Sabbath School

Come Immanuel: God’s Reign of Righteousness

The prophetic quest for “judgment and righteousness” is the quest for fairness and justice upon the earth.  It represents the collective sigh of the oppressed, downtrodden, marginalized and stigmatized.  It echoes throughout history as the voice of the few, brave enough to “do unto others” and to call others to do the same.  It is the essence of hope – the messianic hope - hope that God’s reign of righteousness will finally come upon the earth. 

Why Go to Egypt?

Ishmael and his men, under the order of Baalis the king of the Ammonites (Jer. 40:14), assassinated Gedaliah,who was appointed governor over Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. They also killed the Judeans who were with the governor, and Babylonian soldiers (Jer. 41:2, 3). The narrative’s description of Gedaliah as the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan (Jer. 40:9) traces his ancestral root to King Josiah’s scribe, named Shaphan (2 Kgs 22:3, 8, 12). On the other hand, Ishmael’s depiction of his pedigree (Jer. 40:8, 14) suggests that he came from a royal family (Jer. 41:1; 2 Kgs 25:25).

The Covenant

Among the 52 chapters of the prophetic book of Jeremiah the most intriguing concept is the New Covenant. Would we like to know what is a “Covenant” and why is it called “New”? In this lesson we have a list of several covenants: Adamic, Universal, Abrahamic, Sinaitic, Davidic and the New. In addition, we have within the larger context of the Bible, the concept of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. What is the meaning of the word covenant? While today we do not use the word covenant in our everyday conversation, we use more contemporary words quite often.

The Destruction of Jerusalem

Every few hundred years, there are events that redefine a nation, a people, at its very core.  Consider the shift in internal vision and circumstance that propels, occasionally, a geographical backwater to a leading world force for a season as was Portugal, Holland, and England; or the change in values and identity that transforms a nation as with the French Revolution (“liberté, égalité, fraternité”), the Meiji Restoration of 1870s Japan that opened it to the pursuit of modernization and empire, or the Declaration of Independence that resumed the Athenian experiment with democracy aft

Jeremiah’s Yoke: His and Ours

The official study guide for this week’s lesson uses “yoke” in two different ways. The more concrete usage focuses on Jeremiah’s wearing of a wooden yoke to boldly illustrate his plea to the kingdom of Judah and to the surrounding nations to submit to the yoke of Babylon (Jer. 27).

Josiah's Reform

The occasion of Josiah’s religious reform was the repairing the temple of the LORD(2 Kgs 22:5). The dramatic discovery of the Book of the Law (Heb. sefer hatorah) resulted in a religious reformation throughout the country. The reform began with the repairing of the Temple of the LORD. It helped that he seems to have had an honest group of repairmen.

Symbolic Acts: Helpful, but Potentially Deadly

Lesson #6, for discussion on Sabbath, November 7, 2015

The prophet Jeremiah was fond of symbols and that spells trouble for a believing community that wants to keep the whole tribe together. That’s because symbols, whether enacted or visual, split the crowd right down the middle. Concrete thinkers often treat them too rigidly whereas abstract thinkers are too easily inclined to shrug and not take them seriously enough.

The Day After

To understand Jeremiah we must first understand the culture within which he worked, and this is not as easy as it seems.

Rebuke and Retribution for the Hard of Heart

Sabbath School Commentary for discussion on Sabbath, October 24, 2015

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