Marching to Zion Part 8: Keeping the Kids Safe

Read time: 2m 40s

Read Deuteronomy 1:34-40

Intro: The Lord told the people to “see…go in and take possession” of God's blessings. But they were afraid. Despite Moses’ arguments, they refused. 
Here's one of the reasons why...

"And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it." (Deut 1:39)

Fear and Dread—whom we met earlier (1:29)—scare us in part by appealing to every parent's anxiety about their children. What will happen to then in the so-called “promised land”? “How could you think about going in there! Your little ones and your children will become prey! God might keep you safe—after all you’re big and strong (which makes it easier for him)—but think about the children! Oh! The children!”

How much stupidity is done in the name of “the children”?

“We must think of the children!” So, we keep them safe…from grace. We bless them…with sin. We give our lives in order to protect them…from our love. We stand resolute and proud because we have allowed them…to ruin themselves.

We’re such good parents.

Here’s the question: if a kid or grandkid or friend’s kid were to grow up and be rich and successful, but have no connection with Jesus, would that be okay? Or, what upsets us more, the idea that a kid might not show how great of parents we are, or the idea that they might not show how great Jesus is? Does it bother us more to think that people might think we were a bad parent, or that Jesus is a lame God?

Now, it’s important for our kids to learn math, science, and literature; it’s important for them to be moral and upright citizens and neighbors; it’s important for them know right from wrong and be respectful and kind.

But not anywhere near as important as knowing the contours of the Land which God promised and delivered in Jesus. Not anywhere near as important as knowing what the Gospel means, and how to use it. Not anywhere as important as knowing that when you realize how epic your sins are and how much a mess of your life you’ve made,  you’re still, already, and always will be forgiven, accepted, washed, and redeemed. 

Do our kids know how to confess their sin?
Do they know how to seek help from the Throne of Grace?
Do they know how the New Covenant works?
Do they know what the Spirit wants to do in their lives?
Do they know how to claim a promise?
Do they know how to pray?
Do they know how to believe in forgiveness and hope in redemption?

These are just a few of the essential life-truths and -skills we have from God in the Gospel. They're more valuable than a trust-fund, more life-saving than firearm safety; more peace-giving than a strong career trajectory; more sustaining than clean living. 

Parents. Grandparents. Uncles and Aunts. Let's lead our children into the land! So learn about Jesus and what He did and what it means for life and then explain this to our children as only you can. And must.

Nothing else will keep them truly safe.


Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash