From Battle to Victory

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: March 15 – 21

Texts: Daniel 11; Daniel 8:3-8, 20-22; Isaiah 46:9, 10; Daniel 8:9, 23; Matthew 27:33-50

 

Can’t find toilet paper in your local grocery story? According to some, it’s a sign of the end of the world as we know it. Household disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizers, and other cleaning supplies are sold out in many places across the U.S. as people panic to stock up on defense resources against the growing threat posed by the coronavirus.

“Marlon Chavarria ran over to the tiny yellow store Glady’s 98 Cents and Up and grabbed three packages of toilet paper from his mother-in-law. He carried them over to his white SUV and stuffed them inside the trunk with other groceries. ‘It’s like the end of the world out here,’ the 37-year-old said. ‘You can’t find anything.’

“Since 7 a.m., the Compton resident had gone to almost every supermarket and big box retailer in a vain search for toilet paper. Even after waiting three hours in line to get into one store, Chavarria walked out dispirited and empty-handed. Early evening, his luck changed. His mother-in-law told him about a local ‘98 cent’ store in South Los Angeles that, miraculously under the circumstances, seemed to have everything. And that’s how he ended up with toilet paper in the trunk of his SUV and a smile on his face. ‘Time to go home where it’s safe,’ he said.” [1]

This week’s Sabbath school lesson covers one of the most challenging chapters in the entire Bible. Daniel 11 has some baffling verses that begin with prophecies about Persia and Greece, then move to prophecies about Syria and Egypt, and then speak of the Roman Empire. We can understand the big picture in this chapter—God’s people are threatened by battling nations, but in the end, they will be safe.

It’s easy to get lost in the confusing details of this chapter, but, like the challenging times we currently face with the COVID-19 pandemic, we can be assured that God is still our safe place, and still has a plan. Someday, God’s people will be rescued from the attacks of the enemy and the kingdom of heaven will be established forever.

Until then, we can find peace in trusting Bible prophecy which has already shown the reliability of God in predicting the future. Past fulfillment gives us confidence about future realities. We have assurance that we will someday go home where it’s safe … even if we run out of toilet paper or hand sanitizer right now.

 


For Reflection

Connecting: Think of a time you experienced a crisis and could not see God’s leading, but in the end you could look back and recognize heaven’s hand over you.

Sharing: Search for verses in Daniel 11 that give you encouragement in difficult times. Though you may not fully understand many of the passages in this chapter, which ones give you reassurance?

  1. Verse 12 tells us that earthly kings will not “ultimately prevail” in the end.
  2. Verse 27 affirms that God’s plan will still take place “at the appointed time.”
  3. Verse 32 encourages us that “those who know their God shall be strong.”
  4. Verse 35 teaches that though some may fall, it can be “to refine them, purify them, and make them white.”
  5. Verse 45 explains that even the worst enemies of God will “come to his end, and no one will help him.”
  6. Other…

Applying: Look for hymns or Christians songs with lyrics that affirm how God’s plans against evil will someday be victorious. Share the lyrics or sing a few of these songs in your class.

Valuing: Have you been worried about recent events in our world? Pray with one other person and ask for God’s peace to surround you during these difficult times.

~ Curtis Rittenour

[1] https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Local-grocery-drug-stores-struggling-to-keep-15126563.php#photo-19170498