4/89 - - - - - - - - - - - - - . .

,

THE EXODUS
MOVEMENT
(continued)

Sabbath School Lessons
Senior Division
Fourth Quarter 1989

THE EXODUS MOVEMENT
Lesson

Page

Title

1

The Covenant Broken

5

2

The Covenant Restored

8

3

The Sin of Nadab and Abihu\

12

4

Departing from Sinai

16

5

Rebellion at Hazeroth and Kadesh

20

6

The Rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and
Abiram

24

7

The Wilderness Wandering

28

8

The Smitten Rock

32

9

The Journey Around Edom

36

10

Victory Over Sihon and Og

40

11

Balak and Balaam

44

12

Apostasy at the Jordan

48

13

The Death of Moses

52

The Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, The Exodus Movement, (continued), for October
-December 1989, is published by the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement
General Conference, Sabbath School Department. It is printed and distributed by
Reformation Herald Publishing Association, P. O. Box 7240, Roanoke, Virginia
24019-0240, U.S.A.
PRINTED IN U.S.A.

-2-

000 000 005 837
GC Library

FOREWORD
As explained in the foreword to our previous quarterly, the third and
fourth quarters of 1989 have been set apart for a series of studies on the Exodus
movement. The first part, which has already been left behind, dealt mainly with
the birth of Moses and his preparation to lead the movement, the plagues of
Egypt, the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage, the arrival of the Israelites at Sinai, and the receiving of the law. The second part, which will be
the object of our studies from October through December 1989, deals with the
main events that took place from the Sinai covenant to the death of Moses.
The study of the Exodus movement is recommended by the Spirit of Prophecy. Sister White writes:
"We do not make enough of Deuteronomy and Exodus. These books record
the dealings' of God with Israel."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1117.
"The book of Deuteronomy should be carefully studied by those living on
the earth today."-Ibid.
In the victories obtained by the people of Israel we can see how we can obtain similar victories. And in the failures of ancient Israel we can read some of
the failures of the Advent people.
"The history of ancient Israel is a striking illustration of the past experience of the Adventist body. God led His people in the advent movement,
even as He led the children of Israel from Egypt. In the great disappointment
their faith was tested as was that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Had they still
trusted to the guiding hand that had been with them in their past experience,
they would have seen the salvation of God. If all who had labored unitedly in the
work in 1844, had received the third angel's message and proclaimed it in the
power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts. A flood of light would have been shed upon the world. Years ago the inhabitants of the earth would have been warned, the closing work completed,
and Christ would have come for the redemption of His people."- The Great Controversy, pp. 457, 458.
"God is leading His people out from the abominations of the world, that
they may keep His law; and because of this, the rage of 'the accuser of our
brethren' knows no bounds. 'The devil is come down unto you, having great
wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.' The antitypical land
of promise is just before us, and Satan is determined to destroy the people of
God and cut them off from their inheritance. The admonition, 'Watch ye and
pray, lest ye enter into temptation,' was never more needed than now."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 689.

It is our prayer that the Lord will bless His people, impressing their minds
and hearts with the many lessons that have been recorded for their instruction.
The General Conference Sabbath School Department

-3-

c

Thirteenth Sabbath
for a
Chapel in Paris, France
Dear Brethren and Sisters around the world,
France is a country with a rich history, particularly religious history. More than
400 years ago, at the time when Luther and Calvin began the Reformation, France
made a poor choice-in favor of the Counter-Reformation under the influence of
Rome. "In repelling the gospel, which would have brought her healing, France had
opened the door to infidelity and ruin."-The Great Controversy, p. 282. Two centuries
later, in 1789-just 200 years ago-the French Revolution broke out. Sister White explains well, in the same book, that this was due, to a large extent, to the rejection of
the Reformation. As the people were led to reject the Bible, they were carried away in
infidelity, insubordination, and violence.
Still today, although many of the French are proud of their past, we suffer cruelly
from the consequences of that wrong choice. Certainly we have liberty and our country is a land which easily welcomes many foreigners. But the message of the gospel
does not easily penetrate the hearts of our countrymen, who remain either Catholic or
infidels.
During the past few years, however, our number has grown considerably, thanks
to brethren and sisters coming from other countries and now living in France. Now
we have an urgent need of a chapel in the area of Paris. But properties there are very
expensive. Although in general the country is not especially poor, those who accept
the gospel are not often the richest. Therefore, we need your help. Also to expand our
mission house at Saint-Vert, which has become too small for our meetings, financial
assistance will be needed.
We count on your gifts, whether small or great, as the Lord has blessed you. We
are encouraged by the spiritual growth of these past few years and we are certain that
the Lord's work will not lack the means to continue expanding. On our part, we will
be always happy to help you to the extent that we are able.
Fraternally yours,
Your brethren in France

-4-

Sabbath, October 7, 1989

Lesson 1

THE COVENANT BROKEN

"Feeling their helplessness in the absence of their leader, they returned to
their old superstitions. The mixed multitude had been the first to indulge
murmuring and impatience, and they were the leaders in the apostasy that
followed."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 315, 316.

KEY TEXT:

"And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people,
which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted
themselves." Exodus 32:7.

D Sunday
THE PEOPLE PROMISE OBEDIENCE

October 1

1.

After the proclamation of the law, who were called up into the mountain?
Who alone wastold to come near to the Lord? Exodus 24:1, 2.

2.

As the people heard all the words of the Lord as related by Moses, what did
they answer with one voice? Exodus 24:3. Where did Moses write down all
the words of God and what else did he do? Exodus 24:4.

"The minds of the people, blinded and debased by slavery and heathenism, were
not prepared to appreciate fully the far-reaching principles of God's ten precepts.
That the obligations of the Decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced,
additional precepts were given, illustrating and applying the principles of the Ten
Commandments. These laws were called judgments, both because they were framed
in infinite wisdom and equity and because the magistrates were to give judgment
according to them. Unlike the Ten Commandments, they were delivered privately to
Moses, who was to communicate them to the people." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 310.
"Upon descending from the mountain, 'Moses came and told the people all the
words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice,
and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.' This pledge, together
with the words of the Lord which it bound them to obey, was written by Moses in a
book."-Ibid., pp. 311, 312.

o Monday
GOD MAKES A COVENANT WITH ISRAEL
3.

October 2

When Moses took the book of the covenant and'read it in the ears of the people, what did they again promise? Exodus 24:7.

-5-

"Bravely did the Israelites speak the words promising obedience to the Lord,
after hearing His covenant read in the audience of the people. They said, 'All that the
Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.' Then the people were set apart and sealed
to God. A sacrifice was offered to the Lord. A portion of the blood of the sacrifice was
sprinkled upon the altar. This signified that the people had consecrated themselvesbody, mind, and soul-to God. A portion was sprinkled upon the people. This signified that through the sprinkled blood of Christ, God graciously accepted them as His
special treasure. Thus the Israelites entered into a solemn covenant with God."The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1107.
4.

What did Moses say as he sprinkled the blood of the covenant upon the people? Exodus 24:8.

o
MOSES IN THE MOUNT FORTY DAYS
5.

Tuesday

October 3

For what purpose was Moses again called into the mount? Exodus 24:12;
25:8,9,40. What was seen on Mount Sinai? Exodus 24:15-17.

"During his stay in the mount, Moses received directions for the building of a
sanctuary in which the divine presence would be specially manifested. 'Let them
make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them,' was the command of God....
"Henceforth the people were to be honored with the abiding presence of their
King. 'I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God,' 'and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory,' was the assurance given to Moses. As the symbol of God's authority, and the embodiment of His will, there was delivered to Moses
a copy of the Decalogue engraved by the finger of God Himself upon two tables of
stone, to be sacredly enshrined in the sanctuary, which, when made, was to be the
visible center of the nation's worship."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 313, 314.
6.

How long was Moses upon the mount with God? Exodus 24:18. How did the
Lord want to enlighten the world through Israel?

"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 ~heir 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. "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 314.

o Wednesday

THE GOLDEN CALF
7.

October 4

When the people saw that Moses was so long in ~oming down from the mountain, what did they say as they gathered around Aaron? Exodus 32:1.

-6-

"During this period of waiting, there was time for them to meditate upon the law
of God which they had heard, and to prepare their hearts to receive the further revelations that He might make to them. They had none too much time for this work; and
had they been thus seeking a clearer understanding of God's requirements, and
humbling their hearts before Him, they would have been shielded from temptation.
But they did not do this, and they soon becamer careless, inattentive, and lawless.
Especially was this the case with the mixed multitude. They were impatient to be ort
their way to the Land of Promise-the land flowing with milk and honey. It was only on
condition of obedience that the goodly land was promised them, but they had lost
sight of this. There were some who suggested a return to Egypt, but whether forward
to Canaan or backward to Egypt, the masses of the people were determined to wait no
longer for Moses." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 315.
8.

How did Aaron reveal his weakness? What did the people do? Exodus
32:2-6; Psalm 106:19,20. What warning does this awful experience con·
tain for us? 1 Corinthians 10:7.

"How often, in our own day, is the love of pleasure disguised by a 'form of
godliness'! A religion that permits men, while observing the rites of worship, to devote themselves to selfish or sensual gratification, is as pleasing to the multitudes now
as in the days of Israel. And there are still pliant Aarons, who, while holding positions
of authority in the church, will yield to the desires of the unconsecrated, and thus encourage them in sin."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 317.
"We repeat the sin of Aaron, pacifying, when the eyesight should be clear to
discern evil and state it plainly, even if it places us in an unpleasant position, because
our motives may be misapprehended. We must not suffer wrong upon a brother or
any soul with whom we are connected. This neglect to stand up firmly for truth was
the sin of Aaron. Had he spoken the truth plainly, that golden calf would never have
been made."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1109.

o Thursday
MOSES PLEADS WITH THE LORD
9.

October 5

What did the Lord say to Moses as He warned him of the apostasy in the
camp? Exodus 32:7-10. How did Moses plead with God in behalf of Israel?
Exodus 32:11-13. What did the Lord do in answer to Moses' prayer? Exodus 32:14.

"As Moses interceded for Israel, his timidity was lost in his deep interest and love
for those for whom he had, in the hands of God, been the means of doing so much.
The Lord listened to his pleadings, and granted his unselfish prayer. God had proved
His servant; He had tested his faithfulness, and his love for that erring, ungrateful
people, and nobly had Moses endured the trial. His interest in Israel sprung from no
selfish motive. The prosperity of God's chosen people was dearer to him than personal honor, dearer than the privilege of becoming the father of a mighty nation. God
was pleased with his faithfulness, his simplicity of heart, and his integrity, and He
committed to him, as a faithful shepherd, the great charge of leading Israel to the
Promised Land."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 319.
10. What lesson should we learn from this apostasy? Matthew 15:14; 2 Timothy
4:2.
(Continued on page 27)

-7-

Sabbath, October 14, 1989

Lesson 2

THE COVENANT RESTORED
"At God's command he [Moses) had prepared two tables of stone, and had
taken them with him to the summit; and again the Lord 'wrote upon the
tables the words of the covenant,. the Ten Commandments.' "- Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 329.

KEY TEXT:

"And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the
tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with
Israel." Exodus 34:27.

o Sunday
MOSES BREAKS THE TABLES

October 8

1.

What did Moses bring with him when he came down from the mount? Exodus
32:15, 16. How did Joshua interpret the noise that he heard in the camp?
And Moses? Exodus 32:17, 18.

2.

What did Moses do when he saw the idolatry of the people? Exodus 32:19,
20. How did Aaron try to justify himself with vain excuses? Exodus
32:21-24. How offensive was his attitude in the eyes of God? Deuteronomy
9:20.

"If Aaron had had courage to stand for the right, irrespective of consequences, he
could have prevented that apostasy. If he had unswervingly maintained his own
allegiance to God, if he had cited the people to the perils of Sinai, and had reminded
them of their solemn covenant with God to obey His law, the evil would have been
checked. But his compliance with the desires of the people and the calm assurance
with which he proceeded to carry out their plans, emboldened them to go to greater
lengtns in sin than had before entered their minds.'i-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 323.

o Monday
THE JUDGMENT OF GOD UPON THE PEOPLE

October 9

3. What corrective step did Moses take after he had rebuked his brother?
Which tribe had not worshiped the golden calf? How many persisted in rebellion and what happened to them? Exodus 32:25-29.
"It was necessary that this sin should be punished,. as a testimony to surrounding
nations of God's displeasure against idolatry. By executing justice upon the guilty,

-8-

"

Moses, as God's instrument, must leave on record a solemn and public protest against,
their crime. As the Israelites should hereafter condemn the idolatry of the neighboring tribes, their enemies would throw back upon them the charge that the people who
claimed Jehovah as their God had made a calf and worshiped it in Horeb. Then
though compelled to acknowledge the disgraceful truth, Israel could point to the terrible fate of the transgressors, as evidence that their sin had not been sanctioned or excused.
"Love no less than justice demanded that for this sin, judgment should be inflicted. God is the guardian as well as the sovereign of His people. He cuts off those
who are determined upon rebellion, that they may not lead others to ruin....
"So with the apostasy at Sinai. Unless punishment had been speedily visited upon
transgression, the same results would again have been seen. The earth would have
become as corrupt as in the days of Noah. Had these transgressors been spared, evils
would have followed, greater than resulted from sparing the life of Cain. It was the
mercy of God that thousands should suffer, to prevent the necessity of visiting judgments upon millions."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 325.
4.

What did Moses say to those who were sorry for their sin? Exodus 32:30.
How did he pray for them? Exodus 32:31, 32. What was the Lord's answer to
Moses? Exodus 32:33-35.

"In the prayer of Moses, our minds are directed to the heavenly records in which
the names of all men are inscribed, and their deeds, whether good or evil, are faithfully registered. The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the
service of God. If any of these depart from Him, and by stubborn persistence in sin
become finally hardened against the influences of His Holy Spirit, their names will in
the judgment be blotted from the book of life, and they themselves will be devoted to
destruction. Moses realized how dreadful would be the fate of the sinner; yet if the
people of Israel were to be rejected by the Lord, he desired his name to be blotted out
with theirs; he could not endure to see the judgments of God fall upon those who had
been so graciously delivered. The intercession of Moses in behalf of Israel illustrates
the mediation of Christ for sinful men. But the Lord did not permit Moses to bear, as
did Christ, the guilt of the transgressor. 'Whosoever hath sinned against me,' He said,
'him will I blot out of my book.' "-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 326, 327.

GOD DISPLEASED WITH THE PEOPLE

o Tuesday
October 10

5.

How did the people react when they heard that the Lord would not lead them
to Canaan because of their sin? Exodus 33:1-6.

6.

Where did Moses pitch the tabernacle after this dreadful experience? How
would they reveal themselves who truly sought the Lord? What token showed
that there was still hope for them? Exodus 33:7-10.

"The tent was pitched without the encampment, but Moses called it 'the tabernacle of the congregation.' All who were truly penitent, and desired to return to the
Lord, were directed to repair thither to confess their sins and seek His mercy. When
they returned to their tents Moses entered the tabernacle. With agonizing interest the
people watched for some token that his intercessions in their behalf were accepted. If
God should condescend to meet with him, they might hope that they were not to be ut-

-9-

terly consumed. When the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the entrance of the
tabernacle, the people wept for joy, and they 'rose up and worshiped, every man in his
tent door.' "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 327.

o
MOSES OBTAINS GOD'S ASSURANCE
7.

Wednesday

October 11

What assurance did Moses obtain from the Lord? Exodus 33:11-17. How
can we obtain the same assurance?

"This experience-above all else the promise that the divine presence would attend him-was to Moses an assurance of success in the work before him; and he
counted it of infinitely greater worth than all the learning of Egypt or all his attainments as a statesman or a military leader. No earthly power or skill or learning
can supply the place of God's abiding presence."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 328.
" 'Go to God and tell Him as did Moses, I cannot lead this people unless Thy
presence shall go with me.' And then ask still more; pray with Moses, 'Show me Thy
glory.' What is this glory?-the character of God. That is what He proclaimed to
Moses. Let the soul, in living faith, fasten upon God. Let the tongue speak His praise.
When you associate together, let the mind be reverently turned to the contemplation
of eternal realities. Thus you will be helping one another to be spiritually minded.
When your will is ,in harmony with the divine will, you will be in harmony with one
another; you will have Christ by your side as a counselor.' "- Testimonies to Ministers,
p.499,

8.

What further request did Moses make and what was the Lord's answer? Exodus 33:18-23. What is our privilege in this connection?

"The goodness, mercy, and love of God were proclaimed by Christ to Moses.
This was God's character."-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 362.
"It is our privilege to reach higher and still higher for clearer revealings of the
character of God. When Moses prayed, 'I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory,' the
Lord did not rebuke him, but He granted his prayer. God declared to His servant, 'I
will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord
before thee.' Exodus 33:18, 19.
"It is sin that darkens our minds and dims our perceptions. As sin is purged from
our hearts, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, illuminating His word and reflected from the face of nature, more and more fully will
declare Him 'merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and
truth.' Exodus 34:6.
"In His light shall we see light, until mind and heart and soul are transformed into
the image of His holiness. For those who thus lay hold of the divine assurances of
God's word, there are wonderful possibilities."-The Ministry of Healing, pp. 464, 465.

o Thursday
THE TABLES ARE RENEWED
9.

October 12

With what instruction did Moses again go up into the mount? Exodus
34:1-4. How did the Lord proclaim His name to Moses? Exodus 34:5-7. For
what did Moses still pray and what answer did he obtain? Exodus 34:.8-17,
24,27.

-10 -

"Moses was full of confidence in God because he had appropriated faith. He needed help, and he prayed for it, grasped it by faith, and wove into his experience the
belief that God cared for him. He believed that God ruled his life in particular. He saw
and acknowledged God in every detail of his life and felt that he was under the eye of
the All-seeing One, who weighs motives, who tries the heart. He looked to God and
trusted in Him for strength to carry him uncorrupted through every form of temptation. He knew that a special work had been assigned to him, and he desired as far as
possible to make that work thoroughly successful. But he knew that he could not do
this without divine aid, for he had a perverse people to deal with. The presence of God
was sufficient to carry him through the most trying situations in which a man could be
placed.
"Moses did not merely think of God; he saw Him. God was the constant vision
before him; he never lost sight of His face. He saw Jesus as his Saviour, and he believed
that the Saviour's merits would be imputed to him. This faith was to Moses no guesswork; it was a reality. This is the kind of faith we need, faith that will endure the
test."- Testi~onies, vol. 5, pp. 651, 652.
10. What did Moses bring down from the mount after forty days? How did the
people feel when they saw Moses? Exodus 34:28-30, 33. Why are many, today, unable to understand the lessons contained in the Old Testament? John
5:46; 2 Corinthians'3:14, 15.
'
"While Moses was in the mount, God presented to him; not only the tables of the
law, but also the plan of salvation. He saw that the sacrifice of Christ was prefigured
by all the types and symbols of the Jewish age; and it was the heavenly light streaming from Calvary, no less than the glory of the law of God, that shed such a radiance
upon the face of Moses. That divine illumination symbolized the glory of the dispensation of which Moses was the visible mediator, a representative of the one true Intercessor.
"The glory reflected in the countenance of Moses illustrates the blessings to be
received by God's commandment-keeping people through the mediation of Christ. It
testifies that the closer our communion with God, and the clearer our knowledge of
His requirements, the more fully shall we be conformed to the divine image, and the
more readily do we become partakers of the divine nature."-Patriarchs and Prophets,
p.330.

o

Friday
October 13

REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS
a.

How should Aaron have acted in order to check the apostasy at Sinai?

b.

What would have happened if that apostasy had not been severely punished?

c.

Why did the people weep for joy when they saw that the pillar of cloud came
down and stood at the entrance of the tabernacle?

d.

How did the Lord answer Moses' prayer ("Shew me Thy glory")? How can we
have a similar experience? What was the key to the remarkable success of
Moses' work?

e.

What should we learn from the glory reflected 1,Il the countenance of Moses
when he came down from the mount with the tables of the newly written law? •

.(

-11-

Lesson 3

Sabbath, October 21, 1989

THE SIN OF NADAB AND ABIHU

"Those who have any connection with the work of God are not to walk in the
vanity of their own wisdom, but in the wisdom of God, or they will be in
danger of placing sacred and common things on the same level, and thus
separate themselves from God."-Evangelism, p. 639.
KEY TEXT:

"And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and
profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the
clean." Ezekiel 44:23.

D Sunday
AARON AND HIS SONS CONSECRATED
1.

October 15

Describe in a few words the ceremony of consecration of Aaron and his sons
for the service of the sanctuary. Leviticus 8:1-9, 12, 13,24,30,33.

"After the dedication of the tabernacle, the priests were consecrated to their
sacred office. These services occupied seven days, each marked by special ceremonies. On the eighth day they entered upon their ministration. Assisted by his sons,
Aaron offered the sacrifices that God required, and he lifted up his hands and blessed
the people. All had been done as God commanded, and he accepted the sacrifice, and
revealed His glory in a remarkable manner; fire came from the Lord, and consumed
the offering upon the altar. The people looked upon this wonderful manifestation of
divine power, with awe and intense interest. They saw in it a token of God's glory and
favor, and they raised a universal shout of praise and adoration and fell on their faces
as if in the immediate presence of Jehovah."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 359.
2. What condition was required especially of those who were called to serve in
the presence of the Lord? Exodus 19:22; 28:36-38, 41 (last part); Ezekiel
44:23. What disqualifies men for sacred responsibilities?
"If one [who accepts sacred responsibilities] has not a vital connection with God,
his own spirit and sentiments will prevail. These may be well represented as strange
fire offered in the place of the sacred. Man has woven into the work of God his own
defects of character, devices that are human and earthly, delusions ensnaring to
himself and to all who accept them."- Testimonies to Ministers, p. 371.

-12 -

o Monday
October 16

NADAB AND ABIHU SLAIN
3.

What action on the part of Nadab and Abihu showed that they were not qualified for the sacred office that was given them? Leviticus 10:1. How do professed Christians use strange fire in our days?

"The converting power of God must come upon men who handle sacred things,
yet who are unable, through some cause best known to God, to distinguish between
the sacred fire of God's own kindling and the strange fire which they offer. That
strange fire is as dishonoring to God as was that presented by Nadab and Abihu. The
sacred fire of God's love would make men tender and kind and sympathetic toward
those in peril. Those who indulge in sharp, overbearing words, are really saying: I am
holier than thou. Do you not see my exalted position?"- Testimonies to Ministers, p. 356.
4.

How was their profane behavior punished? Leviticus 10:2.

"But they [Nadab and Abihu] transgressed His [God's] command by the use of
"strange fire." For burning the incense they took common instead of the sacred fire
which God Himself had kindled, and which He had commanded to be used for this
purpose. For this sin a fire went out from the Lord and devoured them in the sight of
the people."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 359.

o Tuesday
THE EFFECT OF A FAULTY TRAINING
5.

October 17

As Moses was able, immediately, to pinpoint the cause of the trouble, what
did he say to Aaron? Leviticus 10:3. What made the sin of Nadab and Abihu
all the more grievous in the eyes of God?

"Next to Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu had stood highest in Israel. They
had been especially honored by the Lord, having been permitted with the seventy
elders to behold His glory in the mount. But their transgression was not therefore to
be excused or lightly regarded. All this rendered their sin more grievous. Because
men have received great light, because they have, like the princes of Israel, ascended
to the mount, and been privileged to have communion with God, and to dwell in the
light of His glory, let them not flatter themselves that they can afterward sin with impunity, that because they have been thus honored, God will not be strict to punish
their iniquity. This is a fatal deception."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 359, 360.
6.

What kind of training received by Nadab and Abihu in their earlier days was
the real cause of their irresponsible attitude? (Note.) What lesson should we
learn, by contrast, from Aaron's failure to discipline his sons? Proverbs 22:6.

"Nadab and Abihu had not in their youth been trained to habits of self-control.
The father's yielding disposition, his lack of firmness for right, had led him to neglect
the discipline of his children. His sons had been permitted to follow inclination. Habits of self-indulgence, long cherished, obtained a hold upon them which even the
responsibility of the most sacred office had not power to break. They had not been
taught to respect the authority of their father, and they did not realize the necessity of
exact obedience to the requirements of God. Aaron's mistaken indulgence of his sons,
-13 -

prepared them to become the subjects of the divine Judgments." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 360.

D Wednesday
THE SURVIVORS ARE WARNED
7.

October 18

Why were Aaron and his surviving sons not permitted to mourn the death of
Nadab and Abihu? Leviticus 10:6,7.

"The death of his [Aaron's] sons, cut down without warning, in so terrible a sina sin which he now saw to be the result of his own neglect of duty-wrung the father's
heart with anguish, but he gave his feelings no expression. By no manifestation of
grief must he seem to sympathize with sin. The congregation must not be led to murmur against God.
"The Lord would teach His people to acknowledge the justice of His corrections,
that others may fear. There were those in Israel whom the warning of this terrible
judgment might save from presuming upon God's forbearance until they, too, should
seal their own destiny. The divine rebuke is upon that false sympathy for the sinner
which endeavors to excuse his sin. It is the effect of sin to deaden the moral perceptions, so that the wrongdoer does not realize the enormity of transgression, and
without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit he remains in partial blindness to his
sin. It is the duty of Christ's servants to show these erring ones their peril. Those who
destroy the effect of the warning by blinding the eyes of sinners to the real character
and results of sin often flatter themselves that they thus give evidence of their charity;
but they are working directly to oppose and hinder the work of God's Holy Spirit;
they are lulling the sinner to rest on the brink of destruction; they are making
themselves partakers in his guilt and incurring a fearful responsibility for his impenitence. Many, many, have gone down to ruin as the result of this false and deceptive sympathy."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 361.
8.

What warning did the Lord give them against the use of alcoholic beverages?
Leviticus 10:8-11.

"Nadab and Abihu would never have committed that fatal sin had they not first
become partially intoxicated by the free use of wine. They understood that the most
careful and solemn preparation was necessary before presenting themselves in the
sanctuary, where the divine Presence was manifested; but by intemperance they
were disqualified for their holy office. Their minds became confused and their moral
perceptions dulled so that they could not discern the difference between the sacred
and the common."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 361, 362.

D Thursday
A LESSON FOR US
9.

October 19

Why was the sin of Nadab and Abihu recorded? Romans 15:4. How is this sin
being repeated in the popular churches in our days?

"God designed to teach the people that they must approach Him with reverence
and awe, and in His own appointed manner. He cannot accept partial obedience. It
was not enough that in this solemn season of worship nearly everything was done as
He had directed. God has pronounced a curse upon those who depart from His commandments, and put no difference between common and holy things. "-Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 360.
-14 -

"God has not changed. He is as particular and exact in His requirements now as
He was in the days of Moses. But in the sanctuaries of worship in our day, with the
songs of praise, the prayers, and the teaching from the pulpit, there is not merely
strange fire, but positive defilement. Instead of truths being preached with holy unction from God, it is sometimes spoken under the influence of tobacco and brandy.
Strange fire indeed! Bible truth and Bible holiness are presented to the people,' and
prayers are offered to God, mingled with the stench of tobacco! Such incense is most
acceptable to Satan! A terrible deception is this! What an offense in the sight of God!
What an insult to Him who is holy, dwelling in light unapproachable!"-The SDA Bible
Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1111.
10. What kind of men does the Lord call to occupy positions of sacred responsibility? 1 Peter 1:15, 16; 2:9.

"A minister of Christ should be pure in conversation and in actions. He should
ever bear in mind that he is handling words of inspiration, words of a holy God. He
must also bear in mind that the flock is entrusted to his care, and that he is to bear
their cases to Jesus, and plead for them as Jesus pleads for us with the Father. I was
pointed back to the children of Israel anciently and saw how pure and holy the
ministers of the sanctuary had to be, because they were brought by their work into a
close connection with God. They that minister must be holy, pure, and without
blemish, or God will destroy them. God has not changed."-Early Writings, p. 103.

D Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

October 20

How can men in the work of God offer strange fire? Give examples.
What mistake did Nadab and Abihu make and what happened to them?
Describe the education they had received and the type of character they had
developed.
How do some believers feel false sympathy for wrongdoers in the church?
Give examples.
What lesson should we learn from the way God dealt with Nadab and Abihu? •

"The work of apostasy begins in some secret
rebellion of the heart against the requirements of
God's law. Unholy desires, unlawful ambitions, are
cherished and indulged, and unbelief and darkness
separate the soul from God." - That,! May Know Him, p. 254.


-15-

Lesson 4

Sabbath, October 28, 1989

DEPARTING FROM SINAI

"The repeated murmurings of the Israelites, and the visitations of God's
wrath because of their transgressions, are recorded in sacred history for the
benefit of God's people who should afterward live upon the earth, but more
especially to prove a warning to those who should live near the close of
time."-The Story of Redemption, p. 152.
KEY TEXT:

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they
are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are
come." 1 Corinthians 10:11.

o Sunday
THE ISRAELITES' MARCH
1.

October 22

According to the Jewish calendar, (a) when did Israel leave Egypt? Exodus
12:1-3, 17, 18; 13:4; (b) when did they encamp before Mount Sinai? ~xodus
19:1; (c) when did they leave Sinai? Numbers 10:11, 12.

"[I]t was almost with reluctance that many left the place where they had so long
encamped. They had come almost to regard it as their home. Within the shelter of
those granite walls God had gathered His people, apart from all other nations, to
repeat to them His holy law. They loved to look upon the sacred mount, on whose
hoary peaks and barren ridges the divine glory had so often been displayed."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 376, 377.
2. What kind of musical instruments was Moses directed to provide and for
what purpose? Numbers 10:1-10. When the first alarm of the trumpets was
given, which tribes marched first and what went before each tribe? Numbers
10:14-16.

"At the signal from the trumpeters, however, the entire camp set forward, the
tabernacle borne in the midst, and each tribe in its appointed position, under its own
standard. All eyes were turned anxiously to see in what direction the cloud would
lead. As it moved toward the east, where were only mountain masses huddled together, black and desolate, a feeling of sadness and doubt arose in many hearts."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 377.

-16 -

D Monday
THE ISRAELITES' MARCH
3.

(continued)

October 23

Whom did Moses invite to accompany the people of Israel and why? Numbers
10:29-31. What evidence do we have that Hobab finally accepted the invitation? Judges 1:16; 4:11.

"Of this tribe [the Kenites] was the brother-in-law of Moses, Hobab, who had accompanied the Israelites in their travels through the wilderness, and by his knowledge of the country had rendered them valuable assistance."-Patriarchs and Prophets,
p.628.

4.

What prayer would Moses offer when the cloud would lift and the ark would,
set out? And what prayer would he offer when the ark would rest again?
Numbers 10:35, 36.

"God Himself directed the Israelites in all their travels. The place of their encampment was indicated by the descent of the pillar of cloud; and so long as they
were to remain in camp, the cloud rested over the tabernacle. When they were to continue their journey it was lifted high above the sacred tent. A solemn invocation marked both the halt and the departure."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 376.

D Tuesday
THE MURMURERS ARE PUNISHED
5.

October 24

Through what sort of land did the people of Israel travel after they had left
Sinai? Deuteronomy 1:19; 8:15, 16; 32:10; Jeremiah 2:6.

"As they advanced, the way became more difficult. Their route lay through stony
ravine and barren waste. All around them was the great wilderness-'a land of
deserts and of pits,' 'a land of drought, and of the shadow of death,' 'a land that no
man passed through, and where no man dwelt.' The rocky gorges, far and near, were
thronged with men, women, and children, with beasts and wagons, and long lines of
flocks and herds. Their progress was necessarily slow and toilsome; and the
multitudes, after their long encampment, were not prepared to endure the perils and
discomforts of the way."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 377.
6.

How did some of the people react to the discomforts of the way and what
punishment was meted out to the murmurers? Numbers 11:1. How was the
fire quenched? Numbers 11:2,3.

"After three days' journey, open complaints were heard. These originated with
the mixed multitude, many of whom were not fully united with Israel, and were continually watching for some cause of censure. The complainers were not pleased with
the direction of the march, and they were continually finding fault with the way in
which Moses was leading them, though they well knew that he, as well as they, was
following the guiding cloud, Dissatisfaction is contagious, and it soon spread in the
encampment."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 377.

"They [the people of Israel] had received great light, as they had been witnesses
to the majesty, the power, and the mercy of God; and their unbelief and discontent incurred the greater guilt. Furthermore, they had covenanted to accept Jehovah as
their king, and to obey His authority. Their murmuring was now rebellion, and as
-17 -

such it must receive prompt and signal punishment, if Israel was to be preserved from
anarchy and ruin."-Ibid., p. 379.

D Wednesday
THE PEOPLE LUST FOR FLESH
7.

October 25

For what did the Israelites clamor after the bitter Taberah experience? With
whom did the murmuring begin? Numbers 11:4-6; Psalm 78:18-20.

"The Israelites, during their bondage in Egypt, had been compelled to subsist on
the plainest and simplest food; but the keen appetite induced by privation and hard
labor had made it palatable. Many of the Egyptians, however, who were now among
them, had been accustomed to a luxurious diet; and these were the first to complain.
At the giving of the manna, just before Israel reached Sinai, the Lord had granted
them flesh in answer to their clamors; but it was furnished them for only one day.
"God might as easily have provided them with flesh as with manna, but a restriction was placed upon them for their good. It was His purpose to supply them with
food better suited to their wants than the feverish diet to which many had become accustomed in Egypt. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy
state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man-the fruits of the
earth, which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden. It was for this reason that the Israelites had been deprived, in a great measure, of animal food." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 377, 378.
"The state of the mind has largely to do with the health of the body, and especially with the health of the digestive organs. As a general thing, the Lord did not provide
His people with flesh meat in the desert, because He knew that the use of this diet
would create disease and insubordination. In order to modify the disposition, and bring
the higher powers of the mind into active exercise, He removed from them the flesh
of dead animals. He gave them angels' food, manna from heaven."-The SDA Bible
Commentary [E.G. White Comments], yol. 1, pp. 1112, 1113.
8.

How was their demand for flesh food granted and what were the results?
Numbers 11:31-34; Psalms 78:26-32; 106:14, 15.

"God gave the people that which was not for their highest good, because they persisted in desiring it; they would not be satisfied with those things that would prove a
benefit to them. Their rebellious desires were gratified, but they were left to suffer
the result."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 382.

D Thursday
A LESSON FOR US
9.

October 26

What lesson should we learn from the rebellious behavior of Israel in the
wilderness? 1 Corinthians 10:5,6, 11.

"God brought the Israelites from Egypt, that He might establish them in the land
of Canaan, a pure, holy, and happy people. In the accomplishment of this object He
subjected them to a course of discipline, both for their own good and for the good of
their posterity. Had they been willing to deny appetite, in obedience to His wise restrictions, feebleness and disease would have been unknown to them. Their descendants
would have possessed both physical and mental strength. They would have had clear
-18 -

perceptions of truth and duty, keen discrimination, and sound judgment. But their unwillingness to submit to the restrictions and requirements of God, prevented them, to
a great extent, from reaching the high standard which He desired them to attain, and
from receiving the blessings which He was ready to bestow upon them."-Patriarchs
and Prophets, p. 378.
10. What admonition should we take into serious consideration? Luke 21:34,
35; Romans 13:11-14.

"The author of disease and misery will assail men where he can have the greatest
success. Through temptations addressed to the appetite he has, to a large extent, led
men into sin from the time when he induced Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. It was
by this same means that he led Israel to murmur against God. Intemperance in eating
and drinking, leading as it does to the indulgence of the lower passions, prepares the
way for men to disregard all moral obligations. When assailed by temptation, they
have little power of resistance."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 378.

o Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

October 27

a.

Describe the departure of Israel from Sinai.

b.

How did God use the pillar of cloud to direct the wanderings of Israel?

c.

Describe the discomforts and difficulties that the Israelites had to face and
the problems that they often caused.

d.

For what purpose did the Lord want His people to refrain from using animal
food? What happened as a result of their rebellious demand?

e.

What admonition should we take from the unwillingness of the Israelites to
submit to the heaven-imposed restrictions?


"The better you observe the laws of health, the more
clearly can you discern temptations, and resist them,
and the more clearly can you discern the value of eternal
things." -My Life Today, p. 141.


-19 -

Sabbath, November 4, 1989

Lesson 5

REBELLION
AT HAZEROTH AND KADESH
..
"Those who carry forward God's work should be distinguished from all
others by their humility. Of the man who is noted for his meekness, Christ
says, He can be trusted. Through him I can reveal Myself to the world," - The
SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. I, p. 1113.

KEY TEXT:

"Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were
upon the face of the earth." Numbers 12:3.

D Sunday
SEDITION OF MIRIAM AND AARON
1.

October 29

What was the sin of -Miriam and Aaron at Hazeroth? What special quality of
Moses' character was tested during the sedition? How did the Lord intervene? Numbers 12:1-9.

"God had chosen Moses, and had put His Spirit upon him; and Miriam and
Aaron, by their murmurings, were guilty of disloyalty, not only to their appointed
leader, but to God Himself. The seditious whisperers were summoned to the tabernacle, and brought face to face with Moses. 'And Jehovah came down in the pillar of
the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam.'
Their claim to the prophetic gift was not denied; God might have spoken to them in
visions and dreams. But to Moses, whom the Lord Himself declared 'faithful in all
Mine house,' a nearer communion had been granted. With him God spake mouth to
mouth. 'Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? And
the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and He departed.' The cloud disappeared from the tabernacle in token of God's displeasure, and Miriam was smitten."
-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 384, 385.

2.

How did the Lord show His displeasure, especially against Miriam? What
confession did Aaron make? How did Moses plead for Miriam and how was
her punishment mitigated? Numbers 12:10-16'.

- 20-

"This manifestation of the Lord's displeasure was designed to be a warning to all
Israel, to check the growing spirit of discontent and insubordination. If Miriam's envy
and dissatisfaction had not been signally rebuked, it would have resulted in great evil.
Envy is one of the most satanic traits that can exist in the human heart, and it is one of
the most baleful in its effects. Says the wise man, 'Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?' It was envy that first caused discord in
heaven, and its indulgence has wrought untold evil among men. 'Where envying and
strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.'
"It should not be regarded as a light thing to speak evil of others or to make
ourselves judges of their motives or actions....
"He who has placed upon men the heavy responsibility of leaders and teachers of
His people will hold the people accountable for the manner in which they treat His
servants. Weare to honor those whom God has honored. The judgment visited upon
Miriam should be a rebuke to all who yield to jealousy, and murmur against those
upon whom God lays the burden of His work."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 385, 386.

D Monday
SPIES SENT INTO CANAAN

October 30

3.

What is the distance between Sinai [Horeb] and Kadesh [in the wilderness of
Paran]? Deuteronomy 1:2. For what purpose were spies sent from Kadesh into the land of Canaan? Numbers 13:1-3, 17-20; Deuteronomy 1:20-25.

4.

After how many days did the spies return to Kadesh and what visible tokens
of the fertility of the land did they bring back? Numbers 13:21-26.

"They [the spies] went, and surveyed the whole land, entering at the southern
border and proceeding to the northern extremity. They returned after an absence of
forty days. The people of Israel were cherishing high hopes and were waiting in eager
expectancy. The news of the spies' return was carried from tribe to tribe and was
hailed with rejoicing. The people rushed out to meet the messengers, who had safely
escaped the dangers .of their perilous undertaking. The spies brought specimens of
the fruit, showing the fertility of the soil."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 387.

D Tuesday
THE SPIES' REPORT
5.

October 31

What report did ten of the spies bring? Numbers 13:27-29, 31-33. What
did Joshua and Caleb say? Numbers 13:30; 14:6-9. What is one of our great
needs today?

"These men [the ten spies], having entered upon a wrong course, stubbornly set
themselves against Caleb and Joshua, against Moses, and against God. Every advance step rendered them the more determined.... When men yield their hearts to
unbelief they place themselves under the control of Satan, and none can tell to what
lengths he will lead them."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 389.
"Calebs have been greatly needed in different periods of the history of our work.
Today we need men of thorough fidelity, men who follow the Lord fully, men who are
not disposed to be silent when they ought to speak, WI;lO are as true as steel to principle, who do not seek to make a pretentious show, but who walk humbly with God, patient, kind, obliging, courteous men, who understand that the science of prayer is to
- 21-

exercise faith and show works that will tell to the glory of God and the good of His
people."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1113.

6.

How did the people receive the conflicting reports of the spies? Numbers
14:1-4, 10. Why did they believe some reports and disbelieve others?

"Hope and courage gave place to cowardly despair, as the spies uttered the sentiments of their unbelieving hearts, which were filled with discouragement prompted
by Satan. Their unbelief cast a gloomy shadow over the congregation, and the mighty
power of God, so often manifested in behalf of the chosen nation, was forgotten. The
people did not wait to reflect; they did not reason that He who had brought them thus
far would certainly give them the land; they did not call to mind how wonderfully God
had delivered them from their oppressors, cutting a path through the sea and destroying the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh. They left God out of the question, and acted as
though they must depend solely on the power of arms.
"In their unbelief they limited the power of God and distrusted the hand that had
hitherto safely guided them. And they repeated their former error of murmuring
against Moses and Aaron. 'This, then, is the end of our high hopes,' they said. 'This is
the land we have traveled all the way from Egypt to possess.' They accused their
leaders of deceiving the people and bringing trouble upon Israel."-Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 388.
"Revolt and open mutiny quickly followed; for Satan had full sway, and the people seemed bereft of reason."-Ibid., p. 389.

D Wednesday
THE PEOPLE MURMUR
7.

Novemberl

How did Moses and Aaron act when they saw that the people had accepted
the cowardly report and were getting rebellious? Numbers 14:5. How did the
Lord intervene at this crucial moment and what did He say? Numbers
14:10-12.

"In humiliation and distress, 'Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the
assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel,' not knowing what to do to turn
them from their rash and passionate purIJose."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 389.
8.

How did Moses plead with the Lord? What reason did he give why the people
of Israel should be pardoned and spared? Numbers 14:13-19.

D
THE MURMURERS PUNISHED
9.

Thursday

November 2

What sentence did the Lord pronounce upon the murmurers and rebels?
Numbers 14:20-23,27-33,35. How did He punish the ten spies who gave
the evil report? Numbers 14:36,37.

"In their rebellion the people had exclaimed, 'Would God we had died in this
wilderness!' Now this prayer was to be granted. The Lord declared: 'As ye have
spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you: your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness,
- 22-

and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty
years old and upward.... But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them
will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.' And of Caleb he
said, 'My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed
Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess
it.' As the spies had spend forty days in their journey, so the hosts of Israel were to
wander in the wilderness forty years.
"When Moses made known to the people the divine decision, their rage was
changed to mourning. They knew that their punishment was just. The ten unfaithful
spies, divinely smitten by the plague, perished before the eyes of all Israel; and in
their fate the people read their own doom."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 391.
10. What sin of presumption did the murmurers commit the next day? What was
the result? Numbers 14:39-45; Deuteronomy 1:41-44.

"Forced to submission at last, the survivors 'returned, and wept before the Lord;'
but 'the Lord would not hearken to their voice.' By their signal victory the enemies of
Israel, who had before awaited with trembling the approach of that mighty host, were
inspired with confidence to resist them. All the reports they had heard concerning the
marvelous things that God had wrought for His people, they now regarded as false,
and they felt that there was no cause for fear. That first defeat of Israel, by inspiring
the Canaanites with courage and resolution, had greatly increased the difficulties of
the conquest. Nothing remained for Israel but to fall back from the face of their victorious foes, into the wilderness, knowing that here must be the grave of a whole generation.' '-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 394.

D Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

November 3

a.

On what pretext did Miriam and Aaron start murmuring against Moses?
What was the real cause of their sedition?

b.

What instruction did Moses give the twelve spies as to the information they
were to bring back?

c.

Describe the conflicting reports of the spies and the way they were received.

d:

How did Moses and Aaron face the crisis, and how did the Lord reveal
Himself when the people wanted to stone the two God-appointed leaders,
choose another leader, and go back to Egypt?

e.

What happened among the Israelites right after that rebellion?

"

- 23-

Lesson 6

Sabbath, November 11, 1989

THE REBELLION OF
KORAH, DATHAN, AND ABIRAM

"The former rebellions had been mere popular tumults, arising from the
sudden impulse of the excited multitude; but now a deep-laid conspiracy
was formed, the result of a determined purpose to overthrow the authority
of the leaders appointed by God Himself."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 395.

KEY TEXT:

"And they [Korah, Dathan, and Abiram] rose up before Moses, with
certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the
assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown." Numbers
16:2.

o

Sunday
November 5

A CONSPIRACY
1.

What conspiracy developed among the Israelites while they were chafing
under the Lord's decision that they must wander in the wilderness forty
years? Who were the main conspirators? Numbers 16:1-3.

"Korah, the leading spirit in this movement, was a Levite, of the family of
Kohath, and a cousin of Moses; he was a man of ability and influence. Though appointed to the service of the tabernacle, he had become dissatisfied with his position
and aspired to the dignity of the priesthood. The bestowal upon Aaron and his house
of the priestly office, which had formerly devolved upon the first-born son of every
family, had given rise to jealousy and dissatisfaction, and for some time Korah had
been secretly opposing the authority of Moses and Aaron, though he had not ventured upon any open act of rebellion. He finally conceived the bold design of overthrowing both the civil and the religious authority. He did not fail to find sympathizers."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 395.

2.

What test did Moses propose to the conspirators to prove the divine call?
Numbers 16:4-7, 16-18. Why were the people inclined to sympathize with
the rebels?

"To those who are in the wrong, and deserving of r.eproof, there is nothing more
pleasing than to receive sympathy and praise. And thus Korah and his associates
-24-

.

gained the attention and enlisted the support of the congregation. The charge that the
murmurings of the people had brought upon them the wrath of God was declared to
be a mistake. They said that the congregation were not at fault, since they desired
nothing more than their rights; but that Moses was an overbearing ruler; that he had
reproved the people as sinners, when they were a holy people, and the Lord was
among them."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 397.
"The people thought if Korah could lead them, and encourage them, and dwell
upon their righteous acts, instead of reminding them of their failures, they should
have a very peaceful, prosperous journey, and he would without doubt lead them, not
back and forward in the wilderness, but into the Promised Land. They said that it was
Moses who had told them that they could not go into the land, and that the Lord had
not thus said. Korah in his exalted self-confidence gathered all the congregation
against Moses and Aaron, 'unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." - The
SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments). vol. 1, p. 1115.

o Monday
MOSES' APPEALS AND WARNINGS
3.

November 6

How did Moses try to reason with the main rebels and of what did they accuse him? Numbers 16:8-15.

"It was evident that the sympathies of the people were with the disaffected party;
but Moses made no effort at self-vindication. He solemnly appealed to God, in the
presence of the congregation, as a witness to the purity of his motives and the uprightness of his conduct, and implored Him to be his judge."-Patriarchs and Prophets,
p.399.
4.

What efforts did Moses and Aaron make to save the congregation from
destruction? Numbers 16:22-30. What was the result of their efforts?

"The warning [of Moses and Aaron] was obeyed, for an apprehension of impending judgment rested upon all. The chief rebels saw themselves abandoned by those
whom they had deceived, but their hardihood was unshaken. They stood with their
families in the door of their tents, as if in defiance of the divine warning." -Patriarchs
and Prophets, p. 400.

o Tuesday
November 7

THE REBELS PUNISHED
5.

What fate befell the rebels? Numbers 16:31-35.

"When Moses was entreating Israel to flee from the coming destruction, the
divine judgment might even then have been stayed, if Korah and his company had repented and sought forgiveness. But their stubborn persistence sealed their doom.
The entire congregation were sharers in their guilt, for all had, to a greater or less
degree, sympathized with them. Yet God in His great mercy made a distinction between the leaders in rebellion and those whom they had led. The people who had permitted themselves to be deceived were still granted space for repentance."-Patriarchs
and Prophets, p. 401.

6.

What use was made of the censers of the rebels? To what end was a memorial
and warning set up? Numbers 16:36-40.

- 25-

D Wednesday
THE PEOPLE PUNISHED
7.

November 8

In spite of the evidences that were given to the congregation, what course did
they pursue toward Moses and Aaron on the next day? Numbers 16:41.

"It is hardly possible for men to offer greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities He would use for their salvation. The Israelites had not only
done this, but had purposed to put both Moses and Aaron to death. Yet they did not
realize the necessity of seeking pardon of God for their grievous sin. That night of
probation was not passed in repentance and confession, but in devising some way to
resist the evidences which showed them to be the greatest of sinners. They still
cherished hatred of the men of God's appointment, and braced themselves to resist
their authority. Satan was at hand to pervert their judgment, and lead them blindfold
to destruction."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 402.
8.

In what way did the Lord have to intervene once more with a severe punishment? What did Moses and Aaron do to avert the judgment? How many died
in the plague? Numbers 16:44-49.

"The morning after the destruction of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and their confederates, the people came to Moses and Aaron, saying, 'Ye have killed the people of
the Lord.' For this false charge on the servants of God, thousands more were killed,
for there was in them sin, exultation and presumptuous wickedness."-The SDA Bible
Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. I, p. 1114.

D Thursday
A TESTIMONY AGAINST REBELLION
9.

November 9

What test settled the question of the priesthood forever? Where was Aaron's
rod kept as a witness? Numbers 17:1-11.

"All the remarkable changes in the rod occurred in one night, to convince them
that God had positively distinguished between Aaron and the rest of the children of
Israel. After this miracle of divine power, the authority of the priesthood was no
longer called in question. This wonderful rod was preserved to be frequently shown
to the people to remind them of the past, to prevent them from murmuring, and again
calling in question to whom the priesthood rightfully belonged. After the children of
Israel were fully convinced of their wrong, in unjustly accusing Moses and Aaron, as
they had done, they saw their past rebellion in its true light, and they were terrified."
-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1115.
10. What warning comes to us from that great rebellion? 1 Corinthians 10:10,
11; Jude 4, 10, 11.

"Do not the same evils still exist that lay at the foundation of Korah's ruin? Pride
and ambition are widespread; and when these are cherished, they open the door to envy, and a striving for supremacy; the soul is alienated from God, and unconsciously
drawn into the ranks of Satan. Like Korah and his companions, many, even of the
professed followers of Christ, are thinking, planning, and working so eagerly for selfexaltation that in order to gain the sympathy and support of the people they are
ready to pervert the truth, falsifying and misrepresenting the Lord's servants, and
- 26-

...

j

even charging them with the base and selfish motives that inspire their own hearts.
By persistently reiterating falsehood, and that against all evidence, they at last come
to believe it to be truth. While endeavoring to destroy the confidence of the people in
the men of God's appointment, they really believe that they are engaged in a good
work, verily doing God service."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 403, 404.

D Friday
November 10

REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

t

a.

What was the real cause of the rebellion of Korah? On what state of things, in
Israel, did he capitalize?

b.

How did Moses and Aaron endeavor to save those involved in the rebellion?

c.

In what way did God manifest His displeasure against the rebels?

d.

Instead of showing repentance and confessing their sin, what did the
Israelites do the next day?

e.

What lesson should we learn from that tragic experience?

1<

*

1<

*

1<

*

1<

Continued from page 7

"Of all the sins that God will punish, none are more grievous in His sight than
those that encourage others to do evil. God would have His servants prove their loyalty
by faithfully rebuking transgression, however painful the act may be. Those who are
honored with a divine commission are not to be weak, pliant time-servers. They are
not to aim at self-exaltation, or to shun disagreeable duties, but to perform God's
work with unswerving fidelity."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 323, 324.

D Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

October 6

a.

What did the Lord give to the people of Israel, in addition to the Decalogue,
in order to make the Ten Commandments more explicit to them?

b.

What do you know about the covenant that God made with Israel at the foot
of Mount Sinai?

c.

What pattern was shown to Moses for the building of a sanctuary?

d.

Point out the right attitude which, if adopted, would have shielded the
Israelites from temptation. What wrong attitude on their part lay at the
cause of their apostasy?

e.

For what purpose did God say to Moses with reference to the people of Israel,
"Let me alone, ... that I may consume them:llDd I will make of thee a great
nation"?

-27-

Sabbath, November 18, 1989

Lesson 7

THE WILDERNESS WANDERING
I

"The wilderness wandering was not only ordained as a judgment upon the
rebels and murmurers, but it was to serve as a discipline for the rising
generation, preparatory to their entrance into the Promised Land."- Patriarchs
and Prophets, p. 407.

KEY TEXT:

"And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led
thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove
thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his
commandments, or no." Deuteronomy 8:2.

o

UNDER DIVINE REBUKE AND MERCY
1.

Sunday
November 12

How long did the children of Israel wander in the wilderness before they
came again to Kadesh and crossed the Brook Zered? Deuteronomy 2:14.
What lesson should we learn from the fact that the wanderings of Israel were
extended through Satan's efforts?

"God gave positive evidence that He rules in the heavens, and rebellion was punished with death. Only two of those who as adults left Egypt, saw the Promised Land.
The wanderings of the people were extended until the rest were buried in the wilderness.
"Today Satan is using the same devising to introduce the same evils, and his efforts are followed by the same results that in the days of Israel laid so many in their
graves."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments]. vol. 1. pp. 1113. 1114.
"It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness.

. . . In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so
long delayed and His people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which He
had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the
world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the
warning and find in Him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out."-The
Great Controversy. p. 458.

- 28 - .

2.

I

In rehearsing the whole history of their wanderings since their departure
from Egypt, what did Moses say? Deuteronomy 2:7; 8:4. How did the Lord
show His mercy toward them? Deuteronomy 8:15, 16; Nehemiah 9:19-21;
Psalm 105:37.

"Every day of their travels they had been kept by a miracle of divine mercy. In all
the way of God's leading they had found water to refresh the thirsty, bread from
heaven to satisfy their hunger, and peace and safety under the shadowy cloud by day
and the pillar of fire by night. Angels had ministered to them as they climbed the
rocky heights or threaded the rugged paths of the wilderness. Notwithstanding the
hardships they had endured, there was not a feeble one in all their ranks. Their feet
had not swollen in their long journeys, neither had their clothes grown old. God had
subdued before them the fierce beasts of prey and the venomous reptiles of the forest
and the desert."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 429.

D Monday
UNDER DIVINE REBUKE AND MERCY
3.

(continued)

November 13

How does the Bible show that the wilderness wandering was ordained not
only as a judgment upon the rebellious adult generation, but also as a discipline for the rising generation? Deuteronomy 8:2, 3; Leviticus 18:4, 5.

"The law of God was often to be repeated to Israel. That its precepts might not be
forgotten, it was to be kept before the people, and was ever to be exalted and
honored. Parents were to read the law to their children, teaching it to them line upon
line, precept upon precept. And on public occasions the law was to be read in the
hearing of all the people.
"Upon obedience to this law depended the prosperity of Israel. If they were obedient, it would bring them life; if disobedient, death."- The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G.
White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1117.
4.

What was the behavior of the adult generation of Israelites during that long
period of time and what happened to them? Hebrews 3:8-11, 17-19;
Deuteronomy 2:15-18.

"Had Israel obeyed the directions given them by Moses, not one of those who
started on the journey from Egypt would in the wilderness have fallen a prey to
disease or death. They were under a safe Guide. Christ had pledged Himself to lead
them safely to the Promised Land if they would follow His guidance. This vast
multitude, numbering more than a million people, was under His direct rule. They
were His family. In every one ofthem He was interested."- The SDA Bible Commentary
[E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1118.

D Tuesday
SINS OF IGNORANCE AND SINS OF PRESUMPTION
5.

November 14

What class of people often proved to be troublemakers? Numbers 11:4 (first
part).

"The mixed multitude that came up with the Israelites from Egypt were a source
of continual temptation and trouble. They professed to have renounced idolatry and
- 29-

to worship the true God; but their early education and training had molded their
habits and character, and they were more or less corrupted with idolatry and with irreverence for God. They were oftenest the ones to stir up strife and were the first to
complain, and they leavened the camp with their idolatrous practices and their murmurings against God."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 408.
6.

What distinction was made between sins of ignorance and sins of presumption? Numbers 15:24-31. What is written in the New Testament about this
distinction? 1 John 5:16; Hebrews 10:26-29.

"When the light shines, making manifest and reproving the errors that were undiscovered, there must be a corresponding change in the life and character. The mistakes that are the natural result of blindness of mind are, when pointed out, no longer
sins of ignorance or errors of judgment; but unless there are decided reforms in
accordance with the light given, they then become presumptuous sins. The moral
darkness that surrounds you will become more dense; your heart will become harder
and harder, and you will be more offensive in the sight of God." - Testimonies, vol. 5, pp.
435,436.

o Wednesday
PUNISHMENT UPON INDIVIDUAL TRANSGRESSORS
7.

November 15

Bring forth an example showing how contempt for divine authority and
violation of the third commandment was punished. Leviticus 24:10-16, 23.

"On one occasion the son of an Israelitish woman and of an Egyptian, one of the
mixed multitude that had come up with Israel from Egypt, left his own part of the
camp, and entering that of the Israelites, claimed the right to pitch his tent there. This
the divine law forbade him to do, the descendants of an Egyptian being excluded from
the congregation until the third generation. A dispute arose between him and an Israelite, and the matter being referred to the judges was decided against the offender.
"Enraged at this decision, he cursed the judge, and in the heat of passion blasphemed the name of God.... God Himself pronounced the sentence; by the divine
direction the blasphemer was conducted outside the camp and stoned to death. Those
who had been witnesses to the sin placed their hands upon his head, thus solemnly
testifying to the truth of the charge against him. Then they threw the first stones, and
the people who stood by afterward joined in executing the sentence."-Patriarchs and
Prophets, pp. 407, 408.
8.

What would have happened if that offense had been overlooked? (Note.)
What did the Lord declare concerning those who take His name in vain? Exodus 20:7; Matthew 5:33-35.

"There are those who will question God's love and His justice in visiting so severe
punishment for words spoken in the heat of passion. But both love and justice require
it to be shown that utterances prompted by malice against God are a great sin. The
retribution visited upon the first offender would be a warning to others, that God's
name is to be held in reverence. But had this man's sin been permitted to pass unpunished, others would have been demoralized; and 'as the result many lives must
eventually have been sacrificed."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 408.
- 30-

D Thursday
EXHORTATIONS TO OBEDIENCE
9.

November 16

Give an example showing how deliberate Sabbath-breaking was punished.
Numbers 15:32-36. Name other sins that also received capital punishment.
Leviticus 20:9-16; 24:17; Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

"In our day there are many who reject the creation Sabbath as a Jewish institution and urge that if it is to be kept, the penalty of death must be inflicted for its violation; but we see that blasphemy received the same punishment as did Sabbath-breaking.
Shall we therefore conclude that the third commandment also is to be set aside as applicable only to the Jews? Yet the argument drawn from the death penalty applies to
the third, the fifth, and indeed to nearly all the ten precepts, equally with the fourth.
Though God may not now punish the transgression of His law with temporal penalties, yet His word declares that the wages of sin is death; and in the final execution of
the judgment it will be found that death is the portion of those who violate His sacred
precepts."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 409.

10. What did Moses repeat to the children of Israel forty years after their departure from Egypt, and what exhortations did he add? Deuteronomy 4:1-4,
13-16; 5:1-22; 6:6-9; 8:1, 2.

"I ask you to study the fourth to the eighth chapters of Deuteronomy, that you
may understand what God required of His ancient people that they might be a holy
people unto Himself. We are nearing the day of God's great final review, when the
people of this world must stand before the Judge of all the earth to answer for their
deeds. We are now in the time of investigation. Before the day of God's review, every
character will have been investigated, every case decided for eternity. Let the words
of God's servant recorded in these chapters be read with profit." - The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1118.

D Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

November 17

a.

What parallel can be drawn between the wanderings of the people of Israel in
the wilderness and the course of the Advent people?

b.

What would have happened if the adult generation which left Egypt had
faithfully followed the divine directions?

~

c.

Give the distinction between sins of ignorance and sins of presumption.

;.

d.

What punishment was inflicted upon those who blasphemed the name of God
or showed contempt for divine authority? What other sins incurred the death
penalty?

e.

What counsel is directed to us with reference to the book of Deuteronomy?
Why?

~

- 31-

Lesson 8

Sabbath, November 25, 1989

THE SMITTEN ROCK

"By saying, 'Must we fetch you water out of this rock?' Moses virtually said to
the people that they were correct in believing that he himself was doing the
mighty works that had been done in their behalf. This made it necessary for
God to prove to Israel that his admission was not founded on fact." - The SDA
Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1116.
KEY TEXT:

"And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me
not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye
shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given
them." Numbers 20:12.

o

THE FAITH OF THE PEOPLE TESTED
1.

Sunday
November 19

How were the Israelites supplied with water during their wilderness wandering? Psalm 105:41; Isaiah 48:21. Who was the source of all their temporal as
well as spiritual blessings? 1 Corinthians 10:4.

•'From the smitten rock in Horeb, first flowed the living stream that refreshed
Israel in the desert. During all their wanderings, wherever the need existed, they
were supplied with water by a miracle of God's mercy. The water did not, however,
continue to flow from Horeb. Wherever in their journeyings they wanted water, there
from the clefts of the rock it gushed out beside their encampment."-Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 411.
2. What trial of their faith did they have when they again came to Kadesh?
What was their reaction? Numbers 20:1-5.
"Just before the Hebrew host reached Kadesh, the living stream ceased that for
so many years had gushed out beside their encampment. It was the Lord's purpose
again to test His people. He would prove whether they would trust His providence or
imitate the unbelief of their fathers."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 413.
"Before God permitted them to enter Canaan, they must show that they believed
His promise. The water ceased before they had reached Edam. Here was an opportunity for them, for a little time, to walk by faith instead of sight. But the first trial
developed the same turbulent, unthankful spirit that'had been manifested by their
fathers. No sooner was the cry for water heard in the encampment than they forgot
- 32-

t,

the hand that had for so many years supplied their wants, and instead of turning to
God for help, they murmured against Him, in their desperation exclaiming, 'Would
God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!' (Numbers 20:1-13);
that is, they wished they had been of the number who were destr6yed in the rebellion
of Korah."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 414.

o Monday
THE LORD SPEAKS TO MOSES

November 20

3.

What did Moses and Aaron do when they heard the complaints of the people?
Numbers 20:6.

4.

What were Moses and Aaron directed to do to satisfy the needs of the people?
Numbers 20:7,8. What mistaken idea, still cherished by the people, was the
Lord trying to correct?

"In all their wanderings, the children of Israel were tempted to attribute to Moses
the special work of God, the mighty miracles that had been wrought to deliver them
from Egyptian bondage. They charged Moses with bringing them out of the land of
Egypt. It was true that God had manifested Himself wonderfully to Moses. He had
specially favored him with His presence. To him God had revealed His exceeding
glory. Upon the mount He had taken him into a sacred nearness to Himself, and had
talked with him as a man speaks to a friend. But the Lord had given evidence after
evidence that it was He Himself who was working for their deliverance."-The SDA
Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, pp. 1115, 1116.

o Tuesday
MOSES AND AARON SIN AGAINST GOD
5.

..

November 21

In carrying out the directions of God, what mistake did Moses make? How
did he dishonor the Lord? Numbers 20:9-11.

"By his rash act Moses took away the force of the lesson that God purposed to
teach. The rock, being a symbol of Christ, had been once smitten, as Christ was to be
once offered. The second time it was needful only to speak to the rock, as we have only to ask for blessings in the name of Jesus. By the second smiting of the rock the
significance of this beautiful figure of Christ was destroyed.
"More than this, Moses and Aaron had assumed'power that belongs only to God.
The necessity for divine interposition made the occasion one of great solemnity, and
the leaders of Israel should have improved it to impress the people with reverence for
God and to strengthen their faith in His power and goodness. When they angrily cried,
'Must we fetch you water out of this rock?' they put themselves in God's place, as
though the power lay with themselves, men possessing human frailties and passions."
-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 418,
6.

How did the Lord rebuke Moses and Aaron for their thoughtless action?
What punishment did they bring upon themselves? Numbers 20:12;
Deuteronomy 3:23-27.

"God did not on this, occasion pronounce judgmeIits upon those whose wicked
course had so provoked Moses and Aaron. All the reproof fell upon the leaders.
- 33-

Those who stood as God's representatives had not honored Him. Moses and Aaron
had felt themselves aggrieved, losing sight of the fact that the murmuring of the people was not against them but against God. It was by looking to themselves, appealing
to their own sympathies, that they unconsciously fell into sin, and failed to set before
the people their great guilt before God.
"Bitter and deeply humiliating was the judgment immediately pronounced....
With rebellious Israel they must die before crossing the Jordan." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 418, 419.
"The transgression was known to the whole congregation; and had it been passed
by lightly, the impression would have been given that unbelief and impatience under
great provocation might be excused in those in responsible positions. But when it was
declared that because of that one sin Moses and Aaron were not to enter Canaan, the
people knew that God is no respecter of persons, and that He will surely punish the
transgressor." -Ibid., p. 420.

o Wednesday
THE SMITTEN ROCK, A TYPE
7.

November 22

Of whom was the smitten rock a type and why was it wrong to smite the rock
again? Isaiah 53:3, 4.

"The smitten rock was a figure of Christ, and through this symbol the most
precious spiritual truths are taught. As the life-giving waters flowed from the smitten
rock, so from Christ, 'smitten of God,' 'wounded for our transgressions,' 'bruised for
our iniquities,' the stream of salvation flows for a lost race. As the rock had been once
smitten, so Christ was to be 'once offered to bear the sins of many.' Our Saviour was
not to be sacrificed a second time; and it is only necessary for those who seek the
blessings of His grace to ask in the name of Jesus, pouring forth the heart's desire in
penitential prayer."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 411.
8.

On what occasion and how was the flowing of water from the rock celebrated
by the Jewish people in the days of Christ? John 7:37-39.

"The flowing of the water from the rock in the desert was celebrated by the
Israelites, after their establishment in Canaan, with demonstrations of great rejoicing.
In the time of Christ this celebration had become a most impressive ceremony. It took
place on the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles, when the people from all the land
were assembled at Jerusalem. On each of the seven days of the feast the priests went
out with music and the choir of Levites to draw water in a golden vessel from the spring
of Siloam. They were followed by multitudes of the worshipers, as many as could get
near the stream drinking of it, while the jubilant strains arose, 'With joy shall ye draw
water out of the wells of salvation.' Then the water drawn by the priests was borne to
the temple amid the sounding of trumpets and the solemn chant, 'Our feet shall stand
within thy gates, 0 Jerusalem.' The water was poured out upon the altar of burntoffering, while songs of praise rung out, the multitudes joining in triumphant chorus
with musical instruments and deep-toned trumpets."-Patnarchs and Prophets, p. 412.

o Thursday
A LESSON FOR US
9.

November 23

What lesson should we learn from the mistake of Moses? Psalm 106:33.

- 34-

"


l'

"Moses was not guilty of a great crime, as men would view the matter; his sin
was one of common occurrence. The psalmist says that 'he spake unadvisedly with
his lips.' To human judgment this may seem a light thing; but if God dealt so severely
with this sin in His most faithful and honored servant, He will not excuse it in others.
The spirit of self-exaltation, the disposition to censure our brethren, is displeasing to
God. Those who indulge in these evils cast doubt upon the work of God, and give the
skeptical an excuse for their unbelief. The more important one's position, and the
greater his influence, the greater is the necessity that he should cultivate patience and
humility.
"If the children of God, especially those who stand in positions of responsibility,
can be led to take to themselves the glory that is due to God, Satan exults. He has
gained a victory. It was thus that he fell. Thus he is most successful in tempting
others to ruin. It is to place us on our guard against his devices that God has given in
His word so many lessons teaching the danger of self-exaltation."-Patriarchs and
Prophets, pp. 420, 421.
10. What warnings are calculated to keep us from self-exaltation? Micah 6:8;
James 4:6,7; 1 Corinthians 10:12.-

"There is not a blessing which God bestows upon man, nor a trial which He permits to befall him, but Satan both can and will seize upon it to tempt, to harass and
destroy the soul, if we give him the least advantage. Therefore however great one's
spiritual light, however much he may enjoy of the divine favor and blessing, he should
ever walk humbly before the Lord, pleading in faith that God will direct every thought
and control every impulse.
"All who profess godliness are under the most sacred obligation to guard the
spirit, and to exercise self-control under the greatest provocation. The burdens placed
upon Moses were very great; few men will ever be so severely tried as he was; yet
this was not allowed to excuse his sin. God has made ample provision for His people;
and if they rely upon His strength, they will never become the sport of circumstances.
The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin. However great the pressure brought to
bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell
to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be
overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us,
and in His strength we may conquer."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 421.

REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

.

D Friday
November 24

a.

How did the people of Israel behave when they again came to Kadesh and
realized that there was no water?

b.

How were the Israelites, in all their wanderings in the wilderness, inclined to
interpret the mighty works of God?

c.

Explain the sin of Moses and Aaron that prevented them from entering the
Promised Land.

d.

In what sense was the smitten rock a type of Christ?

e.

How does God view the sin of self-exaltation arid what consequences does it
bring?

- 35-

Lesson 9

Sabbath, December 2, 1989

THE JOURNEY AROUND EDOM

liThe brazen serpent was uplifted in the wilderness that those who looked in
faith might be made whole. In like manner God sends a restoring, healing
message to men, calling upon them to look away from man and earthly
things, and place their trust in God:' - The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White
Comments), vol. 1, p. 1.116.
KEY TEXT:

"For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye
shall live." Amos 5:4.

o

PASSAGE THROUGH EDOM REFUSED
1.

Sunday
November 26

What directions did the Lord give to Moses and to the people concerning
their passage through the land of Edom? Deuteronomy 2:4-6. What message
did Moses send to the king of Edom? Numbers 20:14-17. What answer did
Israel receive from the king? Numbers 20:18.

"The Edomites were descendants of Abraham and Isaac, and for the sake of
these His servants, God had shown favor to the children of Esau. He had given them
Mount Seir for a possession, and they were not to be disturbed unless by their sins
they should place themselves beyond the reach of His mercy. The Hebrews were to
dispossess and utterly destroy the inhabitants of Canaan, who had filled up the
measure of their iniquity; but the Edomites were still probationers, and as such were
to be mercifully dealt with. God delights in mercy, and He manifests His compassion
before He inflicts His judgments. He teaches Israel to spare the people of Edom,
before requiring them to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan."-Patriarchs and Prophets,
pp. 423, 424.

2.

How did the leaders of Israel renew their appeal to the king of Edom and
what was his answer? Numbers 20:19, 20. What failure on the part of the
people gave Satan a decided advantage in this negative experience?

- 36-

..

"Had the people, when brought into trial, trusted in God, the Captain of the
Lord's host would have led them through Edom, and the fear of them would have
rested upon the inhabitants of the land, so that, instead of manifesting hostility, they
would have shown them favor. But the Israelites did not act promptly upon God's
word, and while they were complaining and murmuring, the golden opportunity passed.
When they were at last ready to present their request to the king, it was refused. Ever
since they left Egypt, Satan had been steadily at work to throw hindrances and temptations in their way, that they might not inherit Canaan. And by their own unbelief
they had repeatedly opened the door for him to resist the purpose of God.
"It is important to believe God's word and act upon it promptly, while His angels
are waiting to work for us. Evil angels are ready to contest every step of advance.
And when God's providence bids His children go forward, when He is ready to do
great things for them, Satan tempts them to displease the Lord by hesitation and
delay; he seeks to kindle a spirit of strife or to arouse murmuring or unbelief, and thus
deprive them of the blessings that God desired to bestow. God's servants should be
minutemen, ever ready to move as fast as His providence opens the way. Any delay
on their part gives time for Satan to work to defeat them." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp.
422,423.

o Monday
DEATH OF AARON
3.

November 27

Instead of going through the land of Edom, what route did the children of
Israel take? Numbers 20:21,22; 21:4. When Israel came to Mount Hor, what
did the Lord say to Moses and Aaron? Numbers 20:23-26.

"Many years Moses and Aaron had stood side by side in their cares and labors.
Together they had breasted unnumbered dangers, and had shared together the signal
blessing of God; but the time was at hand when they must be separated. They moved
on very slowly, for every moment in each other's society was precious. The ascent
was steep and toilsome; and as they often paused to rest, they communed together of
the past and the future."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 425.
.
4.

What solemnity attended the transfer of the high-priestly responsibilities
from Aaron to Eleazar? Numbers 20:27, 28. How long did Israel mourn for
Aaron? Numbers 20:29.

"With deep sorrow, Moses removed from Aaron the holy vestments, and placed
them upon Eleazar, who thus became his successor by divine appointment. For his
sin at Kadesh, Aaron was denied the privilege of officiating as God's high-priest in
Canaan-of offering the first sacrifice in the goodly land, and thus consecrating the inheritance of Israel. Moses was to continue to bear his burden in leading the people to
the very borders of Canaan. He was to come within sight of the Promised Land, but
was not to enter it."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 426.

o Tuesday

DEFEAT OF KING ARAD
5.

November 28

Who attacked Israel soon after the death of Aaron? What was the result of
their first hostile encounter with a Canaanite king? Numbers 21:1-3.

"Soon after leaving Mount Hor the Israelites suff~red defeat in an engagement
with Arad, one of the Canaanite kings. But as they earnestly sought help from God,
- 37-

divine aid was granted them, and their enemies were routed. This victory, instead of
inspiring gratitude and leading the people to feel their dependence upon God, made
them boastful and self-confident."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 427, 428.
6.

Instead of being thankful to the Lord, into what practice did the people again
relapse? Numbers 21:4 (last part), 5.

"Soon they fell into the old habit of murmuring. They were now dissatisfied because the armies of Israel had not been permitted to advance upon Canaan immediately after their rebellion at the report of the spies nearly forty years before. They
pronounced their long sojourn in the wilderness an unnecessary delay, reasoning that
they might have conquered their enemies as easily heretofore as now.
"As they continued their journey toward the south, their route lay through a hot,
sandy valley, destitute of shade or vegetation. The way seemed long and difficult, and
they suffered from weariness and thirst. Again they failed to endure the test of their
faith and patience. By continually dwelling on the dark side of their experiences, they
separated themselves farther and farther from God. They lost sight of the fact that
but for their murmuring when the water ceased at Kadesh, they would have been
spared the journey around Edom. God had purposed better things for them. Their
hearts should have been filled with gratitude to Him that He had punished their sin so
lightly. But instead of this, they flattered themselves that if God and Moses had not
interfered, they might now have been in possession of the Promised Land. After
bringing trouble upon themselves, making their lot altogether harder than God designed, they charged all their misfortunes upon Him. Thus they cherished bitter
thoughts concerning His dealings with them, and finally they became discontented
with everything. Egypt looked brighter and more desirable than liberty and the land
to which God was leading them."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 428.

D Wednesday
FIERY SERPENTS
7.

November 29

Because of their unwarranted murmurings, what did the Lord permit to
come into the camp of Israel? Numbers 21:6.

"Because they had been shielded by divine power they had not realized the countless dangers by which they were continually surrounded. In their ingratitude and
unbelief they had anticipated death, and now the Lord permitted death to come upon
them. The poisonous serpents that infested the wilderness were called fiery serpents,
on account of the terrible effects produced by their sting, it causing violent inflammation and speedy death. As the protecting hand of God was removed from Israel, great
numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures.
"Now there was terror and confusion throughout the encampment. In almost
every tent were the dying or the dead. None were secure. Often the silence of night
was broken by piercing cries that told of fresh victims. All were busy in ministering to
the sufferers, or with agonizing care endeavoring to protect those who were not yet
stricken. No murmuring now escaped their lips. When compared with the present
suffering, their former difficulties and trials seemed unworthy of a thought."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 429.
8.

What did the people do when they realized that the Lord was punishing them
for their rebellious behavior? What remedy was provided? Numbers 21:7-9.

- 38-

"The people well knew that there was no power in the serpent of brass to cause
such a change in those who looked upon it. The healing virtue was from God alone. In
His wisdom He chose this way of displaying His power. By this simple means the people were made to realize that this affliction had been brought upon them by their sins.
They were also assured that while obeying God they had no reason to fear, for He
would preserve them."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 430.

D Thursday
THE REMEDY
9.

November 30

Of whom were the venomous serpents in the wilderness a type? Revelation
12:9. Of whom was the brazen antidote serpent a type? John 3:14,15; Amos
5:4.

" 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,' even so was the Son of man
'lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.'
All who have ever lived upon the earth have felt the deadly sting of 'that old serpent,
called the devil, and Satan.' The fatal effects of sin can be removed only by the provision that God has made. The Israelites saved their lives by looking upon the uplifted
serpent. That look implied faith. They lived because they believed God's word, and
trusted in the means provided for their recovery. So the sinner may look to Christ,
and live. He receives pardon through faith in the atoning sacrifice. Unlike the inert
and lifeless symbol, Christ has power and virtue in Himself to heal the repenting sinner."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 431.

10. For whom alone was the Heaven-appointed remedy effective? (Note.) By
whom and how only can we be healed? Psalm 103:2,3; 1 Peter 2:21,24;
Matthew 11:28,29.

"Many of the Israelites saw no help in the remedy which Heaven had appointed.
The dead and dying were all around them, and they knew that, without divine aid,
their own fate was certain; but they continued to lament their wounds, their pains,
their sure death, until their strength was gone, and their eyes were glazed, when they
'might have had instant healing. If we are conscious of our needs, we should not
devote all our powers to mourning over them. While we realize our helpless condition
without Christ, we are not to yield to discouragement, but rely upon the merits of a
crucified and risen Saviour. Look and live. Jesus has pledged His word; He will save
all who come unto Him. Though millions who need to be healed will reject His offered
mercy, not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish."-PatriarchsandProphets,
p.432.

"While the sinner cannot save himself, he still has something to do to secure
salvation. 'Him that cometh to me,' says Christ, 'I will in no wise cast out.' But we
must come to Him; and when we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts
and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours. Faith is
the hand by which the soul takes hold upon the divine offers of grace and mercy."Ibid., p. 431.
(Continued on page 43)

- 39-

Sabbath, December 9, 1989

Lesson 10

VICTORY OVER SIHON AND OG


"The calm faith of their leader inspired the people with confidence in God.
They trusted all to His omnipotent arm, and He did not fail them. Not
mighty giants nor walled cities, armed hosts nor rocky fortresses, could
stand before the Captain of the Lord's host."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 436.

KEY TEXT:

"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it
to pass." Psalm 37:5.
.

ISRAEL THREATENED WITH DESTRUCTION

o Sunday
December 3

1. What directions did the Israelites receive concerning the Moabites and the
Ammonites? Deuteronomy 2:9, 19.
2.

When Israel reached the land of the Amorites, what message did Moses send
to Sihon, their king? What was his answer? Deuteronomy 2:26-30; Numbers
21:21-23.

"The answer [of Sihon] was a decided refusal, and all the hosts of the Amorites
were summoned to oppose the progress of the invaders. This formidable army struck
terror to the Israelites, who were poorly prepared for an encounter with well-armed
and well-disciplined forces. So far as skill in warfare was concerned, their enemies
had the advantage. To all human appearance, a speedy end would be made of Israel.
"But Moses kept his gaze fixed upon the cloudy pillar, and encouraged the people
with the thought that the token of God's presence was still with them. At the same
time he directed them to do all that human power could do in preparing for war. Their
enemies were eager for battle, and confident that they would blot out the unprepared
Israelites from the land."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 433, 434.

D Monday
SIHON, KING OF THE AMORITES, OVERCOME
3.

December 4

What instruction came from the Possessor of all lands to the leader of Israel?
Deuteronomy 2:31. When did the iniquity of the Amorites become full (see
Genesis 15: 16)?

-40-

"When the Lord brought His people a second time to the borders of Canaan, additional evidence of His power was granted to those heathen nations. They saw that
God was with Israel in the victory gained over King Arad and the Canaanites, and in
the miracle wrought to save those who were perishing from the sting of the serpents.
Although the Israelites had been refused a passage through the land of Edom, thus
being compelled to take the long and difficult route by the Red Sea, yet in all their
journeyings and encampments, past the land of Edom, of Moab and Ammon, they
had shown no hostility, and had done no injury to the people or their possessions. On
reaching the border of the Amorites, Israel had asked permission only to travel directly through the country, promising to observe the same rules that had governed their
intercourse with other nations. When the Amorite king refused this courteous solicitation, and defiantly gathered his hosts for battle, their cup of iniquity was full, and
God would now exercise His power for their overthrow." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 434,
435.
4.

What was the result of the battle? Deuteronomy 2:32-35; Numbers 21:24.

"The Israelites crossed the river Arnon, and advanced upon the foe. An engagement took place, in which the armies of Israel were victorious; and, following up the
advantage gained, they were soon in possession of the country of the Amorites. It was
the Captain of the Lord's host who vanquished the enemies of His people; and He
would have done the same thirty-eight years before, had Israel trusted in Him."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 435.

o Tuesday
ADDITIONAL VICTORIES

December 5

5.

How many cities of the Amorites did Israel capture? Numbers 21:25; Deuteronomy 3:4.·What was the capital city of Sihon? Numbers 21:26.

6.

What additional victory did the Lord prepare for His people after they had
overthrown Sihon? Numbers 21:32; Deuteronomy 3:4. Why did God spare
the Amorites up to that time?

"Although the Amorites were idolaters, whose life was justly forfeited by their
great wickedness, God spared them four hundred years to give them unmistakable
evidence that He was the only true God, the Maker of heaven and earth. All His wonders in bringing Israel from Egypt were known to them. Sufficient evidence was
given; they might have known the truth, had they been willing to turn from their
idolatry and licentiousness. But they rejected the light and clung to their idols."
-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 434.

o Wednesday
OG, KING OF BASHAN, OVERCOME
7.

December 6

What was the next target of the Israelites after the victory over Sihon?
Numbers 21:33; Deuteronomy 3:1. Describe the land and the people of Bashan. (Note.) What was the name of their king?

"Filled with hope and courage, the army of Israel ~agerly pressed forward, and,
still journeying northward, they soon reached a country that might well test their cour- 41-

age and their faith in God. Before them lay the powerful and populous kingdom of
Bashan, crowded with great stone cities that to this day excite the wonder of the
world-'threescore cities ... with high walls, gates, and bars; besides unwalled towns
a great many.' The houses were constructed of huge black stones, of such stupendous
size as to make the buildings absolutely impregnable to any force that in those times
could have been brought against them. It was a country filled with wild caverns, lofty
precipices, yawning gulfs, and rocky strongholds. The inhabitants of this land,
descendants from a giant race, were themselves of marvelous size and strength, and
so distinguished for violence and cruelty as to be the terror of all surrounding nations;
while Og, the king of the country, was remarkable for size and prowess, even in a nation of giants."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 435.
8.

What message did the Lord send to Moses concerning Og and his army?
What was the result of the battle? Numbers 21:34,35; Deuteronomy 3:2-7.

"Not mighty giants nor walled cities, armed hosts nor rocky fortresses, could
stand before the Captain of the Lord's host. The Lord led the army; the Lord discomfited the enemy; the Lord conquered in behalf of Israel. The giant king and his army
were destroyed, and the Israelites soon took possession of the whole country. Thus
was blotted from the earth that strange people, who had given themselves up to iniquity and abominable idolatry."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 436.

o Thursday
A LESSON FOR US
9.

December 7

How did the Lord help His people in the war against the two Amorite kings,
Sihon and Og? Exodus 23:28; Joshua 24: 12. How did the new generation of
Israelites see the mistake of their fathers?

"In the conquest of Gilead and Bashan there were many who recalled the events
which nearly forty years before had, in Kadesh, doomed Israel to the long desert wandering. They saw that the report of the spies concerning the Promised Land was in
many respects correct. The cities were walled and very great, and were inhabited by
giants, in comparison with whom the Hebrews were mere pygmies. But they could
now see that the fatal mistake of their fathers had been in distrusting the power of
God. This alone had prevented them from at once entering the goodly land.
"When they were at the first preparing to enter Canaan, the undertaking was attended with far less difficulty than now. God had promised His people that if they
would obey His voice He would go before them and fight for them; and He would also
send hornets to drive out the inhabitants of the land. The fears of the nations had not
been generally aroused, and little preparation had been made to oppose their progress. But when the Lord now bade Israel go forward, they must advance against
alert and powerful foes, and must contend with large and well-trained armies that had
been preparing to resist their approach."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 436, 437.
10. What lesson does this event teach us? Psalm 37:1-3, 5.

"This experience [the conquest of Gilead and Bashan] has a lesson for us. The
mighty God of Israel is our God. In Him we may, trust, and if we obey His requirements He will work for us in as signal a manner as He did for His ancient people.
Everyone who seeks to follow the path of duty will at times be assailed by doubt and

- 42-

unbelief. The way will sometimes be so barred by obstacles, apparently insurmountable, as to dishearten those who will yield to discouragement; but God is saying to
such, Go forward. Do your duty at any cost. The difficulties that seem so formidable,
that fill your soul with dread, will vanish as you move forward in the path of obedience, humbly trusting in God. "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 437.
"It is thus that God still tests His people. And if they fail to endure the trial, He
brings them again to the same point, and the second time the trial will come closer,
and be more severe than the preceding. This is continued until they bear the test, or,
if they are still rebellious, God withdraws His light from them and leaves them in
darkness. "-Ibid.

o Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

December 8

a.

What petition did Israel send to Sihon, king of the Amorites, and what was
his answer?

b.

By what act did the Amorites come to the end of their time of probation? And
what happened to them?

c.

What evidences, if not despised, could have saved them?

d.

What do you know about the land and people of Bashan?

e.

What was the mistake of the adult generation of Israelites which prevented
them from taking immediate possession of the Promised Land?

1<

*

1<

*

1<

*

1<

(Continued from page 39)

o Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

December 1

a.

The refusal of the king of Edom was not the main obstacle that prevented the
passage of the Israelites through the land of Edom. What was the real impediment?

b.

Describe the transfer of the high-priestly responsibilities from Aaron to his
son Eleazar.

c.

What were the results of the first encounter of the Israelites with a Canaanite king and his army?

d.

Tell the experience of the Israelites in connection with the fiery serpents and
the brazen serpent.

e.

What lesson does this experience contain for us?

- 43-

Lesson 11

Sabbath, December 16, 1989

BALAK AND BALAAM

"The Lord unfolded the future before Balaam, and permitted events which
would occur, to pass before his sight, that the Moabites should understand
that Israel should finally triumph." - The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White
Comments), vol. 1, p. 1117.

KEY TEXT:

"And Balaam said unto Balak, ... and now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do
to thy people in the latter days." Numbers 24:12, 14.

D Sunday
BALAK SENDS FOR BALAAM
1.

December 10

How did Balak, king of Moab, feel when he saw the host of Israel? Numbers
22: 1-4. Whom did Balak desire so much to see and why? Who was Balaam
and where did he live? Numbers 22:5.

"The Moabites dared not risk an attack upon them [the Israelites]; an appeal to
arms was hopeless in face of the supernatural agencies that wrought in their behalf.
But they determined, as Pharaoh had done, to enlist the power ofsorcery to counteract the work of God. They would bring a curse upon Israel.
"The people of Moab were closely connected with the Midianites, both by the ties
of nationality and religion. And Balak, the king of Moab, aroused the fears of the kindred people, and secured their cooperation in his designs against Israel by the message, 'Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up
the grass of the field.' Balaam, an inhabitant of Mesopotamia, was reported to possess supernatural powers, and his fame had reached to the land of Moab. It was determined to call him to their aid. Accordingly, messengers of 'the elders of Moab and of
the elders of Midian,' were sent to secure his divinations and enchantments against
Israel. ...
"Balaam was once a good man and a prophet of God; but he had apostatized, and
had given himself up to covetousness; yet he still professed to be a servant of the
Most High. He was not ignorant of God's work in behalf of Israel; and when the messengers announced their errand, he well knew that it was his duty to refuse the rewards of Balak and to dismiss the ambassadors." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 438, 439.
2.

With what invitation and inducement were messengers sent to Balak?
Numbers 22:6, 7. Why did not Balaam go with the first messengers?
Numbers 22:8-14. With what appeal- and promise did a second group of
messengers come to him and what did he reply to them? Numbers 22:15-19.

- 44-

"A second time Balaam was tested. In response to the solicitations of the ambassadors he professed great conscientiousness and integrity, assuring them that no
amount of gold and silver could induce him to go contrary to the will of God. But he
longed to comply with the king's request; and although the will of God had already
been definitely made known to him, he urged the messengers to tarry, that he might
further inquire of God; as though the Infinite One were a man, to be persuaded. "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 440.

o Monday

BALAAM GOES TO MOAB
3.

December 11

Finally, what did God say to Balaam permitting him to have his own way?
Numbers 22:20, 21. Of what warning should God's concession remind us?
Ezekiel 14:4, 5; Psalm 81:11,12.

"In the night season the Lord appeared to Balaam and said, 'If the men come to
call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that
shalt thou do.' Thus far the Lord would permit Balaam to follow his own will, because
he was determined upon it. He did not seek to do the will of God, but chose his own
course, and then endeavored to secure the sanction of the Lord.
"There are thousands at the present day who are pursuing a similar course. They
would have no difficulty in understanding their duty if it were in harmony with their
inclinations. It is plainly set before them in the Bible or is clearly indicated by circumstances and reason. But because these evidences are contrary to their desires and
inclinations they frequently set them aside and presume to go to God to learn their duty. With great apparent conscientiousness they pray long and earnestly for light. But
God will not be trifled with. He often permits such persons to follow their own desires
and to suffer the result."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 440, 441.
4.

How did God reprove the "prophet" and what restriction did He put on him?
Numbers 22:22-35. How are many, today, following Balaam's example?

"Balaam owed the preservation of his life to the poor animal that he had treated
so cruelly. The man who claimed to be a prophet of the Lord, who declared that his
eyes were open, and he saw the 'vision of the Almighty,' was so blinded by covetousness and ambition that he could not discern the angel of God visible to his beast. 'The
god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.' How many are
thus blinded! They rush on in forbidden paths, transgressing the divine law, and cannot discern that God and His angels are against them. Like Balaam they are angry at
those who would prevent their ruin."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 442.

o Tuesday

BALAAM BLESSES ISRAEL

December 12

5.

What did Balaam tell Balak concerning his limited power? Numbers 22:38.
How did Balaam, nevertheless, try to accomplish Balak's wish? Numbers
23:1-6, 13-15,27-30.

6.

What blessings did Balaam pronounce upon Isra,el? First blessing: Numbers
23:7-10. Second blessing: Numbers 23:18-24. Third blessing: Numbers
24:5-9.

- 45-

"Balaam prophesied that Israel's King would be greater and more powerful than
Agag. This was the name given to the kings of the Amalekites, who were at this time
a very powerful nation; but Israel, if true to God, would subdue all her enemies. The
King of Israel was the Son of God; and His throne was one day to be established in the
earth, and His power to be exalted above all earthly kingdoms." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 450.

D Wednesday
BALAAM'S PROPHECY
7.

December 13

How did the king of the Moabites chide the "prophet" for his action? What
was his reply? Numbers 23:11, 12,25,26; 24:10-14.

"While they [the Israelites] were under the divine protection, no people or nation,
though aided by all the power of Satan, should be able to prevail against them. All the
world should wonder at the marvelous work of God in behalf of His people-that a
man determined to pursue a sinful course should be so controlled by divine power as
to utter, instead of imprecations, the richest and most precious promises, in the
language of sublime and impassioned poetry. And the favor of God at this time manifested toward Israel was to be an assurance of His protecting care for His obedient,
faithful children in all ages. When Satan should inspire evil men to misrepresent,
harass, and destroy God's people, this very occurrence would be brought to their remembrance, and would strengthen their courage and their faith in God."-Patriarchs
and Prophets, p. 449.

8.

What prophecy did Balaam finally utter about Israel and about the promised
Messiah? Numbers 24:16-23.

"Not only was Balaam shown the history of the Hebrew people as a nation, but he
beheld the increase and prosperity of the true Israel of God to the close of time. He
saw the special favor of the Most High attending those who love and fear Him. He
saw them supported by His arm as they enter the dark valley of the shadow of death.
And He beheld them coming forth from their graves, crowned with glory, honor, and
immortality. He saw the redeemed rejoicing in the unfading glories of the earth made
new."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 447.

D Thursday
A LESSON FOR US
9.

December 14

Why was Balaam unable to curse Israel? Numbers 23:8,19-21,23. How did
Balaam afterwards succeed in bringing a curse upon Israel? Numbers 31:15,
16; Revelation 2:14.

"He [Balaam] immediately returned to the land of Moab and laid his plans before
the king. The Moabites themselves were convinced that so long as Isra~l remained
true to God, He would be their shield. The plan proposed by Balaam was to separate
them from God by enticing them into idolatry. If they could be led to engage in the
licentious worship of Baal and Ashtaroth, their omnipotent Protector would become
their enemy, and they would soon fall a prey to the,fierce, warlike nations around
them. This plan was readily accepted by the king, and Balaam himself remained to
assist in carrying it into effect.
- 46-

"Balaam witnessed the success of his diabolical scheme. He saw the curse of God
visited upon His people, and thousands falling under His judgments; but the divine
justice that punished sin in Israel did not permit the tempters to escape. In the war of
Israel against the Midianites, Balaam was slain."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 451.
10. In what sense is Balaam mentioned in the New Testament as a warning to all
Christians? 2 Peter 2:15,16; Jude 11. As far as character is concerned, what
parallel can be drawn between Balaam and Judas?

"The fate of Balaam was similar to that of Judas, and their characters bear a
marked resemblance to each other. Both these men tried to unite the service of God
and mammon, and met with signal failure. Balaam acknowledged the true God, and
professed to serve Him; Judas believed in Jesus as the Messiah, and united with His
followers. But Balaam hoped to make the service of Jehovah the steppingstone to the
acquirement of riches and worldly honor; and failing in this he stumbled and fell and
was broken. Judas expected by his connection with Christ to secure wealth and promotion in that worldly kingdom which, as he believed, the Messiah was about to set
up. The failure of his hopes drove him to apostasy and ruin. Both Balaam and Judas
had received great light and enjoyed special privileges; but a single cherished sin
poisoned the entire character and caused their destruction.
"It is a perilous thing to allow an unchristian trait to live in the heart. One cherished
sin will, little by little, debase the character, bringing all its nobler powers into subjection to the evil desire. The removal of one safeguard from the conscience, the indulgence of one evil habit, one neglect of the high claims of duty, breaks down the
defenses of the soul and opens the way for Satan to come in and lead us astray. "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 452.

REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

o Friday
December 15

a.

What led Balaam into apostasy? What made his influence especially dangerous?

b.

How do you explain the fact that God finally allowed Balaam to go with the
messengers of Balak?

c.

Summarize the blessings that Balaam pronounced upon Israel.

d.

What did Balaam prophesy about the coming of Christ?

e.

What plan did Balaam propose to Balak to bring the curse of God upon Israel? •

- 47-

Lesson 12

Sabbath, December 23, 1989

APOSTASY AT THE JORDAN

"It was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security
that they were led into sin. They failed to keep God ever before them, they
neglected prayer and cherished a spirit of self-confidence.... It is thus that
Satan still seeks to compass the ruin of the soul." - Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 459.

KEY TEXT:

"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falL" 1
Corinthians 10:12.

D Sunday
WHOREDOM AND IDOLATRY
1.

December 17

Where did the children of Israel encamp immediately before crossing the
Jordan? What lures did Satan put before them to entice them into sin?
Numbers 25:1.

"On the eastern side of Jordan, between the river and the high tableland which
they had been traversing, was also a plain, several miles in width, and extending some
distance along the river. This sheltered valley had the climate of the tropics; here
flourished the shittim, or acacia tree, giving to the plain the name, 'Vale of Shittim.' It
was here that the Israelites encamped, and in the acacia groves by the riverside they
found an agreeable retreat.
"But amid these attractive surroundings they were to encounter an evil more
deadly than mighty hosts of armed men or the wild beasts of the wilderness. That
country, so rich in natural advantages, had been defiled by the inhabitants. In the
public worship of Baal, the leading deity, the most degrading and iniquitous scenes
Were constantly enacted. On every side were places noted for idolatry and licentiousness, the very names being suggestive of the vileness and corruption of the people."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 453.

2.

Advised by Balaam, what did the Moabites do to allure Israel further away
from God? Numbers 25:2, 3.

"At Balaam's suggestion, a grand festival in honor of their gods was appointed by
the king of Moab, and it was secretly arranged that Balaam should induce the
Israelites to attend. He was regarded by them as a prophet of God, and hence had little difficulty in accomplishing his purpose. Great numbers of the people joined him in
witnessing the festivities. They ventured upon forbidden ground, and were entangled

-48 -

in the snare of Satan. Beguiled with music and dancing, and allured by the beauty of
heathen vestals, they cast off their fealty to Jehovah. As they united in mirth and
feasting, indulgence in wine beclouded their senses and broke down the barriers of
self-control. Passion had full sway; and having defiled their consciences by lewdness,
they were persuaded to bow down to idols. They offered sacrifice upon heathen altars
and participated in the most degrading rites.
"It was not long before the poison had spread, like a deadly infection, through the
camp of Israel. Those who would have conquered their enemies in battle were overcome by the wiles of heathen women."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 454.

o Monday
GOD'S JUDGMENTS UPON ISRAEL
3.

December 18

What judgment of God aroused the people to the seriousness of their sin?
(Note.) What command did the Lord issue concerning the leaders of the
apostasy? Numbers 25:4, 5.

"There iniquitous practices did that for Israel which all the enchantments of
Balaam could not do-they separated them from God. By swift-coming judgments the
people were awakened to the enormity of their sin. A terrible pestilence broke out in
the camp, to which tens of thousands speedily fell a prey. God commanded that the
leaders in this apostasy be put to death by the magistrates. This order was promptly
obeyed. The offenders were slain, then their bodies were hung up in sight of all Israel,
that the congregation, seeing the leaders so severely dealt with, might have a deep
sense of God's abhorrence of their sin and the terror of His wrath against them."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 455.
4.

How many died in the plague? Numbers 25:9.

o
A STRANGE FORM OF ATONEMENT
5.

Tuesday

December 19

While the people were weeping and confessing their sins, how defiantly did
one of the nobles of Israel behave toward the law of God and the Heaven-sent
judgment? Numbers 25:6.

"All felt that the punishment was just, and the people hastened to the tabernacle,
and with tears and deep humiliation confessed their sin. While they were thus weeping before God, at the door of the tabernacle, while the plague was still doing its work
of death, and the magistrates were executing their terrible commission, Zimri, one of
the nobles of Israel, came boldly into the camp, accompanied by a Midianitish harlot,
a princess, 'of a chief house in Midian,' whom he escorted to his tent. Never was vice
bolder or more stubborn. Inflamed with wine, Zimri declared his 'sin as Sodom,' and
gloried in his shame. The priests and leaders had prostrated themselves in grief and
humiliation, weeping 'between the porch and the altar,' and entreating the Lord to
spare His people, and give not His heritage to reproach, when this prince in Israel
flaunted his sin in the sight of the congregation, as if to defy the vengeance of God and
mock the judges of the nation."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 455.
6.

Who made an atonement for the sin of the children of Israel? How? How did
the Lord,signify that He was pleased with the action of His servant? Numbers
25:7,8, 10-13.

-49 -

"Phineas, the son of Eleazar the high priest, rose up from among the congregation, and seizing a javelin, 'he went after the man of Israel into the tent,' and slew
them both. Thus the plague was stayed, while the priest who had executed the divine
judgment was honored before all Israel, and the priesthood was confirmed to him and
to his house forever." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 455.

o Wednesday

ISRAEL NUMBERED
7.

December 20

When the people of Israel were numbered on the plains of Jordan, what did
the census reveal? Numbers 26:63-65.

"The judgments visited upon Israel for their sin at Shittim, destroyed the survivors of that vast company, who, nearly forty years before, had incurred the sentence, 'They shall surely die in the wilderness.' "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 456.
8.

What directions did God give to Moses concerning the Midianites? Why?
Numbers 25:16-18. When these instructions were being carried out, what
mistake caused Moses to become angry? Numbers 31:1-8, 14-16.

o Thursday

A LESSON FOR US
9.

December 21

What lesson should we learn from the apostasy at the Jordan? 1 Corinthians
10:8, 11, 12.

"Satan well knows the material with which he has to deal in the human heart. He
knows-for he has studied with fiendish intensity for thousands of years-the points
most easily assailed in every character; and through successive generations he has
wrought to overthrow the strongest men, princes in Israel, by the same temptations
that were so successful at Baalpeor. All along through the ages there are strewn
wrecks of character that have been stranded upon the rocks of sensual indulgence. As
we approach the close of time, as the people of God stand upon the borders of the
heavenly Canaan, Satan will, as of old, redouble his efforts to prevent them from
entering the goodly land. He lays his snares for every soul. It is not the ignorant and
uncultured merely that need to be guarded; he will prepare his temptations for those
in the highest positions, in the most holy office;.if he can lead them to pollute their
souls, he can through them destroy many. And he employs the same agents now as he
employed three thousand years ago. By worldly friendships, by the charms of beauty,
by pleasure seeking, mirth, feasting, or the wine cup, he tempts to the violation of the
seventh commandment. ' '-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 457, 458.
"It was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security that
they were led into sin. They failed to keep God ever before them, they neglected
prayer and cherished a spirit of self-confidence. Ease and self-indulgence left the
citadel of the soul unguarded, and debasing thoughts found entrance. It was the
traitors within the walls that overthrew the strongholds of principle and betrayed
Israel into the power of Satan. It is thus that Satan still seeks to compass the ruin of
the soul. A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart
before the Christian commits open sin."-Ibid., p. 459.
10. What warning is calculated to protect us from apostasy? 2 Corinthians 6: 17;
1 John 2:15; James 4:4; Revelation 18:4,5.

- 50-

"It was by associating with idolaters and joining in their festivities that the
Hebrews were led to transgress God's law, and bring His judgments upon the nation.
So now it is by leading the followers of Christ to associate with the ungodly and unite
in their amusements that Satan is most successful in alluring them into sin. 'Come out
from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean.' God
requires of His people now as great a distinction from the world, in customs,
habits, and principles, as He required of Israel anciently. If they faithfully follow
the teachings of His word, this distinction will exist; it cannot be otherwise. The
warnings given to the Hebrews against assimilating with the heathen were not more
direct or explicit than are those forbidding Christians to conform to the spirit and
customs of the ungodly." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 458.

o Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

December 22

a.

How was Israel's apostasy at Shittim accomplished through the efforts of
Balaam?

b.

How was that apostasy punished?

c.

What had to be done before the plague was stayed?

d.

What prediction had its ultimate fulfillment with the elimination of the
transgressors at Shittim?

e.

What warning should we take from that dreadful experience?

, ,
the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.

See details on pages 4 and 56.

- 51-

Lesson 13

Sabbath, December 30, 1989

THE DEATH OF MOSES

"As a shepherd of sheep, Moses was taught to care for the afflicted, to nurse
the sick, to seek patiently after the straying, to bear long with the unruly, to
supply with loving solicitude the wants of the young lambs and the necessities of the old and feeble." - Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 343.

KEY TEXT:

"And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a
son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." Hebrews 3:5, 6.

o Sunday
MOSES ENCOURAGES THE PEOPLE
1.

December 24

As Moses' end was drawing nigh, what encouraging speech did he make
before the people? Deuteronomy 31:1-6. What did he say to Joshua?
Deuteronomy 31:7, 8, 23.

"As the people gazed upon the aged man, so soon to be taken from them, they
recalled, with a new and deeper appreciation, his parental tenderness, his wise
counsels, and his untiring labors. How often, when their sins had invited the just
judgments of God, the prayers of Moses had prevailed with Him to spare them! Their
grief was heightened by remorse. They bitterly remembered that their own perversity had provoked Moses to the sin for which he must die.
"The removal of their beloved leader would be a far stronger rebuke to Israel
than any which they could have received had his life and mission been continued. God
would lead them to feel that they were not to make the life of their future leader as
trying as they had made that of Moses. God speaks to His people in blessings bestowed;
and when these are not appreciated, He speaks to them in blessings removed, that
they may be led to see their sins, and return to Him with all the heart." -Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 47~.
2.

In what way did the Lord signally set apart Joshua as the successor of
Moses? Deuteronomy 31:14, 15.

"The great Ruler of nations had declared that Moses was not to lead the congregation of Israel into the goodly land, and the earnest pleading of God's servant
- 52-

could not secure a reversing of His sentence. He knew that he must die. Yet he had
not for a moment faltered in his care for Israel. He had faithfully sought to prepare
the congregation to enter upon the promised inheritance. At the divine command
Moses and Joshua repaired to the tabernacle, while the pillar of cloud came and stood
over the door. Here the people were solemnly committed to the charge of Joshua. The
work of Moses as leader of Israel was ended. Still he forgot himself in his interest for
his people. In the presence of the assembled multitude, Moses, in the name of God,
addressed to his successor these words of holy cheer: 'Be strong and of a good
courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto
them: and I will be with thee.' He then turned to the elders and officers of the people,
giving them a solemn charge to obey faithfully the instructions he had communicated
to them from God."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 469, 470.

o Monday

THE BOOK OF THE LAW
3.

December 25

How often were the people required to listen to the reading of the laws?
Deuteronomy 31:9-13. Where was the book of the law to be kept?
Deuteronomy 31:24-26.

"After the public rehearsal of the law, Moses completed the work of writing all
the laws, the statutes, and the judgments which God had given him, and all the regulations concerning the sacrificial system. The book containing these was placed in
charge of the proper officers, and was for safe keeping deposited in the side of the
ark."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 466.
4.

What was the plan of God for Israel? Deuteronomy 28:12, 13. What was
given them as a continual reminder of their calling and election? Numbers
15:38, 39. What frustrating picture did the Lord reveal to Moses concerning
the future conduct of Israel? Deuteronomy 31:16-18.

"The children of Israel, after they were brought out of Egypt, were commanded
to have a simple ribbon of blue in the border of their garments, to distinguish them
from the nations around them, and to signify that they were God's peculiar people.
The people of God are not now required to have a special mark placed upon their garments. But in the New Testament we are often referred to ancient Israel for examples. If God gave such definite directions to His ancient people in regard to their
dress, will not the dress of His people in this age come under His notice? Should there
not be in their dress a distinction from that of the world? Should not the people of
God, who are His peculiar treasure, seek even in their dress to glorify God?"-The
SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1114.

o Tuesday

A NEW SONG
5.

-

December 26

What song-setting forth God's justice and mercy-was Moses commanded
to write for the benefit of the people? Deuteronomy 32:1-43.

"The more deeply to impress these truths [concerning God's dealings with His
people] upon all minds, the great leader embodied them in sacred verse. This song
was not only historical, but prophetic. While it recounted the wonderful dealings of
God with His people in the past, it also foreshadowed the great events of the future,

- 53-

the final victory of the faithful when Christ shall come the second time in power and
glory. The people were directed to commit to memory this poetic history, and to
teach it to their children and children's children. It was to be chanted by the congregation when they assembled for worship, and to be repeated by the people as they
went about their daily labors. It was the duty of parents to so impress these words
upon the susceptible minds of their children that they might never be forgotten."
-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 467, 468.
6.

In what sense was that song calculated to be a help to the people? Deuteronomy 31:19-22.

D Wednesday
THE COMING OF CHRIST PREDICTED
7.

December 27

What did Moses say about the first coming of Jesus Christ? Deuteronomy
18:15; Acts 7:37. What rebuke did Jesus direct to the Jews in connection
with this prophecy? John 5:45-47. In what sense was Moses a type of Christ?
Hebrews 3:5, 6.

"Moses was a type of Christ. He himself had declared to Israel, 'The Lord thy
God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto
me; unto Him ye shall hearken.' God saw fit to discipline Moses in the school of affliction and poverty before he could be prepared to lead the hosts of Israel to the earthly
Canaan. The Israel of God, journeying to the heavenly Canaan, have a Captain who
needed no human teaching to prepare Him for His mission as a divine leader; yet He
was made perfect through sufferings; and 'in that He Himself hath suffered being
tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.' Our Redeemer manifested no
human weakness or imperfection; yet He died to obtain for us an entrance into the
Promised Land."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 480.
8.

What blessing did Moses pronounce upon each of the twelve tribes? Deuteronomy 33:6-25.

D Thursday
MOSES' DEATH AND RESURRECTION
9.

December 28

What command and assurance did Moses receive from the Lord when he had
finished his work? What did he see with his own eyes? Deuteronomy 32:49,
50, 52; 34:1-8.

"Moses turned from the congregation, and in silence and alone made his way up
the mountainside. He went to 'the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah.' Upon that
lonely height he stood, and gazed with undimmed eye upon the scene spread out before him. Far away to the west lay the blue waters of the Great Sea; in the north,
Mount Hermon stood out against the sky; to the east was the tableland of Moab, and
beyond lay Bashan, the scene of Israel's triumph; and away to the south stretched the
desert of their long wanderings.
"In solitude Moses reviewed his life of vicissitudes and hardships since he turned
from courtly honors and from a prospective kingdom'in Egypt, to cast in his lot with
God's chosen people."-Patriilrchs and Pr.ophets, p. 471.
- 54-

10. How did God for the first time break the chain of death? Who came down to
bring Moses back to life? Romans 5:14 (first part); Jude 9. What classes of
saints did Moses and Elijah represent on the mount of transfiguration? Matthew 16:28; 17:1-5.

"Moses upon the mount of transfiguration was a witness to Christ's victory over
sin and death. He represented those who shall come forth from the grave at the resurrection of the just. Elijah, who had been translated to heaven without seeing death,
represented those who will be living upon the earth at Christ's second coming, and
who will be 'changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump';
when 'this mortal must put on immortality,' and 'this corruptible must put on incorruption.' Jesus was clothed with the light of heaven, as He will appear when He shall
come 'the second time without sin unto salvation.' For He will come 'in the glory of
His Father with the holy angels.' The Saviour's promise to the disciples was now fulfilled. Upon the mount the future kingdom of glory was represented in miniatureChrist the King, Moses a representative of the risen saints, and Elijah of the translated
ones."-The Desire of Ages, pp. 421, 422.

o Friday
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS

December 29

a.

What did Moses repeat to the people of Israel immediately before his death?

b.

What plan did he put before the leaders in Israel for the instruction of the
people in the laws, statutes, and judgments?

c.

What do you know about the song that Moses taught the people before he
died?

d.

What did Moses say about the promised Redeemer?

e.

When the Lord showed Mo'ses the Promised Land, what assurance did He
give him? What may be discerned from the fact that Moses and Elijah talked
with Christ on the mount of transfiguration?

Let us remember our brethren in France
today with a generous offering!

S.D.A.R.M.
- 55-

The arrow on the map above points to Paris, France, where the brethren need a suitable meeting place. See page 4 for more information.