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 – Dealing with Misunderstanding

March 8 – 14, 2020

Key Text

“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly” (Proverbs 14:29).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 518–520.


“No one was ever reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.



a. The children of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh were all situated on the east side of Jordan. What problems were associated with having such a distant location from the sanctuary? Joshua 22:10.

Note: “They [these tribes] were now to dwell at a distance from the sanctuary of the Lord, and it was with an anxious heart that Joshua witnessed their departure, knowing how strong would be the temptations, in their isolated and wandering life, to fall into the customs of the heathen tribes that dwelt upon their borders.

“While the minds of Joshua and other leaders were still oppressed with anxious forebodings, strange tidings reached them. Beside the Jordan, near the place of Israel’s miraculous passage of the river, the two and a half tribes had erected a great altar, similar to the altar of burnt offering at Shiloh.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518.

b. How did the remaining tribes react? Why? Joshua 22:11, 12.

Note: “The law of God prohibited, on pain of death, the establishment of another worship than that at the sanctuary. If such was the object of this altar, it would, if permitted to remain, lead the people away from the true faith.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518.



a. When the two and a half tribes east of Jordan built an altar, what calm approach cooled down the initial reaction of the others? Joshua 22:13, 14.

Note: “The representatives of the people assembled at Shiloh, and in the heat of their excitement and indignation proposed to make war at once upon the offenders. Through the influence of the more cautious, however, it was decided to send first a delegation to obtain from the two and a half tribes an explanation of their conduct. Ten princes, one from each tribe, were chosen. At their head was Phinehas, who had distinguished himself by his zeal in the matter of Peor.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518.

b. Explain the appeal that was made to the eastern tribes. Joshua 22:15–18.

Note: “The two and a half tribes had been at fault in entering, without explanation, upon an act open to such grave suspicions. The ambassadors, taking it for granted that their brethren were guilty, met them with sharp rebuke. They accused them of rebelling against the Lord, and bade them remember how judgments had been visited upon Israel for joining themselves to Baalpeor.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518.

c. To what experience was Phinehas referring? Numbers 25:1–9. What should we learn from the spirit he manifested toward his brethren? Joshua 22:19.

Note: “In behalf of all Israel, Phinehas stated to the children of Gad and Reuben that if they were unwilling to abide in that land without an altar for sacrifice, they would be welcome to a share in the possessions and privileges of their brethren on the other side.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518, 519.

“We need good, heart religion and divine wisdom to deal with human minds, that we shall not only reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine, but we shall take the erring in our arms of faith and bear them to the cross of Christ.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 339.



a. How serious a comparison did the tribes on the western side of Jordan make regarding the altar built on the east side of Jordan? Joshua 22:20. What can we learn from their mistaken zeal for the right?

Note: “Care should be exercised by all Christians, to shun the two extremes, of laxness in dealing with sin on the one hand, and harsh judgment and groundless suspicion on the other. The Israelites who manifested so much zeal against the men of Gad and Reuben remembered how, in Achan’s case, God had rebuked the lack of vigilance to discover the sins existing among them. Then they resolved to act promptly and earnestly in the future; but in seeking to do this they went to the opposite extreme. Instead of meeting their brethren with censure, they should first have made courteous inquiry to learn all the facts in the case.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 999.

b. How did the children of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh explain their reason for the altar on the east side of Jordan? Joshua 22:21–29.

Note: “The accused explained that their altar was not intended for sacrifice, but simply as a witness that, although separated by the river, they were of the same faith as their brethren in Canaan. They had feared that in future years their children might be excluded from the tabernacle, as having no part in Israel. Then this altar, erected after the pattern of the altar of the Lord at Shiloh, would be a witness that its builders were also worshipers of the living God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.

c. How did the reasoning approach prove to be successful? Joshua 22:30, 31.

Note: “With great joy the ambassadors accepted this explanation, and immediately carried back the tidings to those who sent them. All thoughts of war were dismissed, and the people united in rejoicing, and praise to God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.



a. To reveal that their intentions were honorable in having an altar east of Jordan, what did the children of Gad and Reuben do? Joshua 22:34.

Note: “The children of Gad and Reuben now placed upon their altar an inscription pointing out the purpose for which it was erected; and they said, ‘It shall be a witness between us that Jehovah is God’ (Joshua 22:34). Thus they endeavored to prevent future misapprehension and to remove what might be a cause of temptation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.

b. What wise lessons are we to learn from this experience among the tribes? Proverbs 14:17, 29; James 1:19.

Note: “How often serious difficulties arise from a simple misunderstanding, even among those who are actuated by the worthiest motives; and without the exercise of courtesy and forbearance, what serious and even fatal results may follow. …

“While very sensitive to the least blame in regard to their own course, many are too severe in dealing with those whom they suppose to be in error.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.

“The powers of darkness will assault every soul, but let us not join with the evil one in his work, and deal with severity to discourage and dishearten the weak and erring. Let us be pitiful, compassionate one to another, and let an influence go out from us to heal, to bind up, to establish, rather than to wound and to uproot. There is altogether too much haste … and often that which we think is justice, the Lord writes in His book as oppression. … Let us love one another, be kind and courteous.” The Review and Herald, October 24, 1893.

c. What other principles should we keep in mind when dealing with our brethren? 1Corinthians 13:4; Ephesians 4:32.

 Note: “In all your transactions with your fellow men never forget that you are dealing with God’s property. Be kind; be pitiful; be courteous. Respect God’s purchased possession. Treat one another with tenderness and courtesy.” My Life Today, 235.



a. What should we remember when we are falsely accused? What attitude should we have? 1Peter 2:19–24; 4:14–16.

 Note: “The wisdom displayed by the Reubenites and their companions is worthy of imitation. While honestly seeking to promote the cause of true religion, they were misjudged and severely censured; yet they manifested no resentment. They listened with courtesy and patience to the charges of their brethren before attempting to make their defense, and then fully explained their motives and showed their innocence. Thus the difficulty which had threatened such serious consequences was amicably settled.

“Even under false accusation those who are in the right can afford to be calm and considerate. God is acquainted with all that is misunderstood and misinterpreted by men, and we can safely leave our case in His hands. He will as surely vindicate the cause of those who put their trust in Him as He searched out the guilt of Achan. Those who are actuated by the spirit of Christ will possess that charity which suffers long and is kind.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 520.

“How much of evil would be averted, if all, when falsely accused, would avoid recrimination, and in its stead employ mild, conciliating words. And at the same time, those who in their zeal to oppose sin have indulged unjust suspicions, should ever seek to take the most favorable view of their brethren, and should rejoice when they are found guiltless.” The Signs of the Times, May 12, 1881.



1    To what perils are isolated members of the church especially exposed?

2    What examples do I recall when a calmer approach may have yielded better results in dealing with others?

3    Why does honest, open interaction in the spirit of Christ always pay off?

4    With what attitude should I approach those whom I think are in error?

5    If I feel that I am falsely accused, what knowledge will lead me to leave my case in God’s hands? How will this affect my frame of mind?

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

Bible Study Guides – Following the Ark

July 15, 2012 – July 21, 2012

Key Text

“When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.” Joshua 3:3.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 348, 349; 481–486.


“Study carefully the experiences of Israel in their travels to Canaan. Study the third and fourth chapters of Joshua, recording their preparation for and passage over the Jordan into the promised land.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 994.


  • Where did the children of Israel encamp before crossing into the Promised Land? Joshua 3:1.

Note: “The Israelites were still encamped on the east side of Jordan, which presented the first barrier to the occupation of Canaan. ‘Arise,’ had been the first message of God to Joshua, ‘go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them’ [Joshua 1:2]. No instruction was given as to the way in which they were to make the passage. Joshua knew, however, that whatever God should command, He would make a way for His people to perform, and in this faith the intrepid leader at once began his arrangements for an advance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 482.

  • During the time of their preparation for the longed-for crossing, what event were the people waiting for as the signal for advance? Joshua 3:2, 3.

Note: “The ‘ark of the covenant’ was to lead the way before the host. When they [the Israelites] should see the token of Jehovah’s presence, borne by the priests, remove from its place in the center of the camp, and advance toward the river, then they were to remove from their place, ‘and go after it’ [Joshua 3:3].” Patriarchs and Prophets, 483, 484.


  • Why was a great space required between the ark and the congregation? What were they to follow in order to have absolute safety? Joshua 3:4.

Note: “At the appointed time began the onward movement, the ark, borne upon the shoulders of the priests, leading the van. The people had been directed to fall back, so that there was a vacant space of more than half a mile about the ark. All watched with deep interest as the priests advanced down the bank of the Jordan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What was God preparing to show them once again as they continued their journey? Joshua 3:5.

Note: “Leaving their encampment in the acacia groves of Shittim, the host descended to the border of the Jordan. All knew, however, that without divine aid they could not hope to make the passage. At this time of the year—in the spring season—the melting snows of the mountains had so raised the Jordan that the river overflowed its banks, making it impossible to cross at the usual fording places. God willed that the passage of Israel over Jordan should be miraculous. Joshua, by divine direction, commanded the people to sanctify themselves; they must put away their sins and free themselves from all outward impurity; ‘for tomorrow,’ he said, ‘the Lord will do wonders among you’ [Joshua 3:5].” Patriarchs and Prophets, 483.

  • At the time of the remarkable event, what commands of Joshua prepared the people to move in an orderly and godly fashion? Joshua 3:6, 7.

Note: “When ancient Israel journeyed, the ark of the covenant went before them. Beneath the mercy-seat, which was the cover of the ark, were the tables of the law. The ark was a symbol of the presence of God; and the glory of the Lord, which is His righteousness, shall be the rearward of His people.” The Review and Herald, February 20, 1894.


  • How was the miraculous crossing of the Jordan going to give the people an assurance of victory in their future endeavors to conquer the Promised Land? Joshua 3:8–10.

Note: “When the tidings that God had stayed the waters of Jordan before the children of Israel, reached the kings of the Amorites and of the Canaanites, their hearts melted with fear. The Hebrews had already slain the five kings of Midian, the powerful Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og of Bashan, and now the passage over the swollen and impetuous Jordan filled all the surrounding nations with terror. To the Canaanites, to all Israel, and to Joshua himself, unmistakable evidence had been given that the living God, the King of heaven and earth, was among His people, and that He would not fail them nor forsake them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 485.

  • What can we learn from the way some were called to take the lead in exercising faith by entering the turbulent waters of Jordan? Joshua 3:14, 15.

Note: “The priests obeyed the commands of their leader and went before the people, carrying the ark of the covenant. The Hebrew hosts took up the line of march and followed this symbol of the divine presence. The wide column filed down the bank of Jordan, and, as the feet of the priests were dipped in the brim of the river, the water was cut off from above, and the volume below rolled on, leaving the bed of the stream dry. The priests passed on, bearing the ark of God, and Israel followed in the rear. Halfway over Jordan the priests were commanded to stand still in the channel of the river till all the Hebrew host had crossed over. This was to impress upon their minds more forcibly the fact that the power which stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that enabled their fathers to cross the Red Sea forty years before.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 157.

“Young men who have never made a success in the temporal duties of life will be equally unprepared to engage in the higher duties. A religious experience is gained only through conflict, through disappointment, through severe discipline of self, through earnest prayer. The steps to heaven must be taken one at a time, and every advance step gives strength for the next.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 100.


  • As the Israelites moved forward in faith, what miracle made it possible for the entire people to cross over into the land of Canaan? Joshua 3:11–17.

Note: “They [the congregation] saw them [the priests] with the sacred ark move steadily forward toward the angry, surging stream, till the feet of the bearers were dipped into the waters. Then suddenly the tide above was swept back, while the current below flowed on, and the bed of the river was laid bare.

“At the divine command the priests advanced to the middle of the channel and stood there while the entire host descended and crossed to the farther side. Thus was impressed upon the minds of all Israel the fact that the power that stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that had opened the Red Sea to their fathers forty years before. When the people had all passed over, the ark itself was borne to the western shore. No sooner had it reached a place of security, and ‘the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land’ [Joshua 4:8], than the imprisoned waters, being set free, rushed down, a resistless flood, in the natural channel of the stream.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What did God request once the people had crossed the river? Joshua 4:1–5. Why do we need tangible reminders of God’s miracles? Revelation 12:11.

Note: “All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb.” Early Writings, 114.

“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.


  • What was the purpose of the twelve stones that needed to be picked up from the midst of the Jordan’s dry riverbed? Joshua 4:6–10, 20–24.

Note: “Coming generations were not to be without a witness to this great miracle [of crossing the Jordan]. While the priests bearing the ark were still in the midst of Jordan, twelve men previously chosen, one from each tribe, took up each a stone from the river bed where the priests were standing, and carried it over to the western side. These stones were to be set up as a monument in the first camping place beyond the river.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What was the first thing that entered the river, and what was the last thing that came out? Joshua 3:15; 4:18. Why do we need to keep our eyes on the ark of God? Numbers 10:33.

Note: “In all the journeyings of Israel, ‘the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them, … to search out a resting place for them’ (Numbers 10:33). Borne by the sons of Kohath, the sacred chest containing God’s holy law was to lead the van. Before it went Moses and Aaron; and the priests, bearing silver trumpets, were stationed near. These priests received directions from Moses, which they communicated to the people by the trumpets. It was the duty of the leaders of each company to give definite directions concerning all the movements to be made, as indicated by the trumpets. Whoever neglected to comply with the directions given was punished with death.

“God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. Success can only attend order and harmonious action. God requires order and system in His work now no less than in the days of Israel. All who are working for Him are to labor intelligently, not in a careless, haphazard manner. He would have his work done with faith and exactness, that He may place the seal of His approval upon it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 375, 376.

  • Where was the communication center with God found among His ancient people? Exodus 25:21, 22. Through what Source do we have access to such a center today? I Thessalonians 5:17; Hebrews 4:16.


1 In their travels, upon what were the Israelites expected to keep their eye in order to be found faithful in every trying situation?

2 What was associated with the ark that made it so important?

3 What did God design to have the new generation experience as they entered the Promised Land through a miracle?

4 What is the purpose of erecting memorials or reminders of special events in our life?

5 If we want to be preserved, at what do we need to keep looking?

Extra Reading

“We need to keep the heart and mind in training, by refreshing the memory with the lessons that the Lord taught His ancient people. Then to us, as He designed it should be to them, the teachings of His Word will ever be interesting and impressive.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 994.

“Every deliverance, every blessing, that God in the past has granted to His people, should be kept fresh in memory’s hall as a sure pledge of further and richer, increasing blessings that He will bestow. The Lord’s blessings are adapted to the needs of His people.” Ibid., vol. 4, 1183.

“God permitted His ark to be taken by their [Israel’s] enemies [the Philistines] in the days of Eli, to show Israel how vain it was to trust in the ark, the symbol of His presence, while they were profaning the commandments contained in the ark. God would humble them by removing from them that sacred ark, their boasted strength and confidence.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 404.

“Israel trusted in the ark of God and worshipped it instead of the God which the ark represented. And the Lord removed from His people the symbol of His presence, the assurance to them of the presence and power of God. Then the Jewish nation no longer stood as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. They had forgotten their God, and were scattered into all parts of the world. Those who were loyal and steadfast and true in obedience to His commandments, the Lord favored. … Even in the land of their captivity was the Lord God revealed. For all who were faithful, wherever they were, the way was left open to approach God through prayer and supplication and heavenly communion.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 210.

“How few are aware that they have darling idols, that they have cherished sins! God sees these sins to which you may be blinded, and He works with His pruning knife to strike deep and separate these cherished sins from you. You all want to choose for yourselves the process of purification.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 543.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.