“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. 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.
- 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?
- 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.
No More Devil Stones-Part 2
The meetings began a few days later. While the villagers built a shelter out of poles and thatch near Yerakayya’s home, the pastor conducted meetings outside another villager’s home.
When the pandal was finished, the larger meetings began. About 150 people from the village came. As the pastor began to speak, stones rained down on the thatch-roofed shelter. They fell through the roof and dropped among the crowd. The people dodged the stones, and one man stood and interrupted the pastor. “The devils are troubling us again. See these stones that have fallen among us!”
Pastor Rao said, “Don’t be afraid. Let’s pray to the living God and let Him handle our problem.” Then he prayed in a loud voice: “Father, You are the living God. This devil is disturbing our meetings, and these people want to know more about You. Show them that You are the real God and make the devil stop throwing stones!” Then Pastor Rao shouted at the demons-“In the name of Jesus, I command that the devils leave this village!” At that instant a stone hit the thatched roof, but it didn’t fall through; it stayed where it landed.
The people stood in awe for a moment, then they sat down to listen to the sermon. Not once after the pastor’s prayer did a stone fall through the roof. And no stones rained on Yerakayya’s home either. From that day on, the family slept peacefully through the night.
Yerakayya was convinced. He would worship the true God, and he gave up his drinking. The couple invited their three grown children and their grandchildren to attend the meetings, and all of them now worship the God of heaven.
Each believer who has given their life to Christ has pulled down their idols and thrown them into the nearby river.
Yerakayya is so excited about the differences that Jesus has made in his home and his village, that he invited the pastor to go with him to a nearby village where some of his relatives and friends live, and there share the story of redemption. Yerakayya told the villagers how God stopped the devils from throwing rocks on his house, and he urged the people to listen to the pastor tell about the living God. Thus a second village in the area has been opened to the gospel, and more than 150 have been baptized.
Work in India continues to grow rapidly and your generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will provide much needed assistance. Thank you for giving.