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: Hands that shed innocent blood (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.
God hates murder, but God does not hate all killing. Every word in this, the third in the list, is important: “Hands that shed innocent blood.” When God, in the Ten Commandments, said “Thou shalt not kill,” He was forbidding murder; not all killing. Not all killing is murder. The Old Law created cities of refuge as a remedy for a man who accidentally killed another man (Deut. 4:41-43). That was killing, but it wasn’t murder. Killing animals was endorsed by God from the beginning (Gen. 1:29-30). In both the Old and New Testaments, God clearly endorsed capital punishment of the guilty (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 13:4). God sometimes commanded Israel to kill in war (Joshua 6). So, pay attention to the wording of exactly what God hates here: the deliberate taking of innocent human life. Centuries later, the apostle John would write, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 Jn. 3:15).
Now leap-frog over the obvious examples of murder in today’s news and get to the one which is by far the most egregious kind of murder in our world, despite being promoted and applauded as guiltless. It’s abortion. I cannot imagine an act which better illustrates what is meant when the Proverbs writer said that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.”
Consider that the Greek word for baby is brephos, used of the baby Jesus: “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Lk. 2:12). The same Greek word is used of John who was still in the womb of his mother, yet unborn! “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Lk. 1:41). When the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to write this passage, He called both the baby in the womb and the baby outside the womb, brephos: baby. Killing a baby in the womb is the moral equivalent of killing a baby outside the womb. Man has imagined that killing an unborn child is different in order to protect the wickedness of abortion. He has defended the horrid act of murder.
One more thing to consider: A website which has been tracking the Novel Corona numbers in the last couple of months has posted that, worldwide, just under 40,000 have died. The Associated Press published its most recent abortion numbers in the U.S. for one year: 862,000.
God hates the hands which commit the murder of abortion.
Today in prayer, thank God for His amazing gift of human life and pray that our world will awaken to the murderous darkness of abortion.
Story Time from Glenn and Cindy: Genesis 47
1.Teach your children about the practice of a man recommending another for a position. Based on the respect Pharaoh had for Joseph, he immediately offered a trusted position over his own livestock to whomever Joseph recommended:
“The land of Egypt is before you. Have your father and brothers dwell in the best of the land; let them dwell in the land of Goshen. And if you know any competent men among them, then make them chief herdsmen over my livestock” (Gen. 47:6).
Use this to again teach your children the importance of always telling the truth; always keeping appointments; always fulfilling tasks with excellence. There will be times in life when they will be of great service to others by similarly extending recommendations.
2. It is important in life to elevate the blessings of God over the unhappy things of life. Even in trials we should speak of God’s goodness. The poorest of Christians is still greatly blessed. Hear the sad answer the aged Jacob gave to the king when asked “How old are you?”
“And Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage’” (Gen. 47:9).
Make sure your children understand that Jacob’s answer to the king did not include any of the blessings of Jacob’s life. Make sure they know that we should constantly be telling others, especially unbelievers about the blessings of God.
3. Decide if your children are old enough to understand the following observations:
Joseph served Pharaoh to the degree of using the plague to strip the Egyptians of all their their wealth and fill the treasury of the King:
‘So when the money failed in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For the money has failed.” Then Joseph said, “Give your livestock, and I will give you bread for your livestock, if the money is gone” (Gen. 47:15-16).
Those monies lasted a year, but the famine continued. Because they had not money or livestock to buy back all the grain they had charged during the seven years of plenty, Joseph agreed to trade grain for their lands, and their bodies. They would become Pharaoh’s slaves. They all agreed.
“Then Joseph said to the people, ‘Indeed I have bought you and your land this day for Pharaoh. Look, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the harvest that you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh. Four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and for your food, for those of your households and as food for your little ones.’”
A. By taxing their grain in the first seven years and selling it back to them during the time of famine, Joseph had saved their lives. Question: Did he do a good thing?
B. Could it be that Joseph was following God’s instructions? It would not be long until Moses came before a different Pharaoh, introduced the ten plagues, and spoiled Egypt. Egyptian wealth would largely be used to fund the exodus of Israel from the slavery and oppression they experienced in Egypt. Could that have been Joseph’s long-term motive? Could it have been God’s plan?
Emphasize to your children that God’s plans always happen. He always makes a way for things to work out for the good of his people. Read Romans 8:28 to them and talk about its meaning. Sing one verse of “I Know the Lord Will Make a Way for Me”
I know the Lord will make a way for me.
I know the Lord will make a way for me.
If I walk in heaven’s light
Shun the wrong and do the right
I know the Lord will make a way for me.
Tell your children that this hymn was written by Paul Epps, a minister for the Lord’s church.
4. Pray with your children. Be sure to pray that God will make his people stronger through the coming days when lots of people in our land will likely be ill. Pray for the leaders in our churches, that they will make good decisions to help us be stronger on the other side of this sickness.