Tonight, we we read the Bible to the boys before bedtime. Each boy snuggling closely on our laps. It had been a long day and their tired bodies were anxious for sleep. We come to the point in the Bible where Moses comes to Pharaoh and asks him to let God’s people go. As you know, Pharaoh adamantly refuses and the Lord sends plague after plague to not only ‘persuade’ Pharaoh but to show the people that He is the One, True God. My sweet husband then reads the next part about how Moses tells Pharaoh that He is going to kill each first-born in all of Egypt. At this point, I feel slightly nervous as I go from looking at the illustrations in the children’s Bible to intently watching my boy’s faces. This is the first time we have intentionally told them that God is anything other than loving and kind. How will they react to the news that God kills? Landon’s face doesn’t change at all, but Nathaniel’s jaw seems to clench and I can see that his eyebrows have started to furrow. My husband must feel the same way that I do at this point. He continues to explain that the Lord has promised to save the households who slaughter a lamb and smear the lamb’s blood on the door. Nathaniel interrupts, pressing his tiny little finger on the illustration of the stained door.
“Why is there blood on there?”
“God has promised not to kill their son if He sees the blood on the doorway”, his daddy patiently explains.
Nathaniel looks nervously to the right. To the front of our house. To our front door. His voice becomes a whisper.
“Will God kill our son? ‘Cause we don’t have any blood on our door?”
My heart aches. Oh, I want to hold him close and reassure Him that God would never do such a thing. I jump right in, quickly talking. I tell him that the people who didn’t put blood on the door didn’t love God, and that we love God…and that we are God’s children and He has promised to love us, to care for us…that He is the One we pray to after a bad dream and after we fall down and scrape our knee…He would never kill ‘our son’.
But, I think about it now, and I know that hard as it may be, this is a conversation I want to continue to have. Yes, I want my boys to feel loved by the Lord, but I want them, too, to know, and to even fear, His justice and His holiness. I don’t want them to think that our God was once the wrath-filled and vengeful God of the Old Testament and now He is simply loving and gracious. The One, True God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our God is holy and cannot have anything to do with sin. I want my boys to understand that God is just, and that left to ourselves, we are worthy of His wrath. But, God in His incredible mercy chose the nation of Israel to receive His lovingkindness and show the rest of mankind how a relationship with Him could be. And He chose to show that same mercy to us, His children and His church, through the blood of Jesus Christ. If my boys don’t understand that, their view of the Lord will be skewed. Gosh, if I don’t know that, and even if I don’t remind myself everyday, my view of the Lord will be faulty and my devotion will be half-hearted.
Pray with me today? That our children will know the fear of the Lord and that our hearts will be reminded of the One who is both Holy and so, so good. I think I know what books I need to pull of the shelf :)
“Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” – CS Lewis