Know Your Bible

VOL. 13                                                                                                                          April 13, 2014                                                                                                                            NO. 6



The prophet Jeremiah writes in very emotional and moving  terms about the distress that was brought to the Lord by the behavior of the children of Israel. 

"For my people have committed two evils, they have forsaken Me the Fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns that can hold no water...For of old times I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and you said, I will not transgress when on every high hill and under every green tree you wander playing the harlot. Yet have I planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me? For though you wash with nitre, and take much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me, says the Lord God." (Jer. 2:13,20-22). 

These moving words were written about Israel who later went into Assyria and mingled themselves with the heathens to become known to us as the Samaritans. What a tragedy! 

Later the same thing happened to Israel's sister, Judah, as she went into Babylonian captivity for her unfaithfulness to God. There she was purged over a seventy year period to come back into the land as a nation that no longer served the idols of the world. But this nation  was to later crucify their own Messiah of promise. A few days before He was crucified Jesus laments their departure in Matt. 23:37,38: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who killed the prophets and stoned them which are sent unto you, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and ye would not. Behold you house is left unto you desolate.

Needless to say, the Lord was broken hearted over the behavior of His children. God had done all anyone could do to bring them to obedience. Christ gave the ultimate so mankind could be saved, but still the Jews rejected their Savior as many do today. 

Every parent can sympathize with the way the Lord must have felt and with the way He feels today. When a child is born to a young couple, the parents look at that child and have every hope of protecting and training him to be pure and holy. No parent in his right mind wants his child to be exposed to all the seamier elements of the carnal world. We want the best for our children and God feels no differently toward His. 

Godly parents are instructed by God in Eph. 6:4: "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Under the Old Law in Deut. 6:6-8, we read: "These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in your heart: and you shall teach them diligently unto thy children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lay down and when you rise up. You shall bind them for a sign upon your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." God has always expected parents to teach the children the right ways and lead them in the right direction. No parent in his right mind wants the worst for his children. We do not raise our children with the idea that they will become fornicators, murderers, idolaters, gamblers, drunkards, dope addicts, and liars. We want a better life for our children. Still some children will rebel from the right paths taught them by their parents, and will enter into practices that they were not taught and walk in paths that they were warned to stay away from. 

Ezek. 18:2-13 speaks of just such a circumstance. God did not fail His children; His children failed Him. Every earthly parent should rear his children in the right ways, and if such departs, as did the prodigal son of Lk. 15, let it be in spite of his training and not because of it. When a child decides to walk against the precepts of God, in which he has been instructed to walk, he is not to be coddled or comforted in his sins, but is to be made to stand accountable for his actions. The prodigal son walked all over his conscience and even though forgiven bore the scars of his riotous life all of his days. He was, no doubt, unable to look back on his youthful days with joy, but with sadness (Eccl. 12:1,2). This was one of the consequences of his sinful lifestyle. He had many regrets, just as David did of his life. Sin scars and Satan has nothing good to offer, but still he draws God's faithful children through the age old traps of lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:16). 

Our Savior died on the cross to make atonement for our sins. He did not die to save us in our sins but from our sins. He has every right to expect a higher path for His children. He alone is wise enough to direct our paths. He was tempted in all points like as we yet without sin. He knows how to com-fort those who are weak, and how to bring them home when they are overcome by the world. He is "longsuffering to us not will that any perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). 

God is broken hearted when His offspring go after the things of this world and engage in practices He has instructed are the ways of death. Still He will not prevent His children from making that choice. He will however hold them accountable for such choices (Gal. 6:9; Rom. 14:12). 

Why do we today, who are God's children, knowing what we know, and loving Him as we love Him, disobey and disappoint Him as we so often do? Is it because we have forgotten what He did to save our souls? Is it because we have failed to love Him? Is it because He did not do a good job of instructing and training us in the right paths? Is it His fault? No! God is perfect and He has devised a perfect law that all men can follow. If they follow His law, then they will have a great life. If they "walk in the light as He is in the light they have fellowship with one another and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin" (1 Jno. 1:7). 

There was a phrase we heard years ago that we implemented in raising our children it said, "God did not make any junk." God truly did a flawless job in making provision for us as children and He has done the ultimate in every aspect so that His children can be all He hoped for them to be and be able to be reunited with Him one day in heaven. Let none impugn God for their flaws. 

James says: "Blessed is the man that endures temptation for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him. Let not man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil neither does He tempt any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed then when lust conceives it brings forth sin and sin when it is finished brings forth death, do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights with Whom is not variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures" (Jas. 1:12-18). 

As a child of my parents, I was a disappointment to them at times. At other times, I imagine that I was a joy to have as a child. I am thankful to my godly parents for not giving up on me and for making me stand accountable for my actions. I thank them for all they did in instilling godly principles and a sound conscience in me. I am still a target for Satan, as all of us will be until we die. God in His wisdom gave us parents to guide us and to chastise us when we went wrong. Timothy had a godly mother and grandmother who guided him in the right ways. As thankful as I am for my godly parents and grandparents, I am more thankful to my heavenly Father for His patience and unwavering law that continues to draw us back to Him. I am thankful for His Son who loved me enough to die for me so that I can live with Him forever. The least I can do while on this earth is to live for Jesus and try my best to bring glory to His name and not shame. May we all live in such a way as to make our heavenly Father proud of us. Let us all determine that we will not be a disappointment to God and bring to nothing, in our lives, all that He has sacrificed  and provided for us. Let all Christians honor our heavenly Father by bringing Him the fruit of a righteous and godly life lived in accordance to the way He has raised us. Make God happy not sad!

—Stan W. Adams

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