July 3, 1999 – July 9, 1999
MEMORY VERSE: “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20.
STUDY HELP: Christ’s Object Lessons, 17–26, 124–134.
“ ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.’ [Proverbs 9:10.] The great work of life is character-building; and a knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education. To impart this knowledge, and to mould the character in harmony with it, should be the object of the teacher’s work. The law of God is a reflection of His character. Hence the psalmist says, ‘All Thy commandments are righteousness;’[Psalm 119:172.] and ‘through thy precepts I get understanding.’[Psalm 119:104.] God has revealed Himself to us in His word and in the works of creation. Through the volume of inspiration and the book of nature, we are to obtain a knowledge of God.” Christian Education, 64.
“The Heavens Declare the Glory of God”
How did David declare the silent witness of the heavens? Psalm 19:1–6.
NOTE: ‘God calls upon teachers to behold the heavens and to study His works in nature. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.’ Psalm 19:1-3. Shall we not strive to understand the wonderful works of God? We should do well to read often the nineteenth psalm, that we may understand how the Lord binds up His law with His created works.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents and Students, 453.
What counsel does the prophet Isaiah give to those who do not have a correct understanding of God? Isaiah 40:26.
NOTE: “God calls upon men to see Him in the wonders of the heavens. ‘Lift up your eyes on high,’ He says, ‘and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number:He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might,’ Isaiah 40:26. God would have us study the works of infinity, and from this study learn to love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God’s love and care and power.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents and Students, 456, 457.
“What is Man, That Thou Art Mindful of Him?”
What specific lesson did David learn from contemplating the heavens? Psalm 8:3–6.
NOTE: “We are not to simply look upon the heavens. We are to consider the works of God. We are to study the works of infinity. And then what? To love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God’s love and power. God calls upon His creatures to turn their attention from the confusion and perplexity around them, and admire His handiwork. The heavenly bodies are worthy of contemplation. God has made them for the benefit of man, and as we study His works, angels of God will be by our side to enlighten our minds, and guard them from satanic deception. As you look at the wonderful things God’s hands have made, let your proud heart feel its dependence and inferiority. As you consider these things, you will have a view of God’s condescension. We are to contemplate the wonderful works of God, and repeat the lessons learned from them to our children, that we may lead them to see His skill, His power, His grandeur, in His created works. All true religion is found in His Word and in nature.” Minnesota Worker, March 14, 1900.
What does creation teach us of the true role of mankind? Hebrews 2:6–7, Genesis 1:26.
NOTE: “We have here revealed to us the truth concerning the origin of man. These words prove how false is the invention of Satan, which has been reiterated by man, that the human race has been developed, stage by stage, from the lowest order of animals. This is one of the deceptions by which Satan seeks to lower in the eyes of man God’s great work of creation.” Youth’s Instructor, August 10, 1899.
“Consider the Lilies”
What lessons did Jesus teach from the things of nature? Matthew 6:25–34.
NOTE: “Let these words impress your heart: ‘Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?’ The better life is here referred to. By the body is meant the inward adorning, which makes sinful mortals, possessing the meekness and righteousness of Christ, valuable in His sight, as was Enoch, and entitles them to receive the finishing touch of immortality. Our Saviour refers us to the fowls of the air, which sow not, neither reap, nor gather into barns, yet their heavenly Father feedeth them. Then He says:‘Are ye not much better than they? . . . And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’ These lilies, in their simplicity and innocence, meet the mind of God better than Solomon in his costly decorations yet destitute of the heavenly adorning. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ Can you not trust in your heavenly Father? Can you not rest upon His gracious promise? ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Precious promise! Can we not rely upon it? Can we not have implicit trust, knowing that He is faithful who hath promised? I entreat you to let your trembling faith again grasp the promises of God. Bear your whole weight upon them with unwavering faith; for they will not, they cannot, fail.” Testimonies, vol.2, 496.
What valuable lesson can be learned by those who voyage on the sea? Psalm 107:23–31.
NOTE: “As we passed through the Golden Gate into the broad ocean, it was very rough. The wind was against us, and the steamer pitched fearfully, while the ocean was lashed into fury by the wind. I watched the clouded sky, the rushing waves leaping mountain high, and the spray reflecting the colors of the rainbow. The sight was fearfully grand, and I was filled with awe while contemplating the mysteries of the deep. It is terrible in its wrath. There is a fearful beauty in the lifting up of its proud waves with roaring, and then falling back in mournful sobs. I could see the exhibition of God’s power in the movements of the restless waters, groaning beneath the action of the merciless winds, which tossed the waves up on high as if in convulsions of agony.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 287.
“Go to the Ant”
What valuable lessons can be learned from observing God’s creatures? Proverbs 6:6–9, 30:24–28.
NOTE: “We are not merely to tell the child about these creatures of God. The animals themselves are to be his teachers. The ants teach lessons of patient industry, of perseverance in surmounting obstacles, of providence for the future. And the birds are teachers of the sweet lesson of trust. Our heavenly Father provides for them; but they must gather the food, they must build their nests and rear their young. Every moment they are exposed to enemies that seek to destroy them. Yet how cheerily they go about their work! How full of joy are their little songs!
“How beautiful the psalmist’s description of God’s care for the creatures of the woods: ‘The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.’ Psalm 104:18. He sends the springs to run among the hills, where the birds have their habitation, and ‘sing among the branches.’ Psalm 104:12. All the creatures of the woods and hills are a part of His great household. He opens His hand, and satisfies ‘the desire of every living thing.’ Psalm 145:16.” Education, 117–118.
What will the diligent student of nature learn from his studies? Job 12:7–9.
NOTE: “In its human wisdom the world can not know God. Its wise men gather an imperfect knowledge of God from His created works, and then in their foolishness they exalt nature and the laws of nature above nature’s God. Those who have not a knowledge of God through an acceptance of the revelation He has made of Himself in Christ, will obtain only an imperfect knowledge of Him in nature; and this knowledge, so far from giving elevated conceptions of God, and bringing the whole being into conformity to His will, will make men idolaters. Professing themselves to be wise, they will become fools.” Review and Herald, November 8, 1898.
“Scoffers Walking After Their Own Lusts”
Against what human attitude did Peter warn? 2 Peter 3:3–6.
NOTE: “The men of Noah’s time, in their philosophy and worldly wisdom, thought God could not destroy the world with a flood, for the waters of the ocean could not be sufficient for this. But God made the philosophy and science of men foolishness when the time had fully come to execute His word. The inspired pen describes the earth as standing out of the water and in the water. God had His weapons concealed in the bowels of the earth to compass her destruction. And when the great men and the wise men had reasoned before the world of the impossibility of its destruction by water, and the fears of the people were quieted, and all regarded Noah’s prophecy as the veriest delusion, and looked upon Noah as a crazy fanatic, God’s time had come. He hid Noah and his family in the ark, and the rain began to descend, slowly at first; the jeers and scoffings did not cease for a time, but soon the waters from heaven united with the waters of the great deep; the waters under the earth burst through the earth’s surface, and the windows of heaven were opened, and man with all his philosophy and so-called science, finds that he had not been able in his worldly wisdom to comprehend God… The same reasoning will be heard to-day from worldly-wise men.” Signs of the Times, January 3, 1878.
“The wisdom of men may or may not be valuable, as experience shall prove, but the wisdom of God is indispensable, and yet many who profess to be wise are willingly ignorant of the things that pertain to eternal life. Miss what you may in the line of human attainments, but this you must have, faith in the pardon brought to you at infinite cost, or all of wisdom attained in earth, will perish with you.” Review and Herald, November 24, 1891.
How does Paul show that those who do not recognize the Creator in His works are without excuse? Romans 1:20.
NOTE: “Man will be left without excuse. God has given sufficient evidence upon which to base faith, if he wishes to believe. In the last days, the earth will be almost destitute of true faith. Upon the merest pretence, the word of God will be considered unreliable, while human reasoning will be received, though it be in opposition to plain Scripture facts. Men will endeavor to explain from natural causes the work of creation. But just how God wrought in the work of creation He has never revealed to men. Human science cannot search out the secrets of the God of Heaven.” Signs of the Times, March 20, 1879.
“Ready to Give an Answer”
How is the follower of Christ to be prepared to give account of his beliefs? 1 Peter 3:15.
NOTE: “The fear here spoken of does not mean distrust or indecision, but with due caution, guarding every point, lest an unwise word be spoken, or excitement of feeling get the advantage, and thus leave unfavorable impressions upon minds, and balance them in the wrong direction. Godly fear, humility, and meekness are greatly needed by all in order to correctly represent the truth of God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 258, 259.
“Many who profess to believe the truth for these last days will be found wanting. They have neglected the weightier matters. Their conversion is superficial, not deep, earnest, and thorough. They do not know why they believe the truth, only because others have believed it, and they take it for granted that it is the truth. They can give no intelligent reason why they believe.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 634.
What counsel are we given about getting involved in discussions about false teachings and beliefs? 1 Timothy 6:20–21.
NOTE: “The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to ‘science falsely so called’ will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the daytime we look toward heaven but do not see the stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80, 81.