Monday: God’s Greatest Promise
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Read Haggai 1:12-14.

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Notice the sense of unity of purpose here. Why was that so important in order for them to do that which they were called to do?

This time the message instantly is obeyed by the leaders and the remnant people. They make preparations, gather materials, and resume work on the temple three weeks later. Within another week they erect an altar and restore the sacrificial worship (Ezra 3:1-6). In less than five years the [...]

Sunday: Planting Much, Harvesting Little
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Read Haggai 1:1-11.

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What was happening here and, more important, why was this happening? Even more important, how might this same principle be happening to us today? How might we be guilty of doing the same thing?

“For over a year the temple was neglected and well-nigh forsaken. The people dwelt in their homes and strove to attain temporal prosperity, but their situation was deplorable. Work as they might they did not prosper. The very elements of [...]

Sabbath: First Things First!
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Read for This Week’s Study: Haggai 1, John 2:19, Ezra 3:1-6, Matt. 1:23, 12:6, Haggai 2, Luke 24:13-27.

Memory Text: “‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty’” (Haggai 2:8, NIV).

Key Thought: Haggai’s message is simple: What are our priorities, and why is it so important to get them right?

Haggai’s book, one of the shortest in the Bible, was written at a critical time in the life of Judah. The exiles had returned from their captivity in Babylon almost 20 years before; yet, they seemed to [...]

Further Study: The Day of the Lord
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“With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps account with the nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, this account remains open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath begins. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. Mercy no longer pleads in their behalf.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 364.

“Before the worlds unfallen and the heavenly universe, the world will have to give an account to the [...]

Inside Story: Standing Up for Jesus, part 1
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The ropes bit into Bien’s [bee-YEN] wrists as she struggled to free herself.

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Her brothers had tied her to the small boat before they left to get gas for the boat’s engine. They planned to take her to the small offshore island where their grandmother lived so she couldn’t attend the heretics’ church she had been visiting. She knew she had little time. She saw some friends passing nearby and called them to help her. [...]

Thursday: God’s Answer to Injustice
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Read Nahum 1-3.

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What verses especially teach us about the character of God? How can we apply what is seen here to our understanding of last-day events?

The prophecy of Nahum is God’s Word against the kingdoms of this world as represented by Nineveh. As the prophet looked at his world, he saw the hand of God moving against the Assyrian Empire. He announced that its capital city, Nineveh, would soon fall, never to rise again. Nahum [...]

Wednesday: God’s Greatest Delight
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“‘The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.

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He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.’” (Zeph. 3:17, NIV).

In the closing section of his book (Zeph. 3:9-20), Zephaniah turns from a theme of anger to one of restoration. Beyond the judgment, we come to God’s ultimate goals. When the nations have been disciplined, they will together call on [...]

Tuesday: A Corrupt City
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A Chinese proverb says that the darkest spot in the room is located right under the candle.

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This proverb could be applied to the moral state of Jerusalem in Zephaniah’s time. The prophet just has completed the pronouncement of divine judgments on Judah’s neighboring countries (see Zephaniah 2) such as Philistia in the west, Moab and Ammon in the east, Cush in the south, and Assyria in the east. Yet, he does not stop there. He [...]

Monday: The Humble of the Land
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In Zephaniah 2:1-3, we see the prophet’s call to repentance.

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Even though the destruction is imminent, there is still time to be sheltered from calamity, but only if the nation will repent. The wicked who refuse to repent will be consumed on the day of judgment like chaff. In Psalm 1:4 the wicked are also likened to chaff and, in the end, they perish.

With the words “Seek the Lord,” Zephaniah is encouraging those who humble themselves before God [...]

Sunday: A Day of Darkness
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The focal point of Zephaniah’s message is the “day of the Lord” (Zeph. 1:7).

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For biblical prophets, the day of the Lord refers to a specific period of time in which God intervenes in human affairs in order both to save and to judge. Most people in ancient Israel believed that on this day the Lord would save and exalt Israel while the enemy nations would be destroyed forever. To the great surprise of those [...]