I Will Arise

Lesson 6, 1st Quarter February 3-9, 2024.

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Sabbath Afternoon February 3

Memory Text:

“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.” KJV — Psalm 12:5

“The forbearance that God has exercised toward the wicked, emboldens men in transgression; but their punishment will be none the less certain and terrible for being long delayed. “The Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act.” Isaiah 28:21. To our merciful God the act of punishment is a strange act. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” Ezekiel 33:11. The Lord is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, ... forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Yet He will “by no means clear the guilty.” Exodus 34:6, 7. While He does not delight in vengeance, He will execute judgment upon the transgressors of His law. He is forced to do this, to preserve the inhabitants of the earth from utter depravity and ruin. In order to save some He must cut off those who have become hardened in sin. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” Nahum 1:3. By terrible things in righteousness He will vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. And the very fact of His reluctance to execute justice testifies to the enormity of the sins that call forth His judgments and to the severity of the retribution awaiting the transgressor.” PP 628.1

Sunday, February 4

The Majestic Warrior

Read Psalm 18:3-18; Psalm 76:3-9, 12; and Psalm 144:5-7. How is the Lord portrayed in these texts? What do these images convey about God’s readiness to deliver His people?

“Christ was ‘despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.’ By wicked hands he was taken and crucified. Speaking of his death, the psalmist writes: ‘The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled: the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.’” RH July 17, 1900, par. 11

“The God of the Hebrews had prevailed over the proud Assyrian. The honor of Jehovah was vindicated in the eyes of the surrounding nations. In Jerusalem the hearts of the people were filled with holy joy. Their earnest entreaties for deliverance had been mingled with confession of sin and with many tears. In their great need they had trusted wholly in the power of God to save, and He had not failed them. Now the temple courts resounded with songs of solemn praise.” PK 361.4

“More terrible manifestations than the world has ever yet beheld, will be witnessed at the second advent of Christ. “The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger?” Nahum 1:5, 6. “Bow Thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out Thine arrows, and destroy them.” Psalm 144:5, 6.” PP 109.3

Monday, February 5

Justice for the Oppressed

Read Psalm 9:18, Psalm 12:5, Psalm 40:17, Psalm 113:7, Psalm 146:6-10, and Psalm 41:1-3. What is the message here to us, even today?

“The Lord Jesus spoke from the pillar of cloud, “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? For the Lord your God is a God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh regards: he doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, and giveth him food and raiment.” Compare this with the words of Christ in the New Testament: “A certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law, how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” “A father of the fatherless and a judge of the widow is God in his holy habitation.” “The Lord preserveth the strangers: he relieveth the fatherless and the widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.” “If thy brother be waxen poor, and falleth into decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him; yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee; Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God. Thou shalt not rule over him with vigor, but shall fear thy God.” See also Deuteronomy 15:7-11; 24:14, 15, 19-21; Leviticus 19:32-37. “Owe no man anything, but to love one another.” The oppression of the poor, which is nothing less than actual robbery, is not punishable by human course, except in very extreme cases; but it is marked by the God of heaven as the abhorred practise which he would in no case tolerate. PC 412.3

“The apostle James says to the rich, “Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.*” God condemns injustice wherever manifested, whoever the person, whatever the business. Wherever schemes are devised to withhold money from those to whom it is due, or to deprive any man of his rights, there God's disapprobation rests. It is for the interest of every soul connected with the work of God to receive his warnings and reproofs, and die to that stubborn will which has opposed the will of God.” PC 413.1

Tuesday, February 6

How long will you judge unjustly?

Read Psalm 82. What happens when the leaders pervert justice and oppress the people they are tasked to protect?

“The apostle outlined the attitude that believers should sustain toward civil authorities: “Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” TT 274.4

“Those who were servants were to remain subject to their masters, ‘for one is approved,’ the apostle explained, ‘if, mindful of God, he endures pain while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it, if when you do wrong and are beaten for it you take it patiently? But if when you do right and suffer for it you take it patiently, you have God's approval... . Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on His lips. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten; but He trusted to Him who judges justly.’” TT 275.1

“He who spoke to the disciples in the sermon on the mount is the same that spoke to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, and let the signal marks of his displeasure rest upon Miriam for her censure of one through whom God had chosen to communicate his will. God had laid the burden of his work upon Moses, and when others presumed to heap upon him the burden of their censure and condemnation, the Lord declared them guilty of a great sin. He judged and condemned her who had unjustly judged and condemned his servant. He to whom the hearts of all men are as an open book, read the hidden motives. He saw that the heart was leprous with sin, and he caused the plague of the heart to be revealed in the dreadful judgment of physical leprosy. As leprosy was sure death if permitted to take its natural course, so the leprosy of sin would destroy the soul unless the sinner received the healing of the grace of God. ST March 14, 1892, par. 8

“Since we cannot read the heart of another, let us beware of ascribing wrong motives to any man, lest we find ourselves involved in guilt similar to that of Miriam,—condemning those whom the Lord is teaching and guiding,—and thus bring upon ourselves the rebuke of God.” ST March 14, 1892, par. 9

Wednesday, February 7

Pour out Your Indignation

Read Psalm 58:6-8; Psalm 69:22-28; Psalm 83:9-17; Psalm 94:1, 2; and Psalm 137:7-9. What sentiments do these psalms convey? Who is the agent of judgment in these psalms?

“Standing in the temple court before his people, Jehoshaphat poured out his soul in prayer, pleading God's promises, with confession of Israel's helplessness. “O Lord God of our fathers” he petitioned, “art not Thou God in heaven? and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee? Art not Thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham Thy friend forever? And they dwelt therein, and have built Thee a sanctuary therein for Thy name, saying, If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Thy presence, (for Thy name is in this house,) and cry unto Thee in our affliction, then Thou wilt hear and help. PK 199.2

“‘And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom Thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of Thy possession, which Thou hast given us to inherit. O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.’ Verses 3-12. PK 199.3

“With confidence Jehoshaphat could say to the Lord, “Our eyes are upon thee.” For years he had taught the people to trust in the One who in past ages had so often interposed to save His chosen ones from utter destruction; and now, when the kingdom was in peril, Jehoshaphat did not stand alone; “all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.” Verse 13. Unitedly they fasted and prayed; unitedly they besought the Lord to put their enemies to confusion, that the name of Jehovah might be glorified.” PK 200.1

Thursday, February 8

The Lord’s judgment and the Sanctuary

Read Psalm 96:6-10; Psalm 99:1-4; and Psalm 132:7-9, 13-18. Where does God’s judgment take place and what are the implications of the answer for us? How does the sanctuary help us to understand how God will deal with evil?

“Shall we accept the precious words of assurance to be found in the Word of God? Shall we believe the promises of God, and magnify His holy name? We should continually honor Him with praise and with thanksgiving. I desire especially to call the attention of our people to the Scriptures that bid us magnify the Lord God of Israel. Shall we not cease all repining, and let the praise of God flow forth from our lips?” 21LtMs, Ms 91, 1906, par. 5

“In the sanctuary of the wilderness tabernacle and of the temple that were the earthly symbols of God's dwelling place, one apartment was sacred to His presence. The veil inwrought with cherubim at its entrance was not to be lifted by any hand save one. To lift that veil, and intrude unbidden into the sacred mystery of the most holy place, was death. For above the mercy seat dwelt the glory of the Holiest—glory upon which no man might look and live. On the one day of the year appointed for ministry in the most holy place, the high priest with trembling entered God's presence, while clouds of incense veiled the glory from his sight. Throughout the courts of the temple every sound was hushed. No priests ministered at the altars. The host of worshipers, bowed in silent awe, offered their petitions for God's mercy.” MH 437.1

“In bringing to the temple the sacred ark containing the two tables of stone on which were written by the finger of God the precepts of the Decalogue, Solomon had followed the example of his father David. Every six paces he sacrificed. With singing and with music and with great ceremony, “the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place.” Verse 7. As they came out of the inner sanctuary, they took the positions assigned them. The singers—Levites arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps—stood at the east end of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets. See Verse 12.” PK 38.2

“Solomon then knelt upon the platform, and in the hearing of all the people offered the dedicatory prayer. Lifting his hands toward heaven, while the congregation were bowed with their faces to the ground, the king pleaded: ‘Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and showest mercy unto Thy servants, that walk before Thee with all their heart.’” PK 40.1

“Through centuries of persecution, conflict, and darkness, God has sustained His church. Not one cloud has fallen upon it that He has not prepared for; not one opposing force has risen to counterwork His work, that He has not foreseen. All has taken place as He predicted. He has not left His church forsaken, but has traced in prophetic declarations what would occur, and that which His Spirit inspired the prophets to foretell has been brought about. All His purposes will be fulfilled. His law is linked with His throne, and no power of evil can destroy it. Truth is inspired and guarded by God; and it will triumph over all opposition.” FLB 281.2

Friday, February 9

Further Thought

“During ages of spiritual darkness, the church of God has been as a city set on a hill. From age to age, through successive generations, the pure doctrines of heaven have been unfolding within its borders.... It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts.5 FLB 281.3

“The church is God's fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people.6 FLB 281.4

“God loves His children with infinite love. To Him the dearest object on earth is His church.7” FLB 281.5