COVER STORY – CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
The still, small voice of God.
The news today can seem exceedingly loud. Numerous sources fight to be the first to tell us about all the effects of sin in the world. Political turmoil and corruption throw countries into chaos. Mass tragedies happen so frequently that we can seldom fully sympathize with victims before another tragedy becomes the headline news. Amidst the chaotic “noise,” the world asks Christians, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3)
God is not silenced
That constant noise and tragedy can lead even the strongest Christian to exasperation. It’s easy to feel alone in this evil world. But God is not silenced by the noise. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” (Hebrews 4:12) God’s Word cuts through the noise to show us His love for all people.
We are not the first people to feel discouraged by the world around us. After God’s resounding victory in a contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel as recorded in 1 Kings 18, we read in 1 Kings 19 about a depressed Elijah, praying that he might die. He hid in a cave and told God, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (1 Kings 19:10)
God built him up
Elijah then experienced roaring winds, earthquakes, and fires. But God was not in those miraculous signs. God instead came to him in a still, small voice. He told Elijah that he was not alone; seven thousand more believers remained in Israel. Rather than scolding Elijah for his doubts, God built him up with the comfort of the Gospel.
We deserve the full judgment of God’s Law in wind, earthquake, fire, and hell; but, like Elijah, God doesn’t give us all we deserve. The hope and comfort of the Gospel that we receive every time we study the Bible is that still, small voice of God. This is the value of Christian education: it is the continuous Gospel nourishment that our faith needs to live and grow. The effects of sin in the world should not discourage us, because Christ warned His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Education and the ability to learn are great blessings from God. But Christian education is much more than a blessing. It is a need. We can learn a great deal about God from mathematics, science, and the world around us. But the revealed knowledge of God, found in the Bible, is the source of our Christian education. Only in God’s Word do we receive the full, glorious understanding of Who God is and what He does for us. Only there can we receive the assurance of forgiveness of sins in Christ crucified. There is no other comfort for the problems of this world than the Gospel of Christ! It is the still, small voice of God.
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-20)
Ross Kok is a teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran School in Phoenix, Arizona.