Thoughts on Desire of Ages Part 1

Posted Jan 29, 2011 by Michael Ebens in Devotional - Blog Hits: 4,435

I have recently been listening to the Desire of Ages, on Sabbaths, and also while exercising during the week. I thought I would write about the blessings I am getting out of this book.

There is so much instruction wrapped in this book. I have listened to 13 chapters so far, and I the amount new things I have learned is too much to remember. This it how it is with God's inspired word; there is so much instruction in it, you can never seem to exhaust.

What I plan to do is this: as I go through each chapter I will write a little of the things that impressed me. I've only just started doing this, so my memory of some of the chapters up to 13 may be a bit vague. This blog will contain my thoughts on the first four chapters.

 

Chapter 1 - "God With Us"

The first chapter was one amazing introduction to the book. It sets the stage for Jesus coming to earth, talks of the condition of the world at that time, and also about what Christ achieved by coming to earth. There is so much information in here; if I were to go over what I alone saw (I'm sure I missed a lot) in this chapter, this would be one long blog. But here's one of things that impressed me:

Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. "With His stripes we are healed." {DA 25.2}

This is a wonderful way to put it, and it shows just how much Christ loved us, and how much the Father loved us in giving "His only begotten Son".

 

Chapter 2 - The Chosen People

This chapter speaks of the condition of Israel, God's "chosen people", at the time that Jesus was to come. It speaks of how they had fixed "their brightest hopes" on the coming of the Messiah. However, they had also "fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness." They had misinterpreted the prophecy of His coming to their own wants and ambitions.

While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour. {DA 29.4}

This speaks of how careful we must be to not let worldly ambitions twist and crowd out God's true purpose. We must be careful not to misinterpret God's word, or we may very well miss something of great importance.

 

Chapter 3 - "The Fullness of the Time"

This chapter talks more about the condition of the world right when "the fullness of the time" had come. It speaks how the Jews had corrupted their religion. They had tried to keep their knowledge to themselves, and through their actions had made the gospel an offence.

The message of salvation is communicated to men through human agencies. But the Jews had sought to make a monopoly of the truth which is eternal life. They had hoarded the living manna, and it had turned to corruption. The religion which they tried to shut up to themselves became an offense. They robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction. {DA 36.1}

This quote shows how dangerous it is to try to keep the gospel to ourselves, and to try and make profit off it. The Jews had adopted the teaching that they could be saved by their works, and now men in power were making profit off it. By doing this, they "became agents of Satan".

Sin had become a science, and vice was consecrated as a part of religion. Rebellion had struck its roots deep into the heart, and the hostility of man was most violent against heaven. It was demonstrated before the universe that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted. A new element of life and power must be imparted by Him who made the world. {DA 37.1}

This quote shows the vile state the human race was in when Jesus came to the world. It shows that Christ did not live in a worse time than we do now; that things were very bad back in those times.

 

Chapter 4 - Unto You a Saviour

This chapter talks about the events of time when the saviour was born. From the journey to Bethlehem to the shepherds making their way to Bethlehem. Indifference was met by the angels who wanted to let the world know of the saviours advent. The angels passed over the leaders of Israel, instead coming to humble shepherds.

God declares, "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground." "Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness." Isaiah 44:3; Psalm 112:4. To those who are seeking for light, and who accept it with gladness, the bright rays from the throne of God will shine. {DA 47.2}

In the fields where the boy David had led his flock, shepherds were still keeping watch by night. Through the silent hours they talked together of the promised Saviour, and prayed for the coming of the King to David's throne. "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." {DA 47.3}

These shepherds were wanting the saviour to come, and praying for it too. As the verses quoted by Ellen White state, God pours His blessings on those who truly want it.

Heaven and earth are no wider apart today than when shepherds listened to the angels' song. Humanity is still as much the object of heaven's solicitude as when common men of common occupations met angels at noonday, and talked with the heavenly messengers in the vineyards and the fields. To us in the common walks of life, heaven may be very near. Angels from the courts above will attend the steps of those who come and go at God's command. {DA 48.5}

This is a wonderful promise. God is still with us as much as He was then. We are "still as much the object of heaven's solicitude".