Deuteronomy 21:18-21- “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives and they shall say to the elders of his city, “This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”
Tonight I have read this at least ten times so far. I’ve also used www.blueletterbible.com to help me understand a few words. Here are some practical things I’ve learned:
- rebellious – to be to be contentious, be rebellious, be refractory, be disobedient towards, be rebellious against. The root word of the Hebrew means to make or be bitter.
- stubborn – to turn away; be refractory (resistant to a process or stumuli, unmanageable)
- obey and listen are the same Hebrew word!
I’ve also utilized a few of the free commentaries and learned some interesting facts.
From David Guzig’s commentary:
iii. “Stoning was the punishment appointed for blasphemers and idolaters; which if it seem severe, it is to be considered that parents are in God’s stead, and entrusted in good measure with his authority over their children; and that families are the matter and foundation of the church and commonwealth, and they who are naughty members and rebellious children in them, do commonly prove the bane and plague of these, and therefore no wonder if they are nipped in the bud.” (Poole)
Seems this is another example of the authority God gives us by allowing us to raise His children. God placed so much importance on children being obedient and honoring to their parents that He wanted them stoned if disobedent — exactly the same punishment that a blasphemer would receive! Parents, we are in God’s stead. Phew. How’s that for humbling? I’ve heard the story about a girl who didn’t want to go to sleep by herself. Her father told her she would be fine, and Jesus was with her. The girl’s response was, “Sometimes I need Jesus with skin on.” True, true. This authority God gives us also reminds me of Moses’ relationship with his brother Aaron. When Moses told God to send someone else to save the Israelites from the hand of Egyptians, God suggested Aaron. Then He suggested that Moses would act as God for Aaron, and Aaron would be like his prophet. (see Exodus 4:14-16). “He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him” (Exodus 14:16). When it comes to parenting, we basically “shall be as God to him.” If that’s not humbling, I don’t know what is.
I think I’m going to write a part two on these verses. Stay tuned. For now it’s sleepy time.