Friday: Further Thought – The Priority of the Promise

Further Thought: “In their bondage the people had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. In delivering them from Egypt, God sought to reveal to them His power and His mercy, that they might be led to love and trust Him.

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He brought them down to the Red Sea — where, pursued by the Egyptians, escape seemed impossible — that they might realize their utter helplessness, their need of divine aid; and then He wrought deliverance for them. Thus they were filled with love and gratitude to God and with confidence in His power to help them. He had bound them to Himself as their deliverer from temporal bondage.

“But there was a still greater truth to be impressed upon their minds. Living in the midst of idolatry and corruption, they had no true conception of the holiness of God, of the exceeding sinfulness of their own hearts, their utter inability, in themselves, to render obedience to God’s law, and their need of a Saviour. All this they must be taught.” — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 371.

“The law of God, spoken in awful grandeur from Sinai, is the utterance of condemnation to the sinner. It is the province of the law to condemn, but there is in it no power to pardon or to redeem.” — Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1094.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Think about this whole idea of promises, especially broken ones. How did you feel about those who have broken their promise to you? How much difference did it make whether a person intended to keep it and then either couldn’t or changed his or her mind, or if you realized that the person never meant to keep it? What happened to your level of trust after the promise was broken, whatever the reason? What does it mean to you to know that you can trust God’s promises? Or perhaps the question should be, How can you learn to trust God’s promises in the first place?
  2. In what ways are we in danger of being corrupted by our environment to the point that we lose sight of the important truths God has given us? How can we make ourselves aware of just what those corrupting influences are, and then how can we counteract them?

Summary: The giving of the law on Sinai did not invalidate the promise that God made to Abraham, nor did the law alter the promise’s provisions. The law was given so that people might be made aware of the true extent of their sinfulness and recognize their need of God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants.

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons