Bible Study Guides – Solomon

August 23, 2015 – August 29, 2015

Key Text

“We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.” II Corinthians 2:15, 16.

Study Help: The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 390–398.


“That our influence should be a savor of death unto death is a fearful thought, yet it is possible. One soul misled, forfeiting eternal bliss—who can estimate the loss!” Prophets and Kings, 86.


  • When Solomon began to reign over Israel, what did God say to him in a dream, and what was Solomon’s request? I Kings 3:5–9.
  • What did the Lord promise Solomon after his wise petition? 1 Kings 3:11–14; Proverbs 2:6.
  • What should every worker in the Lord’s vineyard realize? James 1:5–7.

Note: “Those who today occupy positions of trust should seek to learn the lesson taught by Solomon’s prayer. The higher the position a man occupies, the greater the responsibility that he has to bear, the wider will be the influence that he exerts and the greater his need of dependence on God. Ever should he remember that with the call to work comes the call to walk circumspectly before his fellow men. He is to stand before God in the attitude of a learner.” Prophets and Kings, 30.


  • How does the Bible describe a true burden bearer? Matthew 24:45–47; John 21:15–17; Acts 20:28.

Note: “When a burden bearer desires wisdom more than he desires wealth, power, or fame, he will not be disappointed. Such a one will learn from the Great Teacher not only what to do, but how to do it in a way that will meet with the divine approval.

“So long as he remains consecrated, the man whom God has endowed with discernment and ability will not manifest an eagerness for high position, neither will he seek to rule or control. Of necessity men must bear responsibilities; but instead of striving for the supremacy, he who is a true leader will pray for an understanding heart, to discern between good and evil.

“The path of men who are placed as leaders is not an easy one. But they are to see in every difficulty a call to prayer. Never are they to fail of consulting the great Source of all wisdom. Strengthened and enlightened by the Master Worker, they will be enabled to stand firm against unholy influences and to discern right from wrong, good from evil. They will approve that which God approves and will strive earnestly against the introduction of wrong principles into His cause.” Prophets and Kings, 31.

  • What is written about the early reign of Solomon? I Kings 3:28; 4:29, 34.

Note: “For many years Solomon’s life was marked with devotion to God, with uprightness and firm principle, and with strict obedience to God’s commands. He directed in every important enterprise and managed wisely the business matters connected with the kingdom. His wealth and wisdom, the magnificent buildings and public works that he constructed during the early years of his reign, the energy, piety, justice, and magnanimity that he revealed in word and deed, won the loyalty of his subjects and the admiration and homage of the rulers of many lands.” Prophets and Kings, 32.

“None understood better than [Solomon] that these gifts [of power, wisdom and glory] were bestowed in order that he might give to the world a knowledge of God.” The Review and Herald, December 7, 1905.


  • What was the monumental work of King Solomon? I Kings 6:1, 7, 38.

Note: “Of surpassing beauty and unrivaled splendor was the palatial building which Solomon and his associates erected for God and His worship. …

“The spot [Mount Moriah] on which the temple was built had long been regarded as a consecrated place. It was here that Abraham, the father of the faithful, had revealed his willingness to sacrifice his only son in obedience to the command of Jehovah. Here God had renewed with Abraham the covenant of blessing, which included the glorious Messianic promise to the human race of deliverance through the sacrifice of the Son of the Most High. (See Genesis 22:9, 16–18.) Here it was that when David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to stay the avenging sword of the destroying angel, God had answered him by fire from heaven. (See I Chronicles 21.) And now once more the worshipers of Jehovah were here to meet their God and renew their vows of allegiance to Him.” Prophets and Kings, 36, 37.

  • As soon as the magnificent building was completed, what was brought into the temple? II Chronicles 5:1–5.
  • Describe the solemn ceremony attending the bringing of the ark of the covenant to the temple. 1II Chronicles 5:12, 13. Summarize Solomon’s dedicatory prayer. I Kings 8:23–53.

Note: “Solomon … knelt upon the platform, and in the hearing of all the people offered the dedicatory prayer. Lifting his hands toward heaven, while the congregation were bowed with their faces to the ground, the king pleaded [in prayer to God].” Prophets and Kings, 40.

“As Solomon ended his prayer, ‘fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices.’ The priests could not enter the temple because ‘the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house’ (II Chronicles 7:1, 2).” Ibid., 45.


  • How did Solomon lament the misuse of his wisdom in his later years? Ecclesiastes 2:1–3, 7, 10, 15.
  • In contrast to Solomon’s wrong course, what was the path pursued by Christ? Matthew 8:20; Acts 10:38. What can we learn from the study of Christ’s methods of labor?

Note: “Those who, in response to the call of the hour, have entered the service of the Master Worker, may well study His methods. He took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel.

“In the intervals of His journeys to and fro, Jesus dwelt at Capernaum, which came to be known as ‘His own city’ (Matthew 9:1). Situated on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour’s work. People from many lands passed through the city or tarried for rest. There Jesus met with those of all nations and all ranks, and thus His lessons were carried to other countries and into many households. By this means interest was aroused in the prophecies pointing forward to the Messiah, attention was directed to the Saviour, and His mission was brought before the world.” Prophets and Kings, 73.

  • What did Solomon say when he came to his senses? Ecclesiastes 2:16–18. What lesson should we learn from the failure of Solomon?

Note: “The conflict before us calls for the exercise of a spirit of self-denial, for distrust of self and for dependence on God alone, for the wise use of every opportunity for the saving of souls. The Lord’s blessing will attend His church as they advance unitedly, revealing to a world lying in the darkness of error the beauty of holiness as manifested in a Christlike spirit of self-sacrifice, in an exaltation of the divine rather than the human, and in loving and untiring service for those so much in need of the blessings of the gospel.” Prophets and Kings, 74.


  • How did the Holy Spirit, finally, arouse the dormant conscience of Solomon? I Kings 11:11, 12. What effect did the Lord’s sentence have upon him? Ecclesiastes 2:11, 13.

Note: “[I Kings 11:11–28 quoted.]

“Awakened as from a dream by this sentence of judgment pronounced against him and his house, Solomon with quickened conscience began to see his folly in its true light. Chastened in spirit, with mind and body enfeebled, he turned wearied and thirsting from earth’s broken cisterns, to drink once more at the fountain of life. … Long had he been harassed by the fear of utter ruin because of inability to turn from folly; but now he discerned in the message given him a ray of hope.” Prophets and Kings, 77.

  • In his later writings, against what danger did Solomon take much interest to warn especially the youth? Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:13, 14.

Note: “Till the conflict is ended, there will be those who will depart from God. Satan will so shape circumstances that unless we are kept by divine power, they will almost imperceptibly weaken the fortifications of the soul. We need to inquire at every step, ‘Is this the way of the Lord?’ So long as life shall last, there will be need of guarding the affections and the passions with a firm purpose. Not one moment can we be secure except as we rely upon God, the life hidden with Christ. Watchfulness and prayer are the safeguards of purity.” Prophets and Kings, 83, 84.


1 What lesson should every worker in the Lord’s vineyard learn from Solomon’s request?

2 How does the Bible describe a true burden bearer?

3 How did Solomon lament the misuse of his wisdom in his later years?

4 What did Solomon say when he came to his senses?

5 Against what danger did Solomon take much interest to warn especially the youth?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – David’s Repentance and Retribution

August 16, 2015 – August 22, 2015

Key Text

“Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Isaiah 27:5.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 727–745.


“Whoever under the reproof of God will humble the soul with confession and repentance, as did David, may be sure that there is hope for him or her.” To Be Like Jesus, 383.


  • How did God suddenly disturb the false sense of peace that David had after committing great sins? II Samuel 12:1–4. In response, what sentence did David unwittingly pronounce upon himself? II Samuel 12:5, 6.
  • What straight testimony did Nathan the prophet give to David, and how did David respond? II Samuel 12:7–10, 13, first part; Psalm 51:4.

Note: “Conscience was uttering bitter and humiliating truths to David. While his faithful subjects wondered at his sudden reverse of fortune, it was no mystery to the king. He had often had forebodings of an hour like this. He had wondered that God had so long borne with his sins and had delayed the merited retribution. …

“Many a wrongdoer has excused his own sin by pointing to David’s fall, but how few there are who manifest David’s penitence and humility. How few would bear reproof and retribution with the patience and fortitude that he manifested.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 737.


  • How was the personality of David affected by his sins? Psalm 51:3, 17.

Note: “There was a great change in David himself. He was broken in spirit by the consciousness of his sin and its far-reaching results. He felt humbled in the eyes of his subjects. His influence was weakened.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 723.

  • How did David, through his sinful behavior, loose the respect of the people and, in particular, of his sons? Psalm 27:6, 7. What consequence followed immediately, and why? II Samuel 12:14.

Note: “Now his subjects, having a knowledge of his sin, would be led to sin more freely. His authority in his own household, his claim to respect and obedience from his sons, was weakened. A sense of his guilt kept him silent when he should have condemned sin; it made his arm feeble to execute justice in his house. His evil example exerted its influence upon his sons, and God would not interpose to prevent the result.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 723.

“God and His word have been blasphemed, souls have been hardened in unbelief, and many, under a cloak of piety, have become bold in sin.” Ibid.

  • Why did God permit the story of David’s fall to be included in the Bible? I Corinthians 10:12.

Note: “Those who, by pointing to the example of David, try to lessen the guilt of their own sins, should learn from the Bible record that the way of transgression is hard. Though like David they should turn from their evil course, the results of sin, even in this life, will be found bitter and hard to bear.

“God intended the history of David’s fall to serve as a warning that even those whom He has greatly blessed and favored are not to feel secure and neglect watchfulness and prayer.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 724.


  • How did David’s son Absalom avenge the crime committed against his sister by Amnon? II Samuel 13:28, 29. What happened three years after Absalom had fled from David? II Samuel 13:37–39; 14:23, 24, 28.
  • After an apparent reconciliation with his father, how did Absalom then “steal the hearts” of the people of Israel? II Samuel 14:33; 15:1–6. What attitude on David’s part lay at the heart of Absalom’s rebellion? Ecclesiastes 8:11.

Note: “Through the influence of Joab, Absalom was again admitted to his father’s presence; but though there was an outward reconciliation, he continued his ambitious scheming. He now assumed an almost royal state, having chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And while the king was more and more inclined to desire retirement and solitude, Absalom sedulously courted the popular favor.

“The influence of David’s listlessness and irresolution extended to his subordinates; negligence and delay characterized the administration of justice. Absalom artfully turned every cause of dissatisfaction to his own advantage.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 729.

  • What instruction did Absalom’s spies carry to all the tribes of Israel? II Samuel 15:10. When David received news of Absalom’s rebellion, rather than bring bloodshed into Jerusalem, what did David decide to do? II Samuel 15:13, 14.

Note: “David was suddenly aroused, to see rebellion breaking out close beside his throne. His own son—the son whom he had loved and trusted—had been planning to seize his crown and doubtless to take his life. In his great peril David shook off the depression that had so long rested upon him, and with the spirit of his earlier years he prepared to meet this terrible emergency. …

“His decision was taken. The horrors of war should not fall upon the chosen city. He would leave Jerusalem, and then test the fidelity of his people, giving them an opportunity to rally to his support.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 731.


  • As David and his company were fleeing, why did he send various friends back to Jerusalem?

The men who were carrying the ark. II Samuel 15:24, 25, 29.

Hushai. II Samuel 15:32–37. What was his advice, and why? II Samuel 17:7, 14–16, 23.

Note: “God, who dwelt between the cherubim, had said of Jerusalem, ‘This is My rest’ (Psalm 132:14); and without divine authority neither priest nor king had a right to remove therefrom the symbol of His presence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 732.

“Again David was forced to recognize in his calamities the results of his own sin. The defection of Ahithophel, the ablest and most wily of political leaders, was prompted by revenge for the family disgrace involved in the wrong to Bathsheba, who was his granddaughter. …

“At David’s request Hushai returned to Jerusalem to offer his services to Absalom and defeat the crafty counsel of Ahithophel.” Ibid., 735.

  • What did David say to one of his soldiers who wanted to kill the man who was cursing David? II Samuel 16:9, 11, 12.

Note: “The spirit that leads man to triumph over, to revile or distress, one who is in affliction is the spirit of Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 736.

  • With a chance to further escape, how did David divide his forces, and what instruction did he give them concerning Absalom his son? II Samuel 17:24; 18:1, 2, 5.


  • What was the outcome of the battle between the loyal forces and the rebel army? II Samuel 18:7, 8.
  • What was the end of Absalom, the instigator of the rebellion? II Samuel 18:9–11, 14, 16, 17.
  • What lesson may we learn from Absalom’s history in our work as evangelists today? Romans 15:4.

Note: “Again and again was ancient Israel afflicted with rebellious murmurers. … In many cases, men of renown, rulers in Israel, turned against the providential leading of God and fiercely set to work to tear down that which they had once zealously built up. We have seen something of this repeated many times in our experience. …

“The church will yet see troublous times. She will prophesy in sackcloth. But although she must meet heresies and persecutions, although she must battle with the infidel and the apostate, yet by the help of God she is bruising the head of Satan. The Lord will have a people as true as steel, and with faith as firm as the granite rock.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 594.


1 When prophet Nathan said to King David, “Thou art the man,” what reproach did he bring against the king?

2 How did David, through his sinful behavior, lose the respect of the people and, in particular, of his sons?

3 How has the serious stain on King David’s reputation brought reproach upon the Judean-Christian religion?

4 For what purpose did God permit the story of David’s fall to be included in the Bible?

5 In what sense was the history of Absalom recorded as a warning for church leaders, evangelists, and for the believers in general?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – King David

August 9, 2015 – August 15, 2015

Key Text

“The Lord said unto Samuel, … I have provided me a king among [Jesse’s] sons.” I Samuel 16:1.

Study Help: Conflict and Courage, 160.


“No outward beauty can recommend the soul to God. The wisdom and excellence revealed in the character and deportment express the true beauty of the man; and it is the inner worth, the excellency of the heart, that determines our acceptance with the Lord of hosts.” Conflict and Courage, 160.


  • What lesson did God want to teach Samuel when a replacement was needed for the rejected King Saul? I Samuel 16:7, second half.
  • What providential event enabled David to gain experience in royal court life prior to his coronation? I Samuel 16:17–21. Why did God give him this experience?

Note: “In the providence of God, David, as a skillful performer upon the harp, was brought before the king. …

“He [David] had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he now set his heart more fully to do the will of God than ever before. He had new themes for thought. He had been in the court of the king and had seen the responsibilities of royalty. He had discovered some of the temptations that beset the soul of Saul and had penetrated some of the mysteries in the character and dealings of Israel’s first king. …

“God was teaching David lessons of trust. As Moses was trained for his work, so the Lord was fitting the son of Jesse to become the guide of His chosen people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 643, 644.


  • How did God inspire David to meet Goliath’s challenge against Israel? I Samuel 17:23, 24, 37, 45–49. What can we learn from this experience in our own efforts to evangelize the world today?

Note: “Our ministers should not defy and provoke discussion. … They [some ministers] have not, like humble David, trusted in the God of Israel, and made Him their strength. They have gone forth confident and boastful, like Goliath, magnifying themselves and not hiding behind Jesus. …

“Young preachers should study the practical teachings of Christ as well as the theoretical, and learn of Jesus, that they may have His grace, His meekness, His humility and lowliness of mind.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 219, 220.

  • When and how did Saul begin to reveal one of the weakest points in his character? I Samuel 18:6–9.

Note: “No man is safe who lives that he may please men, and does not seek first for the approbation of God. It was the ambition of Saul to be first in the estimation of men; and when this song of praise was sung, a settled conviction entered the mind of the king that David would obtain the hearts of the people and reign in his stead.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 650.

  • What incidents show that Saul was now controlled by an evil spirit? I Samuel 19:11, 17; 20:27–31.

Note: “Saul opened his heart to the spirit of jealousy by which his soul was poisoned. … The monarch of Israel was opposing his will to the will of the Infinite One. Saul had not learned, while ruling the kingdom of Israel, that he should rule his own spirit. He allowed his impulses to control his judgment, until he was plunged into a fury of passion. He had paroxysms of rage, when he was ready to take the life of any who dared oppose his will.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 650.


  • What were some of the various places David looked to for refuge after he realized his life was in danger? I Samuel 21:1, 10; 22:1. Was his fear justified? I Samuel 22:16–18, 20, 21. Should he have feared Saul at all? I John 4:18.

Note: “Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith. When shadows encompass the soul, when we want light and guidance, we must look up; there is light beyond the darkness. David ought not to have distrusted God for one moment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 657.

  • In fleeing from his father-in-law, King Saul, what acts of dishonesty demonstrated David’s lack of faith in God’s protection? I Samuel 21:2, 8, 13–15.

Note: “David told the priest that he had been sent by the king on a secret errand, one which required the utmost expedition. Here he manifested a want of faith in God, and his sin resulted in causing the death of the high priest. Had the facts been plainly stated, Ahimelech would have known what course to pursue to preserve his life. God requires that truthfulness shall mark His people, even in the greatest peril.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 656.

  • Though we should never unnecessarily bring persecution upon ourselves, how may David’s experience be repeated in our own day? Matthew 10:22, 23.

Note: “Between righteousness and sin, love and hatred, truth and falsehood, there is an irrepressible conflict. When one presents the love of Christ and the beauty of holiness, he is drawing away the subjects of Satan’s kingdom, and the prince of evil is aroused to resist it. Persecution and reproach await all who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ. The character of the persecution changes with the times, but the principle—the spirit that underlies it—is the same that has slain the chosen of the Lord ever since the days of Abel.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 29.


  • In what way did the local people of Ziph offer to betray David and his men? What happened to disrupt their plan? I Samuel 23:19, 20, 25–28.
  • When Saul, after driving out the Philistines, returned to pursue David, how did David demonstrate his magnanimity? I Samuel 24:1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 15. What was Saul’s response? I Samuel 24:16–20.

Note: “[I Samuel 24:9–11 quoted.]

“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. David stood before him in conscious innocence. …

“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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 662, 663.

  • In preaching the gospel today, what lessons should the soldiers of the cross learn from the magnanimity of David? Romans 12:17–21.

Note: “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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 672.


  • What continued fault did David manifest after he spared Saul’s life a second time? I Samuel 27:1.

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. … By this act he gave [his brethren] 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 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, 672, 673.

  • How patiently do we have to struggle, with many hours spent on our knees, when we are working for the restoration of those who have become the enemies of the truth? Hebrews 12:3, 12–14.

Note: “Then let us take heed lest we deal with the erring in a way that would say to others that we have no need of redemption. Let us not denounce, condemn, and destroy as though we were faultless. It is the work of Christ to mend, to heal, to restore.” In Heavenly Places, 291.


1 Why was David put providentially in the court of Saul?

2 What was one of the weakest points in the character of Saul, and when did he begin to reveal it?

3 What warning of Jesus should come to our mind when we think of the persecution suffered by David?

4 Why did not David believe Saul’s confession at Engedi?

5 What lessons should the soldiers of the cross learn from the magnanimity of David?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The First King of Israel

August 2, 2015 – August 8, 2015

Key Text

“All the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the Lord.” I Samuel 11:15.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 607–636.


“Through the prophet Samuel the Lord instructed Saul that as king of Israel his course of action must be one of strictest integrity.” Conflict and Courage, 174.


  • Despite his clear rebuke to the children of Israel for choosing a monarchy, what were the last words of Samuel’s speech? I Samuel 12:20, 25.

Note: “Samuel did not leave the people in a state of discouragement, for this would have prevented all effort for a better life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 615.

  • Though God was not pleased that the children of Israel chose a monarchy (Hosea 13:11), why did He set a king over them? I Samuel 12:13; Ezekiel 14:4. In what sense were they blind by their own sins?

Note: “The days of Israel’s greatest prosperity had been those in which they acknowledged Jehovah as their King—when the laws and the government which He had established were regarded as superior to those of all other nations. … But by departing from God’s law the Hebrews had failed to become the people that God desired to make them, and then all the evils which were the result of their own sin and folly they charged upon the government of God. So completely had they become blinded by sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 605.


  • What promised blessing was brought repeatedly to the attention of the chosen people since the days of Moses? Deuteronomy 7:6, 11, 14, 18.

Note: “The purpose which God seeks to accomplish through His people today is the same that He desired to accomplish through Israel when He brought them forth out of Egypt. By beholding the goodness, the mercy, the justice, and the love of God revealed in the church, the world is to have a representation of His character. And when the law of God is thus exemplified in the life, even the world will recognize the superiority of those who love and fear and serve God above every other people on the earth. The Lord has His eye upon every one of His people; He has His plans concerning each. It is His purpose that those who practice His holy precepts shall be a distinguished people.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 12.

  • How were the Israelites unqualified to evangelize the Gentiles during the time of the judges? I Chronicles 5:25.

Note: “Fathers and mothers in Israel became indifferent to their obligation to God, indifferent to their obligation to their children. Through unfaithfulness in the home, and idolatrous influences without, many of the Hebrew youth received an education differing widely from that which God had planned for them. They learned the ways of the heathen.” Education, 45, 46.

  • Though Israel’s form of government changed, how did Samuel warn his generation of God’s purpose for them to be a light to the Gentiles? I Samuel 12:15.

Note: “The discipline and training that God appointed for Israel would cause them, in all their ways of life, to differ from the people of other nations. This peculiarity, … was to them unwelcome.” Education, 49.


  • What shows that the Israelites despised the privilege of being a peculiar nation? I Samuel 8:20.

Note: “God had separated the Israelites from every other people, to make them His own peculiar treasure. But they, disregarding this high honor, eagerly desired to imitate the example of the heathen! And still the longing to conform to worldly practices and customs exists among the professed people of God. As they depart from the Lord they become ambitious for the gains and honors of the world.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 607.

  • How are God’s people today warned against repeating the error of the Jews? I Peter 2:9; II Corinthians 6:17, 18.

Note: “Christians are constantly seeking to imitate the practices of those who worship the god of this world. Many urge that by uniting with worldlings and conforming to their customs they might exert a stronger influence over the ungodly. But all who pursue this course thereby separate from the Source of their strength. Becoming the friends of the world, they are the enemies of God. For the sake of earthly distinction they sacrifice the unspeakable honor to which God has called them, of showing forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 607.

  • Against what danger will faithful servants of God continually warn their congregation? James 4:4; I John 2:15, 16.

Note: “Jesus is coming; and will He find a people conformed to the world? and will He acknowledge these as His people that He has purified unto Himself? Oh, no. None but the pure and holy will He acknowledge as His. Those who have been purified and made white through suffering, and have kept themselves separate, unspotted from the world, He will own as His.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 133.


  • What happened when the Israelites tried to secure peace with the invading Ammonites? I Samuel 11:1–4, 8, 11. Instead of trusting in the Lord when put to the test, what sin did Saul commit? I Samuel 13:5–13. Nevertheless, how did God still help the Israelites? I Samuel 14:31.

Note: “The time for the proving of Saul had come. He was now to show whether or not he would depend on God and patiently wait according to His command, thus revealing himself as one whom God could trust in trying places as the ruler of His people, or whether he would be vacillating and unworthy of the sacred responsibility that had devolved upon him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 618.

  • How did Saul show presumption for the second time and also self-exaltation? I Samuel 14:24–29, 43–45.

Note: “Even at the sacrifice of his [Saul’s] son, he would impress upon his subjects the fact that the royal authority must be maintained. … When his own command was disobeyed—though the command was unreasonable and had been violated through ignorance—the king and father sentenced his son to death. The people refused to allow the sentence to be executed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 625.

  • What lessons should we, and especially the ministers and workers, learn from the mistakes of King Saul? Matthew 7:2.

Note: “Those who are most ready to excuse or justify themselves in sin are often most severe in judging and condemning others. Many, like Saul, bring upon themselves the displeasure of God, but they reject counsel and despise reproof. Even when convinced that the Lord is not with them, they refuse to see in themselves the cause of their trouble. They cherish a proud, boastful spirit, while they indulge in cruel judgment or severe rebuke of others who are better than they.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 625.


  • When tested again, how did Saul show that kingly authority and honor were more important to him than obedience to the command of God? I Samuel 15:1–3, 7–9, 20, 21.
  • Why did God, finally, have to reject King Saul? I Samuel 15:22–24.

Note: “It is a perilous step to slight the reproofs and warnings of God’s word or of His Spirit. Many, like Saul, yield to temptation until they become blind to the true character of sin. They flatter themselves that they have had some good object in view, and have done no wrong in departing from the Lord’s requirements. Thus they do despite to the Spirit of grace, until its voice is no longer heard, and they are left to the delusions which they have chosen.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 635.

“When Saul chose to act independently of God, the Lord could no longer be his guide, and was forced to set him aside.” Ibid., 636.

  • After the Spirit of God departed from the king, where did Saul try to find help? I Samuel 16:14; 28:6, 7; Isaiah 8:19.

Note: “All through his course of rebellion Saul had been flattered and deceived by Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 680.


1 What warning did Samuel give Israel at the coronation of Saul?

2 After the death of Samuel, how did the Israelites show they were disqualified for evangelizing the Gentiles?

3 How did the Israelites despise the privilege of being a peculiar nation?

4 How are we warned against a similar danger?

5 What lessons should all of us learn from the mistakes of King Saul?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – In the Days of Samuel

July 26, 2015 – August 1, 2015

Key Text

“All Israel … knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.” I Samuel 3:20.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 592–606.


“Samuel was … invested by the God of Israel with the threefold office of judge, prophet and priest. …

“[He] gathered companies of young men who were pious, intelligent, and studious. These were called the sons of the prophets.” The Signs of the Times, June 22, 1882.


  • While the Israelites as a nation still continued in a state of secularity and idolatry, what appeal did Samuel make to them? I Samuel 7:3.
  • What was the result of his appeals? I Samuel 7:4–6.
  • What did the Philistines do when they heard of the Israelites gathering in Mizpeh? I Samuel 7:7–9. How did the Lord help His people in response to their genuine repentance? I Samuel 7:10–13.

Note: “The Mighty One Who had descended upon Sinai amid fire and smoke and thunder, Who had parted the Red Sea and made a way through Jordan for the children of Israel, again manifested His power. A terrible storm burst upon the advancing host, and the earth was strewn with the dead bodies of mighty warriors.

“The Israelites had stood in silent awe, trembling with hope and fear. When they beheld the slaughter of their enemies, they knew that God had accepted their repentance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 590, 591.


  • How was the need of true education brought to the attention of the Israelites? Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Psalm 119:130.

Note: “The true object of education is to restore the image of God in the soul. In the beginning God created man in His own likeness. … Sin has marred and well-nigh obliterated the image of God in man. It was to restore this that the plan of salvation was devised, and a life of probation was granted to man. To bring him back to the perfection in which he was first created is the great object of life—the object that underlies every other.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 595.

  • For what purpose did Samuel establish the schools of the prophets? Malachi 2:7.

Note: “The schools of the prophets were founded by Samuel to serve as a barrier against the widespread corruption, to provide for the moral and spiritual welfare of the youth, and to promote the future prosperity of the nation by furnishing it with men qualified to act in the fear of God as leaders and counselors. …

“In Samuel’s day there were two of these schools—one at Ramah, the home of the prophet, and the other at Kirjath-jearim, where the ark then was. Others were established in later times.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 593.

  • What were the main subjects of study in those schools? Deuteronomy 6:21–25; Psalms 19:7–11; 71:22.

Note: “The chief subjects of study in these schools were the law of God, with the instructions given to Moses, sacred history, sacred music, and poetry. … In those schools of the olden time it was the grand object of all study to learn the will of God and man’s duty toward Him. … The great truths set forth by the types were brought to view, and faith grasped the central object of all that system—the Lamb of God that was to take away the sin of the world.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 593, 594.


  • How does the Law of God explain that children are influenced by their parents for good or for evil? Exodus 20:5, 6.

Note: “Those who would impart truth must themselves practice its principles. Only by reflecting the character of God in the uprightness, nobility, and unselfishness of their own lives can they impress others.

“True education is not the forcing of instruction on an unready and unreceptive mind. The mental powers must be awakened, the interest aroused. For this, God’s method of teaching provided. He who created the mind and ordained its laws, provided for its development in accordance with them. … God gave to Israel lessons illustrating His principles and preserving the memory of His wonderful works. Then, as inquiry was made, the instruction given impressed mind and heart.” Education, 41.

  • What person stands out in both the Old and the New Testament as a mother who failed to exert a positive influence on her daughters? Luke 17:32.

Note: “The wife of Lot was a selfish, irreligious woman.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 174.

“While her body was upon the plain, her heart clung to Sodom, and she perished with it. She rebelled against God because His judgments involved her possessions and her children in the ruin.” Ibid., 161.

  • Why was “all that [Achan] hath,” including his children, destroyed with Achan? Joshua 7:15, 20, 21, 25.

Note: “[Achan’s household] had not been trained and educated according to the directions given them in the great standard of the law of God. Achan’s parents had educated their son in such a way that he felt free to disobey the word of the Lord. The principles inculcated in his life led him to deal with his children in such a way that they also were corrupted. Mind acts and reacts upon mind, and the punishment, which included the relations of Achan with himself, reveals the fact that all were involved in the transgression.” Child Guidance, 234.


  • What pretext did the Israelites use in support of their plan to have a king to rule over the nation? I Samuel 8:4, 5.

Note: “The cases of abuse among the people [Israel] had not been referred to Samuel. Had the evil course of his sons been known to him, he would have removed them without delay; but this was not what the petitioners desired. Samuel saw that their real motive was discontent and pride, and that their demand was the result of a deliberate and determined purpose.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 604.

  • As Samuel prayed to the Lord about the petition of the people, what did the Lord say to him? I Samuel 8:6, 7.
  • What did the people answer to Samuel when they would not accept the admonition of the Lord? How did their mistake affect their relationship with God? I Samuel 8:19, 22.

Note: “The Lord had, through His prophets, foretold that Israel would be governed by a king; but it does not follow that this form of government was best for them or according to His will. He permitted the people to follow their own choice, because they refused to be guided by His counsel. Hosea declares that God gave them a king in His anger (Hosea 13:11). When men choose to have their own way, without seeking counsel from God, or in opposition to His revealed will, He often grants their desires, in order that, through the bitter experience that follows, they may be led to realize their folly and to repent of their sin. …

“Feeling their dependence upon God, they would be constantly drawn nearer to Him. They would become elevated and ennobled, fitted for the high destiny to which He had called them as His chosen people. But when a man was placed upon the throne, it would tend to turn the minds of the people from God. They would trust more to human strength, and less to divine power, and the errors of their king would lead them into sin and separate the nation from God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 605, 606.


  • Why did the children of Israel believe that, for them, a monarchy would be the best form of government? I Samuel 8:19, 20. What was the real problem? Deuteronomy 1:30–32; I Samuel 10:17–19.

Note: “Internal dissensions made them [the Israelites] weak; they were continually exposed to the invasion of their heathen foes, and the people were coming to believe that in order to maintain their standing among the nations, the tribes must be united under a strong central government. As they departed from obedience to God’s law, they desired to be freed from the rule of their divine Sovereign; and thus the demand for a monarchy became widespread throughout Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 603.

  • How did the people acclaim Saul, a Benjamite, as king of Israel even before he was inaugurated? I Samuel 10:20–24.
  • Why were some of the people dissatisfied with the choice of Saul, particularly since Benjamin was one of the smallest tribes? I Samuel 10:27.


1 How was the need of true education brought to the attention of the Israelites?

2 Why did God encourage Samuel to establish schools?

3 How does the Law of God explain that children are influenced by their parents for good or for evil?

4 Why were Lot’s wife and others disqualified to exert a positive influence upon their children?

5 What does God often do when people choose to go their own way contrary to His revealed will?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Garden Green Pea Soup

1 cup boiling water 3 cups frozen peas

Thaw peas in Boiling water—heat until hot. Blend together with:

¼ cup raw cashews 3 cups water

1 tspn onion powder Salt to taste

Add 2 cups cooked elbow noodles.

Serve and enjoy. YUM!

Food – The Magnificent Pea

Good news — peas are good for you! Peas are tasty and they are also very versatile. Here are a few excerpts from The Doctors Book of Food Remedies, Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, published by Rodale, pages 416, 417.

“The cancer-fighting compound in peas is called chlorophyllin, which is the pigment responsible for giving them their shiny green hue. Chlorophyllin (related to chlorophyll, the substance that allows plants to convert sunlight into food) has a special molecular shape that allows it to grab cancer-causing chemicals in the body. ‘When you eat peas, the chlorophyllin attaches to carcinogens and helps prevent them from being absorbed,’ says Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Main in Orono.

“Researchers haven’t pinned down exactly how many peas you’d have to eat to get the most benefits from chlorophyllin. You can’t go wrong, however, by including them on your menu as often as possible, along with other bright, green vegetables, After all, the greener the vegetable is, the more chlorophyllin it contains. … Green peas are an excellent source of fiber, with more than 4 grams in each half-cup serving.”

Green peas are so tasty and healthy. They can be added raw to salads or cooked and mashed with potatoes creating a wonderful, tasty, green hot dish. Remember also that peas are high in protein. What a green mine we have in the simple little pea.

Peas eaten right out of the pod have the highest nutrition but the next best is found in the freezer case. They may lack some of the crispness, but freezing keeps most of the nutrients intact. When cooking, it is always best to steam and not boil them. So enjoy those magnificent little peas!

Children Story – A Hard Question

Why do we always kneel when we pray?” asked Tommy as he was visiting the Reeds one evening.

“We kneel because the Bible tells us to. It says, ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker’ (Psalm 95:6),” said Harold.

“That’s right,” said Mother. “You see, children, prayer is a form of worship. When we pray, we talk to the Creator of all the worlds in the universe. By kneeling we show that we appreciate His greatness and majesty. Do you remember what Daniel did when he prayed?”

“He prayed three times a day with his window open,” answered Linda.

“And the bad men put him into the den of lions,” Betty Lou volunteered.

“Did the lions eat him up?” asked Tommy.

“Oh, no! God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths so tight that they couldn’t hurt him.”

Then Mother asked, “Do you remember what the wise men did when they looked upon baby Jesus in His mother’s arms?”

“They gave Him precious gifts,” the children answered.

“That’s right, but they did something even better—they recognized Him as their King, and they worshiped Him.”

“Why don’t we always kneel when we pray?” Harold asked. “We didn’t kneel in the big tent at the camp meeting.”

Mother hesitated. When she was sure she had thought of the right answer, she said, “Sometimes the floor may not be very clean. The Bible tells us that the people stood during the dedication of the temple, while King Solomon knelt to pray.

“It makes a difference where we are and what we are doing,” continued Mother. “One day Nehemiah was standing before the king of Persia. The king asked, ‘Why are you sad, seeing you are not sick? What favor would you like to ask?’ Before saying a word, Nehemiah prayed that he might know how to answer the king. This story shows how quickly God can answer a prayer that is made in faith.”

Mother continued, “One day, while Jesus was standing with His friends at the grave of Lazarus, the Saviour lifted His eyes and thanked God aloud because God always heard Him when He prayed.

“Abraham’s servant prayed that God would help him find the right wife for Isaac. His prayer was answered quickly and he simply bowed his head and thanked the Lord right there where he stood. It is right for us to send up a silent prayer wherever we are, even when we are going about our work.”

“I can understand that,” Linda remarked. “Of course we can’t kneel down and pray while we are walking down the street or playing in the park; people would think us queer.”

“That’s right,” Mother answered. “But we can lift our hearts in silent prayer for God’s blessing. As we go to Sabbath school and church we should have a prayer in our heart that we may be reverent and remember that we are in a holy place.”

“How wonderful it is that morning and evening we can kneel here together and talk to God and call Him our Father!” continued Mother. “The first thing we can do each morning is to open our heart’s door to Jesus and ask Him to come in and stay with us. Talk to Jesus during the day. Tell Him how much you love Him, and how thankful you are that He loves you.”

Happy Home Stories, by Ella M. Robinson, (Teach Services, Inc.)

Lord’s Prayer Series – Daily Bread

Throughout life there are basic needs that must be satisfied. Some are needed on a daily basis while others are only needed once in a while. The majority of a person’s time is spent in doing what they believe is necessary to supply these needs. However, there is one need that many people neglect. Consequently it is not satisfied.

Once we understand Who it is that we petition when following the outline of the prayer the Lord taught us in Matthew 6 and recognize God’s holiness, He invites us into His presence as His children. We can enter into that hallowed atmosphere honoring His holy name and desiring His will to be done on this earth as it is in heavenly places.

After making God’s kingdom and His will our first consideration, renouncing ourselves of our own will and become faithful citizens of His kingdom, then everything in the Father’s house belongs to us. The apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, clearly understood this. He said, “Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours.” “And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” I Corinthians 3:21, 23. He also said, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:16, 17.

If you have renounced self and become a citizen of the kingdom of God and pray that His name be honored and His kingdom established with His will done here, you can ask with perfect confidence and expect that today you will be given what is necessary for your daily need. Some things are required daily while others are only needed occasionally or even once in a lifetime. Bread or food is needed daily to sustain physical health. The word translated daily bread, which occurs nowhere else in the Bible means necessary or essential bread. Thus we are asking that God give us that which is needful, that which is necessary for our sustenance today. It is a reference to Proverbs 30:8 KJV, which says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” The marginal reading is “food of my allowance,” or for my needs.

The first petition is that the Lord will give what is necessary for our sustenance today. It does not include what we may need tomorrow, or next week, or next month, but only the daily requirement. This is not a selfish request that we would have all of our wants supplied but rather that we would receive only what we need. In this world today there is often a great difference between necessity and want. We are not promised luxuries or abundance. This is forcefully illustrated in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The parable talks about a man who had super-abundance, more than he needed, but he did not use his abundant supply to help others.

Luke writes, “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.” Luke 16:19–21.

This story presents one of the great anomalies, one of the great paradoxes in human life.

People say, How can this be? The poor pray and pray, but God blesses the rich. Friend, if God has blessed you with riches, it is so that you may be a blessing to those that do not have what you have. In this story the rich man did not do much to relieve the suffering of the poor man, who ate the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham. Have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.’ ” Verses 22–24.

In the future life, the tables will be turned and things will be totally opposite from the way they were in this world. In the parable it appeared that while he was alive, the rich man had everything and Lazarus had nothing. But Lazarus was saved and the rich man was lost. If God has blessed you with riches, it is to give you an opportunity to bless others. However, this rich man did not do that and lost his soul. The Bible here records the two unanswered prayers that were prayed when it was too late. It says, “ ‘… beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ ” Verses 26–29.

Notice the message here: if you are not convinced to do what is right by what is written in the word of God, then no miracle will convert you. The Bible says that in the last days the whole world will appear to be converted on the basis of miracles, but they will find out too late that these miracles were performed by the power of evil spirits. (See Revelation 13–18.) It is not miracles that the world needs today to find the truth and to save one’s soul. What we need, said Abraham in the parable, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:31.

We’re living in a time when it is easier than ever before in world history for anyone who wants to know truth to obtain a copy of the word of God and to read it. And yet we are living in a time when there is more ignorance of the word of God than in any other age except perhaps during the Dark Ages. Has God blessed you? If so, He has blessed you so you can help someone else that is in need. We are not in this world to please ourselves.

It was not the purpose of Jesus to please Himself. He told a number of stories to teach this principle. He said, “ ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought with himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?” So he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’ ” Luke 12:16–19.

This man decided he had so much wealth he was ready to retire in luxury. “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ ” Verse 20.

It may come as a surprise to many that in this world, we do not actually own anything. People work hard to accumulate things, but the Bible says, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” I Timothy 6:7.

While here, we are just stewards or managers. The Lord is testing us to see how we will manage His goods. Jesus said that if you have not been faithful with the goods that belong to somebody else, how could you be trusted with more? Those who lay up treasure for themselves are not rich toward God (Luke 16:11, 12).

In western countries today the danger is not in having too little but in having luxuries and super-abundance. Having an abundance of earthly possessions is more dangerous to spiritual health than being poor like Lazarus, a beggar, and not having enough. A study of Christian history reveals that even in the time of Christ, and ever since that time, the gospel has had its greatest success within the poorer social classes.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23, 24. It says that when His disciples heard that, they were exceedingly amazed because they had been taught that the rich were rich because God had blessed them and favored them. Many Jews felt that spiritual riches had given them worldly riches and that the Gentiles were destitute of both and therefore left out of the plan of salvation.

But Jesus told them it is the one who has the most that is in danger of losing his soul. He said, “For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36, 37.

Our danger today is not that we won’t have enough but that we will have more than enough and mismanage the Lord’s goods properly. God supplies you with a surplus so that you will have something with which to bless somebody else. How are you managing the Lord’s goods that are in your control?

A story is recorded in the Bible of Jesus’ providing food for a multitude of people. He was preaching to them in a desert place and many hours had passed and the “5,000 men with women and children” were hungry. The disciples suggested that the crowd be sent away into the villages so they could buy food, but Jesus, unwilling for them to go fasting that they might faint in the way, told the disciples to provide something for them to eat. The disciples asked how they would be able to do that. One of the disciples said that ten month’s wages wouldn’t buy enough food to feed the multitude. Another disciple said he had talked to a lad that had five barley loaves and two small fishes, but what would that be among a multitude? Jesus instructed that the people be told to sit down. They could then watch as the little boy willingly gave his small lunch to Jesus. After the Lord had given thanks, He began to break in pieces the bread and the fish. The disciples passed it out to the people and the whole multitude, estimated at between fifteen and twenty thousand, were fed from five barley loaves and two small fishes. “So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.’ ” John 6:12. Twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered.

“The people were so excited by the miracle they had witnessed that they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” John 6:14.They wanted to crown Him king.

The principle laid here is that we should manage well the resources the Lord has given us. Just because the Lord worked a miracle to feed all those people didn’t mean that they should be wasteful with what was left over. We cannot conscientiously pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” if we have been wasteful with what we have had. The Bible has many strong lessons against wastefulness.

Another famous story that Jesus told was about a man who had two sons. “The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.” Luke 15:11–13. This son had plenty, but he wasted it. So often that happens when the Lord gives us more than we need. Instead of conserving and using the excess to be a blessing to those around us, we often practice luxuriousness and wastefulness.

What about the person that wastes his Lord’s goods? “He [Jesus] said also to His disciples: ‘There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, “What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.” ’ ” Luke 16:1. At the end of that story Jesus said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon [in managing the goods that the Lord has given you in this world: real estate, property, wealth, money, all those things, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” Luke 16:10–12.

Has the Lord given to you your daily bread? If not then you need to pray and ask for it because it has been promised to you. But what if you have more than you need? Are you using the Lord’s goods that have been committed into your hands wisely, or are they being wasted?

By limiting our request to the needs of today, it develops in us a child-like trust and dependence upon God to supply all of our need, for He is able. The apostle Paul said, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:18. Our Father is very rich and He has the means, the ability, and the resources to supply every need that we have. But as we read in the stories in the Bible, often times we find that when He gives someone more than is needed, instead of using it and managing it wisely, it is either wasted or not used to bless others.

The Lord’s Prayer teaches a lesson of simple dependence upon God for daily needs. We can have confidence knowing that He will supply all that is necessary for both our temporal and our spiritual needs.

(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 of Free Seventh-day Adventists in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – Handwriting and the Brain

The physical act of cursive handwriting, with each letter of a word being connected, actually affects the composer’s/writer’s brain. Children in primary grades are taught to print the letters of the alphabet, then progress to cursive handwriting in third grade. Recently, however, the American school system considers cursive writing a waste of time; emphasis instead has moved to keyboard and computer proficiency. Research shows that there is a loss of brain health and learning when these writing skills are bypassed. The following are excerpts from What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades:

“Psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of the past. New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep.

“Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters—but how.

“ ‘When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,’ said Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the Collège de France in Paris. ‘There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain.’ …

“A 2012 study led by Karin James, a psychologist at Indiana University, lent support to that view. Children who had not yet learned to read and write were presented with a letter or a shape on an index card and asked to reproduce it in one of three ways: trace the image on a page with a dotted outline, draw it on a blank white sheet, or type it on a computer. They were then placed in a brain scanner and shown the image again.

“The researchers found that the initial duplication process mattered a great deal. When children had drawn a letter freehand, they exhibited increased activity in three areas of the brain that are activated in adults when they read and write: the left fusiform gyrus, the inferior frontal gyrus and the posterior parietal cortex.

“By contrast, children who typed or traced the letter or shape showed no such effect. The activation was significantly weaker. …

“In another study, Dr. James is comparing children who physically form letters with those who only watch others doing it. Her observations suggest that it is only the actual effort that engages the brain’s motor pathways and delivers the learning benefits of handwriting.

“The effect goes well beyond letter recognition. In a study that followed children in grades two through five, Virginia Berninger, a psychologist at the University of Washington, demonstrated that printing, cursive writing, and typing on a keyboard are all associated with distinct and separate brain patterns—and each results in a distinct end product. When the children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas. And brain imaging in the oldest subjects suggested that the connection between writing and idea generation went even further. When these children were asked to come up with ideas for a composition, the ones with better handwriting exhibited greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory—and increased overall activation in the reading and writing networks. …

“The researchers found that … when children had drawn a letter freehand, they exhibited increased activity in three significant areas of the brain,” which didn’t happen when they traced or typed the letter. …

“Cursive or not, the benefits of writing by hand extend beyond childhood. For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information. …

“Two psychologists, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles, have reported that in both laboratory settings and real-world classrooms, students learn better when they take notes by hand than when they type on a keyboard. Contrary to earlier studies attributing the difference to the distracting effects of computers, the new research suggests that writing by hand allows the student to process a lecture’s contents and reframe it—a process of reflection and manipulation that can lead to better understanding and memory encoding. …”

Is any of this by accident? The wily devil is determined and subtle, using everything available and every intellectual—educators, politicians and other influential persons—to dumb down the people as he continues his work of deceit.