Pharaoh wanted the Israelites to leave their children in Egypt, while the adults went elsewhere to worship God.
The chief priests did not want the children in the temple with Jesus, either.
The enemy always has a plan to isolate children from the real action of family-life and faith-life; he desires to keep children from the influence of their parents as much as possible, to keep them enmeshed in “Egypt” (the world), and keep them from the real, active pursuit of worshipping God with the rest of the tribe.
Isolating children from parents and minimizing their participation in the faith community, all the while being moulded by a humanistic educational system, is exactly what tyrants have desired for centuries.
But, Moses said, “We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters…” (Exodus 10:9) I.e. We will not leave them behind! They are our trust, our reward, our generations! Where we go, they go, period.
And Jesus responded to the chief priests and scribes by reminding them that, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies [God has] prepared praise…” Meaning, let the little children come; their noise and enthusiasm blesses the heart of God!
Plato, in his Republic dreamed of a time when children would be raised completely without their parents; he deemed it best that they not know their parents at all. He had a vision of a state-raised, indoctrinated, propagandized youth that were completely malleable in the hands of their leaders.
But God created children for families.
It was His design and intention that parents would train, educate, and shape the precious souls of their children. The work of the parent is to include their children in the life of faith that is all around them at every moment of every day.
We must pluck our children out from under the calculating nose of Pharaoh and take them to the Promised Land.
We might stumble on the journey; we might falter as we carry them on our backs, or trip as we hold their hands on the way, there is no doubt that the journey is perilous and exhausting.
However, we must not leave our children behind while we go do the more ‘important’ work of life, of worship, or of changing the world… it is all there before us as the actual means by which we are to reach, teach and develop the hearts of our children.
Our real life is all the fodder for education that our children need.
Thank goodness, because I suspect hauling textbooks through the wilderness would have been exhausting!