Saturday, January 20, 2018

What Children Observe – The First Commandment

Monday, August 2, 2010, 10:43
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What Children Observe

The First Commandment

No other gods

Deuteronomy 6:20-25

“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.’”

Ephesians 2:1-10; Philippians 1:9-11

The Law of God was to be such a prominent part of Israel’s life that children would be provoked to curiosity about it. What would they have seen? A good deal of teaching and talking about the Law, as we have seen, plus a way of life characterized by love for God and neighbor. Peter anticipated that unbelievers, seeing the hope of glory lived out in a believer’s life, would ask a reason for it (1 Pet. 3:15), and this is similar, I think, to what’s in view here.

Children pay attention. They observe what parents do and hear what they say. Here is a call for parents and all adults to remember that their conduct and conversation impact the generation to come. Let us make sure that what our children are provoked to inquire about, based on what they see in us, is the holy and righteous and good Law of God, expressed in love for God and neighbors.

In this series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Book Store.

In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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