Thursday, November 13th, 2014
Dream Haters (Part 10)
Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, 'Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!'
So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the Name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
2 Kings 2:23-24 (NKJV)
He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
Proverbs 13:24 (NASB)
A sobering Bible story revolves around the Prophet Elisha and a large group of boys. They were mocking the holy man, and he was outnumbered. Even so, their fate is shocking. Through Elisha, God cursed them, and they suffered severe injuries.
When are children responsible for their own actions? What is the age of culpability? In the Jewish culture, boys (at 13) and girls (at 12) enter adulthood.* In yesterday's Israel, they were judged by the Laws of Moses.
In today's America, most kids are pampered. Busy parents over-indulge and under-discipline. At the same time, they guard their children from the consequences of their own actions. But is this love? God calls it hate.
Because child-serving parents create self-serving teens: a generation of entitlement. If they are raised in selfishness, they will fall in judgment. Culpable parents make culpable kids.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Whatever your parents did or didn't do in your upbringing is between them and God. Whatever your church did or didn't do in your instruction is between it and God.
But today, at this moment, it's your responsibility to get it right. Even more, it's your duty to set the record straight for a misguided generation. So get in His Word, discipline yourselves, and follow God's most fundamental Laws with extreme diligence:
' 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great Commandment. And the Second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets' (Matthew 22:37-40).
Parents, don't make Adam and Eve's mistake. Maybe they spoiled their firstborn. Children, don't make Cain's mistake either. You are your brother's keeper. So love as God directs. Love dreams as if they were your own.
To Be Continued...
* 'Under Jewish Law, children are not obligated to observe the Commandments, although they are encouraged to do so as much as possible to learn the obligations they will have as adults. At the age of 13 (12 for girls), children become obligated to observe the commandments' (Judaism 101: Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation): http://www.jewfaq.org/barmitz.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Dream Haters series.