Much as I hate to admit it, we don’t have daily family devotions. We don’t live on Walton Mountain either. Great if you do. I confess we don’t.
But we do love God and the Bible at our house. We’ve shared Bible stories with our son since he was itty-bitty.
Noah’s ark was his favorite for a long time. I told him how God brought two of every animal to the ark, a mommy and a daddy. He wasn’t satisfied.
“And the babies,” he said in his tiny three-year-old voice. “The mommies and the daddies and the babies.”
“Well, the Bible says a mommy and a daddy of each animal,” I said.
“And the babies,” he said. I dropped it, granting him liberty. No sense arguing with a three-year-old. Certainly there were babies when they departed the ark.
He’s six now. The Bible stories he likes are the bloody, gory, fighting ones.
We were running early one morning, so at breakfast I said, “I’ll read you a Bible story. You pick!”
“Read about when Queen Jezebel died,” he said.
I turned to 1 Kings 21, the story of Naboth’s vineyard. How King Ahab wanted it for a vegetable garden, but Naboth wouldn’t sell it to him. How King Ahab pouted and refused to eat.
My son’s favorite phrase these days is It’s not fair! No matter what it is, if he doesn’t like it, we hear the refrain It’s not fair! My husband and I are about to pull our hair out over It’s not fair! No sense arguing with a six-year-old.
So that morning I read the story my son had picked: His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?”
As my child listened and munched cereal, I smelled a teachable moment.
In the whiniest Ahab voice I could muster, I said: “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard: or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.'”
Then—God, forgive me and grant me liberty, I said: “It’s not fair! It’s not fair!”
Out of the corner of my eye I could see my son’s head pop up from his bowl.
I continued reading: Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
As it goes, Jezebel had Naboth killed, Ahab took his vineyard, and Elijah caught the king and queen red-handed. Elijah spelled out God’s judgment against them saying dogs would eat Jezebel’s body. Told you it was gory.
My son was quiet.
“It came true,” I said, “because God does everything He says He will do.”
Then I dropped it. No sense arguing with that either.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My Word that goes out from My mouth:
It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV
Proudly presenting The Waltons Theme Song by Jerry Goldsmith. Loved that show. What a week and what a way to end it!