Tuesday, February 26, 2013

At What Age Should You Start Teaching Your Children About God?

Today is day two of our eighth week, reading the Bible through together in a year.  Our scripture today is Leviticus 12-14; Hebrews 5; Psalm 111.

Leviticus 12 (NIV) gives regulations for a mother's purification after childbirth:

“‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. He shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.
“‘These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”

We see this enacted in Luke 2 (NIV), with the family of Jesus:

  22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Though we know intuitively that it was true, how wonderful to see the family of Jesus carrying out the Law, down to the letter.  He who was so often accused of breaking the Law came from a pious family.  Even before the infant was aware of it, his parents were carrying out the traditions of their ancestors and following the Word of God.

How early should you begin teaching your children about God?  As early as they can hear you sing to them.  How young should you teach them the Bible?  As soon as they can heart you read to them.  I pray that the young children in your life can never remember a time when they "started attending church," but that they will be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord from their very first days.  But, if you haven't followed that kind of schedule, then there's no time like the present to make up for lost time.


For those of you who are baffled by the Levitical laws regarding "leprosy" (defiling molds) on tents or fabrics, try Matthew Henry's Commentary on for size...

This is the law concerning the plague of leprosy in a garment, whether linen or woollen. A leprosy in a garment, with discernible indications of it, the colour changed by it, the garment fretted, the nap worn off, and this in some one particular part of the garment, and increasing when it was shut up, and not to be got out by washing is a thing which to us now is altogether unaccountable. The learned confess that it was a sign and a miracle in Israel, an extraordinary punishment inflicted by the divine power, as a token of great displeasure against a person or family. 1. The process was much the same with that concerning a leprous person. The garment suspected to be tainted was not to be burnt immediately, though, it may be, there would have been no great loss of it; for in no case must sentence be given merely upon a surmise, but it must be shown to the priest. If, upon search, it was found that there was a leprous spot (the Jews say no bigger than a bean), it must be burnt, or at least that part of the garment in which the spot was, Lev. 13:52, 57. If the cause of the suspicion was gone, it must be washe 966 d, and then might be used, Lev. 13:58. 2. The signification also was much the same, to intimate the great malignity there is in sin: it not only defiles the sinner’s conscience, but it brings a stain upon all his employments and enjoyments, all he has and all he does. To those that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, Titus 1:15. And we are taught hereby to hate even the garments spotted with the flesh, Jude 1:23. Those that make their clothes servants to their pride and lust may see them thereby tainted with a leprosy, and doomed to the fire, Isa. 3:18-24. But the ornament of the hidden man of the heart is incorruptible, 1 Pet. 3:4. The robes of righteousness never fret nor are moth-eaten.

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