Thursday, June 18, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Chapter 2 (4)


Who should provide instruction? (cont'd.)

The ideal role of families in teaching and mentoring is a command and a promise in Scripture. Robert Lewis Dabney wrote this:
Malachi, in his last chapter, prepares the people for [the] long silence of revelation by two works, of which one is a promise, and the other a precept. The command is (Malachi 4:4) to walk by the law of Moses, God’s servant, and to keep the statutes and judgments given, through him, for all Israel. The promise is, that in due time the Messiah’s forerunner, coming in the spirit and power of Elijah, shall usher in the solemn, yet glorious day of Christ, by his preparatory ministry. This was to be, therefore, the next prophet whom the church should expect. But his work was to be prominently a revival of parental fidelity and domestic piety. ‘He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.’(1)
The Jewish family, who dwelled with Emmanuel, was expected to faithfully teach the next generation, preserving God’s word for the world. Dabney continues:
The next recorded message from the heavenly skies is that of the Angel Gabriel to Zacharias, given in Luke 1:11-20. The heavenly herald begins just where the earthly prophet had ended, with the promise and work of the forerunner, who was to be Zacharias’s son. “And he shall go before him [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (v. 17). That this work upon fathers and children was to be far more than the removal of domestic alienations; that it was to include this, but also to embrace a salvation of their children, and the docile seeking and reception of parental instruction by the children. […] This is the connecting link between both; it is the hinge in which they meet and combine with each other.(2)
Matthew 10:24-25 (NIV) describes the role of a student and teacher, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.” (Also see Luke 6:4). But continue reading verse 25: “If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!” Our children will follow their teacher. We are warned to be very cautious about teachers.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) teaches us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” The student will be like his master, so they need masters who can obey Matthew 28:19-20, and not the latest educational fad.

(1) Douglas W. Phillips, ed., Robert Lewis Dabney: The Prophet Speaks (San Antonio, TX: The Vision Forum, 2003), 27.
(2) Phillips, Robert Lewis Dabney: The Prophet Speaks, 27-28.

Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved

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