AVOID BAD UPBRINGING
TEXT: EZEKIEL 19:1-14.
🔑KEY VERSE “And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured” (EZEKIEL 19:3).
When John Wesley was in college, his mother one day wrote him: “If you are tempted to be judge of the lawfulness or the unlawtulness of a pleasure, use this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the desire of spiritual things; whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind, that thing, to you, is wickedness.”
Our text is a lamentation for the princes of Israel whose mother brought them up to be wicked. They were taught to catch the prey and devour men. This led the nation to become desolate, with the cities lying waste. Prophet Ezekiel likened the kingdom of Judah to a lioness and the kings of Judah to a lion’s whelps. They were cruel and oppressive to their own subjects. Jerusalem was a vine, flourishing and fruitful. This vine was now destroyed, though not plucked up by the roots. She had, by wickedness, made herself tinder to the sparks of God’s wrath, so that her own branches served as fuel to burn her.
Parents should note that feeding, clothing and provision of formal education are not their only responsibilities. God expects, above all, that children be brought to Jesus. It is better to leave every other thing, if possible, until your children are brought into the kingdom of God. The quality of your children’s lives is dependent on whatever you sow into them. It is what you sow that you will reap. The godly lifestyle and influence of parents go a long way in helping children make decisions for Christ.
If your children have already been affected by the evils of our day, assure them that all is not lost. Gently lead them to Christ and teach them scriptural ways to escape the corruptions of the world. God will crown your efforts with success.
✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Children are the sum of what parents contribute to their lives.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR PSALMS 105-106.
Learning to decode God’s hidden messages
- God, in many cases, uses parables, figures of speech, coded dreams etc., to speak to His people like in our text. None will escape it, Psalm 78:2.
- We must learn to decode God’s messages and revelations to us if we want to be guided always by Him, Matthew 13:33,34.
- Coded messages (parables, dreams, vision etc) from God, compel the hasty man to devote time to reflect and meditate on God’s messages, withdraw His messages from the careless who will not value it, put to test the capacity of man to understand spiritual things, challenge man to study the Bible and seek the face of God for meaning, humbles the proud like He did to Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, sharpens the power of imagination, make spiritual messages easy to comprehend and show the ability of God to relate with man using human language and figures of speech, Job 33:14-17, Matthew 7:6; 13:11-14.
- It is natural for slipshod readers of the Bible to avoid today’s text and concentrate on plain and “milk” passages of the Bible alone. The fact is that such will miss the rich messages which only the parable can give.
- The text talks about the lioness (Judah, v2), giving birth to a young lion (king Jehoahaz) who, after being captured, took “another of her whelps” (king Jehoachin or Jechoniah,v5) and foolishly trained him in the same rebellious way…
- How do you decode such a rich text including your God-given dreams and visions?
a. You must be very conversant and diligent with the study of the Bible. The key to the interpretation of divine messages are in the scriptures and neither in the internet nor prophets.
b. Be patient to eat the meat of the word and don’t just concentrate on the milk of the word, Hebrews 5:14.
c. Don’t just study the Bible for present edification alone, study it for future needs.
d. Look at the key words in the revelation and reflect on where it is used in the Bible and what it means. For example, the Lion of Judah was used for Christ, so animals can stand for human beings. Fruitful trees and garden stand for prosperity.
e. Good Bible study aids like commentaries, lexicons, concordance etc. will be of help. Deep knowledge of the word of God is never cheap. Only those who are willing to pay the price can discover and dig out gold from the ground.
f. Learn to pray over it and don’t just rush for the help of interpreters. If you have the Spirit of God, you can always interprete your dreams yourself.
g. Write down your dreams or revelations because the full meaning may not come immediately but after a period of meditation and reflection.
h. There is reason for divine revelation. If you don’t like it, pray immediately to cancel it from reality and if you like it, pray that God will bring it to reality.
Lord, I have decided to be a careful and diligent student of your word. Give me the right heart🙏
Lord, I ask that you give me the spirit of understanding and revelation in the knowledge of your word and will🙏
Lord, give me increasing wisdom to be able to always decode your revelation to me🙏
Lord, remove all dullness of hearing from your people in the Church and release the Spirit of revelation to all🙏
HYMN Lord speak to me