Sabbath School Summary
Memory Text: Ezra 7:27
SATURDAY: “Divinity needed humanity” in the redemption of man. God does not employ angels but fallen men as his human aids. That’s why Christ took on humanity. Although we can’t pinpoint God’s method of selecting His human aids, what we do know is that God sometimes select people for specific tasks; Ezra & Nehemiah were tasked to rebuild Jerusalem. Other times, He qualifies the called through education & experiences.
SUNDAY: One principal reason why God called Ezra & Nehemiah was their willingness to seek Him. They had a heart firmly rooted in God. Also, Ezra might have been chosen because of his leadership, writing, & teaching skills (Ezra 7:10, Neh. 1:1-11). Ezra witnessed for 13 years on his return amidst opposition. The people willingly assembled together after the wall was rebuilt because of his divine teachings.
MONDAY: Zerubbabel & Ezra received their call in 538 B.C. & 457 B.C. respectively. The timing of events in rebuilding Jerusalem were in harmony with the foreknowledge of God. Zerubbael led the first group after the 70 years of captivity & Ezra’s ministry began when King Artaxerxes issued his decree (Ezra 7:27, 28). The 70 weeks prophecy (in Dan. 9:24-27) equals 490 years (Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:5, 6), which began at the issue of this decree.
TUESDAY: King Artaxerxes’ decree tells us when (457 B.C.) to start counting the 70 weeks (490 years) which ends at A.D. 34. The 2,300 days (2,300 years) prophecy (Dan. 8:14, 26, 27) is linked with the 70 weeks prophecy. We’re to “cut off” (“determined” in Dan. 9:24) this 70 weeks (490 years) from the 2,300 years (the years left will be 1,810 years, which falls on 1844). Thus, both prophecies begins from from the same period; 457 B.C.
WEDNESDAY: The divine call to all men is to behold Christ & reflect His image (Rom. 8:28, 29). Yet, the choice to be saved is in our hands. God’s elect are transformed only by His grace. He is the justifier & sanctifier (Rom. 8:30). It’s easy to misinterpret the text about Jacob & Esau (Rom. 9). God elect all of us to be saved, and also elect some to perform specific tasks. Jacob was elected to be the father of Israel.
THURSDAY: Our “free will” is the “determining factor” as regards God’s call to humanity. As one can reject God’s call to salvation, so can one reject God’s call to perform a specific task. King Saul never fully committed his heart to God though he accepted God’s call. Ezra & Nehemiah accepted God’s call without objecting. Moses objected to God’s call but later became a good leader for Him (Exod. 3 & 4).
FRIDAY: Through God’s prophets the time of the coming & anointing of Christ, & when the gospel would reached the Gentiles were clearly revealed to the Jewish nation. It’s a great privilege to know prophecy. By diligent study of prophecy, we can discern the signs of the end times & our mission. God will give wisdom to all who make conscious effort to know Him & His will ( read Matt. 24:15, Luke 24:27, 1 Pet. 1:11).
—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 234. Read carefully Prophets and Kings, pp. 697-699, regarding the 70-week prophecy and its historical fulfillment.
1844- At the end of the 2300 prophetic days, Christ entered the most Holy place to continue His atoning ministry; investigative judgement which is typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the day of atonement.
SUNDAY- The Calling Of Ezra And Nehemiah
MONDAY- Prophetic Timing
TUESDAY- The 70 Weeks And The 2,300 Days
WEDNESDAY- God’s Election
THURSDAY- Our Responsibility
📌 Dwell more on this idea of God’s calling you to do something that you love to do. What are some principles you could follow to know that you are doing God’s will, not just in the case of something you love to do, but in general?
📌 Read the story of Jonah and how he responded to God’s calling in his life. What lessons can we take from his experience? At the same time, contrast what Jonah did to what Paul did when he was called by the Lord. (See Acts 9:1-20.) What were some of the major differences between them?
📌 “The history of Judas presents the sad ending of a life that might have been honored of God. Had Judas died before his last journey to Jerusalem he would have been regarded as a man worthy of a place among the twelve, and one who would be greatly missed.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 716. Think about the story of Judas Iscariot. Was his “calling” to betray Jesus? If so, how fair would that be to him? How can we understand Judas and the opportunities he had in contrast to what he eventually ended up doing? What lessons can we take away from his story about the power of free choice in our lives?
Inside Story: Rha, an associate pastor in an SDA church in Tokyo, Japan, recounts how God worked two great miracles to help their church in times of adversity. Firstly, a breakage in the church’s water pipeline left the church a debt of 7 million yen ($70,000) to pay. Also, the church needed 16 million yen ($160,000) for evangelism. Church members were stressed up. After one day prayer meeting, Rha went to his office to find 3 million yen ($30,000) on his desk. Later, they received an offering of 1 million yen ($10, 000) from a stranger who said he’s not a Christian but was touched in a dream to donate to any church. The SDA church in Tokyo have been able to settle their debt & also embarked on evangelism. Till date, they can’t find the whereabout of the stranger who donated and the person who left money on pastor Rha’s desk.
For October 12-18. Happy Sabbath.