Bible Study – The Priesthood

June 9 – 15, 2024 

Key Text  “You shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony.” Numbers 1:50

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 350, 351


“By divine direction the tribe of Levi was set apart for the service of the sanctuary.” The Faith I Live By, 195



1.a. Which tribe was charged with the care of the sanctuary? Numbers 1:50–53. For what reason did God bypass the tribe of Reuben and choose Levi as His firstborn son? Genesis 49:3, 4 

Note: “In the earliest times, every man was the priest of his own household. In the days of Abraham, the priesthood was regarded as the birthright of the eldest son. Now, instead of the firstborn of all Israel, the Lord accepted the tribe of Levi for the work of the sanctuary. By this signal honor He manifested His approval of their fidelity, both in adhering to His service and in executing His judgments when Israel apostatized in the worship of the golden calf.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 350

“The father [ Jacob] pictured what should have been the position of Reuben as the firstborn son; but his grievous sin at Edar had made him unworthy of the birthright blessing.” Ibid., 235

1.b. Which Levite family was set apart for the priesthood? Exodus 28:1; Numbers 18:1, 6, 7

Note: “The priesthood, however, was restricted to the family of Aaron. Aaron and his sons alone were permitted to minister before the Lord; the rest of the tribe were entrusted with the charge of the tabernacle and its furniture, and they were to attend upon the priests in their ministration, but they were not to sacrifice, to burn incense, or to see the holy things till they were covered.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 350



2.a. Specify the main parts of the high priest’s dress. Exodus 28:2–4

Note: “The garments of the high priest were of costly material and beautiful workmanship, befitting his exalted station. In addition to the linen dress of the common priest, he wore a robe of blue, also woven in one piece. Around the skirt it was ornamented with golden bells, and pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 350, 351

2.b. The ephod. Exodus 28:6, 9, 10

Note: “Outside of this [the robe of blue] was the ephod, a shorter garment of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and white. It was confined by a girdle of the same colors, beautifully wrought. The ephod was sleeveless, and on its gold-embroidered shoulder pieces were set two onyx stones, bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 351

2.c. The breastplate. Exodus 28:29

Note: “Over the ephod was the breastplate, the most sacred of the priestly vestments. This was of the same material as the ephod. It was in the form of a square, measuring a span, and was suspended from the shoulders by a cord of blue from golden rings. The border was formed of a variety of precious stones, the same that form the twelve foundations of the city of God. Within the border were twelve stones set in gold, arranged in rows of four, and, like those in the shoulder pieces, engraved with the names of the tribes. The Lord’s direction was, ‘Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.’ Exodus 28:29. So Christ, the great High Priest, pleading His blood before the Father in the sinner’s behalf, bears upon His heart the name of every repentant, believing soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 351



3.a. What were the Urim and Thummim? Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8

Note: “At the right and left of the breastplate were set two larger stones, which shone with great brilliancy. When difficult matters were brought to the judges, which they could not decide, they were referred to the priests, and they inquired of God, who answered them. If He favored, and if He would grant them success, a halo of light and glory especially rested upon the precious stone at the right. If He disapproved, a vapor or cloud seemed to settle upon the precious stone at the left hand. When they inquired of God in regard to going to battle, the precious stone at the right, when circled with light, said, Go, and prosper. The stone at the left, when shadowed with a cloud, said, Thou shalt not go; thou shalt not prosper.” The Story of Redemption, 183, 184

3.b. Describe the miter of the high priest. Exodus 28:39; 39:28

Note:  “The miter of the high priest consisted of the white linen turban, having attached to it by a lace of blue, a gold plate bearing the inscription, ‘Holiness to Jehovah.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 351

3.c. Describe the garments of the common priests. Leviticus 6:10

Note: “The robe of the common priest was of white linen and woven in one piece. It extended nearly to the feet and was confined about the waist by a white linen girdle embroidered in blue, purple, and red. A linen turban, or miter, completed his outer costume. Moses at the burning bush was directed to put off his sandals, for the ground whereon he stood was holy. So the priests were not to enter the sanctuary with shoes upon their feet.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 350

3.d. What effect was the dress of the priests and their deportment to have upon the people?

Note: “Everything connected with the apparel and deportment of the priests was to be such as to impress the beholder with a sense of the holiness of God, the sacredness of His worship, and the purity required of those who came into His presence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 351 



4.a. Why did the altar not have steps? Exodus 20:26

4.b. What did the prophet Isaiah think of himself when he had a vision of God sitting upon His throne in the temple in heaven? Isaiah 6:5. How could we apply this insightful experience to ourselves?

Note: “Isaiah had denounced the sin of others; but now he sees himself exposed to the same condemnation he had pronounced upon them. He had been satisfied with a cold, lifeless ceremony in his worship of God. He had not known this until the vision was given him of the Lord. How little now appeared his wisdom and talents as he looked upon the sacredness and majesty of the sanctuary. How unworthy he was! how unfitted for sacred service! …

“The vision given to Isaiah represents the condition of God’s people in the last days. They are privileged to see by faith the work that is going forward in the heavenly sanctuary. ‘And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.’ As they look by faith into the holy of holies and see the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, they perceive that they are a people of unclean lips—a people whose lips have often spoken vanity and whose talents have not been sanctified and employed to the glory of God. Well may they despair as they contrast their own weakness and unworthiness with the purity and loveliness of the glorious character of Christ. But if they, like Isaiah, will receive the impression the Lord designs shall be made upon the heart, if they will humble their souls before God, there is hope for them. The bow of promise is above the throne, and the work done for Isaiah will be performed in them. God will respond to the petitions coming from the contrite heart.” The Review and Herald, December 22, 1896

“Isaiah had a wonderful view of God’s glory. He saw the manifestation of God’s power, and after beholding His majesty, a message came to him to go and do a certain work. He felt wholly unworthy for the work. What made him esteem himself unworthy? Did he think himself unworthy before he had a view of God’s glory?—No; he imagined himself in a righteous state before God; but when the glory of the Lord of hosts was revealed to him, when he beheld the inexpressible majesty of God, he said, ‘I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips … .’ ” Ibid., June 4, 1889



5.a. How does the vision of Isaiah chapter 6 apply today? Romans 15:4. Where should our hope be anchored? Hebrews 6:11, 19

Note: “As humanity, with its weakness and deformity, was brought out in contrast with the perfection of divine holiness and light and glory, [the prophet Isaiah] felt altogether inefficient and unworthy. How could he go and speak to the people the holy requirements of Jehovah, who was high and lifted up, and whose train filled the temple?” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1140

5.b. What comforting assurance given to a humbled Isaiah is likewise offered today to every believer? Isaiah 6:5–7

Note: “Pray that your lips may be touched with a live coal from the divine altar, that you may speak only pure, Christlike words, and that you may see that it is a sin to speak harshly and unadvisedly.” The Review and Herald, January 14, 1904

“When you place yourselves where you should be in order to hear the voice of God, you will come before Him every day, saying, ‘Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.’ ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’ And the Lord will give you a burden for souls and will touch your lips as He did those of Isaiah, with a live coal from off His altar.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, March 20, 1891



1 Which of the twelve tribes was put in charge of the sanctuary, and why?
2 Describe the garments of the high priest.
3 Describe the garments of the common priests and explain what effect their dress, and especially their deportment, was to have upon the people.
4 What should we learn from the reverent attitude and adequate covering of priests and angels in the presence of the Lord?
5 In what sense does the vision of Isaiah (6:1–7) have a special application for us living in the era of self-righteous Laodicea?

Copyright 2010, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Death of Moses

March 21 – 27, 2021

Key Text

“And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:5, 6).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 469–480.


“As a shepherd of sheep, Moses was taught to care for the afflicted, to nurse the sick, to seek patiently after the straying, to bear long with the unruly, to supply with loving solicitude the wants of the young lambs and the necessities of the old and feeble.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 343.



1.a. As Moses’ end was drawing near, with what encouraging words did he address first the people, and then Joshua? Deuteronomy 31:1–8.

Note: “As the people gazed upon the aged man, so soon to be taken from them, they recalled, with a new and deeper appreciation, his parental tenderness, his wise counsels, and his untiring labors. How often, when their sins had invited the just judgments of God, the prayers of Moses had prevailed with Him to spare them! Their grief was heightened by remorse. They bitterly remembered that their own perversity had provoked Moses to the sin for which he must die.

“The removal of their beloved leader would be a far stronger rebuke to Israel than any which they could have received had his life and mission been continued. God would lead them to feel that they were not to make the life of their future leader as trying as they had made that of Moses. God speaks to His people in blessings bestowed; and when these are not appreciated, He speaks to them in blessings removed, that they may be led to see their sins, and return to Him with all the heart.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 470.



2.a. How often were the people required to listen to the reading of the laws, and which groups of people were to do so? Why? Deuteronomy 31:9–13.

Note: “He [God] requires parents to train up their children and with unceasing diligence to educate them with regard to the claims of His law and to instruct them in the knowledge and fear of God. These injunctions which God laid upon the Jews with so much solemnity, rest with equal weight upon Christian parents.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 294.

2.b.      What was the plan of God for Israel? What were the conditions upon which this promise was to be fulfilled? Deuteronomy 28:12–14.

Note: “These promises given to Israel are also for God’s people today.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 351.

2.c. What was given to the Israelites as a continual reminder of their calling as God’s special people? Numbers 15:38, 39. Of what then should every piece of clothing we put on today remind us?

Note: “The children of Israel, after they were brought out of Egypt, were commanded to have a simple ribbon of blue in the border of their garments, to distinguish them from the nations around them, and to signify that they were God’s peculiar people. The people of God are not now required to have a special mark placed upon their garments. But in the New Testament we are often referred to ancient Israel for examples. If God gave such definite directions to His ancient people in regard to their dress, will not the dress of His people in this age come under His notice? Should there not be in their dress a distinction from that of the world? Should not the people of God, who are His peculiar treasure, seek even in their dress to glorify God? And should they not be examples in point of dress, and by their simple style rebuke the pride, vanity, and extravagance of worldly, pleasure-loving professors? God requires this of His people. Pride is rebuked in His Word.” The Review and Herald, January 23, 1900.



3.a. What aspects of God’s character are brought out in the song Moses wrote for the benefit of the people? Deuteronomy 32:3, 4, 6.

3.b.      How is God’s care for His people shown in this song? Deuteronomy 32:9–12.

Note: “God surrounded Israel with every facility, gave them every privilege, that would make them an honor to His name and a blessing to surrounding nations. If they would walk in the ways of obedience, He promised to make them ‘high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor’ (Deuteronomy 26:19).” Education, p. 40.

“He [God] rescued them from their servile state, that He might bring them to a good land, a land which in His providence He had prepared for them as a refuge from their enemies. He would bring them to Himself and encircle them in His everlasting arms; and in return for His goodness and mercy they were to exalt His name and make it glorious in the earth.” Prophets and Kings, 16.

3.c. In what sense was this song calculated to be a help to the people? Deuteronomy 31:19–22. What can we learn from this?

Note: “The more deeply to impress these truths upon all minds, the great leader [Moses] embodied them in sacred verse. This song was not only historical, but prophetic. While it recounted the wonderful dealings of God with His people in the past, it also foreshadowed the great events of the future, the final victory of the faithful when Christ shall come the second time in power and glory. The people were directed to commit to memory this poetic history, and to teach it to their children and children’s children. It was to be chanted by the congregation when they assembled for worship, and to be repeated by the people as they went about their daily labors. It was the duty of parents to so impress these words upon the susceptible minds of their children that they might never be forgotten.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 467, 468.



4.a. What did Moses say about the first coming of Jesus Christ? Deuteronomy 18:15, 18.

4.b.      What rebuke did Jesus direct to the Jews in connection with this prophecy? John 5:45–47.

Note: “There are those who profess to believe and to teach the truths of the Old Testament, while they reject the New. But in refusing to receive the teachings of Christ, they show that they do not believe that which patriarchs and prophets have spoken. ‘Had ye believed Moses,’ Christ said, ‘ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me’ (John 5:46). Hence there is no real power in their teaching of even the Old Testament.

“Many who claim to believe and to teach the gospel are in a similar error. They set aside the Old Testament Scriptures, of which Christ declared, ‘They are they which testify of Me’ (John 5:39). In rejecting the Old, they virtually reject the New; for both are parts of an inseparable whole. No man can rightly present the law of God without the gospel, or the gospel without the law. The law is the gospel embodied, and the gospel is the law unfolded. The law is the root, the gospel is the fragrant blossom and fruit which it bears.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 128.

4.c. In what sense was Moses a type of Christ? Hebrews 3:5, 6.

Note: “Moses was a type of Christ. He himself had declared to Israel, ‘The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken’ (Deuteronomy 18:15). God saw fit to discipline Moses in the school of affliction and poverty before he could be prepared to lead the hosts of Israel to the earthly Canaan. The Israel of God, journeying to the heavenly Canaan, have a Captain who needed no human teaching to prepare Him for His mission as a divine leader; yet He was made perfect through sufferings; and ‘in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted’ (Hebrews 2:10, 18). Our Redeemer manifested no human weakness or imperfection; yet He died to obtain for us an entrance into the Promised Land.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 480.



5.a. What command and assurance did Moses receive from the Lord when he had finished his work? Deuteronomy 32:49, 50, 52.

Note: “In solitude Moses reviewed his life of vicissitudes and hardships since he turned from courtly honors and from a prospective kingdom in Egypt, to cast in his lot with God’s chosen people. …

“He did not regret the burdens he had borne. He knew that his mission and work were of God’s own appointing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 471, 472.

5.b.      How did God bring Moses back to life, and what classes of saints did Moses and Elijah each represent on the mount of transfiguration? Jude 9; Matthew 17:1–5.

Note: “Moses upon the mount of transfiguration was a witness to Christ’s victory over sin and death. He represented those who shall come forth from the grave at the resurrection of the just. Elijah, who had been translated to heaven without seeing death, represented those who will be living upon the earth at Christ’s second coming, and who will be ‘changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump;’ when ‘this mortal must put on immortality,’ and ‘this corruptible must put on incorruption’ (1 Corinthians 15:51–53).” The Desire of Ages, 421, 422.



  1. As Moses was about to die, how did the people now view him? Why?
  2. How should our calling as children of the King, as God’s special, peculiar treasure, affect the way we dress and the way we dress our children?
  3. What is one way parents can deeply impress truth on the minds of their children? How does Satan fiendishly try to use this same tool in an opposite direction?
  4. How are we rejecting Christ if we set aside the Old Testament?
  5. As Moses considered the riches and fame he had left behind in exchange for a life of toil and hardship, why did he have no regrets?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Apostasy at the Jordan

March 14 – 20, 2021

Key Text

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 453–461.


“It is the special work of Satan in these last days to take possession of the minds of youth, to corrupt the thoughts and inflame the passions; for he knows that by so doing he can lead to impure actions, and thus all the noble faculties of the mind will become debased.” Child Guidance, 440.



1.a. What did Balak, king of Moab, seek to do? Why? Numbers 22:2, 3, 5–7.

1.b. Why couldn’t Balaam curse Israel? Numbers 22:38; 23:8.

1.c. What fact about the spiritual state of Israel was another reason why they couldn’t be cursed? Numbers 23:21. How is this so encouraging for us?

Note: “While they were under the divine protection, no people or nation, though aided by all the power of Satan, should be able to prevail against them. All the world should wonder at the marvelous work of God in behalf of His people—that a man determined to pursue a sinful course should be so controlled by divine power as to utter, instead of imprecations, the richest and most precious promises, in the language of sublime and impassioned poetry. And the favor of God at this time manifested toward Israel was to be an assurance of His protecting care for His obedient, faithful children in all ages. When Satan should inspire evil men to misrepresent, harass, and destroy God’s people, this very occurrence would be brought to their remembrance, and would strengthen their courage and their faith in God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 449.



2.a. What blessings did God inspire Balaam to pronounce upon Israel? First blessing: Numbers 23:7–10. Second blessing: Verses 18–24. Third blessing: Chapter 24:5–9.

2.b.      What prophecy did Balaam then utter about Israel and the coming Messiah? Numbers 24:15–17.

Note: “The light of God is ever shining amid the darkness of heathenism. As [the] magi studied the starry heavens, and sought to fathom the mystery hidden in their bright paths, they beheld the glory of the Creator. Seeking clearer knowledge, they turned to the Hebrew Scriptures. In their own land were treasured prophetic writings that predicted the coming of a divine teacher. Balaam belonged to the magicians, though at one time a prophet of God; by the Holy Spirit he had foretold the prosperity of Israel and the appearing of the Messiah; and his prophecies had been handed down by tradition from century to century. But in the Old Testament the Saviour’s advent was more clearly revealed.” The Desire of Ages, 59, 60.

2.c. What did Balaam prophesy about the fate of the nations then dwelling in the Promised Land? Numbers 24:17–23.

Note: “God gives nations a certain time of probation. He sends light and evidence, that, if received, will save them, but if refused as the Jews refused light, indignation and punishment will fall upon them. If men refuse to be benefited, and choose darkness rather than light, they will reap the results of their choice.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1143, 1144.

“With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps an account with all nations. While His mercy is tendered with calls to repentance, this account will remain open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath commences. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading of mercy in their behalf.

“The prophet [Ezekiel], looking down the ages, had this time presented before his vision. The nations of this age have been the recipients of unprecedented mercies. The choicest of heaven’s blessings have been given them, but increased pride, covetousness, idolatry, contempt of God, and base ingratitude are written against them. They are fast closing up their account with God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 208, 209.



3.a. With what lures did Satan seek to entrap the children of Israel as they were just about to enter the Promised Land? Numbers 25:1.

3.b. What did the Moabites do to allure Israel still further away from God? Numbers 25:2, 3.

Note: “At Balaam’s suggestion, a grand festival in honor of their gods was appointed by the king of Moab, and it was secretly arranged that Balaam should induce the Israelites to attend. He was regarded by them as a prophet of God, and hence had little difficulty in accomplishing his purpose. Great numbers of the people joined him in witnessing the festivities. They ventured upon the forbidden ground, and were entangled in the snare of Satan. Beguiled with music and dancing, and allured by the beauty of heathen vestals, they cast off their fealty to Jehovah. As they united in mirth and feasting, indulgence in wine beclouded their senses and broke down the barriers of self-control. Passion had full sway; and having defiled their consciences by lewdness, they were persuaded to bow down to idols. They offered sacrifice upon heathen altars and participated in the most degrading rites.

“It was not long before the poison had spread, like a deadly infection, through the camp of Israel. Those who would have conquered their enemies in battle were overcome by the wiles of heathen women. The people seemed to be infatuated. The rulers and the leading men were among the first to transgress, and so many of the people were guilty that the apostasy became national. ‘Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor’ (Numbers 25:3, first part).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 454.

3.c. What swift punishment did God send upon the disobedient? Why? Numbers 25:4, 5, 9.

Note: “A terrible pestilence broke out in the camp, to which tens of thousands speedily fell a prey. God commanded that the leaders in this apostasy be put to death by the magistrates. This order was promptly obeyed. The offenders were slain, then their bodies were hung up in sight of all Israel that the congregation, seeing the leaders so severely dealt with, might have a deep sense of God’s abhorrence of their sin and the terror of His wrath against them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 455.



4.a. What sins are among the works of sinful human nature? Galatians 5:19. How prevalent is lasciviousness, or licentiousness, in our day?

Note: “Licentiousness is the special sin of this age. Never did vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now. The people seem to be benumbed, and the lovers of virtue and true goodness are nearly discouraged by its boldness, strength, and prevalence. The iniquity which abounds is not merely confined to the unbeliever and the scoffer. Would that this were the case, but it is not. Many men and women who profess the religion of Christ are guilty. … Every Christian will have to learn to restrain his passions and be controlled by principle.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 346, 347.

4.b. As we stand today on the borders of the heavenly Canaan, what lesson can we learn from the apostasy of Israel at the Jordan? 1 Corinthians 10:8, 12.

Note: “All along through the ages there are strewn wrecks of character that have been stranded upon the rocks of sensual indulgence. As we approach the close of time, as the people of God stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, Satan will, as of old, redouble his efforts to prevent them from entering the goodly land. He lays his snares for every soul. It is not the ignorant and uncultured merely that need to be guarded; he will prepare his temptations for those in the highest positions, in the most holy office; if he can lead them to pollute their souls, he can through them destroy many. And he employs the same agents now as he employed three thousand years ago. By worldly friendships, by the charms of beauty, by pleasure seeking, mirth, feasting, or the wine cup, he tempts to the violation of the seventh commandment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 457, 458.

“Sensual indulgence weakens the mind and debases the soul. The moral and intellectual powers are benumbed and paralyzed by the gratification of the animal propensities; and it is impossible for the slave of passion to realize the sacred obligation of the law of God, to appreciate the atonement, or to place a right value upon the soul. Goodness, purity, and truth, reverence for God, and love for sacred things—all those holy affections and noble desires that link men with the heavenly world—are consumed in the fires of lust.” Ibid., 458.



5.a. What warnings are calculated to protect us from apostasy especially today in our preparation for heaven? 2 Corinthians 6:17; James 4:4.

Note: “It was by associating with idolaters and joining in their festivities that the Hebrews were led to transgress God’s law and bring His judgments upon the nation. So now it is by leading the followers of Christ to associate with the ungodly and unite in their amusements that Satan is most successful in alluring them into sin. ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean’ (2 Corinthians 6:17). God requires of His people now as great a distinction from the world, in customs, habits, and principles, as He required of Israel anciently. If they faithfully follow the teachings of His word, this distinction will exist; it cannot be otherwise. The warnings given to the Hebrews against assimilating with the heathen were not more direct or explicit than are those forbidding Christians to conform to the spirit and customs of the ungodly.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 458.

5.b.      What can we do to avoid licentiousness? 1 Peter 1:13; Philippians 4:8.

Note: “Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices, must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind must not be left to dwell at random upon every subject that the enemy of souls may suggest.” The Acts of the Apostles, 518.

“Every wrong tendency may be, through the grace of Christ, repressed, not in a languid, irresolute manner, but with firmness of purpose, with high resolves to make Christ the pattern. Let your love go out for those things that Jesus loved, and be withheld from those things that will give no strength to right impulses.” That I May Know Him, 135.



1    What should give us hope and courage as evildoers plot against us?

2    How was Baalam used to enlighten heathen nations in regard to Christ?

3    How did Israel forfeit God’s protection on the borders of Canaan?

4    Why should sensual indulgence be a major concern for us today?

5    How can we keep our thoughts pure?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Victory over Sihon and Og

March 7 – 13, 2021

Key Text

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 433–437.


“The calm faith of their leader inspired the people with confidence in God. They trusted all to His omnipotent arm, and He did not fail them. Not mighty giants nor walled cities, armed hosts nor rocky fortresses, could stand before the Captain of the Lord’s host.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 436.



1.a. What directions did the Israelites receive concerning the Moabites and the Ammonites? Deuteronomy 2:9, 19.

1.b.      When Israel reached the land of the Amorites, what message did Moses send to Sihon, their king, and what was his answer? Deuteronomy 2:26–30; Numbers 21:21–23.

Note: “The answer [of Sihon] was a decided refusal, and all the hosts of the Amorites were summoned to oppose the progress of the invaders. This formidable army struck terror to the Israelites, who were poorly prepared for an encounter with well-armed and well-disciplined forces. So far as skill in warfare was concerned, their enemies had the advantage. To all human appearance, a speedy end would be made of Israel.

“But Moses kept his gaze fixed upon the cloudy pillar, and encouraged the people with the thought that the token of God’s presence was still with them. At the same time he directed them to do all that human power could do in preparing for war. Their enemies were eager for battle, and confident that they would blot out the unprepared Israelites from the land.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 433, 434.



2.a. What instruction came from the Possessor of all lands to the leader of Israel? Deuteronomy 2:31.

2.b.      What had been prophesied concerning the Amorites in the time of Abraham? Genesis 15:16.

Note: “Although the Amorites were idolaters, whose life was justly forfeited by their great wickedness, God spared them four hundred years to give them unmistakable evidence that He was the only true God, the Maker of heaven and earth. All His wonders in bringing Israel from Egypt were known to them. Sufficient evidence was given; they might have known the truth, had they been willing to turn from their idolatry and licentiousness. But they rejected the light and clung to their idols.

“When the Lord brought His people a second time to the borders of Canaan, additional evidence of His power was granted to those heathen nations. They saw that God was with Israel in the victory gained over King Arad and the Canaanites, and in the miracle wrought to save those who were perishing from the sting of the serpents. … In all their journeyings and encampments, past the land of Edom, of Moab and Ammon, they had shown no hostility, and had done no injury to the people or their possessions. On reaching the border of the Amorites, Israel had asked permission only to travel directly through the country, promising to observe the same rules that had governed their intercourse with other nations. When the Amorite king refused this courteous solicitation, and defiantly gathered his hosts for battle, their cup of iniquity was full, and God would now exercise His power for their overthrow.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 434, 435.

2.c. What was the result of the battle? Deuteronomy 2:32–35; Numbers 21:24.

Note: “The Israelites crossed the river Arnon and advanced upon the foe. An engagement took place, in which the armies of Israel were victorious; and, following up the advantage gained, they were soon in possession of the country of the Amorites. It was the Captain of the Lord’s host who vanquished the enemies of His people; and He would have done the same thirty-eight years before had Israel trusted in Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 435.



3.a. How does David aptly describe the attitude of those who trust the Lord when facing enemies? Psalm 112:7, 8.

Note: “Help and grace sufficient for every circumstance are promised by Him whose word is truth. His everlasting arms encircle the soul that turns to Him for aid. In His care we may rest safely, saying, ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee’ (Psalm 56:3). To all who put their trust in Him, God will fulfill His promise.” The Acts of the Apostles, 467.

3.b.  What could Moses confidently say after conquering Sihon, king of Heshbon? Deuteronomy 2:36. How were the people inspired?

Note: “The Hebrews now remembered how once before, when their forces had gone to battle, they had been routed, and thousands slain. But they had then gone in direct opposition to the command of God. They had gone out without Moses, God’s appointed leader, without the cloudy pillar, the symbol of the divine presence, and without the ark. But now Moses was with them, strengthening their hearts with words of hope and faith; the Son of God, enshrined in the cloudy pillar, led the way; and the sacred ark accompanied the host.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 437.

3.c. Of what can we be confident as we journey through life on this earth? Philippians 1:6.

Note: “Those who live amid the perils of the last days may realize that just as at the beginning of their experience the truth united them to the Saviour, so He who is the author and finisher of their faith will perfect the work He has begun for them. God is faithful, by whom we are called to fellowship with His Son. As men and women cooperate with God in doing the work He has given them, they go forward from strength to greater strength. As they exercise simple faith, believing day by day that God will not fail to establish them in Christ, God says to them as He did to ancient Israel: ‘Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth’ (Deuteronomy 7:6).” Our High Calling, 24.



4.a. What was the next target of the Israelites after the victory over Sihon? Deuteronomy 3:1. Describe the land and the people of Bashan.

Note: “Filled with hope and courage, the army of Israel eagerly pressed forward, and, still journeying northward, they soon reached a country that might well test their courage and their faith in God. Before them lay the powerful and populous kingdom of Bashan, crowded with great stone cities that to this day excite the wonder of the world—‘threescore cities … with high walls, gates, and bars; besides unwalled towns a great many’ (Deuteronomy 3:4, 5).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 435.

4.b.      What message did the Lord send to Moses concerning Og and his army, and what was the result of the battle? Numbers 21:34, 35; Deuteronomy 3:2–7.

Note: “Not mighty giants nor walled cities, armed hosts nor rocky fortresses, could stand before the Captain of the Lord’s host. The Lord led the army; the Lord discomfited the enemy; the Lord conquered in behalf of Israel. The giant king and his army were destroyed, and the Israelites soon took possession of the whole country. Thus was blotted from the earth that strange people who had given themselves up to iniquity and abominable idolatry.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 436.

4.c. How did the Lord help His people in the war against the two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og? Joshua 24:12. How did the new generation of Israelites see the mistake of their fathers?

Note: “In the conquest of Gilead and Bashan there were many who recalled the events which nearly forty years before had, in Kadesh, doomed Israel to the long desert wandering. They saw that the report of the spies concerning the Promised Land was in many respects correct. The cities were walled and very great, and were inhabited by giants, in comparison with whom the Hebrews were mere pygmies. But they could now see that the fatal mistake of their fathers had been in distrusting the power of God. This alone had prevented them from at once entering the goodly land.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 436.



5.a. What can we learn when seeing how Israel triumphed over their enemies? Exodus 17:11–13; Joshua 10:12–14.

Note: “In comparison with the millions of the world, God’s people will be, as they have ever been, a little flock; but if they stand for the truth as revealed in His word, God will be their refuge. They stand under the broad shield of Omnipotence. God is always a majority.” The Acts of the Apostles, 590.

“Is not God a majority? If we are on the side of the God who made the heaven and the earth, are we not on the side of the majority? We have the angels that excel in strength on our side.” Temperance, 258.

5.b.      What lesson does this event teach us? Psalm 37:1–3, 5.

Note: “This experience has a lesson for us. The mighty God of Israel is our God. In Him we may trust, and if we obey His requirements He will work for us in as signal a manner as He did for His ancient people. Everyone who seeks to follow the path of duty will at times be assailed by doubt and unbelief. The way will sometimes be so barred by obstacles, apparently insurmountable, as to dishearten those who will yield to discouragement; but God is saying to such, Go forward. Do your duty at any cost. The difficulties that seem so formidable, that fill your soul with dread, will vanish as you move forward in the path of obedience, humbly trusting in God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 437.



1    In preparing to fight against the Amorites, how did Israel show a faith that works?

2    Why does God still spare the wicked inhabitants of this world today?

3    Just as God wanted to establish Israel in Canaan, in what does He want to establish us today? What does this mean?

4    What did the next generation of Israelites realize about the focus of their fathers?

5    What will happen when we do our duty regardless of the obstacles in our way?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Journey Around Edom

Wilderness Wanderings 

February 28 – March 6, 2021

Key Text

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 422, 432.


“The brazen serpent was uplifted in the wilderness that those who looked in faith might be made whole. In like manner God sends a restoring, healing message to men, calling upon them to look away from man and earthly things, and place their trust in God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1116.



1.a. What message did Moses send to the king of Edom, and what answer was received? Numbers 20:14–18.

Note: “The Edomites were descendants of Abraham and Isaac, and for the sake of these His servants, God had shown favor to the children of Esau. He had given them Mount Seir for a possession, and they were not to be disturbed unless by their sins they should place themselves beyond the reach of His mercy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 423.

1.b. How did the leaders of Israel renew their appeal to the king of Edom, and what was his answer? Numbers 20:19, 20. What failure on the part of the people gave Satan a decided advantage in this negative experience?

Note: “The Israelites did not act promptly upon God’s word, and while they were complaining and murmuring, the golden opportunity passed. When they were at last ready to present their request to the king, it was refused.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 423.



2.a. Instead of going through the land of Edom, what route did the children of Israel take? Numbers 20:21, 22; 21:4.

2.b. When Israel came to Mount Hor, what did the Lord say to Moses and Aaron? Numbers 20:23–26.

Note: “Many years Moses and Aaron had stood side by side in their cares and labors. Together they had breasted unnumbered dangers, and had shared together the signal blessing of God; but the time was at hand when they must be separated. They moved on very slowly, for every moment in each other’s society was precious. The ascent was steep and toilsome; and as they often paused to rest, they communed together of the past and the future. … No rebellious feelings found a place in their hearts, no expression of murmuring escaped their lips; yet a solemn sadness rested upon their countenances as they remembered what had debarred them from the inheritance of their fathers.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 425.

2.c. What solemnity attended the transfer of the high-priestly responsibilities for Aaron to Eleazar, and how long did Israel mourn for Aaron? Numbers 20:27–29.

Note: “With deep sorrow Moses removed from Aaron the holy vestments, and placed them upon Eleazar, who thus became his successor by divine appointment. For his sin at Kadesh, Aaron was denied the privilege of officiating as God’s high priest in Canaan—of offering the first sacrifice in the goodly land, and thus consecrating the inheritance of Israel. Moses was to continue to bear his burden in leading the people to the very borders of Canaan. He was to come within sight of the Promised Land, but was not to enter it. Had these servants of God, when they stood before the rock at Kadesh, borne unmurmuringly the test there brought upon them, how different would have been their future! A wrong act can never be undone. It may be that the work of a lifetime will not recover what has been lost in a single moment of temptation or even thoughtlessness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 426.



3.a. Who attacked Israel soon after the death of Aaron, and what was the result? Numbers 21:1–3.

Note: “Soon after leaving Mount Hor the Israelites suffered defeat in an engagement with Arad, one of the Canaanite kings. But as they earnestly sought help from God, divine aid was granted them, and their enemies were routed. This victory, instead of inspiring gratitude and leading the people to feel their dependence upon God, made them boastful and self-confident.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 427, 428.

3.b. Instead of being thankful to the Lord, into what practice did the people again relapse? Numbers 21:4, last part, 5.

Note: “Soon they fell into the old habit of murmuring. They were now dissatisfied because the armies of Israel had not been permitted to advance upon Canaan immediately after their rebellion at the report of the spies nearly forty years before. They pronounced their long sojourn in the wilderness an unnecessary delay, reasoning that they might have conquered their enemies as easily heretofore as now.

“As they continued their journey toward the south, their route lay through a hot, sandy valley, destitute of shade or vegetation. The way seemed long and difficult, and they suffered from weariness and thirst. Again they failed to endure the test of their faith and patience. By continually dwelling on the dark side of their experiences, they separated themselves farther and farther from God. They lost sight of the fact that but for their murmuring when the water ceased at Kadesh, they would have been spared the journey around Edom. God had purposed better things for them. Their hearts should have been filled with gratitude to Him that He had punished their sin so lightly. But instead of this, they flattered themselves that if God and Moses had not interfered, they might now have been in possession of the Promised Land. After bringing trouble upon themselves, making their lot altogether harder than God designed, they charged all their misfortunes upon Him. Thus they cherished bitter thoughts concerning His dealings with them, and finally they became discontented with everything. Egypt looked brighter and more desirable than liberty and the land to which God was leading them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 428.



4.a. Because of the unwarranted murmurings of the people, what did the Lord permit to come into the camp of Israel? Numbers 21:6.

Note: “Because they had been shielded by divine power they had not realized the countless dangers by which they were continually surrounded. In their ingratitude and unbelief they had anticipated death, and now the Lord permitted death to come upon them. The poisonous serpents that infested the wilderness were called fiery serpents, on account of the terrible effects produced by their sting, it causing violent inflammation and speedy death. As the protecting hand of God was removed from Israel, great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures.

“Now there was terror and confusion throughout the encampment. In almost every tent were the dying or the dead. None were secure. Often the silence of night was broken by piercing cries that told of fresh victims. All were busy in ministering to the sufferers, or with agonizing care endeavoring to protect those who were not yet stricken. No murmuring now escaped their lips. When compared with the present suffering, their former difficulties and trials seemed unworthy of a thought.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 429.

4.b.      What did the people do when they realized that the Lord was punishing them for their rebellious behavior, and what remedy was provided? Numbers 21:7–9.

Note: “Moses was divinely commanded to make a serpent of brass resembling the living ones, and to elevate it among the people. To this, all who had been bitten were to look, and they would find relief. …

“The people well knew that there was no power in the serpent of brass to cause such a change in those who looked upon it. The healing virtue was from God alone. In His wisdom He chose this way of displaying His power. By this simple means the people were made to realize that this affliction had been brought upon them by their sins. They were also assured that while obeying God they had no reason to fear, for He would preserve them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 430.



5.a. Of whom was the brazen serpent a type? John 3:14, 15.

Note: “The Israelites saved their lives by looking upon the uplifted serpent. That look implied faith. They lived because they believed God’s word, and trusted in the means provided for their recovery. So the sinner may look to Christ, and live. He receives pardon through faith in the atoning sacrifice. Unlike the inert and lifeless symbol, Christ has power and virtue in Himself to heal the repenting sinner.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 431.

5.b.      By whom and how only can we be healed? Psalm 103:2, 3; 1 Peter 2:21, 24.

Note: “While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we are not to yield to discouragement, but rely upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Look and live. Jesus has pledged His word; He will save all who come unto Him. Though millions who need to be healed will reject His offered mercy, not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 432.

“While the sinner cannot save himself, he still has something to do to secure salvation. ‘Him that cometh to Me,’ says Christ, ‘I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). But we must come to Him; and when we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours.” Ibid., 431.



1    Why were the Edomites not destroyed at this time?

2    What can we learn from the experience of Moses and Aaron about the far-reaching consequences of just one action?

3    What thought pattern leads to murmuring? How can we avoid this?

4    What simple remedy was provided for the snake bites? Where was the healing virtue in the brass serpent?

5    Where do we need to look to be saved from sin? What is involved in looking?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Smitten Rock

February 21 – 27, 2021

Key Text

“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:12).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 411–421.


“To dispel forever from the minds of the Israelites the idea that a man was leading them, God found it necessary to allow their leader to die before they entered the land of Canaan.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1116.



1.a. How were the Israelites supplied with water during their wilderness wanderings? Psalm 105:41; Isaiah 48:21.

Note: “From the smitten rock in Horeb first flowed the living stream that refreshed Israel in the desert. During all their wanderings, wherever the need existed, they were supplied with water by a miracle of God’s mercy. The water did not, however, continue to flow from Horeb. Wherever in their journeyings they wanted water, there from the clefts of the rock it gushed out beside their encampment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 411.

1.b.      Who was the source of all their temporal as well as spiritual blessings during their wanderings? Psalm 78:52–55.

Note: “He [Christ] is the source of all power, the giver of all temporal and spiritual blessings. He employs human beings as co-workers, giving them a part to act with Him as His helping hand. We are to receive from Him, not to hoard for self-gratification, but to impart to others.” The Review and Herald, April 4, 1907.



2.a. What trial of faith did the people of God have when they again came to Kadesh, and what was their reaction? Numbers 20:1–5.

Note: “Just before the Hebrew host reached Kadesh, the living stream ceased that for so many years had gushed out beside their encampment. It was the Lord’s purpose again to test His people. He would prove whether they would trust His providence or imitate the unbelief of their fathers.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 413.

“Before God permitted them to enter Canaan, they must show that they believed His promise. The water ceased before they had reached Edom. Here was an opportunity for them, for a little time, to walk by faith instead of sight. But the first trial developed the same turbulent, unthankful spirit that had been manifested by their fathers. No sooner was the cry for water heard in the encampment than they forgot the hand that had for so many years supplied their wants, and instead of turning to God for help, they murmured against Him.” Ibid., 414.

2.b.      What did Moses and Aaron do when they heard the complaints of the people? Numbers 20:6.

2.c. What were Moses and Aaron directed to do to satisfy the needs of the people? Numbers 20:7, 8. What mistaken idea, still cherished by the people, was the Lord trying to correct?

Note: “In all their wanderings, the children of Israel were tempted to attribute to Moses the special work of God, the mighty miracles that had been wrought to deliver them from Egyptian bondage. They charged Moses with bringing them out of the land of Egypt. It was true that God had manifested Himself wonderfully to Moses. He had specially favored him with His presence. To him God had revealed His exceeding glory. Upon the mount He had taken him into a sacred nearness to Himself, and had talked with him as a man speaks to a friend. But the Lord had given evidence after evidence that it was He Himself who was working for their deliverance.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1115, 1116.



3.a. How did Moses dishonor God when addressing the people? Numbers 20:9–11.

Note: “By his rash act Moses took away the force of the lesson that God purposed to teach. The rock, being a symbol of Christ, had been once smitten, as Christ was to be once offered. The second time it was needful only to speak to the rock, as we have only to ask for blessings in the name of Jesus. By the second smiting of the rock the significance of this beautiful figure of Christ was destroyed.

“More than this, Moses and Aaron had assumed power that belongs only to God. The necessity for divine interposition made the occasion one of great solemnity, and the leaders of Israel should have improved it to impress the people with reverence for God and to strengthen their faith in His power and goodness. When they angrily cried, ‘Must we fetch you water out of this rock?’ (Numbers 20:10)? they put themselves in God’s place, as though the power lay with themselves, men possessing human frailties and passions.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 418.

3.b.      What punishment did Moses and Aaron bring upon themselves? Why? Numbers 20:12; Deuteronomy 3:23–27.

Note: “God did not on this occasion pronounce judgments upon those whose wicked course had so provoked Moses and Aaron. All the reproof fell upon the leaders. … Moses and Aaron had felt themselves aggrieved, losing sight of the fact that the murmuring of the people was not against them but against God. It was by looking to themselves, appealing to their own sympathies, that they unconsciously fell into sin, and failed to set before the people their great guilt before God.

“Bitter and deeply humiliating was the judgment immediately pronounced. … With rebellious Israel they must die before the crossing of the Jordan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 418, 419.

“The transgression was known to the whole congregation; and had it been passed by lightly, the impression would have been given that unbelief and impatience under great provocation might be excused in those in responsible positions. But when it was declared that because of that one sin Moses and Aaron were not to enter Canaan, the people knew that God is no respecter of persons, and that He will surely punish the transgressor.” Ibid., 420.



4.a. Of whom was the smitten rock a type, and why was it wrong to smite the rock again? Isaiah 53:3–5.

Note: “The smitten rock was a figure of Christ, and through this symbol the most precious spiritual truths are taught. As the life-giving waters flowed from the smitten rock, so from Christ, ‘smitten of God,’ ‘wounded for our transgressions,’ ‘bruised for our iniquities’ (Isaiah 53:4, 5), the stream of salvation flows for a lost race. As the rock had been once smitten, so Christ was to be ‘once offered to bear the sins of many’ (Hebrews 9:28). Our Saviour was not to be sacrificed a second time; and it is only necessary for those who seek the blessings of His grace to ask in the name of Jesus, pouring forth the heart’s desire in penitential prayer. Such prayer will bring before the Lord of hosts the wounds of Jesus, and then will flow forth afresh the life-giving blood, symbolized by the flowing of the living water for Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 411.

4.b.      On what occasion and how was the flowing of water from the rock celebrated by the Jewish people in the days of Christ? John 7:37–39.

Note: “The flowing of the water from the rock in the desert was celebrated by the Israelites, after their establishment in Canaan, with demonstrations of great rejoicing. In the time of Christ this celebration had become a most impressive ceremony. It took place on the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles, when the people from all the land were assembled at Jerusalem. On each of the seven days of the feast the priests went out with music and the choir of Levites to draw water in a golden vessel from the spring of Siloam. They were followed by multitudes of the worshipers, as many as could get near the stream drinking of it, while the jubilant strains arose, ‘With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation’ (Isaiah 12:3). Then the water drawn by the priests was borne to the temple amid the sounding of trumpets and the solemn chant, ‘Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem’ (Psalm 122:2). The water was poured out upon the altar of burnt offering, while songs of praise rang out, the multitudes joining in triumphant chorus with musical instruments and deep-toned trumpets.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 412.



5.a. What lesson should we learn from the mistake of Moses? Psalm 106:33.

Note: “Moses was not guilty of a great crime, as men would view the matter; his sin was one of common occurrence. The psalmist says that ‘he spake unadvisedly with his lips’ (Psalm 106:33). To human judgment this may seem a light thing; but if God dealt so severely with this sin in His most faithful and honored servant, He will not excuse it in others. … The more important one’s position, and the greater his influence, the greater is the necessity that he should cultivate patience and humility.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 420.

5.b.      What warnings are calculated to keep us from self-exaltation? James 4:6, 7; 1 Corinthians 10:12.

Note: “However great one’s spiritual light, however much he may enjoy of the divine favor and blessing, he should ever walk humbly before the Lord, pleading in faith that God will direct every thought and control every impulse. …

“However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 421.



1    How did God supply water for the Israelites as they traveled? How does He supply our needs today?

2    How did the people react when God tested their faith? What about me?

3    Where was the focus of Moses and Aaron when they failed? Where is my focus, and what will the result be?

4    How was the beautiful lesson of the smitten Rock ruined by Moses?

5    How can I be kept safe from self-exaltation?

 Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Wandering Through the Wilderness

February 14 – 20, 2021

Key Text

“And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no” (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 406–410.


“The wilderness wandering was not only ordained as a judgment upon the rebels and murmurers, but it was to serve as a discipline for the rising generation, preparatory to their entrance into the Promised Land.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 407.



1.a. How long did the children of Israel wander in the wilderness before they came again to Kadesh and crossed the Brook Zered? Deuteronomy 2:14. Why did it take so long?

Note: “God gave positive evidence that He rules in the heavens, and rebellion was punished with death. Only two of those who as adults left Egypt, saw the promised land. The wanderings of the people were extended until the rest were buried in the wilderness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1113.

“Had Israel obeyed the directions given them by Moses, not one of those who started on the journey from Egypt would in the wilderness have fallen a prey to disease or death. They were under a safe Guide. Christ had pledged Himself to lead them safely to the promised land if they would follow His guidance. This vast multitude, numbering more than a million people, was under His direct rule. They were His family. In every one of them He was interested.” Ibid., 1118.



2.a. What evidences do we have of God’s care for His people during their time of wandering in the wilderness? Nehemiah 9:19–21; Psalm 105:37.

2.b.      How was the wilderness wandering a discipline for the rising generation? Deuteronomy 8:2, 3.

Note: “God permitted these lonely travels through the wilderness that His people might obtain an experience in enduring hardship, and that when they were in peril they might know that there was relief and deliverance in God alone. Thus they might learn to know and to trust God, and to serve Him with a living faith.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 409.

“As the people journeyed through the wilderness, many precious lessons were fixed in their minds by means of song. … The commandments as given from Sinai, with promises of God’s favor and records of His wonderful works for their deliverance, were by divine direction expressed in song, and were chanted to the sound of instrumental music, the people keeping step as their voices united in praise.

“Thus their thoughts were uplifted from the trials and difficulties of the way, the restless, turbulent spirit was soothed and calmed, the principles of truth were implanted in the memory, and faith was strengthened.” Education, 39.

2.c. What was the main reason why many of the Israelites were unable to enter the Promised Land? How can we avoid falling into the same sin? Hebrews 3:7–14.

Note: “It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness. … In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed and His people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which He had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning and find in Him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out.” The Great Controversy, 458.



3.a. What class of people often proved to be troublemakers? Numbers 11:4.

Note: “The mixed multitude that came up with the Israelites from Egypt were a source of continual temptation and trouble. They professed to have renounced idolatry and to worship the true God; but their early education and training had molded their habits and character, and they were more or less corrupted with idolatry and with irreverence for God. They were oftenest the ones to stir up strife and were the first to complain, and they leavened the camp with their idolatrous practices and their murmurings against God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 408.

3.b.      What was God’s command with regard to uniting with unbelievers? Deuteronomy 7:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 6:14. What about today?

Note: “They [the Israelites] were warned not to have any connection with idolaters, not to intermarry with them, nor in any way put themselves in danger of being affected and corrupted by their abominations. They were counseled to shun the very appearance of evil, not to dabble around the borders of sin, for this was the surest way to be engulfed in sin and ruin.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1000.

“God strictly forbade the intermarrying of His ancient people with other nations. … But the heathen were in a more favorable condition than are the impenitent in this age, who, having the light of truth, yet persistently refuse to accept it.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 508.

3.c. What is always the result of being closely associated with the unconverted? 1 Corinthians 15:33, 34.

Note: “It is wrong for Christians to associate with those whose morals are loose. An intimate, daily intercourse which occupies time without contributing in any degree to the strength of the intellect or morals is dangerous. If the moral atmosphere surrounding persons is not pure and sanctified, but is tainted with corruption, those who breathe this atmosphere will find that it operates almost insensibly upon the intellect and heart to poison and to ruin.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 125.



4.a. How was contempt for divine authority and violation of the third commandment punished? Leviticus 24:10–16, 23.

Note: “On one occasion the son of an Israelitish woman and of an Egyptian, one of the mixed multitude that had come up with Israel from Egypt, left his own part of the camp, and entering that of the Israelites, claimed the right to pitch his tent there. This the divine law forbade him to do, the descendants of an Egyptian being excluded from the congregation until the third generation. A dispute arose between him and an Israelite, and the matter being referred to the judges was decided against the offender.

“Enraged at this decision, he cursed the judge, and in the heat of passion blasphemed the name of God. … God Himself pronounced the sentence; by the divine direction the blasphemer was conducted outside the camp and stoned to death. Those who had been witness to the sin placed their hands upon his head, thus solemnly testifying to the truth of the charge against him. Then they threw the first stones, and the people who stood by afterward joined in executing the sentence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 407, 408.

4.b.      Why was the punishment for these offenses so severe? Exodus 20:7.

Note: “There are those who will question God’s love and His justice in visiting so severe punishment for words spoken in the heat of passion. But both love and justice require it to be shown that utterances prompted by malice against God are a great sin. The retribution visited upon the first offender would be a warning to others, that God’s name is to be held in reverence. But had this man’s sin been permitted to pass unpunished, others would have been demoralized; and as the result many lives must eventually have been sacrificed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 408.

4.c. How do we sometimes show contempt for God’s authority today? Judges 17:6.

Note: “The sin of this age is disregard of God’s express commands.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 483.



5.a. Why did the Lord require obedience of His ancient people? Deuteronomy 6:1, 2, 24, 25. Where does true obedience spring from? Deuteronomy 6:5, 6.

Note: “All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.” The Desire of Ages, 668.

5.b.      Where should we begin to teach obedience and why? Deuteronomy 6:7–9.

Note: “From their earliest life children should be taught to obey their parents, to respect their word, and to reverence their authority. … In respecting and rendering obedience to their parents, they may learn how to respect and obey their heavenly Father.” Child Guidance, 82, 83.

“Let the youth and the little children be taught to choose for themselves that royal robe woven in heaven’s loom—the ‘fine linen, clean and white’ (Revelation 19:8), which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This robe, Christ’s own spotless character, is freely offered to every human being. But all who receive it will receive and wear it here.

“Let the children be taught that as they open their minds to pure, loving thoughts and do loving and helpful deeds, they are clothing themselves with His beautiful garment of character.” Ibid., 190.



1    Had the Israelites obeyed Moses, what would have happened to them?

2    What role did singing have in the wilderness journey?

3    What is to be our sole purpose in associating with unbelievers?

4    How can we reverence God’s name today?

5    How may we be daily clothing ourselves with Christ’s character?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

February 7 – 13, 2021

Key Text

“And they [Korah, Dathan, and Abiram] rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown” (Numbers 16:2).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 395–405.


“The former rebellions had been mere popular tumults, arising from the sudden impulse of the excited multitude; but now a deep-laid conspiracy was formed, the result of a determined purpose to overthrow the authority of the leaders appointed by God Himself.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 395.



1.a. What conspiracy developed among the Israelites while they were chafing under the Lord’s decision that they must wander in the wilderness forty years? Who were the main conspirators? Numbers 16:1–3.

1.b.      What test did Moses propose to the conspirators to prove the divine call? Numbers 16:4–7, 16–18. Why were the people inclined to sympathize with the rebels?

Note: “To those who are in the wrong, and deserving of reproof, there is nothing more pleasing than to receive sympathy and praise.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 397.

“The people thought if Korah could lead them, and encourage them, and dwell upon their righteous acts, instead of reminding them of their failures, they should have a very peaceful, prosperous journey, and he would without doubt lead them, not back and forward in the wilderness, but into the promised land. They said that it was Moses who had told them that they could not go into the land, and that the Lord had not thus said.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 31.



2.a. How did Moses try to reason with the main rebels, and of what did they accuse him? Numbers 16:8–15.

Note: “Dathan and Abiram had not taken so bold a stand as had Korah; and Moses, hoping that they might have been drawn into the conspiracy without having become wholly corrupted, summoned them to appear before him, that he might hear their charges against him. But they would not come, and they insolently refused to acknowledge his authority. …

“Thus they applied to the scene of their bondage the very language in which the Lord had described the promised inheritance. They accused Moses of pretending to act under divine guidance, as a means of establishing his authority. …

“It was evident that the sympathies of the people were with the disaffected party; but Moses made no effort at self-vindication. He solemnly appealed to God, in the presence of the congregation, as a witness to the purity of his motives and the uprightness of his conduct, and implored Him to be his judge.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 399.

2.b.      What efforts did Moses and Aaron make to save the congregation from destruction? Numbers 16:22–30. What was the result of their efforts?

Note: “They [Moses and Aaron] fell upon their faces, with the prayer, ‘O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt Thou be wroth with all the congregation’ (Numbers 16:22)?

“Korah had withdrawn from the assembly to join Dathan and Abiram when Moses, accompanied by the seventy elders, went down with a last warning to the men who had refused to come to him. The multitudes followed, and before delivering his message, Moses, by divine direction, bade the people, ‘Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.’ (verse 26). The warning was obeyed, for an apprehension of impending judgment rested upon all. The chief rebels saw themselves abandoned by those whom they had deceived, but their hardihood was unshaken. They stood with their families in the door of their tents, as if in defiance of the divine warning.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 400.



3.a. What fate befell the rebels? Numbers 16:31–35.

Note: “The eyes of all Israel were fixed upon Moses as they stood, in terror and expectation, awaiting the event. As he ceased speaking, the solid earth parted, and the rebels went down alive into the pit, with all that pertained to them, and ‘they perished from among the congregation’ (Numbers 16:33, last part). The people fled, self-condemned as partakers in the sin.

“But the judgments were not ended. Fire flashing from the cloud consumed the two hundred and fifty princes who had offered incense. These men, not being the first in rebellion, were not destroyed with the chief conspirators. They were permitted to see their end, and to have an opportunity for repentance; but their sympathies were with the rebels, and they shared their fate.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 400, 401.

3.b.      How do we know that God does not punish indiscriminately? Who was spared? Deuteronomy 24:16; Numbers 26:9–11; 1 Chronicles 9:19. What lessons can we learn from this?

Note: “The children were not condemned for the sins of the parents; but when, with a knowledge of all the light given to their parents, the children rejected the additional light granted to themselves, they became partakers of the parents’ sins, and filled up the measure of their iniquity.” The Great Controversy, 28.

“When Moses was entreating Israel to flee from the coming destruction, the divine judgment might even then have been stayed, if Korah and his company had repented and sought forgiveness. But their stubborn persistence sealed their doom. … God in His great mercy made a distinction between the leaders in rebellion and those whom they had led. The people who had permitted themselves to be deceived were still granted space for repentance. Overwhelming evidence had been given that they were wrong, and that Moses was right. The signal manifestation of God’s power had removed all uncertainty.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 401.

3.c. What use was made of the censers of the rebels? For what purpose? Numbers 16:36–40.



4.a. Despite the evidences that were given to the congregation, what course did they pursue toward Moses and Aaron on the next day? Numbers 16:41.

Note: “It is hardly possible for men to offer greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities He would use for their salvation. The Israelites had not only done this, but had purposed to put both Moses and Aaron to death. Yet they did not realize the necessity of seeking pardon of God for their grievous sin. That night of probation was not passed in repentance and confession, but in devising some way to resist the evidences which showed them to be the greatest of sinners. They still cherished hatred of the men of God’s appointment, and braced themselves to resist their authority. Satan was at hand to pervert their judgment and lead them blindfold to destruction.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 402.

4.b.      In what way did the Lord intervene once more with a severe punishment, and what did Moses and Aaron do to avert the judgment? Numbers 16:44–49.

Note: “Even after God stretched forth His hand and swallowed up the wrong-doers, and the people fled to their tents in horror, their rebellion was not cured. The depth of their disaffection was made manifest even under the judgment of the Lord. The morning after the destruction of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and their confederates, the people came to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘Ye have killed the people of the Lord.’ (Numbers 16:41, last part). For this false charge on the servants of God, thousands more were killed, for there was in them sin, exultation and presumptuous wickedness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1114.

“The guilt of sin did not rest upon Moses, and hence he did not fear and did not hasten away and leave the congregation to perish. Moses lingered, in this fearful crisis manifesting the true shepherd’s interest for the flock of his care. He pleaded that the wrath of God might not utterly destroy the people of His choice. By his intercession he stayed the arm of vengeance, that a full end might not be made of disobedient, rebellious Israel. …

“As the smoke of the incense ascended, the prayers of Moses in the tabernacle went up to God; and the plague was stayed; but not until fourteen thousand of Israel lay dead, an evidence of the guilt of murmuring and rebellion.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 402, 403.



5.a. What test settled the question of the priesthood forever, and where was Aaron’s rod kept as a witness? Numbers 17:1–11.

Note: “All the remarkable changes in the rod occurred in one night, to convince them that God had positively distinguished between Aaron and the rest of the children of Israel.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1115.

5.b.      What warning comes to us from that great rebellion? 1 Corinthians 10:10, 11.

Note: “Do not the same evils still exist that lay at the foundation of Korah’s ruin? Pride and ambition are widespread; and when these are cherished, they open the door to envy, and a striving for supremacy; the soul is alienated from God, and unconsciously drawn into the ranks of Satan. Like Korah and his companions, many, even of the professed followers of Christ, are thinking, planning, and working so eagerly for self-exaltation that in order to gain the sympathy and support of the people they are ready to pervert the truth, falsifying and misrepresenting the Lord’s servants, and even charging them with the base and selfish motives that inspire their own hearts. By persistently reiterating falsehood, and that against all evidence, they at last come to believe it to be truth. While endeavoring to destroy the confidence of the people in the men of God’s appointment, they really believe that they are engaged in a good work, verily doing God service.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 403, 404.



1    What attitude is pleasing to the natural heart when we are in the wrong?

2    When Dathan and Abiram refused to come and speak to Moses, what was significant about their families standing next to them?

3    What lesson can we learn from God’s treatment of the children of Korah?

4    After the destruction of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their confederates, what was the response of the people? Why is this attitude so dangerous?

5    What cherished attitudes lay at the foundation of rebellion against God?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Rebellion at Kadesh

Wilderness Wonderings (2)

January 31 – February 6, 2021

Key Text

“But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it” (Numbers 14:24).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 387–394.


“The Lord promised to spare Israel from immediate destruction; but because of their unbelief and cowardice He could not manifest His power to subdue their enemies. Therefore in His mercy He bade them, as the only safe course, to turn back toward the Red Sea.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 391.



1.a. For what purpose were spies sent from Kadesh into the land of Canaan? Actually, whose idea was it for the spies to go into the land of Canaan? Numbers 13:1–3; 17–20; Deuteronomy 1:20–25.

1.b.      After how many days did the spies return to Kadesh, and what visible tokens of the fertility of the land did they bring back? Numbers 13:21–26.

Note: “They went, and surveyed the whole land, entering at the southern border and proceeding to the northern extremity. They returned after an absence of forty days. The people of Israel were cherishing high hopes and were waiting in eager expectancy. The news of the spies’ return was carried from tribe to tribe and was hailed with rejoicing. The people rushed out to meet the messengers, who had safely escaped the dangers of their perilous undertaking. The spies brought specimens of the fruit, showing the fertility of the soil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 387.



2.a. What report did ten of the spies bring? Numbers 13:27–29, 31–33.

Note: “They [the ten spies] were resolved to discourage all effort to gain possession of Canaan. They distorted the truth in order to sustain their baleful influence. … When men yield their hearts to unbelief they place themselves under the control of Satan, and none can tell to what lengths he will lead them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 389.

2.b.      What was the response of Caleb and Joshua? Numbers 13:30; 14:6–9. What is one of our greatest needs today?

Note: “Calebs have been greatly needed in different periods of the history of our work. Today we need men of thorough fidelity, men who follow the Lord fully, men who are not disposed to be silent when they ought to speak, who are as true as steel to principle, who do not seek to make a pretentious show, but who walk humbly with God, patient, kind, obliging, courteous men, who understand that the science of prayer is to exercise faith and show works that will tell to the glory of God and the good of His people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1113.

2.c. How did the people receive the conflicting reports of the spies? Numbers 14:1–4, 10.

Note: “Hope and courage gave place to cowardly despair, as the spies uttered the sentiments of their unbelieving hearts, which were filled with discouragement prompted by Satan. Their unbelief cast a gloomy shadow over the congregation, and the mighty power of God, so often manifested in behalf of the chosen nation, was forgotten. The people did not wait to reflect; they did not reason that He who had brought them thus far would certainly give them the land; they did not call to mind how wonderfully God had delivered them from their oppressors, cutting a path through the sea and destroying the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 388.

“Revolt and open mutiny quickly followed; for Satan had full sway, and the people seemed bereft of reason.” Ibid., 389.



3.a. How did Moses and Aaron act when they saw that the people had accepted the cowardly report and were getting rebellious? Numbers 14:5.

Note: “In humiliation and distress ‘Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel’ (Numbers 14:5). not knowing what to do to turn them from their rash and passionate purpose. Caleb and Joshua attempted to quiet the tumult. With their garments rent in token of grief and indignation, they rushed in among the people, and their ringing voices were heard above the tempest of lamentation and rebellious grief: ‘The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not’ (verses 7–9).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 389, 390.

3.b.      How did the Lord intervene at this crucial moment, and what did He say? Numbers 14:10–12.

Note: “The unfaithful spies were loud in denunciation of Caleb and Joshua, and the cry was raised to stone them. The insane mob seized missiles with which to slay those faithful men. They rushed forward with yells of madness, when suddenly the stones dropped from their hands, a hush fell upon them, and they shook with fear. God had interposed to check their murderous design. The glory of His presence, like a flaming light, illuminated the tabernacle. All the people beheld the signal of the Lord. A mightier one than they had revealed Himself, and none dared continue their resistance. The spies who brought the evil report crouched terror-stricken, and with bated breath sought their tents.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 390.

3.c. As Moses pleaded with the Lord, what reason did he give for the Lord to pardon and spare the people of Israel? Numbers 14:13–19.



4.a. What sentence did the Lord pronounce upon the murmurers and rebels? Numbers 14:22, 23, 29–33.

Note: “In their rebellion the people had exclaimed, ‘Would God we had died in this wilderness’ (Numbers 14:2, last part)! Now this prayer was to be granted. … As the spies had spent forty days in their journey, so the hosts of Israel were to wander in the wilderness forty years.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 391.

4.b.      How did God punish the ten spies who gave the evil report? Numbers 14:36, 37.

Note: “When Moses made known to the people the divine decision, their rage was changed to mourning. They knew that their punishment was just. The ten unfaithful spies, divinely smitten by the plague, perished before the eyes of all Israel; and in their fate the people read their own doom.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 391.

 4.c. What sin of presumption did the murmurers commit the next day, and with what results? Numbers 14:39–45.

Note: “Forced to submission at last, the survivors ‘returned, and wept before the Lord;’ but ‘the Lord would not hearken’ to their voice (Deuteronomy 1:45). By their signal victory the enemies of Israel, who had before awaited with trembling the approach of that mighty host, were inspired with confidence to resist them. All the reports they had heard concerning the marvelous things that God had wrought for His people, they now regarded as false, and they felt that there was no cause for fear. That first defeat of Israel, by inspiring the Canaanites with courage and resolution, had greatly increased the difficulties of the conquest. Nothing remained for Israel but to fall back from the face of their victorious foes, into the wilderness, knowing that here must be the grave of a whole generation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 394.



5.a. What kind of repentance leads to salvation? 2 Corinthians 7:10. What was missing in the sorrow of the Israelites?

Note: “Now they [the people] seemed sincerely to repent of their sinful conduct; but they sorrowed because of the result of their evil course rather than from a sense of their ingratitude and disobedience. When they found that the Lord did not relent in His decree, their self-will again arose, and they declared that they would not return into the wilderness. In commanding them to retire from the land of their enemies, God tested their apparent submission and proved that it was not real. … Their hearts were unchanged, and they only needed an excuse to occasion a similar outbreak. …

“Had they mourned for their sin when it was faithfully laid before them, this sentence would not have been pronounced; but they mourned for the judgment; their sorrow was not repentance, and could not secure a reversing of their sentence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 391, 392.

5.b.      What accompanies true repentance? Acts 3:19.

Note: “In order to stand forgiven, the sinner must exercise repentance toward God, whose law has been transgressed, and faith in Christ, his atoning sacrifice. Without true repentance, there can be no true conversion.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 298.



1    What was shown by the fact that the people were eager to send spies to survey the land?

2    How did unbelief affect the ten spies and the congregation as a whole? How can we show the same unbelief?

3    How does a true leader attempt to counteract the work of complainers?

4    Would you like God to take you at your word when you speak in haste?

5    If I am truly sorry for my sins, what will it lead to in my own life?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Departing from Sinai

January 24 – 30, 2021

Key text

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 374–386.


“The repeated murmurings of the Israelites, and the visitations of God’s wrath because of their transgressions, are recorded in sacred history for the benefit of God’s people who should afterward live upon the earth, but more especially to prove a warning to those who should live near the close of time.” The Story of Redemption, 152.



1.a. Why did Moses invite Hobab to accompany the people of Israel? Did he accept the invitation? Numbers 10:29–31; Judges 1:16; 4:11.

Note: “Of this tribe [the Kenites] was the brother-in-law of Moses, Hobab, who had accompanied the Israelites in their travels through the wilderness, and by his knowledge of the country had rendered them valuable assistance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 628.

1.b.      What prayers did Moses offer when the cloud lifted and the ark [of the covenant] set forward and when it rested again? Numbers 10:35, 36.

Note: “God Himself directed the Israelites in all their travels. The place of their encampment was indicated by the descent of the pillar of cloud; and so long as they were to remain in camp, the cloud rested over the tabernacle. When they were to continue their journey it was lifted high above the sacred tent. A solemn invocation marked both the halt and the departure.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 376.



2.a. Through what sort of land did the people of Israel travel after they left Sinai? Why? Deuteronomy 8:15, 16; Jeremiah 2:6.

Note: “As they advanced, the way became more difficult. Their route lay through stony ravine and barren waste. All around them was the great wilderness—‘a land of deserts and of pits,’ ‘a land of drought, and of the shadow of death,’ ‘a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt’ (Jeremiah 2:6). The rocky gorges, far and near, were thronged with men, women, and children, with beasts and wagons, and long lines of flocks and herds. Their progress was necessarily slow and toilsome; and the multitudes, after their long encampment, were not prepared to endure the perils and discomforts of the way.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 377.

2.b.      When the people began complaining about the discomforts along the way, what happened? Numbers 11:1–3.

Note: “After three days’ journey open complaints were heard. These originated with the mixed multitude, many of whom were not fully united with Israel, and were continually watching for some cause of censure. The complainers were not pleased with the direction of the march, and they were continually finding fault with the way in which Moses was leading them, though they well knew that he, as well as they, was following the guiding cloud. Dissatisfaction is contagious, and it soon spread in the encampment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 377.

“They [the people of Israel] had received great light, as they had been witnesses to the majesty, the power, and the mercy of God; and their unbelief and discontent incurred the greater guilt. Furthermore, they had covenanted to accept Jehovah as their king and to obey His authority. Their murmuring was now rebellion, and as such it must receive prompt and signal punishment, if Israel was to be preserved from anarchy and ruin. ‘The fire of Jehovah burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp’ (Numbers 11:1). The most guilty of the complainers were slain by lightning from the cloud.” Ibid., 379.



3.a. What did the Israelites complain about next, and with whom did the murmuring begin? Numbers 11:4–6; Psalm 78:18–20.

Note: “The Israelites, during their bondage in Egypt, had been compelled to subsist on the plainest and simplest food; but the keen appetite induced by privation and hard labor had made it palatable. Many of the Egyptians, however, who were now among them, had been accustomed to a luxurious diet; and these were the first to complain. At the giving of the manna, just before Israel reached Sinai, the Lord had granted them flesh in answer to their clamors; but it was furnished them for only one day.

“God might as easily have provided them with flesh as with manna, but a restriction was placed upon them for their good. It was His purpose to supply them with food better suited to their wants than the feverish diet to which many had become accustomed in Egypt. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man—the fruits of the earth, which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden. It was for this reason that the Israelites had been deprived, in a great measure, of animal food.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 377, 378.

“The state of the mind has largely to do with the health of the body, and especially with the health of the digestive organs. As a general thing, the Lord did not provide His people with flesh meat in the desert, because He knew that the use of this diet would create disease and insubordination. In order to modify the disposition, and bring the higher powers of the mind into active exercise, He removed from them the flesh of dead animals. He gave them angels’ food, manna from heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1112, 1113.

3.b.      How was their demand for flesh food granted, and what were the results? Numbers 11:31–34; Psalm 78:26–32.

Note: “God gave the people that which was not for their highest good, because they persisted in desiring it; they would not be satisfied with those things that would prove a benefit to them. Their rebellious desires were gratified, but they were left to suffer the result. They feasted without restraint, and their excesses were speedily punished.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 382.



4.a. As the Israelites were already used to plain, simple food, what prior warning did they ignore? Exodus 23:2, first part. When tempted to murmur and complain about God’s ways, what should we do? Psalm 107:21, 22; Philippians 4:6, 7.

4.b.      What other lesson should we learn from the rebellious behavior of Israel in the wilderness? 1 Corinthians 10:5, 6.

Note “God brought the Israelites from Egypt, that He might establish them in the land of Canaan, a pure, holy, and happy people. In the accomplishment of this object He subjected them to a course of discipline, both for their own good and for the good of their posterity. Had they been willing to deny appetite, in obedience to His wise restrictions, feebleness and disease would have been unknown among them. Their descendants would have possessed both physical and mental strength. They would have had clear perceptions of truth and duty, keen discrimination, and sound judgment. But their unwillingness to submit to the restrictions and requirements of God, prevented them, to a great extent, from reaching the high standard which He desired them to attain, and from receiving the blessings which He was ready to bestow upon them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 378.

4.c. What do we need to do first to ensure that we do not lust after evil things? Romans 13:14.

Note: “We must fight against the sins that war against the soul. You cannot in your own strength do this work, but come to Jesus in faith. He will help you and strengthen you to put away evil tendencies, and will array you in the true beauty of His character. We are exhorted to put on the Lord Jesus. Simple faith and obedience go hand in hand. Your faith without obedience to God’s holy law is of no value, but obedience to God and faith in the Great Sacrifice offered—that His blood was shed for you, and you will accept the righteousness of Christ—will make you an overcomer. Put your trust in Jesus Christ, and He will bring you off more than conqueror.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 18, 1886.



5.a. What happened at Hazeroth, which revealed the characters of Aaron and Miriam in contrast to that of Moses? Numbers 12:1–9.

Note: “God had chosen Moses, and had put His Spirit upon him; and Miriam and Aaron, by their murmurings, were guilty of disloyalty, not only to their appointed leader, but to God Himself. The seditious whisperers were summoned to the tabernacle, and brought face to face with Moses. … Their claim to the prophetic gift was not denied; God might have spoken to them in visions and dreams. But to Moses, whom the Lord Himself declared ‘faithful in all Mine house’ (Numbers 12:7), a nearer communion had been granted. With him God spake mouth to mouth.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 384, 385. [Emphasis author’s.]

5.b.      How did the Lord show His displeasure, and how was Miriam’s punishment mitigated when Moses pleaded for her? Numbers 12:10–16.

Note: “Envy is one of the most satanic traits that can exist in the human heart, and it is one of the most baleful in its effects. Says the wise man, ‘Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy’ (Proverbs 27:4)? …

“It should not be regarded as a light thing to speak evil of others or to make ourselves judges of their motives or actions. …

“We are to honor those whom God has honored. The judgment visited upon Miriam should be a rebuke to all who yield to jealousy, and murmur against those upon whom God lays the burden of His work.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 385, 386.



1    How did God lead His people in their travels? How does He lead us today?

2    Why was it so sinful for the Israelites to complain about how Moses was leading them?

3    Why does God want us to follow a simple, vegetarian diet today?

4    What blessings come from self-denial in appetite?

5    How are we sometimes envious in a similar way to Miriam?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.