My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.
My Favorite Proverbs: Seven Things God Hates (Prov. 6:16-19)
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
The following seven Boost articles will be about this list. These verses should profoundly and practically impact our lives. God hates these things and they are antithetical to His very character. They are an abomination to Him, that is, they are disgusting and sickening. To help us understand abomination, think of the emotion you feel when you consider a man sexually abusing a child, knowing that the damage will last in real ways for that child’s entire life and, perhaps even into eternity. You hate that crime. God hates these seven things. Today let’s search our hearts and lives and make sure God can see none of these in us.
This list begins in an interesting way to draw our focus. As Jamison Fausset and Brown commentary puts it, it is a “…mode of speaking to arrest attention.” It’s as if he’s talking while in the course of pondering the list. He is thinking out loud, even adding one of the items as a kind of afterthought: “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him.”
This is not the only time Scripture uses this way of presenting deep thoughts:
“There are three things that are never satisfied,
Four never say, “Enough!”:
The barren womb,
The earth that is not satisfied with water—
And the fire never says, ‘Enough!’”(Prov. 30:15-16).
“He shall deliver you in six troubles,
Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you” (Job 5:19).
I don’t want to leave you today with only a list of what God hates. Consider that we do not really love if we don’t hate. The same Bible which declares that “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8), also introduces us to things He hates. If you want to know some things God really loves, let your mind reach to the sweet opposites of these seven:
…loves a man who looks to others with the eyes humility and compassion; a man who thinks of others, often above himself (Phil. 2:3-4).
…loves a man who loves and tells truth. His yes means yes and his no means no (Matt. 5:37).
…loves a man who would give his own life before deliberately shedding innocent blood (I Jn. 3:15). He supports capitol punishment because, from deep inside he opposes the liberate taking of innocent human life (Rom. 13:3-5).
…loves a man who thinks soberly about Scripture, listening to every sermon, Bible class, and conversation with Christians with the intent to truly apply it in his life (Psa. 1:1-2).
…loves a man who has a strong resolve to avoid sin because he loves God and His ways so much (Rom. 12:9).
… loves a man who loves justice and righteousness; one who would never pervert justice to satisfy his own lusts. A man who wants fairness for his fellow man as much as he does for himself (Mic. 6:8).
…loves a man who would rather suffer injury himself than to cause division among Christians. A man who loves the unity among brethren (Ephesians 4:1-3)
I hope this whets your appetite for studying the list each day. Monday, we’ll dig into the meaning of, “a proud look.”
Story Time from Glenn and Cindy:
If you haven’t already done so, read the second half of Genesis 45, beginning with verse sixteen. Here are some talking points to guide tonight’s study with your family as we study the importance of Joseph’s reputation in Egypt.
1. First tell your children the ways Pharaoh decided to help Joseph get his family to Egypt. Tell them about the gifts Pharaoh sent home with the brothers. The king, himself, is a great supporter of Joseph! Why is this?
2. Review the story of Joseph, especially as it pertains to his reputation, with your children. We see the character of this important man, Joseph, as soon as he faces adversity at the age of 17 (Gen. 37). Torn from his family and home Joseph loses the wealth and position in his father’s house and becomes a slave. He was soon bought by Potiphar. (Gen. 39:2-5). Potiphar respected him for his honesty and good manners. It didn’t take long for Potiphar to see he had a great asset in the young man Joseph. “What kinds of things do you think Joseph might have done to make Potiphar trust and like him this much? (Have the children name some things with you.) Ask the children, “Are these things that you are doing? Are you like Joseph?”
3. When Joseph was unfairly convicted and imprisoned, the keeper of the prison soon put Joseph in a respected and trusted position (39:22). This is the second time we see someone quickly coming to see that Joseph was someone who could be trusted. “What kinds of thing do you suppose Joseph said and did in jail that made the keeper honor him this way? (Think of specific things you might do in jail if you were a person who was wrongly put there; if you were really a follower of God…like being kind to those around you, telling the guards if someone was stealing or escaping, doing jobs even when not asked, saying yes-sir and yes-ma’am to people around you, never losing your temper, etc…) “Are you like Joseph?”
4. When Joseph, by God’s power, interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, Pharaoh said, “There is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
What did Pharaoh see in Joseph that made him trust Joseph so much? How did God help Joseph to make Pharaoh know he was wise and good? Read James 1:5 to your children and tell them the ways God gives us wisdom (study, examples from older people, experiences, etc…) Tell them that when we ask God for wisdom and seek His will, it makes good people love us and want to be like us. It makes them trust us. Tell them that’s why we trust our elders in the church–because they have shown us they are wise and tell the truth and give good advice. Ask your kids to name the elders. Ask them to name something about one of the elders that they admire and want to do in their own lives. Show them the elders’ photos from the directory and see if they know them.
“What I want do to as your father/mother is teach you how to be like Joseph in your words and deeds. You will be a great servant of God like Joseph. People will trust you and put you in charge of things. One day you will be a faithul elder or preacher for God or a faithful wife and mother for God!
5. Sing with your children Oh, Be careful little eyes.
6. Go around the room and have each person name one additional person in the church who is trustworthy—someone they know is wise and would give good advice like Joseph did to Pharaoh. Have them tell why they think this is true.
7. Pray with your children. Be sure to put the James 1:5 request in your prayer.
8. Have your children quote the KidSing Rule: “Do the right thing.”