Ecclesiastes 1:16 “I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 “And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.” 18 “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”
Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
An all-too common excuse for not attending evening church services is “It’s a school night.” It doesn’t matter if the invitation is to attend a Sunday evening service, mid-week service, cottage prayer meeting, mission conference, or revival. The answer is the same for many a backslidden parent: “We can’t. It is a school night.” or “The kids have to get ready or rested for school tomorrow.” or “The kids need to finish their homework for school tomorrow.”
The parent’s answer with these excuses is very clear: earthly education is more important to them than eternal/spiritual education. However, dear parent, you must recognize the gross error of your choice. King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, fell into this trap of putting earthly knowledge above the spiritual, and he warned against such vain pursuits in Ecclesiastes. In the text, Ecclesiastes 1, King Solomon reveals what earthly education without spiritual education gets you: grief and sorrow (vs. 18) and vexation of spirit (vs. 17). If you are this type of a parent who places more importance in physical education than spiritual education you are the one King Solomon mentions in Ecclesiastes 2:21 “For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge….” Wise Solomon reveals the “vanity” of such a pursuit since the knowledgeable man dies just like the fool. Parents, “getting an education” is profitable and important, but absolutely not more so than training up your child in the spiritual way they should go (Pro. 22:6). We have many “Christian” youths who become profitable in society, but are a stench in the nostrils of our holy God. Wise King Solomon concluded Ecclesiastes in 12:13-14:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” 14 “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Parent, judgment day is coming quickly and it comes to all men. “The conclusion of the whole matter” will be not how good at Math and English your child was, but did they “fear God, and keep His commandments.” Those spiritual pursuits are “the whole duty of man.” Friend, the child who graduates valedictorian at the top of their class in earthly wisdom is not a success if they graduate a child of the devil ignorant of eternal wisdom and not on fire for Jesus! Every parent who keeps their child out of church to pursue an earthly education partners with the wicked one, the devil, for their child’s soul and future. Think about this: you would willingly allow your child to receive an earthly education for hours-on-end 5 days-a-week and yet only give God your child for 1-2 hours a week Sunday morning?! If you would, again I state, you have made your choice clear: the things of this earth are more important to you than God.
Dear parent, God commanded in our other text, Hebrews 10:25, not to forsake when the church comes together. God then warns that “the manner of some” is to skip church. Do you realize that you join that group God describes when you cause yourself and your children to skip church under the excuse of school? Actually, God stresses here in Hebrews 10:25 that church services and activities should be attended “so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” So, dear parent, stop the excuses. Stop putting your child’s earthly education above and before their eternal education. The whole duty of man is not social studies and arithmetic, but rather, to “fear God, and keep His commandments.”