Sabbath School Summary
God and the Covenant
Memory Text: “ ‘And because of all this, we make a sure covenant and write it; our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it.’ We will not neglect the house of our God” Nehemiah 9:38; 10:39b
SATURDAY: God brought all of Israel into covenant relation with Him. He’s a covenant-keeping God. Biblically, this covenant refers to the legal agreement between God and His people. “It is God saying, “You are My people, and I am your God.” Though in any covenant both parties benefit, in our covenant with God we’re the only beneficiaries. Keeping it brought blessings to Israel, breaking it brought curses.
SUNDAY: Out of deep sorrow for their sins, Israel renewed their vow with God. Amidst their sins, God dealt faithfully with them, now they saw the need to obey His law (Neh. 10:1-29; 9:36-38). Thus, the idea of this covenant. God have always had good relations with men, it’s only sin from men that comes to distort it. Cain & his line chose sin while Seth & his line chose God (Gen. 4:17-19, 5:3-24, 6:11–13).
MONDAY: The flood was God’s way of dealing with sin. God made His covenant in this order; Adam (Gen. 1-3), Noah (Gen. 6-9), Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3), Moses & Israel (Exod. 19-24), Phinehas (Num. 25:10-13), David (2 Sam. 7:5-16), & the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34). God’s everlasting covenant (Heb. 8:10-12) entails sanctification, reconciliation, mission, & justification. The Old & New Covenant comprises of these.
TUESDAY: in dealing with man takes him from the known to the unknown. By the ancient culture that time, It was common to begin a covenant with a preamble (who God is); history (past relationship); laws; blessings & curses; witnesses; sign of covenant. God employed the same manner in establishing His covenant (Deut. 1:1-5; 1:6-4:43; 4:44-26:19; 27-30; 30:19; 31:9-13, see Josh. 24:1-27).
WEDNESDAY: The covenant came with 4 pledges from the Israelites (Neh. 10:30-39). They vowed; not to permit mixed marriages, to truly observe the Sabbath, to observe the sabbatical year & cancel other’s debt, & to donate money to support the temple & it’s services. All these practices were put in place to safeguard against breaking the covenant with God. The Sabbath was pivotal to keeping the vow.
THURSDAY: In the renewal of their covenant with God, the Israelites pledged to go the extra mile to keep the temple functioning. They chose thriving over surviving. Thus, from their little they gave “a third of a shekel for the temple”, more than what the law demanded. They took upon themselves other duties too. By their firstfruits, firstborns, & tithes & offerings the Levites were fed (read also Romans 5:5-10).
FRIDAY: The services in the earthly sanctuary symbolized how Israel depended on Christ, His sacrificial offering, & His atoning ministry in heaven. The structure had two sections; the holy place where the priests ministered daily, & the most holy place where the priest entered once a year. A spotless lamb died as a substitute for the sinner. All sins were to be transferred to the sanctuary (Lev. 17:11, 10:17).
—Ellen G. White, “Consecration,” pp. 43-48, in Steps to Christ. The Great Controversy, p. 418.
SUNDAY-The Idea Of The Covenant
MONDAY- Covenants in History
TUESDAY- Covenantal Structure
THURSDAY- The Temple
Think about pledges you have made that you have broken, no matter how sincere and earnest you were in intending to keep them. What have you learned from that experience that, perhaps, could help keep you from making a similar mistake again?
Covenant is a legal establishment of a relationship. We broke it with God, but He is always faithful to His part, even when we are not to ours. How can this understanding of God’s goodness and faithfulness draw humans into a close relationship with Him and, thus, help us live as we should?
Think of how many times you have been unfaithful to God and to promises we have under the “new covenant” (see Luke 22:20, Heb. 8:13, 9:15).
Why is it so important, then, to understand the plan of salvation and the promise of forgiveness that we have because of the sacrifice of Jesus, whose blood sealed the “new covenant” for us?
Inside Story: A family that lived at the Nepal-China border had a superstitious belief that 6 spirits lived with them, in 6 pots placed at the corners of the home. These spirits were fed daily by the mother by putting her cooked meal inside the pot. She feared the family would be attack if she stopped the ritual. His son heard the story of how a virgin bore a son and decided to know more. He ultimately became an Adventist after he inquired more from a visiting SDA pastor. He was beaten & chased out of his home by his father. Motherly love inspired his mother to give him a lamb. The son later sold the lamb and bought a volley boy which he used as a means of evangelism. Anyone who would play had to memorize a Bible verse and a song. Before long, many youths got to know about Christ.
For November 16-22. Happy Sabbath.