March 3, 2019 – March 9, 2019
“Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land” (Psalm 85:9).
Study Help: My Life Today, 53; Patriarchs and Prophets, 713–716.
“It was regard for the law of God that gave Israel strength during the reign of David.” Prophets and Kings, 466.
- Give an example which reveals the fidelity and justice of David. 2 Samuel 8:15; 9:1–6.
Note: “David, in his covenant with Jonathan, had promised that when he should have rest from his enemies he would show kindness to the house of Saul. In his prosperity, mindful of this covenant, the king made inquiry, ‘Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake’ (2 Samuel 9:1)? He was told of a son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, who had been lame from childhood. At the time of Saul’s defeat by the Philistines at Jezreel, the nurse of this child, attempting to flee with him, had let him fall, thus making him a lifelong cripple. David now summoned the young man to court and received him with great kindness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 713.
- What missionary lesson can we learn from the way David succeeded in touching the heart of this skeptical grandson of Saul? 2 Samuel 9:7–13.
Note: “The private possessions of Saul were restored to him [Mephibosheth] for the support of his household; but the son of Jonathan was himself to be the constant guest of the king, sitting daily at the royal table. Through reports from the enemies of David, Mephibosheth had been led to cherish a strong prejudice against him as a usurper; but the monarch’s generous and courteous reception of him and his continued kindness won the heart of the young man; he became strongly attached to David, and, like his father Jonathan, he felt that his interest was one with that of the king whom God had chosen.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 713.
“In tender, pitying love, lay hold of the discouraged and helpless ones. Give them your courage, your hope, your strength. By kindness compel them to come. …
“If the servants of God will walk with Him in faith, He will give power to their message. They will be enabled so to present His love and the danger of rejecting the grace of God that men will be constrained to accept the gospel.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 235, 236.
A KINDNESS SCORNED
- How did Hanun, king of the Ammonites, totally misinterpret David’s gesture of genuine kindness? 2 Samuel 10:1–4.
Note: “They [the Ammonites] could have no conception of the generous spirit that had inspired David’s message. When Satan controls the minds of men he will excite envy and suspicion which will misconstrue the very best intentions. Listening to his counselors, Hanun regarded David’s messengers as spies, and loaded them with scorn and insult.
“The Ammonites had been permitted to carry out the evil purposes of their hearts without restraint, that their real character might be revealed to David. It was not God’s will that Israel should enter into a league with this treacherous heathen people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 714.
- What was Hanun’s immediate action when he considered the potential consequences of the insult he had rendered to Israel? 1 Chronicles 19:6–8.
Note: “The Ammonites, knowing that the insult offered to Israel would surely be avenged, made preparation for war. [1 Chronicles 19:6, 7 quoted.]
“It was indeed a formidable alliance. The inhabitants of the region lying between the river Euphrates and the Mediterranean Sea had leagued with the Ammonites. The north and east of Canaan was encircled with armed foes, banded together to crush the kingdom of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 715.
A MAJOR VICTORY
- What did Joab declare to encourage his people? 1 Chronicles 19:13. How did David inspire them also?
Note: “David, realizing how much dependent upon the result of this contest, took the field in person, and by the blessing of God inflicted upon the allies a defeat so disastrous that the Syrians, from Lebanon to the Euphrates, not only gave up the war, but became tributary to Israel. Against the Ammonites David pushed the war with vigor, until their strongholds fell and the whole region came under the dominion of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 715.
- Although today the weapons of our warfare are not to be carnal, how can we gain strength by considering the outcome of this particular battle in David’s reign? 2 Corinthians 10:3–6; 1 John 5:4, 5.
Note: “The dangers which had threatened the nation with utter destruction proved, through the providence of God, to be the very means by which it rose to unprecedented greatness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 715.
“The kingdom of Israel had now reached in extent the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham, and afterward repeated to Moses: ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates’ (Genesis 15:18). Israel had become a mighty nation, respected and feared by surrounding peoples. In his own realm David’s power had become very great. He commanded, as few sovereigns in any age have been able to command, the affections and allegiance of his people. He had honored God, and God was now honoring him.” Ibid., 716.
DELIVERANCE AND THANKS
- What did David realize in considering his remarkable deliverances? Psalms 18:20–22, 35, 46–50; 33:16, 17; 44:4–7.
- What opportunities were afforded Israel during this period, and why? Psalm 85:9–13; Proverbs 14:34.
Note: “In the reign of David and Solomon, Israel became strong among the nations and had many opportunities to wield a mighty influence in behalf of truth and the right. The name of Jehovah was exalted and held in honor, and the purpose for which the Israelites had been established in the Land of Promise bade fair of meeting with fulfillment. Barriers were broken down, and seekers after truth from the lands of the heathen were not turned away unsatisfied. Conversions took place, and the church of God on earth was enlarged and prospered.” Prophets and Kings, 25.
- How had a seemingly small sin crept into David’s experience, thus paving the way for worse temptations? Song of Solomon 2:15.
Note: “He [David] often conquered, and triumphed. He increased in wealth and greatness. But his prosperity had an influence to lead him from God. His temptations were many and strong. He finally fell into the common practice of other kings around him, of having a plurality of wives, and his life was imbittered by the evil results of polygamy. His first wrong was in taking more than one wife, thus departing from God’s wise arrangement. This departure from right, prepared the way for greater errors. The kingly idolatrous nations considered it an addition to their honor and dignity to have many wives, and David regarded it an honor to his throne to possess several wives. But he was made to see the wretched evil of such a course by the unhappy discord, rivalry and jealousy among his numerous wives and children.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 86.
- What unseen foe was stalking David, just as with each one of us? Ephesians 6:12. What is our only defense? Ephesians 6:13; James 4:7, 8; 1 Peter 5:8, 9; 4:7.
Note: “In the midst of prosperity lurked danger. In the time of his greatest outward triumph David was in the greatest peril.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 716.
“In every soul two powers are struggling earnestly for the victory. Unbelief marshals its forces, led by Satan, to cut us off from the Source of our strength. Faith marshals its forces, led by Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Hour by hour, in the sight of the heavenly universe, the conflict goes forward. This is a hand-to-hand fight, and the great question is, Which shall obtain the mastery? This question each must decide for himself. In this warfare all must take a part, fighting on one side or the other. From the conflict there is no release. … We are urged to prepare for this conflict.’’ Sons and Daughters of God, 328.
“The work of every soul is to resist the enemy in the power and might of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the promise is that the devil shall flee from us. But let all realize that they are in peril, and there is no assurance of safety except as they comply with the conditions of the text. The Lord says, ‘Draw nigh to God’ (James 4:8). How?—By secret, earnest examination of your own heart; by childlike, heart-felt, humble dependence upon God, making known your weakness to Jesus; and by confessing your sins. Thus you may draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” Ibid., 346.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What can we learn from David’s kindness toward Mephibosheth?
2 Why do the heathen often misinterpret a kind act?
3 Explain the reason for Israel’s victory over the formidable alliance which rose up against them.
4 What should we learn from the prosperity of Israel under David?
5 Explain how to have consistent victory in the great controversy.