Tag: disrespect for authority

Sin tolerated is deadly!

Scripture reading for February 27: Deuteronomy 21-26

One of the most difficult things to do is to change.  We are by nature procrastinators and easily get comfortable with sin and evil in our lives and culture.  We blame others for our bad habits and use the victim mentality to justify our own rebellion.  We easily judge others who are “worse than us” and can see their need to change.  Looking in the mirror and admitting that I need to change is another story.  Through Moses’ sermon to the younger generation, we can gain insight about the radical methods God prescribed under the Old Testament Law to remove sin and guilt from our lives and community. Moses repeated many times: “purge evil from among you”.

“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, then his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious.  He will not obey us.  He is a profligate and a drunkard.”  Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.  You must purge evil from among you. All Israel will hear it and be afraid.”  (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

According to this passage, one form of evil is dishonoring and rebelling against your God-given authority. This was a breaking of God’s law in Moses’ day, the only true source of knowing good and evil for the nation of Israel.   A son who refused to listen and be corrected by his parents exhibited rebellion.  Evil cannot be negotiated with or excused.  Discipline was to be used to remove it or drive it out of one’s home or life.  If excused, evil will affect community and nation.  It is more than a personal matter. 

Now, don’t jump to the conclusion that we should stone our children today.  This law was for God’s family under the old covenant.  It is teaching us principles of parenting and community involvement in setting standards for evil and its removal.  If we tolerate evil, it always spreads.  A lack of swift justice or discipline allows evil to grow.  A swift punishment instills a holy fear of God’s Word and reinforces the seriousness of evil as a source of death.  Notice the elders were involved here.  Those with wisdom and maturity helped the family deal with the rebellious child.  Their goal was removing evil from the midst of the community and promoting order and peace.  They cared about all the children and the future.

The general lesson for us is our need for a clear definition of good and evil in community and support for parents disciplining their children (Ephesians 6:1-4). Do you think that our culture understands disrespect of parents or authority to be sin or evil? What results when a culture tolerates evil or excuses it? Pray today for our parents and those in authority.

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