SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Wednesday October 16, 1996

Israel Rejects God's Call
(Isa. 5:1-7)

How did the Israelites, as a nation, respond to God's gracious call? Isa. 1:2-6 (Compare Isa. 5:1-7; Ezek. 14:14, 15).

The Israelites failed to keep their covenant with God.  Instead of honoring Him before the world, they engaged in the idolatrous religions of other nations.

Describe how God called His people back from their apostasy.   2 Chron. 36:14-16; Neh. 9:26-32.

The Israelites lacked faith and love (John 5:42; Heb. 4:2).  "They forgot God, and lost sight of their high privilege as His representatives. . . .All their advantages were appropriated for their own glorification.  They robbed God of the service He required of them, and they robbed their fellow men of religious guidance and a holy example.  Like the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, they followed out every imagination of their evil hearts.  Thus they made sacred things appear a farce, saying, 'The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these' (Jer. 7:4),  while at the same time they were misrepresenting God's character, dishonoring His mane, and polluting His sanctuary."--Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 291, 292.

What relevance does the history of Israel have for us as a church today?  1 Cor. 10:1-15.

Paul's warning to the Christians in Corinth dot to depend on their own strength and knowledge is valid for all Christians through the ages.  Israel's disobedience caused their ruin in the wilderness and later brought about their captivity in Babylon (Jer. 17:23, 27).

For Christians living in light of Christ's soon return, the counsel to learn from Israel's wilderness ordeal is especially meaningful.  Because of their love affair with the world (Numbers 25), many of the Israelites died just before they would have completed their journey to Canaan.  We who have been entrusted with the gospel and knowledge of the Second Coming should take care lest we perish in sin before reaching the heavenly Canaan.

Are there any attitudes, habits, or possessions in your life that might prevent you from answering God's call?