Lesson 2- The Bible the Educator
“But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name of Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16
Exodus 16; Matthew 4:1-11;
Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13
The Desire of Ages, 114-131
During Christ’s ministry, many wondered how He could know so much and teach with such power if He had not been trained in the traditional schools. Because the Bible was His textbook, His knowledge and understanding far surpassed the knowledge and understanding of the teachers who were respected in the community.
“The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of Heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources, for God was His instructor.” (DA p70)
Because Jesus had been educated using the Bible as the basis of all His learning, He was able to use what He learned to resist Satan in the wilderness. “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
“Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan as having no special bearing on their own life; and for them it has little interest But within the domain of every human heart this controversy is repeated. Never does one leave the ranks of evil for the service of God without encountering the assaults of Satan.”
We see this principle in the story of the Israelites in the desert. In Exodus chapter 16 they had left Egypt and successfully fled from the presence of their oppressors. They too were in the wilderness and were hungry. Instead of relying on God’s word, that He would supply their every need, they murmured and complained.
In fact, the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness mirrors the experience of Christ in the wilderness. Where the Israelites failed, Christ succeeded.
“Satan uses these same temptations to tempt and try men today. He uses the false educational system to train the mind to worship him.” (Ten Principles p44)
For every temptation, whether under the category of provision, presumption, or pride we may use the word of God to overcome. It is for this reason that the Bible should be our primary textbook.
“The Word of God must be the foundation, the inspiration, and the guide in every line of study as it was to Christ. There must be perfect confidence in the Word as God’s voice to the parent and child as they learn from the Master Teacher.” (Ten Principles p49)
Suggestions on how to conduct Bible class are included in this chapter beginning on page 49 of our textbook. Our studies should be conducted outside as much as the weather permits.
- Teaching outside will keep younger children occupied while you teach the older ones.
- Teaching outside tends to quiet hyperactive, nervous, or restless-type students. At first there may be moments of distraction, like watching every bug, or turning away at every sound, but these moments will pass as the student becomes accustomed to being outside. Even these distractions can often be turned into lessons.
- Teaching outside opens to the students what should have been their very first lesson book-the lesson book of nature-the wonders of God’s creativity in land, water, and sky!
- Teaching outside will improve the five senses. Students will become more sensitive to seeing detail, hearing quiet sounds, smelling fragrances, feeling breezes and changes in temperature, and tasting nature through the smells. This will help develop in them sensitivity to people, their needs, their loneliness, and their fears. It will also help them develop a discernment of people’s faces as they pay attention to details in nature. In their time of trouble it will be the little things that will help them to know how to respond to a friend or an enemy.
- Teaching outside offers time for personal prayer, thoughts, and meditation. It offers opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak gently to students through nature. (Ten Principles)
“Let all things be done decently and in order” (I Corinthians 14:40)
“Order is heaven’s first law” (CT 174.3)
“As we copy the divine example, let us also have order in our home-school. Order begins by starting school at the appointed time. Allow no interruptions to divert you from this most important task.”
We need to have Order of time, our person, our place and or character. All of these items are discussed in further detail towards the end of Lesson 2.
“Before God met with Israel on Mount Sinai to give them the law, the children of Israel were required to have clean clothing (Exodus 19:10). The children of Israel were to do all within their power to cleanse themselves from inward and outward defilement. It may be a struggle for us to come up to God’s high standard of inward and outward cleansing, but our human efforts united with God’s divine power will succeed. An early start each day in our schedule is sometimes a problem because of lack of order and discipline. Children many times have no rules as to when to go to bed and when to arise. The birds of nature teach us when it is time to go to bed and when it is time to rise. When the precious habits of order are broken and time thus wasted in the early mornings, things are set out of course for the whole day. Remember, God wills us to bring ourselves into order. Let us go to bed early and use the fresh hours of the morning to form habits of regularity and order. We will improve in health, spirit, memory, and disposition.”
It is very important for us to keep records, even in states where there is no requirement to communicate with the government about your homeschool. Keep a record of how many days you have school and keep your child’s work in a file. A suggested daily schedule and record sheet are included at the end of chapter 2 in the lesson book.
Teaching Academic Subjects by Christ’s Method
When we use Christ’s methods to teach academic subjects, the Bible will be the primary textbook. All studies will begin with considering what the Bible has to say, or what principles can be found that relate to what we are studying.
It is important for us to be with our children while they are working on their academics. This helps us to understand the child’s level of understanding and work ethic. It makes us aware when the child is frustrated. “Being in the presence of the student also enables you to observe his physical needs. Is he sitting correctly, is he sleepy because he needs more fresh air or to take a break, etc.?”
“Remember Christ’s ideal method of teaching is to exhibit the principles of truth and duty one by one as they occur in connection with the ordinary incidents and events of life.”
We want to use every day events to teach our children. When the children are not getting along, or do something wrong whether it be bad behavior or not completing a chore, we can turn these into teaching moments and tie them in with the current lesson/character quality.
With the Bible as our textbook, we will learn God’s word and be prepared for trial and temptations. We will learn habits or order and every day we will become more and more like Jesus.