Commandment #1 – The Creator’s Authority and the Family
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Speaker 1: The Reconstructionist Radio Podcast Network presents the Moral Foundations Podcast with Reverend Jeremy Walker, where you will learn to teach the Bible, line upon line, and precept upon precept, in a systematic and comprehensive manner.
Jeremy Walker: The Moral Foundations Podcast is brought to you by the GCS Apprenticeship Program. For more information, visit www.gcsapprenticeship.com. You’re listening to the Moral Foundations Podcast. I am your host, Reverend Jeremy Walker.
Today, we’re going to begin our series on how to teach the Ten Commandments. Now we’re going to assume, for the sake of argumentation, that because you’re listening to this, that you already believe that the Bible is the source of our morality. In other words, in the Bible is where we will find what is to be considered to be good and what is to be considered bad or evil. We’re also going to take into consideration that you believe that you’re supposed to teach these things to other people and to believe them yourself.
Now, the First Commandment is where we’re going to start. There’s a lot of people that I think in this entire series, kind of get something wrong. What they get wrong is that, for some reason, they act like they don’t know how to teach the Ten Commandments. They act like they don’t know how to teach morality. Well, the problem is is that we already do know how to teach them. Now I’ve seen a lot of videos, and I’m probably sure you may have yourself. I’ve seen other people have attempts at teaching the Ten Commandments. Their approach to it is very different than normal. Now, what do I mean by that? I’ll explain real quick.
I’ve seen people take the Ten Commandments and stick them on cards, little flip cards, where the first one had the First Commandment, and it recited the First Commandment, like thou shalt have no other gods before Me. And the second, and the third, and the fourth, and the fifth, and the sixth, all the way to the tenth. That was it. Just cards that you would flip and then recite. Flip and recite, flip and recite. Memorization.
I’ve seen people, when they’re trying to teach children in particular … I saw a video where somebody had come up with the idea of teaching the children in a manner that was kind of simplified, I would say. Simplified because they were teaching them to children, therefore they felt like that it simplify how they were doing so. So they didn’t just have them just recite, but they did have them recite the Commandments. But then they put in like a sign language thing with it, as well. If I had to guess, I’d say that the person who came up with the idea to do this was also a person who had taught sign language to their kids. Because for the Third Commandment, thou shalt not make into any graven image, or bow down thyself to them, et cetera, they would have the children bending over, to act like they’re bowing down, and various other cutesy little things for the kids to try to remember the commandments based off of this.
Well, these are good approaches, because it does incite memorization. Of course, you can’t start with something if you don’t know what it is. So memorization is first. If we’re going to teach the Commandments, you have to start with the memorization. But, they also approach it in a wrong manner, because as a parent or as a teacher, you’re teaching morality all the time, and you don’t dumb it down. You don’t put it into a cutesy manner. When a child strikes another, scratches another, tries to bite another, the parent, the teacher, or whomever, is going to stop them. They’re going to say, “Hey. You can’t do that. You can’t scratch somebody. You can’t bite somebody. That is wrong. Don’t do it again.”
As they get older, there might be some more repercussions, as far as when they’re cognitively doing it, not as a young, young child like a infant or a one-year-old. They are doing these things out of reflex, not necessarily out of a desire to hurt or harm someone. But as they get older, that changes. They are doing this out of a reflex to harm or desire somebody … a desire to harm someone. There are repercussions later on.
We already understand we are teaching children morality all the time. The concept of taking the Ten Commandments and teaching those to kids isn’t something different than what you’re already doing. So we should take this idea that teaching the Commandments is difficult, or I just don’t know what I’m doing. You were already teaching morality if you’re a teacher, if you’re a parent, or you’re just a friend. You’re always teaching morality to somebody.
When you toss out the idea that we have to make it cutesy, when you toss out the idea that children find it difficult to do, when you toss out the idea that it’s going to be something super complicated. We’re not sure if children could really handle it. Maybe we have to take the Commandments and put them into singing. I’ve seen this as well, they put the Commandments into song. They’ll try to get them to learn it via song, as well. Well, that’s fine, but once again, let’s step back a second. Whenever the child scratches somebody, you don’t sit and break into a song about … Singing a song about not scratching somebody, and making the child recite the song about not scratching somebody.
Now you could do that, but it’s not what you do. It’s not what you do as a norm. In other words, we really need to take two steps back, and just say, “We already know how to teach the Commandments, because we’re already teaching morality.” We’re already doing that. It’s not something that somebody has to tell you how to do it. You know that when you’re speaking to a child, you’re speaking in a normal voice. Not only are you speaking in a normal voice, you’re also speaking with normal words. You’re expecting them to understand the language that you’re using. So you’re not trying to cute-sify the language, to make it weird or different because you’re talking to a child.
I have seen some people who’ve done that, too. Who’ve tried to make it like they’re Mr. Rogers, and having to change their tones, to try to make it like they’re going to play with them, like Barney, or something like that. But that’s not how you teach. That’s not how you teach children. That’s not how you teach adults, not how you teach anybody. It might be how you play, but it’s not how you instruct and teach as a norm, meaning that on a daily basis, you’re not doing this. You’re not changing your voice and becoming Barney the dinosaur or some kind of other cutesy thing when you talk to children. You’re using normal tone. You use normal speech, normal language.
So number one, when we’re jumping into this First Commandment today, let’s just go ahead and put this out there. Don’t try to change your tones. Don’t think you have to come up with a cutesy plan. Don’t think that you have to dumb it down like you’re, once again, Barney the dinosaur. You don’t have to use puppets to keep their entertainment. There’s people, they use puppets for children’s ministries. You don’t have to use dancing vegetables to get children’s attentions. In fact, I’d say most of these things are a detriment, not a help. So let’s toss all that stuff out the door. Toss all these ideas that children are anything different than a normal adult. The only thing different between a child and an adult when you’re teaching the Commandments to them, the only thing different, is that you have to do so on a level on which they can understand it.
Now we’ve mentioned this before, in our introduction with the Moral Foundations Podcast introduction, teaching from the known to the unknown when you’re teaching things. But we’re going to go and jump in here. I think that you’re going to be surprised, actually, by some of the content here, if you’re listening to this, because people have a problem with the First Commandment, and the Commandments in general, but where they have a problem with the First Commandment is because I don’t think they start with the understanding of what they’re teaching, so let’s start with what it means.
Now the First Commandment, when we talk about it, can be found in Exodus 20, and in Deuteronomy 5. The Ten Commandments are given two times in depth in the Bible, and that is Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. Now, we’re going to start with the First Commandment.
The First Commandment is thou shall have no other god before Me. Now to start here, before understanding this Commandment, we have to understand a few things about what this First Commandment means. Number one is authority. You have to teach authority when you’re teaching the Commandments. This isn’t something that’s overly complicated, but let’s go over what authority is real quick, as you as the teacher or you as the parent have to understand this because this is something you have to teach your child or your student. Authority has the power or the right to give orders. They make decisions. They enforce obedience. This is what it means to have authority. This is what it means to be a parent. This is what it means to be a teacher. This is also what it means to be God. To have authority, you have the right to give orders to other people.
Now, this right here’s a concept of if you’re going to understand the teaching of the Commandments, you have to understand authority, because God tells us what to do. He has the right to do so. He has the right to give orders to us. He has the right to expect obedience out of us. He has the right to tell us what is right and what is wrong for us to do, without us being … consenting to it. He’s not asking us what we think, similar to what … and this is something that as you’re teaching this to children, this concept of authority, the first concept is is why do we have to listen to God? This is the First Commandment, thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
Well, why is it that God gets to tell you what to do in the first place? This is before you even start the Commandments, start here, why does God get to tell you what to do? Why? Now I know I could ask this question to adults and they’d come up with all kinds of different answers, but one thing that they won’t come up with is that they won’t come up with the basic concept of authority. That’s what they normally miss. The reason why they don’t come up with that is because they don’t brightly understand this in themselves. Like a parent, a parent has authority over their children. They have the right to tell them what to do. Their children are required to obey their voices, listen to what they have to say. Same with the teacher, these people are required to listen to you because of the authority that they have.
Now, the enforcing of obedience is also important because people have a problem with any time somebody says, “Well, God would punish something.” Well, of course God would punish something. He is the authority. He’s the person who’s making decisions. He’s the one who gets to tell you what to do. He is the one who gets to make the rules. He gets to make the rules for a very important reason. Here’s the next question that kind of answers the why do we have to listen to God, it’s because in Genesis 1:1, it’s very simple, Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” and it goes on from there, but the important part is is that we understand that because God created everything, He owns it. Because He owns it, He gets to set the rules for it. He gets to make the rules. He gets to do everything He wants, and everything else has to listen to Him, everything, especially the people.
Now, there’s another one here which is Psalms, Psalms 1. It’s got five verses, but I’ll read it to you real quick. It says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God. It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name, for the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting. And His truth endureth to all generations.”
Now, this is, of course, answers the question, why do we have to listen to God? Because it is He that hath made us. Without God, there is no life. See, people will want to think that they can reject the Commandments and reject the God, and reject creation, and everything else. That starts with thou shalt have no other gods before Me. They think they can reject all these things because they can reject God’s authority, they can reject their creator, they can reject the idea. In fact, this is what they teach in schools. They teach the concept that they are not created.
Whenever you’re teaching this First Commandment, when you’re teaching authority, then this is one of the first things you have to start with, you have to start with in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. You have to go to Psalms 100, which also goes in absolute link with this, and talks about, “It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” We should be thankful to God. This is why the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, because He created us. We did not create ourselves. He didn’t have to do that. Mankind is obligated to be thankful to God for the life and the creation in which they are living in, which they get to embrace, which they get to enjoy, because without God, none of this would exist. All the concepts we have do not exist, like love and joy and fun, duty, responsibility, any of it.
So whenever people reject the concept of their creator, they are rejecting the concept of this First Commandment. They’re breaking it. Whenever they try to teach that there is no creation, things are evolved, then they have automatically braken the First Commandment, not to have another God, because they’re rejecting the creator, they’re rejecting the idea that God has the authority to teach them anything or to talk to them and demand anything of them, especially the concept of God being able to punish them. Many people who have problems with the Bible. This is something that your children and your students will encounter lots of times, people out in the world who have a problem with the Commandments. They have a problem especially with the punishments that they’re going to find throughout the Bible.
Now, the reason why they have a problem is because they reject the idea that God has the authority to make the rules, and then to expect obedience and to punish those who do not obey. This is one of the first things we have to learn, one of the first things you have to teach your children about this First Commandment is this right here, God has the authority as the creator to determine right and wrong, to expect obedience of His creatures, and then to enforce that obedience either by giving rewards to those who are obedient, or punishing the disobedience of others. He has the right to do that.
In other words, God gives life, and God can take life on His standard. To question that, to think that for some reason at any point in time you can question any actions of God with anything that He does is to break this First Commandment. Now, it’s also important when you’re teaching this First Commandment, I’m just going to put it in this first episode, what is a god? What is a god? Because I think people take this for granted. They just keep saying, “God, God, God, God, God,” but they never say, “What is a god?”
Whenever in this First Commandment, thou shalt have no other god before Me. What does that mean? Well, it’s real simple. We’ve kind of … a couple things. Number one is that there is no other authority that can determine what is right and wrong, and has the right to make those decisions. It also has no right to enforce compliance or expect compliance of those, and it cannot discipline. It cannot reward or discipline according to what they think. It’s real simple when you’re talking to children, when you’re talking to students what this means. The person that they, the student or child, will think first of all gets to make the rules is themselves. They think they get to make the rules. It’s the sin of the garden. They want to determine right from wrong for themselves.
Every person breaks this First Commandment. Their primary god that they have in place of God is themselves, is self. They think they have the right to make decisions. They think that they get to expect others to listen to them. You see this in children all the time. They think that mom and dad should do what they want. If mom and dad don’t do that, they become angry. They throw a fit. They begin to scream. They begin to cry. Depending on the child, they might try to hit or harm the other person, if it might be their parent, might be their teacher. They might try to throw things in a classroom setting or at home. They might try to harm their brothers and sisters or their friends physically or verbally, because of course they feel that their deity has been attacked, because you, whoever you are, are not doing what they think you should do.
Then of course, the discipline aspect here … This is where we talk about the lashing out, where they try to harm someone who does not listen to them. This is where they will refuse to walk when the parents ask them to walk, they might try to strike out at them. Being in a preschool setting, we get to see a lot of parents. I’ve seen children who have bitten their parents, struck their parents, kick their parents, threw things at their parents, spit on their parents. Of course the same goes with children on children contact, where they will purposely harm somebody, kick somebody, push somebody, because they feel that they have the right to harm or punish somebody who doesn’t obey their voice.
When you’re talking to students and children, this commandment’s real simple. Their primary God, their primary problem is that they want everyone to listen to them. They think they get to make the rules. They think they have the authority to enforce obedience to what they want. So whenever you’re talking about this with your students or your children, define these concepts. Don’t use made-up language so children can’t get it. Don’t try to dawdle it up and put into a song. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with those things, but children can handle basic speech. Just talk normal to them.
When you’re going over this commandment about thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Go over “Well, what is a god?” Then, explain what a god is. A god is somebody who has ultimate power. In other words, nobody gets to tell this person what to do. Nobody can tell God what to do. God gets to determine right from wrong. God gets to have somebody listen to Him, or He gets the right to punish or reward them. Nobody, absolutely nobody can hold Him accountable. They believe they are God. Everyone does. This is the sin of the garden.
If you’re going to get what this means, this First Commandment, then this is something that you’re going to have to understand. This is something that you have to get what a god is, and get the concept of why you have to listen to the actual God, the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ. Why is it that God gets to tell us what to do? Why is it that He is the determiner of good and evil? Why is it that He gets to reward and/or punish based off of his commands? Why is that? Why is it that everyone, everyone is required to call it good? The answer is simple, because He has the authority and the power. He is the only person, as the creator, who has this type of level of authority.
If you are paying attention, you will find out real quick that anytime somebody questions what God does, anything whatsoever, take the case of the story of Job, or Job’s family. He lost his children. He lost all of his money. He lost all of his health. He lost everything. In the end, when confronted by God … God had caused it to happen. He allowed Satan to utterly devastate Job. In the end when God confronted Job, Job refused to speak. He said, “Blessed be the name of the Lord. God gives. God takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” That is what it means to keep this First Commandment. You have to be a person who worships God. Worship means at all times, you are going to give praise to God for everything He does, everything. You do not get the opportunity or choice to question what anything that God has done and hold Him accountable, or to judge Him.
At one point, God had asked the question, “Will you judge Me? Will you make yourself righteous and condemn Me?” In other words, men love to sit in judgment and read, like say the Bible, the Word of God, and decide if God was a good God, if He did something that was good or not, and they want to play judge over God. In the words, they want to place themselves over God as His judge. Well, they cannot do that. You are not the judge. No one is. God is the only one who gets to determine right from wrong. He is the only one who has the authority to enforce what He says is right and wrong, and to reward and punish according to what He has said.
Now, as a teacher or as the parent who’s teaching students and/or children, this is the kind of concept you have to get across, the concept that the reason why we listen to God in the first place is because of the authority that He has as creator. That’s where it comes from. It means that as God, as creator, He has the right, the only right, to determine right and wrong. We have to go to Him as our source for what is right and what is wrong. In this case, we go to the Bible, the Word of God, to see what He has said.
When this First Commandment comes up, thou shalt have no other gods before Me, it simply means what we’ve been talking about from the beginning, and that is real simple, real simple, you cannot listen to anyone else beyond God Himself. If anybody comes into contradiction to anything God has said, those people cannot be listened to. It automatically teaches a limitation of authority. Means that the parent does have authority, but it is delegated authority, meaning the parents cannot command their children to do things contrary to God’s law. Otherwise, the child will be looking at the parent as God, because they’re able to give commands above God. This also goes to the teacher. The teacher is restricted. Delegated authority, once again. They cannot tell the student to do something that’s wrong, like steal or to harm another student.
It also goes to governments. This is where this is also very important. This is something that’s never taught, but should be taught to your students, and should be taught to your children. Governments cannot be obeyed above God. If they are telling the person to do something that is wrong, that government must be disobeyed, because they are, at this point, stepping outside of their delegated authority. Governments do have delegated authority just like parents do. But if they step outside of that, then they must be disobeyed to the extent that they are asking you to do something wrong. It doesn’t mean that you can just completely disregard what they’re saying, but to that extent, they must be disobeyed.
A good example of this was the Egyptian midwives when they were commanding the midwives to murder the children that were coming out of the Hebrews, slaves, and they did not do it. Now, they didn’t stand in pharaoh’s face and say, “We refuse to do it.” In fact, they lied to them and said, “Well, those Hebrew slave women are just so strong. We get there, they’ve already delivered the babies, and we just couldn’t do what you’ve asked us to do.” In other words, they just disobeyed. It does mean they rebelled. It doesn’t mean they tried to usurp the king’s authority. They don’t try to overthrow governments. It just means that they don’t follow through with what they’ve been told to do. It’s got almost a negative action. I’m sorry, I cannot do that. In times, it’s like we’re … just gave an example, it’s not something that you even say. It’s just something that you don’t do. You don’t obey somebody who is trying to tell you to break one of God’s commandments, not something that you do, not something that you can do.
This is something that you need to tell your students and your children is that any authority, any person of any sorts, friends, family, teachers, parents, governments, police officers, it doesn’t matter who they are, anybody who’s trying to tell you to do something in violation of one of God’s commandments is not to be obeyed. However, if they are telling you something that is within their authority to do so, you should listen to that person completely. These people do have authority to tell you to do various things, but they do not have authority to violate one of God’s commandments … or tell you rather … to tell you to violate one of God’s commandments, so this is very important.
Now, I want to end this episode, because this is our first step into the First Commandment, to understand what it means to be a god, what it means to … why is it that we have to obey God in the first place, because of His creatorship. He is the creator. Therefore, He has the right to do these things. We, as creatures, do not have the right to question God. We only have the responsibility to worship and to obey God, to say everything that He is doing is good and right for us. If we try or attempt to disregard God, refuse to listen to Him, or to stand in judgment of Him, then we are breaking this First Commandment. It’s primarily broken by children and by every person with themselves. They believe they should be God. They are the determiners for right and wrong. That’s something you should definitely get across to your student, you should get across to your child. It’s something they need to watch out for.
Every person has this problem. It’s the very first problem that our first parents had. They wanted to, in the garden of Eden, determine right and wrong for themselves. They wanted to be God, and so do we. If we’re going to keep this commandment, we have to be knowingly anticipating that we’re going to have a problem with obeying the commandments of God. A lot of times, what’ll happen is we won’t even search to find out what God says about something. This is another aspect of this, which as adults, we really need to pay attention to it, and as a teacher, or as a parent, you need to be aware of this, is we will think that God agrees with us, so that a lot of times, we won’t go to the Bible to find out what God says about a subject. We just assume God would agree with us because it sounds right to us. Well, that doesn’t mean that’s what God says about things.
Let me give you a good example what I’m saying, and we’ll close up with this. One concept here. If we’re going back to the First Commandment, I think it’s interesting, because you have the First Commandment. With the First Commandment, you actually have also the First Commandment that was actually given. thou shalt have no other gods before Me is the First Commandment that is in the Bible, meaning as far as the Ten Commandments are concerned, but was not the actual first commandment that was given to mankind. Now, mankind was in the garden created by God. In Genesis 1:27, we said, “So God created man in His own image. The image of God, created He Him. Male and female, created He them. And God blessed them. And God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and with the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.'”
This was the first commandment that was given to mankind. It was also given again later after the flood, be fruitful and multiply. Now what I said just a second ago that our ability to think that God is okay with the same things we think very much so applies to this commandment. You’ll have noticed that especially adults, they’re married, the concept of restricting birthrate, also called contraceptives, also called birth control, various type things what it’s called.
Whenever we’re going to the subject of restricting one’s birthrate, or in this case what God says is not restricting it, people think they have the right to determine for themselves how many children they should have. They do. It’s a fact. I’ve talked to tons and tons of people, and in this situation they consider to be immensely personal, they consider it to be something that is their choice. They get to determine what is right for them. They get to determine if they’ve had enough children. I’ve heard somebody say to me one time that had many children, I believe the number was five or six, and the subject came up, and they said, “Well I’ve done enough fruitful multiplying. I have six children. I have done my part.”
Well, is that what God says, though? God says in multiple times throughout the Bible to be fruitful and multiply, means that if you’re a family, if you have a husband and a wife, you are not to restrict your birthrate yourself. It is to … well, once again as we’re saying here, believe that you get to determine what is right for you. At no point in time throughout the Bible anywhere is there any scripture of any sorts which says that married couples, husband and wives, have the responsibility to restrict their birthrates, or to attempt to restrict their birthrates as if somehow they had the power to create life in the first place. Somehow by being married, therefore they’re going to automatically have children. They have to be careful with this, because if they have too many children, then they won’t be able to care for them.
In other words, they give lots of reasons why they have to be … they consider to be in charge. It comes from the root problem that they believe that they create life. They believe that by coming together as husband and wife, that they are creating life, and they are creating children, and therefore they have to be careful because they don’t want to create too much life, otherwise of course at that point, they won’t be able to care for all those children, won’t have enough money.
See, the problem is is that people misunderstand that they are the source of life, because somehow they came together as husband and wife and created life. It’s not the way it works. You go throughout the Bible, which I won’t go through here. It would take too much time. Maybe we’ll touch on it later. God says again and again and again and again that He is the one that controls the womb. He opens and closes the womb. It’s all throughout the Bible again and again and again, where God either gives … I think of a specific case where Hannah, which was Samuel, the prophet’s mother, had no children, and so God opened her womb and gave her a child, then after that, He gave her more children.
It also happened in the case of … with Jacob. He had two wives, Leah and Rachel. Jacob liked Rachel more than Leah. Leah was despised. So God opened her womb, and she had many more children than Rachel did on purpose because God gave them to her. There’s another circumstance I can think of which was in the case of King David and his … first wife, which was King Saul’s daughter, which was Michelle. God was not happy with her, and so God closed her womb and gave her no children at all. She was barren her entire life.
The Bible is full of examples again and again and again and again and again, of God being the one who is the absolute controller over reproduction, the absolute controller of the womb. Here, you have God saying, “Be fruitful and multiply.” In other words, you go ahead and attempt to be fruitful and multiply, and I will give you what I want you to have. If I want you to have 10 children, you’ll have 10. If I want you to have no children, you’ll have none. You do not get to determine how much life comes into the world, I do, meaning God.
People have a problem with this. I put it in here because this is the first step into the teaching the Ten Commandments, but here is an intensely personal situation where people, men and women, both believe that they are the determiners of life itself. They believe they are the ones who create life by coming together as a husband and wife. They are the ones who believe that they will determine for themselves how many children they should have. In other words, it’s not them saying, “I will have what God wants me to have.” It’s not an acknowledgment of God’s authority, His power, or His control over the womb, which is evidently all throughout the Bible that that’s the case.
No. They take the concept of restricting birth. In multiple different ways, this is done. Some ways, they use birth control methods. Some people, they kill their kids via abortion. Some people do what is called the natural family planning method. All of the methods that are utilized are … have one purpose, and that is to restrict birth or avoid it altogether. In some cases like abortion, it’s to actually kill what’s there. In the other situation of morning after pills and abortion fans, and things like this with pill formats, is to kill what has begun. Then the people who are natural family planning, their idea is to avoid getting pregnant altogether. They’re not necessary killing what has begun, but they’re trying to just avoid it altogether, entirely avoiding life.
It’s something that we have to takes two steps back, this very personal concept, which people get very upset about, but it is tied to the First Commandment, though shall have no other gods before Me. This was the first commandment that was actually given, “Be fruitful and multiply.” When people cannot grasp this concept, if you can’t get the idea that God is the one who controls the womb, He is the one who gives life and takes life, and has the right to do so, and that God will give you however many children He wants you to have. He is the origin of life. That’s where children come from. Children don’t come from husband and wife coming together.
This is something that is missed. But people never talk like this, because they would never tie in these two concepts. Because right now, I’m giving you a very intensely personal example of what it means to not have another god before Me. This concept of being fruitful and multiplying, putting everything in God’s hands and saying as a person of faith, “God will give me what He wants,” and “God will also allow me to take care of however many children I have.” People love the verses, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you,” speaking of food and clothing and shelter, et cetera, but they don’t tie it into this concept, the very first commandment ever given to mankind, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
People like to talk about dominion a lot. Dominion is tied to having children. With more children, if God gives them to you, then a person can have more dominion. There’s just more people out there to further witness to people, to build things that will glorify God, but people war against life whenever they attempt to restrict birthrates. That’s exactly what they’re doing there, attempting to wrestle from God the right to give life. That’s what it’s about. Now people won’t say it like that, but that’s what it is. If we’re going to say, “Let’s keep the Commandments. Let’s teach the Commandments,” then let’s start with the first one. The first one was thou shalt have no other gods before Me. God said from the very beginning, “Be fruitful and multiply, and then have dominion.”
If we’re going to do this as families, you’re going to have to have this as your policy, that God is in control of your birthrate. You get no say so. You can attempt to have a say so, but at this point in time if you’re going to attempt to have a say so, you’re violating this First Commandment, which is you were going to determine for your self if you should be fruitful and multiply, or how much is sufficient for you to be fruitful and multiply, as I’ve said before.
These are some things to think about. As the parent or as the teacher, this is also something you can teach to children. It means that having children as a family is a wonderful and beautiful thing. It’s something that God wants you to have. He wants you to have more life. Children are not something to be despised. Now, once again, people would have the concept of abortion. They’re killing children that are already starting to grow in the mother’s womb, and say, “That is an attack on life,” and rightfully so it is. It’s a despising of life. Those that destroy babies that have just formed through pills and other medications despise life. They don’t want it to come into existence. Those who purposefully attempt to restrain their birthrates, via whatever methods they’re using, also are trying to avoid life. It is not an embracing of life.
So, we need to correct our thinking where this is concerned. We need to put sovereignty where it is and where it belongs, right there in the hand of God. You can go through the Bible again and again and again, God shows forth throughout so many stories He is the author of life. He gives and takes away life. That’s what goes with this First Commandment. He has the authority to do that. If you were not going to sit back and allow God to give you what He wants you to have, if you’re going to attempt to restrict your birthrates via whatever methods that are utilizing, to try … to refrain to … to stay away from life, to restrict it, then you’re not following this very first commandment that was given to mankind, and you are violating the First Commandment.
Once again, this should be taught to children. They should be taught on their level, of course. The way it’s taught to children, or if you’re going to teach your personal children or your students, is that what does the family look like, husband and wife? Then, what comes next? Children. Then the question can be asked, “Well, should the husband and wife, should they want children?” Yes. “Well, can they have children just because they want them?” The answer would be no. “Well, who gives life then?” God gives life. God gives life. He is the one who’s the author of all life. Even though people may be married, they may have no children, but they’re still a family. They’re still a family. They might have one child, they might have two, they might have 12, but all those families no matter how many children they have, can still be obedient to God because God might not give and He doesn’t, the same number of children to all people. This is just a fact.
We should teach children that we should be open to whatever God allows us to have, however many children we have, and we should desire them.
I think this is enough for us for today. I hope this gives you some things to think about. For your students and for your children, the main concepts just to abbreviate again what you need to teach, the First Commandment is thou shalt have no other gods before Me. A god is anyone who is the ultimate authority, the one at the very top, that gets to make the rules for other people, what is good and bad for people to do. A god is also somebody that gets to enforce obedience to what they’ve said, meaning rewards and/or punishments for not listening to them, and it’s somebody that nobody can tell no to. Of course, we need to make sure they understand, and not only what that is, what a god is by definition, but that the biggest god they have is themselves.
That is going to be their biggest problem. They will be the determiners of good and evil for themselves. That’s going to be it. They also need to be taught as summation again that all authorities have delegated authority from God, so parents, teachers, policeman, governments, everybody. All those authorities must be obeyed to the extent that they don’t try to tell somebody to break or violate one of God’s commandments.
Lastly, of course, you should also, with this commandment, point out and understand the very First Commandment, which is God wants people, families, to have children. He wants them to have children, and to be open to that. They should respect the fact that God is the one who is the author of life. They are not the author of life. No one is the author of life except for God. To attempt, to attempt to restrict one’s birthrate is an attempt to take God’s authority and power from Him for ourselves, which of course is a violation of this First Commandment, thou shalt have no other gods before Me. God’s given a very clear command, “Be fruitful and multiply.” There is no quantifiers in there. You won’t find any quantifiers throughout the Bible. It is a very clear-cut command. The reason why people don’t obey this very first commandment given to families is because they have a problem with the first commandment we’re talking about, thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
If we’re going to correct ourselves, if we’re going to be blessed, if we’re going to prosper, we’re going to have to make sure that our children and our students understand what the First Commandment is. One of those, of course, goes with this, what we’re talking about here, that we respect that God is the author of life. He is the author of life. He is also the taker of life in judgment.
Later on, as we talk, we’ll get into more about that, but God is not somebody who we get to judge. He is somebody we have to listen to. If we are going to prosper, that’s what we have to do.
That’ll be the end of this first lesson. Hopefully, it gave you some things to think about as the parent or as the teacher about the First Commandment and what it means, but that should give you plenty of things to think about, and things to talk about. On our Moral Foundations Website, we’re also going to include a lot of this material on there. As the study goes on, we’re going to be discussing a whole lot more than just this right here, the basic concepts of what the First Commandment are, about authority, and about the respect of life and listening to what God has said about being fruitful and multiply. But we’re also going to go through a lot about other ways that the commandment applies, not just in the family, and the concept of birthrate.
We’ll go into all those things as we go. You could find this episode and others on the Moral Foundations page on the GCS Apprenticeship website. It is gcsapprenticeship.com. At the top, you will find the button for podcast, and you will find Moral Foundations there. You could find all the links through that page. Go there for more information. Should you desire to listen to more, we’ll be back next week, and we’ll have more information for you on the First Commandment and some other things to think about as the parent or teacher about what you need to teach, and other ways of how to teach it. Until then, have a great day.
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