Manuscript Releases, vol. 13 [Nos. 1000-1080]


Lessons From Israel

The Jewish nation had a history of a most remarkable character. The Christ of the New Testament was the Christ of the Old. The Lord did indeed hedge His vineyard about to guard it. He guarded it with His law. In Eden the marriage law and the Sabbath law were plainly and distinctly defined, that there might be no ignorance or misunderstanding on the part of the people. When God had finished the work of creation, He rested on the seventh day. He blessed the day of His rest, while the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. 13MR 184.1

The Lord spoke to Abraham when he was living in a nation of idolaters. He desired to make him a chosen instrument, by giving him the light of the laws of His kingdom. But first Abraham must break his connection with his father's family, separating from their influence that he might be taught by God. Jehovah was to be the object of his worship. 13MR 184.2

Abraham obeyed God. He left his father's house, and went into a strange land. There the Lord educated him. He spoke to him, saying, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” [Genesis 15:1]. Again, when Abraham was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him, and said, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations” [Genesis 17:1-4]. 13MR 184.3

Abraham was called the father of the faithful. His connection with God showed that he was determined to walk in the fear of the Lord in his home life. “I know him,” said the Searcher of hearts—He who blessed the habitation of the faithful—“that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment” [Genesis 18:19]. He will keep the law instituted in Eden as the standard of character. 13MR 184.4

The Lord made Abraham his husbandry, His building. He was material upon which God could work. In the fear of the Lord he cultivated home religion, and the love of God circulated through his entire household. He had a church in his home. He was the instructor of the many souls connected with him. He began and carried forward a grand work. He and his family were subjects of God's kingdom. By the combined influence of authority and love, he ruled his house. He walked in his home in perfect, trusting obedience to a “Thus saith the Lord.” 13MR 185.1

The Hebrew nation went down to Egypt, and for 400 years they were kept in Egyptian servitude. After Joseph's death the worship of the Egyptians made such an impression on their minds that the sight of their eyes and the hearing of their ears were corrupted. They lost the true knowledge of God. 13MR 185.2

According to His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God delivered the Israelites from slavery, desolating the fertile land of Egypt to rescue His people. In awful grandeur He delivered them from the Egyptian host who pursued them. Not one of those who entered the Red Sea in pursuit of the people the Lord had chosen as His own, was saved. 13MR 185.3

One equal with God, His only begotten Son, carried out His Father's mind in the deliverance of the Israelites. God had promised Moses, “My presence shall go with thee,” and He fulfilled this promise by giving Christ to be the invisible Leader of His people, while Moses was chosen to be their visible general. Christ guided them in their travels through the wilderness, indicating where they should encamp. Through Moses He communicated His will and purpose to more than a million people. Through 40 years of wilderness-wandering He was their instructor. 13MR 185.4

They had reached the river Jordan, and spies were sent to view the land of Canaan. Under the working of [Satan] the wily foe, ten of these brought back an evil report, and when the people heard it, “they murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt” [Numbers 14:2-4]. For this rebellion and perversity the Lord declared that for 40 years they were to wander in the wilderness. 13MR 186.1

God designs that His glory shall appear in the working out of His will. His wonderful deliverance of the children of Israel was ever to be repeated [i.e., recounted] by the people. By what He had done they were to know that He would accomplish what He had undertaken. All man's resistance would only make the victory more signal and triumphant. 13MR 186.2

The camp of Israel was not easily managed. Murmurers, complainers, and fault-finders were constantly met with, and the management of the camp was a serious undertaking for Moses. But patiently the Lord cared for and worked with His vineyard. He had selected His people, not from the rich and powerful of the world, but because they were the smallest of all people. 13MR 186.3

From Sinai the Lord spoke His law, making a wonderful display of His glory. There He made a covenant with all who promised to be obedient to His law. Obedience to the Sabbath was to be a sign between Him and His people, “that ye may know,” He said, “that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.... Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever” [Exodus 31:13, 16, 17]. 13MR 187.1

The wonderful deliverance of the Jewish church reveals God's great care and love. He designed that through the channel of this people His blessings should flow to the whole world. 13MR 187.2