Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 27
Day Twenty-Seven Friday, April 1
When our Children are Rebellious or Addicted
Read: Deuteronomy 21:18-21
18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the gate of that place. 20 They shall say to the elders of his town, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death. So you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel will hear, and be afraid.
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death. So you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel will hear, and be afraid. (Deuteronomy 21:21)
Reflection: We have already encountered some scriptures about disciplining children, and this one is particularly geared to the rebellious child, perhaps one with what we would today call addictions. The judgment upon them is death. As a parent, I find this biblical mandate to be very harsh. I could not obey it. I would look for other options. Does that make me unfaithful? How do you feel? I also reflect on the last portion, that the death should take place so that “all Israel will hear, and be afraid.” (v. 21) It would not only “purge evil”, it would also put all the people in the wilderness on notice that rebellion and substance abuse are capital crimes. This would certainly help keep order in the wilderness, but how does it feel to you?
Prayer: God of the Weary Wilderness, again we sit with your word for our lives. Reach us where we are. By your Spirit illumine us, as parents and as those in community with families, that we might read these mandates in the light of the Gospel message. Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist