We face a cruel paradox: our mind, which can contemplate the eternal, is composed of matter that isn't eternal—and, worst of all, our mind knows it.
How did we get into this mess? One word: sin. Sin leads to death. Humans sin—therefore, humans die. In fact, we're so used to death that we take it for granted; we just accept is as "part of life."
Death as part of life? If that sounds absurd and paradoxical, it's because it is. Death is the negation of life, not some aspect of it.
In this context, we come to this quarter's lesson. Perhaps the topic can be best expressed when Ellen G. White wrote that the great theme of the Bible is "the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself"—Ellen G. White, The Faith I Live By, p. 109.
And what is it that God does for us that we don't have the power to do for ourselves? Of course, it's to save us from the most unnatural of acts, death; the eternal death that would be ours were it not for God's grace as revealed in the plan of salvation.
That's the theme we are going to study, and we are going to explore it in the "Minor Prophets." Their message to us is that God wants to save us from our sins, to save us from the devastation that sin, rebellion, and disobedience bring. Over and over in these books we see the Lord pleading with His people to repent, to put away their sins, to return unto Him and to find life not death, salvation not damnation, hope not despair.
There is nothing "minor" about that theme. It's present truth—God's message to us today just as it was a message to those who lived in the time of these twelve writers who, though long gone, still speak.
The question is, will we listen? The answer is, for sure, for it is a matter of life and death.
An incorrect text has been cited in Lesson 6, Sunday, May 5, in the Easy Reading Edition.
The sentence should read as follows:
God is the Lord of all nations, and all peoples are responsible to Him (Amos 1-2).
We regret the error.