In our last post, we gave you the definition of true education as defined by Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the American English Language. What a revelation of what education should look like, its real purpose and goal, and the consequences of neglecting it.
I believe we are now seeing and experiencing the consequences of that neglect of the last couple of hundred years, so much so that we don’t even recognize education as it is expressed in our Public School System.
As God’s people were preparing to enter the Promised Land, He told them what they would need to do in the future if they were to hold the land that He had prepared for them.
“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).
This recipe for success, prosperity, and permanence was (1) for adults to fix God’s Word firmly in their own hearts, and then (2) for them to thoroughly inculcate that Word in children, reinforcing it over and over through a variety of manners.
Every teacher knows you cannot teach what you, yourself don’t know. That should not stop one from teaching, but should encourage the teacher to learn the subject! Therefore the command for adults to have the Word of God firmly impressed upon their own minds and then teach them to their children.
Note the way in which they are to teach them. . . .all the time, in every activity! Sitting, walking along the way, lying down, and rising up, using every big and small thing as an invitation to teach whether it’s a conflict with a sibling, or a mistake made, an injury, or the everyday ordinariness of life. Teach your children about Life, and God, and themselves, and the evil one. Teach them. Don’t hold back. They need your wisdom and they need your example. If you don’t know something, look it up together.
Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of our Founding Fathers, and known as, “The Father of Public Schools Under the Constitution” started five universities and wrote several textbooks. However, the book he preferred above all others as a textbook was the Bible.
Dr. Rush believed that “the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.”
The Bible was truly acknowledged and used, as “America’s First Textbook,” and what it produced astounded the world.
It’s time to remember from where we’ve fallen, and repent, and do our first works again . . . Lest we forget.
(C) Patricia H. Smith