Sabbath School Summary
Worship the Creator
Lesson 6
Memory Text: Isaiah 58:6, 7

Memory Text: “ ‘Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?’ ” (Isaiah 58:6, 7, NKJV).

SATURDAY: The OT account records cases of maltreatment; widows were oppressed, the poor were defrauded and the fatherless were treated with injustice. Using the OT prophets as His voice, God expressed His anger & grief at these acts of iniquity (Amos 1 & 2). Israel, God’s chosen light partook in this sin. To truly worship God whom you’ve not seen, you ought to love your brother whom you’ve seen.

SUNDAY: God did not only deliver Israel from slavery, He invited Moses to Mount Sinai to give Him His precepts. Moses’ absence kept Israel waiting & in suspense. Aaron was pressured by the mob to make an idol for the people to worship. Soon after they promised God to obey Him, the Israelites broke their promise. Moses’s prayer was what restrained God’s wrath (Exod. 20:2-6, 32:6, 24:1-13, Ps. 115:1-8).

MONDAY: God has a reason for why we ought to worship Him; He’s the Creator & Savior full of goodness, justice, & mercy (Deut. 10:17-22, Ps. 101:1, 146:5-10, Isa. 5:16, 61:11). By beholding Him through worship, we become like Him. Led by Moses & Miriam, Israel worshipped God in songs for saving them from slavery (Exod. 15). God bids us to testify His goodness to others (Deut. 10:17-22, see Job 34:12, 28).

TUESDAY: Israel as a nation became soaked in sin. Their rituals of worship could not quiet their habitual sins—oppressing the poor. The cries of the oppressed were louder than the music of their hymns. They could not wait to end their worship and oppress the poor (Amos 8:4, 6). God’s delight is in our obedience, not our rituals; sacrifice & fasting (Isa. 1:10-17, Amos 5:21-24, Micah 6:6-8).

WEDNESDAY: The principles that are the foundation of worship are “relieving the poor and oppressed and helping those in need” (Isa. 58). That’s the way of worship unlike the vain “religious” acts of the Israelites in seeking God. God’s purpose for us in worshiping Him is to relieve others from sin, do away with injustice, & promote peace (4BC, p. 306). On the Sabbath, we should care for others (WM, p. 121).

THURSDAY: Mercy is better than sacrifice, that was Jesus response to His critics (Matt. 9:13, Hos. 6:6). His compassion, care, & service was a sermon in itself. He revealed God’s love for humanity through the miracles He wrought & the parables He said. Jesus taught that our words should go with our actions; we must practice what we preach. Unlike the Pharisees, we must love mercy (Mark 12:38-40, Matt. 23:13, 23).

FRIDAY: From age to age, God through His prophets reiterated one thing; “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly”. Practical godliness is marked by love, justice, humility, and mercy. In her vision, Ellen G. White recounts how God’s church should refer to the fifty-eighth (58th) chapter of Isaiah. Therein lies principles of practical Christianity. We’re called to imitate the benevolent ministry of Christ.

—Ellen G. White, “Isaiah 58—A Divine Pre-scription,” pp. 29-34, in Welfare Ministry; “Woes on the Pharisees,” pp. 610-620, in The Desire of Ages.

Keywords

4BC- The SDA Bible Commentary, Volume 4.

WM- Welfare Ministry.

Captions

SUNDAY- Idolatry And Oppression
MONDAY- A Reason To Worship
TUESDAY- Religious Oppressors
WEDNESDAY- A Way To Worship
THURSDAY- Mercy And Faithfulness

Discussion Questions

📌 Have you ever thought about doing justice and loving mercy as acts of worship? How might this change your approach to caring for others? How might this change your approach to worship?

📌 How can we guard against neglecting the “more important matters of the law” (Matt. 23:23, NIV) in our Christian lives, both individually and as a church community? Can you recognize some examples in your own experience where you might have strained out a gnat but swallowed a camel (see Matt. 23:24, NIV)?

📌 Why is hypocrisy considered such a sin? Isn’t it better at least to try to look like we are doing good?

📌 How does God’s vision and passion for the poor and needy, as expressed through the prophets, change how you view the world? How might you read or hear your local news reports in a different way if you saw and heard with the eyes and ears of a prophet?

Entire Lesson Summary

While the prophets were concerned about evil in the land, they were particularly focused on the evil committed by people who claimed and worshiped God as their own. For the prophets and for Jesus, worship is inconsistent with injustice, and such religion is hypocrisy. The real worship that God seeks includes working against oppression and caring for the poor and needy.

For August 3-9. Happy Sabbath.

—Michael

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