There have been times I’ve questioned the prudence of rearing children in this hour. The waters of life seem so murky and troubled. The culture of our nation seems to be increasingly hostile to sound Christian values. Will we face persecution in the near future? People have already lost livelihoods due to their faith. What if we’re entering the very last days?
I’ve thought I could bring myself to face evil days with the Lord’s help, but I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing my children face them. Then I’d counteract those thoughts by reasoning that throughout the ages of history, many, if not most generations have had to expose their children to danger and injustice. That didn’t do much to comfort me for long. Those weren’t my children. I was back to square one, fearing for my children. Fearing for their temporal future. Fearing for their eternal future.
The Children Of Israel
Recently I read a passage of Scripture that caused me to repent of my faithlessness and selfishness. It felt as if it was put there just for my conviction and freedom. The context of the verses was Israel in the wilderness getting ready to enter the promised land. But the spies brought back a dismal report.
Numbers 14:1-3 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey.Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” –ESV (italics mine)
Sometimes We Make The Same Mistakes
I’ve cringed many times at the rash words spoken by the Israelites on the exodus journey. But as I read these verses, it struck me that I was behaving very similarly by dreading my own journey or metaphorical promised land because I was afraid my children would become a prey. How easily I’ve glossed over those verses in the past and written the Israelites of that generation off as a faithless crowd. Where has my own faith been?
I had never paused to consider that there was an altruistic reason for the Israelite men not wanting to enter the promised land. It was easy just to think they were cowards. But they had the same concerns many of us have in our faith walk.
However, I’m not here to defend them either. God was displeased with them and so defending them would not be wise. Rather, I think we should look at their story with eyes cast inward, searching our own souls with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. As mentioned above, I was convicted when reading this, and had to repent.
God Has A Plan
The truth of the matter is, God has ordained our lives from before the foundation of the world. We have nothing to fear or worry about. He has our lives mapped out with every possible snare, pitfall and persecution factored in already. If we follow the exodus story on to where we find the original generation gone, and the next generation entering the promised land which was shunned by their elders, we see that God was faithful.
Deuteronomy 1:39 And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. – ESV
They did possess it. God was saw them through. He is able and willing to be just as faithful to us who have surrendered our lives to Him and walk by faith into the realms He has called us to. Though we may look like grasshoppers compared to the giants we’ll potentially face, our God has provided victory already.
Don’t get the wrong idea though. I’m not saying we’ll have an easy time of it. Or even that we won’t face persecution. Only God knows exactly what lies ahead. But that in itself is comforting. He knows it already. He has a plan already. It includes our children if we commit them into His hands. We should not be so addicted to circumstantial peace and safety that we can’t find peace and safety in God. Whether that means temporal safety or not is irrelevant. We are to be eternally minded. And in that we do have promises to rest in.