Lesson 4- Illustrations
The Desire of Ages, 511-517
Forbid Them Not
Our lesson begins with Jesus telling how He feels about children. “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”
Two major points are covered in these verses.
1. Children are important to God and in no way should they be discouraged from coming to Him. This includes our behavior towards them. “Never give them cause to feel that heaven will not be a pleasant place to them if you are there.” (DA 517.3)
2. In order to receive the kingdom of God, we must be little children.
Children are never too young to be brought to Jesus. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15). “Among the Jews it was customary for children to be brought to some rabbi, that he might lay his hands upon them in blessing; but the Saviour’s disciples thought His work too important to be interrupted in this way. When the mothers came to Him with their little ones, the disciples looked on them with disfavor. They thought these children too young to be benefited by a visit to Jesus and concluded that He would be displeased at their presence. But it was the disciples with whom He was displeased. The Saviour understood the care and burden of the mothers who were seeking to train their children according to the word of God. He had heard their prayers. He Himself had drawn them into His presence.” (DA 511)
Parents are to look at children as “young members” of God’s family. We are to share with them the lessons that God is sharing with us “This the Christian home becomes a school, where the parents serve as underteachers, while Christ Himself is the chief instructor.” (DA 515)
We are to study nature for lessons that God has given. In the training of flowers we would not be harsh or rude, but gentle, giving it all that it needs. So it should be with our children. We should not speak harsh words, but instead in the beauty of holiness seek to “fashion their characters after the pattern of the character of Christ.” In order to do this, we must first have firsthand knowledge of the character of Christ.
The Education of Israel
In the Garden of Eden education was centered in the family. As the son of God, Adam learned lesson from God and them imparted that knowledge to his family. “Theirs in the truest sense was a family school.”
After the fall, the plan of education was adapted to man’s condition with Christ as the representative of the Father. “He ordained that men and women should be His representatives. The family was the school, and the parents were the teachers. (Ed 33)
In Eden, God showed the method of education that He desired to establish in Israel. He designed that men would work with their hand and be industrious and that manual labor would be a blessing to him. During the Israelites journey through the wilderness, God purposed to retrain their minds. “A pillar of fire by night, it assured them of the divine protection; and while they were locked in slumber, the bread of heaving fell gently upon the encampment. On every hand, vast, rugged heights, in their solemn grandeur, spoke of eternal endurance and majesty. “Here, by the manifestation of His glory, God sought to impress Israel with the holiness of His character and requirements, and the exceeding guilt of transgression.” (Ed 34-35)
In the training of Israel, God used the sanctuary as an object lesson to teach the plan of salvation. “Another lesson, the tabernacle, through its services of sacrifice, was to teach was the lesson of pardon of sin, and power through the Saviour for obedience unto life. “
In the education of Israel, God sought to impress upon their minds His order and organization. The Hebrew encampment itself was arranged in perfect order with the tabernacle in the midst, the tents of the priests and Levites around it and then each tribe camped according to the order laid out by God. “Thoroughgoing sanitary regulations were enforced. These were enjoined on the people, not only as necessary to health, but as the condition of retaining among them the presence of the Holy One. By divine authority Moses declared to them, ‘The Lord they God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee…therefore shall they camp by holy’ (Ed 37-38)
Hence we see that Education includes all habits and aspects of life including how we keep our homes and our person.
“True education is not the forcing of instruction on an unready and unreceptive mind. The mental powers must be awakened, the interest aroused. For this, God’s method of teaching provided.” (Ed 41)
The School of the Prophets
What was Studied in the School of the Prophets?
- Character Development
- Scriptures (Law of God, Mathematics, Prophecy, Sanctuary, Prayer, Faith, Holy Spirit)
- Sacred Music, Poetry, Voice Training
- Sacred History
- Practical Trades
God established to Schools of the Prophets “to serve as a barrier again the wide-spreading corruption to provide for the mental and spiritual welfare of the youth, and to promote the prosperity of the nation by furnishing it with men qualified to act in the fear of God as leaders and counselors.” “These schools proved to be one of the means most effective in promoting that righteousness which exalteth a nation.”
“The discipline and training that God appointed for Israel would cause them, in all their ways of life to differ from the people of God other nations. This peculiarity, which should have been regarded as a special privilege and blessing, was to them unwelcomed.”
Our homes can be individual schools of the prophets, where God’s love reigns supreme and character building is the main goal. “God does bid the youth to be less aspiring. The elements of character that make a man successful and honored among men-the irrepressible desire for some greater good, the indomitable will, the strenuous exertion, the untiring perseverance are not to be crushed out. By the grace of God they are to be directed objects as much higher than mere selfish and temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth. And the education begun in this life will be continued in the life to come.”(PP 592)
The Lives of Great Men
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life” Proverbs 11:30
In this section we see a list of several great men including Joseph, Daniel, Moses, Elisha and Paul. For these men, their childhood played a great role as to how their characters were formed. “In his childhood, Joseph had been taught the love and fear of God.” “A shepherd boy, tending his father’s flocks, Joseph’s pure and simple life had favored the development of both physical and mental power. By communion with God through nature and the study of the great truths handed down as a sacred trust from father to son, he had gained strength of mind and firmness of principle.” The secret of Joseph’s life Inspiration has set before us. IN words of divine power and beauty, Jacob in the blessing pronounced upon his children spoke thus of his best-loved son: Joseph is a fruitful bough, Even a fruitful bough by a well; Whose branches run over the wall: the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him ,and hated him: But his bow abode in strength and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob…. “ Loyalty to God, faith in the Unseen, was Joseph’s anchor. In this lay the hiding of his power.
Illustrations in Your Lives-Parents
In talking with our children, we should share with them how God has led us to educate them and how our lives will be different according to God’s will and plan for us. I know for me personally, I have had to apologize to my children for not always doing things God’s way-partly because I was ignorant of His way.
There are many ways to teach and use History in our households. One way is by simply sharing our family’s story with our children. In my home, I love to take pictures and collect pictures from older relatives. These pictures often tell a story of our families. They help me remember portions of my life to share with my children. Be sure to capture moments of your homeschool and go back and discuss and share. You will be amazed at how much you have accomplished.
Nature Lesson: Twigs
“On a grassy plain a little tree beings to grow in a bent position. As it matures, it continues to be a bent tree.
Some trees hang down over cliffs and embankments. Others grow wide and round with plenty of space, sunshine, and water.
Trees that are planted too close together grow tall and thin because they are trying to grow upward toward the light.
Trees at the coast tend to grow the direction the wind blows them.
Fruit trees are sometimes trained with their branches flat against a wall.
Trees can be kept clipped to make hedges.
Trees can have all their lower branches cut off and the top cut to form a ball.
Trees planted next to each other have had their branches twisted together so they eventually grow together and join.
Trees grow in many shapes and positions.
Make parallels between trees and children. Look up trees in the Bible such as the cedars of Lebanon and do research on these trees. Share your findings with your family.
Teresa’s video class on Lesson 3:
Part 1 : https://youtu.be/cQh225XY9p8
Part 2: http://youtu.be/Su5uV_ETkSU
Part 3: To be added soon (having techinical difficulties)