to you.

 

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139&version=NIV>

 

These young men knew that God knew their every action, and He knew Nebuchadnezzar’s too. That is why they had the courage to NOT BOW DOWN TO THE IDOLS! They knew the consequences of disobeying God would be much greater than disobeying man.   They had integrity to make the right choice even when it wasn’t popular…it was even against the law.

 

3. They know God as El Elyon.

      If S, M & A did not know God as El Elyon, they would not have been able to respond say to Nebuchadnezzar’s question, “Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?,” with these famous words:

 

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+3&version=NIV>

Holy Cow! I do not have that kind of courage! Do you?

Here their words carefully, they know God’s power.   They tell Neb, “The God we serve is able to deliver us!” And then, they make the most remarkable statement of faith, one that inspires me every time I read! I have goose bumps even now…”But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

 

4. They live their life based on the truth they know, rather than the circumstances they don’t understand.

      This is where our challenge comes today. Can we stand like S, M & A and say we will not give in even if we don’t get our way?

 

Remember last week we discovered our purpose? We learned that Elohim created us on purpose to live in such a way as to give others a correct estimate or opinion of Him.

 

How do you think these three men did living out their purpose?

 

Let’s look back at chapter 3 verse 24-30.

 

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Wow! I would say that is a drastic change of heart! Wouldn’t you?

In the verses we read in our study this week, Daniel 4:34-35, we hear King Neb profess God as Most High again, let’s circle back to the beginning:

34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.

35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

But He does according to His will in the host of heaven

And among the inhabitants of earth;

And no one can ward off His hand

Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

 

We are created by Elohim, to bring Him glory, to live in such a way as to help other people understand who he is.

We can do this more courageously by knowing God as El Elyon and El Roi.

In your homework this week you looked at the story of Job, and today’s story is equally as dramatic. Knowing God as El Elyon and El Roi can definitely help us when we are facing the BIG situations in life.

But these names can also comfort us and give us courage in the everyday situations. How do you think these two names can help you in your everyday decisions and circumstances?

Spend a few minutes reflecting on all that you have learned.  Take a few quiet minutes to listen to what God is speaking to your heart!

Let’s take courage to live out our purpose with the knowledge of the truth of the One who created us and loves us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with Adversity: Can you accept it?

speakinginfaith:

Tomorrow is Bible study day! Woohoo! Just a reminder that we are doing chapters 3 & 4.

As I am wrapping up homework and our lesson, I must tell you that I cannot wait to discuss these two chapters with you. I don’t know what life situations you are going through, but for me the names El Elyon: God Most High & El Roi: the God Who Sees are names that bring me comfort.

If your are following along with us via the blog, please check back tomorrow for notes from class! Until then, dig into God’s Word. Here is a blog post from 2011 about God being El Elyon in my life at that time.

Originally posted on Speaking in Faith Blog:

Today I was continuing my study on the name El Elyon {God Most High} and had an ah-ha momentActually, it was more a slap-in-the-face moment. The reading for today included two passages from Job, Job 1:6-12 & Job 2:1-10.  These two passages reveal the conversations Satan had with God in which Satan asked permission to test Job.  Here is the 2nd passage found in Job 2.

 1     Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.
     2     The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”
     3     The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man…

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Elohim – Notes from Bible Study

If you have to miss Bible Study this morning, or are following along from another city, here are the notes from today’s class.

REVIEW

The Creator: Elohim

El – mighty or strong

Him – plural form

Elohim is the primary word translated “God” in the Old Testament

WHY WERE WE CREATED?

IS 43:1-7

REV 4:11

What did you learn about why you were created?

To glorify God-how did Kay define this:

To give the correct opinion or estimate of God

What does this look like in your life?

What if we really focused on this purpose. Many of us have often wondered what our purpose in life is. We have asked God, should I take this job, or move to this city, or a number of other questions.  But here is the question we should really ask:

Does this decision help me give the correct opinion or estimate of God to those I will be interacting with in this situation?

This might reduce the stress we sometimes put on ourselves.   If our main concern is glorifying God as we make decisions, our decisions would change.  Can you imagine the impact on families, friends, co-workers and communities if we continually considered how we could glorify God with our actions?

Consider a situation you are currently praying about or thinking about, how would that situation or even that prayer change if you asked God to show you how you could glorify HIM in the situation?

Maybe there are daily habits that would change if we thought about how we could glorify God in everything.

This may seem a bit lofty, but if we get in the habit of asking God show us how to glorify Him as we go throughout our day, God will change our hearts.

Here’s the deal, we aren’t asking God to help us glorify Him so that people will think we are GOOD CHRISTIANS.  We are doing it, because it is our purpose in life: IT IS WHAT GOD CREATED US FOR!

I think we can understand God’s heart behind this if we look a little more intently on

HOW HE CREATED US!

HOW WERE WE CREATED?

PS 139

Let’s look at the verbs,

Knit, woven, formed, hemmed

God doesn’t have a holy conveyor belt that slaps on a head, arms and legs to a body mold.

And he doesn’t sit at a computer and choose from a finite number of eye choices.

HE CREATES!

He knit you!

He wove you together!

He formed you!

It was an intimate act! At the beginning of class we all shared something that we like to create.  Think about what you like to create.

How do you feel when you are creating? When you get in “the zone”? What emotions do you feel when you are creating?

READ REVERSE VERSION OF PS139 – see page “Personalized Psalm 139

When you hear Psalm 139 what comes to mind?

For me I often think back to being pregnant, and what God did inside of me. It is very sweet to reminisce about that time. But I want to challenge us, to go beyond the sweet memories.

However, today as we have looked at Why & How we were created, I think we would be amiss to not ask the next question:

WHAT DO WE DO AS A RESULT?

MATTHEW 22:34-40

MATTHEW 28:16-20

What do we do as a result of this knowledge?

I want to ask this question in light of Matthew 22:34-40

God’s command:

LOVE GOD

LOVE OURSELVES

LOVE PEOPLE

From Isaiah 43 we can see that God created us to bring glory to him. We can accomplish that by loving ourselves and others. And sometimes it is easier to love both of these people groups if we keep Psalm 139 in mind. Often times it is easy to love ourselves and others. But sometimes it is difficult. Sometimes we have people in our lives who were created a little differently that we would prefer, and maybe they annoy us.

One day my mom was talking to my nephew and he said, “Daddy said we drive him nuts, ‘what’s nuts, Nanny?”  Have you ever had someone drive you nuts?

Knowing we are to glorify God in all situations, and love others as we love ourselves, how do we deal with those it is difficult to love?

WE CAN’T LOVE THOSE IT IS DIFFICULT TO LOVE IF WE DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. YOU WILL NEVER LOOK IN THE EYES OF SOMEONE WHO WASN’T CREATED BY GOD LOVED BY GOD.

As we read the last challenge Jesus gave his disciples we realize that we aren’t just to love these people, we are to love them as Christ loves them, so that they can enter into a relationship with Jesus.  We are to disciple them.  To help them grow in their faith.

Maybe the person who is difficult for you to love already knows Jesus.  We need to understand that this person we created in the image of God, just like you were.  That all the quirky things about them makes them unique.  God created that person.  So for you to insult that person, you are insulting the One who created him/her.  I for one do not want to insult God and His creation.

Working through the homework this week helped me have more patience with loved ones, coworkers, friends and strangers, knowing that God knit them together too.

In those difficult moments we need to remember our memory verse for the week.  Revelation 4:11.

You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”

This is true of every human being.  This week read the personalized version of Psalm 139 and insert your name.  Then read it again with the name of someone whom you find difficult to love.

What To Do When You Think God Messed Up

speakinginfaith:

Here are some thoughts on God as Creator from 2011, as a new mom I was wrestling with my baby girl having a kidney that did not function. She ended up having it removed on her 2 month birthday. But here is how God’s word spoke to me at that time.

Originally posted on Speaking in Faith Blog:

How many of you would openly say, “I think God messed up here.”  Probably very few.  But how many of you have ever thought to yourself, “Are you sure, God?”  I would venture to guess a few more.

Today in my study, I read about Elohim, God as Creator.  There were two passages of Scripture that hit me the hardest as a read.  The first is from Exodus 4. 

10 Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
The Holy…

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Lord, I Want to Know You!

Good morning!  Today is an exciting day!  It is the first day of our women’s Bible study at Mountain Ridge Church here in Glendale, AZ!  We are going to be walking thru Kay Arthur’s book “Lord, I Want to Know You.”  This is a study on the names of God.  I am beyond excited to be teaching this study.  It is my first study to teach here in Arizona.

I am excited to meet new friends this morning and dig into God’s Word together.  I am also excited that we can share this study online to anyone who can’t meet with us on Wednesday mornings.  Each week I will post notes from our discussion on my blog.  This will allow you to join in our study even if you can’t be with us in class.

I will post discussion questions, scriptures and more each week.  So if you are registered for our class, please use this site to keep in touch throughout the week.  You can always post things you are learning as you go.  If you are not in our class you can use this as a way to “discuss” this book with others who are walking through the same book!  If you would like to do the study with us in person, please check out www.mountainridge.org/adults. If you want to follow along online, you can grab the book at your local book store, or order it online.  The name of the book is “Lord, I Want to Know You” by Kay Arthur.  You can also, simply follow along with the blog posts.

Here is a little nugget from this morning’s discussion:

Why is it important that we know the name of our God?

The book of Daniel is a complicated book. When I studied it, our study last two semesters. And I still have so much to learn about that book. In it God uses Daniel to tell the Israelites about what would happen in the future. In Daniel 11, God is explaining to Daniel about world leaders that would rise up and influence the world.  Through these leaders borders of countries would change, leadership would change, people’s religion would change. And in Daniel 11 the king of the North is trying to overtake the king of the South. He is trying to turn people away from the One True God.  And verse 32 reads this way:

“With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.”

The NASB says it this way:

By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.

This verse gives me goose bumps because it rings so true. I think about my life, how I deal with issues, struggles, every day things that arise. Often we read a verse like this and just let it roll off of us, but as we are enteringin to a 13 week study of who God says He is, this verse cuts me to the core. I think about all of the times, that if I had called on the name of the Lord it would have lead me action, but instead I chose to listen to the voice inside myself that justified my inaction. I listened the flattery of a friend or colleague. I called the person I knew would tell me what I wanted to hear rather than call on the Lord God. So this verse is convicting to me, because it causes me to enter into a place where I can no longer be apathetic about how knowing who God is will affect my every day decision and reactions.

I would like to say that I fall into the “the people who know their God” category, but if I am honest, I also fall into the “those who have violated the covenant” category.

Here’s the thing, we can all come here and pretend that we live consistently in the “people who know their God” category, but if we do we are deceiving ourselves and choosing to thwart what God has for us to learn through this study.

I am very guilty of trying to gain more knowledge and letting that knowledge sit in my head rather than penetrate my heart.  So my prayer for myself and each of you throughout this study is that as we gain knowledge of who God is, that knowledge will settle in our hearts and help us display strength and move us to take action.

II Timothy 3:16 reads,

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

As we study the names of God, I pray that you will let God teach, rebuke correct and train you in righteousness. Our memory verse for this week says, The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and is safe. When we know the names of God we can claim them in times of distress, days that seem hopeless, and times of trouble. But here is another truth, committing yourself to this study, will also help you in your quest to live your life on mission. When you know who God is you can share that with others who are hurting.  Rather than answering your friends with flattery and what they want to hear, you can answer them in love with the truth of who God is and how He can rescue them in their darkest moment.

Discussion Questions

What is one name of God that you run to that makes you feel safe?

Who do you know that is hurting, what truth about God could you share with that person that would comfort them in their time of distress?

Carl will be cruising!!

Carl will be cruising!!

Hey! Just an update for everybody on where you can find Carl playing music :) Check out this cruise with Phillips, Craig and Dean, Jamie Jamgocian, Avalon and Carl Herrgesell! It will be a great time to get away and worship. Click on the photo for more info!

Love is not easily angered

Well, if you have been following this series on love, it has been one that has convicted my heart to the core.  This week’s attribute is just as convicting as the rest.

We are walking thru a series at church called love works.  To find all of my blogs regarding this series in one place you can click on the new page called LOVE IS.

We’ve been through love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not proud and is selfless.  Today we are going to talk about anger’s place in regards to love.

God’s Word says, “Love is not easily angered.”

Sunday morning our preacher said, “We get angry when we feel like our rights have been stepped on.”  I’ve been pondering this statement all week.  I’ve also been evaluating the truth of this statement when I’m frustrated or angry.  So far, I think he hit the nail right on the head!

When I have been angry this week I feel like someone has stepped on my rights.  Sometimes it is my right to decide how I spend my time.  Sometimes it is my right to be treated with respect.  Sometime it is my right to get my way.  It can be any right we perceive we have {or deserve}.

As I’ve reflected on my frustration and/or anger over the past week, I can pin point all of it to my not getting something I think I deserved.  What about you?  Can you think back to a time this week when you were frustrated or angry?  Does it fall into this category?

One right we often think we have is the right to be angry, but according to I Corinthians 13, love is not easily angered.  So even when we have our perceived rights stepped on, we must still relinquish our right to be angry.  God asks something more from us.  He asks us to love rather than be angry.

Trust me, I understand the difficulty of this statement.  When I am angry, I feel like it is my job to explain myself and my frustration so that the person who offended me can change his/her behavior.  Usually, this explanation does not come in the form of my “nice voice.”  God is teaching me {and I’m learning very slowly} that my responsiblity is to respond in love rather than anger.

Please hear me, I’m not saying that you don’t have to have healthy boundaries, but I am saying that you can choose to respond in a way that honors God rather than tears someone down.  If someone offends you, you don’t have to take it upon yourself to share with them why they offended you, how they are a horrible person for offending you, and how YOU {being such a wonderful person} don’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect.

Instead, you can respond in love.  Which may mean setting healthy boundaries, but never means getting angry, lashing out and hurting the person in return.

My challenge to you {you really being ME!} is to surrender your emotions and reactions to the Lord, to identify the root of your anger {what right do you believe was stepped on} and ask God for wisdom on how to respond out of love rather than anger.

I’m praying for you as we surrender our rights to God and trust Him to provide for our every need!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What action steps do you take to respond with love even when you are angry?

 

 

 

 

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