Lesson 4 April 21 - 27

Wives as Advisers

Memory Text: (Est 4:14 RSV) And who knows weather you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this."

"Scripture from the NEW KINGS JAMES VERSION" Copyright © 1982: Used by permission

Sabbath Afternoon


Good Advice Followed

(1 Sam 25 NKJV) Then Samuel died; and the Israelites gathered together and lamented for him, and buried him at his home in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the Wilderness of Paran. {2} Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. {3} The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. And he was of the house of Caleb. {4} When David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep, {5} David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, "Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. {6} "And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: 'Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! {7} 'Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel. {8} 'Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.'" {9} So when David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited. {10} Then Nabal answered David's servants, and said, "Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. {11} "Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?" {12} So David's young men turned on their heels and went back; and they came and told him all these words. {13} Then David said to his men, "Every man gird on his sword." So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with David, and two hundred stayed with the supplies. {14} Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, "Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master; and he reviled them. {15} "But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them, when we were in the fields. {16} "They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep. {17} "Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his household. For he is such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him." {18} Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. {19} And she said to her servants, "Go on before me; see, I am coming after you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal. {20} So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them.

{1 Sam 25:21-44} Now David had said, "Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. {22} "May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light." {23} Now when Abigail saw David, she hastened to dismount from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground. {24} So she fell at his feet and said: "On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant. {25} "Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. {26} "Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, since the LORD has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal. {27} "And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. {28} "Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the LORD, and evil is not found in you throughout your days. {29} "Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling. {30} "And it shall come to pass, when the LORD has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, {31} "that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant." {32} Then David said to Abigail: "Blessed is the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! {33} "And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. {34} "For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hastened and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!" {35} So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, "Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person." {36} Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light. {37} So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. {38} Then it came about, after about ten days, that the LORD struck Nabal, and he died. {39} So when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Blessed be the LORD, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept His servant from evil! For the LORD has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head." And David sent and proposed to Abigail, to take her as his wife. {40} When the servants of David had come to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her saying, "David sent us to you, to ask you to become his wife." {41} Then she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, "Here is your maidservant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord." {42} So Abigail rose in haste and rode on a donkey, attended by five of her maidens; and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife. {43} David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and so both of them were his wives. {44} But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.


Good Advice Ignored

(Est 6:13 NRSV) When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom your downfall has begun, is of the Jewish people, you will not prevail against him, but will surely fall before him."

(Est 6:13 NKJV) When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him."

(Mat 27:19 NRSV) While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him."

(Mat 27:19 NKJV) While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, "Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him."

Desire of Ages, p. 732

"It is finished." Still another scene met her gaze. She saw Christ seated upon the great white cloud, while the earth reeled in space, and His murderers fled from the presence of His glory. With a cry of horror she awoke, and at once wrote to Pilate words of warning. {DA 732.1}

While Pilate was hesitating as to what he should do, a messenger pressed through the crowd, and handed him the letter from his wife, which read: {DA 732.2}

"Have thou nothing to do with that just Man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him." {DA 732.3}


Bad Advice Followed

Early Writings, pp. 147 - 148

Holy angels often visited the garden, and gave instruction to Adam and Eve concerning their employment and also taught them concerning the rebellion and fall of Satan. The angels warned them of Satan and cautioned them not to separate from each other in their employment, for they might be brought in contact with this fallen foe. The angels also enjoined upon them to follow closely the directions God had given them, for in perfect obedience only were they safe. Then this fallen foe could have no power over them. {EW 147.1}

Satan commenced his work with Eve, to cause her to disobey. She first erred in wandering from her husband, next in lingering around the forbidden tree, and next in listening to the voice of the tempter, and even daring to doubt what God had said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." She thought that perhaps the Lord did not mean just what He said, and venturing, she put forth her hand, took of the fruit and ate. It was pleasing to the eye and pleasant to the taste. Then she was jealous that God had withheld from them what was really for their good, and she (p. 148) offered the fruit to her husband, thereby tempting him. She related to Adam all that the serpent had said and expressed her astonishment that he had the power of speech. {EW 147.2}

I saw a sadness come over Adam's countenance. He appeared afraid and astonished. A struggle seemed to be going on in his mind. He felt sure that this was the foe against whom they had been warned, and that his wife must die. They must be separated. His love for Eve was strong, and in utter discouragement he resolved to share her fate. He seized the fruit and quickly ate it. Then Satan exulted. He had rebelled in heaven, and had gained sympathizers who loved him and followed him in his rebellion. He had fallen and caused others to fall with him. And he had now tempted the woman to distrust God, to inquire into His wisdom, and to seek to penetrate His all-wise plans. Satan knew that the woman would not fall alone. Adam, through his love for Eve, disobeyed the command of God, and fell with her. {EW 148.1}

Early Writings, pp. 147 - 148 (Continued)

The news of man's fall spread through heaven. Every harp was hushed. The angels cast their crowns from their heads in sorrow. All heaven was in agitation. A council was held to decide what must be done with the guilty pair. The angels feared that they would put forth the hand, and eat of the tree of life, and become immortal sinners. But God said that He would drive the transgressors from the garden. Angels were immediately commissioned to guard the way of the tree of life. It had been Satan's studied plan that Adam and Eve should disobey God, receive His frown, and then partake of the tree of life, that they might live forever in sin and disobedience, and thus sin be immortalized. But holy angels were sent to drive them out of the garden, and to bar their way to the tree of life. Each of these mighty angels had in his right hand (p. 149) something which had the appearance of a glittering sword. {EW 148.2}

Then Satan triumphed. He had made others suffer by his fall. He had been shut out of heaven, they out of Paradise.

(Gen 3:12-13 NRSV) The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate." {13} Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent tricked me, and I ate."

(Gen 3:12-13 NKJV) Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." {13} And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

(Gen 16:2 NRSV) and Sarai said to Abram, "You see that the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

(Gen 16:2 NKJV) So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.


Bad Advice Rejected And Bad Advice Followed

(Job 2:9 NRSV) Then his wife said to him, "Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die."

(Job 2:9 NKJV) Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!"

(Job 1:3 NKJV) Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.

(Job 2:10 NRSV) But he said to her, "You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

(Job 2:10 NKJV) But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

(Job 1:1-5 NKJV) There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. {2} And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. {3} Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East. {4} And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

{Job 1:5} So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly.

(Mark 6:20 NRSV) for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.

(Mark 6:20 NKJV) for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

(Mark 6:17-29 NKJV) For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife; for he had married her. {18} For John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." {19} Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; {20} for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. {21} Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. {22} And when Herodias' daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, "Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you." {23} He also swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom." {24} So she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptist!" {25} Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." {26} And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. {27} Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, {28} brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. {29} When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.


The Principle Of Principle

(Est 1 NRSV) This happened in the days of Ahasuerus, the same Ahasuerus who ruled over one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. {2} In those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, {3} in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were present, {4} while he displayed the great wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and pomp of his majesty for many days, one hundred eighty days in all. {5} When these days were completed, the king gave for all the people present in the citadel of Susa, both great and small, a banquet lasting for seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace. {6} There were white cotton curtains and blue hangings tied with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and colored stones. {7} Drinks were served in golden goblets, goblets of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king.

{Est 1:8-22} Drinking was by flagons, without restraint; for the king had given orders to all the officials of his palace to do as each one desired. {9} Furthermore, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the palace of King Ahasuerus. {10} On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who attended him, {11} to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing the royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the officials her beauty; for she was fair to behold. {12} But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him. {13} Then the king consulted the sages who knew the laws (for this was the king's procedure toward all who were versed in law and custom,

{Est 1:14-22} and those next to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven officials of Persia and Media, who had access to the king, and sat first in the kingdom): {15} "According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus conveyed by the eunuchs?" {16} Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, "Not only has Queen Vashti done wrong to the king, but also to all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. {17} For this deed of the queen will be made known to all women, causing them to look with contempt on their husbands, since they will say, 'King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.' {18} This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen's behavior will rebel against the king's officials, and there will be no end of contempt and wrath! {19} If it pleases the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. {20} So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, vast as it is, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike." {21} This advice pleased the king and the officials, and the king did as Memucan proposed; {22} he sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, declaring that every man should be master in his own house.

(Gen 39:4 NRSV) So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him; he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.

(Gen 39:6 NRSV) So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the food that he ate. Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking.

(Gen 39:10 NRSV) And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her.

(Gen 39:4 NKJV) So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority.

(Gen 39:6 NKJV) Thus he left all that he had in Joseph's hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

(Gen 39:10 NKJV) So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.


(1 Ki 16:31 NKJV) And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him.

(1 Ki 18:4 NKJV) For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

(1 Ki 18:17 NKJV) Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, "Is that you, O troubler of Israel?"

(1 Ki 19:1-2 NKJV) And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. {2} Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time."

(Acts 5:1 NKJV) But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.

(Acts 5:2 NRSV) with his wife's knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet.

(Acts 5:2 NKJV) And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.

(Acts 5:3-5 NKJV) But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? {4} "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." {5} Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.

(Acts 5:7-10 NKJV) Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. {8} And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?" She said, "Yes, for so much." {9} Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." {10} Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.

(Luke 1:26-56 NKJV) Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, {27} to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. {28} And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" {29} But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. {30} Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. {31} "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. {32} "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. {33} "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." {34} Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" {35} And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. {36} "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. {37} "For with God nothing will be impossible." {38} Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. {39} Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, {40} and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. {41} And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. {42} Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

{Luke 1:43-56} "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? {44} "For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. {45} "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord." {46} And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, {47} And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. {48} For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. {49} For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. {50} And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. {51} He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. {52} He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. {53} He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. {54} He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, {55} As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever." {56} And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.

(Mat 1:18-25 NKJV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. {19} Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. {20} But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. {21} "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." {22} So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: {23} "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." {24} Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, {25} and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

(Luke 2:7 NKJV) And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.