Loading...

Follow Sabbath School Network on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Sabbath School Network by Sabbath School Lesson - 2h ago
Read Psalm 101:1-8. Though written for leaders, what important counsel can we take from it for ourselves, whatever our position in life?

Psalm 101:1-8 is a text for leaders. It is thought that these verses were composed by David in the early days of his reign as king of Israel. They may even have been adapted from vows that he made at the time of becoming king.

Mercy

In his experiences as a warrior for Saul and then a fugitive from him, he had witnessed for himself how a king who loses his way could damage the nation and his family. David determined that he was going to be a different kind of leader.

Few of us might be political or national leaders, but we all have roles in life in which we have the opportunity to influence and encourage others. These might be in our working life, community involvement, family, or church. As Ellen G. White comments on one of these settings of leadership, “the vows of David, recorded in the 101st psalm, should be the vows of all upon whom rest the responsibilities of guarding the influences of the home”. – Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 119.

As we have opportunity, we should be prepared to suggest and uphold these principles to those who fill positions of leadership over us. And all of us, in our leadership and places of influence, have the opportunity to apply David’s leadership principles in order to help us be a blessing to others.

The starting point for David is honoring God for His mercy and justice (Ps. 101:1), which became the foundation for everything David sought to uphold by his leadership. He sought to learn and practice these same characteristics in his life and work. To do this, he must resist the temptations toward wrongdoing, corruption, and dishonesty, all of which are particular traps for those in positions of power and leadership.

Knowing how important good counselors were to help him to do right, David pledges to seek out trustworthy advisers and to appoint honest officials. Justice and mercy were to mark his leadership, even among those who worked with and for him.

We might not be in a position to have advisers and officials, but how can we fill our lives with influences that help us to live and to lead (where we can) with justice and mercy for those who need it?

Amen!(0)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

You can view an in-depth discussion of “Sabbath: Mercy and Justice in the Psalms and Proverbs” in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. You may download an MP4 video file, and audio file or a PDF lesson outline from the HopeSS site.

With thanks to Hope Channel – Television that will change your life.

Amen!(0)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The most-loved and well-known Psalm is in Hymn 546 or 552, “The Lord’s My Shepherd”.

The Psalms are songs of hope (Sunday) as is 
Hymn 214, “We Have This Hope”, as is 
Hymn 5, “All My Hope on God Is Founded”Hymn 440,
“How Cheering Is the Christian’s Hope”
 and 
Hymn 522, “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”.
At the end of Sunday’s study, judgment is given – 
Hymn 418, “Day of Judgment, Day of Wonders!”

The theme of judgment continues on Monday – 
Hymn 416, “The Judgment Has Set” as does 
Hymn 647, “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”.

Psalm 101 (Tuesday) commences with “I will sing of mercy and justice….” – 
Hymn 110, “God’s Free Mercy Streameth” and 
Hymn 521, “Depth of Mercy”. Our pledge at the end of the days’ study should be 
“O Brother, Be Faithful” – Hymn 602.

Walking With the Lord (Wednesday) give us 
Hymn 590, “Trust and Obey”
Hymn 574, “O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee”, and 
Hymn 554, O Let Me Walk With Thee”.

We are all needing the mercy of God (Thursday) and can sing again 
Hymn 110, “God’s Free Mercy Streameth” and 
Hymn 521, “Depth of Mercy”.

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Amen!(0)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Key Thought: The ideas in Psalms and Proverbs are that God does notice and intervene to protect those often ignored or exploited. We need to show mercy and justice as well.

July 27, 2019

1. Have a volunteer read Psalm 82.
  1. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
  2. How does God defend the poor and fatherless and do justice to the needy and afflicted? What is significant about the fact Elijah was sent to only one widow lady to help her when there were many widows in the time of famine?
  3. Personal Application: How do we balance mercy and justice in our interactions with others? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: One of your relatives states: “How do you deal with people who are evil in heart and mind, preying on their neighbors and society with theft, crime, and drugs and yet claim that they are the poor and oppressed?” How would you respond to your relative?
2. Have a volunteer read Psalm 101.
  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the most important point is in this passage.
  2. What does it mean not to set any wicked thing before your eyes?
  3. Personal Application: In what ways would you consider yourself a leader or in a position of influence? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: One of your friends states, “How can we be agents of justice in the world of sin and evil? Is it in political activism? Is it in community involvement and advocacy? Or is it in how we live our lives at home and in the community?” How would you respond to your friend?
3. Have a volunteer read Psalm 146:5-9.
  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. Why are the principles of justice and fairness so important in building a strong society?
  3. Personal Application: Have you had an experience where you felt closer to God in helping someone else? Share your thoughts
  4. Case Study: One of your neighbors states, “How can we help those in need in the culture and social structure we have in our situation? Are there some measures we can take?” How would you reply to your neighbor?
4. Have a volunteer read Proverbs 10:4-6.
  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. Why do innocent people suffer at the hands of evil people? When will the oppression and violence ever end? What answers does God give us for these questions?
  3. Personal Application: How does God see and deal with the lazy, indolent, and violent people? Do we see the results now, or are they in the future? How had the government endorsed or rejected God’s counsel? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: Think of one person who needs to hear a message from this week’s lesson. Tell the class what you plan to do this week to share with them.

(Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.”Ministry of Healing, p. 148).

Amen!(0)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Read Ps. 82:1-8. What is the message here to us?

Despite the ordering and rules of society that God gave to them, at various times in their history the Israelite nation failed to live up to this plan. They too easily became like the nations around them, living by a pattern of injustice and oppression.

Help!

Leaders and judges looked after only themselves, and their favor could be purchased with bribes. Without courts to protect them, ordinary people, and the poor especially, were subject to exploitation.

Psalm 82 is a response to such a situation. It describes God’s role as Supreme Judge, and it depicts a scene in which He judges the leaders and even the judges of the people. This psalm emphasizes that those who fill such roles in society “are appointed to act as judges under Him”. – Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 198. They hold their position and conduct their work as representatives and subordinates of God. In the psalmist’s view, the justice of God is a model for how earthly justice should function, and it also provides the measure against which such justice or injustice—and those who dispense it—will be judged.

The psalm concludes with a specific call for God to act (Ps. 82:8), to intervene and to stop the injustice that is so prevalent in the nation. Like many of the psalms, this one gives a voice to the voiceless and to the oppressed, those whose voices have been silenced by the unjust systems in which they live and work.

Psalm 82 makes an appeal to God in His position of Supreme Judge and Sovereign Ruler of the universe and of all the nations. There is no higher court or authority to which such an appeal could be made. The assurance comes that when earthly courts do not hear or uphold the cries of the poor and oppressed, which is so often the case here, there is still an undeniable opportunity to call for help.

At different times in our lives we might find ourselves as victims of injustice, but at other times we might be the one committing or profiting from injustice. In passages such as Psalm 82, we can find insight and wisdom, whether we are the oppressed or the oppressor. God is concerned for the unjust judges, too, describing them as His children and wanting them to choose to live better (see Ps. 82:6). Thus, there’s hope even for those on the wrong side of oppression, if they will allow themselves to be changed.

Amen!(0)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

As we have already noted, God sees and hears people who are in distress and trouble. Most often in the Psalms we hear those cries from people who have trusted in God but are not seeing justice done. The affirmations of the goodness, justice, and power of God can seem overwhelmed by the injustice and oppression that the voices in these songs experience or observe.

Image © Kevin Carden from GoodSalt.com

Yet, these are the songs of those who are still singing. Neither their life nor their faith has been quenched. There is still hope; and the urgency is for God to act before it is too late, before evil triumphs, before the oppressed are destroyed by the weight of the evil brought against them. In this way, the writers of the Psalms try to bridge the gap between the affirmations of their faith and the trials and tragedies of life.

Read Psalm 9:7-9Ps. 9:13-20. Can you imagine the circumstances David—the writer of the Psalm—was in? Can you feel the tension between his faith in God’s goodness and his present experience? How have you dealt with the struggle of faith in God amid times of severe trial?

Throughout the Psalms, the repeated answer to this tension is the hope and promise of God’s good and just judgment. Evil and injustice may seem triumphant for now, but God will judge the evildoers and the unjust. They will be punished while those they have hurt and oppressed will be restored and renewed.

In Reflections on the Psalms, C. S. Lewis describes his initial surprise at the excitement and longing for God’s judgment as expressed repeatedly in the Psalms. Observing that many Bible readers today consider judgment something to be feared, he considers the original Jewish perspective and writes, “thousands of people who have been stripped of all they possess and who have the right entirely on their side will at last be heard. Of course they are not afraid of judgment. They know their case is unanswerable—if only it could be heard. When God comes to judge, at last it will”. – C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1958), p. 11.

In the Psalms, we see hope for the oppressed, even now, even amid their present sufferings and disappointments.

What reasons do we have to view the idea of judgment as positive, and not something to be feared?
Amen!(0)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Image © Pacific Press

Read for This Week’s Study: Ps. 9:7-9Ps. 9:13-20; Ps. 82:1-8; Ps. 101:1-8; Ps. 146:1-10Prov. 10:4Prov. 13:23Prov. 13:25Prov. 30:7-9. Memory Text: “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4, NKJV).

Psalms and Proverbs depict the experience of living with God in the common things of life, not just in times of worship or in other religious activities. While the book of Proverbs offers a range of practical wisdom—from relationships and families to business and government—the Psalms are a collection of songs that cover a variety of emotions and spiritual experiences from laments to exultant praise and to everything in between. It is easy to see that our faith should make a difference in every aspect and experience of our lives, because God cares about every aspect of our lives.

Meanwhile, any reflection on life in this fallen world could hardly ignore the injustice that so permeates the human condition. In fact, injustice is repeatedly described as something that our Lord cares about and seeks to relieve. It is He who is the hope of the hopeless.

Though we can only touch on what these books say about this topic, perhaps this lesson might inspire you to be more proactive in ministering to the needs of the poor, the oppressed, and the forgotten who exist all around us and whom we are obligated to help.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, July 27.

Amen!(0)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
By Wilson Measapogu

Sundar Rao, a 27-year-old farm worker, was intrigued when a white man showed up at his Indian village and read about a Creator God from a black book on Saturdays.

Image © Pacific Press

Sundar was attracted to U.S. missionary Theodore R. Flaiz’s Bible stories and decided to follow his God.

Sundar’s employer was furious when he didn’t go to the field the first Sabbath. His anger grew as Sundar kept missing Saturday work.

At home, Sundar angered his relatives by no longer participating in family religious festivals, including the worship of Naga, a snake god.

After some time, Sundar sought peace by building a house just beyond the brook that marked the village’s border. Soon he got married and had a daughter.

One day when Sundar was 29, the employer asked him to work on a Saturday. “After your worship ends on Saturday, come and help count bales of hay”, he demanded.

Sundar reluctantly obeyed. He arrived at the field after sunset but before darkness had set in. With help from others, he counted the bales. Noticing a small bale off to one side, he kicked it toward a larger bale. In a split second, a young cobra sprang from the bale, struck him on the leg, and fled.

No medical help was available, and Sundar knew he would die soon.

The villagers had no doubt that Naga was punishing him.

“Naga is very angry at you”, one said.

“It’s because you disobeyed all the village gods”, said another.

Sundar started to sweat. Formerly estranged family members gathered around him and wept. The village waited for him to close his eyes and die.

But nothing happened. An hour passed. Two hours. A snakebite specialist was summoned to check his leg. The specialist was astounded with what he found. He declared that the cobra had struck Sundar with the top of his mouth, not with the poisonous fangs, and had fled in fright without bothering to bite a second time.

The next day, the villagers were amazed to see that Sundar was healthy and happy.

“The protection of the white man’s God has saved him from the cobra bite”, they said.

From that moment, in 1957, many villagers joined Sundar in keeping the Sabbath.

Five years after the snakebite, I was born to Sundar.

Today, Gudem Madhavaram is an Adventist village. It has produced 40 pastors and Bible workers, and many educators and health professionals. On Saturdays, the whole village stops to worship the Creator God. This is the power of the God who turned a snakebite into a blessing.

Wilson Measapogu is executive secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Southern Asia Division, whose territory includes India. His father died in August 2017 at the age of 77.

Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org

All Rights Reserved. No part of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide may be edited, altered, modified, adapted, translated, reproduced, or published by any person or entity without prior written authorization from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Amen!(1)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Further Thought: 

Read Ellen G. White, “From the Red Sea to Sinai”, pages 295-297, in Patriarchs and Prophets“The Sabbath”, pages 281-289, in The Desire of Ages; Sigve K. Tonstad, “The Social Conscience of the Seventh Day”, pages 125-143, in The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day.

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

“Jesus stated to them that the work of relieving the afflicted was in harmony with the Sabbath law. It was in harmony with the work of God’s angels, who are ever descending and ascending between heaven and earth to minister to suffering humanity …

And man also has a work to perform on this day. The necessities of life must be attended to, the sick must be cared for, the wants of the needy must be supplied. He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. God’s holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy are in perfect harmony with its intent. God does not desire His creatures to suffer an hour’s pain that may be relieved upon the Sabbath or any other day”. – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pages 206, 207.

Discussion Questions:
  1. In what ways have you experienced the Sabbath as a demonstration of your trust in God? Have you had a manna-like experience in your life, where God has provided in response to your trust in Him? If so, share it with the class and tell what you have learned.
  2. As we have seen in the fourth commandment as found in Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15, God emphasized different aspects of Sabbath. What is the one aspect of Sabbath that you most appreciate?
  3. In class or individually, brainstorm some ways you can share the blessings and benefits of the Sabbath in your community.
  4. What are some of the ways the Sabbath changes your life? Are there other parts of your life in which the patterns and principles of the Sabbath should have a greater impact?
Summary:

 God gave the Sabbath as a way of remembering Creation and Redemption, but it also has many practical benefits. It teaches us to trust in God’s provision for us; it teaches us to practice equality; and it can become a spiritual discipline that can transform all our relationships. Jesus demonstrated His ideal for the Sabbath by healing the sick and emphasizing the Sabbath as a day to benefit those in need.

Amen!(1)

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Friday evenings always bring fond memories of Sabbaths at home when I was a kid. We always had our Friday rituals even though they changed from time to time. We would play family games, or go on drives when I was little. Later, I remember we would get all the chores and baths done and groceries bought for the week and then would get a  pizza, and bring it home to enjoy with the family, as the sun went down. In the summer we could get in an episode of “Benson” along with our pizza, before the Sabbath began. Tulsa Adventist Academy, the school I attended, let out early on Fridays so we could go home and prepare for the Sabbath. This was in accordance with the counsel we had been given from the Spirit of Prophecy.

“On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.

We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time. Whenever it is possible, employers should give their  workers the hours from Friday noon until the beginning of the Sabbath. Give them time for preparation, that they may welcome the Lord’s day with quietness of mind. By such a course you will suffer no loss even in temporal things.

There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, “confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” James 5:16.

Before the Sabbath begins, the mind as well as the body should be withdrawn from worldly business. God has set His Sabbath at the end of the six working days, that men may stop and consider what they have gained during the week in preparation for the pure kingdom which admits no transgressor. We should each Sabbath reckon with our souls to see whether the week that has ended has brought spiritual gain or loss.”  (Ellen White, Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 6, p. 356.)

Later in life I decided that not all of this counsel was practical. Back in the day this was written baths were a lot of work, hauling in water and all. Today you can take a shower just at the turn of the knob, which to me could easily be done on the Sabbath, without causing too much work. Cooking on the Sabbath does not require so much work either I thought.

While that may be a justifiable argument, the fact is, that if we do not make a big deal out of preparing for the Sabbath, then the Sabbath will not be a big deal either. While it may not take as much effort to prepare for the Sabbath nowadays, I think we lose some of the specialness of the day by not preparing more. We rob ourselves of a special blessing when we forget the other forgotten day besides the Sabbath, which is the preparation day.

“We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time. Whenever it is possible, employers should give their  workers the hours from Friday noon until the beginning of the Sabbath. Give them time for preparation, that they may welcome the Lord’s day with quietness of mind. By such a course you will suffer no loss even in temporal things.”  {6 Vol. Testimonies to the Church, P. 356.}

I remember Sabbath evenings before the sun went down Saturday night, my family would have worship as we closed the Sabbath. My mind would wander from the Bible reading to the Tulsa Roughnecks soccer game that we would be going to as soon as the sun went down. Since all secular things had been put away for the day, I was excited to get to the game. Looking back, I think it made both the Sabbath and the game more special. Each had their proper place in my routine. Sure my mind should have been all absorbed in the family worship I was in, while it was still Sabbath, and not the game I would be going to after sundown, but hey, I was just a kid.

Even so, today I log on my computer on Sabbaths to read emails or check my Facebook, and I can’t help but see the game scores on my home page. While I tell myself I can’t help but see, and it is not a sin to just glance at the scores, still, my mind goes back to my childhood when things were more black and white, and I miss those days when Sabbath was a big deal. I am not saying it is not a big deal now, it is. I mean when it was more special because we put more thought and effort into those holy hours. The point of me sharing this is this: While we live in a time where it may be easier to prepare for the Sabbath, and we may argue that maybe some of the old rules do not apply any more – i.e. taking baths before sundown – I think the Sabbath would be more special to us if we would make a big deal out of preparing for it.

The greater the preparation, the greater the blessing. I believe the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy are still relevant today. Let’s not just remember the Sabbath day. Let’s also remember the preparation day. If we do, there are some special memories still to come!

 

Amen!(50)

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview