Wednesday: Death Decree

Queen Esther

It’s so hard for us today (as no doubt it has been for people from various cultures through the centuries) to understand the customs and tradition of the ancient Persian Empire, where the story of Esther unfolds. One thing is certain, though: the Lord had used that empire in the process of fulfilling the covenant … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Words of Defiance


Hezekiah was king of Judah when the new superpower, Assyria, conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and scattered its inhabitants across Mesopotamia (2 Kings 18:9-12) . “That which He could no longer do through them in the land of their fathers He would seek to accomplish by scattering them among the heathen. His plan for … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: David, Goliath and Bathsheba

Remorse and Empathy

Life is complicated, and that’s because, as humans, we are complicated. Imagine-creatures made in the image of God, the Creator of the universe, who then corrupt themselves. No wonder that our potential both for good and for evil can reach remarkable levels. And it isn’t just that some people attain great levels of “goodness” while … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: The Controversy Continues

Image © Lars Justinen

Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Sam. 17:43-51, 2 Sam. 11:1-17, 1 Kings 18:21-39, 2 Kings 19:21-34, Esther 3:8-11, Nehemiah 1. Memory Text: “And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, ‘Let … [Click to read more …]

Friday: Further Thought – Conflict and Crisis: The Judges

Dragon & Lamb

The Bible is known for not glossing over human sin, human evil. If it did, how could it, and portray accurately the state of humanity? An especially sharp depiction of human evil is found in 1 Samuel 2:12-25, when the sons of Eli are presented in contrast to the young Samuel. 1 Samuel 2:12 reads, … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Samuel

Samuel anointing David

What does the beginning of the book of Samuel have to do with the great controversy? There is no obvious threat to the created order, and there are no vast armies at the border. The attack of evil is more subtle but no less real. Read 1 Samuel 2:12-25. How do we see the reality … [Click to read more …]

HopeSS: Conflict and Crisis

Hope Sabbath School

You can view an in-depth discussion of “Conflict and Crisis” in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Ruth

Ruth Holding Sheafs of Wheat

Rather than talking about vast enemy armies that threaten God’s people, the story of Ruth speaks about something smaller: a family almost dying out but, instead, being revived. While it includes two larger themes-God’s creation being destroyed and His people being under threat-Ruth also tells of the great controversy on a personal level, where it … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Samson

Samson's Haircut

The battle lines between good and evil are blurred in the story of Samson. His life starts in impressive fashion with an announcement from the Angel of the LORD that he is to be a Nazarite from birth. The Angel instructs Samson’s parents how to prepare for their special baby. The mother is told not … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Gideon

Gideon Selects His Army

Read Judges 6:1. What is happening here? See Judges 6:10. After Deborah, the land enjoyed peace for the next 40 years, but soon they were back in the hands of oppressors. This time it was the Midianites, who, with their allies, would enter Israel and destroy all the newly planted crops and steal the livestock … [Click to read more …]