We see a disturbing trend today of an ever growing encroachment on how our children are raised, what they are taught and believe and it has gone as far as to question the creation of an individual. When little Johnny and Jane were created, some would have us believe that God made a mistake!
Genesis 1 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [h]moves on the earth.”
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs, 22:6 implies that parents should with the guidance of God work to provide their child with proper guidance as to their own individuality and those gifts which are God given. We must take into account that there are times that parents overstep this tenet, making all the choices for their children… this can in some cases hurt the child, a good intention gone wrong. As parents we must strive to present an example of seeking God’s advice in our own lives before insisting they also do so in theirs. We must help them discover the tools they will need to seek God’s will in their lives. The goal here is to instill in them the faith that when you seek his will through prayer and study of the word, they will always remain on the right path. I have chosen to share with you the story of a Pharisees Son. Saul, a man who would eventually be confronted by Jesus on the Damascus Road and challenged about the treatment of the HIS people. Acts 9…3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Saul’s father was a Pharisee, he was a member of an influential religious sect within Judaism in the time of Christ and the early church. They were known for their emphasis on personal piety (the word Pharisee comes from a Hebrew word meaning “separated”), their acceptance of oral tradition in addition to the written Law, and their teaching that all Jews should observe all 600-plus laws in the Torah, including the rituals concerning ceremonial purification. (gotquestions.org) We should acknowledge that the upbringing of a young Jewish boy would not in any way resemble that of most of the young of this day or our nation. For a strict Jew, there was only one way to go…the way of his father and his father’s father. Saul spoke to this at a later date, by now he had become Paul and was no longer his old self. How did he view his early home life? Here are his words from the book of Philippians 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee… Paul was first and foremost a Jew in heart and mind. There would have been as was the custom nothing but Jewish influence that touched him in his early childhood. HIs father would be his primary influencer and had the main responsibility of his childhood training. As part of his training he would be taught all the precepts, practice them at all times whether Biblical or Rabbinical and his father would be guarding against any forbidden act. Because his father was a Pharisee he would have accepted this awesome responsibility with total dedication to it. Saul would have grown up in a very strict home but the love of his family and the devotion of his father to his Godly upbringing would serve him well in the future. The practices of this new woke approach to life in general could never have prepared the soon to be Paul for what he would face later in life. There is always something we can learn from past times, people, cultures, successes and even failures. We must not allow ourselves to fall into the old trap of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, with God’s help we can always make it better. But, and it is a big but, we cannot continue to ignore and not learn from past failures which brings to The Pew’s mind…Our nations turn away from from God and the precept’s of living a Godly Life. This brings me back to Proverbs 22:6.
Saul’s early life was not harsh but it was strict. Jewish Law condemned harshness in raising children. Children were considered a blessing from God and they were loved dearly. To the Jew the observance of the law and living a Godly life were the most important of all our earthly duties. There is no reason to not believe that Saul’s father might have been excessively strict due to his being a Pharisee but you can be sure even in that time this scripture would have been in his heart and mind. Ephesians 6:4…4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. So, what would Saul’s life been like?
-from his earliest understanding he would have been taught the ways of God
-he would be trained to respond AMEN and the other responses at synagogue as early as three or four years of age
-he would be saying the primary prayers of the Jews…morning, noon and night
-he would pray before and after every meal
The list is long and tedious. He would be attending the traditional feasts and by age five he would be reading scriptures. By his sixth birthday he would have started his education at the school of a Rabbi. After his sixth birthday he would be required to have memorize Deuteronomy 6:4-9, after that add Psalms 113-118. To our way of thinking this is a humongous task. Consider this…being a Jew was not just a religion, or a way of life it was the sum total of who you were, how you thought and what you felt. I can add more but I think the point is plain to see. He is in the process of learning for life, to prepare for the service to God expected by his creator. Faith has many paths and all are not for everyone. Children are no longer being raised in the way of the Lord. I hate to end this blog on a note of negativity…but we have lost our way and there are generations before us, mine included, that took the wrong turn so to speak.
Now in these last years of my life I am trying to get on the right path. I have rode hard, been put up wet…and ignored the truth of what it has cost me. Children are the precious and most valuable assets of the future kingdom…The Revelation will come…give them the Godly tools they will need to be in that number. Instead of them wondering if God made a mistake…Teach them this.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
Teach the children they are not a MISTAKE…They have been lovingly created by God and are of great worth.
Life is Good