MEMORY VERSE: "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." Psalm 50:3–5.
INTRODUCTION: "As a people we must practice self-denial and economy. Every soul should make a covenant with God by sacrifice. We should not expend money in extra expensive clothing, and rich furniture. We are pilgrims and strangers seeking a better country, even an heavenly. Time is short, and every dollar not necessary to be used in supplying positive wants, should be brought in as a thank offering to God." Pastoral Ministry (1995), 244.
1 What did God ask Abraham to do? Genesis 22:2.
NOTE: "This act of faith in Abraham is recorded for our benefit. It teaches us the great lesson of confidence in the requirements of God, however close and cutting they may be; and it teaches children perfect submission to their parents and to God. By Abraham’s obedience we are taught that nothing is too precious for us to give to God." Ellen G. White Comments, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1094.
2 What was the purpose and the result of Abraham’s obedience to God’s requirement? Genesis 22:15–18.
NOTE: "The offering of Isaac was designed by God to prefigure the sacrifice of His Son. Isaac was a figure of the Son of God, who was offered a sacrifice for the sins of the world. God desired to impress upon Abraham the gospel of salvation to men; and in order to make the truth a reality, and to test his faith, He required Abraham to slay his darling Isaac. All the agony that Abraham endured during that dark and fearful trial was for the purpose of deeply impressing upon his understanding the plan of redemption for fallen man." Youth’s Instructor, March 1, 1900.
3 What ordinance of sacrifice was instituted when the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt? Exodus 12:5–13, 21–23, 26, 27.
NOTE: "The directions that Moses gave concerning the Passover feast are full of significance, and have an application to parents and children in this age of the world. . . .
"The father was to act as the priest of the household, and if the father was dead, the eldest son living was to perform this solemn act of sprinkling the doorpost with blood. This is a symbol of the work to be done in every family. Parents are to gather their children into the home and to present Christ before them as their Passover. The father is to dedicate every inmate of his home to God and to do a work that is represented by the feast of the Passover. It is perilous to leave this solemn duty in the hands of others.
"Let Christian parents resolve that they will be loyal to God, and let them gather their children into their homes with them and strike the doorpost with blood, representing Christ as the only One who can shield and save, that the destroying angel may pass over the cherished circle of the household. Let the world see that a more than human influence is at work in the home. Let parents maintain a vital connection with God, set themselves on Christ’s side, and show by His grace what great good may be accomplished through parental agency." The Adventist Home, 324, 325.
4 What was the result of the children of Israel’s obedience? Exodus 12:30–32.
NOTE: "From the most terrible peril one night had brought complete deliverance. That vast, helpless throng—bondmen unused to battle, women, children, and cattle, with the sea before them, and the mighty armies of Egypt pressing behind—had seen their path opened through the waters and their enemies overwhelmed in the moment of expected triumph. Jehovah alone had brought them deliverance, and to Him their hearts were turned in gratitude and faith. Their emotion found utterance in songs of praise. The Spirit of God rested upon Moses, and he led the people in a triumphant anthem of thanksgiving, the earliest and one of the most sublime that are known to man. . . .
"That song does not belong to the Jewish people alone. It points forward to the destruction of all the foes of righteousness and the final victory of the Israel of God. The prophet of Patmos beholds the white-robed multitude that have ‘gotten the victory,’ standing on the ‘sea of glass mingled with fire,’ having ‘the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.’ (Revelation 15:2, 3). . . ." Conflict and Courage, 93.
5 What daily routine of sacrifices did the Lord require when they built the tabernacle? Exodus 29:38, 39.
NOTE: "Like the patriarchs of old, those who profess to love God should erect an altar to the Lord wherever they pitch their tent. . . . Fathers and mothers should often lift up their hearts to God in humble supplication for themselves and their children. Let the father, as priest of the household, lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to tarry.
"Let the members of every family bear in mind that they are closely allied to heaven. The Lord has a special interest in the families of His children here below. Angels offer the smoke of the fragrant incense for the praying saints. Then in every family let prayer ascend to heaven both in the morning and at the cool sunset hour, in our behalf presenting before God the Saviour’s merits. Morning and evening the heavenly universe take notice of every praying household." Child Guidance, 518, 519.
6 What was David’s attitude when he made a sacrifice to the Lord? 2 Samuel 24:18–24.
NOTE: "David feels convicted that he has committed a great sin against God. He sees his error, and humbles himself before God, confessing his great sin . . . ."
"God speaks to David, by His prophet, and bids him make atonement for his sin. David’s heart was in the work, and his repentance was accepted. The threshing floor of Araunah is offered him freely, where to build an altar unto the Lord; also cattle, and everything needful for the sacrifice. But David tells him who would make this generous offering, that the Lord will accept the sacrifice which he is willing to make, but that he would not come before the Lord with an offering which cost him nothing. He would buy it of him for full price. He offered there burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. God accepted the offerings by answering David in sending fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice." Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 385, 386.
7 What is more important than sacrifice? Micah 6:6–8; 1 Samuel 15:22.
NOTE: "In all the details of life the strictest principles of honesty are to be maintained. . . . Deviation from perfect fairness in business deal[s] may appear as a small thing in the estimation of some, but our Saviour did not thus regard it. His words on this point are plain and explicit: ‘He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.’ A man who will overreach his neighbor on a small scale will overreach in a larger scale if the temptation is brought to bear upon him. A false representation in a small matter is as much dishonesty in the sight of God as falsity in a larger matter.
"Honesty should stamp every action of our lives. Heavenly angels examine the work that is put into our hands; and where there has been a departure from the principles of truth, ‘wanting’ is written in the records." Child Guidance, 154, 155.
8 What kind of a sacrifice is the Lord asking us to give? Romans 12:1, 2.
NOTE: "As the truth is brought into practical life, the standard is to be elevated higher and higher, to meet the requirements of the Bible. This will necessitate opposition to the fashions, customs, practices, and maxims of the world. Worldly influences, like the waves of the sea, beat against the followers of Christ to sweep them away from the true principles of the meekness and grace of Christ; but they are to stand as firm as a rock to principle. It will require moral courage to do this, and those whose souls are not riveted to the eternal Rock, will be swept away by the worldly current. We can stand firm only as our life is hid with Christ in God. Moral independence will be wholly in place when opposing the world. By conforming entirely to the will of God, we shall be placed upon vantage ground, and shall see the necessity of decided separation from the customs and practices of the world. We are not to elevate our standard just a little above the world’s standard; but we are to make the line of demarcation decidedly apparent." Fundamentals of Christian Education, 288, 289.
9 What sacrifice was made for our salvation? Isaiah 53:2–10.
NOTE: "Had silver and gold been sufficient to purchase the salvation of men, how easily might it have been accomplished by Him who says, ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine.’ Haggai 2:8. But only by the precious blood of the Son of God could the transgressor be redeemed. The plan of salvation was laid in sacrifice. The apostle Paul wrote, ‘Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.’ 11 Corinthians 8:9. Christ gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity. And as the crowning blessing of salvation, ‘the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Romans 6:23." The Acts of the Apostles, 519.
10 What did Jesus ask us to sacrifice? Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23.
NOTE: "In His lessons of instruction to His disciples, Jesus taught them that His kingdom is not a worldly kingdom, where all are striving for the highest position; but He gave them lessons in humility and self-sacrifice for the good of others. His humility did not consist in a low estimate of His own character and qualifications, but in adapting Himself to fallen humanity, in order to raise them up with Him to a higher life. Yet how few see anything attractive in the humility of Christ! Worldlings are constantly striving to exalt themselves one above another; but Jesus, the Son of God, humbled Himself in order to uplift man. The true disciple of Christ will follow His example." Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 78.
11 Who is the Lord going to be looking for in His Kingdom? Psalm 50:5.
NOTE: "We must be partakers of Christ’s sufferings here, if we would share in His glory hereafter. If we seek our own interest, how we can best please ourselves, instead of seeking to please God and advance His precious, suffering cause, we shall dishonor God and the holy cause we profess to love. We have but a little space of time left in which to work for God. Nothing should be too dear to sacrifice for the salvation of the scattered and torn flock of Jesus. Those who make a covenant with God by sacrifice now, will soon be gathered home to share a rich reward, and possess the new kingdom forever and ever." Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 104.