Thursday, March 31, 2011

Numbers 6:24-26 and Psalm 67:1-2 -- Blessed to Bless

Sometime last week, during my daily devotions I read Psalm 67. The first two verses immediately struck me as reminiscent of the priestly blessing in Num. 6, which I quote over my boys most every morning.
1 God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us-- Selah.
2 That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.
What struck me about this text is that it explains the purpose of God's blessing: so that His "way" and "salvation" may be known throughout the world. In other words, this is a missionary blessing.

It's not about me and my kids getting and getting, but about God blessing us so that we may be a blessing to the world! What a great text!

So, I printed it up and put it on the fridge. For the last week, we've been saying it together as a family after I say the Num. 6:24-26 blessing. My goal is that all of us will have these two verses memorized so that when I pronounce the blessing, the family responds with this prayer that God will make us channels through which His name is known to the world around us.

I can envision a future time when we will explore as a family the meaning of God's "way," what it means to "know" God's way as well as His salvation, and how all this relates to praying for God to bless us so we can be a blessing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Proverbs at Breakfast: 29:15 today

Proverbs is a parent's book. It contains the inspired instructions from a wise parent to children. As such it not only instructs the parent personally, but models for the parent how to instruct a child.

Since "wisdom is the principal thing" (Prov. 4:7), I want my boys to gain wisdom. To that end, I plan to read a verse or more from Proverbs each day. Using the chapter that corresponds to the day's date, makes it easy, ensures variety, and keeps us moving.

Today's chapter is Proverbs 29, and I choose v. 15 as this morning's verse
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
As is typical for ages 4-6, key words need defining. I asked, "Daniel, what is reproof?" "I don't know."

So I offer a definition: reproof is when someone tells you that what you're doing is wrong.

I asked, "Allan, what is wisdom?" He answered, "Doing what I'm told with a happy, submissive attitude?" ... "That's what obedience is. And it is wise to be obedient!"

"Wisdom," Marianne said, "is thinking God's way." I can work with that definition. (A six year old doesn't have to be able to quote the full definition Dad gives in Wisdom Lit.: "Wisdom is the skill or ability of viewing life and all its components from God's perspective and keeping the proper focus.")

So, I say, "That's right. Wisdom is thinking God's way, and that's what Daddy and Mommy are trying to teach you to do, when we correct you."

Obviously, there's a good deal more to say about this verse, but that was enough for this morning. Line upon line ...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Talk of them when you sit in your house

Deuteronomy 6:7 says You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house ...

The "them" in the verse is God's commandments, or more generally, his word.

Breakfast is one of the times we sit in our house together, so it is a prime time to implement this aspect of Deut. 6:7. One of the ways I do this at breakfast is by quoting Numbers 6:24-26.
24 The LORD bless you, and keep you;
25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.'
My chosen method of doing this is to place my hands upon my sons' heads and then recite the verses. As I say "May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you," I lift my hands off their heads and then bring them back down on the "give you peace."

My boys have taken to grabbing my hands and seeing if they can keep me from lifting them up. At first I just lifted the boys off their seats as they held fast onto my hands. Can't do that anymore!