Sunday, May 29, 2011

Teaching Kids: Isn't that the church's job? Part the Third

(Note: The intent of this short series is not to be exhaustive, but to give us somewhat of a "bird's eye view" as to whom is responsible to see to the Christian Education of your children. It is not meant to undermine parents or the Church. It is not meant to be condemning, but, for some, quite possibly could be. Remember, the Law, as much as it may be uncomfortable and hurt, must be preached in full sternness that we may receive the Gospel in its full sweetness.)

Focus Verses: Deuteronomy 31:9-13
Moses tells the nation of Israel to assemble everyone together; men, women, children (which is “taph” in this text, meaning “toddlers to adolescents”) even the sojourners (foreigners, guests, strangers) that are with them. They were to do this every seven years. (v. 10) Within this assembly they were to not only hear (the “shama”) but learn to fear the Lord that they would do all the things the Lord commanded. They were to do this so that their children (“ben”) who have not known it would also learn to fear the Lord. Here we see a mandate that they should instruct the nation of Israel (as this mass body of believers, as opposed to at the family level) every man, woman and child. In this way there would be no children who did not know of the instructions and mighty works that the Lord of Israel had given and done in the future generations of Israel.

Summary and Conclusion for "Part the Third":  Here we see the Lord establishing time, frequency, and location for instructing the nation of Israel with the "Law" (in this case meaning "the scriptures" as opposed to our use of the word in "Law and Gospel") The entire nation (regardless of age) and all who is with them were to be instructed as a mass body once every seven years. Here, in this case, it is the instructed responsibility of the church to see to the children's Christian Education.

ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL : Crossway Bibles, 2008 
Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament
TLSB. St. Louis, MO : Concordia Publishing House, 2009
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary
Matt Richard

Jesu Juva,
Soli Deo Gloria

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