Every morning sometime between 5am and 6am my daughter asks me if it is a (Pre-)school day or not. It isn’t that she doesn’t like school. The issue is that on school days she isn’t allowed to watch TV in the mornings. She actually likes school. I think she likes learning, but perhaps I think that because I like learning. She asks about school because she wants to watch TV!
Learning is a good thing. Some people think that after school, or after University, they won’t have to learn anything. But learning is part of life. We were made to learn. Learning was part of life in the Garden of Eden.
In Genesis 2:19-20 we read how God created animals and birds and brought them to Adam. Adam was to look at the animals and give them a name.
Some people suggest that this is to show Adam had authority over the animals, but this is a misunderstanding of the Biblical concept of naming something. In Genesis 16:13 Hagar named God, el-rooi, the God who sees. This was because God saw Hagar’s situation and acted. Hagar didn’t have authority over God. Hagar learnt something about God and expressed that through naming. The name showed what Hagar had learnt about God.
Likewise, when Adam names the animals, it shows he was involved with a process of learning. Adam is looking at the animals, learning about them, and then expressing that learning through giving them a name.
This little scene to me comes across like a father helping his son explore the world and learning about things in the world. Only it is God’s world, which he is starting to share with his first son his creation so that Adam can learn more about what God has done.
It makes me wonder how committed I am to learning. How often do I put aside time to learn about who God is and what he has done? How often do I help others learn about God?