A Synopsis of the Fall Quarter (September - November 2014) Sunday School Lessons.  

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Quarter At A Glance 

by Douglas Redford

  Much of the Bible is time-bound. It describes life many centuries ago in another part of the world. Certain customs and practices appear very strange to us. We consult commentaries and Bible dictionaries to provide the understanding that we seek.

  But there are other portions of the Bible that are timeless. They resonate with us from the moment we read them. Certain themes and the emotions they communicate make an immediate connection, even though we are centuries removed from the times they describe.

  To some readers, the prophetic books of the Old Testament, from which this quarter’s studies are drawn, may seem as the least relevant portions of Scripture. These books do not resonate at first reading. Yet consider the theme of this quarter: Sustaining Hope. While our lessons are concerned with ancient prophets and peoples, they also touch on issues that speak powerfully to people of any time and place.


Fall Quarter 2014


Unit 1: The Days Are Surely Coming

September 7A Vision of the Future Jeremiah 30:1-3, 18-22

September 14Hope for the FutureJeremiah 31:31-37

September 21Anticipation of a New FutureJeremiah 32:1-9, 14, 15

September 28Future Peace and JoyJeremiah 33:1-11 



Unit 2: Dark Nights of the Soul

October 5Yet I Will RejoiceHabakkuk 2:1-5; 3:17-19 41

October 12I Know That My Redeemer LivethJob 19:1-7, 23-29

October 19I Will Call on GodJob 24:1, 9-12, 19-25

October 26Things Too Wonderful for MeJob 42:1-10






Unit 3: Visions of Grandeur

November 2God’s Glory Fills the TempleEzekiel 43:1-12

November 9The Altar Offers HopeEzekiel 43:13-21

November 16Water from the Sanctuary Gives LifeEzekiel 47:1-12

November 23Inheritance Marks a New BeginningEzekiel 47:13-23

November 30Good News Brings RejoicingIsaiah 52:1, 2, 7-12

A People in Turmoil

  Most of this quarter’s studies are drawn from the period of Old Testament history when the nation of Judah faced the impending judgment of God. Writings of the prophets Jeremiah (lessons 1-4, September 7September 28), Habakkuk (lesson 5, October 5), Ezekiel (lessons 9-12, November 2November 23), and Isaiah (lesson 13, November 30) will be under consideration in this regard.

  Isaiah was the earliest of these four. He predicted the downfall of Jerusalem and the captivity of Judah over 100 years beforehand. Habakkuk, for his part, observed the rising threat of Babylon and questioned God’s justice in allowing such a wicked nation to have its way with His chosen people. Jeremiah lived in Jerusalem at the very time the city was under siege by Babylonian forces. His calls for repentance and reform were not accepted by the people, whose hearts had become too callous to receive his message. Ezekiel experienced firsthand the heartache of the captivity, for he was taken to Babylon in 597 B.C. in the second part of Babylon’s three-stage conquest of Judah.

  These prophets, however, saw much more than gloom and doom. Each proclaimed a message of hope: a promise that those exiled to Babylon would indeed return home to Judah. God was (and is) the Lord of all nations—not just of His chosen people. His plan cannot be hijacked by any nation or individual.

A Person in Turmoil

  While the aforementioned studies focus on national suffering, lessons 6-8 (November 9November 23) draw our attention to the suffering of an individual. The spotlight is on one of the Bible’s most familiar examples in this regard: Job. Though his setting was different, the timeless message of hope was the source of that man’s comfort as he confronted his own “exile” on an ash heap. We will see in these lessons the intensity of Job’s struggle as he tried to reconcile his pain with his faith in a just God.

  Hope sustained God’s people in exile and Job on his ash heap, and hope can yet sustain us today.

Their Hope, Our Hope

  Hope sustained God’s people in exile and Job on his ash heap, and hope can yet sustain us today. We may not endure the same circumstances as they, but we know that Jesus will return to end our “exile” in this fallen world.

  In the meantime, let us take heart from the assurance that “The scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). And as the prophet Habakkuk so eloquently declared, even though the most adverse circumstances imaginable may arise, “The Lord God is my strength” (Habakkuk 3:19). This is a timeless truth indeed!

  Diligent study of these lessons will not only bless you spiritually but also aid you in discovering God's plan for your own life.

-John Alva Owston


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Summary and commentary derived from Standard Lesson Commentary Copyright by permission of Standard Publishing.


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