“Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 31:12 (NIV)
I think I was 8. My sister and I were getting ready to play outside when my mom warned us, “Billy Graham will be on at 7 p.m.”
Ugh … I knew what that meant.
Our playtime would be cut short. We’d need to finish our homework, shower and eat dinner early because at 7 p.m. we were watching the nationally televised Billy Graham Crusade, whether we liked it or not.
“It’s so boring. We’re just kids,” I would complain. But my complaining never worked.
To prove my point, I maintained my “I’m bored” outward composure. But about 10 minutes into the sermon, Billy Graham’s simple gospel message had a way of seeping into my heart and piercing my young soul. Every time.
Thirty years later …
It’s Thursday, my usual day off from work. My kids are small, and we’re headed to my parents’ house, a 45-minute drive. As one of my favorite preachers comes on the radio, my kids begin to bellyache. “Oh, Momma, can’t we just listen to music? This is so boring.”
I reassure them it’ll be over in 15 minutes, and then they can listen to their music.
They quiet down but look incredibly bored. One even appears to doze off. I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing the right thing. Am I expecting too much from my children at such a young age? After all, they are just kids.
In Deuteronomy Chapter 31, Moses knew his days of leading the Israelites were coming to an end, and he would soon be passing the baton to his successor, Joshua. So Moses gave the entire community, children included, a few final instructions.
“Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 31:12-13, NIV)
If anyone understood a child’s ultra-short attention span, it was God, the creator of the human mind. Nevertheless, God wanted children to hear the reading of the law. He wanted them to glean whatever they could glean from the Word of God — and the same is true today.
About a decade has passed since those early trips to my parents’ house. But every Thursday when the boys are off for summer vacation, we still try to head that way.
Now, my younger son is in the driver's seat as the radio plays.
“Momma? Do you still like this preacher?”
“Yeah, I do,” I answer. "He’s one of my favorites.”
“Mine, too. I listen to his podcast on my way to school. He has such a soothing voice.”
Shut. The. Front. Door.
You mean all those years, they were listening? All that bellyaching, yet something actually seeped in?
Friends, God promises us that His Word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11) And what we do for the Lord is never in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
I feel like someone out there needs to hear this:
Keep at it, mom.
Keep at it, faithful friend.
The seeds you plant will reap a harvest. The Bible is God’s Word. It may not seem like anyone is listening, but keep at it. God’s Word has a way of seeping into our hearts and piercing our souls … whether we like it or not. (Hebrews 4:12)
Dear heavenly Father, thank You for pursuing us. We pray for our loved ones who may not know You or even want to know You. We ask that You would pierce their hearts through Your Word as You have pierced our hearts. Thank You for Your sweet love, which draws us to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (NKJV)
Do you remember a time when God’s Word touched you in a unique way? Maybe it was through a sermon, a devotion or even a conversation. Perhaps it was at a time when you least expected to hear from God. Please share your thoughts or experience in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
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