We were on our way home from AWANA last night when my oldest daughter started asking me questions about Satan. She wanted to know why he had been thrown out of heaven and what was going to happen to him when Jesus came back. I was feeling pretty confident about my answers -- until my youngest decided to join the conversation with the question, "Why doesn't God forgive Satan?" Now, it had been a pretty long day. I had spent a great portion of the day trying to catch up on some work and meet some deadlines. My brain was pretty fried -- not to mention the fact that I was driving a car at 70 mph. When she asked that question, my brain went into slow motion mode, thinking how do I explain this to a 7-year-old when I'm not super clear on all of it myself?
So, I came up with the brilliant answer of, "Well, I don't think Satan is sorry for what he's done." I went on to explain that God loves us and wants to forgive us, but we have to ask Him to do so. She seemed pretty happy with that answer. Then she hit me with the profound statement of the day: "Satan should just read the Bible."
Now, I'm not going to get into the deep theological issues behind the conversation we had last night. I'm sure there are biblical scholars out there who can explain all the reasons why God doesn't forgive Satan and why He gave Satan the run of the earth. Those types of answers are useful but to offer them up here isn't going to give us any practical application for today.
What I want to focus on is the simple, profound statement of my almost 8-year-old, who gets what so many of us miss -- that the Bible has the answers. How often do we seek answers from just about every other place before we seek answers from the Bible? We call our friends, we read self-help books, we Google things -- all before we pick up our Bibles to see what God has to say on the subject.
All the good stuff is in the Bible. It offers instruction on parenting, relationships, money and so much more. It comes from the source of all wisdom, yet too often we're too busy looking for the world's answers to look for God's answers. The world has said the Bible is an outdated text. As Christ-followers it should be the first place we look for answers, yet sometimes we buy into the world's view and seek instruction other places first.
The Bible needs to be our first source of wisdom. God gives us friends, family and other experts to help us, but He expects us to test all other advice against His wisdom. If the Bible is not the first place we look for answers, then how can we expect our children to seek out God's wisdom when they need answers?
Make the Bible a centerpiece of your life. Let your kids see you searching out God's wisdom when faced with a problem.
- When your kids come to you looking for advice about something, don't hesitate to say, "Let's see what God has to say about that." Look up some verses with your children on the topic. Help your kids see God's wisdom on the subject.
- Keep your Bible handy. We can only glean God's wisdom if we're using our Bible regularly. Have a daily quiet time and make sure your kids know that you have one. Encourage your children to have their own quiet time where they read the Bible (or look at a picture Bible) and talk to God. The time doesn't have to be long, but it's a good habit to begin instilling in even young children.
- Give your kids an example of how human wisdom changes over time. Talk about how a long time ago, people thought the earth was flat. Now, we know that the earth is round. Explain that over time, as we learn more about things, the advice and knowledge that we have changes. Yet, God's wisdom never changes. It worked for Moses, and it will work for them.
- Memorize Psalm 119:97-100: "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts." David knew that God's word made him wise. We want to be like David in seeking God's word when we need wisdom.
If we simply seek God's wisdom first, we will avoid much pain, confusion and heartache. God's wisdom is always best, and it's always available. We just have to read the Bible.