They Shall Keep The Way Of The Lord
The education centering in the family was that which prevailed in the days of the patriarchs. – Education, pg. 33
When you hear that word patriarch, what name or names come to your mind? — Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Enoch, and Noah. Yes, you know there’s a line of 20 men from Adam on down to Abraham. We think of those as the great patriarchs, and then on down through Isaac and Jacob. What was God’s plan of education in that patriarchal time?
The education centering [Where?] in the family [In the home] was that which prevailed in the days of the patriarchs. For the schools thus established, God provided the conditions most favorable for the development of character. The people who were under His direction still pursued the plan of life that He had appointed in the beginning [Where was that? In the Garden of Eden] those who departed from God built for themselves [What’s the next word?] cities… – Ibid
Who was the first city builder? Cain. He built the first city. That’s what the 4th chapter of Genesis says.
…and congregating in them, gloried in the splendor, the luxury, and the vice that make the cites of today the world’s pride and its curse [What’s the next word?] but the men who held fast God’s principles of life dwelt among the fields and the hills. – Ibid
You know dear folks, let me put this in parenthetically, but really this is a preface to our whole series of classes. Anything that is worth learning or copying or following should have a reference in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, to support it. And may I make this suggestion to you? Never rest content to follow some plan merely because it is the plan. It isn’t wrong just because it is the plan; but do not follow it just because it’s the plan. Don’t throw the plan in the garbage can or pitch it out the window, but be curious enough, with sanctified curiosity, to dig into the books and find out the reason for the plan that’s followed.
I repeat, don’t be content to merely pattern after the plan. Dig. Dig to find the reason, the reference. And is what God says, is that reason enough? Oh, yes. We don’t need any greater reason than that. There could not be any greater reason than that. God says so, for when He speaks – it is that way. He spoke and it was.
…the men who held fast God’s principles of life dwelt among the fields and hills. They were tillers of the soil and keepers of flocks and herds, and in this free, independent life, with its opportunities for labor and study and meditation, they learned of God and taught their children of His works and ways. – Ibid., pgs. 33-34
What’s another name for His works? What does that mean, “the works of God?” We won’t be able to teach our students what this is unless we know, will we? Now, let me read this sentence again:
They were tillers of the soil and keepers of flocks and herds, and in this free, independent life, with its opportunities for labor and study and meditation, they learned of God and taught their children of His works and ways. – Ibid
What’s another name for “His works?” — Creation, nature, the birds, the trees, the flowers, the growing plants, the rocks, the sky. Are those things available to us? Yes, but mere availability does not teach. As Paul says, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” And the Ethiopian said to Philip, “How can I understand unless somebody guide me?” One of your greatest privileges, as a homehead with your own children or with others, is to guide them in an appreciation of the works of God in nature, and His ways in human experience.
What was one of those men that were mentioned as the example of the patriarchal group? Abraham. Let’s turn to Genesis 18:19. Let’s take a look at Abraham. This is God speaking of Abraham:
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. – Genesis 18:19
Notice that God, speaking concerning Abraham, speaks of his children and his household. How many children, born to him, did Abraham have at the time these words were spoken? He had one. That wasn’t a very big family. But do you know how big a household Abraham had at this time? — Over a thousand.
Now let’s turn to the book Education, page 187 and we’ll read this. I don’t suppose any of us would want to tackle a training home with a thousand people in it, but then, perhaps none of us have the talents of Abraham. He had problems at times.
God called Abraham to be a teacher of His word, He chose him to be the father of a great nation, because He saw that Abraham would instruct his children and his household in the principles of God’s law. And that which gave power to Abraham’s teaching was the influence of his own life. His great household consisted of more than a thousand souls… – Education, pg. 187
His great household consisted of more than a thousand souls. Many of them heads of families… – Ibid
So, is it all right for heads of families to be students in a home training plan? Is it? They were in Abraham’s school. In fact, a similar statement, similar to the one we’re reading:
He was training heads of families… – Patriarchs and Prophets, pg. 141
So the training that you and I are getting in this class has a wonderful predecessor, a wonderful example. I hope we can do as good a job as Abraham, did. What do you say?
Now, you notice that this greatly enlarges our concept of the home training plan. Abraham’s campus had living on it how many people? — Over a thousand. And some of them where what? Heads of families and he was training heads of families. But over them all in the general leadership was Abraham and he was training them to be homeheads, after the divine example; not merely parents, but teachers. Back to Education, page 187:
His great household consisted of more than a thousand souls. Many of them heads of families, and not a few but newly converted from heathenism. Such a household required a firm hand at the helm. No weak vacillating methods would suffice. Of Abraham God said, ‘I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him.’ Genesis 18:19. Yet his authority was exercised with such wisdom and tenderness that hearts were won. – Education, pg. 187
Oh, dear parents, dear teachers, dear homeheads, I pray that God may give every one of you that winsomeness, that firmness guided by wisdom that only the Holy Spirit can inspire, so that as you deal with the various minds you can accomplish with your little home what Abraham did with his great household.
What was the result? God said, “I know him. He’ll get the job done, and his children, his household will keep the way of the Lord.” Does God have a way? He doesn’t want it to be lost. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Keep the way of the Lord. Wouldn’t it be too bad if these beautiful principles should die out when the people that are now living them die out? Wouldn’t it? What’s the hope? Others must be trained.
You see then your job, my job is not merely to secure cooperation but to inspire appreciation; not merely to keep in line with established rules those who come and go in our homes, but to so lead them into the experience of knowing the beauty of these principles that they will carry them out no matter where they go; that they love them so much that they wouldn’t part with them anymore than they would part with their own lives by choice.
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring unto Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. – Genesis 18:19
Adapted from W.D Frazee’s Writings