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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: May 9-15, 2021
Texts: Deuteronomy 1:29-31; Hosea 11:1; Revelation 5:9; Deuteronomy 29:10-13; Exodus 19:5, 6; Romans 6:1, 2; Revelation 14:12; Romans 10:3
Despite her birth in a Turkish prison, her father’s bad rap with the Turkish government, having two dead husbands by the age of 40, the gender norms of the day, and finding herself in fierce opposition to the powerful Ottoman Empire, naval captain Laskarina Bouboulina would change the course of history. Under her wise leadership and by carefully curating her fortune, she supplied Greek revolutionaries with the strategies, ammunition and sea vessels that helped defeat the Turkish-Egyptian fleet.
She saw Greece gain independence before her death in 1825. Posthumously she was ranked Admiral of the Russian Navy, and as recently as 2018 was given the rank of Rear Admiral of the Hellenic Navy. Many believe that if not for her valiant efforts, Greece would not have overthrown its oppressor.
Similarly, God’s people have had their own share of throwing off the shackles of abusive foreign powers. For instance, the Old Testament texts we study this week remind us that God’s children were captives in Egypt. Moses, despite the challenges he faced in his personal life, was directed by God in leading the Israelites out from under Pharaoh’s thumb. A covenant was then made between the freed Israelites and God at Mount Sinai in which the Israelites were promised that, if they heeded the Lord, God would form them into their own nation: a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:5-6).
Revelation and the writings of Paul expand on this message, revealing that Christ’s sacrifice extends the holy kingdom, including people of every ethnicity, language, and location on Earth. Revelation 14:12 calls on the endurance of those who receive this gift and have faith in Christ Jesus, no matter the persecution that God’s nation will face. And Ephesians 6:10-20 reminds us that, like Bouboulina, we need to be prepared for (spiritual) warfare.
As we celebrate the 250th birthday of the Grecian heroine this week, may we also be inspired to overthrow the oppression of sin and to maintain a new Christian identity by donning the armor of Christ.
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Connecting: Are you more like Moses or one of the Israelites? Are you steadfast in faith, making a few mistakes along the way, or do you find it wavering and in need of abundant grace? Go around your group, via your online connection(s) if you’re not yet meeting in person, and explain your thoughts.
Sharing: What would have been the most difficult for you to do during the exodus from Egypt, and why?
- Living on a manna-only diet
- Being left alone for 40 days while Moses was on Mount Sinai
- Giving a positive report of Canaan
- Fighting against foreign powers
- Walking constantly
Applying: The Bible repeatedly shows us that Israelites were to be united by faith in God, not by nationalism or earthly powers. What are some lessons we can learn from them and apply in today’s climate? Journal your thoughts and then pray for God’s guidance and wisdom to touch our earthly leaders.
Valuing: What is a battle you’re fighting right now? Read 2 Chronicles 20 and then pray that God gives you the wisdom and faith of Jehoshaphat to hand your war over to God. Make this a daily prayer, if necessary, and give thanks for God’s love and guidance during these times.
~ Stefani Leeper
Photo credit: Google Meet