#165 (3/25/18 morning)

                                                                                              (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

                                                                                              (Sermon given for a baby dedication)

Please read Matthew 5:17.  Jesus states the reason why He came to planet earth:  to fulfill the law.  Please read next Luke 2:25-27.  In order for Jesus to fulfill the law, he needed His parents help.  Jesus was totally dependent upon Mary and Joseph to bring Him to the Temple on the eighth day to be circumcised.  They assisted the Son of God in fulfilling the law.  What law?  Please read Leviticus 12:3.  The Levirate Law commanded the mother and father of a baby boy to have the newborn circumcised; Mary and Joseph obeyed the law and, in the process, helped Jesus effectuate His purpose.  A child needs a mom AND a dad to help them realize and achieve what God has purposed for them during this earthly sojourn.  It is the job of the parents to direct and train a child to love God and His people so their purpose can be accomplished.  Please read Proverbs 22:6.  The word "train" is defined as a dedication, to set apart, to lift up the hands with an offering.  Dedicating a child to the LORD is a biblical concept.  It is an act, a covenant, between the parents and God that they will train the child to serve Him and be a servant to His people.  

Parents are to make decisions for the child until they are old enough to do so on their own.  The decision-making process is lost upon the immaturity of a child.  They must LEARN from the parent how to make a decision.  A child needs the parent to teach them how to weigh right and wrong, good and evil.  Mom and Dad are in a partnership to teach and train a young mind about the LORD.  As long as the covenant is honored by the parents the LORD honors His side by putting a fence around the child.  This fence keeps evil from overwhelming the child and gives them a fighting chance to choose God when they make their own decisions.  The LORD and the parents are also in a partnership.  The fence will remain as long as the child is trained in the things of the LORD.  It is important to realize that it is the parents who keep evil away from their offspring.  Training and teaching about God have an obvious effect upon the future decisions of a young adult.  The parents decide whether or not the fence of God stays.  

 On the other hand, when the parent(s) revoke the covenant by teaching the child to do evil, the LORD removes the fence, allowing evil to influence their decisions later in life.  An example of this is the story of Baalim.  Balak hired Baalim to curse Israel but he couldn't because God had a fence around the nation to protect it from evil.  The curses coming from Baalim were turned into blessings as they prceeded out of his mouth.  Baalim told Balak how to get the fence removed so Israel could be cursed.  Make them do evil and thereby sin; then God would remove the fence.  According to history, we know that the fence was removed from around Israel; they eventually were overwhelmed by their enemies which led them into idolatry.  

We are being watched by our kids.  They learn from us how to make right decisions so it behooves the parents to be ever vigilant in their example.  Little minds are watching and learning.