We had the second meeting of our MuMS group on Tuesday night where we listened to the talk Education for Hope, the second talk in the series Raising children who hope in the triumph of God from Desiring God ministries. You can listen to the talk here.
Piper bases his talk around Psalm 78:1-8, where Asaph introduces his Psalm recounting the history of Israel and God's faithfulness to them. Piper splits the talk into three headings: God's work, Asaph's act and God's aim.
Piper explains that God has given us a testimony that we can look to in educating our children about him, namely his law. Yet how often do we as parents look everywhere else for advice on bringing up our children instead of examining what God says in his word or going to him in prayer?
Aspah acted on God's command to tell future generations about him by writing this psalm; in the psalm, he focuses on the deeds of God before the commands of God and Piper urges us to impart to our chidren a true and full picture of who God is so that they can understand who they are to obey.
Finally, the aims of this education that Asaph is continuing are to impart knowledge of God so that our children can love him, to encourage our children to put their hope in God and to result in our children obeying God's commands.
The need for us to help our children to obey God was brought home to me afresh yesterday morning as I read Spurgeon's commentary on 1 Samuel 15:22 in Morning and Evening. Here Samuel is reprimanding Saul who has disobeyed the express command of God. He says "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to listen than the fat of rams."
Spurgeon states: "Be it ever in your remembrance, that to keep strictly in the path of your Saviour's command is better than any outward form of religion; and to hearken to his precept with an attentive ear is better than to bring the fat of rams, or any other precious thing to lay upon his altar. If you are failing to keep the least of Christ's commands to his disciples, I pray you be disobedient no longer. All the pretensions you make of attachment to your Master, and all the devout actions which you may perform, are no recompense for disobedience."
We must teach our children about God so that they can grasp the full glory of his character and understand who it is that demands their obedience.