Today’s Bible in 90 Days reading: Deut 8:1 – Deut 23:11
Most parents love their children and want only the best for them. I say ‘most’, because our newspapers tell us daily of parents who have beaten, raped, and even killed their own children–and in these horrifying cases, the children were often young, and usually obedient (even unto death).
But what do you do with a child who is disobedient–a rebel? Today’s modern psychologists will recommend medication, special classes, and indulgence. Don’t let the child see himself or herself as wrong, they’re just ‘different’, ‘unique’, ‘misunderstood’. Boy, such was not the case in Old Testament times.
In today’s chapters, Moses is taking his final opportunity to be a ‘parent’ to Israel. Like a father who is sending his son off to college, Moses repeats warnings from the past, going over and over rules, regulations, recommendations, and remedies. Also like a father, Moses warns the people of the penalty for disobedience: in general, you will a) be cut off from the congregation, or b) simply cut off (killed).
One warning that really stood out for me this morning is Moses’ warning to parents of rebellious children:
If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
No pharmaceutical options, no coddling, no special classes, no military school! This continuously rebellious child is to be stoned to death! Why? Because his rebellious nature (this spirit of rebellion) will spread like a virus among his friends, and soon an entire generation is at risk. And any child who knows this particular law of God must surely seek to avoid this punishment at all costs!
We see this happening today. Loving parents indulge children–rarely saying ‘no’–setting up their children as targets for spiritual influence. I am not advocating ‘stoning’ as a remedy for rebellion today. But do take the above passage to heart, dear parents, for the Lord considers disobedience a major sin! In fact, disobedience in Eden is what got us here in the first place!
Loving your children means correcting them from an early age. Train them up in the way they should go, and when they have grown they will not depart from it. Help them see the joys of serving the Lord, but warn them of the misery that follows when we disobey. Most of all, witness to your children at an early age; tell them about Jesus. The hearts of children are eager to run to Christ if given the opportunity. What better time to give it to them than today?