Education in the Garden of Eden

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: Sept. 27 – Oct. 3

Texts: Genesis 2:7-23; 3:1-6; 2 Peter 1:3-11; 2:1-17; Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24

 

To open schools, or not to open schools. That is the question being asked all around the world. Will bringing students into classrooms increase the spread of the coronavirus or is the fear overblown? Some educational institutions are setting up strict guidelines for students coming back to school—limiting the numbers of students in classrooms, conducting daily temperature checks, requiring face masks, etc. Some colleges have limited the number of students on campus and have placed only one student per dorm room.

“Everyone had a fear there would be explosive outbreaks of transmission in the schools. In colleges, there have been. We have to say that, to date, we have not seen those in the younger kids, and that is a really important observation,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. The greatest risks happen when students socialize outside the classroom.

But this doesn’t mean the risk factor is zero. Reporting hasn’t been consistent, and schools haven’t been open for very long. Also, many large school districts in cities are leaning on remote learning. And with the fall and winter flu season approaching, there is still lots of uncertainty about having a safe educational environment.

Adam and Eve had the perfect classroom in which to learn—the beautiful Garden of Eden. This quarter’s Sabbath School lesson on education kicks off with a look at the very first school, if you please, on earth. Sin had not entered the garden classroom. There was no fear of catching a virus. And the Instructor was the Creator God who made the first students.

Unfortunately, things did not remain perfect. Adam and Eve chose to disobey the Teacher, and their grades not only plummeted to an F but plunged the whole world into receiving an education from the worst instructor in the universe—Satan.

Fortunately, the Lord had compassion on this rebellious student body and offered a plan to restore the fallen couple to their original state. Through humility and the pursuit of heavenly wisdom, God helped transform the minds of Adam and Eve to once more discover true knowledge instead of the deceptive lies of the enemy.

While today’s world fears the repercussions of lost education due to the pandemic, let’s remember that when we neglect our own personal journey of faith and growth, we risk being infected with the virus of sin that will someday get us expelled from God’s beautiful classroom in Eden … forever.


For Reflection

Connecting: How are educational institutions in your community dealing with the pandemic? What about the Christian schools connected to your church or conference?

SharingRead 2 Peter 2:1-17. What sobering warnings are given about ungodly teachers?

  1. False teachers will come in among God’s people and bring in destructive heresies.
  2. Many students and believers will fall for their damaging teachings.
  3. Such teachers are covetous and will take advantage of people through deceptive words.
  4. God did not hesitate to deal with wicked teachers in Bible times and will deal with them in the end.
  5. The Lord promises to deliver anyone tempted by such false teachers.
  6. Other…

Applying: The pandemic brings many disadvantages to the education of all members in Bible truth. But God can turn negatives into positives. Come up with a list of advantages to growing in godliness during this time of social-distancing and the coronavirus.

Valuing: Are you growing deeper in your knowledge of God’s truth during this difficult time in our world? Pray with one other person in your online or physically distanced small group for the Lord to help you take advantage of gaining a deeper knowledge of Scripture in these challenging times.

~ Curtis Rittenour

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