The Most Important Thing for Children to Learn Today

Fred R. Coulter—July 9, 2016

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What is the most important thing for children to learn today? Of course, children today are not taught very much. In addition to working for our son David via the Internet, Rachelle home schools. So, all the children have been home schooled. Zachary just started going to the public school. Zachary is the studious one, so when we get home ask me about a special book, Zachary, it's 500-years-old, 400 and some odd years, not quite 500.

The greatest thing that they need to teach in the schools and the churches, and what is really happening today with young people what they are taught. It's very interesting how it comes about. Children learn quicker when they have fun, so they try to make games out of almost everything that they do.

Of course, they've removed the Bible from the schools, so they're not taught anything… They're not taught very many things of right and wrong, good and evil, so I thought I would cover something that is for all children regardless of age, and even for us who are the children of God!

It's very interesting because it was complied and many of them were written by Solomon, the son of David, who was the wisest man in the world, the richest man in the world, and ruled a world-ruling empire at that time that was clear around the world.

However, here's a good lesson for everyone of us: It's not how you start—that's important—its how your finish! Even though he wrote all these things here, put them together—he has his name on another book, the book of Ecclesiastes—he got so corrupt in his old age that he departed from God.

He didn't follow the Proverbs in his old age, however, that doesn't take away from what he did in bringing us these Proverbs. So, let's listen to them and read them, and let's find out what is the most important thing for children to do today. And what is the most important thing for the children of God to do today, as well.

Proverbs 1:1: "The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: to know wisdom…" (vs 1-2). Every child wants to be smart. Do you want to be dumb? No! Then don't watch cartoons!

and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, righteousness, and judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple…" (vs 2-4)—the one who has not yet been educated; it does not mean simpleton, meaning one who is normally stupid.
"…knowledge and discretion to the young man" (v 4)—and young woman, because the word woman ends with the word manbecause she came from man.

If you're wise and smart, here's what you will do, v 5: "A wise man will hear and will increase learning… [we're never to quit learning] …and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsel to understand a proverb and its interpretation, the words of the wise, and their dark sayings" (vs 5-6). So, you need to be educated in order to understand the Word of God.

In the Bible there are some things easy to understand, which we're going to cover here. There are some things that are very difficult to understand, and there are even some things—probably more than we'd like to reckon—that we don't know.

For example: How many times have we thought that we were close to the end, but we still have a ways to go—don't we? We don't know what's going to happen.

Here is the very first thing, v 7: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…" How do you fear the Lord? By not breaking His commandments!

What I want everyone to do is clear everything out, this is for everybody, do it as long as you can. Take a deep breath and hold it as long as you can. You don't want to pass out. What does this prove? This proves that regardless of how old you are or how young you are, you are totally dependent upon God for breath!

Why do you breathe? Automatic! The first thing when you were born you cried and that opens up the lungs and there you are breathing! All of us had that experience once!

You need to learn to fear God because He gives you life, breath, food, water and think about that He does this for seven billion people and all the animals. He gives oxygen to the fish in the sea; all dependent upon God Who creates oxygen for everyone so they can breathe. Plus He made it simple, you don't even have to think about it. How great is that? What would it be if you had to have a stop watch and time every breath that you took? It wouldn't work!

Likewise, He made our hearts beat and lungs work and everything else. So, we need to fear God! Why did I bring this out?

"…but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (v 7). What happens—all of us have done it—when we do something that is not right? There are consequences! You need understanding so that people don't come along and tell you that something is right when it's not right. But they tell you if you do it that you'll get a benefit, and a lot of people fall for that! A lot of children fall for that!

Don't forget this part; we can apply this spiritually to God for all of us who are grown up children:

Verse 8: "My son hear the instruction of your father…" Sometimes he's going to tell you to do things that you know you need to do, but you don't want to do. Hear the instructions; obey him. Isn't there a commandment?

Now, think of this when you see the news or you hear of the death of children, or you hear the death of those who rebel and go against their parents. That is a Law of God. God says to 'Honor your father and your mother so that your days on the earth may be long.'

On Bill O'Rielly's show everyday they announce someone who has lived to be somewhere around a hundred-years-old. They announced about a woman who was 105-years-old! Think about this; none of us want to have a short life. We all want to live. God has put in us that we need to understand that we will live forever through His plan. Think about that.

It starts with honor your father "…and forsake not the law of your mother." Does your mother lay down the law for you? do this, do that, do the other thing? Make your bed, brush your teeth, get your dirty socks in the laundry, fold up your clothes, put away your toys! Now, when your married your wife does that! (that's a little joke).

Verse 9: "For they shall be an ornament of grace to your head and chains of honor around your neck." These are symbolic of spiritual blessings.

 Verse 10 is a warning! Some of your friends may not tell you that they do things wrong! I remember that there was a girl in the seventh grade and two of her girl friends, close friends, said, 'Come on, let's go to the end of the playground and let's smoke some pot.' She said, 'No!' Now she's 21-years-old and because she applied herself in school, worked hard, obeyed her mother and father, and took initiative to do things that were right. Now she just graduated with a AA degree and is studying to be a real estate agent, where these other two girls who knows where they are?

Verse 10: My son… [or daughter] …if sinners entice you, do not consent."

I remember one time, I was about six or seven-years-old and we lived in an area where there was an orchard in Washington and there were a lot of apples that were on the ground. Our landlord had a big house with a big porch. About three of us got together and we decided since we didn't like the landlord that we're going throw rotten apples all over his back porch. There we were throwing rotten apples like crazy and laughing and all this sort of thing, until the police car drove up! He had a little chat with us and we had a big cleaning party.

Here's what happens; first thing for young boys, v 11: If they say, 'Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood… [doing wrong, even kill] …we will watch secretly for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them up alive as the grave, and whole, as those who go down into the pit; we shall find all precious substance; we shall fill our houses with plunder" (vs 11-13). We're going to take all these things and we're going to get rich the easy way. We're going to steal it, take it and kill people to do it.

  • Do we have a lot of young people doing that today? Yes, indeed!
  • What's one of the quickest ways that they can do that? Selling drugs!

I watched a program on CNBC and it showed these two brothers who went to Christian school, supposedly. Learned from the Bible, supposedly. But when they graduated, they chose to go against the things that they learned. They figured out a very clever scheme, which was that they decided to setup a business, hire doctors and call it a pain clinic, and get pain pills to sell to those who needed them.

This is how the prescription drug thing got out of hand. What happens was that it became so popular that they had hundreds coming everyday, and the doctors would write the prescription. The average visit with the doctor was less than four minutes. They had rubber stamps to stamp whatever they wanted to give in the prescription. Then the brothers had setup a pharmacy so they could sell the drugs to the patients. They would take those and sell them on the street. It ended up that they had so much business from Kentucky coming there that they actually setup a flight from one of cities in Kentucky to fly directly to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and they were bringing back all these… You've heard of oxycodone and all of those? That's what they were bringing back!

They killed hundreds of people, and they finally got them! IF—a very important word—they had chosen not to do that, then they're lives would be totally different.

The point is, it brings the IF and CHOICE! All children have choices. Another Proverb says that 'even a child is known by his doing, whether it is good or not.' If someone comes along with a plan that 'we'll all get together and do this…' You better not do it!

Some get in so much trouble because they wouldn't listen, wouldn't have correction, wouldn't pay attention to it:

Verse 28: "Then they shall call upon me, but I will not answer…" You can get yourself in a situation that it's too far gone to turn back.

"…they shall seek me early… [Help me! Help me!] …but they shall not find me. "Because they hated knowledge and did not choose… [choice] …the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel; they despised all my correction" (vs 28-30).

One thing about growing up is there will be correction, and yes, once we become adults how does correction come? The best correction comes when you correct yourself! The next one is if your husband or wife helps you. The next one is if your boss helps you.

If you take that correction you can recover yourself. That's why there are drug addicts who have been able to recover. They took the correction.

There's one way of doing it in India, which is really tremendous and gut wrenching. They have very few going back to drugs. They force them to vomit until their livers are clean. They drink this awful stuff that cleans it, and they vomit and they heave, and finally they get it out of their system.

If more people had to go through that and understood that that would be the fate, I think there would be less people on drugs. So, they call out and it won't be there.

Verse 31: "Therefore, they shall eat the fruit of their own way and be filled with their own devices." The moral of this is if you do evil and stick with it, it's going to come upon you.

We'll look at a couple of more verses here that will help every one of us. Nearly all of these begin with IF, an important word.

Proverbs 2: "My son, if… [we have the choice, of doing good and rejecting evil] …you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you." Part of growing up and becoming an adult is to get within you all the things that you need to lead a good and productive life.

Verse 2: "So that you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding." Always be learning, overcoming and growing. I am! I just found out yesterday that I wasn't 81 but 82-years-old. This year I'm two years older than I was last year. You have to put forth the effort.

  • you have to want it
  • you have to seek it
  • you have to apply it

Verse 3: "Yea, if you cry after knowledge and lift up your voice for understanding." The older you get the more you apply yourself, the more you use your mind the better it will become, because God made it that way. If anyone tells you that at three-years-old your brain is set, is completely ignorant! I still learn!

Verse 4: "If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures." That's more important than anything else.

Always remember if/then. You want to make your parents happy? IF you clean up your room and IF you get your homework done, and IF you don't argue with them, everything is smooth and good!

IF not, it's not smooth and good. Likewise for becoming an adult. You go to school to learn, so when you get the homework, do it! If it's difficult to understand, apply yourself to it so you can learn. Not everything in life is easy.

Verse 5: "Then you shall understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding" (vs 5-6). That's why you need to study the book of Proverbs.

And for all children we have a special Proverbs study, which is that I have read all of the Proverbs verse-by-verse. There are 31 Proverbs and there are an average of 30 days in a month. So, we have the program setup this way: You can put it on your 'smart phone': Proverbs Video/Audio Calendar (churchathome.org). What it is, you listen to and study a chapter of Proverbs every day, then at the end of the month you start all over again. Since some months don't have 31 days, you take a couple of the short chapters of Proverbs and double up on those so it works out to a month.

What happens is that you repeat this every month continually. I talked to a family in Southern California who grew up in the Church. The father did this with his seven children, every day one chapter of Proverbs. You'll be surprised how much you will learn. They all turned out really, really great!

I'll let you listen to and read the other chapters, but here is the most important thing that I want to cover.

Proverbs 4:20: "My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings." It's worded that way because what happens is that when you don't want to hear, you don't let the words enter into your mind. So, you have to make a choice.

Verse 21: "Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart, for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh" (vs 21-22). Do what God says and you'll be healthy. How many are sick all the time? Think about that!

Verse 23: "Above all …" This means that this is the most important thing in your life, regardless of your age, doesn't matter: young, old, whatever (everything in between).

"…guard the door of your mind…" (v 23). In other words, you have to make the right choices to let into your mind what you want to put in there. That's why the education of children today with cartoons and the way that they do it in the schools, creates an ignorant, know nothing generation.

Notice how you do this, v 23: "Above all… [first thing, most important thing, be careful]: …guard the door of your mind with diligence… [be on guard all the time] …for out of it are the issues of life." It's going to affect your heart, your mind, your thinking and everything about you.

Verse 24: "Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and devious lips put far from you." The easiest thing in the world to do is to lie! Look what it's gotten us in the political realm! That will help you so that, even though you have human nature, you're not going to be falling as easy prey to the problems and difficulties of it.

Verse 25: "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you." Don't be distracted from all the things around you: friends, popular movements and things like that

Verse 26: "Ponder the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established"—by God, with God's blessing, with God's Truth!

Because in the final analysis, everyone's life gets down to this: blessing or cursing! Sometimes blessings, sometimes cursings, because the cursings come just like breathing, automatically! That's why I had you start there.

Verse 27: "Do not turn to the right hand nor to the left; remove your foot from evil."

Scriptural References:

  • Proverbs 1:1-13, 28-31
  • Proverbs 2:1-6
  • Proverbs 4:20-27

Also referenced: Proverbs Video/Audio Calendar
                        (churchathome.org)

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 7/21/16

Copyright 2016—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

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