Text: Psalm 78:1-8


I.          Why go to school? What use is all those endless facts?

             A.         A question I’m sure more school-aged children ask.

             B.         Does an education have value?

                          1.          To answer this we must compare the alternative.

                                       a.          Solomon did this and concluded wisdom, which is gained by learning, is better - Ecclesiastes 2:13

                                       b.          Why?

II.         The impact of ignorance

             A.         An ignorant person believes that the way he thinks is the only way - Proverbs 28:26

                          1.          Alternatives are not checked. Actions are not questioned.

                          2.          This becomes particularly dangerous when we deal with matters of right and wrong - I Corinthians 15:34

                          3.          If they don’t know something, then it must be “bad” - Jude 10

             B.         If a person wants to do something, why question it?

                          1.          It is why we have so many who refuse to call sin “sin” - Proverbs 14:9

                          2.          The ignorant person doesn’t know that he is ignorant - Ecclesiastes 2:14

                          3.          He boasts in his ignorance - James 4:16

             C.         Quarrels often start because an ignorant person doesn’t see things from another’s perspective - Proverbs 20:3

             D.         The ignorant person lives in the “now” and doesn’t consider the consequences of current actions in the future - Proverbs 22:3

                          1.          It is because he is unaware of possibilities beyond his own knowledge

                          2.          The naive young man was caught in the prostitute’s snare because he did not know the danger - Proverbs 7:21-23

                          3.          I had parents tell me that they didn’t want matters, such as sexual sins, discussed with their children, even those past puberty.

                                       a.          I understand the desire to hang on to past and to keep innocence

                                       b.          But Satan isn’t stopped by innocence. Ignorance won’t keep a child out of his traps.

             E.         The gospel cannot be spread through ignorance - I Timothy 1:5-7

III.        The value of knowledge and wisdom

             A.         It is foolish to despise instruction - Proverbs 1:7-8

                          1.          The Proverbs were written for a reason - Proverbs 1:1-6

             B.         A knowledge of history gives appreciation of the present - Deuteronomy 4:32-35

                          1.          It is one reason we study the Old Testament

                          2.          The Old Testament has a purpose - Romans 15:4

             C.         Knowledge of the past needs to be taught so past mistakes are not repeated and that righteousness is done - Psalm 78:1-8

                          1.          Again, knowledge of the past is important - I Corinthians 10:6-12

             D.         Wisdom gives strength - Proverbs 24:5-6

             E.         It is pleasant and offers possibilities and hope - Proverbs 24:13-14

             F.         When you know what to do, it shows - Ecclesiastes 8:1

             G.         Wisdom is a defense and a giver of life - Ecclesiastes 7:11-12

IV.       There are limits

             A.         You can’t learn everything - Ecclesiastes 12:12

                          1.          Some things are beyond the wisest person’s grasp - Ecclesiastes 7:23-24

                          2.          God’s works are vast and deep - Ecclesiastes 8:16-17

             B.         Opening your eyes to possibilities means you are also aware of possible difficulties - Ecclesiastes 1:18

                          1.          Paul mentioned this in matters of religion - Romans 7:7-10

                          2.          Still, to know the dangers is better than wandering through mine fields unaware.

             C.         Wisdom alone won’t change the ultimate outcome. It is not a panacea for life - Ecclesiastes 2:14-16

             D.         Don’t go overboard - Ecclesiastes 7:16

                          1.          Just as some constantly learn, but never apply to their lives - II Timothy 3:7

             E.         Trying to purchase an education for someone who doesn’t want it is a waste - Proverbs 17:16

V.         Some avoid education, fearing that it is an attempt to outmaneuver God

             A.         Ultimately, life is in the hands of God - Ecclesiastes 9:1

             B.         There are things that our out of our control - Ecclesiastes 9:11

             C.         Things happen, not because I will, but because God wills - James 4:13-15

             D.         But does that mean we put no effort into learning and planning for possibilities?

                          1.          Obviously not, we’ve seen that knowledge and wisdom have advantages.

                          2.          Look at the verse before. It is not just work, but knowledge and wisdom as well - Ecclesiastes 9:10

             E.         Especially in matters of religion

                          1.          Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom - Psalm 111:10

                          2.          Buy truth and don’t get rid of it - Proverbs 23:23

                          3.          Understand God’s will - Ephesians 5:15-17

                          4.          Work out your salvation - Philippians 2:12

             F.         What I fear is that we allow the Calvinistic beliefs of the denominations around us to color our thinking

                          1.          They see God sovereignty as complete. Where every movement and every thought was planned before the world began.

                          2.          Ultimately this leads to the abhorrence of any exercise of free-will on man’s part

                          3.          Planning for possibilities is seen as a lack of faith

VI.       God wants us to use our effort

             A.         God wants us to work, even though it is from Him we get our food - II Thessalonians 3:10; Matthew 6:11

             B.         God wants us to learn, as we have seen in today’s lesson

             C.         He wants us to use our heads and plan ahead. This is the lesson of the ant - Proverbs 6:6-11

             D.         We prepare, and God controls - Proverbs 16:1

             E.         We need to do this especially in matters of religion - Luke 14:28-32

             F.         Thus, in all our plans we need to consider what God wants first - Proverbs 19:21

                          1.          And what He wants this day is your heart

                          2.          II Peter 3:9-14