Prayer Focus: Bolivia

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 20-23

Scripture

If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.  They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”  Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death.  You must purge the evil  from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

Observation

There seem to be two reasons to publicly punish someone: to make them pay for their crime and to deter others from similar behavior. Death is a pretty powerful deterrent! Whether you agree with the death penalty or not, God makes quite the statement in this text about rebellious sons (and daughters?). I would certainly think twice before rebelling against the father and mother that I was commanded to honor! Perhaps this further explains why Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16 state not only “honor your father and your mother” but also “so that you may live long…” This command in Deuteronomy 21 is obviously not followed in our culture today, but it undoubtedly set a standard for the first generation of Israelites living in the Promised Land.

Application

My first application is to teach this passage to my children and make them memorize it! Just kidding! The principle is important—God wanted Israel to be a nation that followed and obeyed Him including the children. The culture established in the Promised Land would set the tone for future generations. In addition, rebellion against one’s parents is rebellion against God (except, of course, when the commands of the parents violate the commands of God). A society with respectful, responsible children will certainly prosper more readily than one filled with rebellion. Tragically, a recent report in our nation stated that for the first time the majority (53%) of children with moms under age 30 are born out of wedlock (41% of all births). Our “progressive” culture will pay the consequences of raising a generation where so many are without dads, obedience, and honor.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I pray for wisdom…for myself and the other parents at Scio and beyond. Give us a heart of understanding as we raise our sons and daughters to follow You and become godly men and women. Help our children to seek after the Truth even as they are immersed in the lies of the materialistic, consumeristic, narcissistic, godless culture. Call prodigals home. Bring spiritual awakening and healing to our land. LORD, have mercy. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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