Children and “The Second Law”

Jerry C. Brewer

The word “Deuteronomy,” the name given to the fifth book of the Old Testament, means “The Second Law.” The Hebrews named their books for the first words in them and called Deuteronomy elle-hadlebarim which means, “These Are The Words.” Forty years after he received the Law at Sinai, Moses repeated it for the benefit of the children of those who had originally received it. In this book, Moses recounts the wilderness wanderings and repeats the Law to Israel; hence, the name, “The Second Law.”

Prominent in Deuteronomy, is Moses’ command to Israel to remember the Law and teach it to their children without addition, subtraction, or substitution (Deut. 4:2). Not only was Israel to meticulously observe the Law of God but they were commanded to pass the knowledge of it on to their children. That was commanded no less than four times throughout the book, and the consequence of that teaching was, “that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children…”

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy son’s sons; specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children (Deut. 4:9-10)

And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall 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 (Deut. 6:7)

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking 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. And thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth (Deut. 11:18-21).

And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to Israel: and he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it (Deut. 32:45-47).

What Moses commanded Israel is summed up in the words of Paul to the Ephesians: “And, ye fathers, provoke not they children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). The training and spiritual education of children is committed to the home—not the church, the elders, or Bible class teachers. It is the home that nurtures and incubates Christians and fathers and mothers who fail to do this are derelict in their responsibility before God.

We decry the moral filth that swirls about us in society. We hear the foulest of language coming from small children, we turn our televisions off because of the immoral sewage that it spews into our living rooms, we daily read of sexual immorality, a government that sanctions sodomy, men who want to be women and women who want to be men and use the same public restrooms as our daughters and granddaughters, and wring our hands, shake our heads, and ask, “How did our society come to this?” The answer is that the home has been assaulted and in too many instances destroyed, and generally by willing parents who pursue their own carnal pleasures, instead of being the kind of parents the Bible teaches us to be. Mothers are no longer, “keepers at home” (Titus 2:5). Fathers no bring up their children, “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” and children are no longer disciplined. Consequently, the children mirror their parents’ morality and “society” sinks into the cesspool of wickedness.

The only way society will ever be changed is to change its component parts—individuals—and the only way to do that is through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16-17). Christian parents are salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16) in this pagan society, and must set the example for all others. God knew that Israel would fall unless each generation was indoctrinated in, and followed, His Law. That’s why He commanded the Israelites, four times, in Deuteronomy to teach their children on a daily basis. That’s why it is imperative in today’s society for Christians to obey God’s Law revealed through Jesus Christ, and teach their children daily to love and obey it. Ten righteous persons in Sodom would have saved that city from destruction, but ten could not be found therein.

If our society is to be spared the judgment of God, there must be enough righteous persons in it to turn away His wrath. His judgment may have already begun upon America, but His faithful children cannot acquiesce to the powers that be in government. They must teach their children that, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), “that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children…”

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Author: Editor

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