Bible Study Guides – Joseph

August 25, 2013 – August 31, 2013

Key Text

“Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation: and Thy right hand hath holden me up, and Thy gentleness hath made me great.” Psalm 18:35.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 209–223; Testimonies, vol. 6, 219, 220.


“One day’s experience had been the turning point in Joseph’s life. Its terrible calamity had transformed him from a petted child to a man, thoughtful, courageous, and self-possessed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 214.


  • Relate the history concerning Jacob and Rachel’s first son. Genesis 30:22–24.

Note: “Pure, active, and joyous, the lad [Joseph] gave evidence also of moral earnestness and firmness. He listened to his father’s instructions, and loved to obey God. The qualities that afterward distinguished him in Egypt—gentleness, fidelity, and truthfulness—were already manifest in his daily life. His mother being dead, his affections clung the more closely to the father, and Jacob’s heart was bound up in this child of his old age. He ‘loved Joseph more than all his children’ (Genesis 37:3).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 209.

  • What main events characterized the first seventeen years of Joseph’s life? Genesis 37:1–11.

Note: “As the lad [Joseph] stood before his brothers, his beautiful countenance lighted up with the Spirit of inspiration, they could not withhold their admiration; but they did not choose to renounce their evil ways, and they hated the purity that reproved their sins. The same spirit that actuated Cain was kindling in their hearts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 210.


  • Relate the traumatic event of Joseph’s young manhood. Genesis 37:13, 14, 23–28.

Note: “He [Joseph] was seized and his coat stripped from him. Taunts and threats revealed a deadly purpose. His entreaties were unheeded. He was wholly in the power of those maddened men. Rudely dragging him to a deep pit, they [his brothers] thrust him in, and having made sure that there was no possibility of his escape, they left him there to perish from hunger, while they ‘sat down to eat bread’ (Genesis 37:25). …

“As he saw the merchants the dreadful truth flashed upon him. To become a slave was a fate more to be feared than death. In an agony of terror he appealed to one and another of his brothers, but in vain. Some were moved with pity, but fear of derision kept them silent; all felt that they had now gone too far to retreat. If Joseph were spared, he would doubtless report them to the father, who would not overlook their cruelty toward his favorite son.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 211, 212.

  • In his sudden change of circumstances from favored son to slave, what firm decision did Joseph adopt? Genesis 39:1–3.

Note: “He [Joseph] had learned in a few hours that which years might not otherwise have taught him. His father, strong and tender as his love had been, had done him wrong by his partiality and indulgence. This unwise preference had angered his brothers and provoked them to the cruel deed that had separated him from his home. Its effects were manifest also in his own character. Faults had been encouraged that were now to be corrected. He was becoming self-sufficient and exacting. Accustomed to the tenderness of his father’s care, he felt that he was unprepared to cope with the difficulties before him, in the bitter, uncared-for life of a stranger and a slave. …

“Joseph believed that the God of his fathers would be his God. He then and there gave himself fully to the Lord, and he prayed that the Keeper of Israel would be with him in the land of his exile.

“His soul thrilled with the high resolve to prove himself true to God—under all circumstances to act as became a subject of the King of heaven. He would serve the Lord with undivided heart; he would meet the trials of his lot with fortitude and perform every duty with fidelity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 213, 214.


  • What can we learn from the way Joseph stood firm for righteousness’ sake? Genesis 39:4–12.

Note: “If we were to cherish an habitual impression that God sees and hears all that we do and say and keeps a faithful record of our words and actions, and that we must meet it all, we would fear to sin. Let the young ever remember that wherever they are, and whatever they do, they are in the presence of God. No part of our conduct escapes observation. We cannot hide our ways from the Most High. Human laws, though sometimes severe, are often transgressed without detection, and hence with impunity. But not so with the law of God. The deepest midnight is no cover for the guilty one. He may think himself alone, but to every deed there is an unseen witness. The very motives of his heart are open to divine inspection. Every act, every word, every thought, is as distinctly marked as though there were only one person in the whole world, and the attention of heaven were centered upon him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 217, 218.

  • How does Inspiration summarize the dealings of God with His servant Joseph? Genesis 39:13, 14, 19–23; Psalm 105:16–22.

Note: “Joseph suffered for his integrity, for his tempter revenged herself by accusing him of a foul crime, and causing him to be thrust into prison. Had Potiphar believed his wife’s charge against Joseph, the young Hebrew would have lost his life; but the modesty and uprightness that had uniformly characterized his conduct were proof of his innocence; and yet, to save the reputation of his master’s house, he was abandoned to disgrace and bondage.

“At the first Joseph was treated with great severity by his jailers. The psalmist says, ‘His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron: until the time that his word came to pass; the word of the Lord tried him’ (Psalm 105:18, 19 RV). But Joseph’s real character shines out, even in the darkness of the dungeon. He held fast his faith and patience; his years of faithful service had been most cruelly repaid, yet this did not render him morose or distrustful. He had the peace that comes from conscious innocence, and he trusted his case with God. He did not brood upon his own wrongs, but forgot his sorrow in trying to lighten the sorrows of others.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 218.


  • What illustrates the need for humble stability of Christian character both in times of prosperity as well as in times of trouble? Genesis 41:41–44; Philippians 4:11, 12.

Note: “The joy of Christ is a pure, unalloyed cheerfulness. It is not a cheap gaiety, that leads to vanity of words or lightness of conduct. No, we are to have His joy, and His greatest joy was to see men obeying the truth. … Plead with God, saying, ‘I make an entire surrender. I give myself away to Thee.’ Then be joyful. The Word is in you, purifying and cleansing your character. God does not want His children to go about with anxiety and sorrow expressed in their faces. He wants the lovely expression of His countenance to be revealed in every one of us who are partakers of the divine nature, for we have power to escape the corruptions of the world.” [Author’s italics.] Our High Calling, 148.

  • As Joseph matured, how did he look back on the primary trial of his youth and manifest exemplary Christian forgiveness toward his brethren? Genesis 45:4–8; 50:19–21.

Note: “The life of Joseph illustrates the life of Christ. It was envy that moved the brothers of Joseph to sell him as a slave; they hoped to prevent him from becoming greater than themselves. … So the Jewish priests and elders were jealous of Christ, fearing that He would attract the attention of the people from them. They put Him to death, to prevent Him from becoming king, but they were thus bringing about this very result.

“Joseph, through his bondage in Egypt, became a savior to his father’s family. … So the crucifixion of Christ by His enemies made Him the Redeemer of mankind, the Saviour of the fallen race, and Ruler over the whole world …

“As Joseph was sold to the heathen by his own brothers, so Christ was sold to His bitterest enemies by one of His disciples. Joseph was falsely accused and thrust into prison because of his virtue; so Christ was despised and rejected because His righteous, self-denying life was a rebuke to sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 239, 240.


  • What did Jacob prophesy about Joseph in bestowing upon him the double portion of the inheritance? Genesis 49:22–26; I Chronicles 5:1.

Note: “One of the birthright privileges, which Reuben had forfeited, was to fall to Joseph—a double portion in Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 234.

“The dying Jacob, under the Spirit of inspiration, had said of his best-loved son, ‘Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall.’ And he said, ‘The God of thy Father’ ‘shall help thee,’ the Almighty ‘shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under’ (Genesis 49:22, 25).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 214.

  • How did Moses reiterate the blessing upon the tribe of Joseph? Deuteronomy 33:13–17.
  • How should we be inspired by the “double portion” inheritance for Joseph, enabling his son also to share in the special blessing? Revelation 7:6, last part, 8, middle part.

Note: “Christianity is a religion of progress. … The cause of God may hold its ground only by great exertion and continual sacrifice, yet it will triumph finally.

“The word is: Go forward; discharge your individual duty, and leave all consequences in the hands of God. If we move forward where Jesus leads the way we shall see His triumph, we shall share His joy. We must share the conflicts if we wear the crown of victory. Like Jesus, we must be made perfect through suffering.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 71.


1 Describe the early life of Joseph.

2 How did Joseph make his father’s religion his own?

3 What was Joseph’s focus of attention in prison?

4 In what ways does the life of Joseph parallel the life of Christ?

5 Explain the connection between the cross and the crown.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Zebulun

August 18, 2013 – August 24, 2013

Key Text

“Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.” Judges 5:18.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 7, 150–152; The Desire of Ages, 236–243.


“For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 196.


  • With what hope did Leah bear Jacob’s sixth son? Genesis 30:20.
  • According to the prophecies of Jacob and Moses, where would Zebulun dwell? Genesis 49:13; Deuteronomy 33:18, 19. What work is to be done near seaports and similar areas of intense activity and commercial interest?

Note: “Into the busy world, filled with the din of commerce and the altercation of trade, where men were trying selfishly to get all they could for self, Christ came; and above the confusion, His voice, like the trump of God, was heard: ‘What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul’ (Mark 8:36, 37)?” Evangelism, 559.

“Most generally the fashionable, the wealthy, the proud, understand by experience that happiness is not to be secured by the amount of money that they possess, or by costly edifices, and ornamental furniture and pictures. They want something they have not. But this class are attracted toward each other, and it is hard to find access to them; and because of this many are perishing in their sins who long for something that will give them rest and peace and quietude of mind. They need Jesus, the light of righteousness.” Ibid., 556.

“There are promising opportunities for labor in connection with the health resorts. Our ministers and canvassers should be on the ground, watching their chance to present the message, and holding meetings as they have opportunity.” Ibid., 406.


  • What description did the prophetess Deborah give to pinpoint one specific gift of some members of the tribe of Zebulun? Judges 5:14, last part. Why is the ability to “handle the pen of the writer” particularly important in these last days?

Note: “Let more time be given to the publication and circulation of books containing present truth. Call attention to books dwelling on practical faith and godliness and to those that treat on the prophetic word. The people are to be educated to read the sure word of prophecy in the light of the living oracles. They need to know that the signs of the times are fulfilling.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 158.

“Let all have more to teach, to write, and to publish in regard to those things that are now to be fulfilled, and that concern the eternal welfare of souls.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 13.

“Very much more can be accomplished by the living preacher with the circulation of papers and tracts than by the preaching of the word alone without the publications. The press is a powerful instrumentality which God has ordained to be combined with the energies of the living preacher to bring the truth before all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples.

“Many minds can be reached in no other way.” The Review and Herald, November 4, 1875.

  • Why can we be inspired by the character reference made about the tribe of Zebulun? Judges 5:18. What kinds of people are needed today to finish God’s work?

Note: “They [God’s messengers] are to go forward in faith, remembering that they are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. They are not to speak their own words, but words which One greater than the potentates of earth has bidden them speak. Their message is to be, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ God calls for men like Elijah, Nathan, and John the Baptist—men who will bear His message with faithfulness, regardless of the consequences; men who will speak the truth bravely, though it call for the sacrifice of all they have.

“God cannot use men who, in time of peril, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are needed, are afraid to take a firm stand for the right. He calls for men who will do faithful battle against wrong, warring against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Prophets and Kings, 142.


  • What should we learn from the self-sacrificing spirit of the tribe of Zebulun? Judges 5:19; I Peter 5:2.

Note: “It is not sufficient to lay money alone upon the altar. God calls for men, volunteers, to carry the truth to other nations and tongues and people. It is not our numbers nor our wealth that will give us a signal victory; but it is devotion to the work, moral courage, ardent love for souls, and untiring, unflagging zeal.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 404.

“Why is there not a more earnest call for volunteers to enter the whitening harvest field?” Ibid., vol. 8, 35.

  • Give an example in which wholehearted courage was manifested by the tribe of Zebulun. I Chronicles 12:23, 33.
  • What is the warning given against double-mindedness? James 1:8.

Note: “Those who begin their Christian life by being half and half, will at last be found enlisted on the enemy’s side, whatever may have been their first intentions. And to be an apostate, a traitor to the cause of God, is more serious than death; for it means the loss of eternal life.

“Double-minded men and women are Satan’s best allies. Whatever favorable opinion they may have of themselves, they are dissemblers. All who are loyal to God and the truth must stand firmly for the right because it is right. To yoke up with those who are unconsecrated, and yet be loyal to the truth, is simply impossible. We cannot unite with those who are serving themselves, who are working on worldly plans, and not lose our connection with the heavenly Counselor. We may recover ourselves from the snare of the enemy, but we are bruised and wounded, and our experience is dwarfed.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1086.

“If our brethren will now consecrate themselves unreservedly to God, He will accept them. He will give them a transformation of mind, that they may be savors of life unto life. Wake up, brethren and sisters, that you may attain to your high calling through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 166.


  • What glorious honor was to be bestowed upon the dwelling place of Zebulun and Naphtali? Isaiah 9:1, 2.
  • How was this prophecy fulfilled? Matthew 4:13–17.

Note: “At Capernaum Jesus dwelt in the intervals of His journeys to and fro, and it came to be known as ‘His own city’ (Matthew 9:1). It was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and near the borders of the beautiful plain of Gennesaret, if not actually upon it. …

“Capernaum itself was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour’s work. Being on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt, and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was a great thoroughfare of travel. People from many lands passed through the city, or tarried for rest in their journeyings to and fro. Here Jesus could meet all nations and all ranks, the rich and great as well as the poor and lowly, and His lessons would be carried to other countries and into many households. Investigation of the prophecies would thus be excited, attention would be directed to the Saviour, and His mission would be brought before the world.” The Desire of Ages, 252, 253.

  • How can we see the same “great light”? John 8:12; II Corinthians 4:6.

Note: “Let your heart break for the longing it has for God, for the living God. The life of Christ has shown what humanity can do by being partaker of the divine nature. All that Christ received from God we too may have. Then ask and receive. With the persevering faith of Jacob, with the unyielding persistence of Elijah, claim for yourself all that God has promised.

“Let the glorious conceptions of God possess your mind. Let your life be knit by hidden links to the life of Jesus. He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness is willing to shine in your heart, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will take the things of God and show them unto you, conveying them as a living power into the obedient heart. Christ will lead you to the threshold of the Infinite. You may behold the glory beyond the veil, and reveal to men the sufficiency of Him who ever liveth to make intercession for us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 149.


  • What is the evidence that a remnant spiritually identified with the tribe of Zebulun will be wholehearted in repentance toward God? Revelation 7:8, first part.
  • What victorious experience is within the reach of every sinner who is willing to find repentance? I John 1:9; James 4:8–10.

Note: “Should you become alarmed for your own souls, should you seek God diligently, He will be found of you; but He will accept no halfhearted repentance. If you will forsake your sins, He is ever ready to forgive. Will you just now surrender to Him? Will you look to Calvary and inquire: ‘Did Jesus make this sacrifice for me? Did He endure humiliation, shame, and reproach, and suffer the cruel death of the cross because He desired to save me from the sufferings of guilt and the horror of despair, and make me unspeakably happy in His kingdom?’ Look upon Him whom your sins have pierced, and resolve: ‘The Lord shall have the service of my life. I will no longer unite with His enemies; I will no longer lend my influence to the rebels against His government. All I have and am is too little to devote to Him who so loved me that He gave His life for me—His whole divine self for one so sinful and erring.’ Separate from the world, be wholly on the Lord’s side, press the battle to the gates, and you will win glorious victories.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 438, 439.


1 What opportunities are available in coastal centers?

2 Why can literature be a tool of every church member?

3 How can we cultivate more of a spirit of sacrifice?

4 Relate some of Jesus’ experiences in Nazareth and Capernaum.

5 Name some key factors in true repentance.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Issachar

August 11, 2013 – August 17, 2013

Key Text

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2.

Study Help: Sons and Daughters of God, 114; Testimonies, vol. 6, 305–309.


“Unselfishness underlies all true development. Through unselfish service we receive the highest culture of every faculty.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 32.


  • Relate the circumstances associated with the birth of Jacob and Leah’s fifth son. Genesis 30:17, 18. What qualities are found in the nature of the animal which Jacob used to illustrate the character of his son? Genesis 49:14. What appeal is made in behalf of burden bearing?

Note: “Someone must advance; someone must venture in the fear of God, trusting the result with Him. Those ministers who shun this part of the labor are losing much. They are failing to obtain that experience which God designed they should have to make them strong, efficient men that can be relied upon in any emergency.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 14.

  • How did Jacob commend Issachar’s willingness to bear burdens? Genesis 49:15. What lessons from Issachar can be incorporated into the work of God today?

Note: “When an emergency arises, and help is needed, no worker should say, That is not my work. The helper who has the idea that he is only to do the work assigned him, and no more, who feels no responsibility to help wherever and whenever help is needed, should at once dismiss this idea from his mind. He should never feel that a wrong is done him if in an emergency he is asked to work overtime. When extra help is needed, let the workers assist willingly, in Christian meekness, and they will receive a blessing.” Medical Ministry, 176, 177.


  • Give an example that reveals how the tribe of Issachar came to the assistance of others. Judges 5:15.
  • Name some personal benefits derived from helping our fellowmen. Mark 12:31; Galatians 6:2.

Note: “The law of love calls for the devotion of body, mind, and soul to the service of God and our fellow men. And this service, while making us a blessing to others, brings the greatest blessing to ourselves.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 32.

  • What ability did some of the members of the tribe of Issachar reveal, and when? I Chronicles 12:32.
  • How should God’s people today reveal a similar understanding of the present signs of the times? I Corinthians 16:13, 14.

Note: “The solemn, sacred truth—the testing message given us of God to communicate to the world—lays every one of us under the strongest obligation to so transform our daily life and character that the power of the truth may be well represented. We should have a continual sense of the shortness of time and of the fearful events which prophecy has declared must speedily take place.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 612.

“The church of God is required to fulfill her night watch, however perilous, whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by His own example to the Source of their strength in times of need, distress, and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. By this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.” Ibid., vol. 2, 205.


  • Relate the sad history when one member of the tribe of Issachar ruled over Israel. I Kings 15:25–34; 16:1–5.
  • What infamous tragedy took place within the territory of Issachar? (See the mountains near Jezreel on a Bible map that labels the area of each tribe.) I Samuel 28:7; I Chronicles 10:13, 14.

Note: “Under the cover of darkness Saul and his attendants made their way across the plain, and, safely passing the Philistine host, they crossed the mountain ridge, to the lonely home of the sorceress of Endor. Here the woman with a familiar spirit had hidden herself away that she might secretly continue her profane incantations.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 679.

  • How should God’s people today be encouraged by another record of some members of the tribe of Issachar? I Chronicles 7:1, 5.

Note: “Where are the missionaries who should be raised up at the heart of the work? … But piety is at so low an ebb, the spirit of devotion is so weak, worldliness and selfishness so prevalent, that the moral atmosphere begets a lethargy fatal to missionary zeal. …

“Shake off your spiritual lethargy. Work with all your might to save your own souls and the souls of others. It is no time now to cry, ‘Peace and safety’ (I Thessalonians 5:3). It is not silver-tongued orators that are needed to give this message. The truth in all its pointed severity must be spoken. Men of action are needed—men who will labor with earnest, ceaseless energy for the purifying of the church and the warning of the world.

“A great work is to be accomplished; broader plans must be laid; a voice must go forth to arouse the nations. Men whose faith is weak and wavering are not the ones to carry forward the work at this important crisis. We need the courage of heroes and the faith of martyrs.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 187.


  • Name one individual in the land of Issachar who distinguished herself for her kindness. II Kings 4:8–10.

Note: “The kindly spirit that enabled Elisha to exert a powerful influence over the lives of many in Israel, is revealed in the story of his friendly relations with a family dwelling at Shunem. In his journeyings to and fro throughout the kingdom ‘it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. …’ (II Kings 4:8). … To this retreat Elisha often came, thankful for its quiet peace. Nor was God unmindful of the woman’s kindness.” Prophets and Kings, 237.

  • Explain some ways in which efforts toward self-denying service are rewarded. II Kings 4:12–20, 32–37; Matthew 25:40.

Note: “Our work in this world is to live for others’ good, to bless others, to be hospitable; and frequently it may be only at some inconvenience that we can entertain those who really need our care and the benefit of our society and our homes. Some avoid these necessary burdens. But someone must bear them; and because the brethren in general are not lovers of hospitality, and do not share equally in these Christian duties, a few who have willing hearts, and who cheerfully make the cases of those who need help their own, are burdened. A church should take special care to relieve its ministers of extra burdens in this direction.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 645.

“As you regard your eternal interest, arouse yourselves, and begin to sow good seed. That which you sow, you shall also reap. The harvest is coming—the great reaping time, when we shall reap what we have sown. There will be no failure in the crop; the harvest is sure. Now is the sowing time. … Encourage in yourselves a love of hospitality, a love to help those who need help.” Ibid., 31.

“When hearts sympathize with hearts burdened with discouragement and grief, when the hand dispenses to the needy, when the naked are clothed, the stranger made welcome to a seat in your parlor and a place in your heart, angels are coming very near, and an answering strain is responded to in heaven. Every act of justice, mercy, and benevolence makes melody in heaven.” Ibid., 25.


  • Although the tribe of Issachar had joined in Israel’s general departure from the true worship of God, how did they share in a desire for reformation? II Chronicles 30:17–20. Show how God’s mercy is extended toward repentant sinners.

Note: “Throughout the period of probationary time His [God’s] Spirit is entreating men to accept the gift of life. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die’ (Ezekiel 33:11)? It is Satan’s special device to lead man into sin and then leave him there, helpless and hopeless, fearing to seek for pardon. But God invites, ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ (Isaiah 27:5). In Christ every provision has been made, every encouragement offered.” Prophets and Kings, 325, 326.

  • What is the blessed result of true repentance and reformation of even the weakest souls identified with the tribe of Issachar? Revelation 7:7, last part.

Note: “Dullness and ignorance are no virtue. You can choose to become stereotyped in a wrong course of action because you have not the determination to take yourselves in hand and to reform, or you may cultivate your powers to do the very best kind of service, and then you will find yourselves in demand anywhere and everywhere. You will be appreciated for all that you are worth.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 316.


1 Why may some persons tend to be frustrated by the Issacharites?

2 Why should the Issacharites be appreciated more than they are?

3 Name some points of interest in the history of Issachar.

4 Consider ways in which you and your local church can improve on the exercise of hospitality.

5 How can the Issacharites overcome their weaknesses?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Secrets to Victory – Gad and Asher

August 4, 2013 – August 10, 2013

Key Text

“Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.” Genesis 49:19.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 273–275; Our High Calling, 125.


“Approach the most obstinate in a spirit of kindness and affection. Dip your words into the oil of grace, and let them flow forth from your lips in love.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1086.


  • How did Leah respond to Rachel’s idea to obtain children by her maid? Genesis 30:9. What principle must Christians always keep in mind? II Corinthians 10:12.

Note: “Everyone should realize how cruel is the spirit of envy, rivalry, distrust, faultfinding, and dissension.

“We call God our Father; we claim to be children of one family, and when there is a disposition to lessen the respect and influence of another to build up ourselves, we please the enemy and grieve Him whom we profess to follow. The tenderness and mercy that Jesus has revealed in His own precious life should be an example to us of the manner in which we should treat our fellow beings and especially those who are our brethren in Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 222.

  • What was declared concerning Gad? Genesis 30:10, 11; Deuteronomy 33:20. How are church workers especially warned against fostering a competitive spirit?

Note: “Those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. No rivalry will mar the precious cause of the gospel.” The Desire of Ages, 179.


  • What is written about Jacob and Zilpah’s second son? Genesis 30:12, 13; 49:20.
  • Describe one hallmark of this type of personality in its natural, unconverted state. Psalm 55:21.

Note: “Do not receive flattery, even in your religious life. Flattery is an art by which Satan lieth in wait to deceive and to puff up the human agent with high thoughts of himself.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 304.

“Give children but little notice. Let them learn to amuse themselves. Do not put them on exhibition before visitors as prodigies of wit or wisdom, but leave them as far as possible to the simplicity of their childhood. One great reason why so many children are forward, bold, and impertinent is they are noticed and praised too much, and their smart, sharp sayings repeated in their hearing. Endeavor not to censure unduly, nor to overwhelm with praise and flattery. Satan will all too soon sow evil seed in their young hearts, and you should not aid him in his work.” Child Guidance, 37, 38.

“We need to shun everything that would encourage pride and self-sufficiency; therefore we should beware of giving or receiving flattery or praise. It is Satan’s work to flatter. He deals in flattery as well as in accusing and condemnation. Thus he seeks to work the ruin of the soul. Those who give praise to men are used by Satan as his agents. Let the workers for Christ direct every word of praise away from themselves. Let self be put out of sight. Christ alone is to be exalted. ‘Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood’ (Revelation 1:5), let every eye be directed, and praise from every heart ascend.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 161, 162.

  • What is written about the deportment of the two sons of Zilpah? Genesis 37:2, last part.

Note: “The restless spirit naturally inclines to mischief; the active mind, if left unoccupied with better things, will give heed to that which Satan may suggest.” Child Guidance, 33.


  • How were the people of Gad described? I Chronicles 12:8, 14, 15.
  • What happened to the territory of Gad? Jeremiah 49:1.
  • How was the land of Gad (part of the Gilead region) recovered? Judges 11:1, 6, 32, 33; Hebrews 11:32.

Note: “Oh, the long-suffering mercy of our God! When His people put away the sins that had shut out His presence, He heard their prayers and at once began to work for them.

“A deliverer was raised up in the person of Jephthah, a Gileadite, who made war upon the Ammonites and effectually destroyed their power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 558.

  • Which other member of the tribe of Gad was distinguished for his steadfast faithfulness? I Kings 17:1; II Kings 2:11.

Note: “Elijah, amid the general apostasy, did not seek to hide the fact that he served the God of heaven. Baal’s prophets numbered four hundred and fifty, his priests, four hundred, and his worshipers were thousands; yet Elijah did not try to make it appear that he was on the popular side. He grandly stood alone. The mountain was covered with people full of eager expectation. The king came in great pomp, and the idolaters, confident of triumph, shouted his welcome. But God had been greatly dishonored. One man, and only one man, appeared to vindicate the honor of God. With clear, trumpetlike tones Elijah addressed the vast multitude: ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him’ (1 Kings 18:21). The result was that the Lord God, who ruleth in the heavens, was vindicated, and the Baal worshipers were slain. Where are the Elijahs of today?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 526, 527.


  • What lessons can we learn from Moses’ blessing upon Asher? Deuteronomy 33:24. How can these blessings be extended to us? How can we forfeit them?

Note: “Ask God to give you much of the oil of His grace. Carefully consider every word, whether it be written or spoken.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 104.

“What harm is wrought in the family circle by the utterance of impatient words; for the impatient utterance of one leads another to retort in the same spirit and manner. Then come words of retaliation, words of self-justification, and it is by such words that a heavy, galling yoke is manufactured for your neck; for all these bitter words will come back in a baleful harvest to your soul.

“Those who indulge in such language will experience shame, loss of self-respect, loss of self-confidence, and will have bitter remorse and regret that they allowed themselves to lose self-control and speak in this way. How much better would it be if words of this character were never spoken. How much better to have the oil of grace in the heart, to be able to pass by all provocation, and bear all things with Christlike meekness and forbearance.” Messages to Young People, 327.

  • What can we learn from one member of the tribe of Asher, who was a prophetess of God? Luke 2:36–38.

Note: “Anna … came in and confirmed Simeon’s testimony concerning Christ. As Simeon spoke, her face lighted up with the glory of God, and she poured out her heartfelt thanks that she had been permitted to behold Christ the Lord.” The Desire of Ages, 55.

“The cross of Calvary is to be a constant reminder of the future, nobler world, the mansions that Jesus has gone to prepare for all who love Him. We are to be enthusiasts. And as we by faith view the glories within the temple of God, we shall seek to awaken enthusiasm in others, a desire to behold things unseen. Our work is to attract minds away from earth to heaven; to take others with us as companions, to walk the path that is cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. The children of the heavenly King are to move among men, not as citizens of the world, but as citizens of the kingdom above. We are pilgrims and strangers in this world, seeking a better country, even a heavenly.” The Signs of the Times, August 17, 1891.


  • What illustrates the secret of success for the tribe of Gad, long beset by a “troop” of temptations? Genesis 49:19; I Chronicles 5:18, 20. What promise is made to spiritual Gadite overcomers? Revelation 7:5, last part.

Note: “Your only hope is in confessing your backslidings. God has let light shine upon your pathway. Will you choose your own course of corruption? Will you cast the truth behind you because it will not sustain you in a course of iniquity? Oh, be entreated to ‘rend your heart, and not your garments’ (Joel 2:13). Make thorough work for eternity. God will be merciful to you. He will be entreated in your behalf. He will not despise a broken and contrite spirit. Will you turn? Will you live? Your soul is worth saving; it is precious.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 303.

  • Explain the secret of the tribe of Asher’s success. Deuteronomy 33:25; II Chronicles 30:11; James 4:10; Revelation 7:6, first part. What work is to be done for those who want to be numbered among the 144,000? Jeremiah 3:12–15.

Note: “The work of warning sinners, of weeping over them and pleading with them, has been neglected until many souls are past all cure. Some have died in their sins, and will in the judgment confront with reproaches of their guilt those who might have saved them, but who did not.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 506.

“All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.


1 What challenges did the sons of Zilpah face from birth?

2 Contrast the carnal Gadites with the converted ones.

3 Differentiate between the good and evil aspects of Asherites.

4 Consider practical ways to restore backsliders whom you may know.

5 Why do you think God promises sufficient strength for each and every day?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Contrast Between Dan and Naphtali

July 28, 2013 – August 3, 2013

Key Text

“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” James 4:12.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 4, 193–197; Ibid., vol. 5, 94–98.


“Would all professed Christians use their investigative powers to see what evils needed to be corrected in themselves, instead of talking of others’ wrongs, there would be a more healthy condition in the church today.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 96.


  • What did Rachel do in desperation when she saw that she was unable to conceive? Genesis 30:1–6. What serious warnings should we heed against indulging in this type of attitude?

Note: “Jealousy and stubbornness are the natural fruits of selfishness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 545.

“Fellow laborers, we are each sowing seed in the fields of life. As is the seed, so will be the harvest. If we sow distrust, envy, jealousy, self-love, bitterness of thought and feeling, we shall reap bitterness to our own souls.” Ibid., vol. 5, 30.

“Envy, jealousy, evil surmising, and evilspeaking are of Satan, and they effectually bar the way against the Holy Spirit’s working.” Ibid., vol. 6, 42.

  • Relate the words of Rachel when her maid Bilhah gave birth to Jacob’s second son. Genesis 30:7, 8.


  • Although Dan was the son of a concubine, how did Jacob show honor and deep respect for the natural ability of the young man? Genesis 49:16.
  • Explain the potential value of keen observation and discernment, when rightly employed. Matthew 10:16; I Corinthians 12:7, 8.

Note: “The servants of God who teach the truth should be men of judgment.” Early Writings, 102.

“It is impossible for anyone to foresee to what he may be called. He may be placed in situations where he will need quick discernment and well balanced arguments.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 257.

“Tact and good judgment increase the usefulness of the laborer a hundredfold.” Gospel Workers, 119.

  • How was Naphtali described as timidly fleeing from danger and burdens? Genesis 49:21, first part.

Note: “If he [Brother Pierce] would overcome timidity and possess more confidence that God would be with him and strengthen him he would be much more happy and a greater blessing to others.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 630.

  • When and how did the Naphtalites eventually progress to distinction? Deuteronomy 33:23; Judges 4:4, 6–8, 14, 15; 5:18. How can timidity be overcome?

Note: “What a thought that God chooses a man and brings him into close connection with Himself, and gives him a mission to undertake, a work to do, for Him. A weak man is made strong, a timid man is made brave.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 167.


  • How was the sharp keenness of Dan perverted into backbiting? Genesis 49:17. What warning should be impressed upon us today, to flee from this widespread pitfall of Satan? James 3:5–8.

Note: “[James 3:15–18 quoted.] … He who opens his heart to the suggestions of the enemy, taking in evil surmisings, and cherishing jealousy, frequently misconstrues this evil-mindedness, calling it special foresight, discrimination, or discernment in detecting guilt and fathoming the evil motives of others. He considers that a precious gift has been vouchsafed to him; and he draws apart from the very brethren with whom he should be in harmony; he climbs upon the judgment seat, and shuts his heart against the one he supposes to be in error, as though he himself were above temptation. Jesus separates from him, and leaves him to walk in the sparks of his own kindling.

“Let no one among you glory any longer against the truth by declaring that this spirit is a necessary consequence of dealing faithfully with wrongdoers and of standing in defense of the truth. Such wisdom has many admirers, but it is very deceptive and harmful. It does not come from above, but is the fruit of an unregenerated heart. Its originator is Satan himself. Let no accuser of others credit himself with discernment; for in so doing he clothes the attributes of Satan with the garments of righteousness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 936, 937.

  • What other evil also occurred among the ranks of the tribe of Dan? Judges 18:1, 2, 26–30. How did the craftsmen from the tribes of Judah and Dan misuse their talents? II Chronicles 2:1, 11–14.

Note: “In the tribes of Judah and of Dan there were men who were regarded as especially ‘cunning’ in the finer arts. For a time these men remained humble and unselfish; but gradually, almost imperceptibly, they lost their hold upon God and His truth. They began to ask for higher wages because of their superior skill. In some instances their request was granted, but more often those asking higher wages found employment in the surrounding nations. In place of the noble spirit of self-sacrifice that had filled the hearts of their illustrious ancestors, they cherished a spirit of covetousness, of grasping for more and more. They served heathen kings with their God-given skill, and dishonored their Maker.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 174, 175.


  • How does Inspiration establish the contrast between Naphtali’s goodly words and the evil effects of an unregenerate tongue? Genesis 49:21, last part; Proverbs 16:24; Matthew 12:36, 37.

Note: “True Christians will not exult in exposing the faults and deficiencies of others. They will turn away from vileness and deformity, to fix the mind upon that which is attractive and lovely. To the Christian every act of faultfinding, every word of censure or condemnation, is painful.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 96.

“Those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious cannot partake of the dish of nonsense, and folly, and backbiting. They will say decidedly, ‘Take this dish away. I do not want to eat such food. It is not the bread from heaven. It is eating and drinking the very spirit of the devil; for it is his business to be an accuser of the brethren.’ ” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 458.

  • Of the seven things that the Lord lists as abominations to Him, how many are directly related to speech? Proverbs 6:16–19.

Note: “Those who criticize and condemn one another are breaking God’s commandments, and are an offense to Him. They neither love God nor their fellow beings.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 937.

  • What is the first thing one should do—and not do—if he or she sees a brother or sister in some fault? Proverbs 25:9; Matthew 18:15; Galatians 6:1.

Note: “It pains me to say that there are unruly tongues among church members. There are false tongues that feed on mischief. There are sly, whispering tongues. There is tattling, impertinent meddling, adroit quizzing. Among the lovers of gossip some are actuated by curiosity, others by jealousy, many by hatred against those through whom God has spoken to reprove them. All these discordant elements are at work. Some conceal their real sentiments, while others are eager to publish all they know, or even suspect, of evil against another.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 94.


  • How does God view those who harbor a judgmental attitude toward others? Psalm 101:5; Romans 2:1–3; James 4:11, 12.

Note: “To unite with the faultfinding element, to be accusers of the brethren, to take up the reproach they lay at your door is seconding the work of the enemy by playing yourself into his hands to make his work a success.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 266, 267.

“The Lord is testing and proving His people. You may be just as severe and critical with your own defective character as you please; but be kind, pitiful, and courteous toward others.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 97.

“All pride must perish, all jealousy be overcome, all ambition for supremacy be given up, and the meekness and trust of the child be encouraged.” Ibid., 130.

  • Although the name of Naphtali is among the overcomers, why is it that Dan’s name is not there? Revelation 7:5–8; Psalm 15:1–3.

Note: “What a world of gossip would be prevented if every man would remember that those who tell him the faults of others will as freely publish his faults at a favorable opportunity. We should endeavor to think well of all men, especially our brethren, until compelled to think otherwise. We should not hastily credit evil reports. . . . Should a brother go astray, then is the time to show your real interest in him. Go to him kindly, pray with and for him, remembering the infinite price which Christ has paid for his redemption. In this way you may save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 58, 59.


1 Explain how the attitude of Rachel affected Bilhah’s offspring, and how this attitude can affect God’s people in general.

2 What was Naphtali like, and how only will the remnant of his tribe overcome?

3 Explain the problem of Dan.

4 What dangers, concerning words, can easily plague God’s people?

5 Why is a judgmental spirit so destructive?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Swiss Chard Flavor Packet

2 lbs. Swiss chard

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced red bell pepper

½ cup diced carrot

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

½ tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

½ cup chopped cilantro or parsley

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Separate chard leaves from stalks. Cut stalks into ½-inch dice. Roll chard leaves into bundles and chop. Toss all ingredients in large bowl. Tear 20 x 16-inch sheet of heavy-duty foil. Place on baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place chard mixture on half of foil; fold over and crimp edges to make a packet. Bake 25-35 minutes or until chard is tender.

Food – Think Differently

Gone are the days when a vegetarian had to visit a strange smelling, brightly lit health food store to buy provisions. Now, any decent size market stocks soymilk, quinoa, veggie burgers and even seitan. Certainly there are more vegetarians than ever, but there are also a lot of people who want the benefits of a vegetarian diet but don’t want to commit to it 100 percent. As they discover how delicious vegetarian cuisine can be, they want to have their tofu and eat chicken, too. Some people simply give up beef and pork (these folks are sometimes labeled “pollotarians”). Others are vegetarian most of the time but break the rules for special occasions or when a serious craving hits.

For some time now, American meals have consisted of a main course—meat—accompanied by sides. The newly minted vegetarian may, at first, simply replace the center-of-the-plate meat with a veggie lasagna or tofu dog. …

Vegetarian meals work well as a series of individual dishes that complement each other without a single item stealing the show. Soup, salad and a crusty loaf of bread can be a filling and delightful dinner. A vegetable gratin or a colorful stir-fry could be the centerpiece for an elegant dinner. The possibilities are endless. …

There are more colorful options to choose with veggies, fruits and grains than you would ever find with meat. Variety is an important ingredient in any meal, especially a vegetarian one. Choosing a colorful array of foods doesn’t just look pretty; it provides a good range of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. The colors can come in a series of smaller dishes—a green salad, cornbread, black beans and rice—or you can mix colorful vegetables in an Asian-style stir-fry or other main course.

Think out of the box when it comes to traditional dishes. A salad doesn’t have to be the standard lettuce with dressing. It can also be an exotic salad, sliced tomatoes with avocado or just an assortment of crisp raw veggies. Turn a favorite vegetable into a casserole or gratin to make it more filling. Resize an appetizer recipe and call it a main course (or vice versa). If you’ve got a taste for a popular meat-containing dish like lasagna or fajitas, indulge in it vegetarian style.

The Vegetarian Bible, Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, Illinois, 2011, 5, 6.

Children’s Story – Peter’s Escape

When Herod the king began to persecute the members of the church he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. He saw that this pleased the Jews so Peter was arrested and put in prison. Herod planned to bring him out to the people after the Passover so to prevent his escape, four bands of four soldiers (16 soldiers) were assigned to watch over him.

While Peter remained in prison, the members of the church prayed earnestly to God for his deliverance. On the very night before the day that Herod meant to bring him up for trial, Peter slept peacefully between two soldier guards. As well as being fastened to soldiers with two chains, Herod had also placed watchmen to stand on guard at the doors. Every precaution was taken to make sure Peter was secure and had no way of escape.

All of a sudden a light shone brightly in the jail cell and an angel of the Lord stood by him. Peter must have been sleeping very soundly because the angel had to strike Peter on his side to wake him, saying, “Get up quickly” (Acts 12:7). Immediately the chains fell off in his hands.

The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” And Peter did so. “Throw your coat around you, and follow me” (verse 8). So Peter went out with him not knowing if it was really true or he was dreaming. They went past the first lot of guards and then the second guards and as they approached the iron gate that led into the city, that opened to them by itself.

Out they went passing through one street after another and as quickly as he had come, the angel left him. Peter found himself alone, “And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” Acts 12:11.

After he had thought about what he should do, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark. Many people had gathered together there for prayer and when he knocked at the door a girl named Rhoda came to answer. Upon hearing Peter’s voice, she got so excited that she forgot to open the door, but ran in and told everybody that Peter was standing outside. They said to her, “You are mad, or out of your mind.” But she insisted that it was so.

They said, “It is his angel” (verse 15). Peter kept on knocking and when they opened the door and saw him standing there they were amazed. He motioned to them with his hand to be silent and told them how the Lord had brought him out of prison. He said, “Go and tell James and the other brothers” (verse 17). Then he left the house and went to another place. Now as soon as it was morning, there was great excitement among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. After Herod had searched for him and had failed to find him the guards were questioned and then he commanded that they should all be executed. What a cruel King he was!

How different is our loving Saviour who is a forgiving King who always knows where we are and watches over us and takes care of us. Even while he was in prison Peter trusted in Jesus. (See Acts 12.)

Question & Answer – What is the law that Paul talks about in Galatians that is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ?

Both the ceremonial and the moral code of ten commandments are designed to bring us to Christ.

“Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. The death of Abel was in consequence of Cain’s refusing to accept God’s plan in the school of obedience to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ typified by the sacrificial offerings pointing to Christ. Cain refused the shedding of blood which symbolized the blood of Christ to be shed for the world. This whole ceremony was prepared by God, and Christ became the foundation of the whole system. This is the beginning of its work as the schoolmaster to bring sinful human agents to a consideration of Christ the Foundation of the whole Jewish economy.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 233.

“All who did service in connection with the sanctuary were being educated constantly in regard to the intervention of Christ in behalf of the human race. This service was designed to create in every heart a love for the law of God, which is the law of His kingdom. The sacrificial offering was to be an object lesson of the love of God revealed in Christ—in the suffering, dying victim, who took upon Himself the sin of which man was guilty, the innocent being made sin for us.” Ibid.

“ ‘The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith’ (Galatians 3:24). In this scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ibid., 234.

“The law is an expression of God’s idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin. ‘Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them’ (Psalm 119:165)—cause them to stumble.” Ibid., 235.

Keys to the Storehouse – It is Almost Summer

Look up! Keep looking up! It’s almost summer. Can you see the signs? God has told us about our summer. Right now it is winter, and we need now more than ever the sunshine of God’s presence.

“This life at best is but the Christian’s winter and the bleak winds of winter—disappointments, losses, pain, and anguish—are our lot here; but our hopes are reaching forward to the Christian’s summer, when we shall change climate, leave all the wintry blasts and fierce tempests behind, and be taken to those mansions Jesus has gone to prepare for those that love Him.” The Review and Herald, November 7, 1878.

Are you looking ahead and making plans? It is here on this earth that we prepare for heaven. “The time spent here is the Christian’s winter. Here the chilly winds of affliction blow upon us, and the waves of trouble roll against us. But in the near future, when Christ comes, sorrow and sighing will be forever ended. Then will be the Christian’s summer. All trials will be over, and there will be no more sickness or death.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 988.

Just think, “the day is coming in which the battle will have been fought, the victory won.” The Review and Herald, December 17, 1908.

I pray that each of you is fighting for your future eternal life. “If we had perpetual summer, we should not value as we do now its bright days and beautiful flowers. Through the winter months we look forward to the time when summer with its beauty will once more gladden the earth.

“So it is with the Christian life. We are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. Our sojourn here is as it were the Christian’s winter. But our faith and hope reach forward and upward to the better life, to the home that Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him. ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him’ (I Corinthians 2:9). …

“There are many things to be overcome. Day by day the battle goes on. The struggle is lifelong; for Satan watches every opportunity to take advantage of us, that he may ensnare us to our ruin.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 138.

But, when our winter has ended, “All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving—the robe of Christ’s righteousness. All nature in its surpassing loveliness will offer to God a constant tribute of praise and adoration. The world will be bathed in the light of heaven. The years will move on in gladness. The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold greater than it is now. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy.” The Review and Herald, December 17, 1908.

Father: The winter here is rough. It is only by Your grace that we can gain the victory over the storms in our lives. We so look forward to the eternal summer You have promised to the faithful. Truly You are a shelter for us and a strong tower from the enemy. Guide us moment by moment as we battle the disappointments, losses, pain, and anguish during this winter. Amen.