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The Other "Great" Homeschooling Verse

By Pete Storz

Most Christian homeschoolers are familiar with Deuteronomy 6:6-7: These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. The verses place the responsibility for educating children on their parents and prescribe an education "method" that incorporates all waking hours and all the day's activities.

Today in my daily Bible reading, I came across a "companion" to this passage, Judges 2:10-11: "After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what He had done for Israel. Then Israel did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals." In reading the rest of Judges chapter 2 and the beginning of chapter 3, the reader will discover that the generation, "who knew neither the LORD nor what He had done for Israel", was the generation after Joshua's, the generation after the one that had received the command in Deuteronomy 6:6-7! In other words, the very generation who received the command to teach their children about God throughout their daily lives was the first to fail to heed that command.

Though Judges 2:10-23 is mainly a summary of the whole book of Judges, it makes clear that Israel's failure to heed the command to educate their children about God had three consequences (at least). First, the next generation of Israelites turned away from God and towards the false gods of the Canaanites. Neither the turning away from God nor the turning towards false gods should be a surprise. How could that generation have been faithful to God if they hadn't heard about God or His ways? On the other hand, it seems apparent that the Canaanites not only taught their own children about their gods, but also managed to "educate" the young Israelites in the worship of those gods. So, how surprising is it that next generation of Israelites were unfaithful to God?

Second, God brought on Israel the consequences of their unfaithfulness - the consequences God had promised. The nation (Israel) that, in Joshua's lifetime, had defeated several other nations suddenly could not successfully defend themselves against bands of raiders.

Third, the failure of Joshua's generation to educate their children properly started some 400 years of Israel oscillating between unfaithfulness and repentance, between enslavement and deliverance. In other words, the failure of Joshua's generation initiated some 10 generations of failure.

In summary, God has both given us His command and shown us the consequences of failing to heed His command. One can only imagine the benefits for Israel had Joshua's and each succeeding generation educated their children to follow God. We can, however, learn those benefits first hand by obeying God's command in our own families.

Copyright © 2003, Peter Storz and Homeschool Christian.com

About the author: Pete Storz grew up in Woodland, CA, near Sacramento. His family attended a Lutheran church, and for grades 1 through 3, Pete attended the private school run by that church, and public schools thereafter. Pete attended a college in Phoenix, AZ, graduating with an Associate's degree. While in Phoenix, Pete worked in a Christian bookstore and tape library, was involved in a ministry that reached out to Jehovah's Witnesses, and ran sound for several local contemporary Christian music bands. Pete moved to "Silicon Valley" to work in electronics and be closer to his parents. He met Becky in 1978 at a church, and they were married in 1980. They have three children, Suzy, Chris, and Katie. Becky first heard of homeschooling on a Focus on the Family program, and about a video seminar by Dr. Raymond Moore that was to be hosted at a nearby church by his daughter. After attending this and a seminar by Gregg Harris, Pete and Becky were encouraged to believe that they could homeschool their children. Remembering that first year or two, when support was crucial but hard to find, Pete and Becky started a support group in 1992 with a special emphasis on fellowship, person-to-person support, and helping new homeschoolers get started. Though Pete and Becky stepped down from leadership after 4 years, SELAH Christian Schools continues to assist homeschoolers in the San Jose, California area. Pete and Becky continue to publish a resource directory for San Jose area homeschoolers as well as other support activities.

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