First things first, we will move on to chapters 6-10 for next Friday’s book review. :)
I loved reading Judges! It was easy reading, interesting stories, and it held the kids attention easily too. But there is so much to grasp and learn from it all it leaves my head in a whirl yet again. On one hand I read it and am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy toward me. On the other hand it makes me terrified of how the Lord will deal with me when I sin, which is all the time. These aren’t just stories to read for fun. This stuff really happened. God is REALLY a jealous God. He takes disobedience very seriously. He expects me to obey exactly.
During our second reading of these chapters with the kids and I read yet another verse saying "So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord", Miss K desperately said, "Why do they have to keep disobeying!?!" You can bet I jumped on that open invitation to talk about all of us doing the same thing everyday. I think a little light went on when the association was made. :) Love little lights. :)
The Israelites were told to go into the land and not allow any Canaanites to remain. Pretty simple directions and since the Lord was with them it wouldn’t matter what the armies looked like that they were up against or how much better their battle equipment was, God was going to give them the land. So God told them what to do and was ready to give it to them. But they disagreed. They started thinking that it wasn’t completely nessecary to wipe out the bad guys. Maybe they could use them for their own good. They could just make them serve them and they would actually improve on their present situation by "putting them under tribute". Bad idea.
Marty and I were talking about it this morning and he made the statement that "we reap what we sow. Actually we reap much more than we sow, every time". When we plant a tomato seed we don’t grow one tomato, it multiplies and we recieve much more fruit than we actually planted. Spiritually it works that way too, good or bad, we reap more than we sow. The children of Israel planted a small seed of comprimise and didn’t consider what it would mean to them in the future. Allowing sin to remain among you cannot possibly maintain or improve your spiritual growth. Something Charmin had put in her post last week fits this thought perfectly. "If you put a clean white glove into the mud, the mud doesn’t get glovy." Oh so true.
We have our own little homes that are a little like our promised land. By God’s grace He has allowed blessings in our lives. We have our own little homes and families, our pieces of the world that we need to protect. We need to drive anything sinful out without exception. We cannot escape the world but we can guard against it’s infulence. Our priorities are opposite than theirs. We are striving to glorify a God they do not recognize. We are called to a higher purpose and most of us are living as the Canaanites of our own day. We do what they do, watch what they watch, act as they act, even teach our children what they teach their children. We have allowed the world to penetrate our families and our churches to the point that no one would ever know there was a difference, because in reality there isn’t.
If it’s this bad now, and it’s probably worse – I’m just starting to see things for what they are here, then where will we be leaving our children? In 2:10 it says, "another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel." If all us Christian parents died today and left our children alone in this world, how many of us could be sure that through what we have taught and portrayed to our children up to this point they would take up the torch and obey God at all costs without us to lead them? How many of us could be sure that our children even recognize the Lord as their Lord and not just yours? A challenge to me as a homeschooling mom. When done properly homeschooling is the greatest advantage to your children to raise them to glorify God. We don’t have to deprogram our children after hours in a school each day where God is not recognized and they are actually taught the opposite of what we know to be true in scripture. But we also have our children with us ALL THE TIME and that can make for it’s own set of challenges. They know us very well, they see how we handle everything that comes our way during the run of a day, good or bad. They see first hand what place mommy’s Lord has in her life. Just what am I teaching them. I can’t say that I’m doing a marvelous job in this area. I don’t want to just avoid teaching them the wrong things either, I want to teach them the right things all day long and in such a way that they will be able to stand their ground on their own in their teen years and beyond and serve their God no matter what the ‘Canaanites’ are doing around them.
I want to raise kids who will grow up to lead those that are stumbling along to follow the Lord. I want to raise Judges that will stand for the Lord and lead and encourage others in obedience. I want to be that way myself. I would love to be a Joshua or an Ehud. Men willing to step up to the plate and take the action needed to get back on track.
I’d love to keep writing but things are getting noisy upstairs and with all this rain the kids are getting crazier and crazier. I’ll be waiting for the reviews to show up on Mr.Linky. Can’t wait. :)