Children Need to Know that Death Is Real

March 8, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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Last time we talked about a key Bible theme that must not be ignored by parents when teaching the Bible to our children. In fact, it must be emphasized. Here is another:

2. Death is real.

It is also scary.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Hebrews 9:27

Death should be scary because it is a result of sin, and God absolutely hates sin.

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 2:17

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:12

Sadly, when we teach the standard “children’s” Bible stories – baby Moses in the Nile, the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the big fish/whale, Daniel in the lions’ den – we tend sanitize them and gloss over their fuller meanings, when, if we look at them faithfully, the fact of death comes up organically and realistically.

Look at the story of Noah’s ark, for example. What must we do to make this a happy children’s fairy tale? Well, to start with, you have to skip the prologue.

And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Genesis 6:7

And most of the actual story, for that matter.

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

Genesis 7:16

All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

Genesis 7:22

To make it what our modern culture thinks of as “child-friendly,” you have to limit it mainly to just talking about a few animals, and cut straight to the rainbow.

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

Genesis 9:13-14

And even then you have to be careful about reading too far!

And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Genesis 9:15

The story of Noah’s ark is not a Disney story. It’s not like the man who tied balloons to his house so he could float away from death to a magical place.

Noah and his family were not in there petting kitty cats and singing rain rain go away, little Japheth wants to play. They were probably covering their ears against the screams of terror outside… and they were resting wholly in one thing and one thing only for their salvation: God and His Word.

Have you ever told the children that God has entrusted into your care that the only reason Dad and Mom can laugh and smile and play with them – the only reason that they are looking forward to getting older instead of dreading it – is because Jesus has defeated death for all – BUT ONLY FOR ALL – those who have trusted Him?

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

I Corinthians 15:24-26

Next time I will discuss another difficult truth that we must teach our kids.

shadow of death.png

The Big Cover-Up

January 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Genesis | 5 Comments
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Noah was a preacher of righteousness. In obedience to God, he built the ark that, upon the waters of the world-wide flood, saved the human race from extinction. Noah, however, was human, and, like everyone who has ever walked the face of the earth – except for the Lord Jesus Christ – Noah did commit sins. Genesis Chapter 9 records the shameful account of Noah’s post-flood vineyard, his drunkenness, and his exposed condition in his tent.

Noah’s son, Ham, found him in this condition, and, instead of discreetly covering his father, he went to tell his brothers.

And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

Genesis 9:22-23

Shem and Japheth did what Ham should have done. In love, they covered their father’s sin. The Bible teaches us that a sinner who covers his own sins shall not prosper (Proverbs 28:13). However, Christians, imitating the love of their Savior, should seek to cover the transgressions of their brothers and sisters, rather than seeking occasions to harvest grist for the rumor mill (Proverbs 17:9).

Men Rise and Fall, but the Lord Reigns Forever

January 14, 2010 at 9:24 am | Posted in Genesis | 3 Comments
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Few Bible patriarchs can match the sheer magnitude of Noah’s heroism. When every thought and imagination of all the men in the world was only evil continually, Noah alone found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:5-8). Our highest praise is not given to Noah, whose righteousness saved the human race. Our highest praise is reserved for God, Who, by grace, created a righteousness in Noah that allowed him to be used by God.

The years that followed were tough for Noah. Certainly he was ridiculed and ostracized as he and his sons labored to build an ark. Surely he experienced some moments of fear and doubt as God ripped open the crust of the earth and released the flood waters beneath, while also pouring down torrents from above. It would not be a stretch to suppose that Noah felt anxiety at times as he and his family and the animals were shut up in the ark for well over a year while God purged the world of external wickedness.

We might even imagine that Noah, seeing all the promises of God come true, and being the ultimate obedient survivor of the world’s greatest catastrophe, would have gone on to live victoriously, never failing to wait upon the Lord, nor to do His will. We know from Genesis Chapter Nine, however, that this was not the case.

And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

Genesis 9:20-22

Men who are in danger, and are totally dependent upon God’s grace and mercy every moment, tend to have an easier time resisting sin. It is when a man begins to think that he is mighty – and that his past service to the Lord has earned him a special license to serve the flesh – that he is most prone to fall. Beware of the notion that God, just because He has decided to use you in a great way, will allow you to sin successfully.

Their Ark Was Bigger than Their Bite

January 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Genesis | 6 Comments
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Noah’s ark is a good picture of how the Christian life is supposed to work. The Christian is a ship and the “world” (this world’s system which opposes Christ) is the sea. A ship’s proper place is on the sea. Christians must operate in this world, and not be isolated in “dry-dock.” As long as a ship is “on top” of the sea, everything is fine. The trouble comes when the sea gets inside a ship. When that happens, the ship begins to ride low in the water, and does not operate efficiently. Eventually (and sometimes very rapidly), more and more water starts to get into the ship, and it finally goes under and sinks to the bottom. Christians should be “on top” of the world, but we must not let the world “get into” us. If we do, we will make a shipwreck of our life and our faith.

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

Genesis 8:6-9

The raven did not come back when the dove did, because the raven was comfortable floating on dead carcasses and eating them.

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Genesis 9:2-3

Now men would hunt and eat animals, and the animals would fear men.


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