Archive for August 19th, 2009

Deuteronomy 21

Deuteronomy 21 gives some guidance on handling issues that come up in the community.  It deals with death, marriage and kids.  God’s direction is pretty clear, and strong.  The Levitical priests were charged with making decisions and leading the community in how to deal with the difficult situations that were bound to occur.  The Message version says it this way: “the levitical priests will then step up”.  That is a refreshing thing to hear.  It seems more often than not when there are tough situations to handle, people croutch down and try to hide rather than raise their hand and step up.  Are you a person who sees an opportunity and puts your hand up high to step up?  That is an area where God’s people need to get involved.  We often sit by and idly watch things happen, unwilling to get involved.  Then we wonder why it goes as it does, and why God is left out.  Because His people don’t step up.  II Chronicles 7 tells us “if my people, who are called by my name…..”.  We are the ones who need to take action to heal the land.  We can point fingers at all the bad things that happen and blame folks who do not know God for that.  But the solution rests squarely on those of us who do.  And step one of the process is for us to step up and be part of the solution.

 This chapter also really put a different level of intensity on obedience.  “When a man has a stubborn son”.  I was one, and certainly some days had one as well.  God is clear that disobedience is a serious thing.  If this son doesn’t come around “even though they discipline him he still won’t obey” – there are some rather extreme measures given.  He is to be forcibly brought to the leaders and stoned.  Can you imagine the agony of that requirement?  It would certainly change the stakes on parenting.  There would be a whole lot more accountability for parents if the outcome of their inability to raise kids that were obedient was that they had to be killed.  The reason is given as to why it is important: “You will have purged the evil pollution from among you”.  God is clear throughout scripture that who we have around us makes a difference.  Disobedience is one of those things He just won’t tolerate, and He wants it purged from our lives.  Parents would stop making excuses for their parenting if the result of failure meant this kind of action.  But today we can just push the problem on society and pretend it isn’t our issue.  Parental accountability is really a dying breed of people unfortunately. Not in God’s economy, but definitely in our country.  God wants us to train up a child in the way he should go.  He expects us to teach obedience and model how to live.  Kids turn out as they do based on how they are raised.  We can complain about the generations all we want, but the hard truth is that people become what they are led to become.  It is the adults who are the issue, not the kids.  Time for grownups to take responsibility and be accountable for the way children grow up.

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