Sabbath, November 25, 2006
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation [is] from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8.
SUFFERING CREATURES AND THEIR LIBERATION
1. When did nature fall under the terrible blight in which it finds itself?
Genesis 3:17, 18 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.
Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
2. When will this earth, subdued in misery by the prince of this world, be completely restored?
Romans 8:19, 21 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God… Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
INTERCESSION FOR THE SINNER
3. Who understands our weakness? How does He help?
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
“We must not only pray in Christ’s name, but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This explains what is meant when it is said that the Spirit ‘maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.’ Rom. 8:26. Such prayer God delights to answer.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 147.
4. How is this intercession made for the saints?
Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
“We need grace, we need divine enlightenment, that through the Spirit we may know how to ask for such things as we need. If our petitions are indited by the Lord they will be answered.” –Counsels
5. How can we compare the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Jesus for the sinner?
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
“Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man’s behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing out prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving. The gratitude which flows from our lips is the result of the Spirit striking the cords of the soul in holy memories, awakening the music of the heart.” –S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 1077, 1078.
CALLED, BUT REFUSING THE OPPORTUNITY
6. What privilege did Israel enjoy?
Romans 9:4, 5 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
“The Jews were God’s chosen people, through whom He had purposed to bless the entire race. From among them God had raised up many prophets. These had foretold the advent of a Redeemer. …” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 374.
7. What did Israel-according-to-the-flesh fail to obtain? Who joyfully accepted the message of salvation?
Romans 9:30, 31 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
“The prophet Isaiah, looking down through the centuries and witnessing the rejection of prophet after prophet and finally of the Son of God, was inspired to write concerning the acceptance of the Redeemer by those who had never before been numbered among the children of Israel. Referring to this prophecy, Paul declares: ‘Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me. But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people’.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 375.
• How may I cooperate so the longing of the creatures may be satisfied?
• Does the Holy Spirit influence my life and behavior?
• Do I complain of my weakness, or do I rejoice in the promised help of my Saviour?