Friday, 8 March 2013

On Being Parents and Meeting a Genie (only better!)

The assessment of the commandment to "Honour your father and your mother," as recorded in Exodus 20: 12 seen through the lens of 2 Kings 13: 2, 6, 11, "He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, but walked in them" (verse 11), explains the clause that appears in its rendition in Ephesians 6: 1, "Children, obey your parents IN THE LORD, for this is right."  It's not just obedience that is right, but obedience "in the Lord."

Those granted the privilege of parenthood are strongly admonished in verse 4 of Ephesians 6, "And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."

The nurturing of a young one, whether in the home or in the Church, is not just what you do, but what you don't do as well. When, for example, work (even the Lord's work) takes you away for long hours (days/weeks) from those under your care, you have less impact on the habits they are likely to develop (especially from television). Parents must take responsibility for those crude habits formed from the evil influence of television and music that children are exposed to in the home, and even outside the home in some cases. Childrearing is a full-time engagement.

The last part of the chapter features an interesting exchange between the dying Elisha, and the faithless Jehoash, king of Israel.  In a fashion of capture in fairy-tales Elisha (the genie) grants Jehoash what really appears to be an open cheque of blessings – wishes if you please.  “Strike the ground,” Elisha told Jehoash.  He does; but only three times.  Perhaps he didn’t understand the implications of the command, but had he really been connect to God, he would have.  And so as Elisha said, “you should have struck it five or six times;” he did it only thrice and that meant he would completely crush a life-long enemy.  Do we stop short in striking the Devil out of our lives; are our repentances half-hearted?  Perhaps that’s why many of us still struggle for years with the same sin(s), or why our lives seem void of significant successes.

So let's get it straight, God is way better than a genie.  In fact there really is no comparison.  But get this, life and the things to sustain it are gifts from God; anything extra comes only in response to our asking Him, "According to your faith, be it unto you." Matt. 9: 29. "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." 2 Cor 9: 6.  If you want three wishes, then three wishes it is; if five, five. If you want death, then death it is; if life, life.

Father in Heaven, we choose life this morning, not just for the sake of living, but that we can live for Your glory, praise and honour.  Be exalted in our lives, be exalted in all the earth we pray, in Jesus' name, amen.