285.2: Boundaries (OT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 16, Sunday School)

“I Cannot Go Beyond the Word of the Lord”

 

Balaam’s argument with his donkey has to be one of the most memorable stories from the Old Testament, but it will surprise you how many profound lessons can be drawn from this little story. After all, if you read closely, this is a story about an outsider (even mercenary!) prophet being faithful to what he knows is right.

This portion covers:

  • Lessons learned from Balak, Balaam, and even the donkey!
  • Acting on promptings
  • Prophets in and out of the Church

 

Recurring Donation:

$5   $10   $25   $50

One Time Donation:

$25      $50      $100

 

Class Member Reading: Numbers 22; 23; 24; 25:1-3; 31:1-16

Additional Reading: 2 Peter 2:15-16; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14

Other Reading: the rest of Numbers 25

 

 

Fiona Givens and Adam Fisher provide an exceptional discussion.

You can access the Annotated Reading here (or PDF)

You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF)

 

Timeline

Lesson Part 1: Sunday School

0:00        Intro and Framing

3:44        Assigned Reading

9:07        Understanding the Narrative

14:53     Character Lessons

20:25     Acting on Promptings

Discussion Part 1

23:39     Introductions

25:18     Understanding Genre in Scripture

34:16     Learning from the Characters: Balak

45:53     Learning from the Characters: Balaam

1:08:22  Learning from the Characters: (She)Donkey

1:17:00  The Problematic Lesson Purpose

1:30:00  Insider Prophets and Outsider Prophets

 

 

Lesson Part 1: Sunday School

0:00        Intro and Framing

3:44        Assigned Reading

9:07        Understanding the Narrative

14:53     Character Lessons

20:25     Acting on Promptings

Discussion Part 1

23:39     Introductions

25:18     Understanding Genre in Scripture

34:16     Learning from the Characters: Balak

45:53     Learning from the Characters: Balaam

1:08:22  Learning from the Characters: (She)Donkey

1:17:00  The Problematic Lesson Purpose

1:30:00  Insider Prophets and Outsider Prophets

 

Resources

Animal Minds, RadioLab

Oaks, Dating vs. Hanging Out

Oaks, Two Lines of Communication

Discerning the Spirit, one of my favorite Sunday School episodes

Recognizing the Spirit, Mormon Matters

Kugel, How to Read the Bible

McKenzie, How to Read the Bible (about genre)

Haidt, Happiness Hypothesis

Ariely, Are We in Control of Our Decisions? TED

 

Thanks to Nathan Jones for postproduction, and as always to Steven Nelson for the beautiful bumper music.

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