Wait on the Lord

Lesson 13, 1st Quarter March 23-29, 2024.

img rest_in_christ
Share this Lesson
Download Pdf

Sabbath Afternoon, March 23

Memory Text:

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” KJV — Psalm 27:14

“Difficulties will arise that will try your faith and patience. Face them bravely. Look on the bright side. If the work is hindered, be sure that it is not your fault, and then go forward, rejoicing in the Lord. Heaven is full of joy. It resounds with the praises of Him who made so wonderful a sacrifice for the redemption of the human race. Should not the church on earth be full of praise? Should not Christians publish throughout the world the joy of serving Christ? Those who in heaven join with the angelic choir in their anthem of praise must learn on earth the song of heaven, the keynote of which is thanksgiving. 7T 244.2

“Never let your courage fail. Never talk unbelief because appearances are against you. As you work for the Master you will feel pressure for want of means, but the Lord will hear and answer your petitions for help. Let your language be: “The Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:7.” 7T 244.3

Sunday, March 24

The Call of Waiting

Read Psalm 27:14; Psalm 37:7, 9, 34; Psalm 39:7; Psalm 40:1; Psalm 69:6; Galatians 5:5; and Romans 8:18-25. What do these texts implore God’s people to do?

“We all desire immediate and direct answers to our prayers, and are tempted to become discouraged when the answer is delayed or comes in an unlooked-for form. But God is too wise and good to answer our prayers always at just the time and in just the manner we desire. He will do more and better for us than to accomplish all our wishes. And because we can trust His wisdom and love, we should not ask Him to concede to our will, but should seek to enter into and accomplish His purpose. Our desires and interests should be lost in His will. These experiences that test faith are for our benefit. By them it is made manifest whether our faith is true and sincere, resting on the word of God alone, or whether depending on circumstances, it is uncertain and changeable. Faith is strengthened by exercise. We must let patience have its perfect work, remembering that there are precious promises in the Scriptures for those who wait upon the Lord. MH 230.4

“If you make a mistake, turn your defeat into victory. The lessons that God sends will always, if well learned, bring help in due time. Put your trust in God. Pray much, and believe. Trusting, hoping, believing, holding fast the hand of Infinite Power, you will be more than conquerors. 7T 244.4

“True workers walk and work by faith. Sometimes they grow weary with watching the slow advance of the work when the battle wages strong between the powers of good and evil. But if they refuse to fail or be discouraged they will see the clouds breaking away and the promise of deliverance fulfilling. Through the mist with which Satan has surrounded them, they will see the shining of the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. 7T 245.1

“Work in faith, and leave results with God. Pray in faith, and the mystery of His providence will bring its answer. At times it may seem that you cannot succeed. But work and believe, putting into your efforts faith, hope, and courage. After doing what you can, wait for the Lord, declaring His faithfulness, and He will bring His word to pass. Wait, not in fretful anxiety, but in undaunted faith and unshaken trust.” 7T 245.2

Monday, March 25

Peace of a Weaned Child.

Read Psalm 131. What does this psalm teach us about our relationship with God?

“For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” KJV — Isaiah 28:9

When the Lord saw that it was time to teach knowledge and to give understanding of doctrine there was no clean place in the world. Hence the question, "Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine?" The implication which this question carries is that it is almost impossible to teach anyone the pure doctrine, the reason being that at that time all the churches were seen drunk on the contaminated doctrines of men.

But the Truth had to come. And this verse says that it could only be given to those weaned from the milk (those who have long been in the faith and are able to take strong meat)... It is only those older in the faith (farther advanced in Truth) that can at first understand. The Adventist doctrines, of course, are the most advanced; therefore, it is to the Adventist church that the Lord wants first to teach knowledge and make to understand doctrine.

“‘My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.’ Jesus here declares that his Heavenly Father is the source of all strength, and the foundation of all wisdom. No natural talent nor acquired learning can supply the place of a knowledge of the will of God. A willingness to obey the requirements of the Lord opens the mind and heart to candid inquiry, and diligent searching for the doctrine of truth. He declares that, with a mind thus open, men can discern between him who speaks in the cause of God and him who speaks for his own glory for selfish purposes. Of this latter class were the haughty priests and Pharisees. 2SP 339.3

Tuesday, March 26

Bringing in the Sheaves.

Read Psalm 126. What gives strength and hope to God’s people? What is being said here in this context, that we can apply to our own lives today?

“The good seed may for a time lie unnoticed in a cold, selfish, worldly heart, giving no evidence that it has taken root; but afterward, as the Spirit of God breathes on the soul, the hidden seed springs up, and at last bears fruit to the glory of God. In our lifework we know not which shall prosper, this or that. This is not a question for us to settle. We are to do our work, and leave the results with God. ‘In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand.’ Ecclesiastes 11:6. God's great covenant declares that ‘while the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest ... shall not cease.’ Genesis 8:22. In the confidence of this promise the husbandman tills and sows. Not less confidently are we in the spiritual sowing to labor, trusting His assurance, ‘So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’ Isaiah 55:11. ‘He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.’ Psalm 126:6.” COL 65.1

“He who has appointed ‘to every man his work,’ according to his ability, will never let the faithful performance of duty go unrewarded. Every act of loyalty and faith will be crowned with special tokens of God's favor and approbation. To every worker is given the promise: ‘He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.’” 5T 395.4

A harvest means the “result of effort,” of toil, “the gathering of a crop” – reaping the result of labor and filling up the barns with grain. So rather than the year’s toil being finished at the beginning of the harvest, the heaviest labor of the year just then begins. And though harvest time is the shortest of all the periods of the harvest year, the work of reaping is not done in a moment; it takes time. The yield is not garnered by turning the field right into the barn; no, that would be a conglomerate mass instead of a harvest. First the sickle is put to the grain, and next the grain is bound into sheaves, then threshed, after which it is put into the barn; and thereafter the chaff and the tares are destroyed. This work being completed during the autumn, it shows that the harvest is a season of time after “the summer is past,” and that it is followed by the fruitless winter period.

So it must be with the spiritual harvest which otherwise could not be illustrated by the literal. Do not regard lightly the wisdom of God: His illustrations are perfect.

Consider, now, with what exact fidelity to the natural harvest the Master has stated the truths of the spiritual harvest: “Let both grow together until the harvest,” He says: “and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.” Matt. 13:30.

In these parabolic words Christ has made the spiritual method of harvesting analogous to the natural method. Were the one not precisely like the other, He would have distinguished the difference. Be admonished, therefore, not to let vain imaginings come into the mind, but stand squarely on the Scriptures, for they are full of meaning of illimitable value – are, indeed, your very life.

As the word “until” means “up to,” the tares are therefore to be gathered out, not before or after the harvest, but at the beginning of it. And “the time of harvest” being “the end of probationary time” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 72), then the harvesting itself necessarily precedes the close of probation – the fruitless winter season. Consequently, the tares are separated from among the wheat before, not after, the end of probationary time.

The wheat, “the children of the kingdom” (Matt. 13:38), are gathered into the barn, the kingdom; the tares, “the children of the wicked one” (verse 38) – mere professors, those who are not doers of the Word, and who were granted membership “while men slept” – “are gathered and burned in the fire” (Matt. 13:40), after the wheat is bound into sheaves. But---Who Are The Reapers? 

“The reapers are the angels” who “shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.” Matt. 13:39, 49. These angels are not those who shall “come” with Christ at His second coming, but rather those whom He “shall send forth.’’ They are like the three angels of Revelation 14:6-11. Indeed, the third angel “is to select the wheat from the tares and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner.” – Early Writings, p. 118. Therefore the angels, the reapers, whom Christ sends forth, include both him who does the sealing, or binding, and those who follow on to do the destroying (Ezek. 9:2, 5 6), first in the church, then in the world. Thus is the---Separation In Two Sections.

Wednesday, March 27

Waiting in God’s Sabbath Rest

Read Psalm 92. What two aspects of the Sabbath day are highlighted in this song for the Sabbath day?

“Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make Himself known to us and bring us into communion with Him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing. The open heart will be impressed with the love and glory of God as revealed through the works of His hands. The listening ear can hear and understand the communications of God through the things of nature. The green fields, the lofty trees, the buds and flowers, the passing cloud, the falling rain, the babbling brook, the glories of the heavens, speak to our hearts, and invite us to become acquainted with Him who made them all. SC 85.1

“Our Saviour bound up His precious lessons with the things of nature. The trees, the birds, the flowers of the valleys, the hills, the lakes, and the beautiful heavens, as well as the incidents and surroundings of daily life, were all linked with the words of truth, that His lessons might thus be often recalled to mind, even amid the busy cares of man's life of toil. SC 85.2

“God would have His children appreciate His works and delight in the simple, quiet beauty with which He has adorned our earthly home. He is a lover of the beautiful, and above all that is outwardly attractive He loves beauty of character; He would have us cultivate purity and simplicity, the quiet graces of the flowers.” SC 85.3

“From a race of slaves the Israelites had been exalted above all peoples to be the peculiar treasure of the King of kings. God had separated them from the world, that He might commit to them a sacred trust. He had made them the depositaries of His law, and He purposed, through them, to preserve among men the knowledge of Himself. Thus the light of heaven was to shine out to a world enshrouded in darkness, and a voice was to be heard appealing to all peoples to turn from their idolatry to serve the living God. If the Israelites would be true to their trust, they would become a power in the world. God would be their defense, and He would exalt them above all other nations. His light and truth would be revealed through them, and they would stand forth under His wise and holy rule as an example of the superiority of His worship over every form of idolatry.” PP 314.2

Thursday, March 28

Joy comes in the Morning

Read Psalm 5:3, Psalm 30:5, Psalm 49:14, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 92:2, Psalm 119:147, 2Peter 1:19, and Revelation 22:16. What time of day of symbolically portrayed as the time of divine redemption and why? Mark 16:1-8. What happened in the morning talked about here, and why is that so important us?

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. KJV — Joel 2:1, 2

Here you see that a message is to be proclaimed to the church, to Zion, declaring that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is at hand; that it is to be devastating behind His people, and glorious ahead of them, – that the Lord is thoroughly to comb the field, that He is to gather every grain of “wheat,” and then burn the tares.

In this day of gloominess and thick darkness there is also to be a great and strong people. If they are to be greater and stronger than any in the past, then they will exceed in strength even Samson. What is it that will make that people so strong? -- The very first requisite is faith. The second is courageous action.

We must continue to believe even in the face of the severe circumstances that will present themselves to challenge our faith. We must realize, therefore, that not a little faith but very much faith is required of any who would be among this great people. Ever remember that the Israelite multitude and later the whole nation completely lost out simply because of their unbelief which led to their rebellion against God's ways until there was no remedy.

As an incidental thought we might mention also that Samson was obedient to a strict diet and a specific injunction concerning his hair; and his strict adherence to these requirements did prove to be the provisions he had to meet in order to possess superior muscular strength. This example teaches us that if God requires of us something which He may even require of no others, the purpose in it can be served in no other way than by our strictly adhering to it. If God, for instance, has given us dietary and other requirements to follow in order to keep us separate from the world so that He can deliver us from the evils in the world, then we must obey them if we would be delivered.

Friday, March 29

Further Thought

“If the time seems long to wait for our Deliverer to come, if, bowed by affliction and worn with toil, we feel impatient for our commission to close, and to receive an honorable release from the warfare, let us remember—and let the remembrance check every murmur—that God leaves us on earth to encounter storms and conflicts, to perfect Christian character, to become better acquainted with God our Father and Christ our elder Brother, and to do work for the Master in winning many souls to Christ, that with glad heart we may hear the words: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ RH October 25, 1881, par. 10

“Be patient, Christian soldier. Yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come. The night of weary waiting, and watching, and mourning is nearly over. The reward will soon be given; the eternal day will dawn. There is no time to sleep now,—no time to indulge in useless regrets. He who ventures to slumber now will miss precious opportunities of doing good. We are granted the blessed privilege of gathering sheaves in the great harvest; and every soul saved will be an additional star in the crown of Jesus, our adorable Redeemer. Who is eager to lay off the armor, when by pushing the battle a little longer he will achieve new victories and gather new trophies for eternity?” RH October 25, 1881, par. 11