Education; April 26, 2023

Psalm 78:4 We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

At 72 verses this Psalm doesn’t begin to approach the 176 of Psalm 119, but it is still a hardly trivial attempt to do exactly what this verse says. In those days they didn’t even have printed books, much less the flood of digital information we deal with, so oral transmission of information was of extreme importance. Illiteracy was the norm, which is why even today a major feature of a bar mitzva, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony, is reading from the Torah, the books of Moses. Jewish children have been taught to read for thousands of years so that they would know the Law of God. A side effect of that has been the incredible intellectual achievement of the Jewish people, because education has been undervalued by many cultures. I don’t know the figures, but a remarkable percentage of the Nobel Prize winners have been Jewish. In the early days of America literacy had a similar motivation, and the Bible was a staple of every schoolhouse. Naturally, the devil hates that, and in America he has made a concerted attack on education, first turning the public universities into cesspools of indoctrination and now extending that down all the way to kindergarten. When children are not taught about God they have no mooring, no foundation on which to build their lives. When they are actively taught things in violation of God’s law, chaos results, as we see around us every day. Thankfully some parents are waking up, even though their own foundations may be very weak. This verse needs to be a rallying cry in order to rescue society.

My family has been committed to education for several generations at least, with all four grandparents being 4-year college graduates and even great-grandparents being educated. Sadly, some of my relatives have been led astray from the purpose of education stated here, seduced into intellectual conceit, and that is sad. Thankfully, my father got his PhD at 23, but he poured himself into following God, and the university he was involved with still proclaims the dying words of the founder: “Seinan, be true to Christ.” I have considered getting a doctorate, but realized that the title would bring no genuine benefit, and the programs I investigated included lots of essentially meaningless busy work. I have supported my ministry activities in Japan by teaching, and though the curriculum has been secular, I have sought to communicate Christ in the process. Just this month I have decided to retire from secular teaching at the end of the school year (which is March in Japan). However, I hope and intend never to retire from telling succeeding generations about the greatness of God, His incredible love and grace and how He has demonstrated that down through the centuries and even today. My motivational gifting is that of Teacher, and I hope to exercise that until the day my Lord takes me home to be with Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s very encouraging and affirming. Help me indeed exercise all that You have poured into me to accomplish Your purposes for me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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