The Fear of God and Foolish Children

1. A foolish child is a great grief. PRO 10:1; 15:20; 17:21, 25. A. foolish: Fool-like, wanting in sense or judgement. B. fool: One deficient in judgement or sense, one who acts or behaves stupidly, a silly person, a simpleton. (In Biblical use applied to vicious or impious persons.) C. Debating or reasoning with a foolish person yields no rest. PRO 29:9. 2. God, the perfect Parent, has rebellious children. ISA 1:2-5. A. Who would dare deem God a failure as a parent? B. If the perfect Parent has rebellious children, imperfect parents will more likely have such. Samuel was a good parent but... 1SAM 8:1-3. C. The question for a troubled parent is not, “Did I do everything I should have done?” but rather, “Did I do enough to satisfy God’s design for child-training?” (PRO 22:6). Every man (or youth) shall answer for his own bad decisions. EZE 18:20. 3. Children rebel because they are fools and do not fear God. PSA 19:9; PRO 1:7; 8:13; 9:10; 16:6; 22:4. A. Rebellious children may claim to fear God but their notion of fearing God is not as God teaches. ISA29:13. B. If rebellious children truly feared God, they would see that rebellion was a capital offense like witchcraft under Moses’ law. 1SAM 15:23 c/w EXO 22:18. 1. Rebellion and witchcraft are both illegitimate grasps at power. 2. There is a big difference between a youth developing independent thought and challenging parents to provide more than, “Because I said so” and a youth who is trying to overthrow the headship of the home and admits to no submission. 4. Abandoning God’s fear leads to gross perversion of nature. ROM 1:18-32; EZE 16:49. A. Israel and Judah’s perverseness was owing to their elimination of God from their thought processes. EZE 9:9. B. The moral decline of rebels can be very slippery and deep. One iniquity leads to another, and God’s longsuffering is rationalized as a license to sin. ROM 6:19; ECC 8:11. 5. Fearing God we realize we cannot get away with sinning. NUM 32:23. 6. The fear of God leads to conviction for sin which leads to the love of Jesus. PSA 119:120; HEB 10:31; LUK 7:47; ACT 13:26. 7. Those who fear God delight in the company of saints. PSA 119:63, 74, 79. 8. Youth is too often a time of sin. JOB 13:26; 20:11; PSA 25:7. A. Our culture tends to facilitate this: poor parenting models, making children think the world revolves around them, giving them unfettered access to an internet of filth, fearing that reasonable expectations might cause the loss of a child’s love, etc. B. Parents: love your children dearly and godly but do not make idols of them. 9. Youth will answer for their sins. ECC 11:9-12:1, 13-14. A. God may turn youth over to a reprobate mind. ROM 1:28. B. There may be natural consequences of folly that are painful and possibly irremediable. PRO 29:1. C. There may be long-term pain for a penitent whom God forgives. God forgives and forgets. We must contend with memories of our shameful folly. 10. While parents ought to teach their children the fear of God, only God give them a heart to fear Him. PSA 34:11-14; ROM 3:18; JER 32:39-40. 11. Parents who do their job well will be rewarded. MAT 25:21; ROM 2:6-7. A. The delay of reward for doing good is not reason to not do good. LUK 14:13-14. B. It is not our province to dictate to God how and when the reward shall be given. It is our duty to do as we are commanded and leave the results and rewards with God. 12. Good parenting has long-term hope (PRO 22:6; GAL 6:9) but is not a guarantee that a child will not become a fool. DEU 21:18-21; 1SAM 8:3; 1KI 12:6-15; ECC 2:18-19. 13. All shall bear their own burden and God will not honor blame-shifting in foolish children. PRO 20:11; EZE 18:1-4. 14. Parents: do not get caught up in unprofitable burdens like: A. The envy game: “Why are other parents blessed with children who follow Christ but not me?” Envy will core out your soul more than wrath. PRO 27:4. B. The comparison game: “Other parents are taking a different approach than me and their children are doing well.” Child-training is not a contest with other parents to see who can save the most children. 2CO 10:12. C. The results game: “But other parenting models are getting results: their children are getting baptized.” Results do not determine method: ask Moses (NUM 20:11-12). If what other parents are doing is biblical, then consider doing likewise. If what they are doing is unbiblical or a compromise of biblical directives based on methinks, don’t do likewise: ask Abraham. GEN 16:1-4, 12. 15. Be patient. Seed-sowing is husbandry that may need long patience until fruit is produced. JAM 5:7. 16. Be hopeful. The most dissolute prodigals have been known to come to themselves after they learned the hard way (LUK 15:11-19). There are mercies for Manassehs. 2CH 33:12-13. 17. God helps and defends those that fear Him. PSA 115:9-11. 18. Satan hits us where we are weak to get us to give up our faith. He is frustrated when his attack becomes an occasion for us to get closer to the Lord. 1SAM 30:6; 1CO 3:19. 19. There is shelter in the name of the Lord for troubled parents. PSA 20:1; PRO 18:10; ISA 9:6-7.

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