Compare 1 Samuel 8:19, 20 and Hebrews 2:14–16. What did the Israelites look for in a king, and how were these wishes fulfilled in Jesus?
The Israelites wanted a king to be their judge and their leader in battle because they forgot that God was their King. The complete restoration of God’s rule over His people came with Jesus. As our King, Jesus leads us in the battle against the enemy.
Hebrews 2:14–16 describes Jesus as the Champion of weak human beings. Christ faces and defeats the devil in a solo combat and delivers us from bondage. This description reminds us of the battle between David and Goliath. After being anointed as king (1 Samuel 16), David saved his brethren from slavery by defeating Goliath. The terms of engagement determined that the winner of the combat would enslave the people of the other party (1 Sam. 17:8–10). Thus, David acted as a champion of Israel. He represented them.
Read Isaiah 42:13 and Isaiah 59:15–20. How does Yahweh describe Himself in these passages?
Hebrews 2:14–16 alludes to the notion that God would save Israel in a solo combat. Note this passage from Isaiah: “For thus says the Lord: ‘Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children’ ” (Isa. 49:25, ESV).
As Christians, we often think that we are engaged in a solo combat with Satan. When we read Ephesians 6:10–18, we see that, yes, we are in combat with the devil. But God is our Champion, and He goes to battle before us. We are part of His army; that is why we have to use His armor. Also, we do not fight alone. The “you” in Ephesians 6 is plural. We as a church take the armor and fight together behind our Champion, who is God Himself.
What does it mean to put on the armor of God? That is, in our daily struggles with self, temptation, and so forth, how can we avail ourselves of the power that enables us through God’s strength to be faithful?
Supplemental EGW Notes
The Lord God through Jesus Christ holds out His hand all the day long in invitation to the sinful and fallen. He will receive all. He welcomes all. It is His glory to pardon the chief of sinners. He will take the prey from the mighty, He will deliver the captive, He will pluck the brand from the burning. He will lower the golden chain of His mercy to the lowest depths of human wretchedness, and lift up the debased soul contaminated with sin.
Every human being is the object of loving interest to Him who gave His life that He might bring men back to God. Souls guilty and helpless, liable to be destroyed by the arts and snares of Satan, are cared for as a shepherd cares for the sheep of his flock.—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 161, 162.
Every man is free to choose what power he will have to rule over him. None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but that they can find deliverance in Christ. The demoniac, in place of prayer, could utter only the words of Satan; yet the heart’s unspoken appeal was heard. No cry from a soul in need, though it fail of utterance in words, will be unheeded. Those who will consent to enter into covenant relation with the God of heaven are not left to the power of Satan or to the infirmity of their own nature. They are invited by the Saviour, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Isaiah 27:5. The spirits of darkness will battle for the soul once under their dominion, but angels of God will contend for that soul with prevailing power. The Lord says, “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? . . . Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” Isaiah 49:24, 25.—The Desire of Ages, pp. 258, 259.
The work of conquering evil is to be done through faith. Those who go into the battlefield will find that they must put on the whole armor of God. The shield of faith will be their defense and will enable them to be more than conquerors. Nothing else will avail but this—faith in the Lord of hosts, and obedience to His orders. Vast armies furnished with every other facility will avail nothing in the last great conflict. Without faith, an angel host could not help. Living faith alone will make them invincible and enable them to stand in the evil day, steadfast, unmovable, holding the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 182, 183.
The above quotations are taken from Ellen G. White Notes for the Sabbath School Lessons, published by Pacific Press Publishing Association. Used by permission.