December 3 – 9
“Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 430–439, 508–516; The Sanctified Life, 80–93.
“Man is not left to become the sport of Satan’s temptations. … An Eye that never slumbers or sleeps is guarding the camp of Israel. Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels are ministering to the needs of the children of men. Voices inspired by God are crying, This is the way, walk ye in it.” My Life Today, 88.
1 GOD’S CARE
- With what beautiful illustration does Isaiah depict God’s continual care for His vineyard—and how is this to touch our heart as His children? Isaiah 27:2, 3; Psalm 112:5–7.
Note: “It is true the world is dark. Opposition may wax strong. The trifler and scorner may grow bolder and harder in their iniquity. Yet, for all this, we will not be moved. We have not run as uncertain. No, no. My heart is fixed, trusting in God. We have a whole Saviour. We can rejoice in His rich fullness.” Reflecting Christ, 351.
“If we would only see and appreciate the Lord’s goodness and love and His unceasing care for us, how changed this world would be. If we would seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, the principles of righteousness would guide our lives, and self-seeking would find no place in our hearts. The desire to do our own will would be submerged into the desire to do the will of God. We need to cherish a constant realization of God’s love and goodness. We need to remember that He holds us accountable for the use that we make of the gifts that He has bestowed on us.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 327.
2 SOBER VIGILANCE NEEDED
- What has been shown to be blinding the eyes of the majority today, including the eyes of many professed Christians? Isaiah 29:9–12.
Note: “I have been shown that the false shepherds were drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. The truth of God is sealed up to them; they cannot read it.” Early Writings, 123.
- How does this condition affect many that profess present truth while rejecting parts of it—and what warning accompanies this realization? Isaiah 29:13–16.
Note: “The different parties of professed Advent believers have each a little truth, but God has given all these truths to His children who are being prepared for the day of God. He has also given them truths that none of these parties know, neither will they understand. Things which are sealed up to them, the Lord has opened to those who will see and are ready to understand. If God has any new light to communicate, He will let His chosen and beloved understand it, without their going to have their minds enlightened by hearing those who are in darkness and error.
“I was shown the necessity of those who believe that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young nor old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison to the soul and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. The influence of such gatherings is not good. If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith He has set us free and rejoice in the truth. God is displeased with us when we go to listen to error, without being obliged to go; for unless He sends us to those meetings where error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, He will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness.
“I saw that we have no time to throw away in listening to fables. Our minds should not be thus diverted, but should be occupied with the present truth.” Early Writings, 124, 125.
3 PROPHECIES REGARDING CERTAIN CLASSES
- What prophecy is given regarding the meek of the Lord in contrast to those who indulge a critical spirit against their brethren and sisters? Isaiah 29:18–21.
Note: “He who supposed himself secure in the love and friendship of his brother, finds himself mistrusted and his motives misjudged. …
“Floating rumors are frequently the destroyers of unity among brethren. There are some who watch with open mind and ears to catch flying scandal. They gather up little incidents which may be trifling in themselves, but which are repeated and exaggerated until a man is made an offender for a word. Their motto seems to be, ‘Report, and we will report it’ (Jeremiah 20:10). These tale-bearers are doing the devil’s work with surprising fidelity, little knowing how offensive their course is to God. If they would spend half the energy and zeal that is given to this unholy work in examining their own hearts, they would find so much to do to cleanse their souls from impurity that they would have no time or disposition to criticize their brethren, and they would not fall under the power of this temptation. The door of the mind should be closed against ‘they say’ or ‘I have heard.’ Why should we not, instead of allowing jealousy or evil-surmising to come into our hearts, go to our brethren, and, after frankly but kindly setting before them the things we have heard detrimental to their character and influence, pray with and for them? While we cannot love and fellowship those who are the bitter enemies of Christ, we should cultivate that spirit of meekness and love that characterized our Master—a love that thinketh no evil and is not easily provoked.” The Review and Herald, June 3, 1884.
- What encouraging prophecy is given for these last days with regard to earnest Jewish people who are honestly seeking God? Isaiah 29:22–24.
Note: “Among the Jews are some who, like Saul of Tarsus, are mighty in the Scriptures, and these will proclaim with wonderful power the immutability of the law of God. The God of Israel will bring this to pass in our day. His arm is not shortened that it cannot save. As His servants labor in faith for those who have long been neglected and despised, His salvation will be revealed. [Isaiah 29:22–24 quoted.]” The Acts of the Apostles, 381.
4 GOD’S LONG-SUFFERING TOWARD US ALL
- How was Isaiah bidden to address candidly the carnal tendency of God’s professed people—and how does this apply to us today? Isaiah 30:8–16.
Note: “We want to impress upon you the necessity of cleansing yourselves from every stain of sin. The church that Christ presents before the throne of His glory is without ‘spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing’ (Ephesians 5:27). Do you want to be among those who have washed their robes of character in the blood of the Lamb? then, ‘cease to do evil; learn to do well’ (Isaiah 1:16, 17); walk in the commandments and ordinances of your God blameless. You are not to ask whether it suits your convenience to keep the truth of heaven. You are to take up your cross and follow Jesus, cost what it may. You will find that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. When you broke His law and incurred the penalty of death, God did not spare his only begotten Son, that you might be brought from the path of transgression into the way of life and holiness; and will you neglect so great salvation, and refuse to comply with the conditions of eternal life?” The Review and Herald, June 22, 1911.
“Make up your mind that from henceforth your feet shall go in the path of obedience. The darkness that binds you like a thick cloud, will part asunder, and heavenly light will shine upon all those who will have the truth at any cost.
“The Lord understands all about your trials; and however impossible it may seem to live for God, you will find that the way will appear. When your faith has been tested, as the Lord opened the Red Sea so the waters will divide, and His providence will make a path for your feet. It is safe to serve God. It may not be to your worldly advantage to keep God’s ways; but the transgressor will be at an eternal loss. …
“Our fathers have transgressed, and we have followed in their footsteps; but God has opened the book of the law, and backslidden Israel hear the commandments of the Lord. Their transgression stands revealed, and the wrath of God will be upon every soul that does not repent and reform as the light shines upon his pathway. …
“We must repent of the past evil of our doings, and seek God with all our hearts. We must believe that God means just what He says, and make no compromise with evil in any way. We should greatly humble ourselves before God, and consider any loss preferable to the loss of His favor.” Ibid., June 29, 1911.
- How has God manifested His great patience with us? Isaiah 30:18, 19.
5 HEEDING THE STILL, SMALL VOICE
- How does sincerity in the prayer, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13), help us stay in safe paths? Isaiah 30:20, 21.
Note: “The master mind in the confederacy of evil is ever working to keep out of sight the words of God and to bring into full view the opinions of men. He means that we shall not hear the voice of God saying: ‘This is the way, walk ye in it’ (Isaiah 30:21). Through educational processes he is doing all in his power to obscure heaven’s light.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 305.
“The Lord desires all to understand that their prosperity is hid with Him in Christ; that it is dependent on their humility and meekness, their wholehearted obedience and devotion.” Ibid., vol. 7, 212.
“In offering the prayer that Christ has given [in Matthew 6:13], we surrender ourselves to the guidance of God, asking Him to lead us in safe paths. We cannot offer this prayer in sincerity, and yet decide to walk in any way of our own choosing. We shall wait for His hand to lead us; we shall listen to His voice, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it’ (Isaiah 30:21).
“It is not safe for us to linger to contemplate the advantages to be reaped through yielding to Satan’s suggestions. Sin means dishonor and disaster to every soul that indulges in it; but it is blinding and deceiving in its nature, and it will entice us with flattering presentations. If we venture on Satan’s ground we have no assurance of protection from his power. So far as in us lies, we should close every avenue by which the tempter may find access to us.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 117, 118.
- As we turn from our idols, what is God’s promise to us? Isaiah 30:22–26.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 In showering His blessings upon us, what does God want us to consider?
2 Why should we think twice before running to visit other denominations?
3 Why is it impossible for a truly meek person to gossip?
4 What is the preference of carnally-minded people who profess religion?
5 How only will God answer our prayers for guidance?