"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Since the creation of the United States Department of Education in 1979, more and more money has been invested in both public and private education with little to no results. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of college tuition has increased $10,000 from 1980 through 2011 (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76). From 1992-2003, the adult literacy rate showed less than a one-percent improvement, and even declined in one of three categories (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=69). Another study showed that reading scores in 4th and 8th graders have shown only minimal increases in the last ten years, while the reading scores of 12th graders has actually decreased (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=147). Is there a correlation between more government spending on education and the little to no results to show for it? If money is not the answer to education, what is?
True knowledge is not acquired from college degrees, teachers, or textbooks. True knowledge cannot be found in a high school classroom or a college lecture hall. True knowledge is given by the Lord through an understanding of His word. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction”.
What good will it do if a person has a PhD, but refuses to fear the Lord? Earthly knowledge is fleeting, but spiritual understanding is eternal. Those who are truly wise will honor and obey the Lord as revealed through His word.
We tend to think of fools as those who are ignorant, but the Lord says that a fool is one who despises the wisdom and instruction that only His word can bring. Furthermore, a fool is one who denies the existence of the God of Scripture (Psalm 14:1). The foolish despise spiritual knowledge because they do not like what God has to say. They do not like the fact that Christ is the only way to salvation (John 14:6). Fools do not like to be confronted with or convicted of their sin. They would rather live in the passing pleasures of this world, than learn true and eternal knowledge.
Strive to honor and obey the Lord, and understand that striving for knowledge and education is pointless if not grounded in faith through Christ alone. Only He, not government funds, can bring the knowledge and understanding that mankind so desperately desires.