Tuesday: Words of Defiance
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Sword

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 …]

Monday: To Turn Their Hearts
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Elijah's Victory over Prophets of Baal

Elijah the Tishbite has to be one of the most colorful characters in Scripture. We first meet him standing before a startled king and telling him there will be no rain for the next three years (1 Kings 17:1) . It was not easy either to approach a king or to escape from him, but … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: David, Goliath and Bathsheba
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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
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Image © Lars Justinen Goosalt.com

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
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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 …]

Conflict and Crisis: The Judges (Life Lessons) – Hit the Mark
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Scribe and Apprentice

We have a full cast of characters to study this week. Deborah, Gideon, Sampson, Ruth and Samuel. Each found themselves in pivotal positions at times of conflict and crisis. God used them to do extraordinary things. These are heroes of the Bible, but all heroes are first ordinary people just like you and I. Let’s look at … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Samuel
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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
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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
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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 …]

4 Conflict and Crisis: The Judges – Discussion topics
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Justice

The Judges. What comes to mind when you think of the time when God’s people were ruled not by ministers or prophets or kings but by judges? Insurrection? Devotion? Rebellion? Isn’t it true that some of the judges were righteous? What can we learn from them? The time of the judges was negative in some ways, … [Click to read more …]