by Ray Harmer
Who does not like stories? As a child growing up, I loved to listen to stories from older folks. I learned how life was when they grew up, the hardships they faced and how they managed. Then there were the “spooky” stories; mostly reserved for camping. I do not know how we survived with things like boogie-men, werewolves and hob-goblins on the loose. I had my turn telling stories to youngsters. My stories made kids wish they were anywhere but with me. I soon learned to tone the tales down; otherwise, they would all be in my tent at night.
America is in trouble today, partly because we have gotten away from storytelling. It seems most parents no longer tell their children right from wrong (Pr. 22:6). As a child listening to stories, good or bad, I was always made to feel involved, but children today feel detached from everything. We, in general, have an attitude of disobedience and a “false” fear that it might “scar” them. Our land is in the process of destroying every vestige of our past (both historical and godly) and we the people are becoming detached from our roots. As Christians, we should immediately recognize the pattern. The path we trod mirrors Israel’s disobedient and perilous times. The more we turn from God the deeper we fall into the pit of despair. Each successive generation knows less of a Holy God.
Psalm 44:1-2 states, “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people and cast them out.” The operative words here are “heard” and “told.” Israel (like America today) was in bad shape because nobody was telling the old, old stories of a God who saves and restores people and lands.
It is evident that the “stories” were not being told prior to Israel’s mess in Judges 6. God had to send a prophet…”which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land”(Jg.6:8-9).
For the good of our land, and future generations, we need to tell the stories of God, His love, deliverance and salvation. Please make it a point to read the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy. It should be required reading for all parents and grandparents. Pay particular attention to verse seven. See if you can pick out the operative words; then do as it says!
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