Sabbath School Summary
The Cry of the Prophets
Memory Text: Micah 6:8
SATURDAY: The men who were called to the prophetic office of God had bold messages, a sense of grief, and anger all with the hope of sparking a spiritual revival in Israel and Judah—primary recipient of the OT. These unsung heroes led major reforms against idolatry and revived the faith of God’s chosen people. The OT prophets called Israel to put away all her sins including oppression of the poor.
SUNDAY: As God’s chosen light, Israel did not live up to their calling. She wanted to be like other nations (1 Sam. 8:5). Israel chose to distant herself from God by demanding a human leader, but God’s love for His people remained unchanged. He used the OT prophets as His mouthpiece bidding the people to live justly and love mercy (1 Sam. 8:10-18). Daily, God speaks to us to help relieve the sorrow in the world.
MONDAY: Unaware, God called Amos from the field to be His voice in Israel (Amos 7:14, 15). His words were direct; God would punish the nations around Israel for their sins (Amos 1:3-2:3). Thus, Israel was cautioned not to partake in their crimes. Amos later pointed out the injustice of Judah & Israel on the poor (Amos 3:9-11; 4:1, 2; 5:10-15, 24, 8:4-6, 9:11-15). God’s plan was to restore Israel (PK, p. 283).
TUESDAY: Micah 6:8, like popular texts in the Bible is often recited (used as “slogans” or “posters”) but not practiced. The reign of king Ahaz led Israel to embrace idolatry. The poor were also preyed upon & exploited (Micah 2:8-11, 3:8-12). God through Micah revealed His anger for the sins of Israel, calling them to repent. His warnings to Israel were given because of His love for them (Micah 7:18-20).
WEDNESDAY: Prophet Ezekiel likens the injustice meted out to the poor to the sexual sins in Sodom (Ezek. 16:49; Gen. 19:1-13). It’s clearly evident how God abhors exploiting the weak and needy in society. The prophet forewarned Israel how her sins will lead her into captivity (Ezek. 34:2-4, 7-16). In captivity, Ezekiel gave Israel hope of restoration, & His plan to ensure equality (Ezek. 47:13-48:29).
THURSDAY: Isaiah dedicates the first five chapters of his book addressing the sins of Israel; how her society is so corrupt. The prophet mourned for Israel, the wrath they would face for hurting the innocent (Isa. 1:15-23; 3:13-15; 5:7, 😎. In his grief, Isaiah called Israel to turn back to God. He assures the exploited that God knows their plight & will send a Messiah (read Isa. 59:14, 20).
FRIDAY: The cries of God’s prophets were in vain. The more they cautioned the perpetrators, the more lawlessness abounded. People got drunk and indulged in injustice, “men were adding house to house and field to field”, even leaders and judges whose duty were to ensure equality. Prophets Isaiah was discouraged by the resistance of the people. We ought to hearken the prophets’ calls.
—Ellen G. White, “The Assyrian Captivity,” pp. 279-292; “The Call of Isaiah,” pp. 303-310, in Prophets and Kings. Prophets and Kings, p. 282, 327.
OT- Old Testament
PK- Prophets and Kings
SUNDAY- The Recurring Call To Justice
📌 We often understand the function of prophecy as predicting the future. How does the recognition of the Old Testament prophets’ focus on the world in which they lived change your perception of the role of a prophet?
📌 The lives and message of the prophets demonstrate how difficult and dangerous it can be to stand up for truth. Why do you believe they did what they did and spoke in the way they did?
📌 In the writings of the prophets, God seems to alternate between being angry and showing deep concern for His people. How do you fit together these two aspects of God’s character?
Entire Lesson Summary
The Old Testament prophets were passionate and often angry and upset defenders of the way and will of God to their people. Reflecting the expressed concern of God Himself, this passion included a strong focus on justice for the poor and oppressed. The prophets’ calls to return to God included putting an end to injustice, something God also promised to do in His visions for a better future for His people.
For July 27-August 2. Happy Sabbath.