August 29, 2012
“Education that Matters”
“Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:12b-13
This is a wonderful time of year. School children and teachers meet again to learn and teach the various subjects that help to make sense of the world we live in. Education stretches and strengthens the mind and opens up new possibilities to our hopes.
So it is a bit ironic that one of the most learned men in the Bible, Solomon, would conclude Ecclesiastes with cautionary remarks about the value of much learning. To him God had given much knowledge about science and other useful information and also the wisdom to apply that knowledge. Yet, he discovered what he penned in “Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Although he had to learn late in life how true that was after compromising his faith with many wives and their gods, he did reach that conclusion in the end.
And how true that is for all people. My oldest granddaughter starts Kindergarten this fall and my wife has retired after a long and fruitful career of teaching school on various levels. One thing she has always shared as much as she could, and what I pray my granddaughter learns, is that the most valuable knowledge of all is the respect of the Lord. Knowledge, as Paul states in I Corinthians, will pass away. Only the word of the Lord lasts forever. To paraphrase what our Lord asked about wealth, what does it profit us if we have all knowledge but do not fear and love the Lord? His sacrifice on the cross demands our respect and love. It is the one way to eternal life. How can we get so wrapped up learning everything else but not know the one thing that matters eternally.
Pray for the success of God’s Word, that the lasting knowledge of the Lord may be learned by every teacher and student. There is no end of the number of text books, but in the one Good Book there is no end of wisdom and salvation. It does not weary the flesh, but gives life to the soul. Pastor Tom Konz