of Doom and of Deliverance
“Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto
thee or not.” Numbers 11:23.
Fundamentals of Christian Education,
355–357; Christ’s Object Lessons,
“The long-suffering and forbearance of God
will be appreciated by those who repent, and God will save them from sin. But
those who continue to disobey will receive punishment which is proportionate to
their rebellion against the God of heaven.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 221.
1 How was
Manasseh punished for his wickedness? II Kings 21:16; II Chronicles 33:9–11.
What was the spiritual condition of the people during Manasseh’s reign as
compared with that of Hezekiah?
Note: “The kingdom of Judah, prosperous
throughout the times of Hezekiah, was once more brought low during the long
years of Manasseh’s wicked reign, when paganism was revived, and many of the
people were led into idolatry. ‘Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of
Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen.’ II Chronicles 33:9. The
glorious light of former generations was followed by the darkness of
superstition and error. Gross evils sprang up and flourished—tyranny,
oppression, hatred of all that is good. Justice was perverted; violence
those evil times were not without witness for God and the right. The trying
experiences through which Judah had safely passed during Hezekiah’s reign had
developed, in the hearts of many, a sturdiness of character that now served as
a bulwark against the prevailing iniquity. Their testimony in behalf of truth
and righteousness aroused the anger of Manasseh and his associates in
authority, who endeavored to establish themselves in evil-doing by silencing
every voice of disapproval.” Prophets and Kings, 381, 382.
should we learn from the punishment and repentance of the apostate king? II
Chronicles 33:12, 13; II Peter 3:9.
Note: “In the case of Manasseh the Lord gives
us an instance of the way in which He works.
Lord has often spoken to His people in warning and reproof. He has revealed
Himself in mercy, love, and kindness. He has not left His backsliding people to
the will of the enemy, but has borne long with them, even during obdurate
apostasy. But after appeals have been made in vain, He prepares the rod for
punishment. What compassionate love has been exercised toward the people of
God! The Lord might have cut down in their sins those who were working at cross
purposes with Him, but He has not done this. His hand is stretched out still.
We have reason to offer thanksgiving to God that He has not taken His Spirit
from those who have refused to walk in His way.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 3, 1132.
3 What did
Isaiah prophesy regarding the Babylonian captivity? Isaiah 39:6. When, why, and
how did the Lord allow this to happen? II Chronicles 36:14–20.
Note: “Foremost among those who were rapidly
leading the nation to ruin was Zedekiah their king. Forsaking utterly the
counsels of the Lord as given through the prophets, forgetting the debt of
gratitude he owed Nebuchadnezzar, violating his solemn oath of allegiance taken
in the name of the Lord God of Israel, Judah’s king rebelled against the
prophets, against his benefactor, and against his God. In the vanity of his own
wisdom he turned for help to the ancient enemy of Israel’s prosperity, ‘sending
his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him
horses and much people.’ [Ezekiel 17:15.] …
“To the ‘profane wicked prince’ had come the day of final
reckoning. ‘Remove the diadem,’ the Lord decreed, ‘and take off the crown.’ [Ezekiel 21:25, 26.] Not until Christ
Himself should set up His kingdom was Judah again to be permitted to have a
king.” Prophets and
Kings, 450, 451.
Babylon was thus used as God’s rod of punishment, what was Isaiah shown about
this cruel nation? Isaiah 13:19–22. What principle does this teach us?
Note: “The strength of nations, as of
individuals, is not found in the opportunities or facilities that appear to
make them invincible; it is not found in their boasted greatness. It is
measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purpose.
illustration of this truth is found in the history of ancient Babylon. To
Nebuchadnezzar the king the true object of national government was represented
under the figure of a great tree. …
the king failed of recognizing the power that had exalted him. … Instead of
being a protector of men, Babylon became a proud and cruel oppressor. The words
of Inspiration picturing the cruelty and greed of rulers in Israel reveal the
secret of Babylon’s fall and of the fall of many another kingdom
since the world began. …
nation that has come upon the stage of action has been permitted to occupy its
place on the earth, that it might be seen whether it would fulfill the purpose
of ‘the Watcher and the Holy One.’ [Daniel 4:13.] Prophecy has traced the rise
and fall of the world’s great empires—Babylon, Medo-Persia,
Greece, and Rome. With each of these, as with nations of less power, history
repeated itself. Each had its period of test, each failed, its glory faded, its
power departed, and its place was occupied by another.” Education, 175–177.
5 With what
words did God promise to deliver His people after their period of chastisement?
Isaiah 44:24, 28; 45:1–3, 13.
Note: “More than a century before the birth
of Cyrus, Inspiration had mentioned him by name, and had caused a record to be
made of the actual work he should do in taking the city of Babylon unawares,
and in preparing the way for the release of the children of the captivity.
Through Isaiah the word had been spoken.” Prophets and Kings, 551.
6 How was
this prophecy fulfilled? Ezra 1:1–4; 6:3–5. What principle should this fact
cause us to recall? Numbers 11:23.
Note: “In a written proclamation published
‘throughout all his kingdom,’ [II Chronicles 36:22]
Cyrus made known his desire to provide for the return of the Hebrews and for
the rebuilding of their temple.” Prophets and Kings, 558.
Lord has resources. His hand is on the machinery. When the time came for His
temple to be rebuilt, He moved upon Cyrus as His agent to discern the
prophecies concerning Himself, and to grant the Jewish
people their liberty. And more, Cyrus furnished them the necessary facilities
for rebuilding the temple of the Lord. This work began under Cyrus, and his
successor carried on the work begun.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 4, 1175.
7 With what
prophecy did Isaiah make reference to the restoration in Nehemiah’s day and in
our day? Isaiah 58:12.
Note: “The spiritual restoration of which the
work carried forward in Nehemiah’s day was a symbol, is outlined in the words
prophet here describes a people who, in a time of general departure from truth
and righteousness, are seeking to restore the principles that are the
foundation of the kingdom of God.” Prophets and Kings, 677, 678.
8 How does
this prophecy also refer to our work today, as we are preparing for our Lord’s
return? Matthew 17:11; Acts 3:21.
Note: “In the time of the end every divine
institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the
Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired. God’s remnant people, standing
before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the
foundation of all enduring reform.” Prophets and Kings, 678.
9 What promise should we ever keep in
mind? Isaiah 49:8–11.
Note: “When temptations assail you, when
care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place
where you last saw the light. Rest in Christ’s love and under His protecting
care. When sin struggles for the mastery in the heart, when guilt oppresses the
soul and burdens the conscience, when unbelief clouds the mind, remember that
Christ’s grace is sufficient to subdue sin and banish the darkness. Entering
into communion with the Saviour, we enter the region of peace.” The Ministry of Healing, 250.
10 As we struggle with the cares of this life, with what
promises does God comfort us? Isaiah 49:24, 25; Matthew 6:31–34.
Note: “If you give yourself to God’s service,
He who has all power in heaven and earth will provide for your needs.
does not release us from the necessity of effort, but He teaches that we are to
make Him first and last and best in everything. We are to engage in no
business, follow no pursuit, seek no pleasure, that
would hinder the outworking of His righteousness in our character and life.
Whatever we do is to be done heartily, as unto the Lord.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 99.
requires His people to shine as lights in the world. It is not merely the
ministers who are required to do this, but every disciple of Christ. Their
conversation should be heavenly. And while they enjoy communion with God they
will wish to have intercourse with their fellow men in order to express by
their words and acts the love of God which animates their hearts. In this way
they will be lights in the world, and the light transmitted through them will
not go out or be taken away. It will indeed become darkness to those who will
not walk in it, but it will shine with increasing brightness on the path of
those who will obey and walk in the light.
spirit, wisdom, and goodness of God, revealed in His word, are to be
exemplified by the disciples of Christ, and are thus
to condemn the world. God requires of His people according to the grace and
truth given them. All His righteous demands must be fully met. Accountable
beings must walk in the light that shines upon them. If they fail to do this,
their light becomes darkness, and their darkness is great in the same degree as
their light was abundant. Accumulated light has shone upon God’s people; but
many have neglected to follow the light, and for this reason they are in a
state of great spiritual weakness.
is not for lack of knowledge that God’s people are now perishing. They will not
be condemned because they do not know the way, the truth, and the life. The
truth that has reached their understanding, the light which has shone on the
soul, but which has been neglected or refused, will condemn them. Those who
never had the light to reject will not be in condemnation. What more could have
been done for God’s vineyard than has been done? Light, precious light, shines
upon God’s people; but it will not save them unless they consent to be saved by
it, fully live up to it, and transmit it to others in darkness. God calls upon
His people to act. It is an individual work of confessing and forsaking sins
and returning unto the Lord that is needed. One cannot do this work for
another. Religious knowledge has accumulated, and this has increased
corresponding obligations. Great light has been shining upon the church, and by
it they are condemned because they refuse to walk in it. If they were blind
they would be without sin. But they have seen light and have heard much truth,
yet are not wise and holy. Many have for years made no advancement in knowledge
and true holiness. They are spiritual dwarfs. Instead of going forward to
perfection, they are going back to the darkness and bondage of Egypt. Their
minds are not exercised unto godliness and true holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 122–124.