Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bible Study: Traditions and Dinner Topics

Bible Study and Dinner Talk Question: 

Selling the Birthright- Matthew Stomer
Free Download: Dinner Topics collection, on September 23, 24, 25 in honor of National Family Day

How might our heritage of liberty compare to the “birthright” of American families? Worth noting is this lesson from forgotten history—the ancient example of Biblical parent Rebekah, who guided her son Jacob to rescue the sacred birthright from destruction.

Isaac told his son Esau to bring him venison, and then he would give his son a blessing. Isaac, aged, blind, and dying, prepared to extend the birthright blessing to the eldest son, as was the tradition. Rebekah, however, arranged that Jacob, the younger brother, ended up receiving the birthright blessing. Rebekah’s motives might appear on the surface to be unjustified. But she had reasons, and there have been numerous instances since, in which the eldest did not receive the birthright, because of unworthiness.

A study of this Bible story in Genesis reveals some sensible reasons behind Rebekah’s actions. First, the Lord had told Rebekah that Jacob was to be the birthright son. Second, many years before Isaac was to bestow this great, eternal blessing on one of his sons, Esau had shown contempt for it by selling it to Jacob for a hot meal of pottage. Dallin H. Oaks observed, “Many Esaus have given up something of eternal value in order to satisfy a momentary hunger for the things of this world.” Third, Esau married girls who were unbelievers, in direct disobedience to his parents. Fourth, Esau persisted in wickedness, without remorse.

Surely, over the years, Isaac and Rebekah had sorrowed together a great deal over Esau’s unworthy behavior. Lest we judge Rebekah too harshly, she had not forgotten that the Lord had revealed to her the destiny of the righteous Jacob. As parents do, she must have spent sleepless nights wondering how this would come to pass, especially as time paced inexorably toward the appointed moment. Perhaps by some miraculous means, the Lord would have brought about the prophecy, if Rebekah had had more faith. But at length, the moment of decision came. Isaac was dying, and perhaps he himself saw no way to change the tradition, knowing of no precedent. Nevertheless, once Isaac discovered that he had blessed the younger son, he continued to ratify the blessing. Rebekah was willing to take full responsibility for ensuring that her revelation from God was fulfilled.

In America today, our heritage of liberty might be compared to our sacred birthright. Are we losing that heritage? If so, who is taking it, and what can be done about the pottage replacing it?

What do epic heroes do? They save or rescue nations and peoples. But epic heroism can also take place in a home, within a family. In rescuing the sacred blessings of her family, Rebekah did a heroic act. Are today’s parents confident that their children and grandchildren can enjoy, unfettered, the hard-won heritage of freedom bequeathed by previous generations?

In today’s society of shifting values, most parents have serious misgivings about the future of their families. In the Biblical type-scene, the birthright blessings were in danger of falling into immoral hands. So it is today. When did the birthright begin to slip from our grasp? There is a specific event that breached the protective dike, so to speak.

In 1963 the United States Supreme Court banned prayer and Bible-reading from public schools. Trying to avoid the “establishment of religion,” the Supreme Court actually “prohibited the free exercise thereof,” and inadvertently established atheism as the state religion. Countless teachers and students have been punished for praying or reading the Bible in public schools.

When God was removed from the schools, so was accountability. Over time, as Constitutional principles have been replaced by philosophies of despotism, the slope toward the abyss of moral relativism has slickened, and slipping down it has accelerated. The destructive moral decline in our society can be traced back to the enforcement of atheism. What are the consequences of this enforced system of beliefs?

•    The theory of evolution has been taught as fact almost exclusively in the schools. Equal time to examine creation or intelligent design has been denied.
•    History is no longer taught in the schools. Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln are no longer honored by national holidays in most schools.
•    Fornication and abortion are taught as acceptable behavior. Nevertheless, sexually active girls are three times more likely to take their own lives than those who are abstinent. Boys are eight times more likely. Two thirds of teens who have committed moral transgression wish they could go back to innocence again and desperately wish they had waited.

•    Widespread abortion is considered by some government leaders to be a national cost-saver
So, What Is to Be Done?

In the rising generation will be found tomorrow’s leaders. They are our hope for the future. They are epic heroes in training.  That training, also known as character education, is not offered in schools, because the best training manuals, containing the word of God, are banned in the schools. Nevertheless, the pattern for our solution is found in the banned books. Biblical prophets were trained at home, by their parents, or in Samuel’s case, by a priest.

Parents can rescue their families from the onslaught of unholy influences. It is simpler than you think. It doesn’t have to be formal instruction. Think of it. Rebekah’s heroic act revolved around a meal. Just gather for dinner daily and teach with scriptural epic stories, like Jesus did.
Copyright © 2011 by Christine Davidson
Leadership topics

Download Epic Stories for Character Education FREE on September 23, 24, 25
If you miss the free days, you can borrow it from the library at this same link

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