Lessons from the Life of David – Brotherly Love

January 20 – 26, 2019

Key Text

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Study Help: The Youth’s Instructor, November 24, 1898; Our High Calling, 182–184.


“There are many cords which unite us to our fellow men, to humanity, and to God, and this relationship is solemn with its weight of responsibility.” Our High Calling, 184.



  • Who was faithful Jonathan, and for what qualities had he been distinguished? 1 Samuel 13:5; 14:1, 6, 13–15.

Note: “In Jonathan, the son of Saul, the Lord saw a man of pure integrity—one to whom He could draw nigh, and upon whose heart He could move.” Sons and Daughters of God, 208.

“Jonathan, the king’s son, a man who feared the Lord, was chosen as the instrument to deliver Israel. Moved by a divine impulse, he proposed to his armor-bearer that they should make a secret attack upon the enemy’s camp. ‘It may be,’ he urged, ‘that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few’ (1 Samuel 14:6). …

“Angels of heaven shielded Jonathan and his attendant, angels fought by their side, and the Philistines fell before them. The earth trembled as though a great multitude with horsemen and chariots were approaching. Jonathan recognized the tokens of divine aid, and even the Philistines knew that God was working for the deliverance of Israel. Great fear seized upon the host, both in the field and in the garrison. In the confusion, mistaking their own soldiers for enemies, the Philistines began to slay one another.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 623.

  • How do we know that Jonathan was beloved among the people and demonstrated potential as the natural heir to the throne? 1 Samuel 14:24, 27, 43–45.

Note: “Saul could not claim the honor of the victory, but he hoped to be honored for his zeal in maintaining the sacredness of his oath. Even at the sacrifice of his son, he would impress upon his subjects the fact that the royal authority must be maintained. …

“The people refused to allow the sentence to be executed. Braving the anger of the king, they declared, ‘Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day’ (1 Samuel 14:45). The proud monarch dared not disregard this unanimous verdict, and the life of Jonathan was preserved.

“Saul could not but feel that his son was preferred before him, both by the people and by the Lord. Jonathan’s deliverance was a severe reproof to the king’s rashness. “Patriarchs and Prophets, 625.



  • Describe the relationship of Jonathan and David. 1 Samuel 18:1–4.

Note: “Especially was the heart of Jonathan knit with David’s, and there was a most sacred bond of union established between them, which remained unbroken till the death of Saul and Jonathan. This was the Lord’s doings, that Jonathan might be the means of preserving the life of David, when Saul would try to kill him.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 79.

  • How did Jonathan intercede in David’s behalf? 1 Samuel 19:1–7.

Note: “Jonathan revealed the king’s intention to David and bade him conceal himself while he would plead with his father to spare the life of the deliverer of Israel. He presented before the king what David had done to preserve the honor and even the life of the nation, and what terrible guilt would rest upon the murderer of the one whom God had used to scatter their enemies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 652.



  • How did David confirm to Jonathan his innocence before Saul and appeal for his help? 1 Samuel 20:1–3, 5–8.

Note: “After the remarkable exhibition of the power of God, Jonathan could not believe that his father would still harm David, since this would be manifest rebellion against God. But David was not convinced.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 654.

  • How did Jonathan renew his loyalty to David, even at the expense of his own chance at the throne? 1 Samuel 20:4, 9, 12–17. Which specific characteristics of godly love did Jonathan especially manifest? 1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.

Note: “Jonathan, by birth heir to the throne, yet knowing himself set aside by the divine decree; to his rival the most tender and faithful of friends, shielding David’s life at the peril of his own; steadfast at his father’s side through the dark days of his declining power, and at his side falling at the last—the name of Jonathan is treasured in heaven, and it stands on earth a witness to the existence and the power of unselfish love.” Education, 157.



  • How did Jonathan’s protection of David place his own life in jeopardy? 1 Samuel 20:27–34. What should we as families learn from Jonathan’s manifestation of the depth of true friendship? John 15:13.

 Note: “[John 15:13 quoted.] Our love is frequently selfish, for we confine it to prescribed limits. When we come into close union and fellowship with Christ, our love and sympathy and our works of benevolence will reach down deeper and will widen and strengthen with exercise. The love and interest of Christ’s followers must be as broad as the world. Those who live merely for ‘me and mine’ will fail of heaven. God calls upon you as a family to cultivate love, to become less sensitive in regard to yourselves and more sensitive to the griefs and trials of others.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 530.

  • Describe the poignant moment when Jonathan and David both realized the hardened intentions of the king, and confirmed their covenant of friendship. 1 Samuel 20:41, 42.

Note: “The prince was grieved and indignant, and leaving the royal presence, he was no more a guest at the feast. His soul was bowed down with sorrow as he repaired at the appointed time to the spot where David was to learn the king’s intentions toward him. Each fell upon the other’s neck, and they wept bitterly. The dark passion of the king cast its shadow upon the life of the young men, and their grief was too intense for expression. Jonathan’s last words fell upon the ear of David as they separated to pursue their different paths, ‘Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed forever’ (1 Samuel 20:42).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 655.



  • After Saul’s atrocious slaughter of the priests at Nob, what brought comfort to the heart of David in the wilderness of Ziph? 1 Samuel 23:15–18. How did this friendship inspire the heart of David? Psalm 11:1–7.

Note: “At this time, when there were so few bright spots in the path of David, he was rejoiced to receive an unexpected visit from Jonathan, who had learned the place of his refuge. Precious were the moments which these two friends passed in each other’s society. They related their varied experiences, and Jonathan strengthened the heart of David … .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 660.

“After the visit of Jonathan, David encouraged his soul with songs of praise, accompanying his voice with his harp as he sang: [Psalm 11:1–5 quoted].” Ibid., 660, 661.

  • What is the witness of Christian love, among the brethren? John 13:34, 35.

Note: “God has placed us in this world in companionship with one another. Let us walk together in love, bending our energies to the work of saving souls. As we thus serve God in holy companionship, we shall prove that we are laborers together with Him.” The Upward Look, 366.

“All who are imbued with His Spirit will love as He loved. The very principle that actuated Christ will actuate them in all their dealing one with another.

“This love is the evidence of their discipleship. ‘By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples,’ said Jesus, ‘if ye have love one to another’ (John 13:35). When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart.

“This love, manifested in the church, will surely stir the wrath of Satan.” The Desire of Ages, 678.



1     How had Jonathan demonstrated faith and courage in the war against the Philistines?

2    What reasoning did Jonathan use in appealing to Saul to spare the life of David?

3    How can we cultivate the Christlike character qualities manifested by Jonathan?

4    What warning can we derive from observing the behavior of Saul?

5    Cite some of the benefits of true Christian friendship.


© 1996, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Lessons from the Life of David – Crisis

January 13 – 19, 2019

Key Text

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 649–659; The Signs of the Times, September 21, 1888.


“Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith. When shadows encompass the soul, when we want light and guidance, we must look up; there is light beyond the darkness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 657.



  • What triggered jealousy in the heart of Saul against David? 1 Samuel 18:5–9. What explains why Saul’s actions followed his sentiments? 1 Samuel 18:11; 1 John 3:15.

Note: “It was the ambition of Saul to be first in the estimation of men; and when this song of praise was sung, a settled conviction entered the mind of the king that David would obtain the hearts of the people and reign in his stead.

“Saul opened his heart to the spirit of jealousy by which his soul was poisoned.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 650.

  • Why does God allow Christians to undergo situations such as the one experienced by David at this particular point in time? 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12–17.

Note: “It was the providence of God that had connected David with Saul. David’s position at court would give him a knowledge of affairs, in preparation for his future greatness. It would enable him to gain the confidence of the nation. The vicissitudes and hardships which befell him, through the enmity of Saul, would lead him to feel his dependence upon God, and to put his whole trust in Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 649.



  • When Saul saw that God had protected David from being murdered, what other plans did he arrange to destroy him? 1 Samuel 18:12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 25. What preserved the life of God’s faithful servant? 1 Samuel 18:14, 30.
  • How did Saul again relate to David? 1 Samuel 19:9, 10. What arrested Saul’s pursual of David at Ramah? 1 Samuel 19:19–24; 20:1, first part.

Note: “He [Saul] was determined to wait for no further chance to kill David; as soon as he should come within reach of him, he intended with his own hand to slay him, whatever might be the consequences.

“But an angel of God met him on the way and controlled him. The Spirit of God held him in Its power, and he went forward uttering prayers to God, interspersed with predictions and sacred melodies. He prophesied of the coming Messiah as the world’s Redeemer. When he came to the prophet’s home in Ramah, he laid aside the outer garments that betokened his rank, and all day and all night he lay before Samuel and his pupils, under the influence of the divine Spirit. …

“Again the persecutor was defeated in his purpose. He assured David that he was at peace with him, but David had little confidence in the king’s repentance. He took this opportunity to escape, lest the mood of the king should change, as formerly.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 654.



  • How did David attempt to save himself and with what result? 1 Samuel 21:1–7.

Note: “The young man [David] was in constant fear of discovery, and in his extremity he resorted to deception. David told the priest that he had been sent by the king on a secret errand, one which required the utmost expedition. Here he manifested a want of faith in God, and his sin resulted in causing the death of the high priest. Had the facts been plainly stated, Ahimelech would have known what course to pursue to preserve his life. God requires that truthfulness shall mark His people, even in the greatest peril. David asked the priest for five loaves of bread. There was nothing but hallowed bread in the possession of the man of God, but David succeeded in removing his scruples, and obtained the bread to satisfy his hunger.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 656.

  • Again facing perceived danger, what course did David take? 1 Samuel 21:10–15.

Note: “The first error of David was his distrust of God at Nob, and his second mistake was his deception before Achish. David had displayed noble traits of character, and his moral worth had won him favor with the people; but as trial came upon him, his faith was shaken, and human weakness appeared. He saw in every man a spy and a betrayer. In a great emergency David had looked up to God with a steady eye of faith, and had vanquished the Philistine giant. He believed in God, he went in His name. But as he had been hunted and persecuted, perplexity and distress had nearly hidden his heavenly Father from his sight.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 656, 657.

“David ought not to have distrusted God for one moment. He had cause for trusting in Him: he was the Lord’s anointed, and in the midst of danger he had been protected by the angels of God; he had been armed with courage to do wonderful things; and if he had but removed his mind from the distressing situation in which he was placed, and had thought of God’s power and majesty, he would have been at peace even in the midst of the shadows of death.” Ibid., 657.



  • How did David’s weakness before Ahimelech result in Satan gaining a chance to instigate the worst passions of Doeg and Saul? 1 Samuel 22:7–11, 16–19.

Note: “The partial and exaggerated statement of the chief of the herdsmen, was suited for the use of the adversary of God and man. It was presented to the mind of Saul in such a light that the king lost all control of himself, and acted like a madman. If he had but calmly waited until he could have heard the whole story, and had exercised his reasoning faculties, how different would have been the terrible record of that day’s doings!” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1020.

  • What can we learn from David’s humble recognition of his own degree of guilt in the slaying of the priests at Nob? 1 Samuel 22:20–23.
  • What words of Jesus should strengthen us when faced with persecution? Matthew 10:28.

Note: “The rack, the stake, the many inventions of cruelty, may kill the body, but they cannot touch the life that is hid with Christ in God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1123, 1124.



  • How did David show nobility of character on several occasions? 1 Samuel 22:1, 3, 4; 2 Samuel 23:13–17.

Note: “David’s anxiety was not all for himself, although he realized his peril. He thought of his father and mother, and he concluded that he must seek another refuge for them. He went to the king of Moab, and the Lord put it into the heart of the monarch to courteously grant to the beloved parents of David an asylum in Mizpeh, and they were not disturbed, even in the midst of the enemies of Israel. From this history, we may all learn precious lessons of filial love.”  “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.

“In the cave of Adullam the family were united in sympathy and affection. The son of Jesse could make melody with voice and harp as he sang, ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity’ (Psalm 133:1)! He had tasted the bitterness of distrust on the part of his own brothers; and the harmony that had taken the place of discord brought joy to the exile’s heart. It was here that David composed the fifty-seventh psalm.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 658.

  • Who else were compelled to separate from Saul’s influence and join David in the cave? 1 Samuel 22:2; Zephaniah 3:12. How does God develop the faith of persecuted believers? Hebrews 11:37–40.

Note: “It was not long before David’s company was joined by others who desired to escape the exactions of the king. There were many who had lost confidence in the ruler of Israel, for they could see that he was no longer guided by the Spirit of the Lord. ‘And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented,’ resorted to David, ‘and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men’ (1 Samuel 22:2). Here David had a little kingdom of his own, and in it order and discipline prevailed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 658.

“When by the jealousy of Saul driven a fugitive into the wilderness, David, cut off from human support, leaned more heavily upon God. The uncertainty and unrest of the wilderness life, its unceasing peril, its necessity for frequent flight, the character of the men who gathered to him there—‘everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented’ (1 Samuel 22:2)—all rendered the more essential a stern self-discipline. These experiences aroused and developed power to deal with men, sympathy for the oppressed, and hatred of injustice.” Education, 152.



1     Explain the root of Saul’s hatred of David.

2    How was Saul prevented from succeeding with his murderous plot?

3    What mistakes did David make in Nob and Gath?

4    How did David respond to the tragedy at Nob?

5    Where, specifically, are some guidelines written to ensure that meekness, sound doctrine, order, and discipline can prevail among twentieth-century Reformers cast out for righteousness’ sake?


Lessons from the Life of David – Overcoming Giants

January 6 – 12, 2019

Key Text

“And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:47).

Study Help: Conflict and Courage, 161–164; The Desire of Ages, 429–431.


“Those who bear the most solemn message ever given to our world must lay off the pugilistic armor, and put on the armor of Christ’s righteousness.” Evangelism, 166.



  • What was David’s response to Saul’s problems and what was the benefit? 1 Samuel 16:14–18, 23.

Note: “David was growing in favor with God and man. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he now set his heart more fully to do the will of God than ever before. He had new themes for thought. He had been in the court of the king and had seen the responsibilities of royalty. He had discovered some of the temptations that beset the soul of Saul. … But while he was absorbed in deep meditation, and harassed by thoughts of anxiety, he turned to his harp, and called forth strains that elevated his mind to the Author of every good, and the dark clouds that seemed to shadow the horizon of the future were dispelled.

“God was teaching David lessons of trust. As Moses was trained for his work, so the Lord was fitting the son of Jesse to become the guide of His chosen people. In his watchcare for his flocks, he was gaining an appreciation of the care that the Great Shepherd has for the sheep of His pasture.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 643, 644.

  • What threats and challenges was Israel facing during this time? 1 Samuel 17:1–11.

Note: “The Philistines propose their own manner of warfare, in selecting a man of great size and strength, whose height is about twelve feet.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.



  • What was David’s main concern in this crisis? 1 Samuel 17:21–26.

Note: “When David saw that all Israel were filled with fear, and learned that the Philistine’s defiance was hurled at them day after day, without arousing a champion to silence the boaster, his spirit was stirred within him. He was fired with zeal to preserve the honor of the living God and the credit of His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 645.

  • What was the attitude of David’s eldest brother, Eliab? What was David’s response? 1 Samuel 17:28, 29.

Note: “Even as a shepherd, David had manifested daring, courage, and strength but rarely witnessed; and the mysterious visit of Samuel to their father’s house, and his silent departure, had awakened in the minds of the brothers suspicions of the real object of his visit. Their jealousy had been aroused as they saw David honored above them, and they did not regard him with the respect and love due to his integrity and brotherly tenderness. They looked upon him as merely a stripling shepherd, and now the question which he asked was regarded by Eliab as a censure upon his own cowardice in making no attempt to silence the giant of the Philistines.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 645.



  • Where was David’s confidence and how had he obtained it? 1 Samuel 17:32–37.

Note: “Whenever a special deliverance is wrought in our behalf, or new and unexpected favors are granted us, we should acknowledge God’s goodness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 187, 188.

“Our preparation to meet opponents or to minister to the people must be obtained of God at the throne of heavenly grace. Here, in receiving the grace of God, our own incompetence is seen and acknowledged. The dignity and glory of Christ is our strength.” Evangelism, 166, 167.

  • In what practical ways did David emphasize the secret of victory? 1 Samuel 17:38–40, 43–51.

Note: “Goliath trusted in his armor. He terrified the armies of Israel by his defiant, savage boastings, while he made a most imposing display of his armor, which was his strength. David, in his humility and zeal for God and his people, proposed to meet this boaster. Saul consented and had his own kingly armor placed upon David. But he would not consent to wear it. He laid off the king’s armor, for he had not proved it. He had proved God and, in trusting in Him, had gained special victories. To put on Saul’s armor would give the impression that he was a warrior, when he was only little David who tended the sheep. He did not mean that any credit be given to the armor of Saul, for his trust was in the Lord God of Israel. He selected a few pebbles from the brook, and with his sling and staff, his only weapons, he went forth in the name of the God of Israel to meet the armed warrior.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 218, 219.



  • What can we learn from David’s deep and abiding trust in God? Psalm 20:5–9.

Note: “The Lord would have us awake to our true spiritual condition. He desires that every soul shall humble heart and mind before Him. The words of inspiration found in the nineteenth and twentieth psalms are presented to me for our people. It is our privilege to accept these precious promises, and to believe the warnings … .

“In the night season I seemed to be repeating these words to the people: There is need of close examination of self. We have no time now to spend in self-indulgence. If we are connected with God, we shall humble our hearts before Him, and be very zealous in the perfecting of Christian characters. We have a grand and solemn work to do, for the world is to be enlightened in regard to the times in which we live; and they will be enlightened when a straight testimony is borne. They will be led to earnest examination of self.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1145, 1146.

  • How do inspired scriptures confirm that God’s people are to overcome the seemingly insurmountable giants of sin and selfishness? Mark 10:26, 27; 11:22, 23; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 5:4.

Note: “In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong. … Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief’ (Mark 9:24). You can never perish while you do this—never.” The Desire of Ages, 429. [Emphasis author’s.]



  • How must all entrusted with the present truth in the last days learn from Jesus and take a warning against falling prey to the spirit of Goliath? Jude 9.

Note: “In the presentation of unpopular truth, which involves a heavy cross, preachers should be careful that every word is as God would have it. Their words should never cut. They should present the truth in humility, with the deepest love for souls and an earnest desire for their salvation, and let the truth cut. They should not defy ministers of other denominations and seek to provoke a debate. They should not stand in a position like that of Goliath when he defied the armies of Israel. Israel did not defy Goliath, but Goliath made his proud boasts against God and His people. The defying, the boasting, and the railing must come from the opposers of truth, who act the Goliath. But none of this spirit should be seen in those whom God has sent forth to proclaim the last message of warning to a doomed world.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 218.

“I was shown that Brother K and other ministers have acted too much the part of Goliath. And then after they have dared and provoked discussion they have trusted in their prepared arguments, as Saul wanted David to trust in his armor. They have not, like humble David, trusted in the God of Israel, and made Him their strength. They have gone forth confident and boastful, like Goliath, magnifying themselves and not hiding behind Jesus. They knew the truth was strong, and therefore have not humbled their hearts and in faith trusted in God to give the truth the victory.” Ibid., 219, 220.

  • What words of encouragement does the Lord offer His tiny remnant in the last days? Zechariah 4:10, first part; Luke 17:6. What is the glory that will lighten the earth? Revelation 18:1.

Note: “And in this last generation the parable of the mustard seed is to reach a signal and triumphant fulfillment. The little seed will become a tree. The last message of warning and mercy is to go to ‘every nation and kindred and tongue’ (Revelation 14:6–14), ‘to take out of them a people for His name’ (Acts 15:14; Revelation 18:1). And the earth shall be lightened with His glory.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 79.

“The revelation of His own glory in the form of humanity will bring heaven so near to men that the beauty adorning the inner temple will be seen in every soul in whom the Saviour dwells. Men will be captivated by the glory of an abiding Christ.” Ibid., 420.



1     How did David grow while soothing Saul with his harp?

2    How did the attitude of David differ from that of his brother?

3    Why did David refuse to wear Saul’s armor?

4    How can we apply this lesson in confronting personal “giants”?

5    Differentiate between the spirit of David and Goliath today.

Lessons from the Life of David – Foundations of Character

December 30 – January 5, 2019

Key Text

“The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Study Help:  Patriarchs and Prophets, 637–642; The Signs of the Times, June 8, 1888.


“David was susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit, and the Lord in His providence trained him for His service, preparing him to carry out His purposes. Christ was the Master-builder of his character.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.



  • At the beginning where did God place our first parents? Genesis 2:8.

Note: “It was under the trees of Eden that the first dwellers on earth had chosen their sanctuary. There Christ had communed with the father of mankind. When banished from Paradise, our first parents still worshiped in the fields and groves, and there Christ met them with the gospel of His grace. It was Christ who spoke with Abraham under the oaks at Mamre; with Isaac as he went out to pray in the fields at the eventide; with Jacob on the hillside at Bethel; with Moses among the mountains of Midian; and with the boy David as he watched his flocks.’’ The Desire of Ages, 290, 291.

  • How can people today benefit from an early education similar to David’s? Psalm 19:1, 7–14.

Note: “The psalmist connects the law of God in the natural world with the laws given to His created intelligences. [Psalm 19:7–14 quoted.]” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1144.



  • How did David utilize his artistic gifts? Psalms 66:1, 2, 16, 17; 105:1, 2.

Note: “The simple shepherd boy sang the songs of his own composing, and the music of his harp made a sweet accompaniment to the melody of his fresh young voice. The Lord had chosen David, and had ordered his life that he might have an opportunity to train his voice, and cultivate his talent for music and poetry. The Lord was preparing him in his solitary life with his flocks, for the work He designed to commit to his trust in afteryears.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.

  • What affirmation did David make as he sang? Psalm 66:18–20.

Note: “Who can measure the results of those years of toil and wandering among the lonely hills? The communion with nature and with God, the care of his flocks, the perils and deliverances, the griefs and joys, of his lowly lot, were not only to mold the character of David and to influence his future life, but through the psalms of Israel’s sweet singer they were in all coming ages to kindle love and faith in the hearts of God’s people, bringing them nearer to the ever-loving heart of Him in whom all His creatures live.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 642.

  • How can appropriate singing be well utilized today? Psalm 100:2.

Note: “With patient calmness He [Christ] met the sneers, the taunts, and the ridicule of His fellow workers at the carpenter’s bench. Instead of retorting angrily, He would begin to sing one of David’s beautiful psalms; and His companions, before realizing what they were doing, would unite with Him in the hymn.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 936.



  • What was Samuel’s dilemma when God sent him to anoint one of the sons of Jesse? 1 Samuel 16:1–6.

Note: “As Samuel looked upon his princely bearing, he thought, ‘This is indeed the man whom God has chosen as successor to Saul,’ and he waited for the divine sanction that he might anoint him. But Jehovah did not look upon the outward appearance. Eliab did not fear the Lord. Had he been called to the throne, he would have been a proud, exacting ruler.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 638.

  • What should we learn from this experience of Samuel? 1 Samuel 16:7; John 7:24.

Note: “We may learn from the mistake of Samuel how vain is the estimation that rests on beauty of face or nobility of stature. We may see how incapable is man’s wisdom of understanding the secrets of the heart or of comprehending the counsels of God without special enlightenment from heaven. The thoughts and ways of God in relation to His creatures are above our finite minds; but we may be assured that His children will be brought to fill the very place for which they are qualified, and will be enabled to accomplish the very work committed to their hands, if they will but submit their will to God, that His beneficent plans may not be frustrated by the perversity of man.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 638.



  • What were some of the recognized qualifications of the future king of God’s choice? Describe God’s choice and the wisdom of His plan. 1 Samuel 16:18.

Note: “When God called David from his father’s sheepfold to anoint him king of Israel, He saw in him one to whom He could impart His Spirit.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.

“David was not of lofty stature, but his countenance was beautiful, expressive of humility, honesty, and true courage. The angel of God signified to Samuel that David was the one for him to anoint, for he was God’s chosen. From that time the Lord gave David a prudent and understanding heart.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 78.

  • What foundational principles are key in obtaining wisdom and honor? Proverbs 15:33; Ecclesiastes 7:8.

Note: “The elder brothers, from whom Samuel would have chosen, did not possess the qualifications that God saw to be essential in a ruler of His people. Proud, self-centered, self-confident, they were set aside for the one whom they lightly regarded, one who had preserved the simplicity and sincerity of his youth, and who, while little in his own sight, could be trained by God for the responsibilities of the kingdom. So today, in many a child whom the parents would pass by, God sees capabilities far above those revealed by others who are thought to possess great promise.

“And as regards life’s possibilities, who is capable of deciding what is great and what is small? How many a worker in the lowly places of life, by setting on foot agencies for the blessing of the world, has achieved results that kings might envy!

“Let every child, then, receive an education for the highest service.” Education, 266, 267.



  • How did David explain how his experience in shepherding sheep taught him his relationship and experience to the Lord? Psalm 23.

Note: “How sweetly are his [David’s] experiences as a shepherd lad reflected in the words: [Psalm 23:1–4 quoted].” Education, 164.

  • Explain the purpose and result of this secret anointing. 1 Samuel 16:13.

Note: “Samuel had not made known his errand, even to the family of Jesse, and the ceremony of anointing David had been performed in secret. It was an intimation to the youth of the high destiny awaiting him, that amid all the varied experiences and perils of his coming years, this knowledge might inspire him to be true to the purpose of God to be accomplished by his life.

“The great honor conferred upon David did not serve to elate him. Notwithstanding the high position which he was to occupy, he quietly continued his employment, content to await the development of the Lord’s plans in His own time and way. As humble and modest as before his anointing, the shepherd boy returned to the hills and watched and guarded his flocks as tenderly as ever.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 641.

“David, in the beauty and vigor of his young manhood, was preparing to take a high position with the noblest of the earth. His talents, as precious gifts from God, were employed to extol the glory of the divine Giver. … As he beheld the love of God in all the providences of his life, his heart throbbed with more fervent adoration and gratitude, his voice rang out in a richer melody, his harp was swept with more exultant joy; and the shepherd boy proceeded from strength to strength, from knowledge to knowledge; for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him.” Ibid., 642.



1     What are some of the spiritual benefits of spending time in nature?

2    What personal benefits can we derive from the psalms of David?

3    What should we learn from the lesson given to Samuel?

4    Are we qualified to judge others’ actions?

5    How did David respond to the honor showed?

Recipe – Tangerine Maple Cashew Cream

Tangerine Maple Cashew Cream


1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in water to cover

1 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice

2 tsp. pure maple syrup


Drain cashews. Place in blender with tangerine juice and maple syrup. Blend on high until mixture is smooth and creamy. Drizzle over a fresh fruit salad, cooked cereal, waffles or toast.

Food – Tangerines

Although Americans often use the terms tangerines and mandarins interchangeably, tangerines—along with clementines and satsumas—are actually types of mandarin oranges. These sweet citrus fruits with loose-fitting skins originated in China, but they are now grown in many parts of the world.

Ounce for ounce, oranges have about twice as much vitamin C as tangerines. But even a medium-size tangerine fulfills about 50 percent of the adult Recommended Daily Allowance. In addition, tangerines are richer in vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene) than any other citrus fruit. A medium-size tangerine contains 775 I.U. of vitamin A, as well as 130mg of potassium. It is also high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol.

This orange fruit is an excellent remedy for depression and the winter blues.

While most varieties are available from November to March, tangerines are an especially popular Christmas fruit. The following are among the most common types sold in the United States:

Clementine. This fruit is seedless, and smaller and sweeter than most other varieties. It is sometimes called an Algerian tangerine, but most clementines sold in the U.S. are actually imported from Spain or Israel.

Honey tangerine. Also known as a murcott, this variety has a greener skin than other tangerines, but the flesh is more orange and the flavor is sweeter.

Satsuma. Any of several varieties of tangerine, satsumas are a little larger than clementines, nearly seedless, and very thin-skinned. Japan is the leading producer of satsumas.

Tangelo. A cross between a tangerine and grapefruit or pomelo, the tangelo looks like an orange, is tangier than a tangerine, and is sweeter than a grapefruit. Its name is a combination of tangerine and pomelo.

Tangor. This hybrid, also known as temple orange or royal mandarin, looks like a tangerine but tastes like an orange; it is juicy and contains many seeds.

Dancy. While it is no longer as widely grown, the Dancy tangerine, whose peak season is December, is commonly known as the Christmas Orange since children would often receive them as gifts.

Foods That Harm Foods That Heal, The Reader’s Digest Association, © 1997, 339.


Tangerine Maple Cashew Cream


1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in water to cover

1 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice

2 tsp. pure maple syrup


Drain cashews. Place in blender with tangerine juice and maple syrup. Blend on high until mixture is smooth and creamy. Drizzle over a fresh fruit salad, cooked cereal, waffles or toast.

Children Story – The Tempting Gloves

It was Christmas evening. In the Christmas market sparkled numberless lights, and their bright beams were beautifully reflected by the various wares which tempted and invited purchasers.

Many children passed to and fro—gazed with wide-open eyes at the wonderful array of pretty things—and some were induced, after long seeking, to spend the few pennies saved in the money box for this very occasion.

There were parents and other friends of children standing in the well-arranged shops, buying and examining the gifts with which they wished to delight their dear ones.

In the midst of the grown persons and children who thronged the market place, stood a young girl named Magdelain. She was alone, and gazed sadly, with a heavy heart, at the brilliant and beautiful array spread out on every side.

Her parents were very poor, and for this reason had placed her in the service of a lady, where she was employed out of school hours in going on errands, and in working with her needle. For her services she received small wages, which she faithfully took to her parents, who could do little for their own support, having other children to feed and clothe.

Magdelain was sent, this Christmas evening, on an errand by the lady with whom she lived. Her way led through the Christmas market. How gladly she would have purchased some little thing as a Christmas gift! Yet, for that, money was needful, and money she had none.

She thought and said softly to herself, “I could give up playthings, or pretty things I could well use, if I might buy a warm dress, a shawl, or a pair of warm gloves.”

It was very cold. Magdelain shivered, and her teeth chattered, for she was but scantily and thinly dressed. She blew on her half-frozen hands, and wrapped them in her apron.

“I do not want either cakes or candy, or dolls, or playthings. But, oh, I wish so for a pair of warm gloves!”

She drew near to one of the shops where many articles of wearing apparel were sold. The cold wind which blew the candle lights to and fro, seemed to pierce to the very bones of the poor girl, and she tremblingly drew herself together to keep warm.

On the right side of the shop, on the counter, lay a pair of warm woollen gloves, lined with soft skin. Magdelain saw them, and the longer she stood looking at them the better she liked them; they looked, too, as if they would just fit her hand.

Her gaze seemed fastened on the gloves—even from the moment she had seen them her hands felt warmer.

But buy—buy them she could not; they were well made and prettily wrought, and must be expensive.

Then came another thought to her mind, “I will secretly take them.” The shopkeeper stood on the other side of the shop attending to a purchaser, and busily engaged in praising his goods. Magdelain stood alone, unnoticed, beside the gloves.

She thought and reflected—but the gloves were so pretty, and seemed so warm; her hands which she had drawn out of her apron, were quite stiff with frost.

Already she had stretched out her arm; already she was about to seize the gloves and rapidly conceal them. Her whole body was hot and cold by turns; her heart beat loudly; she could scarcely breathe; she trembled. Suddenly pealed out, with clear, startling tones, the organ of the neighboring cathedral.

It was a voice, earnest and warning, speaking to Magdelain’s heart. Quickly she drew back her arm, and the gloves lay still on the counter.

As a voice from heaven did Magdelain receive the solemn organ tones; they seemed to say to her, “It is wrong that thou wouldst do. Thou shalt not steal!”

Magdelain obeyed the voice. She turned to leave the shop just as there entered a lady richly dressed, and warmly wrapped in a cloak of fur.

She examined and purchased some articles, and then took the gloves in her hand which had tempted Magdelain. She demanded the price, and purchased them. Magdelain had seen this, and was glad that the fatal gloves were now entirely removed from her eyes.

The lady turned to leave the shop, and Magdelain recognized her. She was the lady with whom she lived.

Now, for whom had she bought the gloves? Surely not for herself; she could hardly wear them! Her mind occupied with these thoughts, Magdelain went hastily from the Christmas market to attend to the errand on which she was sent.

In returning homeward again, Magdelain came through the market place. She said, as she passed the spot where she had been so sorely tempted, “Oh, what a fearful moment that was! God, I thank Thee, that Thou didst warn and deliver me from the danger which would have destroyed me! No! rather will I hunger and freeze than—”

“Away with you to prison, boy! You will learn hereafter to keep your hands off! We’ll soon cure you of your fancy for stealing. March!”

Magdelain was startled by these harsh words from the revery into which she had fallen.

A police officer had seized a wild, unruly boy, and was taking him off.

Magdelain ran swiftly, with a beating heart, from the market place, and did not pause till she reached home.

She entered the room. Oh, what a surprise! The table was covered with gifts. There were pretty and useful articles—cakes, clothing, and, above all, the well-known gloves.

The lady with whom she lived came kindly to her, took her hand, and said, “Dear Magdelain, because you are so honest and industrious, so kind and true, and have served me so faithfully, take from me, as an expression of my gratitude, a gift. Look! all on the table is your own; take all and be happy!”

Magdelain thanked her with tears of joy and surprise. Strangely, however, did she feel as her mistress singled out the articles, and said, “See, here is a cap, here a pair of shoes, here a shawl! and what do you say to these gloves? Do they please you? Yes, they will keep your hands very warm! Now take all these things to the house of your parents—show them what you have earned by your honesty and industry.”

On her mother’s neck, with sobs and tears, did Magdelain relate to her the story of her sin and temptation.

Her mother said, “My child, pray to be kept from sinful desires; then it shall go well with you!” And at night, before Magdelain went to her bed, she sank on her knees and sent a prayer to her Father in heaven:

“ ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’ (Matthew 6:13)! Amen.”

Choice Stories for Children, A.B. Publishing, Inc., ©1993, 99–102.

Life Sketches – Victory for the Gospel

No sinner has ever fallen so low or become so vile that he or she cannot find deliverance in Christ. The good news is that there is hope for deliverance from the power of Satan and the infirmity of one’s own sinful nature.

After the apostle Paul left Athens, known as a city of learning, art, and science, he went to one of the largest mercantile cities of the world at that time, Corinth, a city in direct communication with Rome and other large cities by either land or water. Because it was a trade center catering to all nationalities that travelled through, it offered a tremendous opportunity to the apostle Paul for the spread of the gospel. There were many people there for both business and pleasure, having little thought or care for anything other than the affairs of this present life.

Paul knew that if the gospel were established in Corinth it would be readily communicated and spread to all parts of the world. However, he was not oblivious to the serious obstacles that he would face in the prosecution of his work. Corinth, at that time, was almost entirely given over to idolatry. Venus was the favorite goddess. A large number of dissolute women were employed in connection with the worship of this deity for the purpose of attracting devotees of popular vice, so much so, that the Corinthians had become conspicuous, even among the heathen, for their gross immorality.

In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11).

In addition to the problem with idolatry, Corinth was populated by a larger number of Jews than at any previous time. They had become arrogant and insubordinate, not just to the Christian religion, but also to the Roman government. In fact, they manifested such a malignant spirit of envy and hatred, and created so much sedition and insurrection, that they had been driven away from Rome with many of them finding refuge in Corinth. Among those Jews who found refuge in Corinth there were many who were innocent of the wrongs that some of their countrymen had perpetrated. From this class there was a man and his wife by the name of Aquila and Priscilla, who afterward became distinguished followers of Christ.

Aquila and Priscilla were tent makers as was the apostle Paul who was also a tent maker by trade. Acts 18:1–3 says, “After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.”

The Jewish people had been instructed by God through Moses to train up their children with industrious habits. For this reason, the Jewish people looked at indolence as a great sin. Their children were all required to learn some trade by which, if necessary, they could earn a livelihood. Failure of a Jewish young person to learn a trade was considered a departure from the instruction of the Lord. Labor was considered elevating in its nature and children were taught to combine religion and business.

At the time of Christ, the Jews, although they had become wealthy as a nation, still followed this ancient custom. Paul, being a Jew, was highly educated and was admired for his genius and eloquence. He was a leader among the Jews, a member of the Sanhedrin, but, in spite of that, his education had not been considered complete until he had learned a trade. The apostle used his trade of tent making to be self-sufficient while preaching the gospel among the Gentiles.

Paul refers to this a number of different times throughout his epistles. In 1 Corinthians 4:12 he says, “We labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure … .” Again, he refers to it in 2 Corinthians 11:7, literal translation: “Did I commit sin in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge?” Then again, in 2 Corinthians 12:13: “For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong!”

Again He talks about it in his epistles to the Thessalonians. Paul was an earnest, energetic, self-sacrificing disciple of Christ. He was one of the world’s greatest teachers. He crossed the seas and traveled far and wide until a large percentage of the people who lived in the world had heard from his lips the story of the cross of Christ. Yet, in spite of this, he earned his own living by working with his hands.

He might have claimed support from the churches to sustain him, but he forewent this entitlement, even though he was feeble in health. He labored and toiled a large share of the night, frequently all night, that he might make provision for his own and other’s necessities. As he worked he instructed those who were making tents with him in the way of salvation. You might think of that today, if you are a gospel worker, if the Lord has called you to spread the gospel. If you think you are suffering great hardship and privations because you are not working in an occupation which brings large financial returns, remember Paul’s experience and witness to those in the work place around you.

Paul was in full-time ministry and entitled to receive support for his labor as an apostle of Christ, but he supported himself. His zeal and industry are a rebuke to anyone who claims to be a Christian and is indolent or a lover of selfish ease. In Athens, Paul had matched logic with logic. He had matched science with science. He had engaged in philosophical discussion with the Athenians, but when he reviewed the time and labor that he had spent in Athens and the number of converts, he decided he would follow a different plan of labor in the future.

Paul would no longer engage in elaborate arguments and discussions of various philosophical theories. He said, “I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1–5).

Jesus gave a promise when He was on earth that if you continue in His word so that you are His disciples, following and obeying His word, then a miracle will happen in your life and you will be set free from the bondage of sin. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone’ ” (John 8:31–33, first part). That was a lie. “ ‘How can You say, “You will be made free”?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed’ ” (verses 33, last part–36).

Jesus said that those who live in sin are in bondage to sin. If you are committing sin you are a slave of sin, because sin is an enslaving power that brings men and women into bondage. Do not claim that you are not in bondage to anybody or anything. The fact is that if you are committing sin, you are already in bondage. No slave to sin will experience eternal life and abide in the house forever. Only the Son who abides forever can set you free from the bondage of sin, so that you are not living a life of sin. When the Son sets you free, you will be truly free.

Friend, has Jesus set you free from sin? Are you continuing in His word and following the instructions? The Jews all over the land when Jesus was on earth were notified to watch His movements, as their religion felt threatened by His influence. Jesus was continually followed by spies who took notice of every word and act that they might be able to use against Him. Paul had to meet the very same spirit of opposition and prejudice.

In Corinth, Paul reasoned from Moses and the prophets and showed from Old Testament types and ceremonies that they were prophetic concerning the ministry, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Messiah. He showed that the Christian religion was the fulfillment of the Hebrew religion, and that, unless you accepted Christ, all of those ceremonies were meaningless. He brought his hearers down through the types and shadows of the ceremonial law to Christ. He showed how the Old Testament predicted the crucifixion of the Messiah and His priesthood in the sanctuary in heaven.

Paul showed that, according to the prophecies, the Messiah would be of the lineage of Abraham and David. He traced His descent from Abraham through David and proved from Scripture what was to be the character and works of the promised Messiah and the reception and treatment He would receive and that all of these predictions had been fulfilled.

The most convincing proof given to the Jews was that the gospel was simply the development of the Hebrew faith. The gospel is the consummation, the glory of the entire Jewish system. Paul then showed that repentance for their rejection of Christ was the only thing that could save the Jewish nation from impending ruin.

Paul rebuked the ignorance of the Jews, showing that the very scriptures that were their chief boast and glory, if they had understood them, showed that they were guilty. He exposed their worldliness and love of station, titles, display, and their selfishness. He appealed to them that even though they were responsible for the crucifixion of the Lord of glory, if they would repent, the impending ruin coming upon the Jewish nation could be averted. These were the final appeals given to the Jewish people.

Unfortunately, the Jews of Corinth closed their eyes to all the evidence that was clearly presented by the apostle and they refused to listen to his appeals. It says in Acts 18:4–6, “He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, ‘Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.’ ”

When Paul chose to go to the Gentiles, he started right next door to the synagogue. Notice what it says in Acts 18:7, 8: “He departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed, and were baptized.”

Paul showed those who listened that in spite of the dissolute, immoral life that they had been living, they could find deliverance in Christ. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore He [that is, Jesus] is also able to save to the uttermost [that is, completely, or entirely, perfectly] those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them.”

Paul had had an amazing experience on the Damascus road. He was shown that all the ceremonies, rituals, and forms of religion that he had been so careful to observe, were useless. King David also had a conversion experience. After he had grievously sinned by stealing another man’s wife and attempting to cover his sin by having Uriah killed, he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. … For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:10, 11, 16, 17).

O friend, have you repented of your sins? Have you chosen to follow Jesus Christ? Have you asked that you may not only be forgiven, but that you may receive the Holy Spirit so that you will have the power to live a new kind of a life?

Paul had a measure of success. Many Corinthians were baptized, but, as the apostle looked at the depravity of that city—he had been opposed and rejected by the Jews and the Gentiles were so immoral and so depraved—he thought that this was not a very good place to stay working and try to build up a church.

He doubted the wisdom of building up a church from the material that he found in that city. Paul thought that Corinth was a very questionable field of labor and decided that he would leave and look for a more promising area. He was anguished in spirit because of the depravity among the Gentiles and the contempt and insult which he had received from the Jews, but the Lord who reads the hearts of all men had another plan that He revealed to Paul.

“Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city’ ” (Acts 18:9, 10).

In spite of the wickedness of that sinful city, God knew there were many people there susceptible to the truth. If they heard and understood the gospel they would repent, confess, and forsake their sins and be able to receive the Holy Spirit and begin to live a new life through the Spirit’s power. Paul’s preaching was a manifestation of the Spirit and power of God to change into saints of God people who had been ruined by sin.

In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul addresses them as saints of God. He describes the sins of their former lifestyle and says that the unrighteous people who do those things will not inherit the kingdom of God. He goes on to say that though some of them were like that, they had now been washed, sanctified, and justified. Paul understood from this vision that God wanted him to stay in Corinth. It was a guarantee from the Lord Himself, that He would give an increase to the seed that was sown in the preaching of the gospel. Paul was so strengthened and encouraged that he continued to labor there for a year and 6 months.

Many of the people in Corinth who had been most dissolute and immoral accepted the gospel and were changed, becoming monuments of God’s mercy and of the power of the blood of Christ to cleanse from sin and from all uncleanness. Paul saw much success in presenting Christ to the people.

The unbelieving Jews again attempted to stir up trouble, going to the Roman proconsul in their attempt to get Paul arrested. “When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, ‘This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.’ And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, ‘If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters.’ And he drove them from the judgment seat” (Acts 18:12–16).

The result of the Jews’ opposition to the gospel being preached in Corinth resulted in a signal triumphant victory in that city.

Friends, the gospel is soon going to triumph over all the world. Jesus invites all to be part of that victory.


(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at: historic@stepstolife.org, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – Hydrate for Health

Did you know the human brain is made up of 85 percent water, and our blood consists of nearly 80 percent? It’s no wonder that water is so critical to health. What’s more, water is also a natural cleansing agent. Drinking water is a great way to support the body’s internal, natural detoxification system, as well as enhance effective elimination.

Unfortunately, a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly half of all Americans don’t drink enough water. As a result, they can become partially or fully dehydrated.

Partial dehydration can cause problems like fatigue, fuzzy thinking, dry mouth, and even weight gain. And chronic dehydration can increase the risk of many illnesses. When the body doesn’t have enough water, for example, the blood becomes thicker, which can increase the risk of heart problems. Not drinking enough water can also worsen digestive issues such as constipation, and increase the risk of bladder and colon cancer.

Cellular energy production, detoxification, and other metabolic processes are dependent upon water. This all makes sense because, on average, our bodies are made up of 75 percent water. Our skin, bones, muscles, blood, and immune system require water to function properly. Even our teeth are made up of about 10 percent water. That, plus all of the water contained in saliva, is why dehydration can increase risk of cavities and tooth decay.

The key is to stay hydrated long before you get thirsty—because by the time you feel parched, you’re already dehydrated.

How much water and how often?

To ensure you can keep dehydration at bay and support proper ongoing detoxification, drink water throughout your day rather than just a couple times a day. This keeps your cells, tissues, and organs consistently hydrated. Keep in mind, though, that you may want to limit your water intake during the last few hours of your day so you don’t have to wake up to use the restroom during the night.

The amount of water needed to stay hydrated is determined by consuming half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 128-pound person needs to drink 64 ounces, or eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. If you weigh 170 pounds, you will need 85 ounces or 10 and a half glasses a day. And if highly active, drink extra water during and after exercise.

Keep in mind that you can also get water from food. Focusing on these moisture-rich foods can definitely help boost your daily water intake and lessen the need to drink so much water.

90% or more water:

Watermelon (water is in its name!)

Strawberries                         Grapefruit

Cantaloupe                            Cucumber

Lettuce                                   Radish

Celery                                     Zucchini

Tomato                                  Broccoli

80% or more water:

Peaches                                  Pineapple

Cranberries                            Oranges

Raspberries                            Apricots

Blueberries                             Plums

Apples                                     Cherries

Grapes                                     Carrots

Does the container matter?

Almost as important as the quantity of water is the quality of the water you choose. Whenever possible, drink pure, filtered water. The container you drink from is also important. These containers are free of toxic chemicals:

  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Stainless steel
  • Waxed paper cup

Whenever possible, avoid drinking out of:

  • Plastic containers, which contain harmful chemicals
  • Styrofoam cups because they also contain hazardous chemicals

No matter which nontoxic container chosen, it’s a good idea to keep it filled throughout the day. That way, you’ll always remember it’s time to drink more water!

Signs of dehydration:

  • Fatigue
  • Foggy memory
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Mood swings
  • Weakened immunity

Even mild dehydration can be problematic, so it’s important to continually replenish those water stores.

Excerpts from Inside Health, Dr. Alschuler and Karolyn A. Gazella, 18, 19.

Inspiration says, “In health and in sickness, pure water is one of Heaven’s choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system, and assists nature to resist disease.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 416.

Testimony – The Draw of the “Mother Church”

Medellin, Colombia – It was Sunday morning. I had arrived in the beautiful country of Colombia just three days earlier and my travel-size supplies were running out. I headed for the shopping mall. My plan was to get there early to avoid the shopping crowds that would arrive later.

While trying to locate the stores I needed, I heard beautiful music ascending from the ground floor. Looking over the rail I saw a large crowd gathering and hundreds of chairs being set out. A concert, I thought to myself. The music was so beautiful I had to go down and check it out. As I got closer I saw a lady soloist singing a song with Christian lyrics accompanied by beautiful contemporary music. When I say contemporary, it was a far cry from any rock music so often played in Protestant churches today. It was a spiritually uplifting melody without the use of any percussion instruments. Yet, it was modern and attractive to the ears of the young and adults alike. This was a Catholic mass served right in the middle of the shopping mall.

I listened for the next 20 minutes to a sermon about the sacrifice of Jesus, delivered as beautifully as I had ever heard before. After a prayer, the beautiful music filled the entire mall again. As worshipers slowly left the makeshift sanctuary, every soul was touched, my own included.

I contemplated my Sunday morning worship experience throughout that day. I could easily have mistaken the mass that day for an Adventist service. I am a Christian with some firm Protestant beliefs. But wow, I still have a hard time believing I had just witnessed a Catholic mass. It was more relevant and attractive than anything I have seen or heard in the Protestant world.

That very same Sunday as I walked through the city’s business district with many high-rise buildings, it was getting dark and the streets were empty. I hurried to get home but soon I came upon a large crowd of people surrounding one tall office building. As I got closer I could see that the bottom floor had a wall of folding doors that opened to the street. Inside was a modern Catholic sanctuary. The 500 seats were filled to capacity and the crowd spilled into the street. A scene very similar to the one I had witnessed that morning unfolded in front of me. The mass was served, accompanied by music like I have never heard before. The crowd was listening so eagerly and silently that a pin falling on the ground would be heard.

I’m stunned by the silence, devotion, and respect as I stood at the end of the street overflow. A prayer followed. When I heard Amen, about five men approached me offering a handshake. Two of them hugged me and wished me blessings. They were complete strangers not only to me, but also among themselves. Yet, a strong sense of brotherhood and spiritual belonging was felt. I wondered when I had experienced something even nearly as close in the Adventist church. I could not remember.

It was the last week of March, the holy week when the Christian world celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ. Daily Catholic events were held throughout the week all over the city.

The following Sunday I visited a small village. As I walked the picturesque streets, I saw a crowd of people approach with palm branches in their hands. It was Palm Sunday. As I watched the scene it was as if I found myself in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, watching Jesus triumphantly entering into Jerusalem greeted by thousands of followers.

I am still a firm Protestant but I can now see why so many are attracted to the Catholic church. Witnessing this Palm Sunday procession, the scene of Jerusalem reenacted, the whole Biblical story came to life. Everyone was happy and cheerful, just as it was in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.

For a few days I witnessed several Catholic events in the streets. The locals talked to me about the various Biblical events, witnessed to me, taught me about Jesus, and all the important traditions of their church. I often found myself speechless – our roles have been reversed! Am I not supposed to be the one educating them?

I now understand why the Catholic Church is so attractive in the eyes of the young people in Latin America. The Catholic churches are full of young people, and understandably so. The worship services are attractive, contemporary, full of life, offering answers to the problems of daily life in the form of personal consultations following the service.

The Spirit of Prophecy confirms: “Many Protestants suppose that the Catholic religion is unattractive, and that its worship is a dull, meaningless round of ceremony. Here they mistake. While Romanism is based upon deception, it is not a coarse and clumsy imposture. The religious service of the Romish Church is a most impressive ceremonial. Its gorgeous display and solemn rites fascinate the senses of the people, and silence the voice of reason and of conscience. The eye is charmed. Magnificent churches, imposing processions, golden altars, jeweled shrines, choice paintings, and exquisite sculpture appeal to the love of beauty. The ear also is captivated. The music is unsurpassed. The rich notes of the deep-toned organ, blending with the melody of many voices as it swells through the lofty domes and pillared aisles of her grand cathedrals, cannot fail to impress the mind with awe and reverence.” The Great Controversy, 566.

Today, the music is unsurpassed as well and upgraded for the 21st century. Moreover, large Catholic churches are open seven days a week. Anyone can stop by at any time, sit down, pray, contemplate, have a moment of silence with God. I saw students doing just that on their way to the university every morning. Are there any Protestant churches open where a Protestant student could stop by? Not that I know of.

So often we hear of traditional Protestant churches closing their doors because there are not enough worshipers. Their worship style is centuries old and unattractive to someone in the 21st century. Certainly, nothing like this is happening in Latin American Catholic churches.

The Catholic church has whisked itself into the 21st century successfully, with ease and grace. Catholicism is relevant to the modern person, has a leader that enjoys a celebrity status, offers a contemporary service, while maintaining its millennia old traditions – a blend that is attractive to millions. It’s a success story.

Knowing what I know as a Protestant, everything described above is a beautifully packaged deception. One cannot resist to think of the text, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24 NKJV). If I did not have the knowledge of the Bible and history I would belong to that deceived group. I’ll admit, I liked what I saw in those Catholic services.

However, “Brilliancy of style is not necessarily an index of pure, elevated thought. High conceptions of art, delicate refinement of taste, often exist in minds that are earthly and sensual. They are often employed by Satan to lead men to forget the necessities of the soul, to lose sight of the future, immortal life, to turn away from their infinite Helper, and to live for this world alone.” The Great Controversy, 566, 567.

But still, I cannot dismiss this recent Catholic experience as a complete deception just yet. There is a lesson to be learned. We must be careful to never preach about God’s justice with mercy nowhere to be found. God is love. Let’s show it to the world. Now, when I see a stranger in my church, I reach out to him or her with a firm handshake and a smile.

So often I hear the gospel presented as warning. Excuse me, the word gospel means exactly the opposite: good news. I choose to portray my church and God as highly relevant to the modern person in the post-Christian world. May God help us to show to the world that we are not a church of the 19th century. We’re a relevant 21st century movement with lots to offer: First and foremost – salvation, then fellowship, love, healthy lifestyle backed up by 21st century science, education, and respect for God’s law that He always balances with mercy.