Greetings MOL Family!
In today’s lesson, as we continue on with lesson 2 of our study on the Eden life, we will read a statement or two that will help us to appreciate the blessings of God’s counsel in Deuteronomy 11. God told Israel He wanted them to learn and understand His will, and then teach them to their children. You notice God didn’t say He wanted them to send their children off somewhere to learn it. That’s the conventional thing. Halfway around the world there are great nations that have entered into wholesale experiments in taking children away from their parents as early as possible, and letting the state educate them. It’s the complete opposite of Heaven’s plan, my friend. In America, we aren’t quite that far. We’re in between.
Family Centered Education
Let me give you an example of how that Communist system works. Several years ago, a visitor from America was visiting a great development in Russia where hundreds and hundreds of children were placed in state homes, and educated by professionals who were trained for that purpose. Of course, everything was cut and dried, regimented. But in the course of the tour of this institution, the American visitor noted how everything was set up for right-handed children. He finally asked them, “What do you do with the left-handed children?” They looked at him rather blankly and finally said, “We don’t have any left-handed children.”
You know why, don’t you? Individuality was thoroughly crushed out. But God’s plan is just the opposite. He loves to develop individuality. That’s one of His great purposes in the family. Let’s read a statement from the book Education. This is worthy of a whole week’s study; this one sentence:
The system of education established in Eden centered in the family. – Education, pg. 33
Does the system of education you believe in center in the family? Perhaps the opening sentence of this book is still true: “Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range.”
You say, “But most parents don’t know how to teach their children.” When I see what’s happening in the world, I wonder if the professionals know how to teach. I just wonder. And when I see how often the wise men change their ideas about how to train children and young people, I wonder again whether they know.
But you and I have been given in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy – the wisdom of the Great Teacher. We have here the education of the Great Educator – His educational plan. And to us, as to Israel, the words are spoken, If you will lay up these, My words, in your heart and teach them diligently to your children, when you get up in the morning and when you go to bed at night and all in between, when you sit at the table and when you work in the garden and when you wash the dishes, all day be thinking, talking, carrying out the words of God as given in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy; then you can have the Eden life, then you can have the days of heaven upon the earth.
I want to tell you something, friends. God gave us the Spirit of Prophecy for something more than to read excerpts from when we’re trying to launch a campaign. Yes, He did. He gave us these wonderful books to help us understand how to carry on work, how to carry on education, how to carry on family life, and how to do it all in the happiest way possible. We’re the richest people in all this world, and we’re the richest people in all the ages of this world.
Upon us is shining the accumulated light of the ages. Oh friend, what a shame to take this precious light and hide it under a bushel, or under a bed. What do you say? Let’s get out these books, Ministry of Healing, Education, Adventist Home, Child Guidance, and all the others of this wonderful library and study them with joy.
This is not a yoke of bondage. This is the yoke which is easy and the burden which is light. Here we will find out what types of work are most important for the child, and for the young person, and for the adult. Here we will find guidance which will keep us from the rat race of this present generation.
Here we will find instruction which will keep us from that which is causing ulcers, high blood pressure, coronaries, mental breakdowns, and all the other things that are the sure result of the programs of Egypt and Babylon. Oh friends, we are blessed with wonderful light. Let’s carry it out.
“The system of education established in Eden centered in the family.” Well, suppose that I am a young person, or an older one for that matter, and I have never had the privilege of the instruction and discipline of a truly Christian home. But here I find myself 17, 20, or 40, or 50 years old, and I’ve never had it. Then I don’t have to worry about it, do I? I want to tell you, friends: If we’re going to live the Eden life, somewhere along the line we will need the benefits of the education centering in the family. God has many ways, of course. He’s not narrow. He has many ways of accomplishing His objective.
But each of us need to be watching for the providence of God in our lives as to how we can fit into His plan to live the Eden life. And I merely suggest to you something that you might think for some time on this: Can we suppose that the United Nations, or the White House, or the religious leaders of Babylon, or any other of the soothsayers of this generation, will teach us how to live the Eden life? Do you suppose they will? Why, no, friend. The wise men are dismayed, says the Word of God. And just as it came to the crisis in Babylon, the wise men couldn’t show the king the answer to his problem, and Daniel had to be brought in. As in Egypt, the wise men were utterly baffled, and Joseph had to be called out of the dungeon. So, in these last days.
Children who have been rightly educated will in their simplicity speak words which will be an astonishment to men who now talk of `higher education’. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 6, pg. 202
Oh, friends, there’s a glorious destiny ahead for our children and youth, if we will forsake the broken cisterns and come to the living waters. That river of life still flows from Eden, and blessed are all those who drink of it. That tree of life is still available as the branches hang over the walls, and blessed are those who know how to eat its leaves which are for the healing of the nations. Ah, friends, we have a glorious future if we will meet the conditions, if we will lay up these words in our hearts and carry them out.
“O, How I Love Thy Law!”
There are more children and young people running away from home now than ever before. Up on the walls of the police headquarters are pictures of hundreds of boys and girls, young men and women, teenagers, whose fathers and mothers are longing to find some clue as to where they are and what they’re doing. There are the most earnest, loving, pitiful appeals from father and mother to John or Mary, to Alice or Harry, “Come home, come home. We love you, we want you.”
There was one experience that I read about that was particularly pitiful. A mother had come from quite a distance hunting for her son in those hangouts in New York City. She hunted from joint to joint, from dive to dive, from street to street, and finally one day she spotted him and she said, “Oh, there’s my son!”, and started to run toward him, and he ran away and outran her. Think of it, friends. Think of the pathos of it.
One teenager expressed what was spoken for many. They said this: “Yes, we know dad and mother would like to have us come home, and we know that we aren’t having things very convenient here, sleeping in flop houses and alleys, and panhandling to get something to eat and all the rest. We’d like to go home and have love if we could have freedom with it.”
Do you know what they mean by freedom? They mean no law, no orders, no directions, no commands. They mean that nobody will tell them when to come in at night, or even ask them the next day when they did come in, or who they stayed with, or what they were doing. And this, my dear friends, is the great reason why Americans, and all other nationalities all over the world, young and old, very few of them will get dangerously near the Eden life.
They are afraid of the vital ingredient in that life and that is L-A-W, which being interpreted is having someone else say when you do this and when you do that, and that you work here and don’t work there. To toss all that to the winds and say, “I will live my own life and do what I please, eat what I please, drink what I please, work when I feel like it, get up when I want to, and if I want to take liquor or drugs or tobacco, or all the rest, that’s my business. If I want to break the 7th commandment in any of a dozen ways that’s my business and nobody’s going to interfere.”
That is the program of the extremist of this generation. Most people in America are in rebellion against the law of God. And it started, if you please, in the Garden of Eden. It started over the simple matter of what to eat and what not to eat. It started with the insinuation of the serpent speaking from that tree of knowledge of good and evil, the first educational radio broadcast. The serpent said, “Has God said you are not to eat of that tree in the garden? You are not free, are you?”
Oh, we’re not free? What a thought. Eve hadn’t thought of that before. But the more she listened to the wise remarks of the bright serpent, the more she thought, I wonder if we are missing something? After all, there is something God has said we can’t do, isn’t there? And you know the rest. Genesis 3 spells it out.
When the woman saw that something wonderful had been withheld from her, something that would make her wiser, better educated, more beautiful, she took of the fruit and became a super-salesman, for she persuaded Adam to join her in her rebellion.
Think of it, friends. A bright, intelligent woman, created holy and perfect, within the short space of a few hours, or perhaps a few moments, she was turned into an agent of rebellion. And do you think that we can expose our children, our youth, who know far less than Eve knew, who are far less acquainted with God, to the national average of four to six hours a day on a TV program and expect them to live the Eden life? Ah, no. Ah, no.
I say that we are blessed in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy instruction, not merely for the Sabbath, the family, and the things of nature combined to give us the most helpful conditions for living the Eden life. But thank God, we have the instructions for living on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, a wonderful, but partial, demonstration of the Eden life here on earth. To do it we shall need to close our ears and eyes to the enemy, and open our ears and eyes to our heavenly Father, in His great love.
We shall need, as adults, to lose our fear of law, and to develop the attitude that David had when he said:
O how I love Thy law! it is my meditation all the day. – Psalm 119:97
We shall need in the church, in the institution, and in our homes to respect constituted authority. To be specific, if fathers and mothers will respect each other, it will be easier for the children to respect the authority of the parents. To be specific, if in the church we will to respect the duly elected officers and duly appointed officers in the local church and in the Conference, it will be easier to help our children and young people to learn the precious lesson, that order is Heaven’s first law. Order is a beautiful law. Chaos is not pretty. Anarchy is not happiness.
Mobs are not full of pleasure. They may be full of excitement and intoxication, but oh, friends, a mob never constructed anything – they are powerful to destroy. Let us seek to build up the old waste places, to restore the foundations of many generations. The Sabbath, which is a sign of obedience to the whole law is the seal of a life that has learned to love obedience.
This is our destiny, my friends, as Seventh-day Adventist in this closing hour, to be the one people in all the world who stand for purity, as represented in the 7th commandment; who stand for love of human life, as represented in the 6th commandment; who stand for honesty, as represented in the 8th and 9th commandments; who stand for peace, instead of unholy covetousness, as represented in the 10th commandment; and who stand for obedience to parents, as represented in the 5th commandment. Oh, let us love every precept. Let us remember that Jesus died, not to give us a ticket to disobey, but to give us a power to keep His law.
Dear Lord, we thank Thee for the challenge of this hour. We pray that the Eden life shall be lived in every individual and every home going through these lessons. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.