Every year during Fall, right after the academic school year begins, the United States observes “National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.” What does the Bible reveal about the importance of education, both today and in the coming Kingdom of God?
First, let us note that while God is pleased with our humble obedience much more than He is impressed with our intellect (Isaiah 66:1–2; Micah 6:8), He does expect us to educate ourselves and our children. God commands parents to diligently and properly train their children (Proverbs 22:6). God also reminds children of their responsibility to heed instruction from their parents. “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22).
Since education is important to God, it is no surprise that many of His faithful servants were well educated. Moses received the best education that the Egyptian royal courts could provide. Moses became mighty in words and deeds and was becoming a highly educated prince of the great Egyptian empire (Acts 7:22). Likewise, Isaiah was highly educated and became the political and religious counselor of the nation, serving several Judean monarchs (2 Chronicles 26:22, 32:32). Matthew served as a tax collector before his calling; a position that required intelligence and education in accounting and civil law, as well as in the Greek and Aramaic languages. Likewise, Luke was not only an educated physician but also an accomplished historian (Luke 1:1–4, Colossians 4:14). The Apostle Paul is famous as one of the brightest young students of the law (Galatians 1:14).m Yet, for each of these men, all their worldly education was only a precursor of the true education they would receive in God’s way. Without a proper grounding in God’s way, even the finest worldly education is but vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2).
Regarding education in the Kingdom of God, the late Roderick C. Meredith, previous Editor-in-Chief of the Tomorrow's World magazine, once wrote, “Schools and colleges will no longer be ‘academic factories’ turning out thousands of young people educated only in technical information. Rather, they will be community-based educational institutions designed to further the basic training that has already been given in the home regarding right principles of living, practical knowledge and technical information with the understanding of how to use this knowledge to genuinely further the well-being of the entire world” (The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?, p. 29).
During the Millennium, we can expect that much more education will occur in the home. And, when children study outside the home, we can be sure that they will not be shipped off to overcrowded, dangerous, morally adrift, or under-performing schools (see our article, “Classrooms in Chaos”). Rather, they will be under the care of talented, dedicated, God-fearing teachers and administrators. Then, the entire educational system—and the entire society—will be guided by Christ and the resurrected saints according to God’s righteous law. The resurrected saints will also be “teachers” who will lovingly instruct; “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:20–21).
As Dr. Meredith describes, “During the Millennium, teachers will know that their students are, with only the rarest exceptions, being trained well at home by both parents. So teachers will be confident in playing a role of supplementing what parents have done. There will be close communication and cooperation between parents and teachers, and between teachers and students.... For they will live in a society based upon the principles of the Creator, which will bring a depth of peace and prosperity and productiveness beyond anything man has ever known” (The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?, p. 29).
God expects parents to provide for the education of their children, in both the spiritual and physical topics they will need to succeed in life. And, He expects children and young adults to diligently pursue their own education. Pursuing right education prepares us to more fully serve Him. But most importantly, Christians must always remember that true education begins with the acknowledgment that there is a great Creator God, who is the source of all knowledge and all wisdom (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10).
The Christian path is one of education and training, no matter what background you come from. And what is the best foundation for knowledge than the Bible, God's inspired and holy word? Learn how important education is to modern life, and how today's corrupted system has only lead people further away from the path of true wisdom and morality. Read "Misguided Education and the Demise of the West," and don't forget to order your free copy of The Bible: Fact or Fiction? today.