The Bible as History (2020, Quarter 2, Lesson 10)

by Tim Rumsey May 30, 2020

The Bible as History (2020, Quarter 2, Lesson 10)

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This study guide contains additional materials to accompany the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide for the second quarter of 2020, titled How to Interpret Scripture. This Deeper Daily Bible Study develops the broad theme of studying and interpreting the Bible into some areas not covered by the Sabbath School Study Guide. While the general topic of each week’s set of lessons corresponds to the Study Guide topic for that week, the daily focus will vary at times from that guide.  We hope that you will find this approach to be a valuable added resource in your Bible study. 

The “Digging Deeper” section probes into the day’s topic, and illustrates the study principle or tool being discussed. Suggested answers, if included, are provided in parentheses. Sabbath School teachers will find this section especially helpful in the Sabbath School setting. The “Apply It” section gives the student an opportunity to apply the subject at hand to their own study of the Bible, and the “Share It” section provides an opportunity for those in group studies to discuss and share their response to the day’s theme.

Sabbath (May 30, 2020): The Bible as History

In the last two lessons we studied the importance of the Genesis creation account, arguably the ultimate history lesson given to the human race. This week we will study more of the Bible’s account of salvation history, and the lessons that this history contains for us today.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Amos 3:7. What does this verse reveal about God’s character? (God is transparent—that is, He reveals His motives, purposes, and plans so that His created beings can praise Him for those works, and so that they can, in their own way, participate in them.) What clue about studying history does this verse give us? (We should look for God’s fingerprints throughout history. If we want to truly understand history, we need to study it from a biblical perspective.)

  • Read the passage below from the book The Story of Redemption, and discuss how this transparency of God’s character was exercised in heaven even before earth was created?

The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that He might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon His Son. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ, His Son, should be equal with Himself; so that wherever was the presence of His Son, it was as His own presence. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially was His Son to work in union with Himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son would carry out His will and His purposes but would do nothing of Himself alone. The Father’s will would be fulfilled in Him. {SR 13.2}

Apply It

  • Read Titus 2:13-14. What is the greatest event in earth’s history that still lies in the future? (Christ’s second coming.) What do you find unique in this passage that goes beyond mere history—or prophecy? (Answers will vary. The Bible’s history and prophecy not only teaches what has happened or will happen, but it teaches us how to live.)

Share It

  • How has God’s “transparency of purpose” helped you trust in Him more? How do we reconcile the times when God’s purposes seem mysterious and difficult to understand?

Sunday (May 31, 2020): David, Solomon, and the Monarchy

King David is one of the Bible’s most influential characters. Additionally, he is used numerous times as a type of the Messiah. In today’s lesson we will look at the significance of this shepherd boy turned king, both historically and prophetically.

Digging Deeper

David, or the name David, is mentioned 1,087 times in the Bible—976 times in the Old Testament and 111 times in the New Testament. Read the following passages about King David, and discuss what each one reveals about his significance historically and prophetically:

  • 2 Samuel 5:6-10 (Without David there would be no capital city of Jerusalem)

  • 1 Kings 8:17-20 (Without David there would be no temple built by his son Solomon)

  • Jeremiah 23:5,6 (The Messiah would come through the line of David)

  • Revelation 3:7 (The “key of David” is given to the church of Philadelphia)

  • Isaiah 55:3 (David is given the everlasting covenant by God)

  • Acts 13:34,35 (David is promised the resurrection at Christ’s second coming)

 Apply It

  • Read Acts 13:22. What does it mean that David was a man “after God’s own heart”? (The verse gives an answer in the next phrase—He would “fulfill all [God’s] will.”)

  • Read Acts 13:23. Within this context, in what way was David a precursor, or type, of the Messiah? (The Messiah would also do God’s will—perfectly and continually!)

In the reigns of David and Solomon, Israel reached the height of her greatness. The promise given to Abraham and repeated through Moses was fulfilled: “If ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him; then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. There shall no man be able to stand before you.” Deuteronomy 11:22-25

Share It

  • In what ways have you seen God working in your life to help you “fulfill all His will”?

Monday (June 1, 2020): Isaiah, Hezekiah, and Sennacherib

Sennacherib and the Assyrians were some of Israel’s most dangerous enemies. After all, it was the Assyrians whom God finally allowed to capture and destroy Samaria, the capital city of Israel’s ten northern tribes. This victory took place in 722 BC by Shalmaneser V. However, when Sennacherib returned to attack Jerusalem 20 years later, things turned out quite differently. We will look at God’s miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem in today’s lesson.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Isaiah 36:1,2. What threat did Sennacherib and the Assyrians present to Jerusalem? (Total and complete destruction, or loss of national autonomy and identity and submersion into the Assyrian empire.)

  • Read Isaiah 37:14,15. How does Hezekiah respond to Sennacherib’s threat? (He goes into the temple, spreads the letter before God, and prays.) Why does Hezekiah respond this way, rather than in some other way, such as preparing for war? (In this time of crisis, Hezekiah probably responds by doing what comes most naturally to him—turning to God. It is a great lesson for us. )

  • Read Isaiah 37:16. What additional insight do we get here about Hezekiah’s faith in God? (He believes that God is the Creator of the world.) Why would believing this be a comfort to Hezekiah now? (The Creator also has power to save him and his people!)

  • Read Isaiah 37:17. How does Hezekiah address God here? (He address God as “the living God.”) In what ways is this such an important thing for us to remember today? (Answers will vary.)

Apply It

  • Read Isaiah 37:33-35. What aspects of God’s promise of deliverance speak most powerfully to you in your life, for your family, and for your church? (Answers will vary.)

The God of the Hebrews had prevailed over the proud Assyrian. The honor of Jehovah was vindicated in the eyes of the surrounding nations. In Jerusalem the hearts of the people were filled with holy joy. Their earnest entreaties for deliverance had been mingled with confession of sin and with many tears. In their great need they had trusted wholly in the power of God to save, and He had not failed them. Now the temple courts resounded with songs of solemn praise. {PK 361.4}

Often the Christian life is beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. The imagination pictures impending ruin before and bondage or death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly, “Go forward.” We should obey this command, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness, and we feel the cold waves about our feet. The obstacles that hinder our progress will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Those who defer obedience till every shadow of uncertainty disappears and there remains no risk of failure or defeat, will never obey at all. Unbelief whispers, “Let us wait till the obstructions are removed, and we can see our way clearly;” but faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things. {PP 290.2}

Share It

  • What seemingly impossible situations have you faced in your life that God has miraculously saved you from, or worked into His glory?

Tuesday (June 2, 2020): Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, and Babylon

Ancient Babylon—including its historical roots in Babel and its prophetic significance in Revelation—plays a large and significant role throughout the Bible’s historical record. From Genesis to Revelation this historical entity represents the antithesis of God’s ideal for humanity, and for His people. In today’s lesson we will take a closer look at the historical foundations of this power.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Genesis 10:6,8-10. Who founded Babel, and what family line did he come from? (Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, founded Babel.) What significance do you see in the fact that Babel was “the beginning of his kingdom”? (The first use of the word “kingdom” in the Bible is here in this verse. Interestingly, the last time the word “kingdom” appears in the Bible is in reference to spiritual Babylon in Revelation 17:17.)

God had directed men to disperse throughout the earth, to replenish and subdue it; but these Babel builders determined to keep their community united in one body, and to found a monarchy that should eventually embrace the whole earth. Thus their city would become the metropolis of a universal empire; its glory would command the admiration and homage of the world and render the founders illustrious. The magnificent tower, reaching to the heavens, was intended to stand as a monument of the power and wisdom of its builders, perpetuating their fame to the latest generations. {PP 118.5}

  • Read Genesis 10:11,15-18. What other nations also came from Ham’s line? (The Assyrians and the Canaanites. These were all persecutors and oppressors of God’s people, along with the Babylonians.)

Read the passages below from the book Patriarchs and Prophets and discuss the philosophical and spiritual roots of Babel and the Babylonian kingdom:

The dwellers on the plain of Shinar disbelieved God’s covenant that He would not again bring a flood upon the earth. Many of them denied the existence of God and attributed the Flood to the operation of natural causes. Others believed in a Supreme Being, and that it was He who had destroyed the antediluvian world; and their hearts, like that of Cain, rose up in rebellion against Him (p. 119).

The Babel builders had indulged the spirit of murmuring against God. …Satan was seeking to bring contempt upon the sacrificial offerings that prefigured the death of Christ; and as the minds of the people were darkened by idolatry, he led them to counterfeit these offerings and sacrifice their own children upon the altars of their gods. As men turned away from God, the divine attributes—justice, purity, and love—were supplanted by oppression, violence, and brutality (p. 120).

The men of Babel had determined to establish a government that should be independent of God. … Their confederacy was founded in rebellion; a kingdom established for self-exaltation, but in which God was to have no rule or honor (p. 123).

The schemes of the Babel builders ended in shame and defeat. The monument to their pride became the memorial of their folly. Yet men are continually pursuing the same course—depending upon self, and rejecting God’s law. It is the principle that Satan tried to carry out in heaven; the same that governed Cain in presenting his offering. {PP 123.3}

Apply It

Read Revelation 18:1-4. In what ways do all of us need to “come out of Babylon” in order to more fully walk with God? (Answers will vary.)

Share It

In what ways have you seen God leading you, or your family, away from the principles of Babylon and closer to Him?

Wednesday (June 3, 2020): The Historical Jesus

The cross, in and of itself, does not provide an explanation about the significance of Christ’s death. After all, the Romans crucified thousands of people, and at one time, following the revolt by Spartacus, they lined the Appian Way from Rome to Capua with six thousand crucified people. In today’s lesson we will look at the Bible’s explanation as to the significance of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

Digging Deeper

Read the following passages and discuss what they reveal about the historical and prophetic significance of Christ’s death on the cross:

  • Exodus 12:3,7,13 and John 1:29. (Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the world.)

  • Numbers 24:17 and Matthew 2:1,2. (The Magi’s study of the prophecies that led them to Jesus.)

  • Psalms 22:1 and 31:5. (Jesus’ statements from the cross.)

  • Mark 16:9-11 and John 20:11-18. (The testimony of Mary Magdalene.)

  • Luke 24:13-27. (Christ’s appearance to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.)

  • John 20:24-29. (Christ’s interaction with His disciples after the resurrection.)

  • John 21:24. (Hundreds of eyewitnesses who saw Jesus after the resurrection.)

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. (Paul’s confirmation of recent historical events.)

  • 1 Corinthians 15:12-14. (The certainty and importance of Christ’s resurrection.)

Apply It

  • Read Revelation 13:8. What does this verse mean by referring to Christ as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”? (Christ’s death and resurrection fulfilled God’s plan of salvation that was put in place from the beginning of time.)

  • Read the statement below and discuss what Christ’s death and the plan of salvation reveal to you about God’s character:

God and Christ knew from the beginning of the apostasy of Satan and of the fall of Adam through the deceptive power of the apostate. The plan of salvation was designed to redeem the fallen race, to give them another trial. Christ was appointed to the office of Mediator from the creation of God, set up from everlasting to be our substitute and surety. Before the world was made, it was arranged that the divinity of Christ should be enshrouded in humanity. {1SM 250}

Thursday (June 4, 2020): Faith and History

The Bible presents Christianity as a faith based on reality and history. In today’s lesson we will take a closer look at some of the reasons it gives for basing our faith on what God has done in the world, and in other people’s lives.

Digging Deeper

Read the following passages from Hebrews 11—the “faith chapter”—and discuss how they link God’s work in history with our faith in Him today:

  • Hebrews 11:3 (creation)

  • Hebrews 11:4 (Abel’s death and the conflict between good and evil on earth)

  • Hebrews 11:5,6 (Enoch’s translation as a type of the translation of the living saints at the second coming)

  • Hebrews 11:7 (the historical reality of Noah’s flood)

  • Hebrews 11:8-12 (God’s call to Abram and the blessings brought to humanity through his obedience)

  • Hebrews 11:13-16 (lessons of faith throughout Bible history, teaching us that this world, in its present condition, is not to be considered our home)

Apply It

  • Read the statements below about faith and discuss the importance of obtaining this experience in our own lives:

The time has come when we are to expect large blessings from the Lord. We must rise to a higher standard on the subject of faith. We have too little faith. The Word of God is our endorsement. We must take it, simply believing every word. With this assurance we may claim large things, and according to our faith it will be unto us.... {TMK 226.2}

The work of faith means more than we think. It means genuine reliance upon the naked word of God. By our actions we are to show that we believe that God will do just as He has said. The wheels of nature and of providence are not appointed to roll backward nor to stand still. We must have an advancing, working faith, a faith that works by love and purifies the soul from every vestige of selfishness. It is not self, but God, that we must depend upon. We must not cherish unbelief. We must have that faith that takes God at His word.... {TMK 226.3}

True faith consists in doing just what God has enjoined, not manufacturing things He has not enjoined. Justice, truth, mercy, are the fruit of faith. We need to walk in the light of God’s law; then good works will be the fruit of our faith, the proceeds of a heart renewed every day. The tree must be made good before the fruit can be good. We must be wholly consecrated to God. Our will must be made right before the fruit can be good. We must have no fitful religion. “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). {TMK 226.4}

O what a field is opened before me! Our people must have the deep working of the Spirit of God every day. They must have a faith that works by love, a faith that emanates from God. There must not be a thread of selfishness drawn into the fabric. When our faith works by love, just such a love as Christ revealed in His life, it will be of a firm texture; it will be the fruit of a will subdued. But not until self dies can Christ live in us. Not until self dies can we possess a faith that works by love and purifies the soul.11 {TMK 226.5}

Share It

  • In what ways has God led you to grow in faith recently?

Friday (June 5, 2020): The Prophetic Pattern

At the beginning of this week’s set of lessons, we read from Amos 3:7, which states that God does nothing without revealing it to His servants the prophets. In today’s lesson we will look more closely at this pattern of prophecy and fulfillment throughout history.



Time Prophecy

Confirming Prophet


120 years (Gen 6:3)

Noah (Genesis 6:13,14)

Plagues on Egypt

400 years (Gen. 15:13)

Moses (Exodus 12:41)

Babylon judged

70 years (Jer. 25:4-10)

Daniel (Dan. 9:1,2)

Messiah’s appearance

483 years (Dan. 9:25,26)

John the Baptist
(Mark 1:1-3,15)

Judgment on Israel

490 years (Dan. 9:24)

Stephen (Acts 7:54-56)

God’s final judgment

2,300 years - 1844
(Dan. 8:14)

Ellen G. White (Rev. 12:17)


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Tim Rumsey
Tim Rumsey


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