March 7 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” ~Deuteronomy 4:9

Moses is reviewing the Israelite’s past war victories and experiences in this section of Deuteronomy for good reason. Not only are the people to remember God’s provision and His blessing, they are to pass along those stories, experiences, and lessons to future generations.

God does not subscribe to the notion that parents should allow their children to “find their own path” to Him any more than the state expects them to find their own path to education.   While parents cannot force faith on their children, they can, and are urged to, fill them with knowledge from an early age. Lessons come by deliberate teaching and by example. At some point (perhaps during those teenage years when independence becomes so important), children begin deciding on their own whether to accept or reject these precepts.

Notice that the Lord follows up His admonition to teach children with a warning against idols. His counsel is as relevant for us as it was for the ancient tribes. As God’s people living in this modern age, we live in a culture of idolatry. To worship houses and cars, jobs and success, is to worship the gift instead of the Giver. We must only worship the Creator and not creation or man-made trappings. And we must also teach our children to praise God alone so that every generation will find true blessing.

A Note on Battle and Bloodshed: The warring in this and future sections may be difficult for modern minds to justify. It is important to remember that war is one of God’s means for bringing judgment on people who pollute HIS world. While the concept of “just war” has been wrongly applied in the history of mankind, it is difficult to argue that God is opposed to all forms of force as a means of restraining or removing evil.[1] The faithful will likely continue to debate the issue of war until the Lord returns to defeats all evil (with His sword, no less).

[1]There are three major positions on war within Christian tradition: 1) No war (passivism), which is the position of those who refuse to fight on humanitarian grounds; 2) holy war, which is meant to advance religious causes through “crusade;” and 3) just war, wherein fighting is undertaken for legitimate causes under legitimate authorities. The merits of all three have been debated throughout the centuries.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.