3When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
4He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
5Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Main Prayer Focus of the Week:
- Parents will more and more understand their primary role in training their children (Deuteronomy 6);
- That God would strengthen and send help to those parents who have taken on the challenge of home educating their children.
- Attempts to defile the next generation with humanistic education that leaves our God and His principles will flatly fail.
Ask God’s forgiveness for:
- The abdication of discipling and training children at home especially by the fathers
- The vices committed in families like incest, psychological and physical abuse
OVERVIEW OF THE WEEK’S THEME
Education encompasses getting knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, social, and practical skills for livelihood. Knowledge is organized by society into subject categories like Mathematics, Science, Language and Social Studies. Knowledge is acquired through the five senses: sight, touch, hearing, smelling and tasting. Understanding is the ability to reason, relate, interrelate, discern and apply facts to daily life. Understanding includes five major skills; the ability to speak, listen, reason, read, and write. Understanding is acquired through studying. What we see, hear, and read greatly influences how we interpret life. Wisdom is observable biblical character in action and is acquired by memorizing, meditating and personalizing scripture. It is the very character of God in action. The scriptures admonish us to focus on getting wisdom:
“Wisdom is the principle thing. Therefore get wisdom.”
Proverbs 4: 7
THE IMPORTANCE OF WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE:
Wisdom, understanding and knowledge were key in creation:
“The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens. By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.”
Proverbs 3: 19 – 20
Wisdom, understanding and knowledge are required for leadership:
“… choose wise, understanding and knowledgeable men from among your tribes and I will make them heads over you…”
Deuteronomy 1: 13
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart, like the sand that is on the sea shore.”
1 Kings 4:29
Wisdom, understanding and knowledge are required for workmanship:
“Moses said to the children of Israel, ‘See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship…’ ”
Exodus 36: 30 – 31
Wisdom, understanding and knowledge are required for service:
“Young men in whom was no blemish, but good-looking, and gifted in all wisdom, and possessing knowledge, and quick to understand, and had ability to serve in the king’ palace…”
Daniel 1: 4
Wisdom, understanding and knowledge are required for growth and living:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of glory may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
Ephesians 1: 15 -18
“For this reason we also since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…”
Colossians 1:9 – 10
Man should begin his journey to obtain knowledge by first acquiring wisdom. Without wisdom, we will acquire rare and beautiful treasures but have no house to place them in and so they are not preserved for eternity.
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
Wisdom comes from God’s word and education must be built up, line upon line, from the foundation of Scripture. All human skills and educational abilities are to be subjected to the authoritative revelation of Scripture. We cannot stand with one foot on the Bible and the other on human mystic tradition or we will be torn asunder. We must build foursquare on Scripture alone.
It is noteworthy that one of the reasons God chose Abraham to be the father of his chosen nation Israel had to do with his ability to educate his children in God’s ways and therefore raise up a righteous and just nation.
“And the LORD said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham the thing which I do, And Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the persons of the earth shall be blessed in him?
For I know him, that he will command his sons and his house after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment, that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him.’”
This same note runs throughout the Old Testament in various injunctions:
“… these words which I command you today…teach them diligently to your children…when you sit in your home, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up…bind them as a sign on your hand…frontlets between your eyes…write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…”
Deuteronomy 6: 1 – 9
Biblically, education begins when life begins and where life begins: in the home.
“For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them; the children who would be born. That they may arise and declare them to their children”
Psalm 78:5 – 6
The Bible is God’s infallible textbook for life and the very essence of God’s revealing Himself to man.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue.
2 Peter 1:2,3
The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter here says that the knowledge of God is all we need for “life and godliness.” Therefore if what the Bible has to say about any matter is ignored, an essential element of life as God intended it is missed.
The Role of the Family:
The Hebrew word for parent is similar to teacher. It is horeh, which is from the root word yarah, meaning “to cast, throw or shoot.” The Bible commands the father, the priest of his little sanctuary, to instruct the children. The father is to diligently impart wisdom and knowledge and understanding to his children.
And these words, which I command you this day shall be in your heart. And you shall carefully teach them to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on your gates…
A Hebrew Education model:
Since the Bible period, Jews have considered the quest for knowledge to be one of the great desiderata [desires] of life. Ancient Israel had no formal system of schooling; however, learning and knowledge were considered one of the most important goals of life. The aim of early Hebraic education was ethical and religious. The education of children was an obligation of the parents, and was intimately associated with the performance of ritual observances and with learning the Mosaic law, both of which were regarded as essential to the survival of the Jews as a people. In the educative process, both father and mother were equally concerned, and both were to be equally honored (the fifth commandment). For a long time, the method of instruction in the home was oral, and learning was accomplished by practice. These methods were continued outside the home in gatherings and assemblies held for both worship and instruction.
Jewish children were taught in the home until age eight; they were taught to read at age five and they began with memorization of Pentateuch. It was mainly the father who taught and the main instruction was the learning process itself. As teacher of his children, the father served as a living dynamic communicator of divine truth. Corporal punishment was regarded as an essential element in training.
“Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with the rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell.”
The father would then as a supplement to home training, choose a tutor for his child; the key consideration in this decision was the selection of a rabbi whose character one wanted his child to emulate. This tutoring by the rabbis continued until approximately the age of thirteen (Galatians 4).
Visual aids, including monuments as records of history, were employed. The setting up of “great stones” with inscriptions on them implies an early knowledge of writing (Deuteronomy 27:2, 3, 8, and elsewhere). The scribes were not only copyists but also teachers and interpreters of the Law of Moses. There existed knowledge of arithmetic and astronomy; music, dancing, games, and sports were cultivated; and moral instruction was an essential part of education.
During the years before Christ’s birth, Jewish children were required to receive their education at the synagogues where they studied mostly the Old Testament. Synagogues also offered a more advanced form of education, mainly for boys.
Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your hearts and in your souls, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, so that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall teach them to your sons, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them upon the door posts of your house, and upon your gates, SO THAT your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied in the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers, like the days of the heavens upon the earth.
In these words spoken by Moses, how long the Jews and their children enjoyed prosperity in the good land depended on how well they educated their children in the ways of God!
INSTITUTIONS PRAYER FOCUS FOR WEEK THREE
Pray for these institutions using the prayer guidelines in Chapter 1:
- Authorities involved in Early Childhood Development
MARKET PLACE FOCUS FOR WEEK THREE
- Nehemiah concentrated on his assignment: Nehemiah 4 vs 6
- Pray for the leaders that God is raising in your sector of the market place and for yourself that you will be able to concentrate on what God has called you to do despite enemy threats.
- Pray for single mindedness. Jesus set his face like a flint towards Jerusalem when the time of our redemption had come. Ask God to help you concentrate on your assignment.