The Lord Reigns

Lesson 3, 1st Quarter January 13-19, 2024.

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Sabbath Afternoon, January 13

Memory Text:

“The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.” KJV — Psalm 93:1

“It is by the power of God that we live. With one word He might take from us the breath that keeps life in our bodies. Yet thousands upon thousands, though kept alive by the forbearance of God, use their powers of mind and body against their Creator, and they do this as if it were something to be proud of. Joining the ranks of the enemy, they place themselves under His instruction, to learn how to defeat the plans of God, and to carry their rebellion against Him to the highest point. 18LtMs, Ms 131, 1903, par. 10

“As I read the book of Revelation, I wonder that many more do not study the wonderful instruction given to John on the Isle of Patmos. Notice the description given of Christ in the first chapter. The apostle says: 18LtMs, Ms 131, 1903, par. 11

“‘I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” 18LtMs, Ms 131, 1903, par. 12

“‘The Lord reigneth; He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith He hath girded Himself; the world also is established, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established from old; Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord; the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure; holiness becometh Thine house, O Lord, forever.’” [Psalm 93:1-5.] 18LtMs, Ms 131, 1903, par. 21

Sunday, January 14

The Lord has made us.

Read Psalm 8 and Psalm 100. How are God and people portrayed in these psalms? What do these psalms reveal about God’s character?

“God, who created everything lovely and beautiful that the eye rests upon, is a lover of the beautiful. He shows you how He estimates true beauty. The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in His sight of great price. Shall we not seek earnestly to gain that which God estimates as more valuable than costly dress or pearls or gold? The inward adorning, the grace of meekness, a spirit in harmony with the heavenly angels, will not lessen true dignity of character or make us less lovely here in this world. 3T 376.4

“Religion, pure and undefiled, ennobles its possessor. You will ever find with the true Christian a marked cheerfulness, a holy, happy confidence in God, a submission to His providences, that is refreshing to the soul. By the Christian, God's love and benevolence can be seen in every bounty he receives. The beauties in nature are a theme for contemplation. In studying the natural loveliness surrounding us, the mind is carried up through nature to the Author of all that is lovely. All the works of God are speaking to our senses, magnifying His power, exalting His wisdom. Every created thing has in it charms which interest the child of God and mold his taste to regard these precious evidences of God's love above the work of human skill.” 3T 377.1

“The exceeding rewards for right-doing, the enjoyment of heaven, the society of the angels, the communion and love of God and His Son, the elevation and extension of all our powers throughout eternal ages—are these not mighty incentives and encouragements to urge us to give the heart's loving service to our Creator and Redeemer?” SC 21.3

“All the varied capabilities that men possess—of mind and soul and body—are given them by God, to be so employed as to reach the highest possible degree of excellence. But this cannot be a selfish and exclusive culture; for the character of God, whose likeness we are to receive, is benevolence and love. Every faculty, every attribute, with which the Creator has endowed us is to be employed for His glory and for the uplifting of our fellow men. And in this employment is found its purest, noblest, and happiest exercise.” PP 595.3

Monday, January 15

The Lord Reigns

Read Psalm 97. What characterizes the Lord’s reign? (Psalm 97:2, 10). What is the domain of His reign? (Psalm 97:1, 5, 9).

“Before Him who ruleth in the heavens the mysteries of the past and future are alike outspread, and God sees beyond the woe and darkness and ruin that sin has wrought, the outworking of His purpose of love and blessing. Though clouds and darkness are round about Him, yet righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne.... Through the plan of salvation a larger purpose is to be wrought out even than the salvation of man and the redemption of the earth. Through the revelation of the character of God in Christ, the beneficence of the divine government would be manifested before the universe, the charge of Satan refuted, the nature and result of sin made plain, and the perpetuity of the law fully demonstrated.”32 TMK 366.4

“And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” KJV — Zechariah 14:8, 9

The Lord reigns first over Jerusalem, and finally after the saints are gathered in from the four corners of the earth He reigns over the whole earth.

Tuesday, January 16

God is the Judge

Read Psalm 75. Why is the boasting of the wicked in vain?

“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.” KJV — Jeremiah 18:7-10

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” KJV — Daniel 2:20, 21

“The…most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” KJV — Daniel 4:17

Some even to this day do not realize that God rules, that men are not independent of Him although they are permitted to choose whether or not to serve Him. It was not necessary for the Chaldean king to live with the beasts of the field, but as he could not learn his lesson by words, in the easy way, he was removed from his palace and put into a corral, there to learn by experience, in the hard way. In the end of seven years, after he had graduated, so to speak, from God’s school of hard knocks, the king walked back into his palace…

Wednesday, January 17

Ever mindful of His covenant

The theme of God’s judgment prompts a significant question: How can God’s people have peace with God and assurance of salvation at the time of judgment? Psalm 94:14, Psalm 105:7-10, Daniel 7:22.

“God had sent judgments upon Israel for yielding to the enticements of the Midianites; but the tempters were not to escape the wrath of divine justice. The Amalekites, who had attacked Israel at Rephidim, falling upon those who were faint and weary behind the host, were not punished till long after; but the Midianites who seduced them into sin were speedily made to feel God's judgments, as being the more dangerous enemies. “Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites” (Numbers 31:2), was the command of God to Moses; “afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.” This mandate was immediately obeyed. One thousand men were chosen from each of the tribes and sent out under the leadership of Phinehas. “And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses.... And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; ... five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.” Verses 7, 8. The women also, who had been made captives by the attacking army, were put to death at the command of Moses, as the most guilty and most dangerous of the foes of Israel. PP 456.2

“Such was the end of them that devised mischief against God's people. Says the psalmist: “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.” Psalm 9:15. “For the Lord will not cast off His people, neither will He forsake His inheritance. But judgment shall return unto righteousness.” When men “gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous,” the Lord “shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness.” Psalm 94:14, 15, 21, 23. PP 456.3

“When Balaam was called to curse the Hebrews he could not, by all his enchantments, bring evil upon them; for the Lord had not “beheld iniquity in Jacob,” neither had He “seen perverseness in Israel.” Numbers 23:21, 23. But when through yielding to temptation they transgressed God's law, their defense departed from them. When the people of God are faithful to His commandments, “there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.” Hence all the power and wily arts of Satan are exerted to seduce them into sin. If those who profess to be the depositaries of God's law become transgressors of its precepts, they separate themselves from God, and they will be unable to stand before their enemies.” PP 457.1

Thursday, January 18

Your testimonies are very sure

Read Psalm 19:7; Psalm 93:5; Psalm 119:165; Psalm 1:2, 6; Psalm 18:30; and Psalm 25:10. What common thread runs through them all?

“The law of God is a transcript of His character. Its holy precepts were spoken from Sinai with God's own voice, and written with His finger upon tables of stone. They stand forth alone, bearing the distinct, awful significance of their supreme importance. They mean life to the obedient and death to the disobedient. Through the ages God's law has been preserved as the highest standard of morality. Not all the inventions of science or the imaginations of fruitful minds have been able to discover one essential duty not covered by this code. UL 294.3

“God's law is the security of life and property and peace and happiness. It was given to secure our present and eternal good. The antediluvians transgressed this law, and the earth was destroyed by a flood. UL 294.4

“Let no man, by scientific presentations, lead minds away from the real to the imaginary. Let God be revealed in His true greatness. God calls for men who, in the midst of the idolatry offered to nature, will look from nature to nature's God. God uses nature as one of His servants, to reveal His power. These things, the objects of His creation, show forth His handiwork. Of all that God has created, man, the crowning object of His creation, has the most greatly dishonored Him. In the judgment human beings will stand before God ashamed and condemned, because, though given intellect, reason, and power of speech, they would not obey God's law....” UL 294.5

Friday, January 19

Further Thought

“My heart yearns for those I love, the precious souls for whom Christ died; and the question arises again and again, What preparation are they making for the future life? That which is sowed in this life will be reaped in the great harvest. None can meet God in peace over his broken law; for it has an important part to act in the conversion of the soul. The inspired word declares: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” For this reason I felt deeply anxious that those living in Portland should have the light. It was presented before them in all its clearness; but it is frequently the case that the more convincing the arguments from God's word, the less disposition there seems to be to recognize the mighty principles of truth. Human opinions and customs hold the mind in error; but they cannot with safety be substituted for the revealed will of God.” RH January 13, 1885, par. 2