SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW)

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Chapter 17

5. Dependence on World Is Fatal—[Deuteronomy 4:1, 2, 5-9; 7:1-6, 9, 10 quoted.] Under David's rule, the people of Israel gained strength and uprightness through obedience to God's law. But the kings that followed strove for self-exaltation. They took to themselves glory for the greatness of the kingdom, forgetting how utterly dependent they were upon God. They regarded themselves as wise and independent, because of the honor showed them by fallible, erring man. They became corrupt, immoral, and rebelled against the Lord, turning from Him to the worship of idols. 4BC 1155.6

God bore long with them, calling them often to repentance. But they refused to hear, and at last God spoke in judgment, showing them how weak they were without Him. He saw that they were determined to have their own way, and He gave them into the hands of their enemies, who spoiled their land, and took the people captive. 4BC 1155.7

The alliances made by the Israelites with their heathen neighbors resulted in the loss of their identity as God's peculiar people. They became leavened by the evil practises of those with whom they formed forbidden alliances. Affiliation with worldlings caused them to lose their first love, and their zeal for God's service. The advantages they sold themselves to gain, brought only disappointment, and caused the loss of many souls. 4BC 1155.8

The experience of Israel will be the experience of all who go to the world for strength, turning away from the living God. Those who forsake the mighty One, the source of all strength, and affiliate with worldlings, placing on them their dependence, become weak in moral power, as are those in whom they trust. 4BC 1155.9

God comes with entreaties and assurances to those who are making mistakes. He seeks to show them their error, and lead them to repentance. But if they refuse to humble their hearts before Him, if they strive to exalt themselves above Him, He must speak to them in judgment. No semblance of nearness to God, no assertion of connection with Him, will be accepted from those who persist in dishonoring Him by leaning upon the arm of worldly power (The Review and Herald, August 4, 1904). 4BC 1156.1

25 (Isaiah 65:2; Ezekiel 12:2). Israel Blind to Light, Deaf to Messages—Had God's chosen people stood in their appointed place, as the repositories of sacred, eternal truth, which was to come to the heathen world Jerusalem would have stood to this day. But they were a rebellious people. And when God had done all that a God could do, even to the sending of His only begotten Son, they were so ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God, that they refused the only help that could save them from ruin. “This is the heir,” they said, “come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” 4BC 1156.2

God appointed Israel to be a light to the Gentiles, thus to call them back to their loyalty. But Israel herself became blind to the light, deaf to the messages sent to open her understanding (Manuscript 151, 1899). 4BC 1156.3