The 40-Day Bible Adventure: A Fascinating Journey to Understanding God's Word

Overview


Learning scripture is easy and fun with The 40-Day Bible Adventure! This book is ideal for individuals or groups, promising greater understanding of the world’s greatest Book. In 15 minutes a day, The 40-Day Bible Adventure will help you understand the storyline of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. There’s helpful context for each book (“Setting Up the Story”) and 3–5 questions to engage you in key passages. “Critical Observations” help explain the strange and mysterious elements of Bible ...
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The 40-Day Bible Adventure: A Fascinating Journey to Understanding God's Word

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Overview


Learning scripture is easy and fun with The 40-Day Bible Adventure! This book is ideal for individuals or groups, promising greater understanding of the world’s greatest Book. In 15 minutes a day, The 40-Day Bible Adventure will help you understand the storyline of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. There’s helpful context for each book (“Setting Up the Story”) and 3–5 questions to engage you in key passages. “Critical Observations” help explain the strange and mysterious elements of Bible stories, while other features provide additional insight. Give your Bible 40 days. . .you’ll appreciate it for the rest of your life!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781630586690
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2015
  • Series: VALUE BOOKS
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 754,357
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author



Christopher D. Hudson is founder of Hudson Bible, a book packaging company in DeKalb, Illinois. He has written and edited for numerous Bible and reference projects.
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Read an Excerpt

40-Day Bible Adventure

A Fascinating Journey to Understanding God's Word


By Christopher D. Hudson

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61626-007-1



CHAPTER 1

Day 1 Creation


Setting Up the Story

The Bible opens with the story of creation found in the book of Genesis. This story serves two primary purposes: First, it identifies God as the Creator of the world. Second, it explains the origin of all things. Everything is created by God according to His sovereign power.

If you have time, read the whole story: Genesis 1:1–2:25


God Forms the Earth

Read Genesis 1:1–13

What is God's initial response to His creation? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

The original audience for this story would have been the people of God who lived during the time of Moses. Since they would already have been people of faith—people who knew the Lord—the story of creation is not so much an apologetic meant to convince unbelievers as it is a declaration of the mysterious wonder and grandeur of creation. These initial chapters are not intended to give a scientific account of creation but rather tell a story that highlights the powerful facts that God created this world and it exists within His control.


God Fills the Earth

Read Genesis 1:14–25

Days 1–6 have literary parallels. How does day 1 parallel with day 4, day 2 with day 5, and day 3 with day 6? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


God Creates Man

Read Genesis 1:26–2:3

What were God's original intentions for humanity? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Critical Observation

It is essential to understand the importance of God's blessing in Genesis 1:28. In fact, throughout the remainder of the book of Genesis, blessing remains a central theme. It denotes all that contributes to living fully as God intended, according to His purposes. In this case, the blessing relates to God's charge to "be fruitful, multiply." Interpreters generally recognize that command as given to Adam and Eve as the heads of the human race, not simply as individuals. In other words, God has not charged every human being with begetting children.


God Creates Woman

Read Genesis 2:15–25

What do these verses teach us about man? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


What can you learn about God from this event? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

The word translated helper or companion does not refer to a servant. In fact, Jesus Christ uses the Greek equivalent of the word to describe the Holy Spirit, who would help believers after the Lord's ascension. It signifies the woman's essential contribution, not inadequacy. The description of this companion as "suitable" or "corresponding" suggests something that completes a polarity, like the North Pole corresponds to the South Pole.


Take It Home

It's possible that the naked condition of Adam and Eve as described at the close of Genesis 2 goes beyond a physical description. It also applies to the psychological unity and transparency required for a marriage relationship. Physically, they were naked and shared their bodies with each other; psychologically, they were not ashamed and hid nothing from each other. They were at ease without any fear of exploitation. While perfect relationships will not be achieved this side of heaven, through the power of Christ we can come closer to living in restored harmony with each other. What can you do to cultivate a proper openness and trust in your relationships, whether with your spouse, family, or friends?


Connecting the Story Line

• Genesis 1–2 reveals God's original intentions for the world and for humanity. We also learn that God has never intended for humans to live apart from Him or in conflict with each other. The Old Testament presents the unified nation of Israel; and in the New Testament (and today), we have the church, a community of believers with one Lord, Jesus Christ.

• God is sovereign and powerful, loving and caring. These important principles about God that show up time and again in the Bible are first presented in the creation account.

CHAPTER 2

Day 2 The Fall


Setting Up the Story

God greatly blesses Adam and Eve and gives them everything. They enjoy all the food they need, companionship with each other, and an intimate relationship with God. With all this blessing comes a single command: Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sadly, at the beginning of chapter 3, Adam and Eve succumb to temptation and disobey God's command. Their resulting choice, known as "the Fall," introduces sin into the world. Along with sin also come fear, shame, insecurity, and judgment. Yet even in such a terrible story, seeds of hope and redemption can be found.

If you have time, read the whole story: Genesis 3:1–4:16


The Serpent's Temptation

Read Genesis 3:1–7

In what ways is the woman tempted? And the man? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


God's Judgments

Read Genesis 3:8–20

How would you summarize God's judgments on the man and woman? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

Genesis 3:15 has traditionally been seen as the first prophecy about Jesus and His ultimate work to defeat Satan. The reference seems to pit Satan against the ultimate representative of perfect humanity, Jesus.


Adam and Eve are Banished from the Garden

Read Genesis 3:21–24

What is different about Adam and Eve's life after the Fall? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Critical Observation

Angels (often called cherubim) surround and symbolize God's presence in the Old Testament (Exodus 25:17–22; Ezekiel 10:15). Genesis 3:24 describes them protecting the tree of life with a flaming sword to keep humanity away. This is an apt picture of the separation established between God and His creation. Humanity is completely excluded, with no resources of their own to allow them to enter into God's paradise. It would take a divine act to bridge the gap.


The Results of the Fall Spread

Read Genesis 4:1–12

What seem to be the fundamental differences between Cain and Abel? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

Following Adam and Eve's departure from the garden, we see the consequences of sin play out in the fractured relationship of Cain and Abel, ultimately leading to Abel's murder. Such actions would have been unthinkable before—but as a result of the Fall, sin becomes commonplace.


Take It Home

Despite the blessings each of us might have in our own lives, it can be particularly easy to focus on the things we don't have instead. This was the temptation that the serpent offered Eve. Though God had given her everything she could need, Eve was still curious about the one thing she was denied—and her poor decision led to the entrance of sin and death into the world. To a lesser degree, we, too, are constantly tempted to focus on the things we don't have instead of the blessings God has already provided. Such poor focus not only keeps us from recognizing God's gifts and praising Him for them, but it can also lead to poor decision making and sin. Are there blessings from the Lord in your life? Do you have trouble recognizing them and giving thanks to God?


Connecting the Story Line

• Creation is damaged and distorted by the Fall. The rest of the Bible tells the story of God's plan to make things right and restore creation to His original intention.

• Sin damaged more than humanity's relationship with God—it also damaged people's ability to have perfect relationships with each other and affected the relationship between humanity and the created world.

• Examples of the effects of sin on creation include weeds, disease, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other kinds of disasters. Romans 8:19–22 tells us that the creation is also looking forward to being restored to its perfect state.

CHAPTER 3

Day 3 Noah


Setting Up the Story

The impact of sin's introduction into the world continues. Genesis 6–8 covers the degradation of society and tells of Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. In chapter 6, the story is not too far removed from the creation account of Genesis 1. We can imagine how grieved God is that the people He created have already strayed so far. Yet God loves His creation and does not wish to see it all destroyed. The story of Noah is the story of God's plan to preserve the earth.

If you have time, read the whole story: Genesis 6–9


Before the Flood

Read Genesis 6:1–12

How would you describe the state of humanity during this time? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Why do you think God is so grieved by humanity's wickedness? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Noah and the Ark

Read Genesis 6:13–22

What does this passage tell you about how God viewed His creation at this time? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Critical Observation

Did Noah's ark hold over a billion species? Probably not. Keep in mind that the modern concept of species is not the same as the word kind in the Bible. There were likely several hundred different kinds of land animals that would have needed to be taken into the ark. The sea animals stayed in the sea, and many species could have survived in egg form. Noah could also have taken younger varieties of some larger animals. And, don't forget, the ark was a huge structure—the size of a modern ocean liner three stories high.


The Flood

Read Genesis 7:11–24

What is the hope you can still find in this story? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

The account of the floodwaters covering the earth is both majestic and terrible. In many ways, the story is reminiscent of the creation account. Like Genesis 1, the story of the flood is structured by a careful counting of the days (371 in all).


After the Rain

Read Genesis 8:1–12

What do you think the dove symbolizes? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


The Results of the Flood

Read Genesis 8:13–9:3; 9:12–17

What does God's promise and blessing tell you about God's relationship with humanity? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

The Hebrew word for rainbow is also the word for a battle bow. God seems to be saying that His bow is now put away, hung in place by the clouds, and the storm is over. As a result, whenever clouds appear over the earth and a rainbow appears, God will remember His covenant and His people will remember His promise.

Which of Noah's character traits should you consider emulating? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Take It Home

Noah's ark was a massive construction, and it could not have been built overnight. While Noah was working on it, he likely would have faced resistance and confusion from those around him, including his family. However, Noah stayed strong in his faith in God, and when the floodcame he was able to preserve his family and the creatures of the earth. Noah's story reminds us that it is possible to be right with God and continue in faith even when surrounded by wickedness and unbelief. Nowhere does God promise that such perseverance will be easy—but in His love and mercy He will always provide what we need. Our challenge is to listen to God in obedience, no matter our circumstances.


Connecting the Story Line

• The story of Noah reminds us that God takes sin very seriously.

• When He placed His rainbow in the sky, God renewed His everlasting covenant with His creation.

• From God's promise to preserve earth, we get the sense that human history is headed someplace specific. The story of the Bible traces that history from creation through the new heaven and new earth described in Revelation 20–22.

CHAPTER 4

Day 4 Abraham

Setting Up the Story

Chapter 11 represents a third beginning in Genesis. The first was at creation, the second was at the flood, and the third is at the tower of Babel (read its story in Genesis 11). Yet beginning in chapter 12, we see God setting a new course for His people. God promises to bless the world through Abram's descendants.

If you have time, read the whole story: Genesis 12:1–20:18


God's Covenant with Abram

Read Genesis 15:1–7

God had previously promised to build the family of Abram (known later as Abraham) into a great nation. What motivates Abram's complaint to God in verses 2 and 3? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


What assurance does God offer to Abram? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Critical Observation

Genesis 15:6 is sometimes considered one of the most important verses in the Old Testament. God declares Abram righteous and in good standing before Him on the basis of Abram's faith. His faith was "counted unto him for righteousness." While this connection between faith and righteousness is most often considered a New Testamentconcept, Genesis 15:6 confirms that God has always desired faith from His people. He cares more about a person's internal being than his external appearance. We later see this concept echoed in the prophets (see an example in Hosea 6:6) and throughout the New Testament.


Hagar and Ishmael

Read Genesis 16

What negative outcomes arise from Abram and Sarai's actions? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

When Abram slept with Hagar, he was following an accepted custom of the day. However, it also appears he was acting out of fear and unbelief. God had promised an heir, but Abram doubted God's ability to fulfill His promise and wanted to help it along. Abram did not yet know that God intended Isaac, not Ishmael, to be his true heir. The story stands as a reminder to trust God and His promises.


Abram Becomes Abraham

Read Genesis 17:1–8

In this story, God is about to renew and expand upon His promise to Abraham. What action does God require of him (see verse 1)? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Why do you think God changes Abram's name? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

In the ancient Near East, to name someone or something was to claim it as one's own, like a father would name a child entering the family. When God changes Abram's name to Abraham (which means "father of a multitude"), He not only points to the future fulfillment of His promise but also claims Abraham as His own.


God Promises Abraham and Sarah a Son

Read Genesis 17:15–21

Why do you think Abraham laughs when God says he will have a son? Do you think it was wrong to laugh? Why or why not? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Take It Home

Thirteen years pass between the end of Genesis 16 and the beginning of Genesis 17. During that time, Abraham likely believed that Ishmael would be his heir and Sarah would never bear him a son. He was not expecting a visit from the Lord, and he was not expecting God to fulfill His promise of an heir in their old age. Often God answers prayer and fulfills His promises in unexpected ways. Are you willing to be surprised by God? Do you have eyes to see Him work in unusual ways? Consider whether your expectations limit God, or whether you really believe that He is capable of working beyond anything we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).


Connecting the Story Line

• The covenant God makes with Abraham is the same one He upholds through the lives of Isaac, Jacob (Isaac's son), and hundreds of generations of the Israelites.

• From the beginning of the world, God planned to bless the world through one of Abraham's descendants: Jesus Christ (see Galatians 3:8).

CHAPTER 5

Day 5 Isaac


Setting Up the Story

Abraham has a son named Isaac. Genesis 21–24 tells the story of Isaac's birth, early life, and marriage. Isaac's birth also marks the beginning of the fulfillment of one of God's covenant promises: Abraham would become the father of a great nation.

If you have time, read the whole story: Genesis 21:1–26:35


The Birth of Isaac

Read Genesis 21:1–7

What do the circumstances surrounding Isaac's birth tell us about God and His ability to keep His word? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

Sarah's words in Genesis 21:6 refer to Genesis 18:11–12. It was during this earlier time that Sarah had laughed at the angels who had told her she would have a son. Sarah had a difficult time believing in God's plan—but He performed a miracle by giving her a child at such an advanced age.


An Offering

Read Genesis 22:1–18

Why do you think God tests Abraham like this? What is accomplished? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


While we don't know how old Isaac is at this time, he is old enough to help carry the wood and ask an insightful question. What do you imagine is Isaac's response to the events that unfold? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

Abraham could not have offered Isaac without Isaac's consent. Remember that Isaac bore the wood up the mountain and was likely the stronger of the two. As a young man, he was also certainly faster. Though he would have been big enough and strong enough to resist his father, Isaac chose to be obedient to Abraham and to God.


Isaac's Marriage

Read Genesis 24:1–51

Name some ways you see God at work in this story. ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


Insight

A camel can consume up to twenty-five gallons of water in ten minutes. Consider that the servant had ten camels, and a typical water jar held about three gallons of water. Rebekah would have had to make many trips to the well, and her labors would have taken quite some time.


Critical Observation

The scene in Genesis 24:39–49, in which Abraham's servant seeks to obtain the approval of Rebekah's family, is filled with tension. In fact, Genesis 24 as a whole is an excellent example of ancient storytelling. People in the ancient Near East enjoyed repetition—actually, they preferred it—as they heard or read stories. The servant's repetition of details is an effective literary device deliberately employed by the author of Genesis.

The Bible's account of Isaac emphasizes a number of characters who exhibited obedience to God. Which episodes of obedience in Isaac's story are the most striking to you? ____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________


(Continues...)

Excerpted from 40-Day Bible Adventure by Christopher D. Hudson. Copyright © 2011 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction                                                                           

Day 1: Creation                                                                      

Day 2: The Fall                                                                      

Day 3: Noah                                                                           

Day 4: Abraham                                                                     

Day 5: Isaac                                                                           

Day 6: Jacob                                                                          

Day 7: Joseph and His Brothers                                            

Day 8: The Birth and Early Life of Moses                            

Day 9: The Exodus from Egypt                                             

Day 10: The Ten Commandments                                         

Day 11: The Law                                                                   

Day 12: Joshua and Jericho                                                   

Day 13: Saul                                                                          

Day 14: Samuel and David                                                    

Day 15: David and Goliath                                                   

Day 16: Solomon                                                                   

Day 17: The Division of the Kingdom                                  

Day 18: The Fall of the Northern Kingdom (Israel)              

Day 19: The Fall of the Southern Kingdom (Judah)             

Day 20: Esther                                                                       

Day 21: Job                                                                            

Day 22: The Psalms                                                               

Day 23: Isaiah and God’s Big Ideas                                     

Day 24: Daniel in Exile                                                          

Day 25: Joseph, Mary, and Jesus’ Birth                                

Day 26: A Young Jesus in the Temple                                  

Day 27: The Ministry of John the Baptist                             

Day 28: The Teachings of Jesus                                             

Day 29: The Miracles of Jesus                                               

Day 30: Jesus and Lazarus                                                     

Day 31: The Parables of Jesus                                               

Day 32: Palm Sunday and the Last Supper                           

Day 33: Jesus’ Death on the Cross                                        

Day 34: The Resurrection                                                      

Day 35: Pentecost and the Arrival of the Holy Spirit           

Day 36: Saul/Paul’s Conversion                                            

Day 37: Paul’s Epistles                                                          

Day 38: The Book of Hebrews                                              

Day 39: The Letters of Peter and John                                  

Day 40: The Book of Revelation                                           

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