Nothing breaks a parent’s heart more than to see our children make foolish choices which can result in consequences for years to come. But there are some things we can do early on so God doesn’t have to allow more serious consequences later.
1 Kings 15 & 16
1 Kings 15 & 16:
Modern day idolatry
It’s often difficult to understand how Israel could return again and again to idolatry. But, like us, they probably rarely made a conscious decision to stop worshiping God and begin worshiping some golden calf. Instead, there was most likely a gradual drifting away, making compromises toward the things of the world until those things began to look more enticing, even more normal, than the worship of God and His guidelines for their lives.
One of the attractions of pagan idolatry was its inclusion of all kinds of sexual perversion, including temple prostitution and fertility rites, and the use of drugs and other substances to induce so-called spiritual enlightenment. Now as then, it always starts with small things. The first step is deciding sexual perversion and drug use are no longer criminal, then acceptable. Soon they become a right and then just another version of normal.
As I’ve said before, we are called to love the people involved in these things (homosexuality, living together, any kind of sex outside of marriage, abortion, drug use), but we cannot allow it to become acceptable or somehow right in our thinking.
Pieces of the puzzle
Much of this psalm (and others) has prophetic, messianic meaning, as well as, the immediate meaning in the life of the psalmist. Verse 25 is quoted in Acts 1.20 referring to Judas. Verses 22 & 23 are quoted in Romans 11 and verse 26 was prophesied in Isaiah about the Messiah—all portions of the great tapestry called Scripture that fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.
The value of consequences
Verse 25, “A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him.”
Nothing breaks a parent’s heart more than to see our children make foolish choices which can result in consequences for years to come.
Our responsibility is to faithfully teach them while they are young and, at times, allow them to suffer the consequences of their actions instead of protecting them.
- The child who repeatedly forgets her lunch, may need to miss lunch a few times.
- The child who gets in trouble with a teacher needs to know that Mom and Dad will not run to their rescue.
- The teen who gets caught drinking and driving may need to spend a night in jail, instead of being immediately bailed out.
- The son or daughter who brings drugs into the house needs to know that his or her parents will call the police and have them arrested!
We could save our children from progressively more serious consequences if we would allow some early on and not get in God’s way later, when He brings more serious ones.
Bathing and foot washing
Verse 8, “Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.'”
He is our only hope as we come to Him in humility and confession, accepting His sacrificial cleansing from all our sins. But we also need that continual “foot washing” of repentance and forgiveness. Verse 10, “Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.'”
What about you? Questions to ponder or journal:
Is there some area where you’ve accepted the world’s definition of right and wrong? Do you need to go to God for His forgiveness for some type of compromise?
Do you need to change how you respond to your children’s irresponsible or rebellious choices while they’re still young and the consequences are minor? If you have older children, is there some situation where you need to get out of God’s way?
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