God’s Lesson Plan

TimeWatch Editorial
May 29, 2017

According to the Center for Adventist Research website, Sarah Elizabeth Peck (1868-1968) was an educator, writer and missionary. A native of Wisconsin, she received her education at Battle Creek College and was one of the church’s first women missionaries to Africa where she opened up the educational work for children.  She worked for a period with Ellen White in Australia and in America in the preparation of manuscripts. In 1906 she became educational secretary for the West Coast. It was at this time she began the preparation of much-needed reading material for the Seventh-day Adventist church schools. The result was the long-lasting series True Education Readers. Recognizing the distinct advantages of the denomination’s system of education, she also began to prepare suitable Bible textbooks. God’s Great Plan (1922) provided a biblical foundation for many Seventh-day Adventist young people, at the crucial decision-making period of their lives. One of the books written by Sarah Peck is titled “The Path to the Throne of God.” Her treatment of the subject is comprehensive and indeed well done. She opens with the following paragraph.

“From the creation of the world to the present time, the one outstanding purpose of Heaven has been to make known to man the character and work of our Creator and Redeemer. To accomplish this, God has given three books to the human family: first, the book of creation, His word in nature; second, the sanctuary, and His word visualized in an object lesson; and third, the Bib1e the written Word. The grand central theme of each of these books is the plan of salvation. To study any one of them with any other object in view than to understand God's character and His plan for us is to miss His purpose entirely.” Sarah Peck, “The Path to the Throne of God,” page 2.

She describes the first book God gave to mankind as The book of nature given to man while he lived in the Garden of Eden. Through the things that God had made, he was to learn of His omnipotent power, His infinite wisdom, His boundless love and goodness. She continues to make the point that Before sin marred God's plan, these lessons on His character were perfectly revealed in the beauty and fragrance of the flowers, the singing of the birds, the gorgeous butterflies, the fruitful trees, the beautiful landscape, the clear, healthful air, the life-giving water, the happy contented beasts of the field, and above all in man, made in God's own perfect image. In earth and sea and sky God's character was manifest. 'On every leaf of the forest or stone of the mountains, in every shining star God's name was written. Then Ms. Peck proceeds to describe the falling away from truth that took place on the earth.

“For about 2500 years the book of creation was man's only lesson book. During this time, he gradually failed to discern the spiritual lessons in nature, until at last the Creator was lost sight of. Then he deified and worshipped the things of nature - the sun, moon, stars, water, earth, and even the animals that God had made for his use. He worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator," and as a result, his "foolish heart was darkened." Rom. 1:25, 21.” Sarah Peck, “The Path to the Throne of God,” page 3.

There was therefore a need for re-education of those who would follow the Lord. God made the decision to call one, who based upon His evaluation, would be suitable for the task at hand.

“Then God called Abraham away from his idolatrous kindred, that through him and his seed He might reveal to the world His character and His divine purpose. As time went on, the descendants of Abraham were for generations held in Egyptian bondage, where they were fast losing sight of the character of the true God, the Creator, and of the wondrous plan of salvation. Their manner of life made it difficult for them to grasp the grand truths of redeeming love. How were they to be prepared to fulfil Heaven's plan for them?  The Master Teacher knew how. He would teach them through the most marvelous object lesson ever conceived and ever used - the sanctuary.” Sarah Peck, “The Path to the Throne of God,” page 3.

She then quickly focuses on what she describes as the second book given by God to the human family. Showing a tremendous understanding of the way the human mind works, she continues this way.

“He who knew that nearly ninety percent of what we remember comes through the eyes and the hands, while only about ten percent comes through the ears, emphasized the importance of clearly understanding His plan by appealing first to the ear in giving the most minute and explicit directions for the construction of the sanctuary, next to the eye by showing Moses the pattern, and finally to the hand by instructing the people to unite in its construction. In this masterpiece of true Christian education, this comprehensive textbook of visual education, God demonstrated in perfect detail all the various stages of the plan of redemption, not only for the world as a whole, but for each individual for whom the Lamb of God has given His precious life.” Sarah Peck, “The Path to the Throne of God,” page 3.

This lesson plan, as Ms. Peck refers to the sanctuary as, is indeed a profound and detailed description of the entire plan of salvation. As she put it,

“Every step of the way from the moment we enter the gate of the sanctuary and experience justification by accepting the offering made for our sins, typified in the court, through the lifelong process of sanctification, typified in the holy place, into the glory room, the most holy place, where are typified the blotting out of all sin and the granting of life's reward - the entire work of Christ for our salvation is made clear and simple and beautiful and deeply impressive in the book of the sanctuary. It is indeed The Path to the Throne of God. And, as in the book of nature each yearly round represents the full span of life, so in His second book, the sanctuary, the complete plan of redemption was repeated in type every year.” Sarah Peck, “The Path to the Throne of God,” page 3.

Today we have been given the privilege of understanding that which God is doing for us today.

Cameron A. Bowen

 

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