I’m like you. I care about my country, my kids, our future, and I can’t help but notice things are spinning out of control. But why? It reminds me of what was happening in Israel centuries ago – back when Israel decided that they did not want to be ruled by God, but they wanted a king like all the other nations around them.
We read, in those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. Judges 21:25
Boy, does that sound familiar!
Chaos and Dysfunction
What was going on in Israel sounds a lot like our own world of chaotic dysfunction today. I mean that whole thing of everyone doing what was right in their own eyes. There’s no right or wrong. No law that can’t be ignored or overturned. The attempt to get rid of any authority we don’t like. Not only were the people self-centered and narcissistic back then, but their basis for morality, right and wrong, was centered upon their own personal opinions and beliefs just like today.
Without even realizing it, our Christian kids and young people can get sucked into this popular mindset if they are not grounded in the word of God and are not taught how to apply it to the world today.
But Isaiah 5:20 warns us woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Does this not sound like what is happening in our culture today? But what do we use as a measuring stick to see the difference?
Just Leave Them alone
A frightening percentage of Christians have been deceived in thinking the Bible is okay for them, because its’ their choice. But they think other people’s religious choices are just as good and equally valid. So just leave them alone! Boy, there’s another long conversation…
But like it or not, life has rules that were set down by God. The Bible is not a fairy tale to be believed or tossed. We can’t turn the channel off the word of God till we find something we like better.
Anyone who wants to live a healthy, prosperous, good and blessed life, has to live within those rules. I know there’s a ton of people who will disagree with me, but just look at how doing things our own way is affecting us and our nations!
Here’s another way of saying this – life was designed by God to be governed by his rules whether a person is a Christian or not. And when we detach from the government of God, problems begin to develop.
Doing What Is Right in their Own Eyes
This is precisely what was occurring in Israel as everyone did what was right in their own eyes. The scriptures they had given to them by God himself were being rejected. They were treating God’s word like the greatest fairy tale ever told and it did not go well for them! The individual needs, preferences, desires, opinions, and purposes became the governing standard and value of the day. Not the scriptures. And as a result, the Israelites just rolled from one crisis to another. External enemies and dangers constantly oppressed them. National and domestic dysfunction was normal.
Today people, like in Israel, are adamantly rejecting the Bible as a standard to live by. Our culture is trying to convince our children that it is the greatest fairy tale ever told! That it is not reliable or true or trustworthy. We are living increasingly in a world that does not accept any book or philosophy as standard for life, much less the Bible. There is no standard, they say. The standard is whatever you want it to be, whatever is right for you is the right standard!
This social condition from the life of ancient Israel is so much like our own cultures and societies today. We can call it democracy, individualism, the right to personal happiness, but it comes back to the same thing. Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. At its root, our views and operations are based on self will. Everyone believing and doing what is right in their own eyes. That is why we are seeing so much dysfunction around us.
It’s Not Working!
Life was not meant to operate this way! That is why it is not working.
The Bible is the primary way we come to understand truth about God and the world around us. It is the standard we compare all of life and conduct to. It’s the compass, or a GPS, of morals and values for individuals and all of sane society. It is the plumb-line for right and wrong. There is no area of life that the Bible doesn’t talk about. And we’ve got the impress this on the minds and hearts of our children while they are still young.
We as Christians don’t just believe the Bible is a good book. We believe Hebrews 4:12 – that the word of God is alive and active sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. It’s not just another book and we need to embed this in the minds of our children
The Word of God Never Changes
The Bible is the one thing that never changes. Generations change. Cultures change. People change. Time changes. Man’s wisdom changes. Even heaven and earth even can change. But God and his word never changes. They endure forever.
We believe the Bible is a living book that changes lives and is still relevant in our lives and world today; it is the guide for living. It is just as relevant today as it was when it was written. The Bible never goes out of date, and we need to tell this to children.
We believe 2 Timothy 3:16 all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. We believe psalms 119:105 – your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. We believe Matthew 7:24 everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. We believe psalm 19:7 the law of the lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
We Base Our Faith on the Bible
Above everything else a knowledge of God’s word is what we as Christians base our faith on. If we don’t have a knowledge of scripture, our Christianity is also just made up of our own opinions and viewpoints. In that case we’re no different than the world! And we’ll be tossed to and fro swayed by any opinion that sounds good at the time.
That’s how we got in the world mess we are in today with everyone doing what it right in their own eyes.
But deep in our hearts know there is a standard, and it is found in the living words of God. And we need to tell our children often, and in many ways.
But can I throw something in here, mom and dad, and kids pastor? In some ways we’ve contributed to the narrative of the day that the Bible shouldn’t be taken seriously by feeding our kids a steady diet of basic Bible stories with no spiritual meat to go with it. No doctrinal teeth. We cannot confuse telling cute little Bible stories to your children as the same thing as teaching them the Bible.
Kids Cannot Live on Bible Stories Alone
Kids cannot live on Bible stories alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. They are not going to be able to stand in front of an atheistic professor in college someday who is mocking and ridiculing them for their faith and say, “Hey, professor! Did you ever here the story of David and Goliath?” They need to know the deeper truths of God’s word and a lot of that is going to come by conversations you have around the dinner table.
No wonder they can be convinced the Bible is the greatest fairy tale ever told if all they ever hear is just the Bible stories.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that i might not sin against you.
Psalm 12:6 and the words of the lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.
Matthew 7:13-14 says “for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
There is a right way and wrong way to live life. The culture is not supposed to change the gospel – rather the gospel is supposed to change the culture. And there are consequences for the path we choose to walk down & our children need to know that.
Now, sit down tonight at the dinner table and talk to your kids about the Bible and have a deep discussion about what’s going on in our world today. They need to hear from you and you all need to have a good conversation about the importance of God’s word and why it is not a fairy tale!