August 16, 2003 – August 22, 2003
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4.
Suggested Reading: Faith and Works, 17.
“The clouds that gather about our way will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Unbelief says: ‘We can never surmount these obstructions; let us wait until they are removed, and we can see our way clearly.’ But faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things. Obedience to God is sure to bring the victory. It is only through faith that we can reach heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 27.
1 What blessing did Jacob pronounce upon Joseph’s sons just before his death? Genesis 48:14, 16–20. Compare Numbers 26:34, 37.
note: “The sons of Joseph were to be formally instated among the children of Israel. Joseph, coming for a last interview with his father, brought with him Ephraim and Manasseh. These youths were connected, through their mother, with the highest order of the Egyptian priesthood; and the position of their father opened to them the avenues to wealth and distinction, should they choose to connect themselves with the Egyptians. It was Joseph’s desire, however, that they should unite with their own people. He manifested his faith in the covenant promise, in behalf of his sons renouncing all the honors that the court of Egypt offered, for a place among the despised shepherd tribes, to whom had been entrusted the oracles of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 234.
2 How could Jacob say with such assurance what Ephraim and Manasseh should have? Hebrews 11:21.
note: “Jacob’s history is an assurance that God will not cast off those who have been betrayed into sin, but who have returned unto Him with true repentance. It was by self-surrender and confiding faith that Jacob gained what he had failed to gain by conflict in his own strength. God thus taught His servant that divine power and grace alone could give him the blessing he craved. Thus it will be with those who live in the last days. As dangers surround them, and despair seizes upon the soul, they must depend solely upon the merits of the atonement. . . . None will ever perish while they do this. . . .” Conflict and Courage, 69.
3 How did Joseph, at his death, show his faith in God’s promise? Hebrews 11:22; Genesis 50:25.
note: “[Joseph] witnessed the increase and prosperity of his people, and through all the years his faith in God’s restoration of Israel to the Land of Promise was unshaken.
“When he saw that his end was near, he summoned his kinsmen about him. Honored as he had been in the land of the Pharaohs, Egypt was to him but the place of his exile; his last act was to signify that his lot was cast with Israel. . . . He took a solemn oath of the children of Israel that they would carry up his bones with them to the land of Canaan. ‘So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.’ [Genesis 50:26.] And through the centuries of toil which followed, the coffin, a reminder of the dying words of Joseph, testified to Israel that they were only sojourners in Egypt, and bade them keep their hopes fixed upon the Land of Promise, for the time of deliverance would surely come.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 240.
4 How did the parents of Moses show their faith in God’s promise? Hebrews 11:23. Compare Exodus 2:2.
note: “A son was born to Amram and Jochebed, devout Israelites of the tribe of Levi. The babe was ‘a goodly child;’ and the parents, believing that the time of Israel’s release was drawing near, and that God would raise up a deliverer for His people, determined that their little one should not be sacrificed. Faith in God strengthened their hearts . . . .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 242.
5 What did Moses’ own faith lead him to do when he was grown? Hebrews 11:24.
note: “The Lord preserved Moses from being injured by the corrupting influences around him. The principles of truth, received in his youth from God-fearing parents, were never forgotten by him. And when he most needed to be shielded from the corrupting influences attending a life at court, then the lessons in his youth bore fruit. The fear of God was before him. And so strong was his love for his brethren, and so great was his respect for the Hebrew faith, that he would not conceal his parentage for the honor of being an heir of the royal family.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 184, 185.
6 What did Moses prefer to the sinful pleasures of Egypt? Hebrews 11:25, 26.
note: “Our Master was a man of sorrows; He was acquainted with grief; and those who suffer with Him will reign with Him. When the Lord appeared to Saul in his conversion, He did not purpose to show him how much good he should enjoy, but what great things he should suffer for His name. Suffering has been the portion of the people of God from the days of the martyr Abel. The patriarchs suffered for being true to God and obedient to His commandments. The great Head of the church suffered for our sake; His first apostles and the primitive church suffered; the millions of martyrs suffered, and the Reformers suffered. And why should we, who have the blessed hope of immortality, to be consummated at the soon appearing of Christ, shrink from a life of suffering? Were it possible to reach the tree of life in the midst of the Paradise of God without suffering, we would not enjoy so rich a reward for which we had not suffered. We would shrink back from the glory; shame would seize us in the presence of those who had fought the good fight, had run the race with patience, and had laid hold on eternal life. But none will be there who have not, like Moses, chosen to suffer affliction with the people of God.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 78.
7 What sustained Moses in leading the children of Israel from Egypt? Hebrews 11:27.
note: “When God commanded Moses to do anything, he did it without stopping to consider what the consequences might be. He gave God credit for wisdom to know what He meant and firmness of purpose to mean what He said; and therefore Moses acted as seeing the Invisible.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 346.
8 How did Moses keep the Passover? Hebrews 11:28.
note: “After the ninth plague Pharaoh had placed Moses under the threat of death should he again appear in the royal presence (see Exodus 10:28). It must have taken great faith on Moses’ part to issue the instructions he did with regard to the tenth plague, the Passover, and the Exodus.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 477.
9 Who is the real Passover? 1 Corinthians 5:7, last part.
note: “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. He gave his precious, sinless life to save guilty human beings from eternal ruin, that through faith in him they might stand guiltless before the throne of God.” The Youth’s Instructor, July 20, 1899.
“This blood of the ‘Passover’ represented to the Jews the blood of Christ. For in due time, God would give His dear Son to be slain as the lamb had been slain; so that all who should believe in Him might be saved from everlasting death. Christ is called our Passover. (1 Corinthians 5:7.) By His blood, through faith, we are redeemed. (Ephesians 1:7.)” The Story of Jesus, 18.
10 How did the Israelites pass through the Red Sea? Hebrews 11:29.
note: “The Hebrews were weary and terrified; yet if they had held back when Moses bade them advance, if they had refused to move nearer to the Red Sea, God would never have opened the path for them. In marching down to the very water, they showed that they had faith in the word of God as spoken by Moses. They did all that it was in their power to do, and then the Mighty One of Israel performed His part, and divided the waters to make a path for their feet.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 26, 27.
11 By what were the walls of Jericho thrown down? Hebrews 11:30.
note: “The Captain of the Lord’s host communicated only with Joshua; He did not reveal Himself to all the congregation, and it rested with them to believe or doubt the words of Joshua, to obey the commands given by him in the name of the Lord, or to deny his authority. They could not see the host of angels who attended them under the leadership of the Son of God. They might have reasoned: ‘What unmeaning movements are these, and how ridiculous the performance of marching daily around the walls of the city, blowing trumpets of rams’ horns. This can have no effect upon those towering fortifications.’ But the very plan of continuing this ceremony through so long a time prior to the final overthrow of the walls afforded opportunity for the development of faith among the Israelites. It was to be impressed upon their minds that their strength was not in the wisdom of man, nor in his might, but only in the God of their salvation. They were thus to become accustomed to relying wholly upon their divine Leader.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 493.
12 For what purpose are all of the examples of faith given? 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11; Romans 15:4.
note: “The failures and mistakes of ancient Israel are not as grievous in the sight of God as are the sins of the people of God in this age. Light has been increasing from age to age, and the generations that follow have the example of the generations that went before. The Lord does not change, and a sin which he condemned in former generations should be avoided by us. We should heed the admonition that has been given in the past, and lay hold of the promises that are made for the encouragement of the obedient. If we are learning lessons in obedience, following the path of faith and virtue, we have a living connection with God, and he will be our strength and support, our front guard, and our rearward. The same conditions must be fulfilled by us now as were by those who received rich blessings in former days. The reason we do not have more of the blessing of the Lord is that the professed people of God serve him with divided hearts, as verily as did ancient Israel. They profess to be worshipers of God, but many as verily worship idols as did the Hebrews.” Review and Herald, May 21, 1895.