Sabbath School Summary
Blueprint for a Better World
Memory Text: Leviticus 19:18
SATURDAY: From generation to generation God has had people peculiar to His heart. They were to serve as troughs which receive heavenly blessings to bestow it upon others (Gen. 12:2, 3). Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., were some of these privileged people. Israel was God’s chosen nation; from her came the Messiah. God set laws to govern Israel in order to bless other nations.
SUNDAY: God is not deaf to the cries of His people. He strikes at the right time because He knows best (Exod. 3:7). Israel were in captivity for 400 years before God led them out of slavery in a unique manner (Exod. 3:16, 17). During this “silent” years, the people of Israel through their toils had increased the wealth of their masters—Egypt. Hence, in saving them, God made a plan for them to have their share of the national cake (Exod. 3:21).
MONDAY: As God’s chosen light to neighboring nations, Israel were to live in the light of God’s will. Hence, the Ten Commandments were given as their constitution (Matt. 22:37-40, Exod. 20:1-17). Love is its basic principle, from this ten laws sprung up the many laws that exists today. Though seemingly brief, it can be expanded to tackle the issues of life; any sinful little act (PP, p. 308, 309, Matt. 5:21-30).
TUESDAY: God bid Israel not to trample upon the rights of others. As victims of slavery, they were to remember (by celebrating the Passover) how it was to be a slave and the miracle God wrought to save them (Exod. 23:9, 13:14). The vulnerable in society; strangers, slaves, widows, and orphans were to be met by love (Exod. 22:21-23). These civic laws were given for they had forgotten the Decalogue.
WEDNESDAY: God gave the people of Israel a chance for them to be channels of His blessings through the system of tithing. Apart from the 10% of their income which they were tasked to help advance the gospel, they were to give a second tithe— the 10% “was a starting point”, every third year, they were to recall to mind God’s goodness and give to help the needy (Deut. 14:22-29, 26:12, read also 26:1-11).
THURSDAY: After giving to Israel the Promised Land, God through Joshua evenly shared the land “by tribe and family groups”. He did not end there, He placed a check upon all properties. To ensure successive generations enjoy the benefits of the lands due them but sold by their fathers in times of need, God decreed that sold lands could be redeemed on the “year of jubilee” (Lev. 25:8-23, PP, p. 534).
FRIDAY: The poor shall be with us always in this fallen world. Even though God promised to bless the Israelites, He knew this reality. In His own wisdom, He set laws to ensure equity in the land. The poor and needy were to be treated with love & compassion. Today, many people are homeless, sick, & poor. God bids us to minister to their needs. There would be no crime & greed if these laws are obeyed.
—Ellen G. White, “The Law Given to Israel,” pp. 303-314; “God’s Care for the Poor,” pp. 530-536, in Patriarchs and Prophets.
PP- Patriarch and Prophets
The Year of Jubilee- On the fiftieth year, every possession bought were to be returned to its original owners. It was a year of liberty for the poor & marginalized.
SUNDAY- The God Who Hears
MONDAY- The Ten Commandments
TUESDAY- Slaves, Widows, Fatherless, Foreigners
WEDNESDAY- Second Tithing
THURSDAY- The Year of Jubilee
📌 Of the blueprint God gave to Moses and the Israelites for the kind of society they were to establish, what feature, law, or regulation most catches your attention (whether it be specifically mentioned in this week’s study or from your wider reading)?
📌 Why do you think God seems so focused on the most vulnerable in the laws He gave to His people?
📌 How should we understand and relate to these laws today? How do we choose which of these are applicable and relevant to us today? What is the most important thing we can learn from these detailed instructions as to how the Israelites were to order their society and lives?
Entire Lesson Summary
God heard the cries of the suffering people of Israel in Egypt and intervened to rescue them. He sought to build a special covenant relationship with them and to work with them to establish a new society that would be a blessing to all, even those often forgotten, marginalized, and vulnerable.
For July 6-12. Happy Sabbath.