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The Biblical Plan for Education

Many of our Christian brethren have no idea that Scripture lays out a plan for the education of our children.  It can be a difficult, even painful, subject to discuss either in private or in public. Over the last century, we have erected emotional and cultural barriers to our understanding.  They are well established in the culture and a part of our cultural vocabulary.  When we explain the biblical basis for education, our listeners often hear something very different from what we say.  They wrongly hear our call for biblical obedience and principle as a blanket condemnation of all teachers or possibly as a purely theoretical discussion with no roots in reality.  Please hear the central concepts we now present with as open a mind as possible. Though we speak with a certain bluntness, as Jesus Himself sometimes did, with Him we do not intend to be mean, but to stimulate educational redemption.  As God founded the Israelite nation, he gave them moral and civil laws designed to be both just and wise God, by His Word, founded an entire culture. He gave them everything they needed to create a just, wise, and merciful society intended as an example for all the surrounding nations If obeyed, His law would produce an unprecedented level of awe for the God of Israel in those nations, as Moses says here:

Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the Word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD has done in the case of Baal-peor, for all the men who followed Baal-peor, the LORD your God has destroyed them from among you. But you who held fast to the LORD your God are alive today, every one of you.
See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today? Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons (Deuteronomy 4:1–9, emphasis added).

God never intended His law in Israel for that time alone. Meaning no short-term imposition or remedy, God concludes, “but make them (God’s laws) known to your sons and your grandsons,” He clearly intends a permanent condition God’s Law did not depend on current culture for its support or validity. Rather, He declared a testimony to surrounding nations regarding His nature and person, and that His “statutes and judgments” are righteous. God’s laws should educate His people toward wisdom and understanding. We ought also approach the education of our children from this perspective and conviction He commands such education for His people—us, the redeemed (Titus 2:14)—for their wisdom and understanding. God’s primary revelation for wisdom and understanding about education is found in the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy. We have divided the Scripture quoted here into three short sections.

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:1–5).


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