Sabbath School Lesson 08 – Surrounded by Enemies
Please read the Missionary Report from the Peruvian Union Health Department below
Sabbath, February 24, 2018
“So angels protected … Elisha in the little mountain city. When the encircling hills were filled with the horses and chariots of the king of Syria, and the great host of his armed men, Elisha beheld the nearer hill slopes covered with the armies of God–horses and chariots of fire round about the servant of the Lord.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 240.
“Called to the prophetic office while Ahab was still reigning, Elisha had lived to see many changes take place in the kingdom of Israel. Judgment upon judgment had befallen the Israelites during the reign of Hazael the Syrian, who had been anointed to be the scourge of the apostate nation.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 254.
Planning without God
1. Who regularly received information when the king of Syria was planning to mobilize his forces? To whom was the information forwarded?
2 Kings 6:8-10 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. 9And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. 10And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
“And God never forsook His chosen messenger. On one occasion, during a Syrian invasion, the king of Syria sought to destroy Elisha because of his activity in apprising the king of Israel of the plans of the enemy. The Syrian king had taken counsel with his servants, saying, ‘In such and such a place shall be my camp.’ This plan was revealed by the Lord to Elisha, who ‘sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 255, 256.
God reveals the enemy’s plans
2. Why was the king of Syria particularly puzzled? Who was regularly informing the king of Israel about the plans of the Syrian king?
2 Kings 6:11, 12 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not show me which of us is for the king of Israel? 12And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
“If the eyes of Joshua had been opened as were the eyes of the servant of Elisha at Dothan, and he could have endured the sight, he would have seen the angels of the Lord encamped about the children of Israel; for the trained army of heaven had come to fight for the people of God, and the Captain of the Lord’s host was there to command. When Jericho fell, no human hand touched the walls of the city, for the angels of the Lord overthrew the fortifications, and entered the fortress of the enemy. It was not Israel, but the Captain of the Lord’s host that took Jericho. But Israel had their part to act to show their faith in the Captain of their salvation.” –Conflict and Courage, p. 117.
3. What did the king of Syria do when he found out where the prophet lived?
2 Kings 6:13, 14 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. 14Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
“Determined to make away with the prophet, the Syrian king commanded, ‘Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him.’ The prophet was in Dothan; and, learning this, the king sent thither ‘horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots.’ ” –Prophets and Kings, p. 256.
A huge army sent to capture one person
4. What terrible scene did Elisha’s servant see? How did the man of God calm and reassure him?
2 Kings 6:15-17 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Psalm 34:7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
“In terror Elisha’s servant sought him with the tidings. ‘Alas, my master!’ he said, ‘how shall we do?’
“[2 Kings 6:15-17 quoted.] Between the servant of God and the hosts of armed foemen was an encircling band of heavenly angels. They had come down in mighty power, not to destroy, not to exact homage, but to encamp round about and minister to the Lord’s weak and helpless ones.” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 256, 257.
Closing the eyes of the enemies
5. What did Elisha do when the Syrian army advanced? Where did he lead them after the Lord blinded them at the prophet’s request?
2 Kings 6:18, 19 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 19And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
“When the people of God are brought into strait places, and apparently there is no escape for them, the Lord alone must be their dependence.
“As the company of Syrian soldiers boldly advanced, ignorant of the unseen hosts of heaven, ‘Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray Thee, with blindness. And He smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.’ ” –Prophets and Kings, p. 257.
6. When were the eyes of the soldiers opened? What did the king of Israel ask the prophet after the enemy’s army was led to him?
2 Kings 6:20, 21 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
Kind actions and the good result
7. What did God’s prophet reply? What resulted from this hospitable treatment of the Syrian army?
2 Kings 6:22, 23 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. 23And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.
“Satan seduced Israel into licentiousness before leading them to idolatry. Those who will dishonor God’s image and defile His temple in their own persons will not scruple at any dishonor to God that will gratify the desire of their depraved hearts. Sensual indulgence weakens the mind and debases the soul. The moral and intellectual powers are benumbed and paralyzed by the gratification of the animal propensities; and it is impossible for the slave of passion to realize the sacred obligation of the law of God, to appreciate the atonement, or to place a right value upon the soul. Goodness, purity, and truth, reverence for God, and love for sacred things–all those holy affections and noble desires that link men with the heavenly world–are consumed in the fires of lust. The soul becomes a blackened and desolate waste, the habitation of the evil spirits, and the ‘cage of every unclean and hateful bird.’ Beings formed in the image of God are dragged down to a level with the brutes.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 458.
For additional study
“So, in all ages, angels have been near to Christ’s faithful followers. The vast confederacy of evil is arrayed against all who would overcome; but Christ would have us look to the things which are not seen, to the armies of heaven encamped about all who love God, to deliver them. From what dangers, seen and unseen, we have been preserved through the interposition of the angels, we shall never know, until in the light of eternity we see the providences of God. Then we shall know that the whole family of heaven was interested in the family here below, and that messengers from the throne of God attended our steps from day to day.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 240.
“There is in our world a spirit of belief and also a spirit of unbelief. In the latter days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We expect that those who refuse to harmonize with Christ will develop into a warring element; but we should not think that this will do us harm. We must remember that they that are for us are more than they that can be against us. This is my hope and strength and power. I believe in God. I know in whom I believe. I believe the messages that God has given to His remnant church. From childhood I have had many, many experiences that have strengthened my faith in the work that God has given me to do.” –Selected Messages, book 3, p. 37.
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from the Peruvian Union Health Department
To be read on Sabbath, February 24, 2018
The Special Sabbath School Offering
will be gathered on Sabbath, March 3, 2018
“But I know, that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee.” John 11:22.
Peru currently has a population of 31,800,000, and the country’s health system is unable to supply the needs of such a large population because of a lack of vision and proper resources. Meanwhile, natural medicine is well accepted, which is why many natural-healing clinics charge high prices for their services. Unfortunately, many such clinics lean toward spiritualism while using ineffective treatments.
On June 6, 1863, the Lord revealed the health message to His people and instructed them about the urgent need for sanitariums, where people can learn how to live according to the laws of health. This caused us in Peru to seriously consider expanding God’s work; and since health reform is the right arm of the third angel’s message, we studied how it might be possible to develop rehabilitation centers (sanitariums) in different parts of our country.
Such a large population requires a project that can meet the existing needs. In recent years, we have worked hard to carry out such a project. Just eighty minutes from the capital city is an area of 10,000 square meters dedicated to the construction of a facility in Huaral-Lima–the “Kozel” sanitarium, a secluded place away from the city where visitors can enjoy a peaceful stay and recovery. The treatments to be offered include hydrotherapy, geo-therapy (healing clay), phytotherapy, heliotherapy, physical therapy, etc. All these services will be provided by specialists following established parameters, and we already have a staff of health professionals in the church, including naturopaths, nutritionists, biologists, doctors, nurses, and others.
Construction of the sanitarium is already underway. The plans are complete, and the permits have been obtained. Now what is needed is investment for completion of the first phase, after which we will provide all the services listed above.
There are eleven phases for the complete sanitarium: Artificial lagoons, a swimming pool, botanical gardens and landscaping, green areas, sauna, hospital rooms, organic orchards, vegetarian restaurant, stores, etc.
For the architectural, engineering, and first construction phases, we invite and appeal to all who desire to participate in this great work to give from a willing, generous heart and thus reap an abundance of souls for God’s kingdom, according to His promise.
We live in the final days of this world’s history, and the Lord is about to come. Looking forward to this, we desire our sanitariums to shine as lights everywhere in the world, offering Heaven’s message and restoring lives. Your contribution will help to make this project a reality, for God’s glory.
President of the Peruvian Union