Lessons from the Life of David – The Humble Exalted

February 17 – 23, 2019

Key Text

“For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 695–706; Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 85, 86.


“Israel had a king by divine appointment. He who had waited patiently for the Lord, beheld the promise of God fulfilled.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 702.



  • How did David react to the death of Saul? 2 Samuel 1:4, 11, 12, 17–21; Matthew 5:43–45.

Note: “David’s grief at the death of Saul was sincere and deep, evincing the generosity of a noble nature. He did not exult in the fall of his enemy. The obstacle that had barred his access to the throne of Israel was removed, but at this he did not rejoice. Death had obliterated the remembrance of Saul’s distrust and cruelty, and now nothing in his history was thought of but that which was noble and kingly. The name of Saul was linked with that of Jonathan, whose friendship had been so true and so unselfish.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 695, 696.

  • What were David’s activities following his mourning? 2 Samuel 2:1–7.



  • How did Abner cause problems for David in Judah? 2 Samuel 2:8–11.

Note: “The circumstances under which Abner was placed served to develop his real character and showed him to be ambitious and unprincipled. He had been intimately associated with Saul and had been influenced by the spirit of the king to despise the man whom God had chosen to reign over Israel. His hatred had been increased by the cutting rebuke that David had given him at the time when the cruse of water and the spear of the king had been taken from the side of Saul as he slept in the camp. … [1 Samuel 26:15, 16 quoted.] This reproof had rankled in his breast, and he determined to carry out his revengeful purpose and create division in Israel, whereby he himself might be exalted. He employed the representative of departed royalty to advance his own selfish ambitions and purposes. He knew that the people loved Jonathan. His memory was cherished, and Saul’s first successful campaigns had not been forgotten by the army. With determination worthy a better cause, this rebellious leader went forward to carry out his plans.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 698, 699.

  • After malice, ambition, and treachery had led to Abner’s death at the hand of Joab, how did David further demonstrate a noble spirit? 2 Samuel 3:27–39.

Note: “David’s magnanimous recognition of one who had been his bitter enemy won the confidence and admiration of all Israel. …

“Abner had been sincere in his offers and representations to David, yet his motives were base and selfish. He had persistently opposed the king of God’s appointment, in the expectation of securing honor to himself. It was resentment, wounded pride, and passion that led him to forsake the cause he had so long served; and in deserting to David he hoped to receive the highest position of honor in his service. Had he succeeded in his purpose, his talents and ambition, his great influence and want of godliness, would have endangered the throne of David and the peace and prosperity of the nation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 700.



  • How did David react to the treachery employed by some who wished to gain his favor? 2 Samuel 4:5, 6, 9–12.

Note: “David, whose throne God Himself had established, and whom God had delivered from his adversaries, did not desire the aid of treachery to establish his power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 701.

  • What principles followed by David won for him the support of all the tribes of Israel? 2 Samuel 5:1–5, 10. What principles should we have in view in the selection of church officers today? 1 Timothy 3:1–12.

Note: “Through the providence of God the way had been opened for him to come to the throne. He had no personal ambition to gratify, for he had not sought the honor to which he had been brought.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 701.

“His (David’s] firmness, humility, love of justice, and decision of character, qualified him to carry out the high purposes of God, to instruct Israel in their devotions, and to rule them as a generous and wise monarch.

“His religious character was sincere and fervent. It was while David was thus true to God, and possessing these exalted traits of character, that God calls him a man after his own heart.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 85, 86.

“The same principles of piety and justice that were to guide the rulers among God’s people in the time of Moses and of David, were also to be followed by those given the oversight of the newly organized church of God in the gospel dispensation. In the work of setting things in order in all the churches, and ordaining suitable men to act as officers, the apostles held to the high standards of leadership outlined in the Old Testament Scriptures.” The Acts of the Apostles, 95.



  • How did David plan to officially acknowledge God’s supremacy over Israel? 2 Samuel 6:1, 2.

Note: “Now that David was firmly established upon the throne and free from the invasions of foreign foes, he turned to the accomplishment of a cherished purpose—to bring up the ark of God to Jerusalem. For many years the ark had remained at Kirjath-jearim, nine miles distant; but it was fitting that the capital of the nation should be honored with the token of the divine Presence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 704.

  • What happened to Uzzah, and why? 2 Samuel 6:3–7; Deuteronomy 10:8; Numbers 3:29–31; 4:15.

Note: “The fate of Uzzah was a divine judgment upon the violation of a most explicit command. Through Moses the Lord had given special instruction concerning the transportation of the ark. … In the bringing of the ark from Kirjath-jearim there had been a direct and inexcusable disregard of the Lord’s directions.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 705.

“Upon Uzzah rested the greater guilt of presumption. Transgression of God’s law had lessened his sense of its sacredness, and with unconfessed sins upon him he had, in face of the divine prohibition, presumed to touch the symbol of God’s presence. God can accept no partial obedience, no lax way of treating His commandments. By the judgment upon Uzzah He designed to impress upon all Israel the importance of giving strict heed to His requirements. Thus the death of that one man, by leading the people to repentance, might prevent the necessity of inflicting judgments upon thousands.” Ibid., 706.



  • What difference does the Lord make between those who have the light of truth and those who are in ignorance? Luke 12:47, 48.

Note: “David and his people had assembled to perform a sacred work, and they had engaged in it with glad and willing hearts; but the Lord could not accept the service, because it was not performed in accordance with His directions. The Philistines, who had not a knowledge of God’s law, had placed the ark upon a cart when they returned it to Israel, and the Lord accepted the effort which they made. But the Israelites had in their hands a plain statement of the will of God in all these matters, and their neglect of these instructions was dishonoring to God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 705, 706.

“It is not enough to have good intentions; it is not enough to do what a man thinks is right or what the minister tells him is right. His soul’s salvation is at stake, and he should search the Scriptures for himself. … He has a chart pointing out every waymark on the heavenward journey, and he ought not to guess at anything.” The Great Controversy, 598.

“Those who claim to know the truth, and yet lay every obstacle in the way so that light shall not come to the people, will have an account to settle with God that they will not be pleased to meet. God manages His own work, and woe to the man who puts his hand to the ark of God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 114.

  • What did David, as should each of us learn about the sacredness of the law of God? 2 Samuel 6:8–10. How was Obed-edom exalted? 2 Samuel 6:11.

Note: “David was astonished and greatly alarmed, and in his heart he questioned the justice of God. He had been seeking to honor the ark as the symbol of the divine presence. Why, then, had that fearful judgment been sent to turn the season of gladness into an occasion of grief and mourning?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 705.

“Feeling that his own heart was not wholly right with God, David, seeing the stroke upon Uzzah, had feared the ark, lest some sin on his part should bring judgments upon him. But Obed-edom, though he rejoiced with trembling, welcomed the sacred symbol as the pledge of God’s favor to the obedient. The attention of all Israel was now directed to the Gittite and his household; all watched to see how it would fare with them. ‘And the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household’ (2 Samuel 6:11).

“Upon David the divine rebuke accomplished its work. He was led to realize as he had never realized before the sacredness of the law of God and the necessity of strict obedience.” Ibid., 706.



1     What should we learn from David’s respect for Saul?

2    In what ways can we be sure to avoid being Abners who cause problems for church leaders today?

3    Just as some tried to enthrone David by wrong methods, how do some today seek to promote church leaders by man’s methods?

4    What message does the judgment upon Uzzah bring to us today?

5    What must we understand about sincerity and good intentions?


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

Lessons from the Life of David – Danger in Compromise

February 10 – 16, 2019

Key Text

“In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (Psalm 56:11).

 Study Help:  Patriarchs and Prophets, 672–674; Ibid., 690–694.


“David did not renounce his worship of God nor cease his devotion to His cause; but he sacrificed his trust in Him to his personal safety, and thus tarnished the upright and faithful character that God requires His servants to possess.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 673.



  • What did David’s plan to free himself from the pressure of Saul demonstrate? 1 Samuel 27:1–4.

Note: “David’s conclusion that Saul would certainly accomplish his murderous purpose was formed without the counsel of God. Even while Saul was plotting and seeking to accomplish his destruction, the Lord was working to secure David the kingdom. God works out His plans, though to human eyes they are veiled in mystery. Men cannot understand the ways of God; and, looking at appearances, they interpret the trials and tests and provings that God permits to come upon them as things that are against them, and that will only work their ruin. Thus David looked on appearances, and not at the promises of God. He doubted that he would ever come to the throne. Long trials had wearied his faith and exhausted his patience.

“The Lord did not send David for protection to the Philistines, the most bitter foes of Israel. This very nation would be among his worst enemies to the last, and yet he had fled to them for help in his time of need. … God had appointed him to set up his standard in the land of Judah, and it was want of faith that led him to forsake his post of duty without a command from the Lord.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 672                                                      ·

  • How was David received by Achish, king of Gath?

Note: “God was dishonored by David’s unbelief. The Philistines had feared David more than they had feared Saul and his armies; and by placing himself under the protection of the Philistines, David discovered to them the weakness of his own people. Thus he encouraged these relentless foes to oppress Israel. … Furthermore, the impression was received by his brethren that he had gone to the heathen to serve their gods. By this act he gave occasion for misconstruing his motives, and many were led to hold prejudice against him. The very thing that Satan desired to have him do he was led to do; for, in seeking refuge among the Philistines, David caused great exultation to the enemies of God and His people.

“David was cordially received by the king of the Philistines. The warmth of this reception was partly due to the fact that the king admired him and partly to the fact that it was flattering to his vanity to have a Hebrew seek his protection.’’ Patriarchs and Prophets, 672, 673.



  • What evil resulted from a few misleading words from the mouth of David? 1 Samuel 27:8–12.

Note: “While dwelling in this isolated town David made war upon the Geshurites, the Gezrites, and the Amalekites, and he left none alive to bring tidings to Gath. When he returned from battle he gave Achish to understand that he had been warring against those of his own nation, the men of Judah. By this dissembling he was the means of strengthening the hand of the Philistines. … David knew that it was the will of God that those heathen tribes should be destroyed, and he knew that he was appointed to do this work; but he was not walking in the counsel of God when he practiced deception.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 673.

  • How did David slip into deeper trouble? 1 Samuel 28:1, 2. What prayer of David indicates that he learned a lesson from his mistakes? Psalm 141:3.

Note: “David had no intention of lifting his hand against his people; but he was not certain as to what course he would pursue, until circumstances should indicate his duty. He answered the king evasively, and said, ‘Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do’ (1 Samuel 28:2). Achish understood these words as a promise of assistance in the approaching war, and pledged his word to bestow upon David great honor, and give him a high position at the Philistine court.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 674.

“Let your life be free from deceitful practices. Let no guile be found in your lips. However, disagreeable it may be to you at the time, let your ways, your words, and your works show uprightness in the sight of a holy God.’’ Child Guidance, 150.



  • Despite David’s weakness, how did the Lord mercifully deliver him out of his predicament? 1 Samuel 29:1–5.

Note: “Far better would it have been for him to find refuge in God’s strong fortresses of the mountains than with the avowed enemies of Jehovah and His people. But the Lord in His great mercy did not punish this error of His servant by leaving him to himself in his distress and perplexity; for though David, losing his grasp on divine power, had faltered and turned aside from the path of strict integrity, it was still the purpose of his heart to be true to God. While Satan and his host were busy helping the adversaries of God and of Israel to plan against a king who had forsaken God, the angels of the Lord were working to deliver David from the peril into which he had fallen. Heavenly messengers moved upon the Philistine princes to protest against the presence of David and his force with the army in the approaching conflict.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 690.

  • What was the attitude of Achish when sending David home? 1 Samuel 29:6–11. What feelings might this have aroused in David?

Note: “The reply of Achish must have sent a thrill of shame and remorse through David’s heart, as he thought how unworthy of a servant of Jehovah were the deceptions to which he had stooped.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 691.



  • What situation faced David back at Ziklag? 1 Samuel 30:1–6, first part.

 Note: “Here again David was chastened for the lack of faith that had led him to place himself among the Philistines. He had opportunity to see how much safety could be found among the foes of God and His people.’’ Patriarchs and Prophets, 692.

  • What did David determine in this hour of crisis? 1 Samuel 30:6, last part; Psalm 56:1–3, 10–12.

 Note: “David seemed to be cut off from every human support. All that he held dear on earth had been swept from him. Saul had driven him from his country; the Philistines had driven him from the camp; the Amalekites had plundered his city; his wives and children had been made prisoners; and his own familiar friends had banded against him, and threatened him even with death. In this hour of utmost extremity David, instead of permitting his mind to dwell upon these painful circumstances, looked earnestly to God for help. He ‘encouraged himself in the Lord’ (1 Samuel 30:6, last part). He reviewed his past eventful life. Wherein had the Lord ever forsaken him? His soul was refreshed in recalling the many evidences of God’s favor. The followers of David, by their discontent and impatience, made their affliction doubly grievous; but the man of God, having even greater cause for grief, bore himself with fortitude. ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee’ (Psalm 56:3), was the language of his heart. Though he himself could not discern a way out of the difficulty, God could see it, and would teach him what to do.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 692, 693.



  • How did the Lord honor David’s prayer? 1 Samuel 30:7–10, 18, 19.

Note: “They [the Amalekites] decided to spare the captives, desiring to heighten the honor of the triumph by leading home a large number of prisoners, and intending afterward to sell them as slaves. Thus, unwittingly, they fulfilled God’s purpose, keeping the prisoners unharmed, to be restored to their husbands and fathers.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 694.

  • What spiritual lesson is contained for us in David’s decision regarding the bounties reaped from battle? 1 Samuel 30:21–26; 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7, John 4:36–38.

Note: “The more selfish and unruly of the four hundred urged that those who had had no part in the battle should not share the spoils; that it was enough for them to recover each his wife and children. But David would permit no such arrangement. [1 Samuel 30:23, 24 quoted.] Thus the matter was settled, and it afterward became a statute in Israel that all who were honorably connected with a military campaign should share the spoils equally with those who engaged in actual combat.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 694.

“Today in His great harvest-field God has need of sowers and of reapers. Let those who go forth into the work, some to sow and some to reap, remember that they are never to take to themselves the glory for the success of their work. …

“ ‘He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together’ (John 4:36). Read these words carefully. Study their meaning; for they outline God’s plan.” Gospel Workers, 409.



1     How can we avoid adopting David’s logic in going to Gath?

2    Explain the dangers inherent in the worldly style of diplomacy.

3    Consider ways in which God delivers sincere souls in trouble.

4    Describe the background of Psalm 56.

5    What are the rewards of sowing and reaping?

Lessons from the Life of David – David and Saul

February 3 – 9, 2019

Key Text

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1)?

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 661–663; Ibid., 675–689.


“There is joy and consolation for the true-hearted, faithful Christian, that the world knows not of. To them it is a mystery.” Sons and Daughters of God, 354.



  • What can we all learn from David’s attitude when Saul was asleep? 1 Samuel 26:2, 7–12.

Note: “When Saul was repeatedly placed in his power, and his followers would have killed him, David would not permit them to do so, although he was in continual fear of his own life, and was pursued like a wild beast by Saul.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 91.

  • How did David put Abner and Saul to shame in the wilderness of Ziph? 1 Samuel 26:13–20.



  • What confession did Saul make? 1 Samuel 26:21. What was the character of Saul’s confession?

Note: “The enmity that is cherished toward the servants of God by those who have yielded to the power of Satan changes at times to a feeling of reconciliation and favor, but the change does not always prove to be lasting. After evil-minded men have engaged in doing and saying wicked things against the Lord’s servants, the conviction that they have been in the wrong sometimes takes deep hold upon their minds. The Spirit of the Lord strives with them, and they humble their hearts before God, and before those whose influence they have sought to destroy, and they may change their course toward them. But as they again open the door to the suggestions of the evil one, the old doubts are revived, the old enmity is awakened, and they return to engage in the same work which they repented of, and for a time abandoned. Again they speak evil, accusing and condemning in the bitterest manner the very ones to whom they made most humble confession. Satan can use such souls with far greater power after such a course has been pursued than he could before, because they have sinned against greater light.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 662, 663.

  • How did Saul respond to David’s mercy? 1 Samuel 26:23–25.

 Note: “The second instance of David’s respect for his sovereign’s life made a still deeper impression upon the mind of Saul and brought from him a more humble acknowledgment of his fault. He was astonished and subdued at the manifestation of such kindness. In parting from David, Saul exclaimed, ‘Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail’ (1 Samuel 26:25). But the son of Jesse had no hope that the king would long continue in this frame of mind.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 671, 672.

“[Saul] listened to every false witness, eagerly receiving anything that was detrimental to the character of David, hoping that he might find an excuse for manifesting his increasing envy and hatred of him who had been anointed to the throne of Israel. Every rumor was credited, no matter how inconsistent and irreconcilable it was with the former character and custom of David.

“Every evidence that the protecting care of God was over David seemed to imbitter and deepen his one engrossing and determined purpose. The failure to accomplish his own designs appeared in marked contrast to the success of the fugitive in eluding his search, but it only made the determination of the king the more unrelenting and firm. He was not careful to conceal his designs toward David, nor scrupulous as to what means should be employed in accomplishing his purpose.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1019.



  • What was the effect of envy in Saul’s life? Proverbs 14:30, last part; 27:4.

 Note: “It was envy that made Saul miserable and put the humble subject of his throne in jeopardy. What untold mischief has this evil trait of character worked in our world! … Envy is the offspring of pride, and if it is entertained in the heart, it will lead to hatred, and eventually to revenge and murder. Satan displayed his own character in exciting the fury of Saul against him who had never done him harm.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 651.

  • What other character trait was treacherous to Saul and many others? John 12:43.

Note: “One great defect in the character of Saul was his love of approbation. This trait had had a controlling influence over his actions and thoughts; everything was marked by his desire for praise and self-exaltation. His standard of right and wrong was the low standard of popular applause. No man is safe who lives that he may please men, and does not seek first for the approbation of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 650.



  • What warning from Scripture should cause every God-fearing soul to beware? Proverbs 26:24–27.

Note: “It was not the man David, who had done him no harm, against whom the king was contending. He was in controversy with the King of heaven; for when Satan is permitted to control the mind that will not be ruled by Jehovah, he will lead it according to his will, until the man who is thus in his power becomes an efficient agent to carry out his designs. So bitter is the enmity of the great originator of sin against the purposes of God, so terrible is his power for evil, that when men disconnect from God, Satan influences them, and their minds are brought more and more into subjection, until they cast off the fear of God, and the respect of men, and become bold and avowed enemies of God and of His people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1019.

  • How can bitterness cherished in the heart affect anyone? Psalm 52:2–5; Isaiah 3:12, last part.

Note: “What an example was Saul giving to the subjects of his kingdom in his desperate, unprovoked persecution of David! What a record he was making to be placed upon the pages of history for future generations! He sought to turn the full tide of the power of his kingdom into the channel of his own hatred in hunting down an innocent man. All this had a demoralizing influence upon Israel. And while Saul was giving loose reign to his passion, Satan was weaving a snare to compass his ruin, and the ruin of his kingdom. While the king and his councilors were planning for the capture of David, the affairs of the nation were being mismanaged and neglected. While imaginary foes were constantly presented before the minds of the people, the real enemies were strengthening themselves without arousing suspicion or alarm. By following the dictates of Satan, Saul was himself hastening the very result which, with unsanctified ability, he was endeavoring to avert.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1019.



  • When Saul was deceived by spiritualism, what message goaded him to final despair? 1 Samuel 28:5–8, 14–20. How is this a warning to any believer or church laced with hypnotism or similar trends?

Note: “All through his course of rebellion Saul had been flattered and deceived by Satan. It is the tempter’s work to belittle sin, to make the path of transgression easy and inviting, to blind the mind to the warnings and threatenings of the Lord. Satan, by his bewitching power, had led Saul to justify himself in defiance of Samuel’s reproofs and warning. But now, in his extremity, he turned upon him, presenting the enormity of his sin and the hopelessness of pardon, that he might goad him to desperation. Nothing could have been better chosen to destroy his courage and confuse his judgment, or to drive him to despair and self-destruction.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 680, 681.

  • In contrast to Saul, how can we be inspired by the attitude of David in the wilderness, even during his most disheartening times? Psalms 27:1–3; 59:1–3, 17; 142:1–7.

Note: “David composed many of the Psalm in the wilderness, to which he was compelled to flee for safety. … While David was thus passing through severe trials and hardships, he manifested an unwavering trust in God, and was especially imbued with his Spirit, as he composed his songs which recount his dangers and deliverances, ascribing praise and glory to God, his merciful preserver. In these Psalm is seen a spirit of fervor, devotion and holiness.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 93.

“You need not be surprised if everything in the journey heavenward is not pleasant. There is no use in looking to our own defects. Looking unto Jesus, the darkness passes away, and the true light shineth. Go forth daily, expressing the prayer of David, ‘Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not’ (Psalm 17:5). All the paths of life are beset with peril, but we are safe if we follow where the Master leads the way, trusting the One whose voice we hear saying, ‘Follow Me.’ ”  “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1143.



1     How did David recompense Saul’s evil with good?

2    Explain why envy is such a dangerous trait.

3    How can love of self-approbation lead to envy?

4    Describe the method Satan used to obliterate any last trace of hope in Saul.

5    How can we be encouraged by David’s psalms composed in moments of trial?

Lessons from the Life of David – Developing Character

January 27 – February 2

Key Text

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

Study Help: Conflict and Courage, 168–170; The Ministry of Healing, 485–487.


“No form of vice has a more baleful effect upon the character than has human passion not under the control of the Holy Spirit. No other victory we can gain will be so precious as the victory gained over self.’’ The Ministry of Healing, 485.



  • What kind of reception did David meet at Keilah, Ziph, and Maon? 1Samuel 23:1, 2, 5, 9–15, 19, 20, 24, 25.
  •  What happened between David and Saul in the cave of Engedi? 1 Samuel 23:29; 24:1–6.

 Note: “David had only six hundred men in his company, while Saul advanced against him with an army of three thousand. In a secluded cave the son of Jesse and his men waited for the guidance of God as to what should be done. As Saul was pressing his way up the mountains, he turned aside, and entered, alone, the very cavern in which David and his band were hidden. When David’s men saw this they urged their leader to kill Saul. The fact that the king was now in their power was interpreted by them as certain evidence that God Himself had delivered the enemy into their hand, that they might destroy him. David was tempted to take this view of the matter; but the voice of conscience spoke to him, saying, ‘Touch not the anointed of the Lord.’

“David’s men were still unwilling to leave Saul in peace, and they reminded their commander of the words of God, ‘Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily’ (1 Samuel 24:4). But his conscience smote him afterward, because he had even marred the garment of the king.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 661.



  • What can we learn from David’s act of merciful restraint toward Saul? Proverbs 16:32; Romans 12:19–21.

Note: “The conduct of David toward Saul has a lesson. By command of God, Saul had been anointed as king over Israel. Because of his disobedience the Lord declared that the kingdom should be taken from him; and yet how tender and courteous and forbearing was the conduct of David toward him!” The Ministry of Healing, 484.

“The course of David made it manifest that he had a Ruler whom he obeyed. He could not permit his natural passions to gain the victory over him; for he knew that he that ruleth his own spirit, is greater than he who taketh a city. If he had been led and controlled by human feelings, he would have reasoned that the Lord had brought his enemy under his power in order that he might slay him, and take the government of Israel upon himself. Saul’s mind was in such a condition that his authority was not respected, and the people were becoming irreligious and demoralized. Yet the fact that Saul had been divinely chosen king of Israel kept him in safety, for David conscientiously served God, and he would not in any wise harm the anointed of the Lord.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1021.

  • How did David appeal to the heart of Saul? 1 Samuel 24:7–15.



  • What should we learn from the caution with which David accepted Saul’s apparently warm response to his mercy? 1 Samuel 24:16–22; Matthew 10:16.

Note: “When Saul heard the words of David he was humbled, and could not but admit their truthfulness. His feelings were deeply moved as he realized how completely he had been in the power of the man whose life he sought. …

“Knowing what he did of Saul’s past course, David could put no confidence in the assurances of the king, nor hope that his penitent condition would long continue. So when Saul returned to his home David remained in the strongholds of the mountains.

“The enmity that is cherished toward the servants of God by those who have yielded to the power of Satan changes at times to a feeling of reconciliation and favor, but the change does not always prove to be lasting.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 662.

  • What occurred at a time when Israel seemed to be most in need of guidance and security? 1 Samuel 25:1, first part.

 Note: “It was when the nation was racked with internal strife, when the calm, God-fearing counsel of Samuel seemed to be most needed, that God gave His aged servant rest. Bitter were the reflections of the people as they looked upon his quiet resting place, and remembered their folly in rejecting him as their ruler; for he had had so close a connection with Heaven that he seemed to bind all Israel to the throne of Jehovah. It was Samuel who had taught them to love and obey God; but now that he was dead, the people felt that they were left to the mercies of a king who was joined to Satan, and who would divorce the people from God and heaven.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 664.



  • Where did David flee following the death of Samuel, and what was on his heart there? 1 Samuel 25:1, last part; Psalms 120:1, 2; 121:1, 2, 7, 8.

 Note: “David took the opportunity to seek a place of greater security; so he fled to the wilderness of Paran. It was here that he composed the one hundred and twentieth and twenty-first psalms.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 664.

  • How was David’s normally kind, gentlemanly spirit put to the test in Paran? 1 Samuel 25:5–12.

Note: “David and his men had been like a wall of protection to the shepherds and flocks of Nabal; and now this rich man was asked to furnish from his abundance some relief to the necessities of those who had done him such valuable service. David and his men might have helped themselves from the flocks and herds, but they did not. They behaved themselves in an honest way. Their kindness, however, was lost upon Nabal.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 665.



  • What was David’s reaction to Nabal’s ingratitude? How did Abigail respond? 1 Samuel 25:13–18; 23–28.

Note: “He [David] commanded his men to equip themselves for an encounter; for he had determined to punish the man who had denied him what was his right, and had added insult to injury. This impulsive movement was more in harmony with the character of Saul than with that of David, but the son of Jesse had yet to learn of patience in the school of affliction.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 665.

“The piety of Abigail, like the fragrance of a flower, breathed out all unconsciously in face and word and action. The Spirit of the Son of God was abiding in her soul. Her speech, seasoned with grace, and full of kindness and peace, shed a heavenly influence. Better impulses came to David, and he trembled as he thought what might have been the consequences of his rash purpose. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God’ (Matthew 5:9). Would that there were many more like this woman of Israel, who would soothe the irritated feelings, prevent rash impulses, and quell great evils by words of calm and well-directed wisdom.

“A consecrated Christian life is ever shedding light and comfort and peace. It is characterized by purity, tact, simplicity, and usefulness. It is controlled by that unselfish love that sanctifies the influence. It is full of Christ, and leaves a track of light wherever its possessor may go.” lbid., 667.

  • What was the effect of Abigail’s response? 1 Samuel 25:32–35, 38–42; Psalm 141:5.

Note: “Abigail was a wise reprover and counselor. David’s passion died away under the power of her influence and reasoning. He was convinced that he had taken an unwise course and had lost control of his own spirit. …

“There are many who, when they are reproved, think it praiseworthy if they receive the rebuke without becoming impatient; but how few take reproof with gratitude of heart and bless those who seek to save them from pursuing an evil course.’’ Patriarchs and Prophets, 667.

“David had taken an oath that Nabal and his household should perish; but now he saw that it was not only wrong to make such a vow, but it would be wrong to keep it.” The Signs of the Times, October 26, 1888.

“David afterward married Abigail. He was already the husband of one wife, but the custom of the nations of his time had perverted his judgment and influenced his actions. Even great and good men have erred in following the practices of the world. The bitter result of marrying many wives was sorely felt throughout all the life of David.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 668.



1     How were David’s men tempters to him in the cave of Engedi?

2    Knowing that apostate Adventists are soon to become the bitterest enemies of God’s people (Testimonies, vol. 5, 463), what should we learn from the noble attitude of David toward Saul?

3    What crisis in Adventism occurred at Sister White’s death?

4    Contrast the attitude of Nabal with that of his wife.

5    Like David, how are we tested in areas in which we may think we are already strong?

Recipe – Parmesan Cheese, Delicious and Simple


1 cup raw almonds (or cashews)

½ cup nutritional yeast

3/4 Tbsp. Herbamare, (herbed sea salt) more or less or salt-free seasoning if preferred.



Combine all in food processor with “S” blade and process until powdery texture (or blender). Yummy! Use on spaghetti, popcorn, steamed veggies, etc.

Food – 2018 Clean and Dirty Food List

One of the most important items in our lives is food. I appreciate, as many of you also, the idea that we are given the freedom to know what may or may not have more pesticide residues. We are given the freedom to choose our foods and to plan how to manage them and to know what vegetables and fruits need extra cleaning and preparation before serving. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) provides a list every year of fruits and vegetables so that you may know what is best for your family.


Environmental Working Group

2018 – Clean 15

2018 – Dirty 12

1. Avocados 1. Strawberries
2. Sweet Corn 2. Spinach
3. Pineapples 3. Nectarines
4. Cabbages 4. Apples
5. Onions 5. Grapes
6. Sweet Peas 6. Peaches
7. Papayas 7. Cherries
8. Asparagus 8. Pears
9. Mangoes 9. Tomatoes
10. Eggplants 10. Celery
11. Honeydews 11. Potatoes
12. Kiwis 12. Sweet Bell Peppers



13. Cantaloupes
14. Cauliflower
15. Broccoli


This list is good through the 2019 growing season when an updated list will be published.


Delicious, Simple, Parmesan Cheese


1 cup raw almonds (or cashews)

½ cup nutritional yeast

3/4 Tbsp. Herbamare, (herbed sea salt) more or less or salt-free seasoning if preferred.


Combine all in food processor with “S” blade and process until powdery texture (or blender). Yummy! Use on spaghetti, popcorn, steamed veggies, etc.


Children’s Story – The Shoemaker of Hackleton

“Willie, we can’t send you to school next year,” said Mr. Carey. “We have your four brothers and sisters to take care of. And since you’re the oldest, you’ll have to find a job and go to work. We need the money you can earn.”

Now, you may think it would be fun not to have to go to school. But Willie loved school. He loved to study and learn new things. He looked up into his father’s face and knew that he had heard right. He would not be able to go back to school the next year! He knew his father wouldn’t change his mind.

Willie glanced down at his shoes. He kicked the dust along the path as he and his father walked along. He pretended to be looking for something over by the edge of the trees along the path. He wanted to hide his tears of disappointment. He was so unhappy he couldn’t think of anything to say.

“You’ll be fourteen years old next week,” Father went on. “I think I can get you a job with the shoemaker in town. You can learn to cut leather and make shoes.”

“I guess I could study in the evenings,” Willie managed to say at last. “There are so many things I want to know! I can borrow books and read and learn things even if I can’t go to school.”

So, Willie went to work for the town shoemaker, a man named Clarke Nichols, in the town of Hackleton. As soon as he walked into the shoe shop on the very first day, Willie knew that he was going to like his new job. He saw a few books on a shelf in one corner of the shop. Willie could hardly wait to read the titles to see what they were about. He didn’t have time to look at them all morning, but when lunchtime came and he could stop work for a few minutes, he quickly began to look at the books.

One of the books looked especially interesting. It was about the Bible. It had a lot of strange words in Greek that Willie didn’t understand. But they were exciting anyway. They were like a mysterious puzzle just waiting to be solved.

Willie carefully copied the Greek words on a piece of paper. He put the paper in his pocket. At the end of the week, when he went home, he took the paper with him. Then he took the paper with the strange Greek words to a friend who could read Greek. With the help of his friend, Willie slowly learned what each word meant. Then he found some Latin words in the book, and he copied these words, as well. He did the same with some Hebrew words. Willie loved to study, and after a few months, he could read Greek, Latin, and Hebrew!

Willie also enjoyed studying his Bible, and he liked to pray. One day he decided he wanted to be a Christian and give his heart to Jesus. Afterward, he was so happy that he began to tell everyone about Jesus. He wanted to be a preacher, but he had to keep on working making shoes to earn money for food and clothes and to help his family.

One day Willie found a book written by a famous explorer, Captain James Cook, who had traveled to many faraway places around the world. In this book, Willie learned about people who lived in other parts of the world. Then he had an idea.

Willie came to work a few days later carrying a roll of paper under his arm. He got some tacks and a hammer and carefully unrolled the paper. The other workers in the shoe shop came over to see what Willie was doing with the tacks and the roll of paper.

Willie held up the paper so they could see. It was covered with different colored shapes. “This is a map of the world,” he told them. “Now we can see what countries Captain Cook visited during his travels.”

One of the workmen helped Willie hold up the map against the wall. Willie tacked it in place so all the workers could see it. Then he got a black pencil and began marking the map. He marked each place Captain Cook had been to. He also wrote down things he had learned about each country—things he had learned from books he had read. But while he was writing, he got another idea. He wondered if the people in these faraway places knew anything about Jesus.

“We should send someone across the ocean to teach these people about Jesus,” Willie said to his pastor.

“When God wants them to know about Jesus and the Bible, He will take care of it,” the pastor told Willie.

But the pastor didn’t forget what Willie had said. He talked to other pastors. A few years later there was a movement to send someone to India. “I’ll go,” Willie offered. “The people in India may not be happy to see me, and my friends here at home may forget about me, but God will be with me.” So, Willie sailed for India.

For more than a year after he left for India, no one heard from Willie at all. Finally, a letter arrived. It was from Willie to the pastors who had sent him to India. They read it and passed it around to many other people to read. The letter said that Willie was building a church. He needed help. All his friends began collecting money, which they sent to him to help him build the church in that distant land.

Meanwhile, in India, Willie was having trouble. He didn’t know how to speak the Bengali language, so he couldn’t talk to the people there. But Willie had always enjoyed learning new things. He decided to get a job so he could have some money to pay someone to teach him Bengali. Willie got a job in a factory making indigo. Indigo is a blue dye that is used to make ink.

As soon as he got a job and began earning some money, Willie hired a teacher. He was a good student, and before long he could speak and understand Bengali. Once he knew the language, Willie started to translate the Bible into Bengali. He knew the people in India would want to read the Bible in their own language. But many of the people couldn’t read—even in Bengali. So, Willie held classes to teach them to read. It took a long time, but as the people learned to read and as they began reading the Bible, they wanted to learn more about God.

Willie built a church and a school. He helped many, many people in India to love God and have a better life. From the time he was a boy, Willie had worked hard. He worked hard in the shoemaker’s shop. And he worked hard in India as a missionary for God. Today, William Carey is known as the “Father of Modern Christian Missions.”

Storytime, Character-building Stories for Children, 86–89.

Life Sketches – Meeting the Lord Together

One of the first letters written by the apostle Paul and recorded in the New Testament gives a straightforward explanation concerning the state of the dead, and of when Christians will be reunited with their loved ones who have died in Christ. Yet many Christians consider this still a mystery.

While Paul was evangelizing in the city of Corinth and making tents with his companions, Aquila and Priscilla, he was comforted by the arrival of two of his working companions. Silas and Timothy had come from Thessalonica and reported to Paul some struggles they were having in the newly formed church. He found out that there were some who had fallen into mistaken ideas concerning those who had died after their conversion. They had believed that they all would live to see the second coming of Christ. However, some of their friends had died and they were upset, thinking that now it would be impossible for them to behold that desirable event—to see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven.

So Paul wrote a letter to the Thessalonian church explaining the true condition of a person in death. He said, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep (dead). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).

The Thessalonians had eagerly grasped the idea that Jesus was coming to change the faithful, who were alive at that time, but they had forgotten what Paul had taught them about the state of the dead and the fact that there would be a reuniting of those who had fallen asleep in Christ when He returned. For this reason, Paul said they were not to sorrow as others who had no hope. When his letter was received the people were greatly comforted, knowing their loved ones would rise again from their graves to a holy, happy, and immortal life. For now they would sleep in their dusty graves waiting for that great reunion when Jesus would receive all the righteous, alive and dead, to make their journey together to the holy city.

Three times in this passage death is referred to as a sleep. The Old Testament also refers to death as a sleep. In fact, David called it “the sleep of death” (Psalm 13:3). This epistle gave great hope and joy to this young church. When accepting the gospel, they learned so many new, strange things that it is not surprising that they forgot some of the things that they had been taught. But no longer was there any darkness that enshrouded the sepulcher of the dead, because they had assurance that their friends who had fallen asleep in Jesus would be resurrected from the grave and also enjoy immortal life in the kingdom of God.

Notice, however, that this passage only talks about the resurrection to immortal life being given to those who have died in Christ. If you are in Christ, whether you live or die, your eternal future is secure. The question is: Have you committed your life to Christ to be your Lord and Saviour? Is it your desire to be like Him in character, or is your experience a mere profession?

Paul also reminded the church concerning events of the last days. “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–4).

Paul warned that the day of the Lord will come as an overwhelming surprise. But why would that be when there are so many other warnings given in the Bible for us to know when the last days begin? There are many Bible prophecies that point out clearly the exact time, the exact year, when the “last days” would begin, and today we are living in that period of time.

If we have this information, then why is it that the day of the Lord will come as a thief? Paul told the Thessalonians that they were not in darkness, so do not sleep as others. The careless and unbelieving, those who close their eyes to the evidence that the Lord has been pleased to give, seek to quiet themselves from all apprehension. But at the same time, the signs of the times are rapidly fulfilling all over the world today, showing us that the world is rapidly going toward that period of time when the Son of man will be revealed in the clouds of heaven. If we are not in darkness, what should we be doing?

Notice, Paul said, “You, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us … be sober” (verses 4–8).

To be sober means that you have not taken any intoxicating alcohol into your body. There are many today, even professing Christians, who see nothing wrong with drinking alcohol in moderation. But that is not what the Bible teaches. Both Paul and Peter clearly teach that Christians who are preparing for the second coming of Christ will not use intoxicating drink. (See Titus 2:11–14; 1 Peter 1:13–16). They will be sober.

It is impossible to be both sober and intoxicated at the same time. By drinking alcohol and becoming partially drunk, you are partially intoxicated and not really sober. We are instructed to be sober, to watch what is taking place in the world, and to prepare for the future, seeking for purity in our lives. The Bible says, “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).

Are you doing all in your power for the cause of God in the world? Christians living in these last days are going to experience severe trials. (See Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). Paul said, “We urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:12–15).

Many practical instructions were given at the close of Paul’s letter. He said, “Pray without ceasing” (verse 17). This means to always be in an attitude of prayer. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies [or prophesying]. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (verses 18–22).

O, friend, are you following those injunctions? Are you abstaining from every form of evil? Are you a sober, watchful Christian or among those who make a profession but are drunk in the night? Those who are not watching and not praying will not be ready and the day of the Lord will overtake them suddenly as a thief. It will come as an overwhelming surprise and it will be too late at that time to be saved. When Jesus comes again in the clouds of heaven with His reward, it is then too late to be saved (see Revelation 22:11, 12). All decisions will have already been made. Paul told the Corinthians, “Now is the accepted time; … now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Now is the time to make that decision to commit your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and choose to follow and obey Him, which will result in eternal life. The Holy Spirit has been promised to all who seek Jesus. It will transform your life, enabling you to live a completely different life.

Paul’s letter brought wonderful comfort, hope, joy, and excitement to the Thessalonians. However, they were confused when he said, “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

When Paul said “we,” he is referring to the people in the Christian church who are alive when Jesus comes and are ready to meet Him. But some people interpreted that to mean that he was including himself and that he would be one of those who would live until Jesus came. This misunderstanding resulted in Paul writing his second letter. In fact, there were some people who thought the Lord would return so soon that they decided they did not need to work. This mistake was corrected when Paul wrote, “If anyone does not provide for his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8, literal translation).

Even today some people think the apostles expected the Lord to come in their day, in the first century. They did not. In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul sought to correct misapprehensions about when the day of the Lord would come. His letter begins by commending them for their faith, and looking forward to the time when all of their suffering would be over. He said, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer” (2 Thessalonians 1:3–5).

“Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed” (verses 6–10).

He then continues to talk to them about the coming of the day of the Lord when they would receive rest, when all persecutions of the Christians would be at an end. Those who died in Christ would be resurrected and taken with the living to heaven. They would be given immortality (1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4). They thought it was going to happen very soon but Paul continued, “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come” (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2). It was common then for unscrupulous people to send forged letters in the names of important people, so Paul warned that if they were to receive a letter telling them anything different, to know it is not so. He gave this very emphatic warning not to be troubled or even think that the day of the Lord was at hand, because there were more events to happen before He would return.

Paul wrote, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless [until] the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition” (verse 3).

This man of sin is the antichrist. It says in verses 4 and 5, concerning him: “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God [the church], showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?”

The coming of Christ would not occur until after a great apostasy occurs in the Christian church and the antichrist is revealed. Antichrist does not just mean somebody that is against Christ, but somebody that stands in the place of Christ. The antichrist would arise in the church first. He says, “And now you know what is restraining, that he [antichrist] may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one [the antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (verses 6–8). That is a very interesting verse.

Some people believe that the antichrist is going to appear after the Lord comes. But this verse teaches us that when the Lord comes the antichrist will already have been revealed and will be destroyed when He comes. “The coming of the lawless one [antichrist] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders [miracles], and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (verses 9, 10).

Do you love the truth, friend? If you don’t love the truth, you are going to be deceived. It says, “because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (verses 10, 11).

God will never force anyone to believe or accept or follow the truth. In God’s government, there is freedom and the power of choice. All who are willing to look at the weight of evidence will find plenty of evidence to know truth. But God will never give you so much evidence that you will be forced to accept it against your will.

Paul goes on to say, “For this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (verse 11). The lie is that a person can be saved in his sin.

The truth has always been unattractive to those who have pleasure in unrighteousness. “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17). “… sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 KJV). So to have pleasure in unrighteousness means to have pleasure in sin. Or, to put it even more simply, to enjoy breaking God’s law. To choose the pleasures of sin is so temporary. To choose Christ and live for Him is to have eternal life and pleasure forever.

As Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).


(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 – A Natural Detox Reboot

Herbs for a New Year’s Cleanse

After a season of holiday excess, we naturally crave a fresh start in January. For many, this begins with a whole-body detox to reboot and reset for healthier habits, supporting the key eliminatory organs: the liver, kidneys, colon, lymph and skin.

Old-time herbal doctors used the term “alternatives” to refer to herbs that help the body return to a healthier state via the gentle stimulation of our eliminatory channels’ natural function. Liver and lymph “moving” herbs play a key role in this category, though many also stimulate healthy elimination via the colon. We’re not talking about harsh laxatives. Alternatives are herbs that could be taken long-term and encourage the body to resume healthy function on its own. Laxatives like senna, cascara, and aloe latex force the body to purge and quickly become habit-forming.

Liver Movers (Cholagogues)

Your liver filters toxins and waste from the blood, turning them into bile, which is excreted via the colon. Bile helps digest fats on its way out, and poor fat digestion and skin issues indicate that you might want to try cholagogues. Liver-moving alternatives include dandelion root, artichoke leaf, burdock root, and yellow dock root. Turmeric root, schisandra berry, and milk thistle help protect and heal the liver. You’ll find these ingredients in many cleanse kits, tinctures, and detox tea blends. They taste mildly to strongly bitter—a flavor associated with improved liver detoxification, increased digestive function, and stimulation of the wavelike muscle motion that moves food through the gastrointestinal tract (which indirectly encourages bowel movements). Turmeric, burdock, and dandelion also can be incorporated into your culinary repertoire.

Lymph Movers (Lymphagogues)

It’s easy to take your lymphatic system for granted. These tiny vessels closely align with your circulatory system, cleaning the fluid around your cells, outside the bloodstream. Lymph vessels also house many of your immune cells. Lymph hubs called nodes clean up debris before the lymph gets dumped into the bloodstream. Lymph has no pump and flows through the body via pressure from your moving body around the vessels; valves ensure the flow goes in the right direction. Signs of sluggish lymph include skin issues, mild edema (edema can signal more serious issues too), and a sluggish immune system. Regular movement, lymphatic massage, compression stockings, and skin brushing help move it along. You can also add lymphagogues that help thin the lymph and stimulate filtration. Favorites include red clover blossoms, burdock root, red root, schisandra, and calendula blossoms, which can be taken in tea, pills, and liquid extracts.

Colon Movers (Gentle, Indirect Laxatives)

Because the liver’s waste (bile) exits via the colon in your feces, it’s important to keep things moving along or the result of all your liver’s hard work gets reabsorbed into the body. If you tend toward constipation, slow digestion, and/or you have fewer than one bowel movement per day, give your colon some TLC. Many kits go for the blowout laxatives, but I prefer a gentler approach that encourages healthy, regular bowel movements. First steps include bitter-tasting herbs (the cholagogues), proper hydration, and gently increasing fiber via whole foods in the diet and supplements like ground flax, psyllium, or chia seeds. If you need a little more encouragement, both triphala and yellow dock root contain low doses of laxative constituents and also tone the colon. Magnesium encourages bowel movements by bringing water into the colon.

Kidney Movers (Diuretics)

Like the liver, your kidneys filter your blood. However, the kidneys remove different compounds and excrete them via your urine. If you void infrequently and have dark, strong-smelling urine, consider supporting your kidneys. The three best ways to do this are to drink more water and eat more green vegetables. The safest kidney tonic diuretics include parsley leaf, dandelion leaf, nettle leaf, burdock root, and corn silk. These are best delivered in a water medium like tea or broth, or in food, though they can be added to broader detox formulas in liquid extract or pill form.

Some cautions: Detox herbs to reset and reboot a sluggish system should not be expected to “cure” kidney or liver disease—these require medical attention. Seek professional guidance if you are pregnant, nursing, have heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, or diabetes. Doing a detox and using detoxifying herbs needs to be tailored to your needs. Detoxifying herbs work best with adequate sleep, hydration, a healthy whole foods diet rich in plant foods, regular activity, and avoidance (to the best of your ability) of toxins.

Remedies for Life, Maria Noël Groves, R.H. (AHG), January 2018, 16, 19.


Bitter Brew Detox Tea

This is a nice coffee substitute with broad detoxifying actions.
1 tsp. burdock root Simmer herbs in 8-16 ounces of water for 20 minutes; strain. If desired, sweeten with blackstrap molasses and add unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
1 tsp. dandelion root
1 tsp. roasted chicory root


Question and Answer – Did the witch of Endor really see Samuel appear from the dead in 1 Samuel 28:12?

“Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul” (1 Samuel 28:11–12).

“The Scripture account of Saul’s visit to the woman of Endor has been a source of perplexity to many students of the Bible. There are some who take the position that Samuel was actually present at the interview with Saul, but the Bible itself furnishes sufficient ground for a contrary conclusion. If, as claimed by some, Samuel was in heaven, he must have been summoned thence, either by the power of God or by that of Satan. None can believe for a moment that Satan had power to call the holy prophet of God from heaven to honor the incantations of an abandoned woman. Nor can we conclude that God summoned him to the witch’s cave; for the Lord had already refused to communicate with Saul, by dreams, by Urim, or by prophets (1 Samuel 28:6). These were God’s own appointed mediums of communication, and He did not pass them by to deliver the message through the agent of Satan.

“The message itself is sufficient evidence of its origin. Its object was not to lead Saul to repentance, but to urge him on to ruin; and this is not the work of God, but of Satan. Furthermore, the act of Saul in consulting a sorceress is cited in Scripture as one reason why he was rejected by God and abandoned to destruction: ‘Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it; and inquired not of the Lord: therefore He slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse’ (1 Chronicles 10:13, 14). Here it is distinctly stated that Saul inquired of the familiar spirit, not of the Lord. He did not communicate with Samuel, the prophet of God; but through the sorceress he held intercourse with Satan. Satan could not present the real Samuel, but he did present a counterfeit, that served his purpose of deception.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 683. [Emphasis author’s.]