Lesson 13 | Sabbath, 26 September 2020
“This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me: There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.” Ecclesiastes 9:13-16.
“‘He that is slow to anger, says the wise man, ‘is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.’ The man or woman who preserves the balance of the mind when tempted to indulge passion stands higher in the sight of God and heavenly angels than the most renowned general that ever led an army to battle and to victory. Said a celebrated emperor when on his dying bed, ‘Among all my conquests there is but one which affords me any consolation now, and that is the conquest I have gained over my own turbulent temper.’ Alexander and Caesar found it easier to subdue a world than to subdue themselves. After conquering nation after nation, they fell, one of them ‘the victim of intemperance, the other of mad ambition.’” –Child Guidance, p. 95
Wisdom seeks peace
- Who lived in Abel of Beth-maachah? With whom did she wish to speak?
2 Samuel 20:16, 17 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee. 17And when he was come near to her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.
“You are just entering upon womanhood, and if you seek the grace of Christ, if you follow the path where Jesus leads the way, you will become more and more a true woman. You will grow in grace, become wiser by experience, and as you advance from light to a greater light you will become happier. Remember your life belongs to Jesus, and that you are not to live for yourself alone.
“Shun those who are irreverent. Shun one who is a lover of idleness; shun the one who is a scoffer of hallowed things. Avoid the society of one who uses profane language or is addicted to the use of even one glass of liquor. Listen not to the proposals of a man who has no realization of his responsibility to God. The pure truth which sanctifies the soul will give you courage to cut yourself loose from the most pleasing acquaintance whom you know does not love and fear God, and knows nothing of the principles of true righteousness. We may always bear with a friend’s infirmities and with his ignorance, but never with his vices.” –Letters to Young Lovers, p. 26.
- What was the saying in ancient times in Israel when someone had doubts or questions? Likewise, where should we search for answers to our questions?
2 Samuel 20:18 Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it has commanded, and his spirit it has gathered them.
“Adam and Eve received knowledge through direct communion with God, and they learned of Him through His works. All created things, in their original perfection, were an expression of the thought of God. To Adam and Eve nature was teeming with divine wisdom.” –Education, p. 16.
“If the mind is set to the task of studying the Bible for information, the reasoning faculties will be improved. Under study of the Scriptures the mind expands, and becomes more evenly balanced than if occupied in obtaining general information from the books that are used which have no connection with the Bible. No knowledge is so firm, so consistent and far-reaching, as that obtained from a study of the word of God. It is the foundation of all true knowledge. The Bible is like a fountain. The more you look into it, the deeper it appears. The grand truths of sacred history possess amazing strength and beauty, and are as far-reaching as eternity. No science is equal to the science that reveals the character of God.”–Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 393.
- Although David and Joab were warriors and sometimes unfaithful, what did the wise woman say about herself? Who is like her?
2 Samuel 20:19 I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
“All who engage in the acquisition of knowledge should aim to reach the highest round of progress. Let them advance as fast and as far as they can; let their field of study be as broad as their powers can compass, making God their wisdom, clinging to Him who is infinite in knowledge, who can reveal the secrets hidden for ages, who can solve the most difficult problems for minds that believe in Him who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light that no man can approach unto. The living witness for Christ, following on to know the Lord, shall know that His goings forth are prepared as the morning. ‘Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ Galatians 6:7. By honesty and industry, with a proper care of the body, applying every power of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom in spiritual things, every soul may be complete in Christ, who is the perfect pattern of a complete man.” –Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, p. 193.
The rebel and old man
- What agreement did the wise woman and Joab reach? Whom did the rebel Sheba, the son of Bichri, symbolize?
2 Samuel 20:20, 21 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. 21The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Ephesians 4:22-24 That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
“You should settle into God. You move without due consideration, from impulse rather than from principle. You have not felt the positive necessity of training your mind, nor of crucifying in yourself the old man with the affections and lusts. You need to be balanced by the weight of God’s Spirit, and all your movements regulated by it. You are now uncertain in all you undertake. You do and undo; you build up and then tear down; you kindle an interest and then from lack of consecration and divine wisdom you quench it. You have not been strengthened, established, and settled. You have had but little faith; you have not lived a life of prayer. You need so much to link your life with God, and then you will not sow to the flesh and reap corruption in the end.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 240.
- In the last days, who will try to sneak into the church of God as did the rebel Sheba, the son of Bichri? What day did he want to introduce as the day of rest?
Ezekiel 8:15, 16; 22:26 Then said he to me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. 16And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east…. 22:26Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.
“The first triumphs of the Reformation past….
“Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of state, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations. They became servants to act as spies upon their masters. They established colleges for the sons of princes and nobles, and schools for the common people; and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rites. All the outward pomp and display of the Romish worship was brought to bear to confuse the mind and dazzle and captivate the imagination, and thus the liberty for which the fathers had toiled and bled was betrayed by the sons.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 234, 235.
- Did the wise woman keep her promise? How is the intruder–the old man–to be destroyed spiritually?
2 Samuel 20:22 Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
“In educational pursuits as in all others, selfish, earthly aims are dangerous to the soul. In educational lines many ideas are advanced which proceed not from the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity, but from those who make scholastic studies an idol and worship a science that divorces God from the education. Yet because these errors are clothed in an attractive garb, they are widely received.”–Christ Triumphant, p. 23.
- Who is personified as wisdom in the holy Scriptures?
1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
“My brother, you should consider the wisdom of God as all in all. Religion must go hand in hand with science, in order to make your education a sanctified means of doing good and turning others to the truth. The more we learn in the school of Christ, the more eager we are to advance in that knowledge. All our acquirements are of little value unless the character is ennobled by religion. God has special duties for every individual to perform, and a decision will be passed upon every case as to the faithfulness with which these duties have been accomplished.
“The Lord frequently places us in difficult positions to stimulate us to greater exertion. In His providence special annoyances sometimes occur to test our patience and faith. God gives us lessons of trust. He would teach us where to look for help and strength in time of need. Thus we obtain practical knowledge of His divine will, which we so much need in our life experience. Faith grows strong in earnest conflict with doubt and fear. Brother, you may be a conqueror if you take careful heed to your ways. You should devote your young life to the cause of God and pray for success. You should not close your eyes to your danger, but should resolutely prepare for every difficulty in your Christian advancement. Take time for reflection and for humble, earnest prayer. Your talents are marked, and you are hopeful in regard to your future success; but unless you comprehend the weakness of your natural heart you will be disappointed.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 116.
“Cain and Abel are given us in Bible history to represent the two orders in humanity. Abel was faithful and loyal to God, and he was preferred by the Lord. Cain was disloyal; he wished his own ideas to prevail. Abel protested against these principles as disloyal. But as the eldest, Cain thought that his methods and plans should have the supremacy. It made him very angry that Abel would not concede to his views, and his anger burned so hotly that he killed his brother. Here the two principles of right and wrong are developed.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 37.