Lesson 3 | Sabbath, 18 July 2020
“And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac. For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.” Romans 9:10, 11.
“After all had been arranged, the consent of the father and brother had been obtained, then Rebekah was consulted, whether she would go with the servant of Abraham a great distance from her father’s family, to become the wife of Isaac. She believed from the circumstances that had taken place that God’s hand had selected her to be Isaac’s wife, ‘and she said, I will go.’” –The Story of Redemption, p. 85.
- In what context does the apostle Paul quote Rebekah? Of what were the children in Rebekah’s womb not yet guilty, but whom had God already chosen?
Romans 9:10-12 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
- Why do the Scriptures say that God loved Jacob, Rebekah’s favorite, and hated Esau? Was God speaking just of the twin brothers, or of the nations that descended from them? Cite examples for your answer.
Romans 9:13, 14 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Malachi 1:2-4 I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, 3And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. 4Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever.
1 Kings 11:16 (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom.)1
2 Kings 14:7 He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel to this day.
Conditional election and predestination
- On what are God’s election and predestination based? Are they conditional or unconditional?
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
Revelation 17:14, last part … And they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
“Wonderful possibilities are provided for every one who has faith in Christ. No walls are built to keep any living soul from salvation. The predestination, or election, of which God speaks, includes all who will accept Christ as a personal Saviour, who will return to their loyalty, to perfect obedience to all God’s commandments. This is the effectual salvation of a peculiar people, chosen by God from among men. All who are willing to be saved by Christ are the elect of God. It is the obedient who are predestinated from the foundation of the world. ‘To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on Him.’” –The Gospel Herald, June 11, 1902.
“Here is the condition of the only saving election in the Word of God. We are to become partakers of the divine nature…. We are to add grace to grace…. There is no such thing in the Word of God as unconditional election, once in grace, always in grace.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1114.
- Why did God choose Rebekah and then her son Jacob? For what purpose has God chosen us?
Romans 9:23, 24 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Ephesians 1:4, 5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
“The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them.” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1114.
- To how many camels of Abraham’s servant did Rebekah give water with her jug? What virtues did she, as God’s chosen one for Isaac, reveal that we should imitate?
Genesis 24:10, 16-20, 25 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor…. 16And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray you, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels…. 25She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.
“He rested by a well which was a place of the greatest gathering. Here he particularly noticed the engaging manners and courteous conduct of Rebekah, and all the evidence he has asked of God he receives that Rebekah is the one whom God has been pleased to select to become Isaac’s wife. She invites the servant to her father’s house. He then relates to Rebekah’s father, and her brother, the evidences he has received from the Lord, that Rebekah should become the wife of his master’s son, Isaac.” –Daughters of God, p. 29.
The choice of a spouse
- What concern did Rebekah have for her son Jacob? Likewise, what should be the concern of mothers for their children?
Genesis 27:46; 28:1 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?… 28:1And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
Deuteronomy 7:3, 4 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
“In these days of peril and corruption, the young are exposed to many trials and temptations. Many are sailing in a dangerous harbor. They need a pilot; but they scorn to accept the much-needed help, feeling that they are competent to guide their own bark, and not realizing that it is about to strike a hidden rock that may cause them to make shipwreck of faith and happiness. They are infatuated with the subject of courtship and marriage, and their principal burden is to have their own way. In this, the most important period of their lives, they need an unerring counselor, an infallible guide. This they will find in the word of God. Unless they are diligent students of that word, they will make grave mistakes, which will mar their happiness and that of others, both for the present and the future life.” –Messages to Young People, p. 443.
“Though the companion of your choice were in all other respects worthy (which he is not), yet he has not accepted the truth for this time; he is an unbeliever, and you are forbidden of heaven to unite yourself with him. You cannot, without peril to your soul, disregard this divine injunction.” –Letters to Young Lovers, p. 87.
- What curse did Rebekah bring upon herself by influencing Jacob to deceive his father? Therefore, of what should one be very careful so that our divine election may be sure?
Genesis 27:12, 13 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse on me, and not a blessing. 13And his mother said to him, On me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
Matthew 12:36, 37 But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
“Instead of trusting in God, the Disposer of events, she manifested her lack of faith by persuading Jacob to deceive his father. Jacob’s course in this was not approbated by God. Rebekah and Jacob should have waited for God to bring about His own purposes in His own way, and in His own time, instead of trying to bring about the foretold events by the aid of deception.
“Rebekah repented in bitterness for the wrong counsel which she gave to Jacob, for it was the means of separating him from her forever. He was compelled to flee for his life from the wrath of Esau, and his mother never saw his face again. Isaac lived many years after he gave Jacob the blessing, and was convinced, by the course of Esau and Jacob, that the blessing rightly belonged to Jacob.” –The Story of Redemption, pp. 88, 89.