True Education


Chapter 7—Lives of Great Men

Sacred history provides many illustrations of the results of true education. It presents many noble examples of people whose lives were a blessing to others and who stood in the world as representatives of God. Among these are Joseph, Daniel, Moses, Elisha, and Paul. TEd 35.1

In early life, just as they were passing from youth to manhood, Joseph and Daniel were separated from their homes and carried as captives to heathen lands. Especially was Joseph subject to the temptations that attend great changes of fortune. In his father’s home he was a tenderly cherished child, in the house of Potiphar a slave, in Pharaoh’s dungeon a prisoner of state, condemned unjustly. Finally, at a time of great crisis, he was called to leadership in the nation of Egypt. What enabled him to preserve his integrity? TEd 35.2

No one can stand on a lofty height without danger. Fierce temptations that leave untouched the lowly in life assail those who stand in the world’s high places of success and honor. But Joseph stood both the tests of adversity and of prosperity. The same fidelity was manifest in the palace of the Pharaohs as in the prisoner’s cell. TEd 35.3

In his childhood, Joseph had been taught the love and fear of God. Often he had been told the story of the night vision at Bethel, of the ladder from heaven to earth, the descending and ascending angels, and of Him who from the throne above revealed Himself to Jacob. He had been told the story of the conflict beside the Jabbok River, when, renouncing cherished sins, Jacob stood conqueror and received the title of a prince with God. TEd 35.4

As 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 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. TEd 36.1

In the crisis of his life, when making that terrible journey from his childhood home in Canaan to the bondage that awaited him in Egypt, Joseph remembered his father’s God. He remembered the lessons of his childhood, and his soul thrilled with the resolve to ever act as a subject of the King of heaven. TEd 36.2

In the bitter life of a stranger and a slave, amidst the sights and sounds of vice and the allurements of heathen worship, Joseph was steadfast. He had learned the lesson of obedience to duty. TEd 36.3

When he was called to the court of Pharaoh, Egypt was the greatest of nations. In civilization, art, learning, it was unequaled. Through a period of utmost difficulty and danger, Joseph administered the business of the kingdom, and this he did in a manner that won the confidence of the king and the people. Pharaoh “made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: to bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.” Psalm 105:21, 22. TEd 36.4

Inspiration has set the secret of Joseph’s life before us. In words of divine power and beauty, Jacob, in the blessing pronounced upon his children, spoke of his best-loved son: TEd 36.5

“Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well;
His branches run over the wall.
The archers have bitterly grieved him,
Shot at him and hated him.
But his bow remained in strength,
And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”
Genesis 49:22-24.
TEd 36.6

Loyalty to God, faith in the Unseen, was Joseph’s anchor. In this lay his power. TEd 37.1