Lesson 7 May 12 - 18

Children Showcased

Memory Text: (Prov 20:11 KJV) Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

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

Sabbath Afternoon

(Luke 2:52 NRSV) And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

(Luke 2:52 NKJV) And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

(Mat 19:14 NKJV) But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."


Samuel And Eli's Sons: A Study In Contrast

(1 Sam 2:26 NKJV) And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.

(1 Sam 2:12 NKJV) Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.

(1 Sam 2:12-17 NKJV) Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD. {13} And the priests' custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. {14} Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. {15} Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, "Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw." {16} And if the man said to him, "They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires," he would then answer him, "No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force." {17} Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

(1 Sam 2:22 NKJV) Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

(1 Sam 2:22-25 NKJV) Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. {23} So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. {24} "No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord's people transgress.

{1 Sam 2:25} "If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?" Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.

Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 575 - 579 (Not included with lesson help)

(1 Sam 3:12 NKJV) "In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.

(1 Sam 4:18 NKJV) Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

(1 Sam 8:1-3 NKJV) Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. {2} The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. {3} But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.


David: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

(1 Sam 17:28 NKJV) Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said, "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle."

(1 Sam 17:33 NKJV) And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth."

(1 Sam 17:42-44 NKJV) And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. {43} So the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. {44} And the Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!"


The Children And The Bears

(2 Ki 2:23 NRSV) He went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, "Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!"

(2 Ki 2:23 NKJV) Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!"

Early Writings, pp. 247 - 248

Another mighty angel was commissioned to descend to earth. Jesus placed in his hand a writing, and as he came to the earth, he cried, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen." Then I saw the disappointed ones again raise their eyes to heaven, looking with faith and hope for their Lord's appearing. But many seemed to remain in a stupid state, as if asleep; yet I could see the trace of deep sorrow upon their countenances. The disappointed ones saw from the Scriptures that they were in the tarrying time, and that they must patiently wait the fulfillment of the vision. The same evidence which led them to look for their Lord in 1843, led them to expect Him in 1844. Yet I saw that the majority did not possess that energy which marked their faith in 1843. Their disappointment had dampened their faith. {EW 247.1}

As the people of God united in the cry of the second angel, the heavenly host marked with the deepest interest the effect of the message. They saw many who bore the name of Christians turn with scorn and derision upon those who had been disappointed. As the words fell from mocking lips, "You have not gone up yet!" an angel wrote them. Said the angel, "They mock God." I was pointed back to a similar sin committed in ancient times. Elijah had been translated (p. 248) to heaven, and his mantle had fallen upon Elisha. Then wicked youth, who had learned from their parents to despise the man of God, followed Elisha, and mockingly cried, "Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head." In thus insulting His servant, they insulted God and met their punishment then and there. In like manner, those who have scoffed and mocked at the idea of the saints' going up, will be visited with the wrath of God, and will be made to feel that it is not a light thing to trifle with their Maker. {EW 247.2}

Jesus commissioned other angels to fly quickly to revive and strengthen the drooping faith of His people and prepare them to understand the message of the second angel and the important move which was soon to be made in heaven. I saw these angels receive great power and light from Jesus and fly quickly to earth to fulfill their commission to aid the second angel in his work. A great light shone upon the people of God as the angels cried, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him." Then I saw these disappointed ones rise and in harmony with the second angel proclaim, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him." The light from the angels penetrated the darkness everywhere. Satan and his angels sought to hinder this light from spreading and having its designed effect. They contended with the angels from heaven, telling them that God had deceived the people, and that with all their light and power they could not make the world believe that Christ was coming. But notwithstanding Satan strove to hedge up the way and draw the minds of the people from the light, the angels of God continued their work. {EW 248.1}

Those who received the light appeared very happy. They looked steadfastly toward heaven and longed for the appearing of Jesus. Some were weeping and praying (p. 249) in great distress. Their eyes seemed to be fixed upon themselves, and they dared not look upward. A light from heaven parted the darkness from them, and their eyes, which had been fixed in despair upon themselves, were turned upward, while gratitude and holy joy were expressed upon every feature. Jesus and all the angelic host looked with approbation upon the faithful, waiting ones. {EW 248.2}

(2 Ki 2:24 NKJV) So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 44

Parents, it should be your first concern to obey the call of duty and enter, heart and soul, into the work God has given you to do. If you fail in everything else, be thorough, be efficient, here. If your children come forth from the home training pure and virtuous, if they fill the least and lowest place in God's great plan of good for the world, your life can never be called a failure and can never be reviewed with remorse. {5T 44.1}

The idea that we must submit to ways of perverse children is a mistake. Elisha, at the very commencement of his work, was mocked and derided by the youth of Bethel.

Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 44 (Continued)

He was a man of great mildness, but the Spirit of God impelled him to pronounce a curse upon those railers.

They had heard of Elijah's ascension, and they made this solemn event the subject of jeers. Elisha evinced that he was not to be trifled with, by old or young, in his sacred calling. When they told him he had better go up, as Elijah had done before him, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. The awful judgment that came upon them was of God. After this, Elisha had no further trouble in his mission. For fifty years he passed in and out of the gate of Bethel, and went to and fro from city to city, passing through crowds of the worst and rudest of idle, dissolute youth, but no one ever mocked him or made light of his qualifications as the prophet of the Most High. This one instance of terrible severity in the commencement of his career was sufficient to command respect through his whole life. Had he allowed the mockery to pass unnoticed, he might have been ridiculed, reviled, and even murdered by the (p. 45) rabble, and his mission to instruct and save the nation in its great peril would have been defeated. {5T 44.2}

Even kindness must have its limits. Authority must be sustained by a firm severity, or it will be received by many with mockery and contempt. The so-called tenderness, the coaxing and the indulgence, used toward youth by parents and guardians is the worst evil which can come upon them. Firmness, decision, positive requirements, are essential in every family. Parents, take up your neglected responsibilities; educate your children after God's plan, showing "forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."


The Little Maid: She Witnesses

(2 Ki 5:3 NKJV) Then she said to her mistress, "If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy."

Prophets and Kings, pp. 244 - 250

Chap. 20 - Naaman "Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper." {PK 244.1}

Ben-hadad, king of Syria, had defeated the armies of Israel in the battle which resulted in the death of Ahab. Since that time the Syrians had maintained against Israel a constant border warfare, and in one of their raids they had carried away a little maid who, in the land of her captivity, "waited on Naaman's wife." A slave, far from her home, this little maid was nevertheless one of God's witnesses, unconsciously fulfilling the purpose for which God had chosen Israel as His people. As she ministered in that heathen home, her sympathies were aroused in behalf of her master; and, remembering the wonderful miracles of (p. 245) healing wrought through Elisha, she said to her mistress, "Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy." She knew that the power of Heaven was with Elisha, and she believed that by this power Naaman could be healed. {PK 244.2}

The conduct of the captive maid, the way that she bore herself in that heathen home, is a strong witness to the power of early home training. There is no higher trust than that committed to fathers and mothers in the care and training of their children. Parents have to do with the very foundations of habit and character. By their example and teaching the future of their children is largely decided. {PK 245.1}

Happy are the parents whose lives are a true reflection of the divine, so that the promises and commands of God awaken in the child gratitude and reverence; the parents whose tenderness and justice and long-suffering interpret to the child the love and justice and long-suffering of God, and who by teaching the child to love and trust and obey them, are teaching him to love and trust and obey his Father in heaven.

Prophets and Kings, pp. 244 - 250 (Continued)

Parents who impart to the child such a gift have endowed him with a treasure more precious than the wealth of all the ages, a treasure as enduring as eternity. {PK 245.2}

We know not in what line our children may be called to serve. They may spend their lives within the circle of the home; they may engage in life's common vocations, or go as teachers of the gospel to heathen lands; but all are alike called to be missionaries for God, ministers of mercy to the world. They are to obtain an education that will help them to stand by the side of Christ in unselfish service. (p. 246) {PK 245.3}

The parents of that Hebrew maid, as they taught her of God, did not know the destiny that would be hers. But they were faithful to their trust; and in the home of the captain of the Syrian host, their child bore witness to the God whom she had learned to honor. {PK 246.1}

Naaman heard of the words that the maid had spoken to her mistress; and, obtaining permission from the king, he went forth to seek healing, taking with him "ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment." He also carried a letter from the king of Syria to the king of Israel, in which was written the message, "Behold, I have . . . sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy." When the king of Israel read the letter, "he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me." {PK 246.2}

Tidings of the matter reached Elisha, and he sent word to the king, saying, "Wherefore has thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel." {PK 246.3}

"So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha." Through a messenger the prophet bade him, "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean." {PK 246.4}

Naaman had expected to see some wonderful manifestation of power from heaven. "I thought," he said, "he will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of (p. 249) the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper." When told to wash in the Jordan, his pride was touched, and in mortification and disappointment he exclaimed, "Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean?" "So he turned and went away in a rage." {PK 246.5}

The proud spirit of Naaman rebelled against following the course outlined by Elisha. The rivers mentioned by the Syrian captain were beautified by surrounding groves, and many flocked to the banks of these pleasant streams to worship their idol gods. It would have cost Naaman no great humiliation of soul to descend into one of those streams. But it was only through following the specific directions of the prophet that he could find healing. Willing obedience alone would bring the desired result. {PK 249.1}

Naaman's servants entreated him to carry out Elisha's directions: "If the prophet had bid thee do some great thing," they urged, "wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?" The faith of Naaman was being tested, while pride struggled for the mastery. But faith conquered, and the haughty Syrian yielded his pride of heart and bowed in submission to the revealed will of Jehovah. Seven times he dipped himself in Jordan, "according to the saying of the man of God." And his faith was honored; "his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." {PK 249.2}

Gratefully "he returned to the man of God, he and all his company," with the acknowledgment, "Behold, now (p. 250)

I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel." {PK 249.3}

In accordance with the custom of the times, Naaman now asked Elisha to accept a costly present. But the prophet refused. It was not for him to take payment for a blessing that God had in mercy bestowed. "As the Lord liveth," he said, "I will receive none." The Syrian "urged him to take it; but he refused. {PK 250.1}

"And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord.

Prophets and Kings, pp. 244 - 250 (Continued)

In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing. {PK 250.2}

"And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way." {PK 250.3}

Gehazi, Elisha's servant, had had opportunity during the years to develop the spirit of self-denial characterizing his master's lifework. It had been his privilege to become a noble standard-bearer in the army of the Lord. The best gifts of Heaven had long been within his reach; yet, turning from these, he had coveted instead the base alloy of worldly wealth. And now the hidden longings of his avaricious spirit led him to yield to an overmastering temptation. "Behold," he reasoned within himself, "my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but . . . I will run after him, and (p. 251) take somewhat of him." And thus it came about that in secrecy "Gehazi followed after Naaman." {PK 250.4}


Josiah - He Rules

(2 Ki 23:25 NRSV) Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.

(2 Ki 23:25 NKJV) Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.

(2 Ki 23:3 NKJV) Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.

Read 2 Kings chapter 23

Read 1 Kings chapter 22

(1 Ki 22:11 NKJV) Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made horns of iron for himself; and he said, "Thus says the LORD: 'With these you shall gore the Syrians until they are destroyed.'"

(2 Ki 22:18-20 NKJV) "But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, in this manner you shall speak to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel: "Concerning the words which you have heard; {19} "because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you," says the LORD. {20} "Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place." ' " So they brought back word to the king.


(Mat 18:1-4 NRSV) At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" {2} He called a child, whom he put among them, {3} and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. {4} Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

(Mat 18:1-4 NKJV) At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" {2} Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, {3} and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. {4} "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.