SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW)

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Chapter 17

13 (ch. 23:13). Stopping Halfway Hinders God's Plan—The Lord assured them that they must dispossess the land of those who were a snare to them, who would be thorns in their side. This was the word of the Lord, and His plan was that under His guardianship His people should have larger and still larger territory. Wherever they should build houses and cultivate the land, business firms should be established, that they would not have to borrow from their neighbors, but their neighbors from them. Their possessions were to enlarge, and they were to become a great and powerful people. But they stopped halfway. They consulted their own convenience, and the very work God could have done for them by placing them where the knowledge of God should be made known and the abominable practices of the heathen banished from the land, was not done. 2BC 998.5

With all their advantages and opportunities and privileges, the Jewish nation failed to carry out God's plans. They bore little fruit, and continually less, until the Lord employed the barren fig tree with His curse upon it, to represent the condition of the once chosen nation. The work we do must be done with the unworked portions of the Lord's vineyard in mind. But today it is in a few places only that means are expended and advantages provided. The Lord would have the means and advantages more equally distributed. He would have provision made for many places that are now unworked (Manuscript 126, 1899). 2BC 998.6