If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.' Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.
Wham! Bam! These are daunting Words from the Great I AM.* While they defy our limited understanding, making God appear cruel to the ignorant (though every man is ignorant compared to God), They were ordered before Jesus changed everything.
Because without the power of His redeeming grace, a stubborn, rebellious son could wreak great havoc. Aaron, Eli, Samuel and David learned it. They witnessed their scheming sons spin out of control, scandalously manipulating God's people. Not one famous dad intervened properly, although they were God-fearing heroes of The Word.**
Consider some lessons from the Old Testament:
1. Even starring believers can be poor parents.
2. These men failed to direct and discipline their sons.
3. Each of them accepted God's judgments and justice.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: God's Word extends beyond present tense. It perceives the past and the future. Its guidance is wise, fair and true. Its love goes further than we can see: to a place where cutting correction produces the fruit of righteousness.
When Jesus came to live among us, He defended every sorry son who would come to repentance through Him. He fulfilled the Old Testament Laws condemning stubborn rebels to death. He took our punishment to the Cross.
And He brought to life Good News updates that showed us how to miss parent traps.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: Does the Bible really say that parents should have their rebellious children stoned? http://www.gotquestions.org/stone-rebellious-children.html
** The two evil sons of Aaron, their sin and outcome: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=lev%2010:1-3&version=NKJV
** The wicked sons of Eli, the priest (tutor of Samuel, the Prophet): https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+2%3A12-36&version=NKJV; https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+3%3A13&version=NKJV
** The corrupted sons of Samuel, the prophet: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+8%3A1-3&version=NKJV
** David's eldest son, Amnon, committed a terrible rape, for which he would later be killed by his half-brother, Absalom. At later times (individually), Absalom and Adonijah, David's 4th son, would try to steal the throne.
** Short article on Amnon: http://www.gotquestions.org/Amnon-and-Tamar.html
** Short article on Absalom: http://www.gotquestions.org/who-was-Absalom.html
** Short article on Adonijah: http://www.gotquestions.org/Solomon-Adonijah-Abishag.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Parent Traps series.