Sabbath School Lesson for August 27-September 2, 2022
Overview of Lesson 10
Since meekness, or humility, is not a desired character trait in many cultures, we find it useful to review its importance as we deal with our crucibles. Here’s some valuable characteristics of meekness to consider…
- We can serve others better when we have been “broken”. (Sunday)
- We show compassion by interceding for others. (Monday)
- We need to love those who hurt us. (Tuesday)
- We speak volumes when we are silent. (Wednesday)
- We can increase our self-esteem by clinging to the One who died for us. (Thursday)
One of the best definitions of meekness is “enduring injury with patience and without resentment”. You can easily see why meekness is related to our crucibles. This kind of endurance is only possible when we are patient with our situation and respond with love and forgiveness, as opposed to resentment and anger.
When we realize that the God of the universe is the epitome of meekness, any tendency toward pride on our part seems foolish and totally unacceptable. Jesus showed us what it meant to be humble and meek by coming to our planet the way He did. His life was the most beautiful example of meekness we can find. He endorsed meekness when He said these words in the Beatitudes…
Memory Text: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 NKJV
New Living Translation: “God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.”
Sunday: “Broken Bread and Poured-Out Wine” (Ezekiel 24:15-27)
God was specific in his instructions to the prophet Ezekiel about not mourning. He was told this just hours before his wife died. His stoic, impassive reaction after her death must surely have grabbed the attention of his friends and onlookers. They wondered why his reaction was so different from the customary, public expressions of grief they expected after such a loss.
This situation allowed Ezekiel to explain once again the prophecy about their coming losses when their country would be attacked by enemies. It would involve grieving for their sons and daughters who would be taken away by foreign armies. It was then that they would remember God’s prophecy, spoken through the prophets. They would remember the suffering Ezekiel had endured when he lost his wife, and how God told him to patiently accept it without outward signs of grief.
Many of God’s followers in the Bible can attest to suffering losses, and they mostly did it with incredible patience. Their life circumstances represented the broken bread and poured-out wine symbols Christ used in His last supper. Moses and Joseph, for example, come to mind as ones who accepted their broken lives with unusual humility and grace.
- What value is there in remembering who God is when we experience losses in life?
- Why is our reaction to suffering so important?
- What do you see in Moses’ life that showed his meekness?
- In what way did Joseph also bear his life as a slave and a prisoner with humility and grace? How did this allow him to serve others?
Monday: Interceding for Grace (Exodus 32:1-14)
One of the most prominent examples of intercession was when the children of God built a golden calf and started worshiping it while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. We are appalled at the ingratitude of the people so shortly after their miraculous deliverance from Egyptian slavery. See Exodus 32:1-14.
God was understandably angry about their disloyal, despicable behavior, too. Pagan worship was notoriously vile and sexually driven. Surely God was justified in His offer to destroy them and start over, making Moses the father of a new people to receive the Messiah.
With no thought for himself, Moses pleaded with God to forgive the people and allow Abraham’s children to live and grow, like God had always promised. God relented and continued to show grace to the Israelites numerous times through the generations that followed.
This had been a test for Moses to see if he could be as forgiving and patient a leader as God needed him to be. And it showed us the need for having grace, even when we feel the least like doing so. This was not the first time Moses would need grace-filled compassion in dealing with such a stubborn, stiff-necked people. But his experiences have impacted many of us, showing how we can and should feel toward those who are totally undeserving of grace.
Exodus 32:11, Numbers 12:1, 3, and 13
- How did Moses’ humility impact his dealings with the people and allow him to be the leader he was?
- In what way does our intercession for others point us to the intercessory work of Jesus on our behalf?
- Why does it require humility and meekness to intercede for others?
Tuesday: Loving Those Who Hurt Us (Matthew 5:43-48)
In order to truly love others and be humble, we must be able to love even those who are the most unlovable. For God, this means loving everyone; because, in one way or another, we are all undeserving and difficult to love. By loving us, we can become lovable! That is the miraculous part.
God does this by looking at who we can become, not just who we are. We have all hurt God to some extent; but, as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 5:45, He makes the sun shine and the rain fall on all of us. His mercies are there for everyone, even the most despicable sinner we can imagine.
The Sermon on the Mount reveals the many ways we are to show our love. This kind of divine love goes beyond feelings, as genuine as they must be. It extends to our actions, which must be present as well. Our actions do count.
We are told to be perfect in Matthew 5:48. This means to show perfect love, as described by Jesus in this Sermon. When God’s love fills our hearts, we become perfect–perfectly loved and able to share that love with others. Only through meekness and humility can this be achieved.
- Why and how are we to love our enemies?
- How does humility help us love others?
- How does loving our enemies make us perfect?
Wednesday: A Closed Mouth (1 Peter 2:18-25)
1 Peter 2:18-25, which tells servants to be submissive to their masters, is actually good advice for all of us. When we accept Christ, we are His servants. Jesus was our example in this, as spoken of in these verses. He bore harsh treatment from His own people with quiet submission (Isaiah 53:7).
Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that God would give Him strength to do the impossible and silently endure the extreme events that were about to engulf and extinguish His life on earth. He found that He was not exempt from injustice, but that God was in control, and His silence would be rewarded in the end.
Jesus’ love for His Father would carry Him through His crucible. This love, which comes from God’s love for us, is what gives us strength to be meek. Therefore, Christian meekness is the result of love, not of fear, as its critics claim. Our closed mouth is testimony to the meekness of Christ and the powerful love of God.
1 Peter 2:18-20
- Why does quiet, patient endurance draw attention, when we are unjustly punished for some wrong?
1 Peter 2:21-25 and Isaiah 53:5-7
- How and why did Jesus bear unjust treatment with silence?
Thursday: Our Rock and Refuge (Psalm 62:1-8)
This psalm reinforces our belief in the only thing that makes our meekness possible: God being our refuge and fortress. Those who are proud are without this protection. Their outward show of invulnerability covers up an inward sense of worthlessness and insecurity. We are naked indeed without His love encircling our troubled lives.
Only by arming ourselves with the mind of Christ, which is full of humble meekness, can we find the love and acceptance He enjoyed from the Father. Only then can we respond with the same meek spirit that becomes our strong Rock of defense.
This defense is greatly needed, as God’s people are not only misunderstood and persecuted by worldly enemies, but often the animosity comes from those within our own ranks, our Christian brothers and sisters. This experience can really be a test for our ability to remain patient and humble, despite backstabbing behaviors from those we least expect it.
Psalm 62:3, 4 and Psalm 28:3
- Why is it hard to recognize our enemies? Who are they?
- What kind of things can we do while we wait silently for God to work in our behalf?
Friday: Final Thoughts
“The difficulties we have to encounter may be very much lessened by that meekness which hides itself in Christ. If we possess the humility of our Master, we shall rise above the slights, the rebuffs, the annoyances, to which we are daily exposed, and they will cease to cast a gloom over the spirit. The highest evidence of nobility in a Christian is self-control. He who under abuse or cruelty fails to maintain a calm and trustful spirit robs God of His right to reveal in him His own perfection of character. Lowliness of heart is the strength that gives victory to the followers of Christ; it is the token of their connection with the courts above.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 301.
If we have meekness, God will hear our humble cry, especially during our most painful crucibles…
Next Week: Waiting in the Crucible
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