SOAP Journal – 15 November 2016 (Exodus 13:9)

And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt.

Exodus 13:9

This verse is nestled in the context of Moses commanding the Israelites (as God had commanded him) that they would keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover and explain their significance to their children any time their children asked. I found it interesting that it is in that context that Moses speaks the words of this verse.

It seems to indicate that the keeping of the feast and the explaining of it to their children would serve as a sign … and as a reminder. I find that, as a father, I often explain things to my daughter in light of what I have learned from The Bible over the years. I know that there are those who disagree with this, but everyone teaches their child what they know, we can do nothing else. So, when my daughter asks why we pray, I explain it to her as best I can. And knowing that she will ask questions like that causes me to want to be more aware of the things I have believed so that I can explain them to a three-year-old’s satisfaction — which is almost never possible, but I can try.

The purpose that Moses gives for these explanations is that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth. It is my experience that having a child to whom I must explain my beliefs does keep God’s Law close to the surface of my mind. It causes me to have the knowledge that God has worked into me for years more ready to hand. It reminds me that I have, in fact, seen God do good things on my behalf and that I can relate these to my children when they ask.

Why is all of this important? Because with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt. Or, in my case, God exercised His might to save me from my sins. He brought me out of condemnation and into promise. Simple as that. I should be able to explain things to my children because they deserve to know what God has done for me. I know that there are those who disagree; who think that I should raise my children to make their own choice. As a believer, I can do nothing else. Everyone must choose for him- or herself. The very best that I can do is explain the choice to my children, live out my faith in their full view, and pray that God is able to touch their hearts so that they, too, choose to follow Him. The choice must be; can only be their own.

Father, thank You for the reminder that my faith must be lived out in front of my children and that I must be ready to explain to them why — why I believe; why I choose to follow; why we partake in Communion; why I was baptized; why all of the things that come with following You. Thank You, also, for my children. They are a blessing and a challenge and a joy and a frustration … sometimes all at once. Please work on me and in me to better show my children what it is to walk in Your ways.

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