One of our major strengths as Adventists is a unique philosophy of education that seeks to develop a whole person physically, mentally, and socially in a world where education has a strong bias for only mental development. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been called at such a time as this not only to preach the third angel’s message but also to teach the message.
We are reminded of Jacob, who was faced by fear and an uncertain future. In Genesis 28:11, it says that Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. He was running away from his brother Esau, who he had betrayed, and who was seeking for revenge, and he was afraid for the future. In this time of uncertainty, Jacob “stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there he put it under his head and lay down to sleep” (Genesis 28:11).
But in a moment of despair, sometimes a dream comes! Jacob “had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:12). Majestic ambassadors of God were conducting business between heaven and earth. Most encouraging to Jacob, “there above it stood the Lord” (Genesis 28:13). At the top of every stairway in life stands the Lord. We can trust him with our future.
This dream was all grace. Jacob was not seeking God—he was fleeing the consequences of his deception. He was not expecting grace, yet the vision and the voice of God bore only assurances. Jacob could never go beyond God’s keeping. It was grace that had brought Jacob safe thus far, and grace would lead him home.
What can we learn from the experience of Jacob? At today’s crossroad, we must:
- Have a dream for our Adventist schools. The Lord is sitting on his throne on our side, and the angels are there to minister to us and connect us to the throne of God.
- Wake from our sleep and think, paying close attention to our schools and our dream: “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it’” (Genesis 28:16).
- Recognize and admit that “surely the Lord is in this place,” and sometimes we may “not be aware of it” (Genesis 28:16).
- Declare in reverence, “How awesome is this place!” Could our schools become the house of God and the gate of heaven in our communities?
Just like Jacob, we are apprehensive and uncertain of the future. What is the future of Adventist education? What about our schools? Where do we get the much needed resources? The Lord is assuring us today: “I am with you and will watch over you whenever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. . . . I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Genesis 28:15).
The Lord is in our Adventist schools, and we sometimes are not aware of it. Every Adventist school ought to be a “house of God, the gate of heaven,” the place where every child, every man and woman can come face to face with God through the Ladder who has been sent down from heaven, Jesus Christ Himself.
Note: Article written and posted in English