A few years ago my daughter Hannah traveled to Kenya for a two-week mission trip. She and two other friends from our church at the time served in an orphanage in the interior of the country. While there, their primary diet consisted of something called ugali, which contains cornmeal and water (she says it also occasionally had rocks in it.) On their return trip, their group entered a restaurant in Nairobi. When Hannah saw the menu, she became “hysterical” (her word) and cried. The reason: they served hamburgers.
She experienced a bit of the law of supply and demand. I don’t understand economics well, but the supply of food Hannah was used to eating was scarce. This caused her desire or demand for food that she liked to go way up, which increased the value in her mind of that hamburger. I can relate, having had a similar experience on returning from my first overseas trip when I was around her age.
I thought of that this week as I studied these verses, which are part of my text for Sunday’s message at Bethany Place called Built to Last: Evaluating Parental Goals:
Deuteronomy 6:6–9 (ESV) 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
It’s possible that we think we don’t need to remember Bible texts because we believe that we will always have them available. I think the law of supply and demand may have caused us to subtly devalue the word of God. Here’s what I mean: Where I live, there’s a church on every corner. These churches meet weekly and everyone knows that whether or not they participate, the church will be there next week. In my office, I counted 20 physical Bibles, we have more at home, and my Logos Bible Software contains dozen’s of Bible translations. Many Bible translations can be accessed freely on numerous web sites. I have two Bible apps on my smart phone. One of them, You Version, will read the ESV translation to me, all for free. Finally, I have two copies of the Bible downloaded onto my Kindle. My supply of the word of God is hugely over abundant. This is a good thing. I would not want it to be otherwise, but there is a danger that the law of supply and demand kicks in. If we don’t richly value God’s word, it is not likely to grip our minds in such a way that we naturally are provoked to diligently teach and discuss God’s word with children in our span of care.
You can see the outline for the message below.
Built to Last: Evaluating Parenting Goals
Applying the Gospel to the Family Circus, Part 5
1. Develop a legacy of fearing God
Deuteronomy 6:1–3 (ESV)
“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
2. Cultivate passion for God and his word
Deuteronomy 6:4–6 (ESV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
3. Pursue intentionality teaching
Deuteronomy 6:7–9 (ESV)
7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.