Heritage of Faith
1. Many people refer to the Bible when they experience some evil or disaster in search of help, consolation, support, or advice. Reading the Bible, one will find the answers to any question and will be ready to face any difficulty, challenge, a problem the day has prepared for him/her. Moreover, an extended reading of the Bible gives a person a clear understanding of what God expects from him/her and what his/her aim in life is.
2. The main sources I used during the course are the Bible and the video lectures. Among the most useful sources, I would like to mention www.ntgatyyy.com that contains different variations of the Bible translations, all gospels and acts with audio and video, and general information on the Bible. I can also mention the website www.religionyyyy.org which provides the visitors with a great variety of Christian movies, Bible quotes, quizzes, and trivia.
3. Reading the Bible is like taking a trip down a river. In the beginning, it may seem ordinary, but as soon as one goes deeper, the valleys and vistas of unbelievable beauty open up. Moreover, the farther one goes the more one gets to know and the more one understands. At first sight, it may be fearful and dangerous, but as one reads the Bible, one gains confidence and faith and loses fear.
4. Knowing more than the characters themselves allows the reader to analyze the situation and find the way out. Moreover, this knowledge allows the reader to look at the situation from the perspective of the observer and analyst. Accordingly, on the example of the characters described in particular situations, one may learn and apply the gained knowledge and experience in his/her life.
5. The world changed as soon as sin happened. Despite all the wars, murders, and other sins, there are pure and heartfelt people ready to help others without asking anything from them. Accordingly, the good did not disappear; it just became rarer and less valuable.
6. The fall into sin has blurred the reflection and image of God in people, but it has not made it disappear. A newborn can be regarded as a pure and perfect reflection of God while he has no sins, except for the original one. When a person gets older, he/she can either become closer to God, developing and growing all good qualities such as faith, patience, and forgiveness or choose the evil path and ignore the development of their soul.
7. First of all, it emphasizes, defines, and expands the messages. Moreover, the use of repetition or contrast words, phrases, sentences structures the message and makes it more memorable. When it comes to contrast, it is mainly used to point out the distinctive features between good and evil, righteousness and sin, death and life, and so on (2 Ne. 9:39).
As for the repetition, the Hebrew language contains many types of it but the most striking and memorable is the circular repetition (Alma 5:6). In the before-mentioned passage, such a repetition is applied to remind the reader of God's divine interference and it arises the reader's conscience.
8. God created people as a perfect reflection of him, breathing life into Adam personally. God created people, giving them preference over other animate and inanimate creatures. Unlike the brain that does not have the power to destroy or create, people's spirit is in the power to control their actions but it has to thrive for instant perfection. Patience and patient relationship towards humans is one of the main features of good God while every person on his/her way to perfection makes many mistakes, and without patience, God will quickly end the existence of all human beings.
9. Among the main qualities it would take to be Noah, one can mention obedience, faith, and courage. In the first place, one could put obedience since it was the main factor and main quality that had made Noah hear God's commands and fulfill them successfully. Finally, Noah had to possess extreme courage to step out into a new world and start everything from scratch.
10. Abraham is a real example of unconditional love and faith towards God. He never had any doubts on whether to listen to God or not. He always knew and believed that God would fulfill everything He had promised. One of the most challenging and remarkable acts of faith was when Abraham left his country for the one God had promised him. Even though he did not know where he was going, he had no doubts about God's intentions and love (Genesis 12:1-2,4).
11. The theme of the second one is best seen through the examples of God choosing Abel over Cain, Isaac over Ishmael, and others. In the example of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4), God chose Abel not because of what he had brought to Him, but because of why he had brought it to Him. While Abel sacrificed his best animal to show God his worship and love, Cains's presence was given just to comfort God. In the example of Isaac and Ishmael (Genesis 17), God chose Isaac because of his pure love and best intentions towards his brother while Ishmael mocked and humiliated him.
12. Stealing the inheritance right, Jacob received everything an ordinary person could desire wives, children, prosperity, and wealth. The famine God had sent to Israel made Jacob reconsider his opinion and turned him into a real, pure son of God (Genesis 42). As a result, God sent one of his sons Joseph to save Jacob and his family from famine.
13. Josephs's life was full of symbolic decency, honesty, loyalty, restraint, intelligence, and many other remarkable qualities. However, among the most remarkable signs of faith, God emphasizes the last words Joseph had said before his death (Genesis 50: 24-26). Joseph did not have even the smallest doubt that God would come and bring his children of Israel to a new land. Moreover, because of his faith, he asked for his remains not to be glorified but taken to a different place and removed.
14. When Jacob deceived his brother and stole his inheritance, he was presented as an evil brother, thriving for prosperity and wealth, not paying attention to any of God's laws (Genesis 42). However, when God had sent a famine to the people of Israel people, which was evil to some extent, Jacob reconsidered his attitude towards God and faith and started living in God and with God.
15. The theme of God cures through the illness itself primarily means not the physical cure but the spiritual one the cure of the soul (James 5, 13-15). Jacobs's change of heart and soul is a great example of how a problem or illness can cure. The same thing happens nowadays. As soon as the person falls seriously ill, in search of help and healing, he/she remembers about God.
16. even though Moses was a shepherd for the population of Israel, he possessed all the features ordinary people possessed and could become angry or upset with the same things ordinary people did. However, one of his most significant virtues was extreme obedience and respect for God.
17. The very question put by Moses who am I? encouraged God to explain to him what I mean. First, the name I am, He is is sufficient to God while it explains his name Jehovah. It means that God is self-existent, existing independently of other causes or beings. Second, it means that God is eternal and immutable, existing yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever. Then, it means that Lord is unsearchable and responsible for all the promises He gives.
18. Just like curing with the illness, all the challenges and obstacles Israelites had experienced healed their souls and made them realize the true importance of God. Moreover, it was a challenge for Moses who felt responsible for fulfilling God's and all Israelites will. God taught his people to be patient while every morning brings joy regardless of how much weeping brought the night.
19. Moses' greatest and most remarkable quality was extreme obedience and faith in God. When Moses was speaking with God, he admitted and realized that anything in the world would be useless without the presence of God in it. Until God was with him, he had nothing to worry about and fear.
20. This plague was meant to show the Israelites that every person was responsible for his/her sins and would eventually be punished for all of them. God wanted to show that only a life full of love and faith in God was a decent life. God gives every person a chance to repent which is the main way of releasing one's soul from sin.
21. Crossing the Red Sea required people's faith and trust in God. This miracle was a combination of God's instant perfection and patient relationship, while it required both the perfection of people's souls and the patience to experience a miracle.
22. The biblical theme of Grace upending your world means that as evil may turn up good, good may turn up evil. To be more concrete, any good news may cause a troublesome situation. For instance, when Abigail told Nabil (1 Samuel 25) that she had met David with his people and had given them some supplies, Nabil was frustrated, disappointed, and angry to such an extent that he soon died.
23. God wanted to check how ready people were to obey his instructions. To meet God's expectations, they had to possess such qualities as faith, love, respect, trust in God, patience, and appreciation of what God had given them. No one of them took too much or too little. If they had to save something for the next day, they did so.
24. God gave the Ten Commandments in a frightening context of story and darkness to discourage any person from sinning. Moreover, God wanted everyone to fear His anger and be a faithful and decent person. The 10 Commandments of Exodus are complete, correct, full, righteous rules that every person wishing to live with God must follow.
25. The very issue of succession and transition from Moses to Joshua is challenging. However, among the specific challenges Joshua had encountered when taking over from Moses was the one that Joshua had to follow Moses' writings. Before Joshua, people were governed by God's word and never by somebody else words. Every person at least once has to follow the challenging footsteps of someone else, either getting married, entering the university, or making an important decision.
26. Crossing the Jordan River was dramatically different from crossing the Red Sea since before crossing it, the priest and Joshua had to make the first step of faith, proving to people that God was with them and ready to make miracles. In other words, God wanted people to be spiritually prepared and concentrate on his presence only.
27. Being either Moses or Joshua depends on the situation I had to handle. For instance, once I had to risk everything to be with a person I loved, and accordingly, I took the role of Joshua not waiting for a miracle but taking the first step. There were also situations when I had to wait patiently for the miracle to happen, as hustle was not appropriate in particular situations.
28. Nevertheless, the plan seemed foolish and every person understood it was ridiculous, they had no doubt in God's grace and power and trusted that God would create a miracle and help them enter the city. Again, creating difficulty on the way to the desired land, God heals people's souls and checks their faith and obedience.
29. The stories of Gideon and Samson are very similar and very different at the same time. The actions and development of both leaders represent the actions of the people of Israel as a whole. The story of Gideon is the story of weakness turning into strength, while the story of Samson is the story of strength changing into weakness. Because God had faith in Gideon and followed the idea of instant perfection and patient relationship, God chose him to be the deliverer for Israel.
30. Samuel was angry and frustrated with the people's demand for a king. To prove them having a king had many disadvantages he mentioned the material losses they would experience. Moreover, the most important thing king would give them was the silence on God's behalf on the day they cried for help. David was intended to be a king by God. God sent Samuel to find Jesses son while he was meant to be a king. All in all, Samuel anointed David a king.
31. Regardless of the time, every Christian can expect God's support and help in overcoming difficulties. However, it does not mean that if one has some financial problems, God will send him money from heaven. The word help means spiritual help rather than materialist one.
32. The theme of One standing in place of us all seems unfair to some extent since, from the very birth, every person is rewarded with the original sin. On the other hand, God forgives all the sins and takes the punishment for every living person. This principle is especially important in the work of prophets, priests, or kings since they are responsible for themselves and all people remaining under their control, power, and influence.
33. Davids's way to power was filled with challenges, problems, dangers, risks, and obstacles. Instead of reigning the country, King Saul dedicated himself to chasing David, aiming to kill him. Even after Saul had died, David did not become king at once but he waited until Sauls's son had died. The main lesson God wanted to teach David how important was such a spiritual gift as patience and forgiveness.
34. David sent his messengers to Nabal asking for some help. However, Nabal refused to help them and replied in a very disrespectful manner that offended David. Fortunately, Nabal's wife Abigail learned about Davids's plead, gathered everything they might need, and met them before David and his people had come to Nabal. She saved the day by taking her husband's fault and asking for forgiveness.
35. The theme Greatness ought to look like greatness means that the eminence of God can become visible as we anticipate it but it is commonly concealed. Greatness is not only the power one possesses but also the beauty and pureness of the soul one develops. In Psalm 117:2, David praises and mentions that every time a person prays to God, he/she has to remember God's greatness. Moreover, every word, act, and behavior of a person has to reflect the greatness of God.
36. When Nathan came to David and told him a story about the lamb, David answered that the man who had killed the lamb should die. This is one of the possible answers to the question of What David deserved for his sins. However, God forgave David all his sins for his sincere repentance. Nevertheless, Nathan informed him that one of his sons would die in return for Davids's murder of Uriah. Solomon was an outstanding character in the Bible for his wisdom that was a gift from God.
37. God sent Nathan to David with a purpose to teach him and speak to him. Nathan was a prophet and he had no other intentions but to make David repent and realize the awfulness of his deeds. I imagine Nathan as a calm, wise, and tactful teacher who silently but very confidently speaks and explains David his fault. The same courage had been shown by Moses who went to Pharaoh asking to release his people and let them reach the desired land.
38. Such a prayer is possible for every Christian at any time, regardless of the century, place, etc. The only factor that may influence the fulfillment of the prayer is the intention and the pureness of it. I ask for the gift of forgiveness because sometimes not forgiving others spoils the soul and brings about such negative feelings as anxiety, cruelty, and hate.
39. When God came to Solomon in a dream and suggested to ask anything he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom only. However, God is good to everyone, and being delighted with Solomons's reply, he gave him riches and honor. Nevertheless, I did not expect his wisdom would distant him from God, and later all his achievements and victories would be disgraced with his sins.
40. Music reveals the true feelings and emotions and makes the soul speak. Accordingly, the words of faith that come along with music in our hearts and minds enrich it with more sense, love, and faith. Having chosen Psalm 1 and Psalm 28, the best type of music would be a kind of silent, classical music in combination with the inspirational one that will flow easily making emphasis on the most significant ideas.
41. The psalm and the theme of joy coming in the morning are dedicated to the people of Israel. Noah and Moses are great examples of how the theme of joy coming in the morning works. Both of them respected God and obediently fulfilled his tasks. As a result, Noah was saved from the great water while Moses succeeded in transforming the population of Israel into a nation instituted on the laws of religion.
42.Psalm 23 is extremely significant and comforting for every person. One of the main reasons it is so comforting and beloved is that every person, especially the one in need, has to know and has to be assured that God is our Shepherd. Moreover, it is mentioned in the Psalm that God is with everyone to restore his/her soul. Accordingly, the Psalm is a kind of manifestation of support, care, help, and endless love from God towards all of his people.
43. The thing that distinguishes a true Christian is the readiness and willingness to admit his/her guilt and ask God to forgive the sin. As a true Christian, David was not discouraged with the sin he had committed but he had enough power, faith, and confidence to ask God for mercy. The Bible claims that God forgives those who admit their guilt and ask for mercy. David gives an example of how to regret and ask for mercy well.
44. The Psalm of Praising God is helpful for those who are discouraged and fearful for the reason it mentions all things God has done for his son and daughters and is ready to do any time they need him. Among the verses and ideas that are most significant to me are the reasons why people should bless God (verses 3-6).