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 8 – 14

Texts: Ephesians 6:12; Daniel 10; Ezra 4:1-5; Joshua 5:13-15; Revelation 1:12-18; Colossians 2:15; Romans 8:37-39

 

According to Taliban leader Anas Haqqani, “Even if we don’t say that the U.S. is defeated in Afghanistan, it is an open secret now that they are defeated.” The perspective of the United States, however, is that the recently signed agreement is contingent on the Taliban’s promise to abide by a prisoner swap and to prevent terrorist groups from using Afghan soil as a base of operations in the future. [1]

Unfortunately, there are already reports of violations of the agreement. Some evidence indicates that the Taliban have no intention of abiding by the pact. It’s still early, so we won’t know the ultimate outcome in Afghanistan until it actually happens.  [2]

There is an old saying that history is written by the victors. Whether that is entirely true or not, the Taliban are already trying to put their spin on the deal that could lead to the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan after more than 18 years of war.

Bible prophecy is also history that is written by the Victor—the difference being that it is written before the fact. In Daniel 10, we see God beginning to outline the history of earth’s final chapters in advance. This introduction to the incredible vision found in Daniel 11 and 12 shows how vital this prophecy is for us today: Satan pulled out all the stops to prevent the angel from delivering the message to Daniel.

Daniel saw a vision of a great war that troubled him. He fasted for three weeks to try and gain an understanding of what he’d seen. Even though God immediately sent an angel to deliver the answer that Daniel sought, Satan successfully delayed the angel for three weeks. Ultimately, the angel got through to Daniel, but only with Michael’s help.

As we face an uncertain future that drives some to lose heart due to fear, we can live in confidence because we know that Jesus is the Victor. The sure word of prophecy reveals our history to us in advance.

 


For Reflection

Connecting: What is one thing you are willing to get in a fist fight over? Write out your answers, but don’t include your names, and give them to your facilitator. Read each one individually and spend no more than 30 seconds debating the merits of each answer.

Sharing: Daniel 10:13 indicates that an evil angel was able to restrain God’s messenger from reaching Daniel for 21 days. Why do you think that could be?

  1. Satan and his horde are more powerful than we give them credit for
  2. God just toyed with the evil angel, letting him think he was actually winning the struggle
  3. God purposely waited another three weeks to come to Daniel to see if he would continue to be faithful in prayer
  4. God’s angels are not as powerful as we give them credit for
  5. It is an object lesson for us today to be persistent when we face obstacles in life
  6. Other:

Applying: Imagine that you are a church social committee. Choose two of you to be the leaders of opposing factions—one of you wants to serve cake at the next social, and the other one wants to serve pie. Give your best arguments on each side, then take a vote. As a group, discuss some strategies for resolving church conflict that you have found to be helpful.

Valuing: Imagine your life with no conflict or contention, only harmony. Does that sound blissful, or boring? Share your thoughts with one other person, then pray for each other.

~ Chuck Burkeen

[1] https://news.yahoo.com/defeated-u-deal-taliban-claim-091720421.html

[2] https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/officials-u-s-has-persuasive-intel-taliban-does-not-intend-n1150051