Bible Study Guides – The Last Judge of Israel

June 23, 2019 – June 29, 2019

Key Text

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 592‚ 615.


“Samuel … wielded a more powerful influence than he [Saul], because his record was one of faithfulness, obedience, and devotion.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 663.



  • What insights can we learn from Israel’s experience during the time that Samuel judged the nation? 1 Samuel 7:12‚ 17.

Note: “There is need today of such a revival of true heart-religion as was experienced by ancient Israel. We need, like them, to bring forth fruit meet for repentance—to put away our sins, cleansing the defiled temple of the heart that Jesus may reign within. …

“Repentance is the first step which must be taken by all who would return to God. No one can do this work for us. We must individually humble our souls before God, and put away our idols. When we have done all that we can do, the Lord will manifest to us His salvation.

“And when the light of Heaven dispels our darkness, let us, like Samuel, evince our gratitude by making a memorial to God.” The Signs of the Times, January 26, 1882.

  • Why must there be earnest appeals to God’s professed people until the end of time? Isaiah 2:17–22.



  • What caused the downfall of God’s people? Hosea 4:6. What did Samuel do to bring about enduring spiritual growth among the people?

Note: “Provision was made for the instruction of the young, by the establishment of the schools of the prophets. If a youth desired to search deeper into the truths of the word of God and to seek wisdom from above, that he might become a teacher in Israel, these schools were open to him. 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 the accomplishment of this object Samuel gathered companies of young men who were pious, intelligent, and studious. These were called the sons of the prophets. As they communed with God and studied His word and His works, wisdom from above was added to their natural endowments. The instructors were men not only well versed in divine truth, but those who had themselves enjoyed communion with God and had received the special endowment of His Spirit. They enjoyed the respect and confidence of the people, both for learning and piety.

“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 disappointment did Samuel face in his old age? 1 Samuel 8:1–3. To some extent, how was he treated a bit unfairly?

Note: “Divinely invested with the threefold office of judge, prophet, and priest, he [Samuel] had labored with untiring and disinterested zeal for the welfare of his people, and the nation had prospered under his wise control. Order had been restored, and godliness promoted, and the spirit of discontent was checked for the time. But with advancing years the prophet was forced to share with others the cares of government, and he appointed his two sons to act as his assistants. While Samuel continued the duties of his office at Ramah, the young men were stationed at Beersheba, to administer justice among the people near the southern border of the land.

“It was with the full assent of the nation that Samuel had appointed his sons to office.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 604.

“The people saw that his [Samuel’s] sons did not follow his footsteps. Although they were not vile, like the children of Eli, yet they were dishonest and double-minded. While they aided their father in his laborious work, their love of reward led them to favor the cause of the unrighteous.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 353.

“The cases of abuse among the people 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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 604.

  • Instead of requesting for the wrongs to be corrected, what did the people demand from Samuel? What did he do in response? 1 Samuel 8:4–6.

Note: “The aged prophet looked upon the request as a censure upon himself, and a direct effort to set him aside. He did not, however, reveal his feelings; he uttered no reproach, but carried the matter to the Lord in prayer and sought counsel from Him alone.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 604, 605.



  • How did the Lord bid Samuel respond to the people’s demand for a king? Why? 1 Samuel 8:7‚ 18.

Note: “Those who despise and reject the faithful servant of God show contempt, not merely for the man, but for the Master who sent him. It is God’s words, His reproofs and counsel, that are set at nought; it is His authority that is rejected.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 605.

  • What timeless principle does God want us to glean from this experience, as explained through later prophets? Hosea 13:11; Ezekiel 14:3‚ 8.

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. …  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. Human pride and wisdom will prove a dangerous guide. That which the heart desires contrary to the will of God will in the end be found a curse rather than a blessing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 605, 606.

  • After Saul, the first king, was instated, how did God mercifully seek to make the best of the situation? 1 Samuel 10:1, 6, 9; 15:17.
  • What was God finally constrained to do to the first king? Why? 1 Samuel 13:14; 15:22, 23; Acts 13:20‚ 22. How does He govern His people today? Ephesians 4:11‚ 16.

Note: “God has not set any kingly power in the Seventh-day Adventist Church to control the whole body or to control any branch of the work. He has not provided that the burden of leadership shall rest upon a few men. Responsibilities are distributed among a large number of competent men.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 236.



  • Name one of the saddest days in the history of Israel and why it was so heartrending. 1 Samuel 25:1; Psalm 116:15.

Note: “The death of Samuel was regarded as an irreparable loss by the nation of Israel. A great and good prophet and an eminent judge had fallen in death, and the grief of the people was deep and heartfelt. …

“As the people contrasted the course of Saul with that of Samuel, they saw what a mistake they had made in desiring a king that they might not be different from the nations around them. Many looked with alarm at the condition of society, fast becoming leavened with irreligion and godlessness. …

“The nation had lost the founder and president of its sacred schools, but that was not all. It had lost him to whom the people had been accustomed to go with their great troubles—lost one who had constantly interceded with God in behalf of the best interests of its people. The intercession of Samuel had given a feeling of security; for ‘the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much’ (James 5:16). …

“It was when the nation was racked with internal strife, when the calm, God-fearing counsel of Samuel seemed to be most needed, that God gave His aged servant rest. Bitter were the reflections of the people as they looked upon his quiet resting place, and remembered their folly in rejecting him as their ruler; for he had had so close a connection with Heaven that he seemed to bind all Israel to the throne of Jehovah. It was Samuel who had taught them to love and obey God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 663, 664.



1     How did Samuel wisely begin his period as judge of Israel?

2    What revealed his foresight to brighten the future of God’s nation?

3    Both Eli and Samuel had troublesome sons, but what was the difference?

4    Why is it so important to fully surrender to God’s will when we pray?

5    Why should we have a deeper appreciation for leaders like Samuel?


© 2018, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – From Ichabod to Ebenezer

June 16, 2019 – June 22, 2019

Key Text

“Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him” (1 Samuel 7:9, last part).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 581‚ 591; Testimonies, vol. 4, 516, 517.


“Samuel endeavored to impress upon Israel the fact that they themselves had something to do to secure the divine favor. They must repent of their sins, and put away their idols.” The Signs of the Times, January 26, 1882.



  • For what gift did faithful Samuel become renowned? 1 Samuel 3:19‚ 21.
  • Meanwhile, although Eli had bowed in humble submission to the rebuke against his household, how did God view the situation? Ecclesiastes 8:11.

Note: “Eli did not manifest the fruits of true repentance. He confessed his guilt, but failed to renounce the sin. Year after year the Lord delayed His threatened judgments. Much might have been done in those years to redeem the failures of the past, but the aged priest took no effective measures to correct the evils that were polluting the sanctuary of the Lord. … The warnings were disregarded by the people, as they had been by the priests. The people of surrounding nations also, who were not ignorant of the iniquities openly practiced in Israel, became still bolder in their idolatry and crime. They felt no sense of guilt for their sins, as they would have felt had the Israelites preserved their integrity. But a day of retribution was approaching. God’s authority had been set aside, and His worship neglected and despised, and it became necessary for Him to interpose, that the honor of His name might be maintained.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 582, 583.



  • What foolish decision did Israel make when in a weak spiritual state, and who was responsible for this decision? 1 Samuel 4:2‚ 4.

Note: “This expedition [of going out against the Philistines to battle] was undertaken by the Israelites without counsel from God, without the concurrence of high priest or prophet. [1 Samuel 4:2 quoted.] As the shattered and disheartened force returned to their encampment, ‘the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us today before the Philistines?’ (1 Samuel 4:3). The nation was ripe for the judgment of God, yet they did not see that their own sins had been the cause of this terrible disaster.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 583.

“Instead of confessing and forsaking the sins that had brought defeat upon them [the Israelites], they now set about devising some other means by which to obtain the victory. Then they thought of the ark of God. What wonders had been wrought when the priests bore it before the people into Jordan! How its waters parted, leaving a safe path for that vast company! They remembered also how it was borne about the city of Jericho seven days in solemn silence, and then as the trumpets pealed, and the people gave a great shout, the massive walls fell flat upon the earth.

“The recollection of these glorious triumphs inspired all Israel with fresh hope and courage.” The Signs of the Times, December 22, 1881.

  • What shows the misunderstanding the people had about the ark, and how might we fall into the same trap today? 1 Samuel 4:5.

Note: “They [Israel] did not consider that it was the law of God which alone gave to the ark its sacredness, and that its presence would bring them prosperity only as they obeyed that law. …

“Yet we see a similar blindness and inattention on the part of many at the present day. … God has given to modern Israel warnings, counsel, and reproof, to bring them to repentance and reformation of life. But too often these produce but a momentary impression. The persons warned soon return to their own ways. … It is one thing to acknowledge the claims of God’s law, and quite another thing to render faithful and willing obedience to all its requirements.” The Signs of the Times, December 22, 1881.



  • With what regard did the Philistines hold the ark? What was the outcome of the battle? 1 Samuel 4:6‚ 10. Why did the ark not help Israel?

Note: “They [Israel] overlooked the distinction between the divine presence vouchsafed to an obedient and believing people, and the ark, which was but a symbol of that presence. Hence they confidently looked to the ark for those blessings which God alone could bestow. They saw not the wide contrast between the condition of Israel when the Lord wrought so mightily in their behalf, and their present state.

“They were then walking in obedience to God. The ark was borne by holy men in accordance with His express command, and the Captain of the Lord’s host went before the repository of His law. Then His arm brought deliverance for them. But they were now following their own plans, in opposition to the divine counsel and authority. The ark was borne by sons of Belial who were doomed to destruction. Yet the people were so infatuated by Satan as to imagine they could induce God to fight for them, when the law under the mercy-seat condemned them to defeat, disaster, and death!” The Signs of the Times, December 22, 1881.

“God permitted His ark to be taken by their enemies to show Israel how vain it was to trust in the ark, the symbol of His presence, while they were profaning the commandments contained in the ark. God would humble them by removing from them that sacred ark, their boasted strength and confidence.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 106.

  • What tragedies highlighted the woe of this defeat? 1 Samuel 4:11, 15–22.

Note: “The Lord sorely chastised His people Israel, revealing their hypocrisy and rebuking their presumption, and thus left upon the pages of history the testimony for all future ages, that the iniquities of His professed people will not go unpunished. The greater the knowledge of God’s will, the greater the sin of those who disregard it. God is not dependent upon men to cause His name to be feared and honored in the earth. He accepts the labors of those who walk in faithfulness and humility before Him, but He will reject all who profess to serve Him, and yet follow in the course of the unrighteous.” The Signs of the Times, December 22, 1881.



  • In the judgment that befell the house of Eli, what solemn warning should we heed from the way history repeats itself? Matthew 7:19, 23; Isaiah 58:1.

Note: “Eli was gentle, loving, and kind, and had a true interest in the service of God and the prosperity of His cause. He was a man who had power in prayer. He never rose up in rebellion against the words of God. But he was wanting; he did not have firmness of character to reprove sin and execute justice against the sinner so that God could depend upon him to keep Israel pure. He did not add to his faith the courage and power to say No at the right time and in the right place. Sin is sin; righteousness is righteousness. The trumpet note of warning must be sounded. We are living in a fearfully wicked age. The worship of God will become corrupted unless there are wide-awake men at every post of duty. It is no time now for any to be absorbed in selfish ease. Not one of the words which God has spoken must be allowed to fall to the ground.

“While some in Battle Creek have professedly believed the Testimonies, they have been trampling them under their feet. But few have read them with interest; but few have heeded them. The indulgence of self, pride, fashion, and display are mingled with the worship of God. He wants brave men for action, who will not regard the setting up of idols and the coming in of abominations without lifting up the voice like a trumpet, showing the people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 517.

“Warnings and reproofs are not given to the erring among Seventh-day Adventists because their lives are more blameworthy than are the lives of professed Christians of the nominal churches, nor because their example or their acts are worse than those of the Adventists who will not yield obedience to the claims of God’s law, but because they have great light, and have by their profession taken their position as God’s special, chosen people, having the law of God written in their hearts.” Ibid., vol. 2, 452.

  • As the Philistines were cursed by stealing the symbol of a God they did not worship, how long was it before they returned the ark? How long was it before Israel would value again the sacred symbol? 1 Samuel 6:1; 7:1, 2.



  • What earnest appeal did Samuel bring to the people of Israel and with what beautiful results? 1 Samuel 7:3‚ 6.

Note: “As soon as Samuel began to judge Israel, even in his youth, he called an assembly of the people for fasting and prayer, and deep humiliation before God. He bore his solemn testimony from the mouth of God. The people then began to learn where their strength was.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 517.

  • What should we learn from how God was gracious to humbled Israel? Why should we search our hearts as they did? 1 Samuel 7:7‚ 10, 12.

Note: “The condition of God’s people at the present day is similar to that of idolatrous Israel. Many who bear the name of Christians are serving other gods besides the Lord. Our Creator demands our supreme devotion, our first allegiance. Anything which tends to abate our love for God, or to interfere with the service due Him, becomes thereby an idol. With some their lands, their houses, their merchandize [sic], are the idols. Business enterprises are prosecuted with zeal and energy, while the service of God is made a secondary consideration. Family worship is neglected, secret prayer forgotten. Many claim to deal justly with their fellow-men, and seem to feel that in so doing they discharge their whole duty. But it is not enough to keep the last six commandments of the decalogue. We are to love the Lord our God with all the heart. Nothing short of obedience to every precept—nothing less than supreme love to God as well as equal love to our fellow-men—can satisfy the claims of the divine law.” The Signs of the Times, January 26, 1882.



1     Why is it not enough to submit to reproof?

2    Why wasn’t the presence of the ark helpful on the battlefield?

3    What was the significance of the word “Ichabod” in Israel’s history?

4    Eli was a man of prayer, but what was lacking in his spirituality?

5    How are we—like Israel—in need of a “Mizpeh” experience today?

Bible Study Guides – A Consecrated Child

June 9, 2019 – June 15, 2019

Key Text

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right” (Proverbs 20:11).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 575–580.


“The Lord accepted Samuel from his very childhood, because his heart was pure. He was given to God, a consecrated offering, and the Lord made him a channel of light.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 537.



  • What did Samuel do in his new life in the temple? 1 Samuel 2:11, 18. What did Hannah do for Samuel, and how did God bless Hannah? 1 Samuel 2:19–21.

 Note: “It was not customary for the Levites to enter upon their peculiar services until they were twenty-five years of age, but Samuel had been an exception to this rule. Every year saw more important trusts committed to him; and while he was yet a child, a linen ephod was placed upon him as a token of his consecration to the work of the sanctuary. Young as he was when brought to minister in the tabernacle, Samuel had even then duties to perform in the service of God, according to his capacity. These were at first very humble, and not always pleasant; but they were performed to the best of his ability, and with a willing heart.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 573.

“When separated from her child, the faithful mother’s solicitude did not cease. He was the subject of her prayers. Every year she made him a little coat, and when she came with her husband to the yearly sacrifice, she presented it to the child as a token of her love. With every stitch of that coat she had breathed a prayer that he might be pure, noble, and true. She did not ask that he might be great, but earnestly pleaded that he might be good.” The Signs of the Times, November 3, 1881.



  • What is written about Samuel in his youth? 1 Samuel 2:26. What was the relationship between the child Samuel and Eli, the high priest?

 Note: “Samuel had been placed under the care of Eli, and the loveliness of his character drew forth the warm affection of the aged priest. He was kind, generous, obedient, and respectful. Eli, pained by the waywardness of his own sons, found rest and comfort and blessing in the presence of his charge. Samuel was helpful and affectionate, and no father ever loved his child more tenderly than did Eli this youth. It was a singular thing that between the chief magistrate of the nation and the simple child so warm an affection should exist. As the infirmities of age came upon Eli, and he was filled with anxiety and remorse by the profligate course of his own sons, he turned to Samuel for comfort.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 573.

  • Although young Samuel was living on the premises of the high priest, what should we realize about the environment there? What serious warning was given to Eli? 1 Samuel 2:12, 22, 27–31.

 Note: “Samuel’s youth was passed in the tabernacle solemnly devoted to the worship of God; yet even here he was not free from evil influences or sinful example. The sons of Eli are described in the sacred word as ‘sons of Belial.’ They feared not God, nor honored their father; but Samuel did not seek their company nor follow their evil ways. It was his constant effort to make himself what God would have him to become. This is the privilege of every youth. God is pleased when even little children devote themselves to His service; they should not be discouraged in their efforts to become Christians. …

“The youngest child that loves and fears God, is greater in His sight than the most talented and learned man who neglects the great salvation.” The Signs of the Times, November 3, 1881.

“Despite the many sovereigns to whom men profess allegiance, all mankind are serving one of two masters—the Prince of light or the Prince of darkness. Samuel served the former, the sons of Eli the latter.” Ibid.



  • What was the problem of Eli and how might we be guilty of repeating the same mistake today? 1 Samuel 2:22–25; Isaiah 3:12, first part.

 Note: “Eli was quick to see and rebuke the sins and errors of the people, sometimes, as in the case of Hannah, even administering unjust reproof; but the sins of his own sons seemed to him less offensive than the sins of others. In his undue affection he was ever ready to find excuses for their perverse course.” The Signs of the Times, November 24, 1881.

“Eli had instructed his children in the law of God, and had given them a good example in his own life; but this was not his whole duty. God required him, both as a father and as a priest, to restrain them from following their own perverse will. This he had failed to do.” Ibid., November 10, 1881.

“The father [Eli] did not enforce obedience.” The Review and Herald, August 30, 1881.

  • What do we need to realize when we see spiritual weakness in our children? Proverbs 26:2; Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.

Note: “In every earnest Christian heart the question rises, ‘Why, oh, why, in a land of Bibles and Christian teaching, can the adversary of souls exert over our youth a power so mighty, so unrestrained?’ The reason is apparent. Parents are neglecting their solemn responsibility. They are not earnest, persevering, and faithful in the work of training their children for God, restraining their evil desires and enforcing obedience to parental authority, even in infancy.” The Signs of the Times, November 3, 1881.

“The mother should not allow her child to gain an advantage over her in a single instance; and, in order to maintain this authority, it is not necessary to resort to harsh measures; a firm, steady hand and a kindness which convinces the child of your love will accomplish the purpose. …

“Never should they [the children] be allowed to show their parents disrespect. Self-will should never be permitted to go unrebuked. The future well-being of the child requires kindly, loving, but firm discipline.” Child Guidance, 83.



  • In contrast to Eli’s sons, what can every child learn from the experience of little Samuel at the temple? Proverbs 20:11; Psalm 71:17.

Note: “If children were taught to regard the humble round of everyday duties as the course marked out for them by the Lord, as a school in which they were to be trained to render faithful and efficient service, how much more pleasant and honorable would their work appear. To perform every duty as unto the Lord, throws a charm around the humblest employment and links the workers on earth with the holy beings who do God’s will in heaven.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 574.

  • How was Samuel a tremendous witness to the aged Eli, and how only was this possible? 2 Corinthians 2:14–17.

Note: “While Eli’s heart was filled with anxiety and remorse by the evil course of his sons, he found relief and comfort in the integrity and devotion of the youthful Samuel. His ready helpfulness and unvarying fidelity lightened the burdens of the careworn priest. Eli loved Samuel; for he saw that the grace and love of God rested upon him. …

“As Samuel grew older, the anxiety of his parents in his behalf became more intense. Many were the petitions offered that he might not be contaminated by the wickedness reported concerning the sons of Eli.” The Signs of the Times, December 15, 1881.

  • Relate the amazing story of God’s call to Samuel. 1 Samuel 3:1–10.

Note: “When but twelve years old, the son of Hannah received his special commission from the Most High. … Three times Samuel was called, and thrice he responded in like manner; and then Eli was convinced that the mysterious call was the voice of God. What feelings must have stirred the heart of the high priest at that hour! God had passed by his chosen servant, the man of hoary hairs, to commune with a child.” The Signs of the Times, December 15, 1881.



  • What message did God give to Samuel and how did the boy feel about delivering it? 1 Samuel 3:12–15.

Note: “Samuel had not been ignorant of the wicked course pursued by the sons of Eli, but he was filled with fear and amazement that the Lord should commit to him so terrible a message. He arose in the morning and went about his duties as usual, but with a heavy burden on his young heart. How earnestly did he long for the sympathy and counsel of his parents in that trying hour! The Lord had not commanded him to reveal the fearful denunciation to the priest or to his sons; hence he remained silent, avoiding as far as possible the presence of Eli. He trembled, lest some question would compel him to declare the divine judgments against one whom he so loved and reverenced.” The Signs of the Times, December 15, 1881.

  • Respectful and obedient as ever, what did Samuel soon have to do? What should we consider as we reflect on the message given? 1 Samuel 3:18.

Note: “In every age, God’s judgments have been visited upon the earth because men transgressed His law. What, then, have we to expect as we behold the wickedness which prevails at the present day? … Many of the acknowledged leaders in the church and in the nation, break, and teach others to break that law, as sacred to God as His own throne and name. It is time for the Lord Himself to assert His authority in the earth. … He removes His protecting, providential care, and visits His judgments upon the children of men.” The Signs of the Times, December 15, 1881.



1     Although left alone at the temple without his parents, why was Samuel safe?

2    Why was Eli able to appreciate Samuel so much?

3    How can parents be like Eli today?

4    Name some of the keys to Samuel’s purity in the corrupt temple court.

5    What shows the accountability that God expects in all ages?

Bible Study Guides – Asked of the Lord

June 2, 2019 – June 8, 2019

Key Text

“Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:20).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 569–574.


“The mother’s daily influence upon her children is preparing them for everlasting life or eternal death. She exercises in her home a power more decisive than the minister in the desk, or even the king upon his throne. The day of God will reveal how much the world owes to godly mothers for men who have been unflinching advocates of truth and reform.” Reflecting Christ, 195.



  • What brought sadness to Hannah, the wife of Elkanah? 1 Samuel 1:1, 2.

 Note: “Elkanah’s love for his chosen companion was deep and unchanging; yet a cloud shadowed their domestic happiness. The home was not made joyful by the voice of childhood. At length the strong desire to perpetuate his name led the husband, as it had led many others, to adopt a course which God did not sanction—that of introducing into the family a second wife, to be subordinate to the first. This act was prompted by a lack of faith in God, and was attended with evil results. The peace of the hitherto united and harmonious family was broken. Upon Hannah the blow fell with crushing weight. All happiness seemed forever swept away from her life. She bore her trials uncomplainingly, yet her grief was none the less keen and bitter.

“Penninah, the new wife, was a woman of inferior mind, and of envious and jealous disposition. As the years passed on, and sons and daughters were added to the household, she became proud and self-important, and treated her rival with contempt and insolence.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.



  • At the time of worship at Shiloh, how did Elkanah relate to his two wives? 1 Samuel 1:3–5.

 Note: “Even amid the sacred festivities connected with the worship of God, the evil spirit that had cursed his [Elkanah’s] home intruded. After the other sacrifices had been made, it was customary for the peace-offering to be presented. A specified portion of this was given to the priest, and then the offerer, after distributing to each member of his family a share of the remainder, united with them in a solemn yet joyous feast. Upon these occasions Elkanah gave the mother of his children a portion for herself and for each of her sons and daughters, and then as a token of regard for Hannah, his first and best-loved wife, he gave her a double portion. This excited the envy and jealousy of the second wife, and she boldly asserted her claims to superiority as one highly favored of God; and she tauntingly pointed to the fact that Hannah had no children, as proof of the Lord’s displeasure toward her.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.

  • What was the bitter extent of Hannah’s suffering? 1 Samuel 1:6, 7.

 Note: “This scene was enacted again and again, not only at the yearly gatherings, but whenever circumstances furnished an opportunity for Peninnah to exalt herself at the expense of her rival. The course of this woman seemed to Hannah, a trial almost beyond endurance. Satan employed her as his agent to harass, and if possible exasperate and destroy one of God’s faithful children. At last, as her enemy’s taunts were repeated at one of the yearly feasts, Hannah’s courage and fortitude gave way. Unable longer to conceal her feelings, she wept without restraint. The expressions of joy on every hand seemed mockery to her. She could not partake of the feast.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.

  • How did Elkanah try to comfort his dear wife, but in vain? 1 Samuel 1:8.

 Note: “It was impossible for Elkanah fully to understand her [Hannah’s] feelings or to appreciate the cause.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.



  • What was Hannah’s solution to the problem that confronted her? 1 Samuel 1:9–11; Psalm 50:15.

 Note: “Humility, conscientiousness, and a firm reliance upon God, were ruling traits in her [Hannah’s] character.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.

“Hannah brought no reproach against her husband for his unwise marriage. The grief which she could share with no earthly friend, she carried to her Heavenly Father, and sought consolation from Him alone. … There is a mighty power in prayer. Our great adversary is constantly seeking to keep the troubled soul away from God. An appeal to Heaven by the humblest saint is more to be dreaded by Satan than the decrees of cabinets or the mandates of kings.

“Hannah’s prayer was unheard by mortal ear, but entered the ear of the Lord of hosts.” Ibid.

  • After being misjudged through the malice of her rival, how was Hannah now misjudged by the high priest in the house of God? 1 Samuel 1:12–14.

 Note: “Feasting revelry had well-nigh supplanted true godliness among the people of Israel. Instances of intemperance, even among women, were of frequent occurrence, and now Eli determined to administer what he considered a deserved rebuke.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.

  • How does Hannah’s noble response reveal the abundant grace of a Christlike character? 1 Samuel 1:15, 16.

 Note: “Hannah had been communing with God. She believed that her prayer had been heard, and the peace of Christ filled her heart. Hers was a gentle, sensitive nature, yet she yielded neither to grief nor to indignation at the unjust charge of drunkenness in the house of God. With due reverence for the anointed of the Lord, she calmly repelled the accusation and stated the cause of her emotion.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.



  • What miracle did the Lord grant in answer to Hannah’s prayer? 1 Samuel 1:17–20.
  • What should we learn from the thoroughness of Hannah’s instruction of young Samuel? Proverbs 22:6.

Note: “During the first three years of the life of Samuel the prophet, his mother carefully taught him to distinguish between good and evil. By every familiar object surrounding him she sought to lead his thoughts up to the Creator.” Child Guidance, 197.

“The first three years is the time in which to bend the tiny twig. Mothers should understand the importance attaching to this period. It is then that the foundation is laid.” Ibid., 194.

“It was Hannah, the woman of prayer and self-sacrifice and heavenly inspiration, who gave birth to Samuel, the heaven-instructed child, the incorruptible judge, the founder of Israel’s sacred schools.” The Ministry of Healing, 372.

  • What should we learn from Hannah about the seriousness of vows made to God? 1 Samuel 1:11, 21–28; Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5.

 Note: “As soon as the little one was old enough to be separated from his mother, she fulfilled her vow. She loved her child with all the devotion of a mother’s heart; day by day, as she watched his expanding powers and listened to his childish prattle, her affections entwined about him more closely. He was her only son, the special gift of Heaven; but she had received him as a treasure consecrated to God, and she would not withhold from the Giver His own.

“Once more Hannah journeyed with her husband to Shiloh and presented to the priest, in the name of God, her precious gift.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 570, 571.



  • What was Hannah led to publicly declare with power? 1 Samuel 2:1.

 Note: “She [Hannah] felt that she could do no less in token of her gratitude than to make a public acknowledgment of the divine mercy and loving-kindness. The spirit of inspiration came upon her, and although a retiring and timid woman, her voice was now heard in the assembly of the people, sounding forth the praise of God. …

“The horn is in some animals the weapon of attack and defense; by the use of this figure, Hannah would acknowledge that her deliverance had come from God. In her exultation, there is no vain triumph of self. She rejoices not in Samuel, not in her own prosperity, but in the Lord.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.

  • How do Hannah’s words bring us comfort and wisdom? 1 Samuel 2:2–10.

 Note: “[1 Samuel 2:3 quoted.] While here referring to Peninnah’s boastful and insolent conduct, Hannah seems also to speak to all the enemies of true godliness, who glory in themselves, and insult and despise the children of faith. Pride and boasting cannot deceive God. He is acquainted with the hearts and the lives of all. By Him actions are weighed. He distinguishes men’s characters, and weighs their motives in the balance. When He sees that it will be for the good of man and for His own glory, He will interpose in behalf of His people. In due time He will reward the righteous and punish the wicked.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.



1     How do many too often repeat the same type of mistake as Elkanah did?

2    What should we do about the “Penninah’s” in our life?

3    In what ways might I be guilty of misjudging someone I know?

4    Explain the work of parents during the first three years of a child’s life.

5    What prompted Hannah to make the public declaration that she did?

Bible Study Guides – Weakness Into Strength

May 26, 2019 – June 1, 2019

Key Text

“Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 563–568.


“Physically he [Samson] was the strongest man upon the earth; but in self-control, integrity, and firmness, he was the weakest of men.” The Signs of the Times, October 13, 1881.



  • What bitter fruit immediately occurred in Samson’s marriage with an unbeliever? Judges 14:7, 10, 20.

Note: “He [Samson] did not ask whether he could better glorify God when united with the object of his choice, or whether he was placing himself in a position where he could not fulfill the purpose to be accomplished by his life. To all who seek first to honor Him, God has promised wisdom; but there is no promise to those who are bent upon self-pleasing. …

“At his marriage feast Samson was brought into familiar association with those who hated the God of Israel. Whoever voluntarily enters into such relations will feel it necessary to conform, to some degree, to the habits and customs of his companions. The time thus spent is worse than wasted. Thoughts are entertained and words are spoken that tend to break down the strongholds of principle and to weaken the citadel of the soul.

“The wife, to obtain whom Samson had transgressed the command of God, proved treacherous to her husband before the close of the marriage feast. Incensed at her perfidy, Samson forsook her for the time, and went alone to his home at Zorah. When, afterward relenting, he returned for his bride, he found her the wife of another.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 563.



  • How did Samson’s revenge on the Philistines show a sample of the unique strength God gave him for Israel’s deliverance? Judges 15:4–8, 13–15.
  • How long did Samson rule as a judge in Israel? Judges 15:20. How did the people show how human nature often hinders God’s plans?

Note: “Had the Israelites been ready to unite with Samson and follow up the victory, they might at this time have freed themselves from the power of their oppressors. But they had become dispirited and cowardly. They had neglected the work which God commanded them to perform, in dispossessing the heathen, and had united with them in their degrading practices, tolerating their cruelty, and, so long as it was not directed against themselves, even countenancing their injustice. When themselves brought under the power of the oppressor, they tamely submitted to the degradation which they might have escaped, had they only obeyed God. Even when the Lord raised up a deliverer for them, they would, not infrequently, desert him and unite with their enemies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 564.

  • Despite Samson’s apostasy, how did God show him mercy? Judges 16:1–3.

Note: “Samson had transgressed the command of God by taking a wife from the Philistines, and again he ventured among them—now his deadly enemies—in the indulgence of unlawful passion. Trusting to his great strength, which had inspired the Philistines with such terror, he went boldly to Gaza, to visit a harlot of that place. The inhabitants of the city learned of his presence, and they were eager for revenge. Their enemy was shut safely within the walls of the most strongly fortified of all their cities; they felt sure of their prey, and only waited till the morning to complete their triumph. At midnight Samson was aroused. The accusing voice of conscience filled him with remorse, as he remembered that he had broken his vow as a Nazarite. But notwithstanding his sin, God’s mercy had not forsaken him. His prodigious strength again served to deliver him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 565.



  • In what sin was Samson becoming entangled? Judges 16:4–6; Galatians 6:8. How did this sin work his ruin?

Note: “He [Samson] did not again venture among the Philistines, but he continued to seek those sensuous pleasures that were luring him to ruin. … The vale of Sorek was celebrated for its vineyards; these also had a temptation for the wavering Nazarite, who had already indulged in the use of wine, thus breaking another tie that bound him to purity and to God. The Philistines kept a vigilant watch over the movements of their enemy, and when he degraded himself by this new attachment, they determined, through Delilah, to accomplish his ruin.

“A deputation consisting of one leading man from each of the Philistine provinces was sent to the vale of Sorek. They dared not attempt to seize him while in possession of his great strength, but it was their purpose to learn, if possible, the secret of his power. They therefore bribed Delilah to discover and reveal it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 565.

  • What warnings should we heed from the downward spiral into which Samson was falling? Proverbs 5:21, 22; 7:10, 22, 23; Romans 13:14.

Note: “Samson’s infatuation seems almost incredible. At first he was not so wholly enthralled as to reveal the secret; but he had deliberately walked into the net of the betrayer of souls, and its meshes were drawing closer about him at every step.” The Signs of the Times, October 13, 1881.

“In the society of this enchantress, the judge of Israel squandered precious hours that should have been sacredly devoted to the welfare of his people. But the blinding passions which make even the strongest weak, had gained control of reason and of conscience.” Ibid.

“Samson in his peril had the same source of strength as had Joseph. He could choose the right or wrong as he pleased. But instead of taking hold of the strength of God, he permitted the wild passions of his nature to have full sway. The reasoning powers were perverted, the morals corrupted. God had called Samson to a position of great responsibility, honor, and usefulness; but he must first learn to govern by first learning to obey the laws of God.” Ibid.



  • What bitter results followed Samson’s spiritual weakness? Judges 16:15–21.

Note: “When he had been shaven, Delilah began to annoy him and cause him pain, thus making a trial of his strength; for the Philistines dared not approach him till fully convinced that his power was gone. Then they seized him and, having put out both his eyes, they took him to Gaza. Here he was bound with fetters in their prison house and confined to hard labor.

“What a change to him who had been the judge and champion of Israel!—now weak, blind, imprisoned, degraded to the most menial service! Little by little he had violated the conditions of his sacred calling. God had borne long with him; but when he had so yielded himself to the power of sin as to betray his secret, the Lord departed from him. There was no virtue in his long hair merely, but it was a token of his loyalty to God; and when the symbol was sacrificed in the indulgence of passion, the blessings of which it was a token were also forfeited.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 566.

  • What words of Jesus bring hope to each one of us? Luke 5:32.

Note: “In suffering and humiliation, a sport for the Philistines, Samson learned more of his own weakness than he had ever known before; and his afflictions led him to repentance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 566.

  • What began to happen to Samson physically, showing God’s amazing mercy toward sinners? Judges 16:22. What attitude was beginning to take hold of Samson? Mark 9:24.

Note: “His [Samson’s] hair began gradually to grow, indicating the return of his extraordinary powers.” The Signs of the Times, October 13, 1881.



  • How and why did Satan mock at the disgraceful condition of God’s broken deliverer? Judges 16:23–25.

Note: “As the Philistines exulted over their great victory, they ascribed the honor to their gods, praising them as superior to the God of Israel. The contest, instead of being between Samson and the Philistines, was now between Jehovah and Dagon.” The Signs of the Times, October 13, 1881.

  • What deliberate request did Samson make to the one leading him by the hand? What prayer did Samson breathe to God? Judges 16:26–28.

Note: “After a time, as if weary, Samson asked permission to rest against the two central pillars which supported the temple roof. Then he silently uttered the prayer, ‘O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines’ (Judges 16:28).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 567.

  • What did God use to impart saving faith to Samson? In what “hall of fame” is this frail man included? Judges 16:30; Hebrews 11:32, 33.



1     Why should the outcome of Samson’s marriage be no surprise?

2    To what spiritual path did the marriage lead Samson?

3    How is the history of Samson and Delilah repeated in various ways today?

4    What change did Samson make after the loss of his eyes?

5    How and why did God bless Samson’s prayer at the end of his life?

Recipe – Sunflower Almond Cereal


Soak overnight:

2 Tbsp. raw almonds,

2 Tbsp. raw sunflower seeds

1 Tbsp. raw walnuts or pecans (optional)

½ cup fruit of your choice:

apple, banana, kiwifruit, berries, mango, peach, etc.


Strain the first three ingredients and then add ½ cup of your favorite, chopped or sliced, fresh fruit. Add your favorite milk (almond, rice or soy) and enjoy!

OR, you can add all to a bowl of hot cereal!

Food – Kiwifruit

I love kiwifruit. They are so delicious, and I discovered recently that the peelings are also nutritious. Though not yet courageous enough to eat the peelings because of their texture, I do put the whole fruit into my smoothies.

“A study conducted at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, evaluated the nutritional value of twenty-seven different fruits to determine, ounce for ounce, which provides the most nutrition. The results? Kiwifruit, with an index of 16, was found to be the most nutrient dense of all fruits. (Second place was papaya at 14, and third place was a tie between mango and orange, which both scored 11.) Kiwi has the highest level of vitamin C, almost twice that of an orange, and is also a decent source of magnesium. Two medium kiwifruits have almost 5 g of fiber. And kiwi—along with papaya and apricot—outranked bananas and oranges as the top low-sodium, high-potassium food!

“Another study in the Journal of Medicinal Food examined nine different fruits and fruit juices and reported that eight of them—including kiwi—exhibited significant ability to reduce oxidative stress (damage from free radicals) in human plasma. This ability of kiwi to protect against cellular damage was confirmed in yet another study in Carcinogenesis that was even more promising: In the carcinogenesis study, not only did the kiwifruit limit the amount of oxidative damage to DNA, but it also stimulated cellular repair of the damage that did occur! Even better, the effect of kiwifruit on DNA damage and repair was seen when it was simply added to a normal diet, and the effects were seen across a whole group of volunteers and in a very short time!

The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., pages 122, 123.

If you like raw crunchies in the morning you will like the cereal recipe below.


Sunflower-Almond Cereal


Soak overnight:

2 Tbsp. raw almonds,

2 Tbsp. raw sunflower seeds

1 Tbsp. raw walnuts or pecans (optional)

½ cup fruit of your choice:

apple, banana, kiwifruit, berries, mango, peach, etc.



Strain the first three ingredients and then add ½ cup of your favorite, chopped or sliced, fresh fruit. Add your favorite milk (almond, rice or soy) and enjoy!

OR, you can add all to a bowl of hot cereal!

Health – Purposed in His Heart

Sometimes we make our life so complicated, even though God wants to make life simple. “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25).

Daniel and his three friends stand out as a Biblical example of the benefits of a temperate, healthful, flesh-free diet.

What about today? As in the human race, disease in animals is increasing. Diseased meat and other animal products are a common source of food-borne illness. “Disease in cattle is making meat eating a dangerous matter. The Lord’s curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beasts, upon the fish in the sea; and as transgression becomes almost universal, the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the transgression. Disease is contracted by the use of meat. …

“In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 411.

“Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. …

“Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it.” Ibid., 380, 381.

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” Ibid., 313.

“Instructions on Eating: The disease and suffering that prevail everywhere are largely due to popular errors in diet. By carefully following the instructions in the table, one may avoid many diseases.

“Skip one to four meals periodically. Fasting is an aid to educating the appetite and a rehearsal for self-control. Fasting is the best remedy for many illnesses, especially for people who do not do much physical labor.” God’s Healing Way, Mary Ann McNeilus, M.D.

Will you purpose in your heart to begin right now implementing these suggestions into your lifestyle if you are not already doing so? May God bless your efforts to retain or restore the gift of health in you.

  • Eat largely of fruits and vegetables prepared in a natural yet tasty way.
  • Vary your diet from meal to meal, but do not eat too many varieties at any one meal. Keep both the meals and the dishes simple.
  • Use more of the whole grains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice. Use less food prepared from refined white flour and white rice.
  • Limit the rich foods. Eat less sugar, salt, and oils. Avoid spices, grease (especially lard), baking powder, baking soda, and vinegar.
  • Eat at the same mealtime daily and allow at least 5 hours from the end of one meal to the beginning of the next meal. The digestive system works most efficiently when kept on a regular schedule.
  • Do not eat between meals. Eating between meals slows stomach emptying and gives time for the partially digested food already in the stomach to ferment.
  • Eat a good breakfast. This should be the largest meal of the day. If eaten at all, supper should be the smallest meal of the day. Eat supper at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Eat all you need to maintain health and enjoy your food, but do not overeat. Too much food dulls the mind, causes tiredness, increases disease, and shortens life.
  • Eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly will increase the enjoyment and the nutritional benefits of food. Mealtime should be pleasant and unhurried.
  • Drink enough water daily to keep the urine pale, but do not drink with your meals or just before or after meals.

Question & Answer – What does Jesus’ blood and water represent?

“But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” John 19:34


“While Jesus hung upon the cross, as the soldier pierced His side with a spear, there came out blood and water, in two distinct streams, one of blood, the other of clear water. The blood was to wash away the sins of those who should believe in His name. The water represents that living water which is obtained from Jesus to give life to the believer.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 102, 103.

“But it was not the spear thrust, it was not the pain of the cross, that caused the death of Jesus. That cry, uttered “with a loud voice” (Matthew 27:50; Luke 23:46), at the moment of death, the stream of blood and water that flowed from His side, declared that He died of a broken heart. His heart was broken by mental anguish. He was slain by the sin of the world.” The Desire of Ages, 772.

“After the resurrection, the priests and rulers caused the report to be circulated that Jesus did not die upon the cross, that He merely fainted and was afterward resuscitated. Another lying report affirmed that it was not a real body of flesh and bone but the likeness of a body that was laid in the tomb. But the testimony of John concerning the pierced side of the Saviour, and the blood and water that flowed from the wound, refutes these falsehoods that were brought into existence by the unscrupulous Jews.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 172.

“When the spear was thrust into His side, there flowed forth blood and water. His heart was broken by His mental agony. And the hearts of all who seek the Lord and find Him will be broken as they see the result of sin.” The Signs of the Times, April 14, 1898.

Keys to the Storehouse – God or Satan?

As I was perusing through one of Emilio Knechtle’s old books, I came across a list of questions which I had not heard in a long time. I realized that these questions may help to stimulate our thinking on some of the issues of the great controversy. He asks:

  • Who is the liar and who is the murderer of man? God or Satan?
  • Who brought illness, sin, and death into this world? God or Satan?
  • Who plans to ruin mankind? God or Satan?
  • Who loves man and wishes to make him happy forever? God or Satan?
  • Has God the right to forgive our sins, to grant mercy to sinners who were once the slaves of sin and Satan?
  • Do sinners who accept the righteousness of Jesus Christ have the right to enter heaven?
  • Is it possible for men other than Jesus Christ to be righteous, to desire to keep God’s commandments, and to possess the same faith that Jesus had?
  • Can man keep God’s moral law?

Other questions of the controversy:

  • Who is the Redeemer of mankind? Christ or the antichrist?
  • Whose righteousness shall man accept? The righteousness of Christ obtained by faith or man’s own righteousness acquired by good works?
  • Whose laws shall prevail and be obeyed? The laws of God or the laws of man? Christ’s Message to the Last Generation, by Emilio B. Knechtle and Charles Sohlmann, 20, 21.

We are living in very controversial times and we need to take a stand on the Lord’s side. Joshua said: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, last part). A battle is raging in this world! On which side are you standing? Pray that your eyes will be opened as you consider the answer to these questions, for time is running out.


Heavenly Father: Thank You again for the warnings and for reminding us that there is a great controversy going on around us and that we need Your word and Your Holy Spirit to guide us. Open our eyes Lord! Lead us in Thy righteousness moment by moment. Amen.