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Thursday: A Restless Wanderer — 20 Comments

  1. We had been talking about hats, of all things - my friend and I, this last Sunday. We used to wear hats to church way back in the late 50's. This was sparked by an assignment in a "Ladies' tea" offered by Women's Ministries at the end of our church year. Each of us had written down something that no one might know about us, and others had to guess who it was. Anne had written that she didn't own her first pair of jeans until she was in her 30's. I immediately knew that was Anne, since she had been such a "proper British lady."

    After the "tea," Anne shared that when she was first married, she used to spend a great deal of time getting ready to go out - even to the grocery store. She had to make up her face just right. Shoes and purse had to match, etc., etc. "I was so insecure," she shared. (One wouldn't guess it now.) "But when I accepted Christ all that went away. I feel so free!" she exclaimed joyfully, throwing her arms wide. "I didn't have to look perfect when I went out." The Creator of the universe accepts and loves her. And that's what gives her freedom and peace.

    I wonder how many are running from God and covering their insecurity and restlessness by a show of outward sophistication?

    I'm sharing this because I used to be intimidated and shrink from sharing with people who looked very confident and sophisticated. But even before Anne shared her story a couple days ago, I had discovered that apparent confidence and sophistication often covers insecurity born of feelings of insignificance.

    I'd like to challenge us all to reach out to even the most sophisticated-looking persons and let them know that they are loved by the Creator of the universe. If we will pray that He will show us the opportunities, He will do just that. And He will teach us what to say.

    May we have compassion on all the "restless wanderers" who don't even know that they are lost.

    • Inge and Maurice- I asked the ques, what does psychological and social rest looks like in the context of our studies?
      Inge, you said- 'I had discovered that apparent confidence and sophistication often covers insecurity born of feelings of insignificance.' That may look simple but that runs deep into culture and even tradition. Culture and tradition determined how someone dresses and looks. Culture determines that a woman should look sophisticated especially if she has a husband or if she is at a certain age.
      Years ago I always saw a coworker (male) and wife who travels in the same vehicle. He will drop her off to work, then go to work. Go get her in the evening after work or get her then returned to work. IF he was going to an evening or Sunday meeting, both of them will go to his meeting but she will stay in the vehicle until the meeting was finished. I thought that was so loving. As I enquired more about the couple I was told he was once married and she was his secretary. We all knew what took place, dont we!!!
      Maurice you said- 'The reality is that there are those who do not believe in God who also live fulfilled lives restful lives, and some of those who have "found Christ" continue to wander, searching for fulfillment.' I found that to be true. Because we live in a real world and many who say they 'found Christ' still needs to claim him as their own. You can find something for yrs but still not claiming that thing belong to you. We are living in these end times and many SDA are insecure in their marriages, finances, worried about their health, living standards, many even choose not to have children because they worried what will happen to them as they grew up etc, etc. Many SDA are living as troubled, restless souls. Many of us need to find rest in Jesus. I think for this reason many people out of the church cant seek to come to Jesus because the only thing some knew is a restless, faithless, worried SDA who claimed they knew Jesus.

      • Yes, culture plays a very important role in our behavior and how we see ourselves. But it seems that for my friend, she really did become a new person and subscribed to a new culture. What a miracle!
        I just shared this because it just happened, and her experience doesn't negate anyone else.

  2. It is easy to present the notion that those who choose Christ find themselves at rest and are "complete with him", while those who do not are restless wanderers. The reality is that there are those who do not believe in God who also live fulfilled lives restful lives, and some of those who have "found Christ" continue to wander, searching for fulfillment.

    Complacency about our spiritual position is just another name for stagnation, particularly when we think that we hold some sort of high moral ground. If we read today's lesson and conclude that when we have found Jesus, we have arrived and can enter a period of rest, perhaps we have probably forgotten about the challenges we continue to face. We live in a real world and interact with real people who do not see life the way we do.

    One of my challenges is that I have atheistic friends who are at peace with themselves and contributors to society, and except for the fact that they do not believe in God, act very much as Christians should. What have I got to offer them? Is my "rest in Christ" something that I can offer them? (Incidentally, I have a special name for my atheist friends - I think of them as anonymous Christians!)

    Of course, I can think of others who were troubled souls. During my time as a teacher, I interacted with many young people who had just left the strictures of home and were testing the fences of life, often with disastrous consequences. Being there to support them when they got drunk, learned they were pregnant (or both), and offering a helping hand towards peace and rest, and to get onto the path of life again was always a challenge.

    We need to read the lesson for today, not as a "them and us" dichotomy but as a challenge. The Gospel only offers us peace when we share it with those who need it.

    When Jesus was having one of his final conversations with his disciples he said this to them:

    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 KJV

    If we take the liberty of using "rest" and "peace" as synonyms we can read this as a promise that we do not need to be afraid of the challenges that come to us as Christians.

  3. Gen 4:1-12
    I have embarked on a treasure hunt in the texts used in the daily study guide and I will share any gems (in addition to those of the authors) that I may discover.
    Here we find an interesting definition of sin - refusing to do what is right.
    How did Cain know what was right?
    What was wrong! His actions or his attitude?

    • I believe that when Cain was told that Able's sacrifice was acceptable and his was not, He informed Cain what was right then. But instead of doing what was right he got angry. In this I see that Cain focus was on himself and not God. Because of this, he took great offense and felt rejected. That's an example of how we must count what God wants and not what we want as all important. With the sin in the world, the repercussions may fall upon us even though they come not because of our sin. However, whatever happens around us or our loved ones, God will direct us in peace through the trial. These things will happen as long as this world prevails in sin.

      We should apply this principle to keep ourselves from being more important than God when we start to feel offended and feel anger rising within. Resist this temptation and listen to God's quite voice and He will direct you in how you are to act in love His way. May God excite you as He directs your ways.

      • Celeste, I believe that the LORD had explained, to Adam and Eve, the promise of a Saviour and that they were to sacrifice a lamb as a symbol of their acceptance of His future substitutionary sacrifice and that they had explained it to their sons. Surely this is the pattern we see in the rest of the Word of the LORD?

          • Celeste based on the Principle that the LORD reveals His plans to His people like Jesus did in Luke 24:27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. and in many other examples Heb 1:1, Gen 6:13, Gen 18:17, Amos 3:7 I believe He did explain His Plan of Salvation to Adam and Eve. In Gen there some clues as well. We see the LORD talking to them and giving various instructions about what to do and not to do. There is the promise of a Saviour in Gen 3:15 and there is the sacrifice of an animal in Gen 3:21 to cover their nakedness. In Heb 11:4 we are told that Abel's sacrifice was by faith - so he must have relied on the promise of a Saviour.
            These are the reasons why I believe the LORD revealed His Plan of Salvation to Adam and Eve.

            • OK. I see your logic. But the comment was to show a lesson learned for us now through this account of Cain's actions. How important God and His will should be in our lives. This applies whether or not Cain knew about the right thing.

    • How did Cain know what was right?
      What was wrong! His actions or his attitude?

      Cain’s “offering” to God came from self, from Cain's labors (he worked the ground) and thus magnified and glorified self. I believe this is what was unacceptable to God.

      In contrast, Abel’s sacrifice honored and glorified Christ inasmuch as it prefigured the Lamb who was slain (Rev. 13:8; 5:12).

  4. The moment men reject God's offer of grace they become restless. Today, almost the whole world has rejected God's offer of grace and it's doing things on their own and this has affected Christendom. The introduction to God's law the ten commandments begins : And God spake all these words, saying : I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Exodus 20 : 1, 2. Immediately after the introduction comes Thou shalt not make and on and on. Someone has said it and it's a good quip; Lord save me before you use me. Without God saving us first, we cannot be used by Him. Unfortunately, people want to be used without being saved and then granted freedom and power to obey so they disgrace Him by trying to do things on their own. The reason why people are restless is that they don't want to do things God's way. Even in our church today, we see restlessness though we are Sabbath keepers. What's wrong when some decades ago things were absolutely different? Let's begin to do things God's way and encourage others to do same and God will bless us. Jesus says : Without me ye can do nothing. John 15 : 5.

  5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding... Prov 3:5-8.

    Author said- 'Even if we end up suffering the consequences of our sins as we usually do, how can we learn to accept the forgiveness for them offered us through the cross?

    We as a people once held on to a clean, healthy life-style both spiritual and physical, both body and mind. Do we still believe that our bodies belong to Jesus and must be taken care of and treated like we belong to Jesus?

    When God said that Cain would be “a restless wanderer” on the earth, it wasn’t that God made him that way; rather, that is what happened as the result of his sinful actions and disobedience.

    Can we be preaching in the pulpit and still be a 'restless wanderer', can we hold church office and still be a 'restless wanderer'?
    Some of us were born in the faith while some came in later in life. Many have chosen sinful paths whether we agreed or not, some wilfully, some unknowingly. Some because of sin, we happened to be the recipients of sin. Because of that, many of us suffer daily, we 'wish' we could turn back the time and tide of life. Because we cant, some live like Cain. But as children of the Most High we should be clinging to the cross daily and pleading for help in our every day struggle.
    I have my own little things/day to day struggles going on but not like some others so I try to lift the weight off others. I personally don't take pills for anything, no sickness at my age. I try doing everything to stay healthy. THE NEWSTART message I try to live by and being led by the Holy Ghost. I encouraged all to cont to look to Jesus, not to the leaders or Pastors because they will fail us. The arm of flesh will fail us.

  6. Thanks for sharing this lessons really have been a blessed for me to remember that my body is the temple’s of God praying for a change of life time .🙏for me

  7. Peace is the result of our willingness to do God's will in every circumstance of life.

    "Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." [Psalm 119:165]

  8. In Genesis 4:14 Cain says "Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”
    According to the text, the only people on earth at that time were Adam, Eve and Cain. So whom was Cain afraid of?

    • Brother Rob, does the word of God explicitly state that Adam and Eve had no other children than Cain and Abel? Could you be reading something into the story that is not there?

    • There were apparently more children born than were mentioned in Genesis, because Gen. 4:17 says that "Cain knew his wife," yet his wife was not mentioned previously.

      So it seems that Adam and Eve at least had daughters as well as sons. Only sons are mentioned, and Cain was apparently looking ahead to the growing population of the planet when he replied to God.

    • Rob, something to consider is how long people lived in those days, Adam lived 930 years and had other sons and daughters, also Seth lived 912 years and had other sons and daughters.
      Cain knew that the LORD's instruction to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Possibly he was also afraid his father or future brothers or nephews might take revenge on him.
      Gen 5:3-8
      3When Adam was 130 years old, he had a son in his own likeness, after his own image; and he named him Seth. 4And after he had become the father of Seth, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5So Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
      6When Seth was 105 years old, he became the father of Enosh. 7And after he had become the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8So Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.


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