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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Insights From the Book of Isaiah

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Lesson 2 Sabbath, July 9, 2016

Ripe for Reformation

“In that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach” (Isaiah 4:1).

“We are not to cling to our own ways, our own plans, our own ideas; we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”—The Upward Look, p. 218.

Suggested Reading:   Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 216-220; vol. 4, 
  pp. 628–648. 

Sunday July 3

1. SELFISH GREED

a. Describe Judah’s condition as Jotham, the son of Uzziah, began to take on more responsibilities prior to his father’s death. 2 Kings 15:34, 35; Hosea 10:13; 11:7.

“By their apostasy and rebellion those who should have been standing as light bearers among the nations were inviting the judgments of God. Many of the evils which were hastening the swift destruction of the northern kingdom, and which had recently been denounced in unmistakable terms by Hosea and Amos, were fast corrupting the kingdom of Judah.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 306.

b. How were the material goods—given by God—being managed? Isaiah 3:14, 15; 5:8; 10:1, 2.

“The outlook was particularly discouraging as regards the social conditions of the people. In their desire for gain, men were adding house to house and field to field. See Isaiah 5:8. Justice was perverted, and no pity was shown the poor. . . . Even the magistrates, whose duty it was to protect the helpless, turned a deaf ear to the cries of the poor and needy, the widows and the fatherless.”—Ibid.


Monday July 4

2. YOUTHFUL PRIDE

a. What did God declare would come as result of the pride and love of display that accompanied oppres-sion? Isaiah 2:11, 12; Proverbs 29:23.

“Pride of heart is a fearful trait of character. ‘Pride goeth before destruction.’ This is true in the family, the church, and the nation.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 377.

“The moment we begin to feel self-sufficient and confident then we are in danger of a disgraceful failure.”—This Day With God, p. 277.

b. What situation did Isaiah prophesy, and how would it impact the administration of justice? Isaiah 3:4–6, 12. How can we ensure that our children are properly trained in order to escape this destructive trend today?

“Parents generally have not taken a proper course with their children. They have not restrained them as they should, but have left them to indulge in pride and follow their own inclinations. Anciently, parental authority was regarded; children were then in subjection to their parents, and feared and reverenced them; but in these last days the order is reversed. Some parents are in subjection to their children. They fear to cross the will of their children, and therefore yield to them. But just as long as children are under the roof of the parents, dependent upon them, they should be subject to their control. Parents should move with decision, requiring that their views of right be followed out.”—Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 216, 217.

“Parents, make home happy for your children. By this I do not mean that you are to indulge them. The more they are indulged, the harder they will be to manage, and the more difficult it will be for them to live true, noble lives when they go out into the world. If you allow them to do as they please, their purity and loveliness of character will quickly fade. Teach them to obey. Let them see that your word must be respected. This may seem to bring them a little unhappiness now, but it will save them from much unhappiness in the future. Let the home government be just and tender, full of love and compassion, yet firm and true. Do not permit one disrespectful word or disobedient act.”—The Signs of the Times, April 8, 1903.

“The mother should not allow her child to gain an advantage over her in a single instance.”—Child Guidance, p. 283.


Tuesday July 5

3. GLITZ AND GLAMOUR

a. List some of the objections the Lord had against the women of Zion in Isaiah’s day. (Use a Bible dic-tionary for more insight.) Isaiah 3:16–23.

“The love of display produces extravagance, and in many young people kills the aspiration for a nobler life. Instead of seeking an education, they early engage in some occupation to earn money for indulging the passion for dress. And through this passion many a young girl is beguiled to ruin. . . .

“Even the day and the services of worship are not exempt from fashion’s domination. . . . The church is made a parade ground, and the fashions are studied more than the sermon.”—Education, p. 247.

“The idolatry of dress is a moral disease.”—Child Guidance, p. 432.

“Not a few of our people are backsliding. They are imitating the fashions of the world. Their spirituality is dying. Step by step they are approaching world-loving. Selfishness and pride are taking possession of them, and the love of God finds little room in their hearts. Some who were once zealous reformers are now indifferent. Sisters who were once plain in dress are now conforming to fashion.”—The Review and Herald, November 17, 1904.

b. In contrast to wearing provocative clothing, how should Christians dress? 1 Timothy 2:9; Romans 13:14.

“You can choose life and salvation if you will, or you can choose to worship self and devote your precious hours of probation to making your person attractive to please the eye of the worldling and the sensualist, to receive flattery from lying lips, and at last reap that harvest which you have been sowing—corruption.”—Daughters of God, p. 121.

“True Christians are elevated in their conversation; and while they believe it to be a sin to condescend to foolish flattery, they are courteous, kind, and benevolent. Their words are those of sincerity and truth. They are faithful in their dealings with their brethren and with the world. In their dress they avoid superfluity and display; but their clothing is modest and arranged upon the person with order and taste.”—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 87.


Wednesday July 6

4. CHOOSE A HIGHER CALLING INSTEAD

a. What serious consequences to our spirituality will showy, provocative habits of dressing have if they are not removed from the church? Isaiah 3:24–26; Matthew 5:27, 28.

“The love of dress endangers the morals and makes woman the opposite of the Christian lady characterized by modesty and sobriety. Showy, extravagant dress too often encourages lust in the heart of the wearer and awakens base passions in the heart of the beholder.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 645.

“Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline. If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God.

“There is a terrible sin upon us as a people, that we have permitted our church members to dress in a manner inconsistent with their faith. We must arise at once and close the door against the allurements of fashion. Unless we do this, our churches will become demoralized.”—Ibid., pp.647, 648.

b. Describe the training to be given to our youth. Titus 2:3–6; 1 Peter 3:1–4.

“Girls should be taught that the true charm of womanliness is not alone in beauty of form or feature, nor in the possession of accomplishments; but in a meek and quiet spirit, in patience, generosity, kindness, and a willingness to do and suffer for others. They should be taught to work, to study to some purpose, to live for some object, to trust in God and fear Him, and to respect their parents. Then as they advance in years, they will grow more pure-minded, self-reliant, and beloved. It will be impossible to degrade such a woman. She will escape the temptations and trials that have been the ruin of so many.”—Child Guidance, p. 140.


Thursday July 7

5. CALLED BY A NAME—OR CONVERTED BY A SAVIOUR?

a. What spiritual pitfall has plagued God’s people, both in Isaiah’s day and ours (keep in mind that, in Bible symbols, “seven” denotes completeness and a “woman” often refers to a church—Jeremiah 6:2)? Isaiah 4:1. What is God’s response? Isaiah 55:8, 9.

“We must come up to a higher standard, or we are unworthy of the Christian name.”—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 605.

“The Christian warfare is not a life of indulgence to eat and drink and dress as self-indulgent worldlings. The Lord Jesus came in human nature to our world to give His precious life as an example of what our life should be. He is the specimen, not of spiritual indulgence, but of a life constantly before us of self-denial, self-sacrifice. We have the correct view that Christ our Pattern came to give us. There is before us the Prince of heaven, the Son of God. He laid aside the royal crown and the princely robe and came to take His position in our world as a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. How few take it in!”—The Upward Look, p. 217.

b. Explain a vital pillar of Christian faith. Luke 9:23–26.

“We have a character to maintain, but it is the character of Christ. . . . May the Lord help us to die to self, and be born again, that Christ may live in us, a living, active principle, a power that will keep us holy.”—My Life Today, p. 335.

“Let self die. Surrender your will and die to self now, just now, and leave God to make your way for you.”—This Day With God, p. 323.


Friday July 8

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. Why is earthly prosperity often a curse and a snare to God’s people?

2. How can we as parents improve in guiding and nurturing our children?

3. Name some vain aspects of dress that show signs of spiritual weakness.

4. How can we lead our youth to develop holier tastes and purer minds?

5. In what ways am I being self-willed instead of surrendered to God?

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