Sabbath Bible Lessons

The Light of the World (III)
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Lesson 8 Sabbath, August 23, 2014

Extraordinary Ways to Reach the Worldly-Minded

“I will set my glory among the heathen” (Ezekiel 39:21).

“Even among the heathen there were men through whom Christ was working to uplift the people from their sin and degradation.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 35.

Suggested Reading:   Prophets and Kings, pp. 244–253.

Sunday August 17

1. HOME TRAINING

a. What are some names mentioned in the Bible in connection with the right kind of home training? 1 Samuel 1:20; 2 Kings 5:2; Ruth 4:22; Daniel 1:6.

“God had commanded the Hebrews to teach their children His requirements and to make them acquainted with all His dealings with their fathers. This was one of the special duties of every parent—one that was not to be delegated to another. In the place of stranger lips the loving hearts of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children. Thoughts of God were to be associated with all the events of daily life.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 592.

b. What is the first duty of Christian parents? Proverbs 22:6.

“Let us teach [our children] the claims which God has upon them, that it is their duty to carry religion into every department of life, that they should love God supremely, and love their neighbor, not neglecting the little courtesies of life which are essential to happiness.”—The Health Reformer, May 1, 1877.


Monday August 18

2. A LITTLE MAID IN CAPTIVITY

a. How did a little girl, who had been properly educated by her parents, serve as one of God’s witnesses among the heathen? 2 Kings 5:2, 3.

“The parents of that Hebrew maid, as they taught her of God, did not know the destiny that would be hers. But they were faithful to their trust; and in the home of the captain of the Syrian host, their child bore witness to the God whom she had learned to honor.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 246.

b. Name the most precious gift with which we can endow our children. Deuteronomy 4:10.

“There is no higher trust than that committed to fathers and mothers in the care and training of their children. Parents have to do with the very foundations of habit and character. By their example and teaching the future of their children is largely decided. . . . Parents who impart to the child such a gift have endowed him with a treasure more precious than the wealth of all the ages, a treasure as enduring as eternity.

“We know not in what line our children may be called to serve. They may spend their lives within the circle of the home; they may engage in life’s common vocations, or go as teachers of the gospel to heathen lands; but all are alike called to be missionaries for God, ministers of mercy to the world. They are to obtain an education that will help them to stand by the side of Christ in unselfish service.”—Ibid., p. 245.

c. What must we sometimes realize when we think of the unusual things that happen to us? Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 16:9.

“A slave, far from her home, this little maid was nevertheless one of God’s witnesses, unconsciously fulfilling the purpose for which God had chosen Israel as His people.”—Ibid., p. 244.


Tuesday August 19

3. NAAMAN

a. How did Jehoram, the king of Israel, respond when he read a letter from the king of Syria, and how did Elisha seek to encourage him? 2 Kings 5:7, 8.

b. When Naaman came to the door of Elisha’s residence, how was his faith tested? 2 Kings 5:9–12. Describe the miracle that served to both heal Naaman and convert him to worship the God of Israel. 2 Kings 5:13, 14.

“Naaman had expected to see some wonderful manifestation of power from heaven. ‘I thought,’ he said, ‘he will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.’ When told to wash in the Jordan, his pride was touched, and in mortification and disappointment he exclaimed, ‘Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean?’‘ So he turned and went away in a rage’ (2 Kings 5:11, 12).

“The proud spirit of Naaman rebelled against following the course outlined by Elisha. The rivers mentioned by the Syrian captain were beautified by surrounding groves, and many flocked to the banks of these pleasant streams to worship their idol gods. It would have cost Naaman no great humiliation of soul to descend into one of those streams. But it was only through following the specific directions of the prophet that he could find healing. Willing obedience alone would bring the desired result.”—Prophets and Kings, pp. 248, 249.

c. How did Naaman confess his conversion to the true God? 2 Kings 5:15, 16, 19. Many centuries later, in what way did Jesus commend the faith of Naaman? Luke 4:27.

“Centuries after Naaman returned to his Syrian home, healed in body and converted in spirit, his wonderful faith was referred to and commended by the Saviour as an lesson for all who claim to serve God.”—Ibid., pp. 252, 253.


Wednesday August 20

4. GEHAZI

a. How was Gehazi used by the devil to put a stumbling block before those whom the Holy Spirit was working to save? 2 Kings 5:20–24.

“Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, had had opportunity during the years to develop the spirit of self-denial characterizing his master’s lifework. It had been his privilege to become a noble standard-bearer in the army of the Lord. The best gifts of Heaven had long been within his reach; yet, turning from these, he had coveted instead the base alloy of worldly wealth. And now the hidden longings of his avaricious spirit led him to yield to an overmastering temptation.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 250.

“[Gehazi] dwelt in the household of the holy prophet Elisha, saw his godly life, heard his fervent prayers, and his inculcation of correct principles. Yet he was not made better.”—The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 1529.

b. What is required of every Christian, especially of those called to work as teachers, church officers, or evangelists? Hebrews 12:13.

“Wrongs perpetrated by believers in the truth bring great weakness upon the church. They are stumbling blocks in the way of sinners and prevent them from coming to the light.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 252

“Those who claim to keep and teach the holy law of God, and yet are continually transgressing that law, are stumbling blocks both to sinners and to believers in the truth. The loose, lax way in which many regard the law of Jehovah and the gift of His Son is an insult to God. The only way in which we can correct this widespread evil is to examine closely everyone who would become a teacher of the Word. Those upon whom this responsibility rests should acquaint themselves with his history since he professed to believe the truth. His Christian experience and his knowledge of the Scriptures, the way in which he holds present truth, should all be understood. No one should be accepted as a laborer in the cause of God, until he makes it manifest that he has a real, living experience in the things of God.”—Gospel Workers, pp. 437, 438.

c. On what does our spiritual security depend? 1 Corinthians 10:12; 2 Corinthians 13:5.


Thursday August 21

5. MEN CANNOT DECEIVE GOD

a. What happened to Gehazi as soon as he uttered a second falsehood? 2 Kings 5:25–27.

b. What does the Bible say about those who speak lies? Proverbs 19:5; Colossians 3:25; Revelation 22:15.

“Truth is of God; deception in all its myriad forms is of Satan, and whoever in any way departs from the straight line of truth is betraying himself into the power of the wicked one. Those who have learned of Christ will ‘have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness’ (Ephesians 5:11). In speech, as in life, they will be simple, straightforward, and true, for they are preparing for the fellowship of those holy ones in whose mouth is found no guile. See Revelation 14:5.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 252.

“False speaking in any matter, every attempt or purpose to deceive our neighbor, is here included [in the ninth commandment]. An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood. By a glance of the eye, a motion of the hand, an expression of the countenance, a falsehood may be told as effectually as by words. All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggerated impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner as to mislead, is falsehood. This precept forbids every effort to injure our neighbor's reputation by misrepresentation or evil surmising, by slander or tale bearing. Even the intentional suppression of truth, by which injury may result to others, is a violation of the ninth commandment.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 309.


Friday August 22

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. How can we prepare our children to be like the little Israelite maid?

2. What is the calling of our youth—in whatever area they serve?

3. How can people be touched today, just as Naaman was?

4. What spirit of Gehazi can spoil our best evangelistic efforts?

5. What is required of all Christians—especially when witnessing?

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