EDUCATION – Part 1
“Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone.
5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire.
6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold.
7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen:
8 The lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.
12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?
13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.
14 The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
Man has always thought that he can find wisdom. In fact the modern man prides himself of the wisdom of this world. When one attains a Ph.D., it is called Doctor of Philosophy. The word philosophy in its original Greek meaning is “love of wisdom”.. Therefore the highest learning of modern man is called by the term “the love of Wisdom”, the Greek wisdom. Is it really the true wisdom?
20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.
22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.
23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
25 To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. Job 28.
God is the true source of wisdom. And to fear Him, to live in accordance with his commandments, to love the Lord with all our hearts, with all our minds and with all our strength, that is wisdom, and that is the beginning of knowledge.
“10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10.
At the mention of the word Education, many think it is simply a course of study at some institution of learning. The dictionary definition of education is “a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through story telling, discussion, teaching, training, and or research.”
Thus education is much more broader than simply a course in Medicine at the university. It comes as a package and depends on the environment, then the package will either lead to a close walk with God or a closer walk with the devil. For Education includes values, beliefs and habits.
We pick these from all sources that we come in contact with. It is true that children and youth spend a large amount of their time in school therefore their lives are shaped largely by the influences at the schools. This is why the pen of Inspiration says that “unless we understand the science of education, we cannot have a share in the kingdom of God”.
Purpose of Education.
The true object of education is to restore the image of God in the soul. When God created man in the Garden of Eden, He made the man in His image, in His likeliness. Sin marred this image. Ever since, God has endeavored to restore this image to its original form. Through warnings, admonitions, His dealings with the patriarchs, the commandments, and ultimately the coming of Son of God, the whole effort has been to restore man to the image of God.
Anything therefore that does not lead to the restoration of the image of God in man is not true education.
Whatever is not Christian is not becoming to Christians. The Bible, the word of God is the Book of Christians. It should be at the center of Education of the Christian.
Sadly modern education casts out the Bible completely from the course of study and in fact rejects the existence of God. It is no wonder that children after completion of a course of study at institutions of higher learning come out farther from God than when they went in. The higher in worldly education one goes, irrespective of the course, the farther away he/she is drawn from knowledge of God. For modern education is based on Greek Education that is pagan in nature and which does not recognize God the creator. We shall discuss more on this later.
Education in Heaven
Heaven was peaceful. The angels went about their errands, they bowed in adoration of God the almighty. Eternity was too short for them to learn the mysteries and the treasures of wisdom of God. They loved to do His bidding. But one cloud entered one of the beings and distorted this peace.
“Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:12-15.
Lucifer instead of continuing in the path of truth and faith in God, he turned inward and using his reason thought that he was capable of receiving the same worship.
“12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14.
God pleaded with Lucifer to change his course but stubbornly his reason prevailed and he refused. Eventually he was cast out of heaven.
“7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.: Rev 12:7-9.
Thus in the education of the heavenly beings, as they learned the ways of the Almighty, as long as their faith in God’s government and their knowledge of His truth stood firm, they were safe. But as soon as reason was employed, and Lucifer turned to himself, there came the fall and what a blight t God’s creation has that fall caused?
Education in the Garden of Eden.
The Edenic pair, created in the image of God enjoyed direct communion with God. The earth had just been created and was pulsing with the perfection and beauty that can only come from a loving Creator. Daily the Creator would come in the cool of the day to educate the first parents, on how to best manage the creation that they had been put in charge. Angles were sent to protect and guide the pair. Especially were they informed on the rebellion in heaven and how they should be on the guard from the evil one.
But one moment when Eve wondered from the side of Adam, and encountered the serpent, would change the history of mankind. In the garden of Eden were two education systems. One under the tree of life, the other under the tree of knowledge of Good and evil. By faith man was only to eat of the tree of life, but was not to touch of the tree of good and evil.
When tempted by Satan, Eve instead of using the truth of the word of God and faith in the loving creator, she appealed to reason.
“6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Gen 3:6.
It should ever be kept in our minds that true education comprises of truth and faith.
“17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17.
Thus the word of God teaches us and purifies us. As we feed on it daily our minds are renewed to be like Him.
But worldly education is based on reason, human intellect and senses. It is earthly it operates in the plane of the physical and the mental. The end results of worldly education, that rejects God are plain in the book of Romans 1. It drives man to the level of brutes and brings the worst in him.
“20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” Romans 1:20-22. The rest of this story is a familiar picture of the world we live in today.
God expects us to live in the highest plane possible which is the spiritual. This plane comprises of truth and faith. First truth in the word of God and faith, for “without faith, it is impossible to please God”.
Education of Abraham.
Abraham was called from his ancestral land of the Chaldeans to a land of promise. It required faith for the patriarch to leave the comfort of his home to take the journey to the unknown. The life of Abraham is a classic example of true faith in the word of God. He went through many trials but eventually he triumphed by the Spirit of God.
“It has been stated before that God teaches by the enunciation of principles, or universal laws, and the spirit which comes by faith enlightens the senses that they may grasp the illustrations of these laws in the physical world. That is heaven’s method of teaching the angelic throng, and it was the method applied before the fall. With Abraham the case was at the beginning far from ideal. Here was a pupil lacking faith. How should he be taught the wisdom of the Eternal? God leads in a mysterious way. As Christ lived His visible life, because the eye of faith was blind in Israel, so, in the time of Abraham, God taught inductively, as He now says the heathen are to be taught. To him who had no faith, God came visibly at first, and, leading step by step, developed a faith which before his death enabled Abraham to grasp eternal principles of truth if God but spoke.
“”Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.”
And “if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” Herein lies the value of this lesson to us. We are his heirs if we link ourselves to the power of the Infinite by that cord of faith. Only by a life and an education such as his can the kingdom of Christ be set up within. Such lessons made Abraham a successful teacher.
Those who wished to worship the true God gathered about the tents of Abraham, and became pupils in his school. God’s word was the basis of all instruction, as it is written, “These are the commandments, . . . . . which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it.”
This WORD was the basis for the study of political science, and Abraham’s “methods of government” were “carried out in the households over which they [his students] should preside.” The equality of all men was a lesson first learned in the home. “Abraham’s affection for his children and his household led him. . . . . to impart to them a knowledge of the divine statutes, as the most precious legacy he could transmit to them, and through them to the world. All were taught that they were under the rule of the God of heaven. There was to be no oppression on the part of parents, and no disobedience on the part of children.” His was not a school where theory alone was taught, but the practical was emphasized. In studying political science they formed the nucleus · of a divine government; in the study of finances, they actually made the money and raised the flocks which brought recognition from surrounding nations. “The unswerving integrity, the benevolence and unselfish courtesy, which had won the admiration of kings, were displayed in the home.”
The influence of country life and direct contact with nature, in contrast with the enervating influence of the city with its idolatrous teaching and artificial methods, developed a hardy race, a people of faith whom God could use to lay the foundation for the Israelitish nation. We see, then, that when God founds a nation, he lays that foundation in a school. The nation of which Abraham and his followers formed the beginning, prefigured the earth redeemed, where Christ will reign as King of kings. The education of the school of Abraham symbolized Christian education.
Lot had felt the effects of the teaching of Abraham, but through the influence of his wife, “a selfish, irreligious woman, ” he left the altar where they once worshiped together, and moved into the city of Sodom. “The marriage of Lot, and his choice ‘of Sodom for a home, were the first links in a chain of events fraught with evil to the world for many generations.” Had he alone suffered, we would not need to follow the history; but the choice of a new home threw his children into the schools of the heathen; pride and love of display were fostered, marriage with Sodomites was a natural consequence, and their final destruction in the burning city was the terrible but inevitable result.
“When Lot entered Sodom, he fully intended to keep himself free from iniquity, and to command his household after him. But he signally failed. The corrupting influences about him had an effect upon his own faith, and his children’s connection with the inhabitants of Sodom bound up his interests in a measure with theirs.”
The statement is a familiar one, that schools should be established where an education differing from that of the world can be given, because parents are unable to counteract the influence of the schools of the world. The experience of Lot is a forcible reminder of the truth of the statement. And the injunction to “remember Lot’s wife, ” should serve as a warning to Christians against flocking into the cities to give children an education. The words of Spalding are true: “Live not in a great city, for a great city is a mill which grinds all grain into flour. Go there to get money or to preach repentance, but go not there to make thyself a nobler man.”
The two systems of education are nowhere more vividly portrayed than in the experiences of Abraham and Lot. Education in the tents of Abraham, under the guidance of the Spirit of Jehovah, brought eternal life. Education in the schools of Sodom brought eternal death. This was not an unnatural thing. You can not find here any arbitrary work on the part of God. To partake of the fruit of the tree of life, imparts life. But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil it has been said, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The system of education revealed to Abraham, would, if fully carried out, have placed Israel on a plane of existence above the nations of the world. It was a spiritual education, reaching the soul by a direct appeal to faith, and would have placed the people of God as teachers of nations. Not a few only were intended to teach, but the nation as a whole was to teach other nations. The second Israel will occupy a similar position, and they will be brought to that position by means of Christian education.” E. A. Sutherland, Living Fountains or Broken Cisterns.
It is my prayer that as we examine this sensitive topic on education our eyes shall be opened, and God will reveal to us His method of true Education which will equip us for useful service here and and the hereafter. We have all gone through the swift current of modern education and however much we try to swim upstream, eventually the flow takes us farther and farther from God. We must take decisive steps to change course and seek true Education.
As the Lord reveals His will to your life through these studies may you allow His Spirit to guide you to make the right choices for Him.
Have a blessed week.