August 26, 2010

Through fun and engaging storytelling, Theo teaches children God’s word and how they ought to live in light of it.

Modeling Obedience to Children

When people think of obedience they might think of children needing to obey their parents. In fact, Deuteronomy 5:16 may be one of the most quoted verses among parents. “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” However, everyone, regardless of age or status, needs to understand the godly principles of biblical obedience.

One of the best examples of obedience to authority in the life of an adult is found in the book of Daniel. Daniel and his friends were Israelites taken from their home land to be trained for service to the king of Babylon himself. The Bible describes these four men in Daniel 1:4, “..young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the kingʼs palace.”

The king instructed the officials in charge of their training to give them food from the kingʼs table and teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. However, Daniel was a man of God. Although he was miles away from his own parents and religious leaders, he made a promise to himself. Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”

Right from the beginning, Daniel was resolved to not only obey God but also respect the foreign and rather pagan authority placed over him. God rewarded Danielʼs resolve by granting him favor from those in charge of him. God also gave him knowledge and understanding of everything that was taught and He even gave him the ability to interpret dreams.

During Danielʼs service to the king (Nebuchadnezzar at the time) the king had a dream. None of the kingʼs wisest advisors or “magicians” could interpret the dream, but Daniel was able to, thanks to the abilities God had given him. He immediately gave glory to God, “During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.” (Daniel 2:19)

Later, in chapter three, the friends of Daniel were put to the ultimate “obedience test.” Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of himself and had wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. He instructed that if anyone refused to worship, they would be thrown into a furnace. However, Danielʼs friends told the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

It turned out that they were thrown into the furnace, and God did rescue them. While most situations will not have consequences of fiery furnaces, the principle of obeying Godʼs laws remains. Adults need to obey God, regardless of the cost or hardship. Parents especially need to model this kind of respectful obedience in their lives for their children to observe and imitate because they are training the next generation of God followers.