"TELL YOUR CHILDREN."
I. GOD HAS BEEN MANIFESTING HIS POWER UNTO THE ISRAELITES.
A. They have seen the power of God bring the great Egyptian nation to its knees.
B. He has made stiff the heart of Pharaoh so that He might show His awesome power to His people.
C. God wants the people to know what a mighty God He is.
1. They have watched Him as He has been dismantling the Egyptians.
2. They are about to follow Him in a grand adventure. He is wanting to lead them to the land that He had promised their father Abraham.
3. It is not going to be an easy journey, they will face many hardships.
4. They are going to have to learn to trust the Lord. He is showing them His power so that they will have confidence to follow Him.
II. GOD WANTS THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS GREAT POWER DECLARED TO THE NEXT GENERATION. "THAT YOU MAY TELL IT TO THE EARS OF YOUR SON, AND YOUR SON'S SON THE GREAT THINGS THAT I HAVE WROUGHT IN EGYPT."
A. As parents it is our responsibility to see that our children know of the mighty power of the God that we serve.
1. God wants His power and love declared from one generation to the next.
2. In the psalm that we read this morning Asaph said:
Give ear, O my people, [to] my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
We will not hide [them] from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
3. In Deut. 6
, the Lord commanded Moses to say to the people:
Now these [are] the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do [them] in the land whither ye go to possess it:
That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do [it]; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
4. Verse four is referred to as the Shema. Yahweh Eloheeynuw Yahweh Yishraaeel She-ma echad.
a. The interesting thing is the Hebrew word for one. The word echad, which is a compound unity.
b. In Ezekiel 37
when God told Ezekiel to take the two sticks and join them one to another, and they shall be one in your hand, the word for one is the same Hebrew word echad. The two become joined as one (echad).
c. Speaking of marriage God said, the two shall become one (echad) flesh.
d. There is another Hebrew word for one, that is Yachid. This is an absolute one. Solitary.
e. Had the Shema declared: Yahweh, Eloheeynuw Yahweh Yishraaeel Shema yachid, you could have no doctrine of the trinity.
5. But note, "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you are walking down the path, when you rise up in the morning."
6. Again in Deut 6
the Lord said:
[And] when your son shall ask you in time to come, saying, What do these testimonies mean, and the statutes, and the judgments, which 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 awesome, upon Egypt, and upon Pharaoh, and his household, before our eyes:
And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us into this land which he swore to give unto our fathers.
And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when thou walk in the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8. My mother followed these instructions literally.
a. I can still remember when we would lie down for our naps, she would sit in the room and read us Bible stories until we would fall asleep.
b. She would repeat this each night.
c. She would teach me memory verses as she was pushing me in the swing.
d. She would have me read her Bible stories as she was doing the ironing.
e. When we would ride in the car, she would help me memorize the books of the Bible.
9. In chapter 12 of our reading this week when God instituted the Passover feast He told them:
And it shall come to pass, when you come into the land which the LORD will give you, as he hath promised, that you shall keep this service.
And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, Why do we keep this service?
You shall say, It [is] the sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.
10. Many things were done as a memorial so that they might explain to the children the mighty works of God.
a. The Passover.
b. The offering of the firstborn unto God.
c. The feast of booths.
Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.
d. The pile of stones on the bank of Jordan. God told Joshua to:
Command the people to take from the middle of the Jordan River, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and carry them over with you, and leave them in the place where you will lodge this night.
That they may be a sign to you, [that] in the future when your children ask their fathers What these stones?
That they shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
B. We must pass on to the next generation the truth of the wonderful work of God.
1. As we look at history and the great movements of God we see first that generation that experienced the move of God.
2. The next generation are usually told of the great movement of God but often do not experience it.
3. The following generation does not even hear of the move of God. They often do not even know God.
4. Note the great fervor and tremendous revival under John Knox founder of the Presbyterian church, who prayed, "Lord give me Scotland, ere I die."
a. Now a few generations later:
b. A Presbyterian minister in Cleveland, Ohio fronted a suit by the ACLU against the state of Ohio because of their State motto: "With God all things are possible."
5. John Wesley conducted great revivals all over England and even here in the states, and from those revivals came the great Methodist movement.
a. The United Methodist board of Church and Society offered a brief to the Supreme Court opposing the Boy Scout ban of allowing homosexuals to become scout masters.
6. It seems that the law of entropy is not only true in the physical realm, but in the spiritual realm.
a. The trend always seems toward disintegration. From a strong trust and faith in God to an absolute denial of the faith.
b. In a recent survey of 7,741 Protestant ministers by a sociologist Jeffrey Hadden, these are the percentages of ministers who answered no to the following questions.
DO YOU ACCEPT THE PHYSICAL RESURRECTION OF JESUS AS A FACT?
51% of the Methodist ministers answered no.
35% of the Episcopalians.
33% of the American Baptists.
30% of the Presbyterians.
13% of the American Lutherans.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS?
34% American Baptists.
19% American Lutheran.
DO YOU BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES ARE THE INERRANT WORK OF GOD IN FAITH, HISTORY AND SECULAR MATTERS?
77% American Lutheran.
77% American Baptists.
7. This is a graphic illustration of the failure to pass on to succeeding generations the wonderful work of God.
III. THE PURPOSE OF TELLING OUR CHILDREN, "THAT THEY MAY KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD."
A. It is so easy to lapse into idolartry, to begin to worship other gods.
1. The psalmist made reference to the gods of this world.
2. The gods of pleasure.
3. The gods of power.
4. The gods of sexual indulgences.
5. The gods of human intellect.
B. In the psalm we read this morning, God gave other reasons.
1. That they might set their hope in God. We seem to want to set our hopes in everything but God.
2. That they not forget the works of God.
3. That they might keep His commandments.
C. What are you doing to make your children aware of the greatness of God and His wonderful works of love toward us?